Monday Give Away: THAT SUMMER!
This Monday, I have for you… an advance copy of That Summer!
Here’s the official blurb:
2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn’t been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house—with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas—bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house’s shrouded history begins to open…
1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur’s collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.
From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig’s That Summer takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past—and herself.
For an advance copy of That Summer, here’s your question:
What are your favorite novels about art or painting?
(With thanks to Pam and Alexandra for the contest idea!)
The winner will be announced on Wednesday.
That Summer comes out on June 3 (which is coming up surprisingly soon!). I’ll be doing a bit of touring for That Summer, so keep an eye on the sidebar for new author appearances.
You can read an excerpt of That Summer here.
That Summer is available for preorder from Amazon, B&N, Books A Million, Indiebound, Powell’s, and wherever else books are sold.
More pretty Pre-Raphaelite pictures coming up on Teaser Tuesday tomorrow!
Da Vinci Code…opened so many avenues of thought.
The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostreva, is a great one. Additionally, Hill Towns, by Anne Rivers Siddons, where a major character is an artist, painting the protagonist while they tour Italy and visit art in Florence, Rome, and Siena. For a different type of art, photography, Meg Waite Clayton’s The Language of Light, and Emily Giffin’s Love the One You’re With. And, for glassworking, Elin Hilderbrand’s A Summer Affair.
A good one that I read recently is Heist Society by Ally Carter – a good heist plot featuring good old Robin Hood-esque intent to return treasured art pieces to the families parted from them during WWII.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. And after I read all the books listed by everyone else, I’m sure all of those ones too! How did I not know about some of those?
I can’t wait to read That Summer!! Excitement!
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Da vinci code by Dan Brown
I just finished The Art Forger by B.A Shapiro which was good. I work as a librarian in an art museum so I am always on the lookout for books about art!
The first that popped to mind “about art” was Narcissus and Goldmund.
May I use your blurb on my site (feel free to reply via email if you are so inclined)? I’ll try to put it out near your launch date.
Shannon, gladly! If you need anything else, just let me know.
I haven’t read that many books involving art, so I’ll say The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Your new book sounds great!
As an art historian (well, an embryo art historian until I finish the diss) I’m always on the look out for books about art (and thanks for the shout out, Lauren!) I also liked The Swan Thieves (Elizabeth Kostova) quite a bit, though not nearly as much as I enjoyed The Historian. Leonardo’s Swans (Karen Essex) is another one that I really liked but didn’t completely love. Probably my favorite book-about-art, as cliche as it sounds, is The Girl with the Pearl Earring (Tracy Chevalier), which is just a beautiful book. I saw the painting in NYC a few months ago and we had a moment.
I’m sure there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. I can’t wait to read That Summer!
I really enjoyed the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Also, Gregory Macquire’s Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was really good and sort of about painting. Good twist on Cinderella.
I would have to say “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown. While I enjoyed “DaVinci Code,” “Angels and Demons” really brought me into the world of painting and sculpture and art en situ like architecture. I was also lucky enough to have a great illustrated copy that had actual pictures of the art work/locations through out the book.
The Girl With a Pearl Earring. Read it for a book club.
I’ve always loved La Nora, and my first trilogy of hers that I read was her “Key” trilogy, my favorite is “Key of Valor.” The whole story revolves around three mortal women trying to rescue three goddesses, and there are some paintings that are key to the story. The art theme runs throughout the trilogy, which adds some fun to it all.
I adored Tracey Chevalier’s Girl With A Pearl Earring, and Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray
Favorite book is BEATRICE – by Sheldon Bart. I wish someone would write a novel about her. Check out Cliffside Inn, Newport RI – her former home where she spent all her life painting herself. What a story!!!
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, and Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland–what if there were ANOTHER Vermeer? The mind salivates at the concept.
Da Vinci Code! But the Girl with the Pearl Earring was really good as well 🙂
Your synopsis and the question brought to my mind the Penny Nichols books, which I greatly enjoyed!
I loved the Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato. Sort of like the Da Vinci Code but a different artist
The Art Forger- Barbara Shapiro. Primary historical character is Isabella Stuart Gardner and very interesting information on the details of making a painting (ahem, forging one) and Degas. Didn’t LOVE the ending- but still a good read.
Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters. Any Vicky Bliss novel really!
Nora Roberts Homeport.
Renaissance Art expert and art thief, mystery and romance!
‘I, Mona Lisa’ by Jeanne Kalogridis! Such a wonderful book!!
I love “A Rather Lovely Inheritance” by CA Belmond – which happens to have a blurb from a certain flowery author on the cover! Thank you for introducing me to her writing!
The Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Da Vinci Code, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, to name the top three that popped into my head.
The Agony and the Ecstasy – Amazing!
How about Jojo Moyes The One He Left Behind. This was the first book of hers that I have read. After reading this one I went on to read the others. So good.
Picture of Dorian Gray
Does painting as a matchmaking ploy count? Then “Emma” 🙂
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Delves deep into the realities of Belle Epoque Paris,Edgar Degas and the subjects of his beloved sculptures and paintings.
Definitely Carnevale by Michelle Lovric. It has it all – charming Casanova, broody Byron, and the main character is a famous painter with a sharp tongue.
Sort of an odd one, but Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. It’s wonderful, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting its sequel for years now…
I actually think the only novels about art I have read are Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. That makes me sad, so I’m glad you had this question so that I can read everyone else’s recommendations!
The Girl with a Pearl Earring, loved it! Love the cover of this book, too!
This book sounds great. I’ve not read any books on art recently but one that I would read is Da Vinci Code!
Can I make a future guess? I have a feeling that “That Summer” will soon move to the top of the list. As of right now, I love the use of art in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series as well as “The Swan Thief.” I do agree that it’s not quite as good as “The Historian.”
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore. Hilarious novel that offers an alternative suggestion to Van Goh’s insanity and death.
Hm … a tough one. I think I would probably say “The Birth of Venus” by Sarah Dunant
It’s a bit of a love story that begins with a (weird) bang and it follows through, sometimes slowly, but always with such heart.
Not a novel, but I really liked The Art Forger’s Handbook. Also Victoria Finlay’s History of Color. For an actual novel, I’ll have to second somebody else’s mention of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey.
“The Birth of Venus” by Sarah Dunant and “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown. The former I like probably because I was reading during a power outage by candlelight, so I felt like I was experiencing the age!
I’ll give a throw-back and say “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” After reading that book, I could never visit a museum without imagining what it would be like running away and living there!
Da Vinci Code. Intriguing and eye-opening for an art-challenged person like me 🙂
OMG! The Goldfinch! HOW could I overlook that!!!
Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls” trilogy talks a lit about art and all things historical. “Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” are the only ones I’ve read where art is a main part of the story, but also agree about “Confessionsof an Ugly Stepsister” with the painting. Can’t wait to read “That Summer!”
I haven’t actually read any books about art or paintings, at least nine that stick out to me. I took an art history class in college and one of my favorite pieces of art is the V-J Day in Times Square photography did extensive research on thr photograph, and there is no solid evidence of who the kissing couple is. They represent this HUGE moment in time, and their identity, while many have come forth to claim they are the man and woman, is still a TRUE question. The romance and magic of the photo has always intrigued me, and it is definitely one of my favorite pieces of history.
“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. It was a long one but a good read.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon. Writing is my favorite art form, so I hope it counts. The book is similar to the DaVinci Code, so perhaps a few commentors might want to pick it up.
“DaVinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” are the two that I have read that are really have to do with art!
I love a good thriller, and some of the best are Daniel Silva’s series featuring Gabriel Allon. Allon is a talented artist and highly sought after art restorer, who also happens to be one of Mossad’s top agents. These stories are fantastic and they always include a lot about art, especially Renaissance, as the Vatican is of Gabriel’s main clients.
Angel’s and Demons
The Amber Room
and I feel like there are more but I can’t think of the titles, plus all of the Dumas books and Pink Carnation books that have beautiful aretwork on their covers
Cannot wait to get a new Lauren Willig book!
Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
A Bid for Love by Rachel Ann Nunes
Key of Light by Nora Roberts
I really love Ally Carter’s Heist Society series. A non-fiction book that I love is The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynne H. Nichols. It’s all about how the Nazi stole and destroyed hundreds of works of art from all over Europe. And although I haven’t started reading it yet I can’t wait to read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. One of my favorite books of all time! You can really understand the passion and drive Michelangelo had that made him an artistic genius. I cried when I saw the David in person!
Elizabeth Peters’ Vicki Bliss books!
I just finished “The Glassblower of Murano” and LOVED IT! The art in this book is glassblowing and mirror- making, which was new for me.
Heist Society by Ally Carter! Thanks so much for doing this!
Aack… I don’t have one. Or at least I cannot think of one. 🙁
The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart
So excited for the next book release! Your books always come out right after finals, so always I have something to read before I have to hit the textbooks again.
I would have to say the Lady Emily series by Tasha Alexander. Stolen artifacts, intrigue and murder. Can’t go wrong with that combination!
I have to say, The Lost Wife by Allyson Richamn even though The Goldfinch just won the Pulitzer. The Lost Wife brought us beauty out of indescribably horrific circumstances..
Girl with a Pearl Earring
David Hewson writes a series about Nic Costas and his team of detectives in Rome. Nic loves the work of Carravaggio and other Italian artists so you learn all sorts of interesting things. Also I seem to remember Victoria Holt had a novel with a young woman who is an art restoration expert; she takes over for her father. Anyone remember that one? I am eagerly awaiting your latest book Laura!
Apparently, I need to read more books about art. I’ve only read a few of the books everyone has listed. And, the one that sticks out to me is “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.” Loved the different approach to Cinderella.
I like the Girl with the Pearl Earing. The book is a lot better than the movie.
The illustrated copy of The Da Vinci Code…the art is amazying. I cannot wait to see some of the pieces in person some day.
I Am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto about John Singer Sargent’s famous portrait (fiction).
Well, can’t think of one that art or painting is at the center of the plot, but one that the portraits of the family are an integral part of the plot… does that count?
Come love a stranger by Woodiwiss
Not her best novel but I really enjoyed it.
My favourites would have to be “The Birth of Venus” by Sarah Dunant or “The Botticelli Secret” by Marina Fiorato. I love Renaissance Italy novels.
Also, “The Lady and the Unicorn” by Tracy Chevalier. That’s all I can think of right now.
You might be interested in:
Juliet by Anne Fortier
O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell
The House of the Wind by Titania Hardie
Definitely The Birth of Venus!
There are quite a few to choose from! Currently I love the discriptions of portraits and sketches in Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden. A few commenters mentioned the novels The Historian and The Painted Girls. I adore both. An Object of Beauty by Steven Martin is also an interesting tale filled with art. I particularly liked that the paintings are printed within the text. I love when novels touch upon the work of John Singer Sarget.
Anything Vicky Bliss! Trojan Gold will always be my favorite..though there’s only one painting in that one if I remember 🙂
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier and also an old romance book Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart.
The Wild Swans by Elizabeth Kostova and The Madonnas of Leningrad.
I miss Vicki Bliss and her adventures, too! There have been some great posts reminding me of wonderful reads, but one that I have on my desk that I use for a quick break from work is Barbara Hodgson’s Italy Out of Hand, a Capricious Tour. The same goes for her Paris out of Hand book. Links me to lost artists that I may have never learned of without her books.
An oldie but a goodie–Irving Stone’s “The Agony and the Ecstacy”, about Vincent Van Gogh.
This one is about Michelangelo. Lust for Life is the Van Gogh one! Which is my favorite!
The Swan Thieves is the only one that comes to mind. Can’t wait to read That Summer!
The Girl with the Pearl Earring I guess. This isn’t a topic I read much of!
Children’s – Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
YA – All-American Girl, Meg Cabot
Adult – Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Here is another vote for The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I enjoyed reading the story behind the subjects of Degas’ ballet paintings.
I love The Da Vinci Code, I love The Girl with the Pearl Earring, and I adore The Girl You Left Behind, the lastest book by Jojo Moyes, which was absolutely riveting!!! (Like all her books, yes! :D)
Eight Girls Taking Pictures. Not a novel (I’m usually drawn to novels) but I loved it. By Whitney Otto.
The Lady and the Unicorn and The Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.
Count me as another vote for From the Mixed Up Files… I wanted to live in the Met like Claudia and Jamie.
Lust for Life by Irving Stone. Also a movie with Kirk Douglas. An oldie but a solid goodie!
The King of the Castle by Victoria Holt
I really liked The Art Forger by Shapiro and The Painted Girls by Buchanan!
Monuments Men…not really a novel but a great read!
Can I pick a poem instead? Because “My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning, could practically be a gothic novel, and was the first thing that sprang to mind.
Otherwise, I’d join those voting for Elizabeth Peters’s Vicky Bliss books, or possibly My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart.
After pondering the subject for a bit, I’ve realized I haven’t read a lot of books centered on art and/or painting. I did love The Girl with the Pearl Earring, though.
I have a couple of Elizabeth Kostova books on my To Read bookshelf, too.
My favourite is The Serpent Garden by Judith Merkle Riley. Great storyteller, gone too soon.
Da Vinci Code
Most definitely the girl with a pearl earring. I loved that book!
Too many good ones to choose just one.
I loved The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Althea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston!
I haven’t read it, but I’d like to read My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok.
The Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier.
The Botticelli Secret.
All of Dan Brown’s mentioned, including Inferno.
Also Javier Sierra’s The Secret Supper.
What a terrific contest idea! Perhaps one of my earliest favorites was “The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed” by Bruce Coville. (Hmmm…I’m going to have to dig that out and read it now that I’ve taken that trip down memory lane!) More recently, in the adult realm, I really enjoyed “A Rather Lovely Inheritance” and the rest of the Penny Nichols series by C.A. Belmond.
The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett and Portrait of Bethany by Anne Weale and Imagined Lives by Julian Fellowes et. al.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte,
I recently read The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. It’s peripherally about Degas painting his dancers, but really follows his primary muse as she struggles to make it as a dancer and put food on her family’s table. His paintings depict the dancers as graceful and hardworking, but doesn’t show the “sugar daddies” they have to please to afford their shoes and escape the poverty they came from.
The Vicky Bliss books as well- though their plots revolve around a wide range of artistic forms.
My favorite book about an artist and/or art? “Spending,” by Mary Gordon.
I have read lots of books in which one of the characters happens to be an artist. There are two I really enjoyed however in which art takes a major part. The Portrait Of Dorian Grey. I agree with everybody who has mentioned that one, it is a classic. And Moulin Rouge, which was so beautiful and has been largely forgotten these days.
Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Inferno, The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde are all favorites!
The Women by TC Boyle
Lulu Meets God and Doubts – brilliant contemporary novel about family, estrangement, and artistic talent
portrait of dorian gray. read in lit class, then watched the movie years later, it was creepier than the book!
Any of the books in Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss series, or Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland.
Da Vinci Code was great.
My Heartbeat, by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Artemisia Gentileschi by Mary Garrard…..fascinating life of the artist who painted Judith and Holorfernes.
Jeffrey Archer’s False Impression is a fantastic story of an art heist that happens during the morning of 9/11. The heroine/art expert is a great character.
I liked Key series by Nora Roberts too…she has written a few compelling novels with artists like
Chesapeake Blue, Born in Fire/Shame and a couple of the MacGregors novellas were about artists.
I love the Gabriel Alon series by Daniel Silva.
Object of Beauty by Steve Martin.
Just read The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland which was fabulous!
I absolutely love The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.
I really love Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. Allon is an Israeli spy/art restorer and every book revolves around art and famous works of art in some way! Stolen paintings, personal favorite artists of the character, location (Paris, Venice, Rome, London, etc). It’s really cool to have art be such a focal point of a thriller; you get to learn about the restoration process as well when Gabriel is working on a piece.
I also love The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton- there is a museum discovery that prompts a lot of personal revelations for the main character, as well as an emphasis on fairy tale illustrations.
Da Vinci Code.
Swan Thieves was good, too, though I preferred her other book, The Historian (not about art).
Girl with the Pearl Earring & The DaVinci Code.
A Rather Lovely Inheritance
Can’t wait until this book comes out!
I enjoyed the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva and also really liked The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.
The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter
I’d have to go with Dorian Gray. So good.
I’d have to say that my favorite is Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. It’s not about art per se, but art is a very important element in the story. That, and Dorian Gray is amazing!
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier. I also liked The Girl With the Pearl Earring, but this one is my favorite.
The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner, which takes place in Florence and really deals with Italian Renaissance masterpieces.
I second (or 22nd it) the Birth of Venus & Da Vinci Code!
It came out a while ago, but I remember I enjoyed The Wayward Muse by Elizabeth Hickey
I’ll join the chorus for “From the Mixed-Up Files” because I love the thought of being so mesmerized by a piece of artwork like Claudia was and spending the night in such a fabulous place!
The girl with the pearl earring
Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova or passion of Artemisia by Susan vreeland. I have a whole category on goodreads for art fiction!
The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte
I’m on Team Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I can’t count the number of times I read this one!
Linnea in money’s garden… plan on reading it to my daughter when she’s older just like my Grammy did for me 🙂
Rainshadow Road By Lisa Kleypas
Just read the Rembrandt Affair, so that is fresh in my memory. I also really liked the Girl with the Pearl Earring.
This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!