Reading List // Shea Little

Shea Little is a visual artist and the executive director of Big Medium as well as co-founder of the East Austin Studio Tour, West Austin Studio, and the Texas Biennial. He also serves as board chair for Austin Creative Alliance and is on the curatorial board for Generous Art.


The Red Tent

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
This is the most recent book I’ve read. I enjoyed how the potentially boring historic and religious elements were woven into a very compelling and exciting narrative. This book will make you think differently about families, home, and especially childbirth.


Sense of Unity

The Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture by Nader Ardalan and Laleh Bakhtiar
This was my grandmother’s book–it still smells like her house. When she passed away I gathered up a bunch of her books that I didn’t want given away, and this was one of them. This book was hugely influential in my work so far this year. The concepts, illustrations, and sensibilities are ancient and yet still so very relevant.


Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
My two eldest kids love this book and we’ve read it a few times now. I really like that they love this book. We read a lot of other kids books that I just robotically (but still with loving enthusiasm) read aloud, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is one I look forward to. Anything by Roald Dahl is worth the read, even without kids.


Miracle of Castel Di Sangro

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss
Soccer is one of my hobbies, I love to play and watch the sport, but I’m not one of those rabid fans that bleeds the color of whatever color my favorite team is. A friend of mine passed this book along and I was a little skeptical of the potential fanaticism, but it turns out to be a great story of how a team from a small village impossibly climbs the professional ranks of Italian soccer. It’s a good read for fans and non-fans alike.



This is a book of Buddhist scripture. I’m not a Buddhist or an aspiring Buddhist, I just enjoy reading the verses and applying the ideas and philosophies to the world today.


I have a tendency to start reading a book and then abruptly stop and shift to some other book. When I’m not reading at or for work, I’m reading in bed, so if the book doesn’t hold my interest enough to keep me awake I’ll move on to something else. This is my partial list of partially read books that I may or may not return to:



Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
I really liked the first half of this book, but it became repetitive and I lost interest. I might go back to it someday.


Death and Life

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
This is one that I want to go back to, it seems especially important now in relation to the growth in Austin.



Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson
When I was reading this book I was making art and it was influential in my work. Someday I’ll get back to making art and I’ll read this again.


Common Sense

Common Sense by Thomas Paine
I wanted to read this because of its historical importance in the formation of our government. I’ll finish it one of these days. Who knows, the time may come when we need to overthrow the current government.

Value of ArtThe Value of Art by Michael Findlay
I didn’t get too far into this one, it seems like a book I should read, but it didn’t interest me enough to stay in the queue.


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