Thursday, February 9, 2012

New books!

How much do you love new books? Am I a nerd for asking that? I love love looove new books. Mmmm... SO much. I treated myself to some great new picks, and loved them, so I thought I'd share. These are the books currently in heavy rotation on my lap, on my counter, in my tub, and on my nightstand...

Shhh... don't tell, but I'm giving these two to Evelyn for Valentine's day.

"Just being Audrey" is the very sweet story of Audrey Hepburn and her journey from gangly ballerina, to war survivor, to Broadway star, movie star, mom, and humanitarian. It's just a very lovely, very Audrey, little book.

"Different Like Coco" is such a great, inspiring little bio on Coco Chanel- and beautifully simplified for children. Both of these books highlight the advantages of being different and how to embrace your quirks. Also they're both illustrated so well, and perfectly intriguing and informative for little readers- but I've honestly enjoyed reading them too.

"Chicken & Egg" is one woman's journey from food stylist and egg lover, to backyard chicken keeper. The story follows the relationship she develops with her three hens, and includes tips, recipes, and great facts- all chicken related. While there's nothing in your face about this book, it still tells a great story of food provenance. Having raised chickens myself, I harbor no secret wishes to raise backyard birds again anytime soon- but I've loved reading and re-reading this book, and pausing to think deeper about our relationships with food and the animals providing it. Beautiful book.

"My Lady Scandalous- The Amazing Life & Outrageous Times of Grace Dalrymple Elliott" Phew! Huge title... If you know me, you know that I have an unhealthy preoccupation with the French Revolution, and all things relative. There's just something about the monarchy, the poverty and excess, the uprising, the insanity, and the recovery... I can't think of a more intriguing subject. Anyway, this book is the story of a royal courtesan who survived the revolution (just barely), and her unique perspective on the period. Very unique, as the list of people with any monarchial involvement in France during the revolution, whom managed to escape the guillotine with their head intact- is nearly non-existant. Her first-hand account of the royal family, the prisons, the river of blood through the streets... wow. Major page-turner.

"Murakami Versaille" Yes, this is just another extension of my crazy French Revolution obsession... but in a really amazing/modern art sort of way. This book is particularly special to me because Jeff and I actually saw this exhibit in person. Seeing Takashi Murakami's work in person, at Versaille, was without question, one of the most incredible and monumental experiences of my life. Seriously. I've been a huge Murakami fan for so long, and only seen his work in person twice before. And this was my very first visit to the Versaille Palace. Needless to say, it felt like this installation was tailor-made for me. Anyway, the book... This book is a stunning, and comprehensive feature of the entire collection. I really hate all that composition/juxtaposition/duality art speak mumbo-jumbo that goes along with major exhibitions like this, but I can't think of a more appropriate way to explain Murakami's work in the Palace, the fountains, and gardens of Versailles. Japanese Pop Sculpture craziness-meets 16th Century opulence. Plastic and glossy-meets historic and distressed. It was mind-blowing. So yeah... special book.

Super special. 

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