Books I Love

On The Nightstand

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

I still read all my books in print and haven’t made the switch over to a Nook or Kindle yet.  I pick them up at the bookstore or purchase them online – the good ones I keep for the bookshelf, the so-so ones I end up donating.  I do most of my reading before bedtime since it helps me relax, but I’m always reading 5 or 6 books at a time.  Sometimes I’ll read a good one start to finish, more often I’ll set it down and start another subject, is that strange?  Here’s what’s on my nightstand this month.

on my nightstand


I’m preparing in advance for a return trip to Paris next year by filling my mind with related stories of the City of Light, so forgive me but three, yes three of the books on my nightstand have the city of Paris as a main character.   

Paris versus New York by Vahram Muratyan.   A happy book of illustrations and contradictions between the two iconic cities, comparing what we eat, where we go, how we greet, what we do, and even offering observations as whimsical as a comparison between park squirrels. This is a great conversational coffee table book, you can see more examples at the ParisVNYC blog

Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas.  This is the story of a Francophile who got offered a job in Paris, so she moves and undertakes a journey in blissful pursuit of the best things to eat in the City, with a focus on sweets from macarons to éclairs to decadent chocolate truffles.  So far I’m thoroughly enjoying it even though it makes me really hungry. 

Paris in Love by Eloisa James.  I haven’t cracked this one open yet  and I really look forward to it.  It’s a diary of a year spent in Paris told by a professor who sells her house, takes a sabbatical, and lives with her family for a year in Paris, France.  

Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by MIndy Kaling.   I like the show ‘The Office’ and she’s one of the writers and actors on the show.  I’ve read from some other people that this book is quirky and funny, so I added it to my stash, but have yet to read it.  Have you?  Thoughts?

Nerve by Taylor Clark.  I’m halfway through this one and it’s so interesting.  It’s an  exploration into the science of fear and how to channel it, deal with it, thrive under the pressure of nervousness.  It explores why athletes either excel or choke under pressure and decodes the mysteries of performance anxiety.  The book shares ways to accept uncertainty, to embrace what scares you or makes you anxious, so far it’s pretty great.     

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry.  I just finished this book last week after reading it over the course of a few months.  Its focus is on the dynamic behind true creative work and the author shares his ingredients for being "sustainably brilliant" while offering strategies for staying inspired.  I especially loved the concluding remarks about "how you define greatness defines you" – it’s a great read for someone in a creative field.

Secrets of Sommeliers by Rajat Parr and Jordan MacKay.  Wine tasting is a continuing education and for those who want to learn, this book teaches the fundamentals.  It is also a varietal guide to wine.  Inside, the authors share tools of the trade for buying and storing wine, tips for food pairing, and gives a few reasons why travel to wine producing countries and regions rewards you with an advanced palate.  I really like the tips for buyers from the experts’ perspective. 

Home Design by Sabrina Soto.  Sabrina is a HGTV host, currently of the show The High Low Project and I’ve always liked her gregarious personality and quick style tips. I’ve only skimmed it so far but it starts with how to understand your space and find your personal style.  It addresses a lot of basics like color palettes and selecting surfaces.  There are no over the top designer spaces, it’s more practical and simple ideas for everyday living with tips on decluttering and organizing.  So far it looks like a good book for those starting out wanting to do their own cosmetic remodeling and redecorating.      

What’s on your nightstand this summer? 

Any good reads you’re loving that you would recommend?  


** Movie themed Link Party postponed… will announce the new date soon!



Thanksgiving Menu + Giveaway

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Hi all, happy Friday to you!  I was on the phone with my sister yesterday planning our Thanksgiving feast and informed that for the first time in our family’s history of feasts, my brother-in-law has plans to deep fry our turkey this year. This is new to me having grown up on an oven roasted bird, but from what I’ve heard (thanks to plenty of tweets yesterday to reassure me) deep fried turkey is excellent. I’m intrigued and looking forward to it, but just might roast up another smaller bird for old times sake.

The big feast is less than three weeks away, and we’re busily assigning who’s cooking what. It’s just not Thanksgiving without turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie which requires my attire include my most stretchy pants on that day. (I can’t be alone in that.)

thanksgiving menu 1

menu template via must have menus

So let’s talk about food.  A gorgeous keepsake cookbook arrived in my mailbox last week celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Do you watch the Parade every year?  We always have it on while we prep the feast (yet another T day tradition).

Read the rest of this entry »