The other day I was sitting at work about to go on my dinner break and thought ‘I don’t have any books to read’. I love spending my dinner breaks doing some light reading not only to rescue me for an hour but also to get me through the next 4-5 hours at work.
Here are some neat spring book ideas to get you through the next few months as we move towards the summer.
Girls in White Dresses: Jennifer Close (Random House $19.95 CAD)
This is the perfect paperback book to pop into your purse or book bag to travel to and from work, school or a summer job. It’s an easy read and I really like that Jenn Close doesn’t create insipid and lame-o female characters. Indeed a bit girly but nevertheless cute and mindless read when you need a mindless read to skim your eyes over.
Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working a dead-end job, Mary is dating a nice guy with an awful mother, and Lauren is waitressing at a midtown bar and wondering why she’s attracted to the sleazy bartender.
With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering years of early adulthood as she pulls us inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.
Instant Iron-Ons: Julia Rothman (Chronicle Books $14.95 US)
Featuring houses, bicycles, and quirky alphabets, these playful iron-on decals make distinctive statements on T-shirts, tote bags, tea towels, and more.
I like this wee book. These days, t-shirts at the Gap, H&M or even Old Navy are losing quality and everyone in your hood seems to have the same o’l same o’l look going on. I like the idea of going to American Apparel and buying some neat quality tee’s, plain skirts or cotton scarves and doing my own lil iron – on project. A lil funky but also badass is always of the time for me. I heart all of the iron-on’s in this book – my fav’s have to be the ghetto blaster, French bicylettes and ice cream cones. The overall vibe of the book is very old school 1970’s New York Vintage. It’s worth a look.
The Tools: Phil Stutz and Barry Michels (Random House $29.95 CAD)
I’m a Youth Worker by day and blogger by night. I encourage a therapeutic approach with my clients while at the same time demonstrate practical and realistic thought as they work on their core issues. I always like reading honest and straight up books that hit the ground running when it comes to trying new techniques towards a positive change. The Tools is not only an easy but a fascinating read. I read this book on my lunch breaks – it really gives a boost to my work.
The Tools addresses the most common complaint patients have about psychotherapy: the interminable wait for change to begin. Barry Michels, an LA-based therapist, was frustrated by his inability to bring his patients faster relief from the issues that plagued them. He found a mentor in Phil Stutz, a psychiatrist who years before devised a methodology that arose from a similar disenchantment. The traditional therapeutic model sets its sights on the past, but Stutz and Michels employ an arsenal of tools–exercises that access the power of the unconscious and effectively meet the most persistent problems people face–and the results are electrifying. Stutz and Michels are much sought-after–a recent profile in The New Yorker touted them as an “open secret” in Hollywood–and treat a high-powered and creative clientele. Their first work, The Tools transcends the typical self-help genre because of its paradigm-changing material, the credibility of its authors, and the instant appeal and empowerment of its message.
Katrina Onstad: Everybody Has Everything (Random House $22.99 CAD)
It’s funny a few weeks ago I was hanging with my sister’s as we celebrated our Mom on Mother’s Day. My sister who is mother to my niece and nephew mentioned to me that she would put the kids in my other sibling’s custody if anything happened to her or her ex-husband. It was a simple statement but man it rocked me. I remember thinking, ‘Um, I live in a 1 +1 condo and this girl likes not to come home some nights. How do I take care of two kids?’. Yep.
‘Everybody Has Everything ‘ is about what happens when the tidy, prosperous life of an urban couple is turned inside out by a tragedy with unexpected consequences? After a car crash leaves their friend Marcus dead and his wife Sarah in a coma, Ana and James are shocked to discover that they have become the legal guardians of a 2½-year-old, Finn. Finn’s crash-landing in their lives throws into high relief deeply rooted, and sometimes long-hidden, truths about themselves, both individually and as a couple. Several chaotic, poignant, and life-changing weeks as a most unusual family give rise to an often unasked question: Can everyone be a parent?
The Petite Advantage Diet: Jim Karas (Harper Collins $25.99 CAD)
I saw this chap, Jim Karas on Marilyn ‘Fish Face’ Denis a few months back. I really liked what he said about this book and educating us ladies under 5’4 who are aging and hitting a different metabolic stage in our lives. This book encourages us to get educated when it comes to nutrition, exercise and lifestyle to stay trim and healthy. An easy and investment read ladies.
Just as an aside it also was an easy ready and gave some amazing info on the chemistry and science of losing weight. The exercises I will say were not cool. They pretty much all required the use of a band. I’m sorry I don’t have a home gym to fasten a band to. I would have prefered toning exercises utilizing my body weight.
Very Fond of Food: A Year In Recipes: Sophie Dahl (Random House $34.00 CAD)
Remember when Sophie Dahl used to be a more voluptuous model on episodes of Fashion Television? Well I guess she gave in to the dominant discourse.
Bestselling author Sophie Dahl offers up 100 wholesome recipes for health-minded home cooks who yearn for a bit of indulgence in her gorgeous second cookbook. Favoring natural sweeteners, minimal meat, and abundant produce, these dishes satisfy yet never feel ascetic. Recipes ranging from Roasted Pumpkin with Sautéed Greens and Toasted Cumin Dressing to Rhubarb Rice Pudding are organized seasonally, and the book finishes with a full chapter of luscious desserts. But the recipes are only part of the story–Sophie’s food-filled memories and musings on the good life make this a book to treasure for its charms as much as for its advice in the kitchen.
Very Fond of Food will enchant the eye with evocative photography and whimsical drawings; inspire the mind with witty recollections on family, travel, and romance; and captivate the palate with recipes that comfort body and soul. Sophie Dahl invites you into a delightful world where every meal is a story, and there’s always an excuse for cake.
Anna Sui: Andrew Bolton (Chronicle Books $60.00 USD)
I used to watch Fashion Television religiously as a teen growing up in Rexdale. Man, watching the likes of Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs and Todd Oldham not only influenced my style sense as a teen they also challenged me to be an independent fashion trend setter in my world.
Watching Anna, Todd and Marc translate grunge street fashion into a posh and designer brand fascinated and also irritated me. What was wrong with my $6 plaid shirt that I bought from Bargain Harold’s?
Anna Sui’s trendsetting rock-and-roll looks have made her one of this decade’s top five fashion icons (Time). Here, in the first book to cover the entire scope of Sui’s twenty-year career, fans get rare access to the designer’s creative process. This richly visual retrospective celebrates her influence; from her first show that snared the support of supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Kate Moss to the role she’s played in making the baby doll dress one of fashion’s most iconic silhouettes. With more than 400 photographs from legendary photographers, this exquisite shimmering foil-stamped cover is essential for all fashionistas.
That said this book is more than a coffee table book. Indeed it is heavy and beautifully written and photographed but it’s nice to see from beginning to end how Anna out her looks together back in the day. Now that Betsey Johnson is off the block – watching an icon like Anna continue to carry a brand in this fickle fashion landscape is something to be celebrated as she stayed not only true to her fans but herself.