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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Moving...

I've decided to migrate over to WordPress - new address is www.coteriebooks.wordpress.com - come on over!

A Voice from Old New York

I met Mr. Auchincloss a couple of times when I worked for an old money investment firm in NYC right out of college as the assistant to the president (first big job!) - he was a lovely man and I have always enjoyed reading his books.


At the time of his death, Louis Auchincloss—enemy of bores, self-pity, and gossip less than fresh—had just finished taking on a subject he had long avoided: himself. His memoir confirms that, despite the spark of his fiction, Auchincloss himself was the most entertaining character he has created. No traitor to his class but occasionally its critic, he returns us to his Society which was, he maintains, less interesting than its members admitted. You may differ as he unfurls his life with dignity, summoning his family (particularly his father who suffered from depression and forgave him for hating sports) and intimates. Brooke Astor and her circle are here, along with glimpses of Jacqueline Onassis. Most memorable, though, is his way with those outside the salon: the cranky maid; the maiden aunt, perpetually out of place; the less-than-well-born boy who threw himself from a window over a woman and a man. Here is Auchincloss, an American master, being Auchincloss, a rare eye, a generous and lively spirit to the end.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Allure


Allure by Diana Vreeland....It's interesting that they've made this one into a cute little mini-sized version of the reprint of the original. I worked in production on the full-sized first reprint around 2001 if I remember correctly.

There is actually a version, signed by Diana Vreeland, of the original on eBay right now that I just stumbled on and it's in decent condition! Go here for details.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion


Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion - As a longtime fan, I am really looking forward to reading this version of her life.

From Amazon:

In 2007, the news of Isabella Blow’s suicide at the age of 48 made headlines around the world—but there is more to the story of Isabella than her tragic end. The key supporter and muse of milliner Philip Treacy and designer Alexander McQueen, Blow was truly more than a muse or patron. She was a spark, an electrical impulse that set imaginations racing, an individual who pushed others to create their best work.

Her fascination with clothing began early, as did a willingness to wear things—and say things—that would amuse and shock. She began her fashion career in New York City as assistant to Anna Wintour at Vogue. Over time she became famous for her work, yet it wasn’t enough to assuage her devastating feelings of inadequacy. Still, in her darkest moments, even as she began a series of suicide attempts and prolonged hospital stays, Blow retained her wicked sense of humor, making her friends laugh even as they struggled to help.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights


Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights - Another book I received for Christmas this year and highly recommend. I had previewed it on my Kindle but this is one of those book you really "need" for your bookshelf.

At Home with Books



This one has been on my Amazon wishlist forever and I received it as one of many books for Christmas this year. It's a beautiful book and I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dogs


Dogs - Since the wolf first snuck into the caves of our ancestors to take warmth from the fire, dogs have been man’s constant companion. Dogs, multi-award-winning photographer Tim Flach’s stunning follow-up to the critically acclaimed Equus, delves deep into the psyche of this enduring bond with Canis familiaris to present an exquisite study of “man’s best friend.”

From specimens on show at Crufts and Westminster to shelter dogs lovingly rescued by volunteers; from the grace and agility of racing greyhounds to adored domestic companions; from Afghan hounds to Hungarian komondors to Chinese crested, the images featured in Dogs promise to deliver one of the most appealing, popular, and exciting photographic tributes to dogs ever published.

Monday, November 22, 2010

100 Dresses by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

100 Dresses: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art - What woman can resist imagining herself in a beautiful designer dress? Here, for the first time ever, are 100 fabulous gowns from the permanent collection of the renowned Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, each of which is a reminder of the ways fashion reflects the broader culture that created it.


Featuring designs by Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, Madame Grès, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and many others, this one-of-a-kind collection presents a stunning variety of garments. Ranging from the buttoned-up gowns of the late 17th century to the cutting-edge designs of the early 21st, the dresses reflect the sensibilities and excesses of each era while providing a vivid picture of how styles have changed—sometimes radically—over the years. A late 1600s wool dress with a surprising splash of silver thread; a large-bustled red satin dress from the 1800s; a short, shimmery 1920s dancing dress; a glamorous 1950s cocktail dress; and a 1960s minidress—each tells a story about its period and serves as a testament to the enduring ingenuity of the fashion designer’s art.

Images of the dresses are accompanied by informative text and enhanced by close-up details as well as runway photos, fashion plates, works of art, and portraits of designers. A glossary of related terms is also included.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

French Essence


French Essence: Ambience, Beauty, and Style in Provence - Ten years ago, Vicki Archer and her husband began restoring a seventeenth-century olive farm in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, resurrecting the ancient orchards and renovating the farmhouse. The story of Archer's dream come true is an enchanting one, captured on the pages of her debut book, My French Life. Now fully at home in this magnificent corner of the world, she brings us a guide for celebrating and re-creating Provençal ambiance.

A lover of architecture, art, furniture, and décor, Archer knows that the best interiors are inspired by the heart as much as the mind. French Essence is designed to spark both, with gorgeous photographs of lush gardens, timeless interiors, hauntingly beautiful village lanes, and inspired aesthetic details. Sumptuous cuisine and charming shops are also essential features of the tour, giging all readers the chance to vicariously savor the sensuous pleasures and effortless chic of this region. Reminiscent of Frances Mayes's lavishly illustrated books, In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home, Archer's captivating words and scenes open the doors of inspiration for all who cherish the French way of life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Women Then



Women Then: Photographs 1954-1969 - A collection of rarely seen black-and-white photographs taken of women in the 1950s and 1960s, captured by the renowned New York City fashion photographer and filmmaker. Designed by Ruth Ansel, this elegantly produced volume captures the romance and glamour of women in the 1950s and 1960s. A mix of fashion and portraiture, it includes intimate and striking portraits of Nico, Faye Dunaway, Edie Sedgwick, Sharon Tate, and Catherine Deneuve. Jerry Schatzberg’s moody snapshots of a more innocent and whimsical New York on the brink of the important societal changes of the sixties form a compellingly nostalgic portrait of a stylish moment. Images of jetsetters at an airport terminal, lovers embracing in Central Park, and a woman waltzing in the street in the Financial District portray a time as well as a style. A New York City native, Schatzberg documented the period with the insider’s sensibility of Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese, but with the high-fashion style of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. With a keen eye for the magic of the in-between moment, Schatzberg stealthily captured the elegance and beauty of a woman as her role was redefined in the sixties, while at the same time retaining an element of humor and surprise.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Edith Head



Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer - All About Eve. Funny Face. Sunset Blvd. Rear Window. Sabrina. A Place in the Sun. The Ten Commandments. Scores of iconic films of the last century had one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). She racked up an unprecedented 35 Oscar nods and 400 film credits over the course of a fifty-year career.

Never before has the account of Hollywood’s most influential designer been so thoroughly revealed—because never before have the Edith Head Archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences been tapped. This unprecedented access allows this book to be a one-of-a-kind survey, bringing together a spectacular collection of rare and never-before-seen sketches, costume test shots, behind-the- scenes photos, and ephemera.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Portrait of Camelot


Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House - Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s election as president of the United States, this book is a revealing and intimate portrait of a leader, husband, and father as seen through the lens of Cecil Stoughton, the first official White House photographer. Stoughton’s close rapport with the president and first lady gave him extraordinary access to the Oval Office, the Kennedys’ private quarters and homes, to state dinners, cabinet meetings, diplomatic trips, and family holidays.

Drawing on Stoughton’s unparalleled body of photographs, most rarely or never before reproduced, and supported by a deeply thoughtful narrative by political historian Richard Reeves, Portrait of Camelot is an unprecedented portrayal of the power, politics, and warmly personal aspects of Camelot’s 1,036 days.


DVD INCLUDED: packaged with a DVD created exclusively for this book, containing color and black-and-white film footage Stoughton created of the Kennedy family in the White House, in Hyannis Port, and on holidays.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design



Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design examines textile, interior, and fashion designer Allegra Hicks’ approach to design and luxury. The book retraces the genesis of her patterns over the past decades of her work. Season by season, Hicks presents her original textile and pattern designs alongside beautiful photography of interiors, landscapes, and unexpected points of nature. Essays on design, color, and seasonal elements will inspire readers to look at interiors and fabrics in a new and different way. Pairing original textile and pattern designs with inspiring photography of interiors and landscapes, the book is an internal voyage through Allegra Hicks’ mind.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Louis Vuitton: 100 Legendary Trunks


Louis Vuitton: 100 Legendary Trunks -- Trains and steamships transformed transportation in the mid-19th century and opened the world to a new breed of traveler. Louis Vuitton understood the need for more practical luggage, and strove to create products that were adaptable to all situations—and the travel trunk was born.

Authors Pierre Léonforte and Éric Pujalet-Plaà curate 100 of the finest trunks the Louis Vuitton company has produced on commission, including boxes made for movie stars from Douglas Fairbanks to Sharon Stone and couturiers from Jeanne Lanvin to Karl Lagerfeld, as well as cases designed for Ernest Hemingway, Leopold Stokowski, and Damien Hirst. Illustrated with 600 images taken from the Louis Vuitton archives and new photographs made especially for this book, this is the definitive history of personalized objects of both practicality and luxury.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The World of Gloria Vanderbilt




The World of Gloria Vanderbilt -- Gloria Vanderbilt is many things: an heiress, a painter, a muse, a designer, a model, a writer, an entrepreneur, an actor, a socialite, a survivor, an icon. She brought the Vanderbilt name out of the Gilded Age and into the Digital Age, reinventing herself over and over along the way. Hers is a story of charisma, glamour, and heartbreaking loss, told here by Wendy Goodman, who had intimate access to Vanderbilt for this book. The illustrations include portraits of Vanderbilt and her extraordinary homes, filled with original and influential decorating ideas, by such photographic legends as Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Inge Morath, Horst P. Horst, Francesco Scavullo, and Annie Leibovitz. Vanderbilt’s son, Anderson Cooper, contributes a foreword.

Wendy Goodman is coauthor of Abrams’ Tony Duquette. She is the design editor of New York magazine, a well as contributing editor for Departures magazine and German and French Architectural Digest.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eternal Chanel


Eternal Chanel -- When Jean Leymarie’s monograph on Coco Chanel was originally published in 1989, he was known primarily as a curator and modern art historian, both in his native France and abroad. Bringing his expertise to bear on one of the most famous (and often controversial) couturiers of all time, Leymarie legitimized fashion as fine art.

Completely redesigned by Philippe Apeloig, Leymarie’s classic volume is back in print once more. Beginning with a brief history of fashion, Leymarie takes the reader through Chanel’s early days, when she mingled with Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinsky, and Luchino Visconti, through the development of her brand after her death by Karl Lagerfeld. A special essay on Lagerfeld’s contribution to the Chanel legacy, written by journalist Marc Lambron, brings this new edition up to date.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People


Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People -- America's most delightfully unconventional hostess and the bestselling author of I Like You delivers a new book that will forever change the world of crafting. According to Amy Sedaris, it's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In her new book, SIMPLE TIMES, she sets the record straight. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life's more pleasurable and constructive leisure activities, Sedaris shows that anyone with a couple of hours to kill and access to pipe cleaners can join the elite society of crafters.

You will discover how to make popular crafts, such as: crab-claw roach clips, tinfoil balls, and crepe-paper moccasins, and learn how to: get inspired (Spend time at a Renaissance Fair; Buy fruit, let it get old, and see

what shapes it turns into); remember which kind of glue to use with which material (Tacky with Furry, Gummy with Gritty, Paste with Prickly, and always Gloppy with Sandy); create your own craft room and avoid the most common crafting accidents (sawdust fires, feather asphyxia, pine cone lodged in throat); and cook your own edible crafts, from a Crafty Candle Salad to Sugar Skulls, and many more recipes.

PLUS whole chapters full of more crafting ideas (Pompom Ringworms! Seashell Toilet Seat Covers!) that will inspire you to create your own hastily constructed obscure d'arts; and much, much more!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary- Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Life of Style


A Life of Style: Fashion, Home, Entertaining -- Style is a reflection of who we are, where we come from, and what we have experienced—the good, the bad, and the indifferent. It is what makes us into the unique beings that we are.

Star fashion designer Rebecca Moses has devoted herself to crafting chic garments for stylish women world-wide. Underpinning her years of innovative design has been a series of questions: What is style? How does it evolve? And what can we do to develop our own style? A Life of Style provides the answers. Consisting entirely of Moses’s inventive watercolors, which incorporate witty words of wisdom distilled from personal experience, A Life of Style encourages readers to draw upon and develop their innate style—traditional or modern, conservative or radical—and especially to cultivate the confidence to express themselves.

Rebecca Moses offers a style journey that is at once informative and imaginative. She persuades readers to listen to themselves and their instincts, to open their minds to new ways of thinking, and above all to search for inspiration. Once the style mind is engaged, she turns to fashion and beauty (“Don’t forget: We wear our clothes—they don’t wear us”), the home (“Creating a home is creating a world of your own”), and entertaining (“The best gift of all is the gift of relaxation and great pleasure”). Above all, says Moses, style is personal communication at its most profound, most ingenious, most original.

Style is not skin deep. It is soul deep. It is our most significant form of expression. It is how we communicate who we are to the world around us. It is our voice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

With Friends Like These

With Friends Like These -- Have you ever been a less than perfect friend? To whom does your first loyalty belong—your best friend or your husband? With her trademark wit and empathy, Sally Koslow explores the entangled lives of women in this candid, fast-paced novel.

Quincy, Talia, Chloe, and Jules met in the early nineties after answering a roommate ad for a Manhattan apartment. Despite having little in common, the women became fast friends. A decade later, their lives have diverged, though their ties remain strong.

Quincy, a Midwestern introvert, is trying to overcome a set of tragedies by hunting for the perfect home; Talia, a high-energy Brooklyn wife and mom with an outspoken conscience, is growing resentful of her friends’ greater financial stability and her husband’s lack of ambition; timid Chloe, also a mother, is trying to deflect pressure from her husband, a hedge fund manager, to play the role of trophy wife; while Jules, a fiercely independent actress/entrepreneur with a wicked set of life rules, is confronting her forties alone.

When Jules gives her new boyfriend the inside scoop on the real estate gem Quincy is lusting after, and Talia chases a lucrative job earmarked for Chloe, the women are forced to wrestle with the challenges of love and motherhood. Will their friendships and marriages survive? And at what price? Punchy yet tender, a high-five to sisterhood, this book will hit an emotional bull’s-eye for anyone who has had—or been—less than a perfect friend.

Note: I enjoyed Little Pink Slips also by this author but not so much her one after that which was The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nina Garcia's Look Book


Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion -- Every woman, at one time or another, has contemplated an all-important job interview, first date, formal party, or important presentation and wailed to herself and to her closest girlfriends, “ What should I wear?” In Nina Garcia’ s Look Book, style guru Nina Garcia solves this universal quandary with an inspired and unbeatable combination of fashion knowledge and common sense. She shows us the pieces, the accessories, and the strategies to create the looks that will take us from the first day on a job through the day we ask for a raise and beyond, from the first time we meet our boyfriend’ s parents (or his children) through the day we see our own children walk down the aisle. With Nina by your side, you can’ t go wrong. You’ ll have all the tips you will need to navigate every day looking your best.

True style is not about having a closet full of expensive and beautiful things— it is instead about knowing when, where, and how to utilize your collection.

Note: I loved Nina's previous book and this one too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Slicker

Slicker -- Even life in the greatest city in the world can sometimes feel like a little too much. For this New Yorker, running away to the Heartland may be just the antidote.

When New York City native Desirée Christian-Cohen flees her sometime-boyfriend, unhappy mother, Nina (who’s recently learned her soon-to-be ex-husband Patrick is gay), and failing grandfather, she picks the flight plan by randomly dropping her finger on a map and hitting: Honey Creek, Kansas, population 1,623. And if being a “tourist” in Honey Creek weren’t noticeable enough, try hanging out in the Sweet Tooth luncheonette, where you’re referred to as “half a Jew.” Wary of , but wanting to, fit in with the local populace, Desirée is forced to defend herself and define herself in a world that feels vastly different from her own. Her Yale boyfriends were never like Bobby McVicar, the son of two ageing hippies, who finds all he needs in his pinprick of a hometown. And never—even as an only child of typically doting Manhattan parents—has anyone paid so much attention to Desirée.

Over one surprising, transformative and sometimes very funny summer, Desirée Christian-Cohen, member-in-good-standing of the Self Esteem Generation, discovers how an impulsive escape from home and family turns out to be much more than that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Surf Guru

The Surf Guru -- Dorst's acclaimed debut, Alive in Necropolis, folded sci-fi, horror, and noir elements into a layered coming-of-age story, and a similar mix of lively imagination and love of craft are on display in this excellent collection. "Splitters" hilariously recreates a scholarly treatise, replete with bloated footnotes and period photographs, by a biologist unloading personal grudges upon colleagues. In the title story, dozens of short vignettes have the effect of snapshots or glimpses that the reader is challenged to piece together. A similar method is used, but to a grander effect, in "Twelve Portraits of Dr. Gauchet," which borrows its title from a Van Gogh painting and depicts the life of the famous artist's physician. The narrative in the poignant and surprisingly suspenseful "Dinaburg's Cake" coils in the obsessive mind of its protagonist, a cake maker in pursuit of a lost client with whom she imagines a significant connection. Whether it's the campaign adviser shackled to a loser in "The Candidate in Bloom" or the hapless dreamers in "Vikings" and "What Is Mine Will Know My Face," the humanity in Dorst's characters can break a reader's heart.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Night at Chateau Marmont


Last Night at Chateau Marmont-- Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline.Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform “Hallelujah” at a dark East Village dive bar.Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls’ school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world.Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one’s promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours at the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon 5, even a Grammy performance.At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television’s hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke’s sweet husband—the man who can’t handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they’re home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Patterns of Paper Monsters

The Patterns of Paper Monsters -- Jacob Higgins's teenage rage rarely simmers below the surface for long. He despises his negligent mother and her alcoholic boyfriend, Refrigerator Man, and he's indifferent to school and his friends--though a little less casual about girls and marijuana. His antics have landed him in a North Virginia detention center, where nihilism, freedom, and redemption all take on unexpected guises. In a voice filled with confusion, yearning, and sardonic humor, Jacob narrates his improbably sweet romance with Andrea, an inmate with whom he shares rare glances, melodramatic conversation, and waxy cookies at rigidly chaperoned "socials." But when David, a mysterious, conniving adolescent, handpicks him to assist in a plot to bring about the center's demise, Jacob has to weigh the frail new optimism of his relationship with Andrea against the allure of destruction, rebellion, and escape. In her pitch-perfect debut, Emma Rathbone adroitly captures the drama, both comic and deadly serious, of growing up.