I have a lot of interests, only some of them related to woodworking, so my reading plans for the summer are somewhat diverse. But let’s start with woodworking.
First on my list is David Esterly’s The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making. Having read this one previously, I know it to be a lyrical exploration of the craft of fine carving to replace a Grinling Gibbons carving burned in a Hampton Court fire. I am relishing the chance to revisit this favorite of mine. I also plan to read Aldren Watson’s classic Hand Tools, as much for his finely-executed drawings as for the many ideas contained therein. I recently bought the Stanley Tools Catalogue No. 34 from Lost Art Press and plan to spend some time perusing Stanley’s classic offerings. Finally, I have a copy of Joshua Vogel’s The Artful Wooden Spoon that is another fine example of the craft of making things of utility and beauty.
I’ve developed a passion for black & white photography and have set a goal for myself to master fine art B&W printing. I have a stack of books on this subject, the principal of which are Harold Davis’s Monochromatic HDR Photography, Michael Freeman’s The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography, and George DeWolfe’s B&W Printing. There are others in my library, but I’ll commence with these.
I’ve also set myself on a course to better understand the roots of creativity and the creative life. I’m starting with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s classic Creativity, a study of notably creative people and the factors that characterize their lives. I’ll follow this with historian Daniel Boorstin’s The Creators, which recounts the lives of historically important creators. I’ve already begun Michael J. Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, though because it is replete with exercises that will take me time to work through, I have no expectation of completing it this summer.
As if this weren’t fun enough, I’ll listen to audio books while working in the woodshop—my usual practice. Here my tastes run the gamut from Greek and Roman philosophy to military history and the latest Michael Connelly mystery. It should be an informative and entertaining summer of reading.
Norm Reid is a woodworker, writer, and woodworking instructor living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife, a woodshop full of power and hand tools and four cats who think they are cabinetmaker’s assistants. He is the author of the forthcoming book Choosing and Using Handplanes. He can be contacted at email@example.com.