ON THE SHELF (02/2013)

How does Lily while away the hours during a dreadfully dreary month like February you ask? Between warming up with anything that sniffs of comfort food and keeping an eye on a particular groundhog for some good news, I have a stack of books just begging me to light a fire, mix a cocktail and curl up with!
Don't forget to enter our giveaway for the book of your choice from our reading list at the bottom of the post!

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men
Yes, Mad Men is coming back for a 6th season but for any of us who can't possibly wait another couple of months to immerse ourselves in the ways of Don Draper and the rest of the SCDP gang, this cookbook/cocktail guide written by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin might just give us a taste of the retro medicine we need!
"Ever wish you could mix an Old Fashioned just the way Don Draper likes it? Or prepare Oysters Rockefeller and a martini the way they did fifty years ago at one of Roger Sterling’s favorite haunts, The Grand Central Oyster Bar? Ever wonder how Joan Harris manages to prepare a perfect crown roast in her tiny apartment kitchen? Or about the connection between Jackie Kennedy’s 1962 White House tour and Betty Draper’s Valentine’s Day room service order?
The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook serves up more than 70 recipes to satisfy a Mad Men appetite! From the tables of Manhattan’s most legendary restaurants and bars to the Drapers’ Around the World dinner, this book is your entrée to the culinary world of Man Men-era New York."
(from Smart Pop)

Chanel Bonfire
Often it's a book cover that catches my eye and draws me forth, which is exactly what happened with this gripping memoir from the super talented Wendy Lawless. And while the outside first drew me in, it was the inside, the often heart wrenching inside that chronicles Wendy's young life with Carol Brady's alter-ego, that kept me reading until I was done!
"Georgann Rea didn’t bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She went through men like Kleenex, and didn’t like dogs or children. Georgann had the ice queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and the cold heart to match.
In “a searing memoir that reads like a novel”, Wendy Lawless deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts, while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world. Chanel Bonfire depicts a childhood blazed through the refined aeries of the Dakota and the swinging town houses of London, while the girls’ beautiful but damned mother desperately searches for glamour and fulfillment. Ultimately, Wendy and her sister must choose between living their own lives and being their mother’s warden—the hardest, most painful, yet most important decision each of them will ever make."
(excerpt from Gallery Books)

Royal Style: A History of Aristocratic Fashion Icons
The Duchess of Cambridge has made a name for herself in the modern style game but there were royals that came before the former Miss Middleton who were known as sartorial stars of their time and this book gives us a glimpse at aristocratic fashion plates from mid-century Monaco to the Middle East and the Middle Ages.
"From Louis XIV, a shoe aficionado of the Baroque Age, to the latest club-hopping progeny of the British royalty, this colorful survey of aristocratic fashion through the ages will delight royal watchers of every generation. The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton helped reclaim the fashion credibility of Britain's royal family, ushering in a generation of hip but genial personalities that appeal to every age and station. But royals have been setting fashion trends for centuries. This fascinating overview of aristocratic icons reaches back to the middle age, and from Europe to the Middle East, to profile the most renowned promoters of elegance and style ever to don their empires' crowns. Author and royals watcher Luise Wackerl juxtaposes the fifteenth-century Duke of Burgundy's penchant for black with Elizabeth I's taste for virginal white. She presents history's first "It Girls": Marie Antoinette, Louisa of Prussia, Empresses Sisi of Austria and Eugenie of France. She relates how Queen Victoria's sorrow and propriety transformed her country, and how an impeccably styled American's love for Edward VIII upended the British monarchy. From the irreproachably elegant styles of Grace Kelly to Lady Diana, Jordan's Queen Rania to Princess Letizia of Spain we move on to the newest icons, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, whose faces and party antics grace the tabloids on a weekly basis. Hundreds of photos and a lively text make this irresistible reading for anyone interested in fashion, royalty, and the lively intersection of both worlds."
(excerpt from Prestel Publishing)

Sometimes the only way we can get through the trials of motherhood is to know we are not alone and this book promises to be a laughter-induced look at real life with kids on board!
"If you don’t have anything nice to say about motherhood, then… read this book. Robin O’Bryant offers a no holds barred look at the day to day life of being a mother to three, running a household and the everyday monotony of parenting. It’s not always pretty but it’s real. Whether she's stuffing cabbage in her bra… dealing with defiant yet determined daughters… yelling at the F.B.I... or explaining the birds and the bees to her preschooler… you’re sure to find dozens of humorous and relatable situations. From the creator of Robin's Chicks, one of the South’s most popular blogs on motherhood, misunderstandings and musings, comes a collection of essays that will not only make you laugh and cry, but realize that you’re not alone in your journey. Sit back and relax, pour yourself some “mommy juice,” throw a fresh diaper on your baby and deadbolt the bedroom door to keep your kids out… because once you start reading you'll be too busy wiping away tears of laughter to wipe anybody's butt."
(from Greenforge Books)

On my never-ending quest to learn the secrets of the chic French and how they manage to achieve that elusive 'joie de vivre', you could say that I have read a book or two on the subject but this one stands out head and shoulders, all thanks to the images found within its pages. Blown away by the fab photos, this book has made its way onto my coffee table, as gorgeous to look at as it is to read!
"In 1999, Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and pear orchards, and planting an olive grove of more than two thousand trees. In My French Life, Vicki shares an insider?s view of life in France? from its landscapes, delicious food, and scents to its charming people. And she offers an intimate portrait of what it?s like to adopt a new home on the other side of the globe. It?s a personal tale of taking risks, facing challenges, and the joyous experience of falling in love with all things French."
(from Studio)

After reading Chanel Bonfire, you would think I'd had enough of neglectful mothers and turbulent childhoods but last week when I was spending a quiet afternoon tucked into a fav corner at my local library, I happened to overhear a cluster of book clubbers eagerly discussing how much they all loved the book they had just finished. How could I resist another peak at 'Mommie Dearest', southern style!
(ed. note - after picking up the book, I realized that there was a prequel titled Me & Emma and would recommend getting started with that as it will enhance the reading experience ten-fold.)
"Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name. When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warm-hearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families’ secrets—and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever."
(from Ballantine Books)

Now onto our giveaway!
We will be giving away one book from this months reading list to a lucky winner.
Our winner will be randomly chosen from all the submitted entries and the winner will receive the book of their choice from the featured books on February's Reads (see above for reading list) 
*Please leave a comment for each entry*

How to enter:
1. Leave a comment below telling us what is on your reading list this month or which book you would pick from the February's Reads list.
2. Become a GFC follower of this blog and leave a comment for one entry. (Find Google Friend Connect in the right sidebar. If you are already a follower, mention it in your comment to be counted as an entry)
3. 'Like' us on Facebook and leave a comment for one entry.
4. 'Follow' us on Twitter and leave a comment for one entry.

Contest ends on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
Good luck!



  1. Currently reading 365 Dalai Lama, Daily Advice from the Heart and Quiet by Susan Cain

    I'd choose the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. It would be fun to create recipes from the 60s.

    Thanks for the fun giveaway.

  2. Already follow your blog via GFC

  3. Long-time follower/ liker on FB.

  4. Yep. Follow you on Twitter, too.

  5. Royal Style is on my reading list, after I finish "The Receptionist"–at your recommendation!

  6. I'm reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter & loving it! When I'm done, I'll have to read some of your suggestions here. My husband would love the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook so I will have to check that out.

    always, koru kate

  7. I follow on GFC and I am currently reading The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and would LOVE to read My French Life by Vicki Archer.

    The Mad Men book sounds like a fun romp...I must check that one out.
    Thank you for hosting a giveaway this month!
    February can be rather ho hum...

  8. Oh the Royal Style looks soo soo good.

  9. Already a follower here! I'd love My French Life or the Mad Men Cookbook. Currently reading The Whole Hog Cookbook by Libby Summers and plannng all those summer grilling menus!

  10. Thank you for your generous giveaway... how lovely to be included in such a wonderful selection of books...

    Please let me know who wins and I would be so happy to send you a note to enclose with My French Life... xv

  11. I would pick My French Life.

  12. Oh, Royal Style, Royal Style. I can never get enough...

    Thank you, Kathleen


  13. I'm currently reading The Kitchen House and Cloud Atlas is next on my list. I could really use the Ketchup is a Vegetable book right now though.... mommy drama! Could use a good motherhood laugh!

  14. I like you on Facebook (Southern Living: Preppy Style)

  15. I'm a twitter follower @SLPreppy.
    LOVE a good book!! Thank you for hosting!

  16. Fabulous reading collection you have gathered!!! These all sound perfect for the below (way below) zero temps we have been getting. Thanks for hosting such a fabulous giveaway...xo HHL

  17. I also enjoy (follow) you on twitter.

  18. A generous giveaway you are hosting! I recently purchased 'Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart'... love it.
    xoxo, B

  19. Hey Howdy Hello,
    Am a happy follower of LLT.
    Am reading Te of Piglet right now in
    the gloom of February in Chicago.
    Would love to sparkle up my reading
    with Royal Style. Grace Kelly was
    so aristocratic.

  20. I have 'Royal Style' on my amazon shopping list, but I don't know enough to decide I need to buy it, so that would be my pick.

  21. New email follower lomazowr@gmail.comLoved CHANEL BONFIRE.things my sister told me would be great.gfc followerm.Lomazow. will follow @twitter @rhondareads &will tweet

  22. I would like to read Chanel Bonfire. jtretin at aol dot com

  23. I didn't know there was a mad men cookbook!!!!! I'm soooo getting it!!!