My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

18 August 2015

My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college—and not without trepidation—she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.

After a series of dues-paying jobs that seemed only to reinforce her outsider status, Kate’s hard work and willingness to take on any assignment paid off: Her writing and intrepid forays into la France Profonde—true France—caught the eye of John Fairchild, the mercurial fashion arbiter and publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, the industry’s bible. Kate’s earliest assignments—investigating the mineral water preferred by high society, chasing after a costumed band of wild boar hunters through the forests of Brittany—were a rough apprenticeship, but she was rewarded for her efforts and was initiated into the elite ranks of Mr. Fairchild’s trusted few who sat beside him in the front row and at private previews in the ateliers of the gods of French fashion. From a woozy yet mesmerizing Yves Saint Laurent and the mischievous and commanding Karl Lagerfeld to the riotous, brilliant young guns who were rewriting all the rules—Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano—Betts gives us a view of what it was like to be an American girl, learning about herself, falling in love, and finding her tribe.

Kate Betts’s captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France—from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris where she learned to dance Le Rock, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée—and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she’s meant to be.

Available to Order from www.Amazon.com

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Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

12 August 2015

Circling the Sun Book Paula McLain The Paris Wife

Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.

Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.

Available to Order Now from Amazon.com

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 1783-1787 by Winston Graham

27 July 2015

Poldark Ross Poldark by Winston Graham Poldark Novels Winston Graham

The enthralling first book behind Poldark, the major new TV series from Masterpiece on PBS…

In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth-believing Ross to be dead-is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.

Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.

Available to Order Now from Amazon.com

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Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

10 July 2015

Sargent Portraits of Artists and Friends The Met Museum John Singer Sargent

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends  . . . a must see summer exhibition at The Met in New York. Launched at the end of last month, it will be on view until October 4.

Throughout his career, the celebrated American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) created portraits of artists, writers, actors, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. Because these works were rarely commissioned, he was free to create images that were more radical than those he made for paying clients. He often posed these sitters informally—in the act of painting, singing, or performing, for example. Together, the portraits constitute a group of experimental paintings and drawings—some of them highly charged, others sensual, and some of them intimate, witty, or idiosyncratic. The exhibition Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, which opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 30, brings together about 90 of these distinctive portraits, including numerous loans from private collections. It will also explore in depth the friendships between Sargent and those who posed for him as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art.

The exhibition catalogue is available to order online from Amazon.com – click here.

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The Bar on the Seine by Georges Simenon

02 July 2015

Georges Simenon The Two-Penny Bar. Georges Simenon The Bar on the Seine - Georges Simenon Inspector Maigret

The iconic Inspector Maigret novels by Georges Simenon have recently been re-released by Penguin. Previously published as The Bar on the Seine a revised translation of the text is now being called The Two-Penny Bar, currently Available to Order from Amazon.com.

“A forgotten crime comes to light in the Parisian summer in Georges Simenon’s twisted tale. Book eleven in the new Penguin Maigret series.’A radiant late afternoon. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank . . . there are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down the street, the trams and cars all seem to exist in a fairy tale.’ A story told by a condemned man leads Maigret to a bar by the Seine and into the sleazy underside of respectable Parisian life. In the oppressive heat of summer, a forgotten crime comes to light.”

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The Rocks by Peter Nichols

24 June 2015

The-Rocks-Peter-Nichols

Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, catastrophic event that drove two honeymooners apart so suddenly and absolutely in 1948 that they never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years? And how did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their (unrelated) children decades later? Centered around a popular seaside resort club and its community, The Rocks is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to unravel what really happened decades earlier.

Peter Nichols writes with a pervading, soulful wisdom and self-knowing humor, and captures perfectly this world of glamorous, complicated, misbehaving types with all their sophisticated flaws and genuine longing. The result is a bittersweet, intelligent, and romantic novel about how powerful the perceived truth can be—as a bond, and as a barrier—even if it’s not really the whole story; and how one misunderstanding can echo irreparably through decades. Available to Order Now from www.Amazon.com.

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Luxurious Minimalism: Elegant Interiors by Fritz Von Der Schulenburg

22 June 2015

Luxurious Minimalism Elegant Interiors by Fritz Von Der Schulenburg

An unsurpassed collection of the most inspiring minimalist interiors in the world. Minimalism has a richness, texture, and creativity that continues to inspire designers to create a wide range of looks, from minimalist luxury to luxurious minimalism. From rough luxe to stripped down modernist formality to an almost empire-style minimalism, this collection of beautiful photographs showcases breathtaking interiors from around the world that combine a sense of grandeur and drama shaped and inflected by minimalism. Whatever the location, period, or architectural style, all the rooms featured here share a sense of proportion, balance, and minimalist elegance.

The range of interiors and properties include a New York penthouse where the minimalist interiors highlight incredible views; a Colorado lodge in a dramatic mountain setting; a Loire Valley château; a traditional country house in Litchfield; a Fire Island beach house; a recently renovated baroque palace in Sweden; private estates in California and Vermont, and much more. Nine special sections feature statements from specially conducted interviews with the world’s most celebrated interior designers. Complete with an address book of useful contact details, this is an inspiring volume that celebrates the enormous range of possibilities of minimalism in the grand style. Available to Order Now from www.Amazon.com.

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Surf Contest: Photographs by Ron Church

03 June 2015

Surf Contest Book Surf Contest by Ron Church

While surfers may look more relaxed than most and may even be more relaxed, they are not exempt from the human desire to go higher, farther and faster. As the members of the developing surfing world of the early 1960s found themselves striving to surpass one another and looking to quantify their most accomplished riders, the first surf contests were organized. These loosely arranged affairs had, as Shirley Richards (Ron Church’s former wife) recently remembered, silk-screened T-shirts as their prizes. Pretty innocent stuff.

At 27, as Church strode forcefully into this arena, he had already accomplished a great deal, first as a jet, test photographer, then as an up-and-coming (and ultimately much-awarded) underwater photographer. In his ongoing quest for new material, he brought to surfing a headful of new ideas, camera angles and lighting techniques–at the very moment these earliest contests arose, at the moment that surfing, which had been considered a somewhat off-center activity, began to organize itself and enter the mainstream.

Although Church only actively photographed surfing and its surrounding lifestyle for a few short years, he was there at the beginning of its transformation into something big, and as viewers will see, his documentation of its first contests–which were at once mundane and heroic–brought surf photography to another level. All but a few of these images are previously unpublished. Available to Order Now from www.Amazon.com.

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Pavlovsk: The Life of a Russian Palace by Suzanne Massie

01 May 2015

Pavlovsk The Life of a Russian Palace by Suzanne Massie

The story begins in the late 18th Century court of St Catherine the Great, where the land was bequeathed to her son, who was later assassinated. Subsequent generations added their own hand to the growth of the palace – all of them working with the best architects and artisans of their day. The saga sweeps the reader through the Revolution, when the palace was narrowly saved from rampaging Red Guards by a group of art lovers – only to fall a few years later into the hands of the Nazis – through the heroic siege of Leningrad to the eventual miraculous restoration by a group of Russian museum workers and artists. Available to Order Now from Amazon.com.

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Always Pack a Party Dress by Amanda Brooks

29 April 2015

Amanda Brooks Book Always Pack a Party Dress

In the past twenty years Brooks has created a unique place for herself in the fashion world. She spent the early years of her career as a photo assistant for Patrick Demarchelier, a “gallerina” at the Gagosian Gallery, and at various fashion posts before finding her dream job as fashion director for Barney’s New York. Along the way—and wearing more than a few of the outfits we’ve all regretted at one point or another—Brooks discovered the key to creating her personal style, combining influences as wide-ranging as childhood prep school, Grateful Dead concerts, contemporary artists, pop culture, and her current home outside of the fashion bubble, a well-worn farmhouse she shares with her family (and a host of animals) in the English countryside.

In Always Pack a Party Dress, Brooks recalls her early career aspirations and explores the evolution of her own personal style along with stories of successes and failures alike, as well as fashion and beauty tips and inspiring photographs. A must-read for high fashion or street style aficionados, and gorgeously produced gift book, Brooks’ shares her expertise and insider view with warm, candid and often witty prose. Available to Order Now from www.Amazon.com.

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