Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Goddess Guide

I saw The Goddess Guide at W.H. Smith Bookstore in Paris. Thought it looked sort of interesting. I think I have another book by this author or maybe have just read articles authored by her.

With Gisèle Scanlon's chic and sophisticated guide, every woman can perfect her divine. In The Goddess Guide, she shares the secrets of living an unforgettable and desirable life, garnered from her own experiences and insight as well as those from a throng of fashion houses and celebrities, including Dolce & Gabbana, Laura Mercier, top New York trainer David Kirsch, and award-winning Chef Heston Blumenthal. Discover such secrets as:

Finding the perfect bra
Make-up bag essentials
Closet cleaning the eBay way
Caring for fine cashmere
The best vintage shops around the world
Essential discount websites, seasonal trends, and a body shape guide
Tips for a clutter-free home, and much more

Want to know why the soles of Christian Luoboutin's beautiful shoes are always crimson red? Ever wondered what Britartist Tracey Emin collects? Going to London, Paris, New York and need to know what prefumes, trinkets and treats to try out and bring home so that you can relive your trip and share the world with your family and friends? Perhaps you have a room to decorate and want to put up - and customize - a wall that will give you a daily feelgood feeling? Still searching for the best - fitting jeans, the snuggliest duvet, that awesome movie to watch while you work at home on a day off of work or fancy buying a neat piece of street art?

Not only does The Goddess Guide, written by worldwide coolhunter Gisèle Scanlon contain all of the answers to the previous questions, but it's also beautiful to hold and own. The cover is a collection of Gisèle's favourite things experienced in her travels put together in a lush velvet rich flock by her photographer coolhunting partner. Inside this eclectic homemade handbook is another beautiful visual treat, each chapter heading has been embroidered by the Queen of England's embroiderery house and each page is completely original and individually scrapbooked and handmade with layers of illustration, photography and exquisite tips. The Goddess Guide also contains handwritten letters from cool industry insiders as varied as Nylon magazine editor Marvin Scott Jarrett and New York fashion designer Narciso Rodriquez.

From getting the perfect Hollywood smile from world renowned experts Marc Lowenburg and Gregg Lituchy in New York to booking the best hotel bed and seeing Christian Louboutin's Paris to obtaining those perfectly sculpted arms, The Goddess Guide has it all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Cultivated Life

The Cultivated Life -- The stroke of his brush is almost as sharp as his wit, but the result is always playful and droll. Jean-Philippe Delhomme is a prolific name in the world of illustration and often described as the Parisian answer to the smart cartoons that appear in the New Yorker. His instantly recognizable style is world-renowned in a range of media—from chic television ads for Saab to the boutique campaigns for Barneys and fashion advertising. The Cultivated Life, the first-ever English compilation of Delhomme’s work, is a celebration of his gently satiric musings of "first-world" problems. Drawing from the trials and tribulations of the contemporary lifestyle—the design addict cautiously circling the latest modern furniture piece in an upscale boutique, or finding the perfect outfit to convey one’s current philosophy—Delhomme chicly illustrates the humor in all that surrounds him. This monograph includes over 100 illustrations and an insightful essay about Delhomme’s work.

Jean-Philippe Delhomme is one of my favorite illustrators of all time. I was so excited to see this book because I have a collection of all the postcards and ads he did for Barneys NY.

Note to Self

Note to Self: 30 Women on Hardship, Humiliation, Heartbreak, and Overcoming It All -- Life rarely works out exactly as we plan. Rejection by a cherished friend, the onset of an unexpected illness, struggle with body image and self-perception -- these experiences may challenge us, but our triumphs come to define us. We find comfort, joy, tears, and laughter in the wisdom, insight, and empathy we gain.

In Note to Self, thirty dynamic women share their inspirational stories with writer, director, and television and film producer Andrea Buchanan. Celebrities such as Grammy Award-winning rock star Sheryl Crow and Emmy Award-winning actress Camryn Manheim join stuntwoman Stacy Courtney, football player Katie Hnida, seventy- year-old HIV-positive grandmother Beverly London, and alcoholic-turned-interventionist Candy Finnigan to reflect on their unforgettable stories of redemption. Punctuated by tears and laughter, these poignant tales are full of incredible strength, invaluable knowledge, insurmountable odds, helpful survival instincts, amazing willpower, humiliation -- sometimes on a national level -- and a hefty dose of humor.

These unstoppable women emerged stronger, wiser, and more successful from the often painful and humbling turning points in their lives. While none of their unique stories will fit neatly on a sticky note you can tape to your wall, each of them carries an indelible message that can.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to Live in Flip-Flops

How to Live in Flip-Flops - sounds great to me, now if only I could find a job or get paid to sit at the beach and live in flip flops!

In How to Live in Flip-Flops, Sandy Gingras helps readers forget the complicated in favor of the simple, wonderful things in life. Gingras's delightful watercolors and poetic prose showcase the benefits of slowing down and finding happiness in the things that really matter. Whether or not you're at the beach, everyone can relate to the laid-back easiness that comes with living in flip-flops. Includes charming maxims such as: Lose the uncomfortable shoes, be thankful, smell like a coconut and go slowly to see the little things.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Like I Give a Frock

Like I Give a Frock: Fashion Forecasts and Meaningless Misguidance -- Wonder when a baguette became a bag and not just a hunk of bread? (Fendi, 1998.) Or when it became acceptable to wear a tracksuit to the supermarket? (It didn't.) Fishnets at work? How to conceal the misfortune of the cankle? Fashion forecaster Michi answers all. In this stylish primer, she tells it like it is: No one looks good in mustard, unless you’re a hot dog. Matching whimsy with brutal honesty, Like I Give a Frock packs fashion illustration and musings into the prettiest package around. Kat Macleod's stunning collages bring Michi's wisdom to life.

Michi has an e-mail newsletter forecasting the latest in fashion. She is the creation of Chloe Quigley and Daniel Pollock, who live in Australia.Kat Macleod's illustrations have appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and others. She lives in Australia.

The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund

The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund -- In the gilded age of a few months ago, hedge fund managers were the kings of ka-ching. Of course, now they're not, and there's a sparky frisson to Momzilla author Kargman's lively chronicle of a queen of ka-ching who ditches her hedge fund manager hubby. Hedge-fund wife Holly Talbott, 34, has forgone Botox and boob jobs and considers herself more J. Crew than J. Mendel. She also thinks she has a happy marriage despite her ferocious mother-in-law and the cattiness of keeping up with the yummy mummies of her son's schoolmates. But once she and best friend Kiki discover her husband's cheating ways, the knives come out: among other things, the tough pre-nup makes divorcing the ultra-rich hedgie trickier than she expects. Dating isn't much easier, but readers will know to hold out for the glowing happy ever after. Effervescent Holly's romp through wealthy Manhattan is a gleeful little bonbon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story

I read an article about this book in Vogue a couple of months ago and meant to add it here on the blog. Who else loved her on Law & Order SVU??? Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story --Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life -- a handsome, intelligent, loving husband; two glorious toddlers; a beautiful house; the time and place to express all her ebullience and affection and optimism. Suddenly, that life was over. Her husband, Josiah, announced that he was leaving her and their two young sons.

When Josiah took a teaching job at a Midwestern college, Isabel and their sons moved with him from New York City to Ohio, where Isabel taught acting, threw herself into the college community, and delighted in the less-scheduled lives of toddlers raised away from the city. But within a few months, the marriage was over. The life Isabel had made crumbled. "Happens every day," said a friend.

Far from a self-pitying diatribe, Happens Every Day reads like an intimate conversation between friends. Gillies has written a dizzyingly candid, compulsively readable, ultimately redemptive story about love, marriage, family, heartbreak, and the unexpected turns of a life. On the one hand, reading this book is like watching a train wreck. On the other hand, as Gillies herself says, it is about trying to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, and loving your life even if it has slipped away. Hers is a remarkable new voice -- instinctive, funny, and irresistible.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Reunion: A Novel -- Therese Fowler’s captivating new novel will resonate with every woman who has wondered what if—as a heartfelt drama of buried secrets and daring passion unfolds.

Celebrity talk show host Blue Reynolds is the queen of daytime television—she is smart, funny, and as down-to-earth as her adoring fans. In the eyes of the world, she has it all. But no one knows about the secret she has harbored for the last twenty years—a secret that could destroy her image, her reputation, and her career. Twenty years ago, she gave birth to a son and put him up for adoption through illegal channels. And every day since, she’s been filled with regret. Now Blue has hired a private investigator to find her son, knowing full well the consequences.

A week in Key West to do her show on location brings Blue a much-needed change of pace—and an unexpected reunion with an old flame, Mitch Forrester. Helping him launch a television series may help her recapture the kind of genuine romance and affection long missing from her life. But it also means having to deal with Mitch’s disapproving son, Julian, who is only nine years younger than Blue. Emotionally battered from his years as a war photographer in the world’s most dangerous hotspots, Julian struggles to get close to his father while making his disdain for Blue crystal clear—which makes his desire for her all the more shocking.

As serendipity and scandal collide, Therese Fowler’s passionate, illuminating novel takes a dramatic turn deep into our own hearts, as the healing power of love—family love, romantic love, and self-love—transforms pain and regrets into promises and second chances.


Serendipity: A Novel -- Louise Shaffer brings to life three generations of Italian American women in this stunning novel of surprises, secrets, and serendipity.A child of theatrical royalty, Carrie Manning is having a hard time getting her own act together. Thirty-seven, aimless, and having just buried a famous mother she never understood, she is desperate to uncover her family’s mysterious past in the hopes that it will help her understand herself.Carrie’s search reveals the fascinating life stories of her estranged grandmother Lu, a glamorous Broadway star whose dreams came with a price; her great grandmother Mifalda, who gave up everything to come to America as a sixteen-year-old Italian bride; and her father, Bobby, the charismatic Broadway genius who wrote some of Lu’s greatest musicals and died tragically young. At the heart of Carrie’s discoveries lies the reason for her mother’s complicated life, and a dark secret that has been buried for thirty years.

Fashionista: A Century of Style Icons

Fashionista: A Century of Style Icons

From Amazon: Instead of focusing on the designers that have made their marks in the past decades, this original and inspiring portrayal of style icons features the unforgettable faces and bodies that helped propel designers into the limelight over the years. Organized by timeless style sensibilities that reflect distinctive fashion identities, the book features a wide array of fashion icons, including sophisticates such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn, it-girls like Edie Sedgewick and Chloe Sevigny, bombshells like Marylin Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, and eccentrics like Bjork and Grace Jones. Each fashion icon is given her own generous two-page spread. Beautiful photographs illustrate how the subject personifies a certain quality of style, and fascinating texts discuss her influence and unique contributions to the world of fashion. This engaging and endlessly appealing celebration of style will please fashionistas of all ages and tastes.

SIMONE WERLE is a freelance fashion journalist based in Munich, whose articles have appeared in many publications, including InStyle and Elle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Birthday Present

The Birthday Present: A Novel

From Booklist via Amazon -- Vine, the pen name of Ruth Rendell (whose Reginald Wexford mysteries are among the best of contemporary British procedurals), turns in another involving stand-alone that explores the twists and turns of human behavior. Flipping between the perspectives of two unacquainted narrators, she chronicles the rise and fall of a self-indulgent British politician, whose career collapses, in part, because of a tragic stroke of bad luck. Ivor Tesham, a rising star in John Major’s liberal party, is shocked when he learns about the death of his mistress, killed in a car accident while on her way to him, bound and blindfolded, as the willing victim of a faux kidnapping meant to set the stage for a birthday gift of adventurous sex. Fearing public censure, Tesham stays quiet, despite the advice from his sister and brother-in-law. As might be expected, his selfish decision gradually ripples outward, leading to unexpected consequences not only for himself but also for the other vicitims of the accident—especially the woman’s troubled friend. As with her other psychological thrillers, Vine writes with calm elegance, slowly unravelling the story while constructing a strong sense of place, politics, and social class to support her players. It’s the very ordinariness of her characters and the randomness of their lives that create the drama here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

High Society

High Society: The History of America's Upper Class
Not really sure how well-received this book will be considering the current state of the world but this is definitely Assouline's bread and butter sort of title. You can read more by clicking the link above.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

French Milk

French Milk --For her 22nd birthday—and her mother's 50th—Lucy Knisley and her mother went to Paris. For more than a month, they toured the City of Lights from their fifth arrondissement flat, exploring museums and cafes, taking photographs, eating pastries and drinking French milk, which Knisley says is sweeter than its American counterpart; she compares it with the influence we take in from our mothers. Knisley's first book is unquestionably a travel journal first and foremost: Lucy-the-writer is so close to Lucy-the-subject that at times the story lacks background and emotional complexity. But as a travel journal French Milk shines. Knisley's photographs from the trip punctuate sketches of her daily adventures and musings about graduating from art school, first love and having an adult relationship with her mother. Best of all are Knisley's portraits of home at the beginning and end of the book, which capture her childhood home and college life lovingly but with clear eyes. Knisley's cartoony drawings are pleasingly clean in one panel and tellingly detailed in the next. A word-of-mouth hit when it first came out in a self-published limited edition, French Milk will remind readers of their own early trips to Europe and of traveling in their 20s.

French Women Don't Sleep Alone

Saw French Women Don't Sleep Alone in Barnes & Noble and it gave me a chuckle. Not sure what it's all about but it looks entertaining and I may have to pick it up. This was even BEFORE I ended my engagement & booked myself a ticket to the City of Lights. Fate!