Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On the Shelf...April's Reading List

Nothing can brighten my day like a trip to the bookstore.
Some of the goodies I picked up this month, can't wait to dig in!

"Celebrity model Inès de la Fressange shares the well-kept secrets of how Parisian women maintain effortless glamour and a timeless allure. Inès de la Fressange—France’s icon of chic—shares her personal tips for living with style and charm, gleaned from decades in the fashion industry. She offers specific pointers on how to dress like a Parisian, including how to mix affordable basics with high-fashion touches, and how to accessorize. Her step-by-step do’s and don’ts are accompanied by fashion photography, and the book is personalized with her charming drawings. Inès also shares how to bring Parisian chic into your home, and how to insert your signature style into any space—even the office." (editorial review)

"In her third novel, Sittenfeld offers a thinly veiled account (Wisconsin, not Texas) of the life of Laura Bush, in the story of Alice Lindgren, who marries Charlie Blackwell, the ne'er-do-well son of a political dynasty who becomes President. The early chapters, in which Sittenfeld depicts an innocent childhood and adolescence disrupted by tragedy, are the most compelling. As the book progresses to more recent and familiar events, she has difficulty enlivening the ins and outs of electioneering and policymaking. The object of Sittenfeld's fascination is the seeming incongruity between Alice's liberal sympathies and her bookish intellect and Charlie's conservative nature and general insouciance. Neither character is very likable—Alice weak-willed and martyrlike, Charlie unbearably self-centered—but the novel, Sittenfeld's most fully realized yet, artfully evokes the painful reverberations of the past." (The New York Times)

by William Kuhn

"In his prologue, Kuhn quotes John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s statement that his mother, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, was at the time of her death “surrounded by her friends and her family and her books.” Building on the theme that Jackie’s love of books and words helped define who this intensely private woman really was, he provides a biography of Jackie via the books she read and loved during the course of her richly complex personal life, and, more important, the books and authors she championed and nurtured as an editor in her professional life. The theme is an interesting one, though Kuhn perhaps takes it a bit too far, asserting that “her books are the autobiography she never wrote.” Hyperbole aside, analyzing Jackie’s editorial choices does provide a fascinating—albeit limited—glimpse into what moved her soul and motivated her choices. Voracious readers will relate to Jackie’s love of literature and appreciate this quasibiographical booklist." (Booklist)

My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness
by Gwyneth Paltrow

"Award-winning actress and mother of two, Paltrow pays posthumous tribute to her much-adored father who passed along to her a deep love and appreciation for good food. From an early age, she was his eager eating companion and developed a diverse palate that relished everything from egg creams to oysters to blue cheese. Their dining ventures morphed into joint cooking get-togethers where dad instilled the notion that a meal made for one's family is an expression of love. This is evident in the simple and mostly healthy recipes she shares, as prepared for family and friends, in this warm and inviting collection. Paltrow showcases a wealth of dishes, from soups to pastas to main courses and more. Highlights include fried rice with kale and scallions, sole à la grenobloise, and her mother's blueberry muffins. A helpful pantry section includes recipes for basics such as slow-roasted tomatoes and numerous types of stocks. While many recipes are vegetarian, Paltrow does include meat dishes, including cheesy stuffed burgers and cassoulet. Her chapter on side dishes is superb and appealing enough to take center stage, especially her sautéed greens with onions and soy sauce, maple-Dijon roasted winter vegetables, and crispy potato and garlic cakes. Filled with charming personal anecdotes, this book convinces that healthy food can be delicious as well as good for you—and that a father's passion can endure." (Publisher's Weekly)

The Beautiful and Damned (Vintage Classics)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Inspired in part by Fitzgerald's own tumultuous union with his wife, Zelda, The Beautiful and Damned chronicles the downfall of would-be Jazz Age aristocrats Anthony and Gloria Patch. The novel introduces us to the pleasure-seeking Anthony and his beautiful, vain, and shallow golden girl just after their marriage, when—believing a large inheritance to be imminent—they begin living well beyond their means. When the expected windfall is withheld, their lives are consumed by the pursuit of wealth and their alliance begins to disintegrate. Haunting and keenly observed, The Beautiful and Damned provides a vivid portrait of a lost world and the rootless and materialistic generation that inhabited it." (editorial review)

What are you reading this month?


DeeDee said...

The Beautiful and Damned sounds like great reading. I need to pick it up stat.

High Heeled Life said...

I can and have spent hours in bookstores ... I've just ordered Parisian Chic acouple days ago , can't wait for its arrival and to curl with a cup of tea and emerse myself within its pages.

Looks like spring is finally here ... enjoy the week-end.. xo HHL

bevy said...

Reading "The Pioneer Woman's" novel... can't remember the name. But I promise I AM reading it!!!

Pink Champagne said...

These all sound FABULOUS, my dear - must reads! Thanks for the recommendations! To the bookstore I go! XO

Cate said...

I'm so glad to hear that you still go to actual bookstores! They're so wonderful, aren't they? Also, it's great that you're reading American Wife, which I read last month and really loved. My current project is Sense and Sensibility, which I've never read before but am enjoying so far.