Summer is coming to an end, and soon a new season will be upon us. Whether you are in school, or haven’t attended class in thirty years, September evokes memories of freshly sharpened pencils and books waiting to be opened. It’s that time of year when you want to fuel-up on new insights, vivid imagery and explore the unknown. So it’s no surprise that I have books on the brain.
A few months ago, the fall book preview for 2015 was released by all the major publishing companies and I was lucky enough to get a sneak-peek of the coffee-table and culinary books. My personal favorites were from Phaidon – the dreamiest of all publishing companies. Their showroom was a book nerd’s dream, chock-full of over the top vibrancy and curious content. After two days visiting multiple publishers, I knew that I was in trouble – every extra penny earned was going towards the new fall line-up of books. Lots and lots of sexy books.
So without further ado, here is a round-up of the best coffee-table and culinary books for Fall 2015:
A gorgeous book looking back on the legendary fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, and the three decades she spent at Harper Bazaar. Written by her grandson, the book highlights the glory days of fashion and Vreeland’s monumental influence on the industry.
Who and what defines masculinity in the 21st century? Over the past ten years Fantastic Man magazine has been portraying the stylish modern man through iconic photography and witty editorial. This book celebrates a decade of cool with 69 of the world’s most influential and stylish men.
Daniel Ost is a magician in the floral industry. His works are not modest, nor will you find them on traditional tabletops. Ost constructs large-scale floral sculptures for some of the most prestigious residences, temples, exhibitions, and events in the world. The book will simply take your breath away. Comprised of 80 floral designs, paired with a descriptive essay that will take you through the wonderland of Ost’s mind.
Created by a panel of academics, curators and collectors from around the world, this book of 300 maps creatively pairs striking imagery, historical facts, culture and tradition. Throughout the book you will experience 5,000 years of cartographic drawings and the many reasons why humanity creates maps.
Art Deco was the beginning of the modern era. A sharp contrast of previous styles, Art Deco forever changed the landscape of design and culture. This gorgeous book takes readers through a comprehensive journey of art, fashion, film, architecture, and design during one of the greatest artistic movements of our time.
Anne Sage is a profound writer, blogger and stylist. Sage Living is her first book and it is a must-read! Beautiful interiors, intimate stories and a welcomed perspective on design and how it affects our lives. Sage Living is more than a pretty picture book, it’s a guide that “helps readers decorate for the lives they truly want.”
Emily Henderson is an interior stylist, TV host, and author based in LA. Known for her darling demeanor and commitment to approachable home design with a vintage kick, Henderson has become quite the style maven. In this book, she shares an easy ten step guide in “styling” any space. Decorating can takes months of planning, but styling only takes a few minutes. Enjoy trade secrets, over a 1,000 design ideas and 75 inspiring interiors.
“A quirky, photographic exploration of two beloved subjects: breakfast and dogs.” Food stylist, Natsuko Kuwahara, shares delicious breakfast recipes, tips and beautifully designed table arrangements. The catch? The book is 100 pages of beautifully styled food and Kippie…an incredibly well-trained dog that is fascinated with his owners work. A delightful book with a refreshing viewpoint on food and pets.
Another breathtaking, mouthwatering cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi. This time, Ottolenghi joins forces with Chef Ramael Scully and creates a book with an unusual fusion of Asian-inspired and Middle Eastern dishes. Exotic spices and wild pairings, this is definitely a book you want to add to your collection.
Chef Magnus Nilsson, the man behind the famous restaurant Faviken Magasinet, saw a great need for a geographical cookbook and one that was properly translated. So, he travelled throughout the Nordic region collecting recipes and photographing the magnificent people and landscape of the north. In this book, Nilsson explains (in a way that has never been done) Nordic heritage, ingredients and techniques that allow readers to recreate these recipes with ease. A beautiful combination of rich cuisine and culture featuring 700 recipes from Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenleand, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Everything you would ever want to know about tacos and more! Known as the ultimate taco guide, Tacopedia is a fun cookbook with 100 authentic Mexican recipes, vibrant photos, interesting stories, interviews, illustrations, maps and quirky infographics. Whether you love beautiful graphics or excellent Mexican food, this book will captivate any audience.
Who doesn’t love toast? Morning, noon, or night, savory or sweet, the possibilities are endless when it comes to toast. Award-winning food writer Raquel Pelzel features a delectable cookbook of 50 fresh-ingredient recipes on how to fix toast. Pelzel explains that toast is so much more than bread and butter, it’s a canvas of culinary opportunity. Toast is the cookbook you’ve likely been dreaming about.
It’s summer and all I can think about is throwing lots of parties with my dear friends. And when there is a party, there should always be dessert. The wonderful homemade, melt in your mouth, making memories kind of desserts.
All week I have been dreaming about fluffy cakes with fresh cream and fruit, ice cream swirling with berries, sorbets that make your mouth pucker and popsicles that bring reprieve from the hot sun. What is it about summer that has us craving for decadent sugary goodness? Maybe it’s the giggles that pair with each delicious bite. Or maybe, it’s the ease that drifts in after sharing sweet confections with a friend. Whatever the reason, it’s the season for sweets and sunshine. And I am pretty damn happy about it.
My favorite dessert books are Lomelino’s Cakes and Lomelino’s Ice Cream by Swedish dessert blogger Linda Lomelino. Her desserts are so good it’s almost absurd! The books are full of breathtakingly beautiful photos, easy to read recipes and delicious sweets that will have you singing from the rooftops. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further. Lomelino and her decadent desserts will take your ordinary day to something quite special.
” Learn step-by-step how to decorate with frosting, stack multiple layers, create perfect ganache, and make the most of seasonal ingredients. Be inspired to layer your cakes with fresh fruit, top with fresh flowers, slather with buttercreams, and even play with color, ombré style.”
“Lomelino’s Ice Cream is your guide to all things sweet, creamy, icy, indulgent, and homemade. Learn to make sinfully smooth ice creams, cool sorbets, and chunky-nutty-chocolaty frozen treats; not to mention ice-cream cakes, floats, sauces, meringues, and crumbles to top it all off.”
Mothers are our heroes – the ultimate champions who forge ahead without hesitation, fight battles that are not their own, sacrifice their personal needs so that we may flourish, and their love runs so deep it impossible to describe. These incredibly strong women give greatly every day. So, on May 10th, give the mom in your life a day of extra love and pampering. Make her breakfast in bed (don’t forget the dishes!), send her to the spa, or simply give her the day off. And most importantly, give her a gift that says “Thank You”. She’s definitely earned it.
For all the cheeky mama’s out there that live adventurously and break social rules, this book is for you. “For the awesomely daring women in our lives comes the perfect gift: a jewel of a book that collects vintage candid snapshots of women enjoying unconventional activities. There are women swigging booze out of a bottle, boxing, playing pick-up football, smoking, or shooting arrows or guns—incongruous and playful behavior, all the while often performed in lovely dresses.“
Beautiful book! “This book features 200 color photographs from decades past of moms showing us how it’s done. A perfect gift for mothers, daughters, and style mavens, My Mom, Style Icon is an entertaining celebration of the very first—and most important—style icon in a young woman’s life.”
A Ceri Hoover bag is likely what every mom would love to have toting around. The Juliana is the perfect balance of luxury and practicality. Defined as the market tote concept, chic delivery. Lined with interior zip pocket. Smooth black/camel or natural.
As a macaron snob, I can tell you that Utterly’s macarons are the real deal. Local pastry chef, Mayme Gretsch, has mastered this delightful Parisian dessert to pure perfection. The Earl Grey + Vanilla is my favorite, and I believe that’s what heaven must taste like. Hey Rooster General Store has partnered with Gretsch for Mother’s Day – order the delicious Mother’s Day Box online and pick-up at the shop.
5. Gold Organic-Shape Earrings by Anita Schmadtke Designs
Anita Schmadtke has introduced gold into her jewelry line. And the results are exquisite! The gold organic shape earrings are a definite show stopper that will have any woman swooning. You can also find Anita’s jewelry in East Nashville at Art & Invention or in Edgehill Village at Kore.
“The carnal sensuality of a voluptuous bunch of spices. In the trail of this oriental gourmand, mystery is tinted with eroticism that the mythical year of 1969 evokes without a blush.” I carried this perfume at Nest years ago, and I am still obsessed. The most decadent, sensual scent I have ever come across. It’s intoxicating. And if that doesn’t say enough, it also happens to be Angelina Jolie’s favorite scent as of late.
“The ultimate relaxing and renewing experience and it’s all for her.” Each box includes: Los Poblanos Fresh Lavender Lotion, Los Poblanos Lavender Honey Soap Bar, Los Poblanos La Rosa Soap Bar, Los Poblanos Lavender Salve, Los Poblanos Organic Bath Salts, Norden Hand Thrown Ceramic Soy Candle, Creative Women Hand Woven Bath Sheet and a Baudelaire Natural Sea Sponge.
It’s the little things that say I love you. “Hammered and heavenly.This necklace is a perfect reminder of the love you have for that special someone.A halo of gold dangling on a 22″ chain is the charm of this necklace.”
There is something so fulfilling about using your hands and creating something that you can wear. This is a great gift for someone wanting to learn how to knit. Inside each kit you will find 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino, a pair of birch knitting needles, a yarn needle for finishing and an Instruction Booklet.
Sometimes you need to stop, refresh your mind and start again. I often find myself ignoring all the signs of a much needed break. Instead of slowing down when I’m burned out, I tend to work harder. I often think “who has time to refresh?” Seriously, who has time? Somehow in my messed up brain, I’ve come to think that taking time for myself is a luxury not a necessity.
Obviously, my way of thinking is completely wrong (and if it’s not obvious, you should without a doubt continue reading). Not only is it wrong, it’s unhealthy and it’s counter-productive. If I burn out, I can’t give to my clients what they are paying me to do – to be an innovative, creative designer, excited about the challenge they set before me. When I get too close to the edge of burn out, my work becomes generic. Yes, I remain busy when my creative tank is low, but it’s a false sense of productivity. My work lacks inspiration, and I lose the ability to make quick and efficient decisions. In the long run, ignoring “myself” costs me a great deal.
Over this past year, I have been on the course to fixing my method of self-care and how to keep my creative tank full at all times. I have found that the solution is quite simple – take more time for myself and invest in daily inspiration. Most people, including myself, take time for ourselves on the weekends and on our annual week-long vacation. The rest of the year, we ignore all personal needs. We work harder and forget that we need more, to do more. Instead of tending to our needs, our solution is to drink more caffeine, take more pharmaceuticals, eat junk food, buy more stuff we don’t need, and zone out on TV because we lack the energy to do much else. It’s an ugly cycle.
So what does daily inspiration look like? For me, it’s slowing down for about an hour each day, turning off my electronics, and experiencing something new that feeds my senses. Depending on my mood, I will envelope myself in nature, art, or books. The idea is to stop the noise, and refresh the mind. To find inspiration and come back to the work day with fresh eyes.
Lately, I have been delving into design books that emphasize inspiration. From fashion to home décor to food, they are all about stimulating the mind through gorgeous photography. Below are the top new (and a few older) books that have me on an inspiration high. The details, color and innovation are quite stunning. One hour in any of these books and you’ll get the punch of inspiration you were likely needing.
“Discard everything that does not spark joy” – Marie Kondo
I’m currently reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and my mind is being blown. I’m only twenty pages in and I feel empowered to take on the organization beast. Anyone who knows me, knows I am always organizing and purging something. And therein lies the problem, I am ALWAYS organizing and purging. It’s like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, over and over, everyday for the rest of my life!
Last week I was starting to feel a bit insane about my cluttered house. I was desperately seeking a solution to get off the carousel ride. January and February are my slow months, so I am home a lot. On one hand, it’s wonderful and relaxing. On the other hand, it’s stressful. I have too much time to notice all the things I hate about my home. Specifically, the clutter parade. I didn’t have it within me to give it another go-around knowing that it was going to look the same a week later. So, I decided to give up and embrace the mess. That was, until this book unexpectedly fell into my lap.
So, how is this different from all the other organization books and articles? Well, I can’t tell you all the reasons since I am only a few pages in. But! I can tell you this, it’s not a “one step at a time” method. It’s a take the bull by the horns lifestyle change. The conventional wisdom found in most organization books are band-aids masking as the solution. They teach you to do a little at a time or go room by room, trapping you into a routine that never ends. Seriously, it never ends!
Marie Kondo believes in tidying up in one fell swoop. Yes, take your entire house and deal with it head on – all at once. The idea is that once you take this aggressive move, you’ll stop the never ending cycle and never revert to clutter again. Too good to be true? Well, we will see.