100 books like Etudes

By John Marx,

Here are 100 books that Etudes fans have personally recommended if you like Etudes. 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 Architecture Unbound: A Century of the Disruptive Avant-Garde

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

This book is an incredibly impressive feat—20 years in the making, 876 pages—and is necessary to understand the architecture that defines our era. One of America’s most respected architecture critics, Giovannini has spent decades writing about the work of such seminal architects as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Thom Mayne of Morphosis—and so many others that he came to know personally. Giovannini is the perfect person to craft this history. His erudite prose breaks down complex concepts into themes and timelines, putting architecture that resists context into comprehension. I also always love a book that takes its “objectness” into consideration. Weighing in at around 8 pounds, the object’s trapezoidal shape bucks orthogonal conventions—a perfect reflection of the work discussed in its pages. 

By Joseph Giovannini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Architecture Unbound, noted architecture critic Joseph Giovannini proposes that our current architectural landscape ultimately emerged from transgressive and progressive art movements that had roiled Europe before and after World War I. By the 1960s, social unrest and cultural disruption opened the way for investigations into an inventive, antiauthoritarian architecture. Explorations emerged in the 1970s, and built projects surfaced in the 1980s, taking digital form in the 1990s, with large-scale projects finally landing on the far side of the millennium. Architecture Unbound traces all of these developments and influences, presenting an authoritative and illuminating history not only of the sources…


Book cover of Truth and Lies in Architecture

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

For an architect to take an incisive, unflinching look at his own profession is refreshing and enlightening. Francis-Jones positions architecture’s strengths and failings in reflection to society, politics, equity, aspiration, ecology, power, and defiance. As a promoter of architects and what they do, I’m happy to see a title that places architecture in a broader scope, and in the same breath as other creative expressions, such as film, music, and literature. He raises questions and observations about the nature of architects and architecture that make one think: Is there any truth in architecture? Why are we driven to build so tall? Why do architects feel so sad, overwhelmed, and helpless? Conversely, within its rubric of architecture, Truth and Lies is a book about us—about how people engage and disengage from society and the consequences that ensue. 

By Richard Francis-Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Truth and Lies in Architecture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"'Truth and Lies in Architecture' delves deep into the soul of architects and their work." - Naser Nader Ibrahim, Amazing Architecture
This is a collection of provocative essays that journey into the vexed circumstance of contemporary architectural practice. The nature of the great cultural, social, political, environmental, and consumerist challenges facing the contemporary architect are explored, interpreted, and questioned, while drawing connections from architecture theory, philosophy, science, literature, and film sources in an attempt to negotiate the territory between the truth and lies in architecture.

These essays written by a leading Australian architect represent a level of comprehensive critical awareness…


Book cover of Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

Today, so many large, established architecture firms’ names have been replaced by initials—SOM, HMC, ZGF, HOK, KPF, etc. Too many architecture professionals and students don’t realize or know the people behind the initials. To me, something is lost there. Putting a human face to global firm HOK, MacLeamy tells the stories of its founders—George Hellmuth, Gyo Obata, and George Kassabaum—along with those of many other firm leaders. What really makes this book necessary for anyone who needs to understand the business of architecture (that is, every architect) is that the author weaves pertinent how-to-design-a-business lessons into the history of the firm. It also contains MacLeamy’s personal story of his 50-year career at HOK, the final 13 of which were as CEO of a firm that had grown from 150 employees to nearly 2,000 and from a single office to 27 on three continents during his tenure. Both triumphs and failures…

By Patrick Macleamy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offers architects and creative services professionals exclusive insights and strategies for success from the former CEO of HOK.

Designing a World Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories and Strategies Behind HOK tells the history of one of the largest design firms in the world and draws lessons from it that can help other architects, interior designers, urban planners and creative services professionals grow bigger or better. Former HOK CEO Patrick MacLeamy shares the revolutionary strategies HOK's founders deployed to create a brand-new type of architecture firm. He pulls no punches, revealing the triple crisis that almost bankrupted HOK and describes…


Book cover of Gesture and Response: 25 Buildings

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

This is a personal peek at the work of a major firm by the “P” of KPF, one of the world’s leading skyscraper designers. Pedersen’s unpretentiousness and generosity of spirit are evident in the prose that accompanies the work. To my delight, the first building is 333 Wacker in Chicago, which, as a young art student living there, I saw being built. It became one of my favorites in a town legendary for its architecture. Buildings are personal to those who design them, and Pedersen tells intimate stories behind each of his 25 favorite designs. The surprise is that these are not precious little projects, but mostly very large, complex buildings for major clients, such as Samsung, World Bank, and Gannett. That said, the last of the projects featured is a jewel box of a house—the one he built for himself and his late wife of 60 years, to whom…

By William Pedersen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective - making an architecture, of our time, which creates strong bonds with the the specific place it occupies.

While William Pedersen founded the firm, with partners Gene Kohn and Shelley Fox, he never aspired to be a 'director of design.' They had the components with Gene's entrepreneurial drive, Shelley's management and Bill's design leadership - to be a large firm. 'Directing' the work of a large firm was not Bill's desire, instead he wanted to focus…


Book cover of My Strange Shrinking Parents

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Author Of This Is Not My Home

From my list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Who am I?

We’re picture book lovers and best friends that met in college at Washington University in St. Louis. Our friendship started out with long telephone conversations during the pandemic, and have now blossomed into a picture book partnership where we hope to write books that make people feel warm and fuzzy through the universality of the human experience. Vivienne is still currently a student at WashU, but will move to New York post-graduation. Eugenia has since graduated and is currently a designer in the children’s department at Chronicle Books in the Bay Area.

Vivienne's book list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did Vivienne love this book?

The watercolor illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and the story itself mixes magical realism with an insightful truth. In providing us with opportunities, our parents have to sacrifice a little bit of themselves. Throughout the book, this abstract sacrifice is portrayed by the parent’s shrinking scale. The parents offer a few inches of their height in exchange to give their child a birthday cake, education, and books. Throughout time, the reader sees the parents shrink smaller and smaller as they give more and more of themselves to the young boy. This is a book that made us want to tear up, and a book that we wish we could have written.

By Zeno Sworder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Strange Shrinking Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From the author of the award-winning picture book This Small Blue Dot comes a new tale of a family that doesn’t look like all the others, carrying an enduring message of the transformative power of love, and the shape a life can take.

It goes without saying that all children believe their parents to be strange. Mine were unusual for a different reason . . .

One boy’s parents travel from far-off lands to improve their son’s life. But what happens next is unexpected. What does it mean when your parents are different? What shape does love take? And what…


Book cover of Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds In Watercolor

Sandra Staple Author Of Drawing Fantastic Dragons: Create Amazing Full-Color Dragon Art, Including Eastern, Western and Classic Beasts

From my list on art instruction for fantasy artists.

Who am I?

I have been drawing fantasy creatures and characters for over thirty years now, and have collected hundreds of fantasy, art, and art instruction books over the decades. Both drawing and reading are a passion of mine, so I am happy to share some of my favorite fantasy art books that I have in my own personal library.

Sandra's book list on art instruction for fantasy artists

Sandra Staple Why did Sandra love this book?

Pui-Mun Law has been one of my favorite artists since I discovered her website over twenty years ago. She is an accomplished artist, and her books are not only filled with beautiful artwork that will inspire any fantasy artist, but also contain very detailed tutorials and sketches.  Although the tutorials focus on finishing pieces using watercolor, this book is also filled with beautiful pencil sketches and guides on drawing different poses, body parts, and scenery to suit your fantasy character. Her watercolor style is uniquely detailed and precise, which makes the book a great reference for artists using drawing mediums as well. 

By Stephanie Pui-Mun Law,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Angels, faeries and mermaids have engaged the imaginations and enchanted the brushes of artists for centuries. Now you can evoke the spirit of these mystical creatures and create fantastic works of ethereal art in watercolor. Twenty step-by-step projects show how to create fantastic scenes that are elegantly styled, brilliantly colored, and alive with a sense of wonder.


Book cover of Practice You: A Journal

Annie Buckley Author Of The Kids Yoga Deck

From my list on yoga books to inspire creativity and joy.

Who am I?

I'm an artist, writer, teacher, and longtime yoga practitioner. I started practicing yoga in my early twenties during a difficult time in my life and the peace, grounding, and community that I discovered in yoga have stayed with me over the years, growing and evolving over time. One of my favorite experiences was the opportunity to teach children and teens who had never even heard of yoga before. Now I'm a professor at San Diego State University and also started and run a statewide program called Prison Arts Collective, bringing art programs to people who are incarcerated. We often include mindfulness and breathing exercises along with art. 

Annie's book list on yoga books to inspire creativity and joy

Annie Buckley Why did Annie love this book?

This isn’t technically a yoga book but is a beautiful and relatable book for adult friends of children to connect to their intuition, decompress, and express themselves (so, in essence, it is a yoga book, just not in name!). Adults including parents and teachers can find a space to connect to their inner sense of truth and play, soothing and recharging the spirit. The book has lovely loose watercolor paintings and brief but meaningful prompts throughout, inviting readers to add their own thoughts, ideas, experiences, and responses right on the pages. 

By Elena Brower,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the way forward seems uncertain, where can we turn for guidance we can trust? For yoga luminary, meditation teacher, and artist Elena Brower, the answer has always been close at hand.

"Whenever I've needed direction, strength, or centering, I've so often turned to my own journals. Why? Because many of the answers we seek are found within ourselves."

Now, for those compelled to the pen and page, Elena invites us to gather our own wisdom through writing, self-inquiry, and reflection. Practice You is a portable sacred sanctuary to record our flashes of insight, find our ground, create and clarify…


Book cover of No!

Kim T.S. Author Of Feeling All My Feelings Book

From my list on kids with big feelings.

Who am I?

I’m just a normal parent who has gone through the ups and downs of helping her little boy with his exceptionally big feelings. Anger is the main emotion we continue to struggle with, but we’ve come such a long way! The smallest things used to set him off, and he could go from annoyance to rage in minutes. Sometimes it would take us up to an hour to completely calm down. I tried my best to stay patient, help him work through his feelings, and redirect his anger towards non-harmful modes of expression. When he was calm, then we would talk about what happened, and think of ways we can both do better next time.

Kim's book list on kids with big feelings

Kim T.S. Why did Kim love this book?

I found this set of books (No!, Why?, Now!, and More!) at a book sale, and I can’t count the times my son asked me to read them with him when he was a toddler. These were so relatable when my son was 3 years old, because he was talking so much and asserting his independence! “No!” was his favorite word, so we could relate to the adorable scenes in the book. The pencil and watercolor cartoon sketches feel very British and add charm to the story.

By Tracey Corderoy, Tim Warnes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Archie was adorable. Everybody said so. Until one day he learned a new word... "No!"

Archie says "No!" at mealtimes, bath times, and every single bedtime... A hilarious tale that's perfect for parents whose toddler may be over-using the word "No!" and finding themselves suddenly tackling tantrums. The cheeky, charming Archie will win the hearts of children and parents alike. From the award-winning author Tracey Corderoy (The Grunt and The Grouch, Monty and Milli) and illustrated by the best-selling Tim Warnes (I Love You as Big as the World, I Don't Want to Go to Bed!), No! is set to…


Book cover of Professional Crocodile

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Author Of This Is Not My Home

From my list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Who am I?

We’re picture book lovers and best friends that met in college at Washington University in St. Louis. Our friendship started out with long telephone conversations during the pandemic, and have now blossomed into a picture book partnership where we hope to write books that make people feel warm and fuzzy through the universality of the human experience. Vivienne is still currently a student at WashU, but will move to New York post-graduation. Eugenia has since graduated and is currently a designer in the children’s department at Chronicle Books in the Bay Area.

Vivienne's book list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did Vivienne love this book?

This heartwarming watercolored picture book follows a crocodile as he sets off into the great metropolis for his morning commute. With no words at all, this book expertly shows the bustling, dynamic city life with both human and animal inhabitants. Each page is compositionally unique, and it is a masterclass in pacing and paneling. Despite the urban landscapes, the illustrations are rendered in a way that feels like a breath of fresh air. And best of all, the last page will make you want to revisit the entire book from beginning to end.

By Giovanna Zoboli, Mariachiara Di Giorgio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Professional Crocodile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what is his job? The answer may surprise you. Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and new stories with every reading.


Book cover of Leon and Bob

Tricia Tusa Author Of Is That You, Eleanor Sue?

From my list on truly unique children’s tales.

Who am I?

I decided at the age of 5 that I wanted to write and illustrate books for children. That is exactly what I have been doing the last 40 years of my adult life. I find that I walk around seeing and hearing the world as potential stories. It’s fun! I can not imagine doing anything else for a living! I recommended the 5 books that I did because they are a little strange and curious and thought-provoking. The art, as well. Therefore, they feel like they emerged from the author/illustrator from that place within, way down deep, where only authentic expression of self can be found. 

Tricia's book list on truly unique children’s tales

Tricia Tusa Why did Tricia love this book?

Leon and his mom are new to town. His dad is in the army. Leon shares his new room with his imaginary friend, Bob. Their friendship is as important as it is real, to Leon. A tender and loving relationship. A boy moves in next door. Read the book to see how sweet this deceivingly simple story is. The words are sparse and well-chosen. The artwork is loose and expressive ink linework. Beautiful watercolor washes. The imaginary friend theme is treated in a fresh way. I am always touched by the portrayal of little boys’ natural sweetness - as they really are when allowed to be. 

By Simon James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leon and Bob as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A touching urban tale about a boy and his imaginary friend, from a multi-award-winning picture-book creator.

Bob is Leon's best friend. He shares Leon's room. Everywhere Leon goes, Bob goes too. Then one day a boy moves in next door. But when Leon goes to ask his new neighbour to go to the park with him, he discovers Bob has gone...


5 book lists we think you will like!

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