Monday, August 25, 2008

Party Favors

Party Favors --Temple Sachet’s got style, smarts, and the party planning gene in her blood. Having grown up in New Orleans, surrounded by the pageantry of Mardi Gras, Temple learned a thing or two about how to turn a fantastic party into a money maker. It’s a skill that pays off big when her gala for the Missouri Opera turns into a Ray of Hope internship at the White House. Within weeks, Temple’s caught Potomac Fever—a hopeless, incurable addiction to D.C. for which there is only one cure: a nasty-tasting spoonful of disillusionment….

Temple rises quickly through the ranks of the Republican Party’s fundraising elite, navigating a treacherous community of lobbyists making deals for dollars, gossiping staffers, and child-like senators, to be appointed the highly coveted position of Finance Director for the Republican Senate Campaign Committee. Her every waking moment is spent convincing the über-rich and ultra eccentric to hand over the cash money green and, in the process, she learns everyone’s secrets. Temple knows which senators can be manipulated by baked goods, which donors are most likely to pass out drunk at dinners, which chiefs of staff are still “in the closet” and, unbelievably, which senators are actually good people, behaving with integrity even if no one is watching. She is envied, adored, respected, feared, and most of all needed as a fundraiser.

From the outside, Temple’s life looks like one fantastic party, but on the inside she’s tired of dating the wrong men and sleeping on the office floor. Her successes are measured in dollars, all of her status is derived from the politicians she knows personally, and all of her friendships stem from her career. But with her entire identity so wrapped up in D.C., can she walk away from it?

Party Favors gives a deliciously witty peek into the secretive world of political fundraising in D.C. Written by a former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the novel explores the very real truth that favor

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shot in Sicily

Shot in Sicily-- Michael Roberts' rich view of Sicily--its people, traditions, and landscape--permeates his photographic work far beyond his well-known work in the fashion world. Spanning two decades, Shot in Sicily traces Roberts' shifting vision of a sensual and ambiguous country. With an occasional nod to Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden's late nineteenth-century images of the Sicilian town of Taormina, and the films of Visconti and Bolognini, Roberts' sense of Sicily moves beyond conventional and touristic aesthetic categories. His camera captures the beauty of youth, crumbling temples, traditional Easter parades and the theater of daily life, and genuinely recreates the allure of Sicily. This monograph is designed by Roberts and features an epilogue/homage by designer Manolo Blahnik.

And from FWD: Michael Roberts is a man about town, but come Fashion Week, his works will be taking Manhattan. From September 10-October 19, images from Roberts' photography book Shot in Sicily will be displayed at 401 Projects and Visión Cultural on West Street. The exhibit will highlight the Vanity Fair fashion and style director's vision of Sicily from his book that was released in 2007. The showcase will open with a private party on September 6.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Blowout

Summer Blowout ---Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips - an occupational hazard, since she works at Salon de Paolo, her family-run beauty salon, along with her four half-brothers and sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair who is obsessed with all things Italian. After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men. But then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. A small, well-tressed dog also finds her way into Bella's life, and her heart, and she decides to chance that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly - in a summer blowout no one will ever forget.

Last summer I read Claire Cook's "Life's a Beach" and it was GREAT!

Monday, August 18, 2008

‘Gossip Girl’ DVD Extra Tries to Steer Buyers to the Books

What may dismay parents about the popularity of the TV drama “Gossip Girl” — besides the teenage sex and drug use, that is — is that it has so many girls glued to their television sets who might improve their SAT scores if they cracked open a book instead.

Now, however, the DVD set “Gossip Girl: The Complete First Season,” which goes on sale this week, includes a free electronic version of the original novel by Cecily von Ziegesar on which the show is based. But — OMG! — it is totally not a book that you read! It is, rather, an audio book narrated by Christina Ricci, with other bonus material like scenes that were not broadcast and “LOL: Gag Reel.” The three-hour abridgement of the novel, which Hachette Audio first released in CD format in 2003, can be transferred to an iPod.

This collaboration, by Hachette Audio and Warner Home Video, which made the DVD, is an unprecedented twist on how publishers hitch their wagons to Hollywood projects. With films, publishers typically reprint a paperback with movie-poster artwork, and audio divisions similarly repackage audio books.

The show’s audience is 74 percent female and its median age is 26, according to Nielsen. Because the young women who are introduced to the characters through the TV series may be oblivious to its origins as a book phenomenon, the publisher has been trying to lasso the show’s audience. The 12 books in the series, published by Poppy, an imprint of Hachette, which is owned by Little, Brown Young Readers, have sold 5.6 million copies.

To coincide with the premiere of the TV series, the publisher printed a version of the first Gossip Girl book with a cover featuring the cast of the show; it sold 20,000 copies in 2007 and has sold 12,000 copies so far this year, apparently without cannibalizing the standard version of the same book, which sold 82,000 copies in 2007 (a 1,000-copy increase over 2006) and has sold 41,000 copies so far this year, according to Nielsen BookScan.

But sales of the audio book versions of the first and second book (also read by Ms. Ricci) in the series have been consistently moribund, even in the wake of the hit TV series: for the five years since being released, they have sold fewer than 1,000 copies yearly, according to BookScan.

“The teen and the late-teen market has been a really tough market for us,” said Anthony Goff, publisher of Hachette Audio and Digital Media.

It is no wonder teenage titles flummox audio book publishers. According to AudioFile, a magazine for audio book enthusiasts, 53 percent of those listening do so while driving their cars, a late-teenage privilege. But among those trying to cultivate the market is the audio-book download seller, which recently unveiled AudibleKids, with more than 4,000 children’s and young-adult titles.

Donald Katz, chief executive of Audible, pitches audio books as an educational alternative to music on iPods and iPhones, which are sometimes blamed for making youths more detached and are banned as distractions in some schools. Audio books could “reposition” iPods from parental scourge to “storytellers and learning machines,” Mr. Katz said.

{via The NY Times}

{Photo: Giovanni Rufino/The CW}

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design

Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design -- Since its inception 170 years ago, Tiffany & Co. has become synonymous with elegant, stylish design and alluring luxury, creating the world’s most dazzling jewelry and decorative objects. Today, its signature blue box is recognized the world over and can be had (for a price, of course) at more than 150 locations around the globe.

In Tiffany Style, Tiffany’s design director John Loring gathers for the first time in one volume the most renowned and memorable pieces ever produced by the company. In this “best of Tiffany” collection, readers will find a spectacular array of objects, from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s famous lamps and vases to opulent silver tea sets to Andy Warhol’s whimsical Christmas illustrations to Elsa Peretti’s signature heart pendant. Drawing from a rich selection of design sketches and vintage and contemporary photography, all taken from Tiffany’s unparalleled archives, as well as new photography taken especially for this book by Harry Benson, Tiffany Style reveals the company’s fascinating history and evolution through its most unforgettable creations.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Paper Illusions: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

Paper Illusions: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave --- Belgian artist, designer, and interior decorator Isabelle de Borchgrave has created exquisite paper dresses evoking high fashions from the courts of the Medici in the Renaissance to the legendary Fortuny silks of the early 20th century. Their historical authenticity, combined with their startling realism, caused an overnight sensation when they were first shown in France in 1998 as “papiers à la mode.” Since then, the dynamic, light-hearted collection has traveled all over the world to critical and popular acclaim.

Paper Illusions does full justice to De Borchgrave’s magical workshop, where paper is cut, folded, and painted on the way to being transformed into shimmering visions of beautiful clothing and luxurious living. In Rene Stoeltie’s vivid photographs, figures from the history of style seem to breathe in atmospheric rooms, while details of color, pattern, and form jump off the page. It is a publishing event of unprecedented creativity, wit, and elegance.

Isabelle de Borchgrave is an artist, designer, and interior decorator. In March 2007, Target announced the introduction of her line of paper party décor, called Isabelle Party. She lives and works in Brussels.

Barbara and René Stoeltie have been collaborating on interior design books and articles since 1984 with Barbara as writer and René as photographer. They live in Brussels.

Hubert de Givenchy is a French aristocrat and world-famous fashion designer. He lives in France.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent: Style

Yves Saint Laurent: Style ---In collaboration with Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent.

Yves Saint Laurent’s signature style intertwines references from the art world with those of popular culture and social revolution. Since its establishment in the 1960s by the designer and Pierre Bergé, the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture house has redefined femininity, creating arguably the most famous (and sexiest) suit for women, “Le Smoking” tuxedo, and innovative collections with names such as Pop Art, Ballet Russes, and Picasso.

This retrospective book is the first to cover the forty years of Yves Saint Laurent and highlights the inventive character of the designer’s work. Over 160 of his finest designs and accessories, all taken from the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent collection, are presented. The book is the companion volume to an exhibition that will travel to The Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Still: Oceanscapes by Debra Bloomfield

Still -- Debra Bloomfield's hypnotic photographs provide a visual map of the powerful interplay between sea and sky. Over the years, on a single lonesome stretch of beach, Bloomfield has captured an undeniably intimate portrait of the ocean at rest. Almost impressionistic in their tone, this collection of 60 photographs chronicling seascapes smudging into a series of hazy horizons creates a striking contrast with what we've come to expect of ocean photography. Still is a captivating and entrancing vision by a unique voice in contemporary photography.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

French General: Home Sewn

French General: Home Sewn -- As the founder of the renowned crafts and notions store, French General, Kaari Meng scours the French countryside and Parisian flea markets for vintage treasures. Now, this beloved designer has gathered her favorite patterns into a charming sourcebook sure to be coveted by crafters, Francophiles, and home decorators. She offers 30 simple sewing patterns for French-inspired projects—a scalloped tablecloth, piles of pillows and bedding, a festive party garland, totes—and more. Lay-flat spiral binding and ready-to-use pattern sheets and embroidery transfers, plus step-by-step directions, gorgeous photographs, and helpful illustrations make it easy to bring the palettes and pleasures of traditional French living into any home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review: Gilding Lily

I had hoped to post my review that I submitted to the publisher but I lost it!  Don't you just hate when that happens?  I did manage to submit it on the Harper Collins website but it has not yet appeared.  I will keep my eye out for it! The author of Gilding Lily, Tatiana Boncompagni, has been in touch with me so if she gets it through the publisher I will post it here as well.  Trust me, it was a fun book and she has another one in the works!