Book Review

Gift Ideas: Books + Mugs

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

I had the luxury of two uninterrupted hours in a bookstore yesterday, coffee in hand, holiday music playing throughout the store. Bliss! Browsing the bookstore is one of my favorite ways to relax and seek out inspiration. This trip was also for gifts since books make wonderful presents. Here are my latest favorites.*

holiday book recommendations 2014

Sarah Style, by Sarah Richardson. Everything she touches turns to gold, Sarah is flawless in her combination of color, pattern, and style. A great resource for all who seek a stylish home!

What I Know For Sure, Oprah Winfrey. An inspirational linen bound text filled with edited, revised, and condensed pearls of wisdom from the experiences and mind of one amazing entrepreneur.

The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt. Charming and cheeky, the crayons have penned letters suggesting why their owner should use them less, more, or differently. Blue and green are exhausted, and yellow and orange are in an argument over who is the better color for the sun. A children’s book you won’t tire of reading over and over again.

The Encyclopedia of Animals, David Alderton. A detailed profile of all the animals in the kingdom from big cats to reptiles, including beautiful illustrations and photographs, this is a fascinating and informative resource for both children and adults.

Smithsonian: Great Design, Philip Wilkinson. A wonderful coffee table book and resource for anyone who appreciates good design from the Ericsson telephone to the Cadillac to the Eames chair. Beautiful images paired with text that explains the history of the design and bio of the designer. 

The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz.  A lifestyle approach to nutrition, fitness, and caring for your body, it’s down to earth and motivating from a gal who walks the walk and has a beautiful physique to show for it. Surprisingly informative too.

Animal Architecture, Ingo Arndt. An up close look at the shelters, nests, shells, and habitats created by creatures in the living world. Beautiful!

The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond.  A history of the military’s highest honor with stories of the bravest acts of heroism, given context with the history of wars and battles of our nation.

The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, J W Ritnzler. For the Star Wars fan, this in depth tribute (and its companions for Star Wars and Return of the Jedi) are a detailed look at the making of the films, filled with rare photos, edited scripts, anecdotes, and challenges on the set. Nostalgic for all of us who grew up with these films.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. A World War II story of survival, this was Matt’s favorite book he read this year. The hero survives brutality and the trials of being a prisoner of war to surviving in a raft on the open ocean, starvation, and much more.

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I can’t think of anything better than a good read coupled with a hot beverage on a cold winter day, I love all of these mugs! I’ll take one of each please. :)

winter mugs

mr & mrs mugs / golden swirls / black and white stripes / 2 carat diamond ring / classic plaid / monogrammed mugs / snow leopard / somecards humor / winter birds set / ceramic sketch mugs

 

What books have you discovered this year that would make a great gift?

 

*amazon affiliate links

Summer Reads

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

We’ve had a few monsoons during our stay here in the Nevada desert when we have gathering clouds then sudden rainfall accompanied by thunder, lightening, and warm breezes. It’s wonderful since it breaks up the hot days and brings moisture from the skies, and so different for this lifelong California resident, I love them!

I brought with me in a box a stack of books for my month long stay here. One of my favorite things to do when it rains is read a great book with a subject or plotline that intrigues me, turning the pages while I listen to the water droplets fall to the ground, that combination is so comforting. Warm rain, a cup of tea, a great read, simple pleasures are the best. This summer I’ve completed these lovely books in between projects or while drifting off to sleep at night. 

nesting place coverThe Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith.  The Nester is famous for her mellow approach to decorating your home as you please, not rushing the process or being focused on perfection, and never apologizing for your home when it looks lived in.

The book endorses risk taking in decorating and is especially encouraging for renters who don’t feel permanently attached to their houses but still want it to feel like home. Find money saving strategies and tips on contentment true to Nester’s style, loved it!

 

cloudspotters guideThe Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney.  This book was a gift from a friend and I understand its appeal. Most people have memories that include cloud formations from moments spent looking up and reflecting on their shapes. Clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods and they’re classified by height and appearance.

They form into white puffy mounds and tufts in fair weather or thick and menacing when torrential storms are on the horizon. The book analyzes many more types and their historical associations with myths and legends, and also includes a healthy dose of physics (don’t worry, it’s explained very basic terms!). Read the book and you too will become a Cloudspotter.

  

imageMastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova.  The book spotlights Holmes’ powers of observation and reliance on intuition. The literary sleuth had extraordinary powers of deduction and the premise is that his methodical thinking and sharp perception are not out of reach for the rest of us.

It begins with an analysis of the "brain attic" (where we store our knowledge and experience) and how to avoid jumping to illogical conclusions. It offers ways through self knowledge and an engaged and motivated mind to think like the literary sleuth. I’m not a Holmes aficionado but I was intrigued by the content and did enjoy the book.

 

mrs hemingway coverMrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood. This novel tells the story of Earnest Hemingway’s four wives and from each one’s perspective. It begins in the sunny Mediterranean in the mid 1920s when Hemingway was on the verge of literary greatness and married to his first wife Hadley. It moves to Key West with his second wife Fife then on to war torn Paris with his third wife Martha. Mary was his fourth wife and was with him until his suicide in 1961.

The author acknowledges the book is not a true biography but rather a "work of imagination" however she does a wonderful job of giving an equal spotlight to the four strong yet sympathetic wives who all shared a weakness for the self centered and hot tempered author and alcoholic.   

These three are sitting on the nightstand and up next on my list of summer reads! Have you read them ?

all the light we cannot see

the hundred foot journey

longbourne

August always leaves me clinging to those few short weeks of summer that remain before it’s time for the kids to go back to school. What books are you enjoying this summer, I’d love to know! .

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