100 books like A Stranger's Pose

By Emmanuel Iduma,

Here are 100 books that A Stranger's Pose fans have personally recommended if you like A Stranger's Pose. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Optic Nerve

Christine Lai Author Of Landscapes

From my list on art and the ways of seeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes that “we can distinguish between two types of imaginative processes, one that begins with words and ends with the visual image, and another that begins with the visual image and ends with its verbal expression.” All of my writing projects begin with the visual image. It is difficult for me to verbalize what precisely about art that captivates me. But when I stand in front of certain artworks, I feel a magnetic pull, and something in the piece—the brushstrokes, the colors, the materiality—compels me to write something in response to it.

Christine's book list on art and the ways of seeing

Christine Lai Why did Christine love this book?

A brilliant blend of narrative and non-fiction, Optic Nerve follows the narrator, an art critic, as she frequents art galleries in Buenos Aires and reflects on the artworks, which act as prisms that refract her own memories and experiences.

This is a book that moves forward by dint of impressions and ekphrastic encounters, eschewing a conventional plot. It explores the interconnections between image and text by incorporating art criticism into the fictional space. 

By Maria Gainza, Thomas Bunstead (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Optic Nerve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A highly original, piercingly beautiful work, full of beautiful shocks... I felt like a door had been kicked open in my brain' Johanna Thomas-Corr, Observer

A woman searches Buenos Aires for the paintings that are her inspiration and her refuge. Her life -- she is a young mother with a complicated family -- is sometimes overwhelming. But among the canvases, often little-known works in quiet rooms, she finds clarity and a sense of who she is . . .

'I was reminded of John Berger's Ways of Seeing, enfolded in tender and exuberant personal narratives'
Claire-Louise Bennett

'This woman-guide, who…


Book cover of Asunder

Christine Lai Author Of Landscapes

From my list on art and the ways of seeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes that “we can distinguish between two types of imaginative processes, one that begins with words and ends with the visual image, and another that begins with the visual image and ends with its verbal expression.” All of my writing projects begin with the visual image. It is difficult for me to verbalize what precisely about art that captivates me. But when I stand in front of certain artworks, I feel a magnetic pull, and something in the piece—the brushstrokes, the colors, the materiality—compels me to write something in response to it.

Christine's book list on art and the ways of seeing

Christine Lai Why did Christine love this book?

Told from the perspective of a museum guard in London, Asunder is one of the most brilliant novels that engages with art.

The protagonist works in the National Gallery by day, and in the evening, she builds miniature dioramas. She also reflects on the destruction of a famous painting, goes on trips with friends, and eventually has a transformative encounter in a dilapidated castle. Asunder explores the meaning of art, decay, and preservation.

By Chloe Aridjis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Asunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marie's job as a guard at the National Gallery in London offers her the life she always wanted, one of invisibility and quiet contemplation. But amid the hushed corridors of the Gallery surge currents of history and violence, paintings whose power belies their own fragility. There also lingers the legacy of her great-grandfather Ted, the museum guard who slipped and fell moments before reaching the suffragette Mary Richardson as she took a blade to one of the gallery's masterpieces on the eve of the First World War.

After nine years there, Marie begins to feel the tug of restlessness. A…


Book cover of The Missing Year Of Juan Salvatierra

Christine Lai Author Of Landscapes

From my list on art and the ways of seeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes that “we can distinguish between two types of imaginative processes, one that begins with words and ends with the visual image, and another that begins with the visual image and ends with its verbal expression.” All of my writing projects begin with the visual image. It is difficult for me to verbalize what precisely about art that captivates me. But when I stand in front of certain artworks, I feel a magnetic pull, and something in the piece—the brushstrokes, the colors, the materiality—compels me to write something in response to it.

Christine's book list on art and the ways of seeing

Christine Lai Why did Christine love this book?

The mute Argentinian painter Juan Salvatierra spent decades painting a two-mile-long scroll of canvas that documents personal and collective history.

After his death, his sons are tasked with taking care of his legacy and preparing the gigantic artwork for exhibition. Except one part of the scroll is missing. The search for the painted fragment provides much of the plot, though the novel’s beauty lies in its evocative descriptions of the painting and the process of art-making.

The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra compels readers to reflect on the ways in which art holds up a mirror to life and the self. 

By Pedro Mairal, Nick Caistor (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Missing Year Of Juan Salvatierra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New Republic Best Books of 2013 and World Literature Today Best Books of 2013.

"A simple mystery constructed very cleverly ... an atmospheric and understated book with vivid settings and characters, a true delight to read."–10 Best Books Shorter than 150 Pages, Publishers Weekly

"Mairal's quickening prose moves from the ordinary to the opulent . . . without skipping a beat."—Jed Perl, The New Republic

"Mairal isn't your old college literature professor's idea of an Argentine novelist."—Los Angeles Times

"Affirms Pedro Mairal's stature as one of the most significant Argentine writers working today."—David Leavitt, author of The Two Hotel…


Book cover of Women in the Picture: What Culture Does with Female Bodies

Christine Lai Author Of Landscapes

From my list on art and the ways of seeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes that “we can distinguish between two types of imaginative processes, one that begins with words and ends with the visual image, and another that begins with the visual image and ends with its verbal expression.” All of my writing projects begin with the visual image. It is difficult for me to verbalize what precisely about art that captivates me. But when I stand in front of certain artworks, I feel a magnetic pull, and something in the piece—the brushstrokes, the colors, the materiality—compels me to write something in response to it.

Christine's book list on art and the ways of seeing

Christine Lai Why did Christine love this book?

This well-researched and lucidly written book, by art historian Catherine McCormack, traces the representation of women throughout the history of Western art.

McCormack examines a wide range of images featuring female figures—from paintings by Old Masters to contemporary advertising—and pays close attention to the way in which these images betray deep-seated stereotypes about women and contribute to the objectification of female bodies.

This book was indispensable to my research for my book, especially the sections on the aestheticizing of sexual violence in paintings and sculptures. 

By Catherine McCormack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women in the Picture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Venus, maiden, wife, mother, monster-women have been bound so long by these restrictive roles, codified by patriarchal culture, that we scarcely see them. Catherine McCormack illuminates the assumptions behind these stereotypes whether writ large or subtly hidden. She ranges through Western art-think Titian, Botticelli, and Millais-and the image-saturated world of fashion photographs, advertisements, and social media, and boldly counters these depictions by turning to the work of women artists like Morisot, Ringgold, Lacy, and Walker, who offer alternative images for exploring women's identity, sexuality, race, and power in more complex ways.


Book cover of Over Vales and Hills: The Illustrated Poetry of the Natural World

John Wilson Author Of Places not Paisley: Photographic Peregrinations: Book 3, The Ruined World

From my list on travel photography books that make the past come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of 50+ books of historical fiction and non-fiction for kids, teens, and adults I am handicapped by being unable to travel in time or go to the places I set my stories. I have long used photography as an attempt to capture a sense of places and the people who inhabit them, but I gradually realized that my images were not simply an adjunct to the stories I was telling but that the best of them had their own tales to tell. Through photographs, jumbled piles of stone became a gateway to a lost, magical past and a trigger for my imagination.

John's book list on travel photography books that make the past come alive

John Wilson Why did John love this book?

For me, poetry from Chaucer to Seamus Heaney can trigger an emotional reaction in the same way that a well-chosen image can.

So, it is natural that photographs and poems of the natural world should be paired. The depths that each adds to the other can hold me in thrall for hours as I delve back and forth and draw out every last emotion.

Book cover of Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream

Tom Carter Author Of China: Portrait of a People

From my list on travel photography.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for a two-year backpacking sojourn across the country. I took a bunch of snapshots along the way with a little point-and-shoot camera. 800 of those images became my first book. Photography – be it travel, documentary, street or reportage – is my passion. The following are but five of five hundred books I’d love to recommend.

Tom's book list on travel photography

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

We often think of travel photography as limited to exotic overseas locales, but Matthew Christopher set out to show that the United States has fallen into just as much decay and deterioration as any third-world nation. Part of his Abandoned America book series, Dismantling the Dream follows up on his debut, The Age of Consequence, with evocative scenery of properties and venues – malls, factories, schools, farms, homes – forsaken by their original inhabitants. Anyone who has not deluded themselves into disbelieving that the U.S. is in a permanent state of demise will appreciate these apocalyptic yet nonetheless lovely photographs.

By Matthew Christopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abandoned America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If the creation of a structure represents the values and ideals of a time, so too does its subsequent abandonment and eventual destruction. In Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream, internationally acclaimed photographer Matthew Christopher continues his tour of the quiet catastrophes dotting American cities, examining the losses and failures that led these ruins to become forsaken by communities that once embraced them. From the heartbreaking story of a state school that would become home to one of the country's worst cases of fatal neglect and abuse to the shattered remains of what was once the largest mall in the United…


Book cover of South with Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917

John Wilson Author Of Places not Paisley: Photographic Peregrinations: Book 3, The Ruined World

From my list on travel photography books that make the past come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of 50+ books of historical fiction and non-fiction for kids, teens, and adults I am handicapped by being unable to travel in time or go to the places I set my stories. I have long used photography as an attempt to capture a sense of places and the people who inhabit them, but I gradually realized that my images were not simply an adjunct to the stories I was telling but that the best of them had their own tales to tell. Through photographs, jumbled piles of stone became a gateway to a lost, magical past and a trigger for my imagination.

John's book list on travel photography books that make the past come alive

John Wilson Why did John love this book?

Antarctica is the one continent I have never taken a photograph in. It has barely changed in the past 100 years, but Hurley’s images still take me to an unknown world and how people have struggled to survive there.

I love the way he can capture the majesty of a landscape that is mostly just one colour and how his photographs give a sense of the puny humans grappling with the harshness of the environment.

By Frank Hurley (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked South with Endurance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

pp.244, b/w illustrations, heavy book additional postage will apply


Book cover of Image and Exploration: Early Travel Photography from 1850 to 1914

John Wilson Author Of Places not Paisley: Photographic Peregrinations: Book 3, The Ruined World

From my list on travel photography books that make the past come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of 50+ books of historical fiction and non-fiction for kids, teens, and adults I am handicapped by being unable to travel in time or go to the places I set my stories. I have long used photography as an attempt to capture a sense of places and the people who inhabit them, but I gradually realized that my images were not simply an adjunct to the stories I was telling but that the best of them had their own tales to tell. Through photographs, jumbled piles of stone became a gateway to a lost, magical past and a trigger for my imagination.

John's book list on travel photography books that make the past come alive

John Wilson Why did John love this book?

Not only am I enthralled by the large images of lost places and people, but I am in awe of the fact that the photographers even reached some of the wildest places on earth with over a hundred pounds of camera equipment and boxes of mostly poisonous chemicals.

I will never again complain about sitting in the cold or the heat with my lightweight 35mm camera, waiting for the lighting to be just right.

By Olivier Loiseaux (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Image and Exploration as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the second half of the 19th century, unprecedented advances in technology resulted in the collision of travel and photography. Explorers were able to document their journeys, hauling enormous amounts of equipment over arduous terrain. The results were breathtaking. This collection of photographs takes readers on a historic global tour that includes five continents and offers a visible record of worlds long-since vanished. Beginning in North Africa amid the pyramids and along the Nile, this book takes readers down through the Sahara to South Africa via Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Zanzibar. The journey continues from South to North America, capturing images…


Book cover of Falkland Road: Prostitutes of Bombay

Tom Carter Author Of China: Portrait of a People

From my list on travel photography.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for a two-year backpacking sojourn across the country. I took a bunch of snapshots along the way with a little point-and-shoot camera. 800 of those images became my first book. Photography – be it travel, documentary, street or reportage – is my passion. The following are but five of five hundred books I’d love to recommend.

Tom's book list on travel photography

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

Prior to her death in 2015, photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark had published over 20 collections of her work spanning her storied career, but few hit the reader in the gut like her debut Falkland Road. Taken during visits to Mumbai (Bombay) in the 1970s, Mary was able to gain the trust of sex workers being pimped out in the Indian city’s notorious red-light district. The images are dark, disturbing, and bleak, but their intimacy and tenderness are what separates Mary from her peers.

By Mary Ellen Mark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Falkland Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mark's extended photo essay on the prostitution district of Bombay is one of the landmarks of color photojournalism. Small half-inch tear at base of spine. Slight scuffing and fading to cover. Interior and photographs are clean and unmarked.


Book cover of Lost London 1870-1945

John Wilson Author Of Places not Paisley: Photographic Peregrinations: Book 3, The Ruined World

From my list on travel photography books that make the past come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of 50+ books of historical fiction and non-fiction for kids, teens, and adults I am handicapped by being unable to travel in time or go to the places I set my stories. I have long used photography as an attempt to capture a sense of places and the people who inhabit them, but I gradually realized that my images were not simply an adjunct to the stories I was telling but that the best of them had their own tales to tell. Through photographs, jumbled piles of stone became a gateway to a lost, magical past and a trigger for my imagination.

John's book list on travel photography books that make the past come alive

John Wilson Why did John love this book?

I love cities: Rome, Paris, Madrid. These are easy cities to love; all you need do is stroll around the Colosseum, walk along the banks of the Seine, or hang out in the Puerto del Sol.

I love London as well, but it hides itself better. You have to work to see the real London. Great damage was done during the Blitz, but much greater damage was done over the years by thoughtless development.

These photographs allow me to browse through a landscape that no longer exists.

By Philip Davies,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost London 1870-1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A spectacular presentation of photographs of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings captured just before their destruction - most seen here for the first time.
"This endlessly absorbing book that is at once a record of destruction, a haunting collection of relics, and a door into the past." - John Carey, The Sunday Times.

"Each picture contains a novel in this deeply moving, unforgettable book." - Duncan Fallowell, Daily Express. "A magical book about the capital's past." - Sunday Times.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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