March 27, 2012
The delightfully engaging Matchbook Magazine (on-line and a MUST read) reliably fills its pages with charm and wit and inspiration and essential conversation-fillers every month. Fashion, decor, nostalgia, trivia, art and creativity, and entrepreneurism … if it existed in paper form it would be dog-eared, water warped, and have sueded pages from so much reading. There is often a List (see below) and always a May We Recommend feature with spot-on book, film and music suggestions. I read the issues on my laptop but I know there are many of you with fancy ipads and other E-readers who’d enjoy it in that format. As the calendar braces for a flip, get ready to savour an April issue soon I expect. Meanwhile, there is a healthy archive of past issues; I envy newcomers to Matchbook who can visit all those pages for the first time. Click on some of the back copies shown above or click here to get started: Matchbook Magazine
The Matchbook Girls – those who are the creative genius behind its existence – are big readers so you’ll find plenty of bookish charm throughout:
And how wonderful is this list?! How many have you knocked off (Nabokov?!)? (From the February 2012 edition – click to make larger) I adore that Heidi and Madame Bovary appear together. I’m finding myself assessing women characters in my reading as to whether they’d be considered a “Matchbook Girl” or not. Recently finished Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and believe Katey Kontent may just qualify.
Each month the issue begins with a description of The Matchbook Girl – this one from April 2011 is especially fun:
Matchbook Magazine feels like a Spring Day unto itself – hope you can make time to become acquainted as your Spring arrives.
For more on-line magazine reading visit an earlier post: Reading Magazines … on the web
And you may recall an earlier reference to Matchbook Girl in the post: Personal Manifestos
March 19, 2012
There are a gazillion style blogs on the web, and more appearing each day it seems. Some bloggers have charmed an extraordinary number of followers and are taking an additional step of collecting the best of the blog in book form. Advanced Style (shown above) is one of the latest to produce a book – in fact, it hasn’t even been released yet. Check the shelves for it on May 22nd, 2012. The focus is on Ladies and Gents who maintain striking style well into their “advanced” years. Some of the lovely, confident characters appearing in the blog remind me of Jenny Joseph’s wonderful poem: “Warning”
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
March 12, 2012
When it comes to furniture shopping I think I’d be content to buy but only bookshelves … apparently I’m not alone. Here is a poem by Robert Service and a quote from Anna Quindlen and a few images of lovely shelves to admire …
I keep collecting books I know
I’ll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never heed.
“Please make me,” says some wistful tome,
“A wee bit of yourself.”
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.
And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: “Why don’t you ease our strain?”
“some day,” I say, “I will.”
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.
Now, there’s my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;
To savour Swift I’ll never learn,
Montaigne I may not know.
On Bacon I will never sup,
For Shakespeare I’ve no time;
Because I’m busy making up
These jingly bits of rhyme.
Chekov is caviare to me,
While Stendhal makes me snore;
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,
And Balzac is a bore.
I have their books, I love their names,
And yet alas! they head,
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,
My Roster of Unread.
I think it would be very well
If I commit a crime,
And get put in a prison cell
And not allowed to rhyme;
Yet given all these worthy books
According to my need,
I now caress with loving looks,
But never, never read.
March 6, 2012
Taschen is a publisher known for colourful and beautiful books and magazines – mostly art, design, architecture, style, or artist themed. Beautifully photographed and designed travel books also appear in their repertoire and these little gems are indeed works of art unto themselves. Whether for real-life plans or vicarious travel, they happen to be quite practical too. In the decorative boxed edition above, you will find Four Cities (New York, London, Paris and Berlin) broken down into 3 volumes each focused on: Shopping, Restaurants and Hotels. Maps with hand painted illustrations, stunning photographs and detailed descriptions of must-see and memorable sites are throughout.
Another recently published Taschen travel adventure is The New York Times “36 Hours”: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada.
This would be another perfect travel planning companion – if no plans yet in motion, here’s the inspiration!
From the Publisher: “The NYT has been offering up dream weekends with practical itineraries in its popular weekly “36 Hours” column since 2002. Over the years, the column’s writers have brought careful research, insider’s knowledge, and a sense of fun to hundreds of cities and destinations, always with an eye to getting the most out of a short trip. Its photographers have gone along, capturing the images that tell more of the story.“
Excursions are illustrated with gorgeous photos and detailed itineraries – the off-the-beaten-track surprises are featured alongside the landmark tourist draws.
Both of these Taschen travel publications are worth adding to your “pretty book” collection or presenting as a gift to a special person.