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a week of wishes // for the bookworm…

What’s Christmas without a little bookshelf or coffee table candy?

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on the shelf // fashion bibles…

The swirling nature of inspiration has always fascinated me, watching trends migrate from fashion to interiors to design and literature and all the way back again. Colours, textures, themes, shapes and form all flow back and forth from one discipline to another, shifting and adapting along the way until they become something new and fresh.

I’m constantly on the look our for new avenues of inspiration, and am currently craving a big stack of coffee table books filled with some of the greatest artists of the last 100 years.

The endless black hole of resource that is the internet is one thing, but thick glossy pages, peace and quiet (and no email!) just can’t be beat…

Chanel: Collections and Creations // Tim Walker: Pictures //Lanvin // Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation // Tom Ford: Ten Years // Balenciaga // Harper’s Bazaar // Dior Joaillerie: The Beauty and Craftsmanship of Dior Fine Jewelry // Jewelry International Volume IV: 4

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on the shelf // to kindle, or not to kindle…

the view from the Santa Barbara Airbus

Over the last couple of months I have travelled from Devon >> London >> LA >> Santa Barbara >> LA >> London >> Devon >> London >> LA >> Santa Barbara >> LA >> London >> Devon >>.

That’s a lot of air miles, and a lot of airport/train station time, and in my case, that equals a hell of a lot of books and magazines. I can’t help it, I am the first to admit that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to printed matter, I hoard it like my mum hoards rubber bands. 

So it comes as no surprise that various friends along the way were amazed (as they hefted my lead-like suitcases from vehicle to vehicle) that I don’t have an iPad or Kindle. And when I look at the rather daunting stack of reading material that I was carrying around with me, I can kind of see their point. 

I’ve always had a bit of a longing for an iPad, but I can’t quite justify the expense (plus, how many Apple gadgets do I need? Really?) plus I know that I’m far too easily distracted to get any kind of quality reading done on one, I’d be clicking off on an interweb exploring adventure at the first opportunity. 

But a Kindle is different, and friends of mine who read on them absolutely swear by them. And now I see that you can buy a white one (the grey always looked a bit depressing to me)…I’m struggling to find a reason NOT to buy one…

And in case you were wondering which books I had been lugging around with me, they are, in no particular order…
And the magazines? Oh, that would be 2 x Vogue UK, 2 x Elle UK, Lula, Bon, TWELV, Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple Weddings, Nylon, Monocle, 2 x Vanity Fair, Brides, Grazia, I could go on… I really do need help!

Do you have a Kindle? Do you love it? Or will you forever be paper addict like me?

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{ on the shelf } all change…

I am currently reading these two books in tandem (despite Tim Ferris telling me that I shouldn’t read more than one non-fiction book at a time. I’ve never been on one for following ALL the rules ALL the time!)
And I have to tell you, my life has kind of been turned on it’s head, in the best possible way. 
One of my (many) step-sisters (the one who runs 2 successful businesses) told me to read The 4-Hour Work Week years ago, but I was far too busy doing ineffective things to read it. I guess it really is true that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. 
And I don’t think I could ask for 2 better teachers. Ken Robinson’s book has been a startling insight into why my childhood in general and education in particular were such a struggle in so many respects.
I love my father dearly, but when it comes to education (and subsequently,  intelligence), he’s old school. My sister has always impressed him with her academic abilities and achievements, maths and languages come easy to her and she sees the world clearly through her university educated eyes.  While I’ve frustrated and (in my heart) disappointed him with my unconventional approach, no university, currently on my 3rd and 4th careers at the same time. I see so much of myself in him that I’m consistently amazed by how little he understands me and what I do (and more importantly why I do it that way). My father, who is fiercely intelligent, always jokes that he doesn’t want to play Scrabble with me because I get upset when I lose. We laugh and gloss over the fact that he’s never beaten me. Ever.  
But to him, it’s my sister who is intelligent because she’s clever in the ‘right’ way. She wears a suit to work, does big deals in foreign countries and gets big bonuses because she works so hard. He understands this. This makes sense to him. I don’t. 
So, The Element is reminding me that where I am, and how I got here is actually OK, that I’m on the right path. It’s also helped me to realise that beating myself up for not being great at the business side of what I’m doing isn’t the answer. Which is where Tim Ferris comes in – why suffer the guilt and sweat it when you can just outsource it! And use all that precious free time to do more of the stuff you love. Errrrrrr… duh! 
I picked up The 4-Hour Work Week thinking “this is going to be a Marmite book” and I was right, although I teetered on the brink of hating it’s infomercial tone at the beginning, I am now making prolific notes, and putting lots of things into action the second I read about them! (I do sometimes pause and wonder if I’m being brainwashed!)
So, lots of change afoot here, and lots of news to come. Watch this space!
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{ on the shelf } colour me happy…

…side by side at the bookshop. Love the colours, and intrigued by a Flavour Thesaurus.
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{ on the shelf } like Pooh & Rabbit …

{ pic via here }
I am stuck, and I need your help.
I’m in a reading rut, the last two books I read were re-reads, Mapp & Lucia by E.F.Benson and Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson (I loves me some 30’s comedy!)
But now I need something new, something fresh, something to get my juices going. What would you recommend?

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{ notes on style } cover to cover…

I went through a phase a few years ago where I read a LOT of F.Scott Fitzgerald.
I wish I had had this t-shirt to round out my mini obsession…
From the fabulous Out of Print who produce a collection of t-shirts featuring the designs of book covers, from the iconic to the obscure. 
All tees by Out of Print
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{ on the shelf } one day…

I’m a sucker for books. No point denying it. However broke I am, I can always justify a book, even at the expense of food. Or clothes.
This is where my friends snigger and say “yeah, OK, sure…”
But it’s true, given the hypothetical ultimatum, that I could only spend money on either clothes or books for the rest of my life I would choose books. I know that’s easy for someone with as many clothes as me to say, but it’s true none the less.
And like my music library and closet(s) my bookshelves reveal me to be a girl of many (indecisive?) faces. From Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy, to piles of Austen & Fitzgerald and from Herodtus’ The Histories (I’m a sucker for books read by characters in films, even ones this obscure!) to E.F. Benson’s Mapp & Lucia and just about everything in between, it’s clear that I’ll try most things.
My most recent book splurge was modest and very hurried, after dashing into Waterstones on Piccadilly for a particular book at god knows what time at night, I was just about to leave when in a flurry of impulse I grabbed 3 books from the ‘3 for 2’ table, swiped my card and jumped on the bus.
First up was One Day by David Nicholls. Having read (and very much enjoyed) Starter for Ten a few years ago, I was eager to get started. And so I did. And I didn’t stop until I was done. At which point, without giving too much away, I was absolutely exhausted. Drained. In pieces. It was brilliant. Read it. Read it NOW.
I’m onto the next in the bag,  The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan which, despite not being the soul shattering express train that was One Day,  is turning out to be delightful and is written in a style of prose that is as shimmering as it is menacing.
What are you reading? Anything you think might be missing from my shelves?
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{ on the shelf } to do…

…buy this book.
You’re kidding me? A book dedicated to one of my most enjoyable, frequent & compulsive pastimes – list making?? If ever a book was destined for my Amazon wishlist, it’s this one!
Spotted on Poppytalk.
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{ lust list } oh no…

…there’s more
I don’t even have one from the first series yet. My Amazon wishlist is overflowing with these beautiful clothbound books. There might also be one of these lurking in there…
I have a bit of a Penguin Books obsession, and it all started here…
One day I’ll have a deckchair, all of the mugs, and the pencils. I don’t need any more of the tea towels, I never do any dishes!
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