These are beautiful coffee table books through the pages of which we can vicariously travel to traditionally dreamy domains of Summer. Coffee Table Books are not easy on the wallet, unless you compare them to the cost of the tickets to travel, yet they are a wonderful way to savour beautiful photography and design. I have a healthy little collection focused on travel and design and art and I enjoy visiting the titles often. They are indeed “trippy”! I don’t put them on my coffee table, however, lest someone spill the coffee.

Summer to Summer: Houses by the Sea is a new one, being released today in fact. It features the stories and photos of a selection of gorgeous homes along the North East Coast of the United States. The area really is a mecca for stunning Summer home architecture. Even if you are lucky enough to visit the region, you can’t always get inside the homes – through these pages you can! “All we need to do is settle back, kick off our shoes, and let the sun-kissed pages of Summer to Summer wash over us.” (publisher)

Summertime is colourfully filled with images that represent the epitome of an ideal summer; 46 different photographers share places that are lodged in their summer memories. Evocative quotes and summery reflections by literary icons are sprinkled among the photographs and there is true sense of nostalgia throughout. Joanne Dugan, the editor of this lovely book, writes: “It turns out that my first summer love was not a person but a place.” Read a mood-setting excerpt here.

Summer Houses by the Sea: The Shingle Style focuses on perhaps the most iconic design of a traditional summer home. Shingled summer homes “are an expression of the romantic longing for the sea.” (publisher) While this one may be more of an architectural study than a seasonal celebration, its photographic pages will still give you a sense of summer days spent in some treasured historic homes as well as in some newer shingled havens. You’ll learn a little in this one but the dreamy summer journey will be there too.

 

I’d Rather Be Reading

December 6, 2018

I’d Rather be Reading. Wouldn’t we all?! “I’d Rather Be Reading – The Delights and Dilemmas of The Reading Life” is exactly what you should be reading. Though after reading “I’d Rather be Reading” I learned I should not be saying “should” – apparently that’s called being “Book Bossy”.  Made me laugh! I learned a few other terms that made me chuckle in recognition. In fact, the entire little book resonated with me on every level.

Besides being a charming personal memoir, this read felt just like sitting down for a chat over tea with a friend (a “book twin” apparently) who shares the same giddy delight in all things bookish. There’s happy chatter on topics like the joy of witnessing your children embrace reading, the process of choosing what to read next, books arriving at opportune times of life, managing library due dates, what to keep on your shelf, what not, and how to rein in the whole collection …  She even devotes a chapter to the secret fantasy of having a bookshop that so many readers harbour. It’s not a “how-to” though, it’s more of a gentle “isn’t-it-funny-how-we …?” Anne Bogel seemed to have special access to all my inner thoughts on what books have meant and do mean to me. I’m pretty sure you will all feel the same personal connection.

The book itself is simply beautiful – a lovely addition to any bedside for certain. Not much bigger than a large postcard and as pretty as one. 156 pages and I promise you’ll savour every one. This is such a perfect little gift for a fellow reader but be sure you buy yourself a copy too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel with Taschen

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.

Happy trails!

In Stitches

April 18, 2011

It may be a bit unfair to introduce something so wonderful yet isn’t available until October (2011) but these Penguin Threads editions by artist Jillian Tamaki are so spring-like and pretty that a sunny day like today seemed a good time to share. Mention of Penguin books may well bring to your mind those Creamsicle orange covers of the classics, dog-eared and tea stained from your high school or university Literature classes but things have changed; Penguin is now responsible for some of the most creative and beautiful books available on the shelf. This particular series within the Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions features not only three long adored stories but also the impressive artistic talent of Jillian Tamaki. Each cover in the series is embossed to highlight the texture of the artist’s original needlework. Be sure to visit Jillian’s website here where you can learn more about her and see her at work on the stitching with her colourful threads.  

 

Each book is paperbound with French Flaps – those nice crisp paperback editions which include tucked in flaps with information about the story, the author and often reviews just like we enjoy with a hardcover edition.  Individually, or as a special grouping, they will bring a little pizazz to your bookshelf or your gift giving. Move over boring old-fashioned textbook Penguins, there are some new threads in town.

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