books (2018)

It’s mid-February which means I’m overdue for my year-in-books post. It’s been about five years now since I started keeping track of each book I read, after a friend recommended GoodReads to me. This year, instead of just keeping a list of titles, I had a goal to practice writing about what I’m reading. I set out to write something, at least one sentence, about each book I read in 2018, and now have a google doc 30+ pages long with notes, observations, etc. I do think it helped with remembering the books I read; I can read a bit manically at times, and this practice served to counter and calm that a bit.

Another reading goal for last year was to read more poetry, and serendipitously an acquaintance introduced me to Pome*– a daily newsletter by Matthew Ogle that contains just one poem in your inbox, at the start of each day. (Which helped me to read many more poems!)

And finally: for the first time in my (adult) life, I read as many books written by women as by men, and they surely did not disappoint me. So crucial, so obvious. I feel like I’m catching up, stocking up on women’s voices to return to and recommend and reference moving forward.

The list of books I read in 2018 is below, with some that I particularly enjoyed and learned from in bold. (Past reading lists here: 201720162015)

books (2018) | Lynnette Therese Sauer
(one day I read at the beach)
  • Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
  • Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
  • Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, Dawn Tripp
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  • The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine, Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Complete Poems of Sappho, translated by Willis Barnstone
  • Autumn, Ali Smith
  • Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Anne Lamott
  • Winter, Ali Smith
  • Salt, Nayyirah Waheed
  • The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, Elle Luna
  • Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice, Elle Luna and Susie Herrick
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough
  • The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Draw Your Weapons, Sarah Sentilles
  • Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
  • The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, Dan Barber
  • Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Heather Ann Thompson
  • Torch, Cheryl Strayed
  • Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics, Carol Lee Flinders
  • Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
  • American War, Omar El Akkad
  • At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst, Carol Lee Flinders
  • On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, Adrienne Rich
  • The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran
  • What is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything, Rob Bell
  • Poems by Emily Dickinson (Series One), Emily Dickinson
  • The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse: A Book for Creators, Michael Gungor
  • Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story, Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
  • Love Poems, Pablo Neruda
  • Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology, Lawrence Weschler
  • The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen: Opening Your Eyes to Wonder, Lisa Gungor
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed
  • A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind, Siri Hustvedt
  • The Tibetan Buddhism Reader, edited by Reginald A. Ray
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science, Mike McHargue
  • Tibetan Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, Matthew T. Kapstein
  • Swing Time, Zadie Smith
  • Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  • A Celebration of Sex, Douglas E. Rosenau
  • Interior States: Essays, Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • Sara Berman’s Closet, Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman
  • Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay
  • The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, Eric Foner
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, Emily Sagoski
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown
  • There There, Tommy Orange
  • Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems, Mary Oliver
  • How to Not Always Be Working: A Toolkit for Creativity and Radical Self-Care, Marlee Grace
  • New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World–and How to Make It Work for You, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  • Money Diaries: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Your Finances… And Everyone Else’s, Lindsey Stanberry
  • Having Wings: Poems for Advent, edited by Amy Bornman
  • Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

 

*now on hiatus! Another good poem-a-day option: The Slowdown podcast with U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

books (2017)

This year, I read more novels than I’d read in awhile. After growing up on them, I’ve been reading more and more nonfiction in recent years. Twenty-two of the books below were written by women. 42%, not quite up to half. Books can show you things you don’t believe, too, and should. Expansion, integration, mystery – yes to both.

(I read this poem by Mary Oliver, many times.)

In the coming year, I want to read more artist biographies, more science books, more by contemplatives and mystics, more novels that are the kind people call “sweeping”. I want to read more poetry. After looking through a few essays from my last semester of college, I also want to write and talk more about what I’m reading. It seems important to practice holding articulation and uncertainty together.

books (2017) | LTS Continue reading “books (2017)”

books (2016)


  • Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
  • If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers, Hannah Brencher
  • Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf
  • Home, Marilynne Robinson
  • Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • Erotic Ambiguities: The Female Nude in Art, Helen McDonald
  • Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, Jennifer New
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
  • 40 Days of Dating: An Experiment, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
  • Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • Mindfulness: 25 Ways to Live in the Moment Through Art, Christophe Andre
  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg
  • Dog Songs, Mary Oliver
  • Color: A Natural History of the Palette, Victoria Finlay
  • Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
  • Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings, James Elkins
  • No Matter the Wreckage, Sarah Kay
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, B.J. Novak
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  • That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  • How We Are Hungry, Dave Eggers
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Art, Sylvan Barnet
  • Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century, Jed Rasula
  • Women in Clothes, Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton
  • Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, Nada M. Shabout
  • Stardust: Supernovae and Life – The Cosmic Connection, John Gribbin
  • Slaugherhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • *Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, George Saunders
  • A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
  • Pastoralia, George Saunders
  • H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald
  • Remote Control: Power, Culture, and the World of Appearances, Barbara Kruger
  • Buddhism for Beginners, Thubten Chodron
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
  • Fool Me Once, Harlan Coban
  • Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, Shunryu Suzuki
  • McSweeney’s #44, edited by Dave Eggers
  • Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal, Joseph Campbell
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, Joel Brinkley
  • *Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Amitav Ghosh
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
  • How to be Both, Ali Smith
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Donald Miller
  • Thirst: Poems, Mary Oliver
  • Evidence: Poems, Mary Oliver
  • The Book of Buddhas: Ritual Symbolism Used on Buddhist Statuary and Ritual Objects, Eva Rudy Jansen
  • Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, Mary Oliver
  • The Circle, Dave Eggers
  • TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris J. Anderson
  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

* = re-read

Fine Lines

This spring, I worked with Etta and Aaron (both seniors in the printmaking department) to create our joint thesis show, entitled Fine Lines. Completing a painting thesis at Herron includes several elements: an exhibition, oral review, and paper; the pieces displayed at Fine Lines represent several years of (conceptual and visual) idea development. Creating this show helped bring together components of my art practice which I’d previously seen as separate and difficult to reconcile. It provided space to consider the works in relationship to each other, the typically unseen elements of my art-making process, and real people who interacted with them. In the end, this portion of the thesis work was simply an extension of the rest of my years of Herron – art as process, as teacher, as connector.

The photos / statements below recap the visual part of my thesis work as seen at our show, which took place on April 15, 2016 at The Oilwick.


Fine Lines | Lynnette Therese Sauer

Show Statement: Marietta Miller, Aaron Green and Lynnette Sauer’s thesis exhibition is a celebration of line in drawing, printmaking, and painting.  The work is thematically varied but unified by their love of mark making. Fine Lines references the idiom “There is a fine line between x and y.” It is in the fragile in-between, the gray areas, that Marietta, Aaron, and Lynnette find inspiration for their work.

IMG_6256 Continue reading “Fine Lines”

books (2015)

In 2015, I read these.

  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Ed Catmull
  • The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, Caroline Alexander
  • Great by Choice, Jim Collins
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  • The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli (translated by W.K. Marriott)
  • The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, Steven B. Sample
  • One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven, Mark Cahill
  • Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis
  • Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right, Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.
  • The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance, Christopher G. Worley
  • The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
  • How Will You Measure Your Life?, Clayton M. Christensen
  • The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis
  • The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad
  • The Luminous and the Grey, David Batchelor
  • The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis
  • Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren F. Winner
  • The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis
  • A Prayer Journal, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Chosen, Chaim Potok
  • Tenth of December, George Saunders
  • Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, Lauren F. Winner
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (translated by Constance Garnett)
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo (translated by Cathy Hirano)
  • Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  • Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • ART/WORK, Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Flannery O’Connor
  • Paper Towns, John Green
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
  • Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, Lauren F. Winner
  • Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith, Barnabas Piper
  • Beauty Looks After Herself, Eric Gill
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  • Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Claire Bishop
  • Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, David Balzer
  • About Looking, John Berger
  • Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith, Matthew Lee Anderson
  • Minding the Body, Patricia Foster (editor)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • The Lipstick Gospel, Stephanie May Wilson
  • The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Best American Short Stories 2006, Ann Patchett (editor)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Promise, Chaim Potok
  • Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, Sarah Bessey
  • African Art, Frank Willett
  • The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain
  • Nejma, Nayyirah Waheed
  • Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, Jacques Derrida (translated by Eric Prenowitz)
  • The Princess and Curdie, George MacDonald
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur Bennett (editor)
  • Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans
  • The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
  • Women, Art, and Society, Whitney Chadwick
  • The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
  • Marjorie Main: Rural Documentary Poetry, John Sherman
  • Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
  • the Bible (English Standard Version)

books (2015)

To those who shaped this list by your generously loaned or gifted books, recommendations, and willingness to read with me – thank you!