Pages from Living by Jenny Holzer, a book of the artist's truism that were first posted anonymously across New York City's streets and buildings in the 1970s.


Read (or listen) along with us. #AlabamaChaninBookClub

What We’re Reading for Spring 2023:

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami

Matrix by Lauren Groff

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

I’m Glad My Mother Died by Jennette McCurdy

(Reading again) The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
And this New Yorker article about the book.

Inspiring Podcast Episodes:

“How to Set & Hold Boundaries” with Melissa Urban. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you stream.

“The Science of Happiness” with Arthur Brooks and Peter Attia. Listen here or on your favorite streaming platform.

What We’re Watching:

Woo Who? May Wilson from New Day Films

When her husband informs her, after 40 years of marriage, that his future plans no longer include her, May Wilson, age 60, former “wife-mother-housekeeper-cook” and a grandmother, moves to New York City and discovers an independent life of her own for the first time in which the art, that had once been a hobby, becomes central. —New Day Films

Paired with this book: Ray Johnson c/o, an exploration of the collage and pop artist’s collection at The Chicago Institute of Art.

Learn more about the life and work of Ray Johnson, “New York’s most famous unknown artist,” and friend of May Wilson.

The Kitchen Sisters

Listen: The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher,, or wherever you prefer to stream.

Read: Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR’s the Kitchen Sisters. Listen to select stories from the series here.

Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, “The Kitchen Sisters”, are radio producers, historians, and storytellers who have been recording the lives, recipes, and journeys—in and out of the kitchen—that have shaped today’s culture.

Learn more about The Kitchen Sisters and explore their vast body of work and latest projects.

Living by Jenny Holzer

A publication of the witty “Truisms” which artist Jenny Holder wrote anonymously and shared publicly—sheets of paper adhered to phone booths, marquee signs, projected onto buildings, and large-format letters trailing airplanes—throughout New York City in the 1970s. Through Holzer’s unique approach, her work would be seen and shared by the masses while the creator remained, at the time, unknown.

“Turn soft and lovely any time you have a chance”
“All things are delicately interconnected”
“Life is not a rehearsal”
“It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender”

Purchase a limited-edition copy of Living here.

Learn more about Holzer’s work and life here.

Explore some of her iconic truisms via the Museum of Modern Art and Archives of Women Artists Research & Exhibitions.

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

Solnit offers an endearing portrait of George Orwell, the radical twentieth-century dystopian novelist who displays a capacity for hope through the act of planting and tending to his roses.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

A series of autobiographical essays that explore navigation, an ever-present theme in the human experience. The path toward knowing oneself is most often found when we approach the unfamiliar terrains of wilderness, relationships, and life with open hearts and a sense of wonder.

Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life

Written and read by Lulu Miller, Peabody Award-winning science journalist and co-host of the beloved Radiolab podcast.

Listen on and support your local bookstore.

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Finding Me, written and read by Viola Davis

Listen on and support your local bookstore.

Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Listen to Whereabouts on Audible—read by Susan Vinciotti Bonito.

How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth by Meg Bowles, Catherine Burns, Jenifer Hixson, Sarah Austin Jenness, and Kate Tellers.

Congratulations to our friends at The Moth for their newest book landing on The New York Times Best Sellers list. 

Read our interview with Catherine Burns, our Alabama sister and Artistic Director of The Moth, here

Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser: “When women are storytellers, the human story changes.”

Listen to Cassandra Speaks on Audible—read by the author.

The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion: 250 Years of Design by Madelief Hohé and the Peabody Essex Museum.

Congratulations to our friends at the Peabody Essex Museum on receiving the Richard Martin Exhibition Award from the Costume Society of America for this exhibition. Tour Made It: The Women who Revolutionized Fashion online here.

Image Grid of Book Covers and Spreads from Alabama Chanin's "What We're Reading" List
Clockwise: Spine of Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit; Cover of Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson; Orwell’s Roses, “Roses and Revolution” featuring the iconic Tina Modotti photograph “Roses, Mexico” (1924); Origins and development of Josef Albers’ iconic Homage to the Square series from Josef Albers: Interaction; “Our Ever-Changing Shore,” 1958 by Rachel Carson from Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson; The Moth StorySLAM poster (developed by The Moth as a resource to support storytellers preparing to share on the Moth StorySLAM stage) from How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth

Art and artists:

Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory

Learn more about the 2019 exhibition from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and view more of Celmins’ works.

Read Natalie’s essay on creative process and Vija Celmins as inspiration.

Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective

Learn more about the 2004 retrospective exhibition from The Museum of Modern Art, and view more of Bontecou’s works.

Read #ThoseWhoInspire: Lee Bontecou and Natalie’s essay on creative process and Lee Bontecou as inspiration.

And explore our favorite books for color inspiration:

On Color by David Scott Kastan and Stephen Farthing

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color by Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker

Josef Albers: Interaction, edited by Heinz Liesbrock and Ulrike Growe

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

An Atlas of Rare and Familiar Colour: The Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Minerology, Anatomy, and the Arts by Patrick Syme

This is, famously, the book that Charles Darwin referenced to write about the colors that he saw in nature during his voyage sailing around the world from 1831–1836 aboard the H.M.S Beagle. Read more about “The Book that Colored Charles Darwin’s World” via The New Yorker.

Clockwise: Cover of An Atlas of Rare and Familiar Colour: The Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection; Study IV-1 from Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color, chapter IV: “A color has many faces—the relativity of color”; Overview of the color Blue from The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair; Introduction to the color Red from On Color; Cover of Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Minerology, Anatomy, and the Arts; Cover of Pantone: The 20th Century in Color in Pantone® Dark Blue C

P.S.: Embroidery: Threads and Stories from Alabama Chanin and The School of Making by Natalie Chanin is now available. Order a signed copy here.

Embroidery: Threads and Stories combines lessons in design and embroidery with Natalie’s engaging story of returning to her childhood home, the history of textiles in her region, and the evolution of Alabama Chanin and The School of Making. A deeply personal and reflective work, Natalie’s sixth book explores her design ethos, creative process, and the indelible impacts she has made in the textile industry and maker movement as a pioneer of sustainable design.

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