Trash or Treasure?

Art and antiques summer reading list


Here is a list of great books for those who love art and antiques:

"A Paris Apartment" by Michelle Gable
Historical fiction novel about an apartment full of treasures which had been sealed for decades.
"People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks
Historical fiction novel about a rare book expert who is researching a book from 1492 and all of its owners.

"The Last Painting of Sara Vos" by Dominic Smith
Historical fiction novel based on the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke in Amsterdam circa 1630. An art historian and conservator becomes entangled in a mystery with the owner of Sara Vos’ s last known work.

"The Hare with the Amber Eyes" by Edmund de Waal
Novel written by a man who inherited his uncle’s collection of netsuke and seeks the truth of where the collection originated while learning the truth about his family.

"Object of Beauty" by Steve Martin
Yes - THE Steve Martin. Great work of fiction about a woman’s climb up the ladder in the “dog eat dog” art world in New York.

"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
This Pulitzer Prize winner is about a boy and his happenstance acquisition of a painting. Lots of action.

"Art of the Con" by Anthony Amore
Written by the Director of Security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Amore is also in charge of the investigation to retrieve the paintings stolen in1990. This book discusses the world’s most famous art forgers. His other book “Stealing Rembrandts” is also good. It is about the most famous art thefts in the world (including the Isabella Stewart Gardner theft).

Karen Waterman is a fine art, antique furniture and decorative arts appraiser in the East Bay area. You can reach her at


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.