Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing you a belated-Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you may or may not be celebrating! I'll see you in 2010!

Image Source: Blueprint Magazine

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Four Christmases

Four Christmases
I really really enjoyed this movie. It's short and funny. Definitely see it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too Much Money

Too Much Money: A Novel - the last novel of the much loved wasp Dominick Dunne.

"My name is Gus Bailey...It should be pointed out that it is a regular feature of my life that people whisper things in my ear, very private things, about themselves or others. I have always understood the art of listening."

The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. His propensity for gossip has finally gotten him into trouble -- $11 million worth. His problems begin when he falls hook, line, and sinker for a fake story from an unreliable source and repeats it on a radio program. As a result of his flip comments, Gus becomes embroiled in a nasty slander suit brought by Kyle Cramden, the powerful congressman he accuses of murder, and he fears it could mean the end of him.

The stress of the lawsuit makes it difficult for Gus to focus on the novel he has been contracted to write, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Konstantin Zacharias. It is a story that has dominated the party conversations of Manhattan's chattering classes for more than two years. The accused murderer is behind bars, but Gus is not convinced that justice was served. There are too many unanswered questions, such as why a paranoid man who did not go anywhere without bodyguards was suddenly left without protection the very night he perished in a tragic fire. Gus believes the answers lie with Konstantin's hot-tempered and vengeful wife, Perla. He intends to uncover the truth, even though doing so will gain him another dangerous enemy.

In true Dominick Dunne fashion, Too Much Money is peppered with thinly veiled fictions, keeping readers guessing about the real-world villains and intrigues that lie beneath its chapters. Dunne revives the world he first introduced in his mega-bestselling novel People like Us, and he brings readers up-to-date on favorite characters such as Ruby and Elias Renthal, Lil Altemus, and, of course, the beloved Gus Bailey. Once again, he invites us to pull up a seat at the most important tables at Swifty's, get past the doormen at esteemed social clubs like The Butterfield, and venture into the innermost chambers of the Upper East Side's most sumptuous mansions.

Too Much Money is a satisfying, mischievous, and compulsively readable tale by the most brilliant society chronicler of our time -- the man who knows all the secrets and isn't afraid to share them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Knit the Season

Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel is a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker's trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland-accompanied by her father, her grandparents, and her mother's best friend, Catherine. Together, they share a trove of happy memories about Christmases past with Dakota's mom, Georgia Walker-from Georgia's childhood to her blissful time as a doting new mom. From Thanksgiving through Hanukkah and Christmas to New Year's, Knit the Season is a novel about the richness of family bonds and the joys of friendship.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Christmas Cookie Club

The Christmas Cookie Club -- Mark your calendar. It's the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie's oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie's father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie's husband doesn't want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that's a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor's life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.

On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it's anything, is a reminder of delight.

The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they've regretted, the hard choices and amends they've had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman's story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you'll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women's friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlman has written a novel that speaks to us all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kids Books: The Little Prince Pop-Up

The Little Prince Pop-Up-- After being stranded in a desert after a crash, a pilot comes in contact with a captivating little prince who recounts his journey from planet to planet and his search for what is most important in life. For over sixty-five years Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic, The Little Prince, has captured readers' hearts. The whimsical story with a fairy tale feel has sold over 3 million copies in all formats. This exciting pop-up edition includes the complete original text accompanied by Saint-Exupery's beautiful illustrations brought to life through paper engineering. Perfect for longtime fans and those meeting the little prince for the first time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin

Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin- From Publishers Weekly: Educated to wait on Marie Antoinette, the marquise Lucie de la Tour du Pin (1770-1853) instead precariously survived a devastating revolution, an emperor, two restorations and a republic. Drawing on Lucie's memoirs and those of her contemporaries, Moorehead uses Lucie's descriptions of both personal events and the ever-changing French political atmosphere to portray the nobility's awkward shifts with each new event and the impact they have on Lucie and her diplomat husband, Fréédric. A woman with both court-honed aristocratic manners and rough farm skills (earned in the Revolution's wake during her rural New York exile), Lucie benefited from passing platonic relationships with Napoleon and Wellington, Talleyrand, and countless salon personalities. Lucie's terror during the anarchy of the Revolution remains palpable in her memoirs centuries later. Moorehead obviously admires Lucie, but she gives a convincing and entertaining portrait of an intelligent, shrewd, unpretentious woman and the turbulent times she lived through and testified to in her memoirs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nanny Returns

More than four million readers fell
in love with Nan, the smart, spirited,
and sympathetic heroine of the
#1 New York Times bestseller
The Nanny Diaries

Nanny Returns -- Now she's back. After living abroad for twelve years, she and her husband, Ryan, aka H.H., have returned to New York to make a life for themselves. In the midst of getting her new business off the ground and fixing up their fixer-upper, Ryan announces his sudden desire to start a family. His timing simply couldn't be worse.

To compound the mounting construction and marital chaos, her former charge, Grayer X, now sixteen years old, makes a drunken, late-night visit, wanting to know why she abandoned him all those years ago. But how can she explain to Grayer what she still hasn't come to terms with herself? In an attempt to assuage her guilt, yet against every instinct, Nan tries to help Grayer and his younger brother, Stilton, through their parents' brutal divorce, drawing her back into the ever-bizarre life of Mrs. X and her Upper East Side enclave of power and privilege.

After putting miles and years between herself and this world, Nan finds she's once again on the front line of the battle with the couture-clad elite for their children's wellbeing.

With its whip-smart dialogue and keen observations of modern life, Nanny Returns gives a firsthand tour of what happens when a community that chose money over love finds itself with neither.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Wonderful World of Fashion: A Book for Drawing, Creating and Dreaming

My Wonderful World of Fashion: A Book for Drawing, Creating and Dreaming--An interactive coloring book for fashionistas of all ages, My Wonderful World of Fashion is packed with beautiful and sophisticated illustrations specially created by the leading fashion-illustrator Nina Chakrabarti.

The book encourages creativity, with illustrations to color in and designs to finish off, as well as simple ideas for making and doing (how to make a sari, turn a napkin into a headscarf, dye a T-shirt, and so on). Covering clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry, and other accessories, the illustrations span both vintage fashions—drawing on beautiful and interesting objects from past ages—and contemporary designs from the illustrator's own imagination.

'Did you know...?' features that give brief historical notes encourage children to be inspired by history and by other cultures. A wonderful celebration of fashion, the book will appeal to fashion addicts from 8 years plus.

Note: This book was originally a UK edition so the cover image may vary.

The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays

The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays will act as a balm for the millions of people who face Christmastime with a mixture of dread and obligation. Whether it's the last-minute shopping, the unappealing office party, or the prospect of more than 24 hours with family, it's never easy. The anthology, which includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on these and many more related subjects, deflates the notion of the "perfect" holiday season, and allows the reader to commiserate and bask in the glow of a little dark, neurotic, and unflinchingly honest humor.

The star roster of contributors includes Jonathan Ames, Dave Barry, Robert Benchley, Charles Bukowski, Augusten Burroughs, Billy Collins, Greg Kotis, Lewis Lapham, Jay McInerney, Fiona Maazel, George Plimpton, David Rakoff, David Sedaris, Charles Simic, Hunter S. Thompson, James Thurber, Calvin Trillin, and John Waters.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Family Album

Family Album -- All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home. Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a real "old-fashioned family life." But beneath its postcard sheen, the picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison's inexplicable emotional outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years, Alison's adult children have protected her illusion of domestic perfection-but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth.

Penelope Lively's novels of history, memory, and character have earned her a loyal readership. Like Ian McEwan's Atonement, this novel is a measured, thoughtful look at how events of the past, both small and large, seen and unseen, deeply inform character and the present. Quietly provocative and disturbing, Family Album is a highly nuanced work that showcases a master of her craft.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Overnight Socialite

I can't wait for this one and have an advance reading copy coming my way. I loved "Because She Can" so I am pretty sure I will enjoy this one as much!

The Overnight Socialite Bridie Clark (Because She Can) moves the Pygmalion myth to Manhattan, adds a dash of Thelma and Louise and proves what goes around, comes around to those born to the manor or trailer park. Professor Higgins is recast as suave bachelor Wyatt Hayes IV, the sleekest lion in the pride, who picks down-on-her-luck fashion designer wannabe Lucy Jo Ellis to make over into the toast of the town. The deal is eventually struck—makeover and a shot at well-born fashion contacts for a gentleman's bet that masks a lucrative and career-saving book deal. Along the way, these perfectly matched antagonists battle mean-as-a-snake society snoots and their own misguided ambitions to find happiness and each other. (And, it should be said, the Rain in Spain remix is pretty great: The snow in Gstaad puts Aspen's to shame! the newly svelte and prepped Lucy proclaims.) Yes, of course the ending's no surprise, but the rollicking, smart-aleck fun along the way is worth the price of admission.

You can listen to a sample read by the author via Vanity Fair here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crossing Washington Square

Crossing Washington Square - A story of two strong-willed and passionate women who are compelled to unite their senses and sensibilities, from the author of The Professors' Wives' Club.

Professor Diana Monroe is a highly respected scholar of Sylvia Plath. Serious and aloof, she steadfastly keeps her mind on track. Professor Rachel Grey is young and impulsive, with a penchant for teaching relevant contemporary women's stories like Bridget Jones' Diary and The Devil Wears Prada, and for wearing her heart on her sleeve.

The two conflicting personalities meet head-to-heart when Carson McEvoy, a handsome and brilliant professor visiting from Harvard, sets his eyes on both women and creates even more tension between them. Now Diana and Rachel are slated to accompany an undergraduate trip to London, where an almost life-threatening experience with a student celebrity will force them to change their minds and heal their hearts...together.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vive la Vie

Vive la Vie -- With his unique talent for capturing emotions using lenses, colors and words, artist Francois-Marie Banier inspires both his subjects and viewers to conquerir le reve (conquer the dream). Vive la Vie is an intimate monograph resulting from a collaboration between Banier and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Based on a series of sessions arranged by von Furstenberg with model Natalia Vodianova, the images are layered with visual and emotional complexity. By combining his various skills--photography, painting and writing--into individual artworks, Francois-Marie Banier creates narratives that compel both the eye and the mind. Vodianova exposes her true, unmasked self, creating a blank canvas on which raw womanhood is revealed, far from the stereotypes of fashion photography.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Madeleine Vionnet

Madeleine Vionnet -- Famous for the "bias cut," Madeleine Vionnet’s sophisticated approach to couture remains a pervasive influence today. Eschewing artificial and restrictive padding and stiffening, she liberated the female form with designs that integrated movement and comfort into women’s fashion. She also championed unusual fabrics that were luxurious and sensual yet simple and modern—chiffon, silk, crêpe de chine, gabardine, and satin. Her most revolutionary creations—the handkerchief dress, cowl neck, and halter top—cling to and seamlessly move with the wearer. Vionnet’s principles of elegance, movement, architectural form, and timeless style continue to inform contemporary fashion. This lavishly illustrated book showcases Vionnet’s daringly original designs worn by 80 internationally famous models photographed especially for this book alongside original patterns and archival images by such icons as Horst and Steichen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Harry Benson Book

Immortalizing the people and moments that have defined the past 60 years, world-renowned photojournalist Harry Benson has becomes as much a part of history as the photographs themselves. The scope of his accomplishments as a photojournalist is nothing short of remarkable: he has photographed every US president since Eisenhower, as well as Robert F. Kennedy on the night he was assassinated, and Martin Luther King Jr. at his funeral; he has shot stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Greta Garbo, and Truman Capote; he covered both the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, the IRA hunger strikes, the Freedom March through Mississippi, the Watts riots, 9/11, and conflicts in Kuwait, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Israel, and the West Bank; and, on the eve of his eightieth birthday, Benson is still at it, crisscrossing the globe on assignment for Condé Nast.

The Harry Benson Book is a visual celebration of Benson's incomparable career. Organized into chapters on celebrity, art, fashion, sports, politics, and photojournalism, Harry Benson features a distinctive mix of iconic images alongside never-before-published photographs of Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Billy Graham, Bobby Fischer, Muhammad Ali, the Beatles, Sonny Liston, Chuck Berry, O.J. Simpson, Yogi Berra, Sophia Loren, Kate Moss, Gloria Swanson, James Brown, Fred Astaire, Johnny Carson, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Joseph Papp, R. Crumb, Andy Warhol, Liza Minelli, Barbra Streisand, Halston, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Diana Vreeland,and countless others. With incomparable access to the most elusive, alluring, and enduring legends of our time, Benson's magnum opus is unsurpassed masterpiece of contemporary photojournalism and portraiture.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lists for Life

Saw this in B&N a couple months ago and thumbed through it. You may think it is overly simplistic but it could be really useful especially if you get overwhelmed really easily!
Sometimes the toughest part of tackling life's to-dos is figuring out how to get started. In Lists for Life: The Essential Guide to Getting Organized and Tackling Tough To-Dos, Rory Tahari explains how to deal with each challenge one step at a time.

Filled with more than 100 manageable, easily customizable checklists, resources, and suggestions, Lists for Life offers must-have road maps for staying organized through life's biggest transitions and most stressful situations, including:

• Planning a wedding
• Buying a house
• Becoming a parent
• Raising children
• Traveling abroad
• Selling a car
• Preparing for a hospital stay
• Navigating through a divorce
• Planning a funeral
• Handling an emergency

An easy-to-use reference and handy companion, Lists for Life is the ultimate guide to breaking big moments into small, simple tasks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life

Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life - Charley Harper was an American original. For over six decades he painted colorful and graphic illustrations of nature, animals, insects and people alike, from his home studio in Cincinnati, Ohio until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 84. Renowned New York based designer Todd Oldham rediscovered Charley's work in 2001, and collaborated closely with him in the ensuing years; combing through his extensive archive to edit and design this stunning monograph. This coffee table tome is popularly priced, beautiful tribute to Charley Harper's singular style, which he referred to as Minimal Realism.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kids Books: The Silver Spoon for Children

The Silver Spoon, the best selling bible of Italian cooking, these delicious, authentic and simple recipes written for children were adapted and thoroughly tested by an expert in children's nutrition. Each recipe is explained through clear step-by-step instructions accompanied by specially-commissioned illustrations and photographs. The Silver Spoon for Children features well-balanced recipes made with wholesome ingredients that are designed to teach key kitchen skills and encourage a passion for good food. This book provides an ideal way to learn how to cook popular favorites like Margherita pizza and lasagna.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Seven Days in the Art World

Seven Days in the Art World - The hot, hip contemporary art world, argues sociologist Thornton, is a cluster of intermingling subcultures unified by the belief, whether genuine or feigned, that nothing is more important than the art itself. It is a conviction, she asserts, that has transformed contemporary art into a kind of alternative religion for atheists. Thornton, a contributor to and the New Yorker, presents an astute and often entertaining ethnography of this status-driven world. Each of the seven chapters is a keenly observed profile of that world's highest echelons: a Christie's auction, a crit session at the California Institute of the Arts and the Art Basel art fair. The chapter on auctions (where one auction-goer explains, [I]t's dangerous to wear Prada.... You might get caught in the same outfit as three members of Christie's staff) is one of the book's strongest; the author's conversations about the role of the art critic with Artforum editor-in-chief Tim Griffin and the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl are edifying. Thornton offers an elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions {via Publishers Weekly}.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kids Books: 65 Years of Little Golden Books

65 Years of Little Golden Books -- The books that have enchanted millions of children and accompanied countless bedtimes; now brand-new editions of your favorite Little Golden Books are in one must-give set: The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Tawny Scrawny Lion, Scuffy the Tugboat and The Shy Little Kitten. Hardcover books are 24 pages each; commemorative box case.

Friday, November 20, 2009

American Fashion Menswear

American Fashion Menswear - In the same series as the bestselling American Fashion and American Fashion Accessories, Assouline and the Council of Fashion Designers of America present American Fashion Menswear, the most authoritative and exciting book to date on the evolution of menswear in our country over the past century. From the outset, America was settled by individualists and adventurers who severed ties with the old world to find their destiny in an unknown land, a separation that opened the way for change in a less stratified society. To survive the challenges of a new environment, the American man needed garments that were functional and well-designed, qualities that continue to endure at the very heart of American menswear. From Levi Strauss to the Ivy League, lounge suits to Zoot suits, cowboys to counterculture, American Fashion Menswear celebrates the quintessentially American themes that are emulated throughout the world of fashion, as well as the designers and style icons who have made lasting contributions to the way men dress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Their love affair inspired their art.
Their art defined an era.

In 1913, at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the young couturiere Coco Chanel witnesses the birth of a musical revolution- one that, like her designs, rips down the artifice of the old regime and ushers in something profoundly modern. Seven years later, she invites Stravinsky and his family, now exiled from their Russian homeland, for a summer at her villa, and the powerful charge between them ignites into a deep love affair. As Stravinsky enjoys a new burst of creativity and Chanel brings forth her own revolutionary creation-the perfume Chanel No. 5-their love threatens to overtake work, family and life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gilded: How Newport Became America's Richest Resort

From the publisher: A beautifully written history of high society in Newport, Rhode Island, from the acclaimed author of Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Gilded -- Newport is the legendary and beautiful home of American aristocracy and the sheltered super-rich. Many of the country s most famous blueblood families—the closest thing we have to royalty—have lived and summered in Newport since the nineteenth century. The Astors, the Vanderbilts, Edith Wharton, JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Doris Duke, and Klaus and Sunny von Bulow are just a few of the many names who have called the city home. Gilded takes you along as you explore the fascinating heritage of the Newport elite, from its first colonists to the newest of its new millennium millionaires, showing the evolution of a city intent on living in its own world. Through a narrative filled with engrossing characters and lively tales of untold extravagance, Davis brings the resort to life and uncovers the difference between rich and Newport rich along the way. Written with insight and dramatic flair, Gilded gives you a rare peek into the cloistered coastal playground of America's moneyed elite.

If you're in New Jersey this evening, the author Deborah Davis will be signing copies of her new book, Gilded: at Swift-Morris Interiors November 18. Cocktails and festive fare will be served. 6-9 p.m., 1208 Washington St., Hoboken, 201.656.5684 {thanks to New Jersey Life Magazine for the listing via Twitter.}