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.