August 23, 2011
The days may be sunny and warm but in the next few weeks a chill will settle in the evenings and thoughts will lead to sweater weather again. An end of summer ritual for many is spending time with the September issues. Traditionally, the September issues of fashion magazines, appearing in mid-August, have the greatest sales and the most significant heft of the year. The record breaking edition was September 2007′s American Vogue magazine at some 840 pages, weighing in at over 5 pounds. Advertisers have been a bit harder to come by in recent years but Vogue’s 758 pages this year is still impressive. Understandably, the cover model is an important decision for these issues. September 2011 will see the following:
Vogue (US edition) – Kate Moss
In Style – Beyonce
Elle (US)– Gwyneth Paltrow
Harper’s Bazaar – Lea Michele
Vanity Fair – Jennifer Lopez
For entertaining insight into the behind the scenes development of not only a magazine, but one of these iconic issues, view The September Issue. This documentary follows Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, during the entire process. View the trailer here and then plan to hoist a big September issue onto your lap and snuggle up to watch the DVD on a cool late summer evening.
August 17, 2011
What could be better than snuggling up with a book in a cosy corner? How about cuddling up with a book in a cosy corner in a cool cottage, resort, or even castle, somewhere exotic with delicious meals provided? I’m swooning.
A variety of special reading-themed retreats have surfaced in the news lately and I’ve been eager to share the findings with you. While holidays are lovely and preparation usually involves drafting an ambitious reading list, I do hear those plans sometimes get pushed aside when other vacation-oriented activities vie for attention. The solution to this challenge? A Reading Retreat where reading is the sole pursuit … well with maybe a little wine drinking and book chatter – but only if one chooses. The locations can range from architecturally extreme homes in Suffolk to Italian or Bulgarian castles. My personal dream location? Full on charm on the West Coast of Scotland, lighthouse included.
The School of Life is a fascinating endeavour founded in 2008 and based in London, England. Its premise is to “offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well. The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently … from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – to tickle, exercise and expand your mind. You’ll meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.“
On staff are Bibliotherapists who interview clients in order to “prescribe” a personalized reading list. “Our bibliotherapists will meet you at The School of Life for an in-depth, one-on-one conversation about your reading history and interests. Over tea or strong coffee, you will be invited to share the particular area of concern or curiosity that you would like to address. Following the discussion, you will be given an immediate reading prescription. A longer list will be sent to you by email within the next few days.” And then … the Retreat comes into play. You may take your list on a Reading Weekend to one of several beautiful locations where reading and inspiration are the only items on the agenda. A partnership with Living Architecture provides access to some stunning home choices. They must be seen to be believed so click here to help imagine yourself there.
If you are interested in socializing a little along with your reading then there are School of Life retreats that cater to that too. My dreamy favourite (which I’ll share here if you promise not to tell toooooo many people!) is at Turnberry Wells in Scotland. Well known writers (like David Nicholls of One Day fame) are invited to facilitate conversations about writing and reading. Groups are kept to an intimate 18 members or so and while long walks and some visiting is fostered, quiet reading time is strongly encouraged. Count me in! For full details of the event, click here. Beware the swoon.
August 11, 2011
I introduced you to a few literary connections to airports a while ago (here) and since then have heard of a few updates to share with you.
First of all, the Live @YVR contest has progressed and the 80 Day Writer in Residence has been selected. I, for one, am impressed with his slick submission (see below) and look forward to tuning into his perspective – I have a feeling he is just the storyteller YVR had hoped for. Remember to tune in to Live@YVR to follow his reports.
Meanwhile, back at Heathrow … their Writer in Residence program continues to flourish and like Alain de Botton, the newest incumbent will likely entertain and enlighten. Tony Parsons is a popular writer (often considered one of the first Lad-Litters) with whom many of you are no doubt familiar.One of his best-loved novels is Man and Boy published in 1999.
Here is a glimpse of Mr. Parson’s Heathrow endeavour:
Spying this trend in airport story archiving, the National Post newspaper followed up with a little speculation about which Canadian literary icons it felt would be best suited to which airports across the country.
Here is the link to the article and their suggestions.
And just to further impress upon you that Airport stories are the trend of the moment – tune into your television this fall to see PanAm – a new series featuring a fictional foray into the world of flight attendants and pilots at Pan Am airlines in the early 60′s. Soapy I’m sure and reminiscent of that classic 70’s titillater “Coffee, Tea or Me”!