For the last week, I’ve been holding off on starting a new book. This is not easy for me, as there is usually a stack of waiting-to-be-read novels calling to me from my nightstand. But when I heard that Nina Siegal is coming to PEM with her new novel, The Anatomy Lesson, I had a feeling I’d want to start reading it as soon as it was in my hands.
As I’ve been anticipating diving into Nina’s imagining of Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, I couldn’t help but think of the other novels on my overflowing bookshelf that could join The Anatomy Lesson should I wish to organize a shelf by theme. From the runaway hit that was Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code to the more recent popularity of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, it’s clear that both art and museums are rich sources of inspiration for authors of all types.
We spoke to Nina last week about the novel and her research into the Rembrandt masterpiece that inspired it (see this blog post), and here’s what she had to say about the trend:
I think the territory is fertile in part because these Old Master paintings have so much in them — so much that can be explored — history, beauty, layers of meaning, interesting social context.
If The Anatomy Lesson makes you hungry for more, here are some suggestions to help you start your art and museum themed book club, add to your nightstand stack or just admire the awesome artwork on the covers.
Mary Kay Zuravleff’s The Bowl is Already Broken
Sujata Massey’s The Bride’s Kimono
And we can’t forget the younger crowd! Check out these books for children and young adults:
Blue Baillett’s Chasing Vermeer and The Calder Game
Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck
E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Amy de la Haye’s Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day
Do you have a favorite that’s not listed here? Do you have a favorite artwork you think could inspire a great novel?
And don’t forget to join us for Nina’s presentation tonight!