100 books like Modernism in Kyiv

By Irena Makaryk, Virlana Tkacz,

Here are 100 books that Modernism in Kyiv fans have personally recommended if you like Modernism in Kyiv. 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 Pieter Bruegel: The Complete Works

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Author Of Lenin's Jewish Question

From my list on European art, culture, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and a Professor of Jewish History in the History Department at Northwestern University. He teaches a variety of courses that include early modern and modern Jewish history; Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah; history and culture of Ukraine; and Slavic-Jewish literary encounters.

Yohanan's book list on European art, culture, and history

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Why did Yohanan love this book?

Although it is published as a coffee-table book with beautiful and carefully prepared illustrations, this is the best biography of Pieter Bruegel and a cultural study of his times and works. Magnificently written, exuberantly rich, it will please anybody interested in early modern history, art, Reformation, and colonial wars. This is the book to read slowly, as one drinks vintage wine. 

By Jürgen Müller, Thomas Schauerte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The life and times of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1526/30-1569) were marked by stark cultural conflict. He witnessed religious wars, the Duke of Alba's brutal rule as governor of the Netherlands, and the palpable effects of the Inquisition. To this day, the Flemish artist remains shrouded in mystery. We know neither where nor exactly when he was born. But while early scholarship emphasized the vernacular character of his painting and graphic work, modern research has attached greater importance to its humanistic content.

Starting out as a print designer for publisher Hieronymus Cock, Bruegel produced numerous print series that were…


Book cover of Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Author Of Lenin's Jewish Question

From my list on European art, culture, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and a Professor of Jewish History in the History Department at Northwestern University. He teaches a variety of courses that include early modern and modern Jewish history; Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah; history and culture of Ukraine; and Slavic-Jewish literary encounters.

Yohanan's book list on European art, culture, and history

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Why did Yohanan love this book?

Known to broad public due to the hilarious “Whistler’s Mother” starring Mr. Bean, James Whistler is a paramount American participant in the Fin-de-siècle artistic life of France and England and a predecessor of most important artistic endeavors of the 20th century. Daniel Sutherland combed all possible archives and  produced a stunning study of Whistler’s private life, full of scandals, sufferings, travels, and triumphs. From the childhood Whister spent in the tsarist Russia to his vagabond life in Paris, his life is always a journey and a self-quest. Eminently readable and bright narrative of a somber and paradoxical character.

By Daniel E. Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A major new biography of James McNeill Whistler, one of most complex, intriguing, and important of America's artists

This engaging personal history dispels the popular notion of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) as merely a combative, eccentric, and unrelenting publicity seeker. The Whistler revealed in these beautifully illustrated pages is an intense, introspective, and complex man, plagued by self-doubt and haunted by an endless pursuit of perfection in his painting and drawing.

"[Sutherland] seeks to get behind the public Whistler . . . never judging or condescending to his subject. . . . The portrait of Whistler that emerges is complex…


Book cover of Marc Chagall: The Lost Jewish World

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Author Of Lenin's Jewish Question

From my list on European art, culture, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and a Professor of Jewish History in the History Department at Northwestern University. He teaches a variety of courses that include early modern and modern Jewish history; Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah; history and culture of Ukraine; and Slavic-Jewish literary encounters.

Yohanan's book list on European art, culture, and history

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Why did Yohanan love this book?

One can read this book in two ways: as a highly representative collection of Marc Chagall’s works from different periods of his almost century-long life – and as an insightful study of the meaning of Chagall’s works. Harshav’s short analytical essays of Chagall’s major paintings emphasize how Yiddish idioms and the images of traditional Jewish world of the shtetl shape much of Chagall’s later artistic endeavors. Whatever the painter from Vitebsk put on canvas, he was bringing to life his recollections of the language his spoke as a child and artifacts among which he grew up.

By Benjamin Harshav,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the first book to focus on Chagall's Jewish roots. Chagall is one of the most popular artists of the 20th Century, with work in every major museum in the world. The book includes 200 illustrations, many from the little-known Russian theatre works, that have rarely been published before. The Russian-born French painter Marc Chagall is recognized as one of the most significant painters and graphic artists of the 20th century. This new book, "Marc Chagall and the Lost Jewish World", is the first book on Chagall, to illustrate succinct interpretations of Chagall's world and iconography, and the nature…


Book cover of Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Author Of Lenin's Jewish Question

From my list on European art, culture, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and a Professor of Jewish History in the History Department at Northwestern University. He teaches a variety of courses that include early modern and modern Jewish history; Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah; history and culture of Ukraine; and Slavic-Jewish literary encounters.

Yohanan's book list on European art, culture, and history

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern Why did Yohanan love this book?

Written by one of the key scholars of Jewish history in the USSR, who died untimely in 2020, this book challenges our bias about the USSR and its Cold-War era culture. Shneer tells how the Soviet photographers, many of whom where Jews, documented the Nazi atrocities during World war II and how the Soviet officialdom used their visual narratives to create new cult of the Great Patriotic war and the image of the USSR as a humanistic society.

By David Shneer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through Soviet Jewish Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category

Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust.…


Book cover of Violets Are Blue

Elly Swartz Author Of Dear Student

From my list on courage, friendship, and social anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a middle-grade author and am passionate about writing about courage and friendship and anxiety. Courage can look many ways. It's not reserved for the loudest, popular, or most confident. Those who are quiet, introverted, and filled with anxiety are brave, too. Like Autumn in Dear Student, I also have anxiety, yet, still count myself as fearless! I have also met incredibly courageous kids who have OCD, depression, and anxiety. Since my debut book came out, Finding Perfect, a book about a girl with OCD, I know the powerful difference it can make when kids see they are not alone, when they believe they are strong, and when they realize they have a friend.

Elly's book list on courage, friendship, and social anxiety

Elly Swartz Why did Elly love this book?

Violets are Blue is told from the heart of twelve-year-old Wren. It explores the confusion and heartache that comes from an unexpected divorce, shifting friendships, and a mom’s alarming and erratic behavior. It is an emotional story that uniquely shares life’s messy feelings while gently and thoughtfully introducing the difficult topic of opioid addiction. It also introduces readers to the world of special effects make-up. Violets are Blue is beautiful, complex, and full of heart. Wren’s journey will spark challenging conversations and promote empathy.

By Barbara Dee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Violets Are Blue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

From the author of the acclaimed My Life in the Fish Tank and Maybe He Just Likes You comes a moving and relatable middle grade novel about secrets, family, and the power of forgiveness.

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

So, when Wren and her mom move to a new…


Book cover of A History of Japanese Theatre

Adam Broinowski Author Of Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan

From my list on Japanese postwar creative arts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a researcher, lecturer, theatre-maker, and writer based in Australia. I have lived in Japan for periods of time since my childhood and worked with a Japanese theatre company,  touring internationally. This experience provided the basis for my PhD research in modern  Japanese history and the performing arts. The following books were influential in the formation of my book, Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan. Under each entry, I also include other relevant scholars and would encourage readers to follow them up as well.

Adam's book list on Japanese postwar creative arts

Adam Broinowski Why did Adam love this book?

For a general overview of Japanese theatre, and more broadly Japanese culture, readers are encouraged to have a look through A History of Japanese Theatre edited by Jonah Salz. This encyclopaedic collection of essays by scholars on Japanese theatre history offers a rich and thorough survey of Japanese theatre for a wide readership. From ancient Noh theatre to Kabuki and Bunraku to modern literary theatre to critical theatre and performance, readers can glean how the performing arts have developed throughout Japanese history. As the book weaves together some of the intellectual concerns and artistic reflections of prominent artists in their forms, we can grasp interwoven historical patterns which continue from antiquity to the present.

By Jonah Salz (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Japanese Theatre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Japan boasts one of the world's oldest, most vibrant and most influential performance traditions. This accessible and complete history provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese theatre and its continuing global influence. Written by eminent international scholars, it spans the full range of dance-theatre genres over the past fifteen hundred years, including noh theatre, bunraku puppet theatre, kabuki theatre, shingeki modern theatre, rakugo storytelling, vanguard butoh dance and media experimentation. The first part addresses traditional genres, their historical trajectories and performance conventions. Part II covers the spectrum of new genres since Meiji (1868-), and Parts III to VI provide discussions of…


Book cover of As If on Cue

Miel Moreland Author Of It Goes Like This

From my list on young adult about ambitious girls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an ambitious teen, and as I entered adulthood, my relationship with ambition has continually evolved. Those of us with marginalized genders sometimes have our ambition treated with suspicion or scorn—by peers, family, or would-be mentors. I wanted to share books that don’t necessarily come to the same conclusion about ambition’s role in our lives, but that all grapple with what it means to be ambitious in a culture where that is often seen as threatening or unladylike—or where any sign of ambition gets one automatically labeled as “unlikeable.” I love these books’ narrators, and I hope you will find something to love in them too. 

Miel's book list on young adult about ambitious girls

Miel Moreland Why did Miel love this book?

This book is an absolutely to-die-for rivals-to-lovers tale, sparked when Natalie is forced to team up with her long-time enemy on a musical in order to secure funding for the arts at their high school. Natalie’s evolving relationships with her family and friends are complex and brilliant, and I felt all the feelings about the interplay between art and ambition while reading. 

By Marisa Kanter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked As If on Cue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

A pair of fierce foes are forced to work together to save the arts at their school in this swoony YA enemies-to-lovers romance that fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson are sure to adore.

Lifelong rivals Natalie and Reid have never been on the same team. So when their school's art budget faces cutbacks, of course Natalie finds herself up against her nemesis once more. She's fighting to direct the school's first ever student-written play, but for her small production to get funding, the school's award-winning band will have to lose it. Reid's band. And he's got no intention…


Book cover of The Shakespeare Stealer

Nancy McDonald Author Of One Boy's War

From my list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

A longtime student of history, particularly WW2 and the Cold War, my interest was personally piqued when I started to discover more about how my husband’s family narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo – and certain death in a concentration camp. I’m driven to write novels set in this era for middle grade kids – featuring brave young heroes faced with moral dilemmas– so they can learn about the horrors of antisemitism, tyrants, and war because “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

Nancy's book list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes

Nancy McDonald Why did Nancy love this book?

Widge is an orphan in Elizabethan England, where orphans are sadly too common. But Widge is unusual. He has a unique talent which he learned from his first master: he knows a secret kind of shorthand. Sold to a dastardly villain who wants to use that talent to steal Shakespeare’s newest play, Widge finds himself in London apprenticing with the theatre company. Will he steal the play or risk his life to be loyal to the only “family” he’s ever known? Inspired by Shakespeare’s Lord Chamberlain's Men – and a very real problem of plays being stolen – there’s plenty of action, including swashbuckling swordplay. From the first page, I found myself rooting for Widge, hoping he would make the right choice and live to become an actor in the company.

By Gary Blackwood,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Shakespeare Stealer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A delightful adveture full of humor and heart set in Elizabethan England!

Widge is an orphan with a rare talent for shorthand. His fearsome master has just one demand: steal Shakespeare's play "Hamlet"--or else. Widge has no choice but to follow orders, so he works his way into the heart of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare's players perform. As full of twists and turns as a London alleyway, this entertaining novel is rich in period details, colorful characters, villainy, and drama.

* "A fast-moving historical novel that introduces an important era with casual familiarity." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Readers…


Book cover of The Other Side of Perfect

Michelle Quach Author Of Not Here to Be Liked

From my list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Chinese Vietnamese American author who writes about the Asian girls I never saw in books as a kid. Growing up in Southern California, I was part of an Asian community that was extremely diverse—a reality that was rarely reflected in American pop culture. For years, I longed to see messy, flawed, fully humanized Asian characters in all different kinds of stories, not just the typical child-of-immigrant narratives. As a result, I now spend a lot of time thinking about representation (whether I want to or not!), and I’m always looking for writers who pull it off with nuance and realism. I hope you’ll find these books are great examples of that.

Michelle's book list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls

Michelle Quach Why did Michelle love this book?

The Other Side of Perfect is about a young ballet dancer, Alina, who suffers a life-changing injury and must learn to deal with her multilayered, sometimes unsympathetic, anger.

Even though its themes are heavy, I somehow couldn’t put this one down. The characters are so real (and often funny), and every conflict unfurls with realistic nuance, sometimes devastatingly so.

Mariko Turk’s refusal to simplify emotions—even when exploring painful topics like racism—earns this book a standing ovation from me.

By Mariko Turk,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Other Side of Perfect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this lyrical and emotionally driven novel follows Alina, a young aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet—as well as the darker side of her former dream.

Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg—and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it.

After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and binging ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly…


Book cover of The Art of Ancient Greek Theater

J. Michael Walton Author Of Euripides Our Contemporary

From my list on Greek theatre for practitioners and audiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Hull, translator of some twenty plays from Greek or Latin into English, a professional director, and a member of Equity for more than fifty years. I hope and believe that my own experience as a practitioner has blended with an educational background in Greek and Latin from St Andrews combined in my extensive list of publications on theatre history as author and editor to be found listed on my website.

J.'s book list on Greek theatre for practitioners and audiences

J. Michael Walton Why did J. love this book?

This may seem a rather strange nomination as it is the catalogue for a remarkable exhibition, curated by Mary Hart at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2010.

The main justification is that this was probably the greatest collection of illustrations of dramatic performances in the classical world ever displayed together, in pots, paintings, and artefacts. Though hardly a reliable guide to how Greek comedies and tragedies were originally staged, the various artworks are given contexts and explanations in accompanying commentaries.

Above all, what the book validates is the belief that the earliest Greek theatre emerged as a visual art form, never initially to be preserved in print. Today, we do have some 46 more or less complete playtexts, including a couple from New Comedy, which there is no space to champion here, but which also features strongly throughout the catalogue.

By Mary Louise Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Ancient Greek Theater as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is an exploration of Greek theatre as seen through its many depictions in classical art. "The Art of Ancient Greek Theater" addresses the vibrant imprint that ancient Greek tragedy and comedy left on the visual arts of classical Greece. Theatrical performance as we know it originated in mid-sixth century BCE with choral dances held in honour of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and patron of the theatre. The great tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and the comedies of Aristophanes and Menander are preserved as some of the world's most revered literature and have formed the basis for…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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