As we hunker down for the winter months, it’s a great time to add some inspiring titles to your bookshelves. There are so many great new books being released this season, with options to inspire your creativity or your small business! Check out this season’s best art books, self-help workbooks, and creative business guides. These new titles are excellent additions to your reading list, or could make a thoughtful gift for a craft business owner. Disclosure: we use affiliate links to connect you to our reading list recommendations, which help support Craft Industry Alliance at no additional cost to you.
Making A Life book cover

Making a Life by Melanie Falick

In her new book Making a Life, Falick explores the nature of working with our hands in the modern world. She takes you behind the scenes with modern craftspeople from around the world, interviewing them about the realities of preserving traditional craft techniques in a fast-paced modern society. Curious about the author? Hear Falick talk about her book on epidode #156 of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast!

The Pink Book by Kaye Blegvad

Illustrator Kaye Blegvad’s guide to the color pink is a fun exploration of how this rosy hue is woven into our culture. Inside you’ll find dozens of brief essays on various shades of pink. For example: “Object Study: Pink Pearl Eraser” and “Experiment: Rose Tinted Glasses” explore two popular uses of the color. A fun celebration of color, and a great gift for painters and artists.

Almost Lost Arts by Emily Freidenrich

A great gift for any craft enthusiast, Almost Lost Arts features the stories of artisans devoted to preserving traditional craft techniques.

Discover the world of Zapotec weavers, papermakers, milliners, and neon sign makers — the featured artisans represent a diverse mix of media, ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.

Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller

Host of the popular podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, Heller is an evangelist for transforming your creative passion into a fulfilling career. Her book is a digestible tome filled with the lessons she’s learned interviewing people like Gretchen Rubin and Jen Sincero. While Heller’s book covers career development in all sorts of industries, the advice inside feels especially applicable to freelancers and those starting their own creative businesses.

Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer

Quilting educator Thomas Knauer’s new book showcases quilts from a wide range of contemporary craftspeople, accompanied by their testimonials about the inspiration for their work. The book showcases the intersections of craft and activism, with examples like the AIDS memorial quilt, as well as Knauer’s own work “Iced Tea and Skittles,” a memorial quilt for Trayvon Martin. Exploring quilting’s intersections with tradition, activism, and consumer culture, Knauer’s exploration of modern quilting digs deeper than aesthetics to paint a picture of a vibrant community of thoughtful artists. Don’t miss his conversation with Craft Industry Alliance founder Abby Glassenberg in episode #89 of our podcast!

The Year of Knots by Windy Chien

Learning to tie a new kind of knot every day for one year led Chien on a path of discovery that transformed her life and her creative career. In her new book, Chien combines projects, tutorials, and transformative personal stories, all aimed at inspiring readers to develop their own creative daily practice.

Keep It Moving by Twyla Tharp 

The renowned author of The Creative Habit has a new guide to staying creative later in life. Her book covers all aspects of caring for your body and mind, including diet and exercise, but it’s her take on maintaining an attitude of curiosity that struck me as most helpful for creatives looking for long-term career guidance. A great gift for craft pros of all ages.

Quilted by Janine Vangool Part of Uppercase Magazine’s Encyclopedia of Inspiration, Quilted is Vangool’s fourth volume in the series. Filled with textile inspiration from Vangool’s work as a fabric designer, the book features in-depth profiles of quilt designers, fabric experts, and stories of individual quilts. You’ll find a few Craft Industry Alliance members inside, including Andrea Tsang Jackson and Cheryl Arkison.  

A Life Made By Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino

This children’s book introduces young people to the work of sculptor Ruth Asawa, known for her intricate basketwoven wire sculptures. A beautifully illustrated short biography, this book would make a great teaching tool for arts educators.

Don’t forget, you can always head to the archives to find last season’s reading list for craft businesses. Are you reading anything inspiring this season? Share your favorite craft books in the comments below, and @craftindustryalliance on Instagram to show us your recent reads!
Erin Dollar

Erin Dollar


Erin is the textile designer and artist behind the home décor company, Cotton & Flax. She licenses her surface designs for fabric, home décor, stationery, and other clients. She’s also a teacher, writer, and enthusiastic advocate for small creative business owners. She lives in San Diego, California.

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