06 November 2014

Style in Print: What I'm (Not) Reading Now, Stylish and Otherwise

I've been a reader as long as I can remember. As long as I can remember, I've had a mile-high stack of books next to my bed. Back in the day, I would finish every book I started. Every. One. Even if I hated it. I was That Girl who finished her whole summer reading list, even circling back to James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the night before school started and read all night, heavy as it was, to finish it. I took two books, at least, wherever I went, wherever I moved. Anna Karenina and The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson went to Austria, to the University of Maryland, to Germany...you get the picture.

Don't look now, but our room is CLEAN.

As I've gotten older, busier, and have different priorities, books are still my escape, but I don't finish them all. I still buy them almost indiscriminately - even more than fashion - intrigued by a title, an author, a subject. Since starting the blog way back in 2005, I've tried to read more fashion history and style perspective.

My favorite L.L. Bean Moon Beam alarm clock, which wakes me with flashing light before going to a classic bell, No.2's self-portrait, various "gifts" from the Beans, a lavender candle (I always have lavender by my bed. always) I think I found last year at Salt and Sundry, and a bookmark with Emily's line, "The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee. A clover, anytime, to him, is aristocracy." (Politics & Prose)

The stack is high, and the list is long. But just its mere presence is a stabilizing force for me, as comfortable and safe as my favorite riding boots and cozy grey scarf.

Here's what's next to my bed, hoping, hoping, hoping to be read. Just for kicks, books I've cracked and in which I've read at least a few lines? Italicized. Books I've actually finished? Ye Olde Asterik.

On their end, top left, a stack of Janet Evanovich novels*
The Awakening, Kate Chopin,* a favorite from that summer before senior year of high school, and subject of my college essays
Woolgathering, Patti Smith (yes, that Patti Smith)
Night Soldiers, Alan Furst, which someone on twitter recommended if you love spy and suspense, which I do
Insurrections of the Mind, 100 Years of Politics and Culture in America, edited by Franklin Foer, which I found through Brain Pickings' (go sign up for and support this amazing site, if you read - ever)
Atemschaukel, Herta Müller, the German version of the Nobel-Prize-Winning The Hunger Angel, built of absolutely arresting prose, and from which I was blessed to hear her read at the Library of Congress a few years ago
The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron, which I tried to start when Allie led this venture, and the Moleskine notebook I bought to do my daily writing
The Truth About Style, Stacy London, which she signed when she told me she loved my (faux) reptile dress (swooning still)
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life, Justine Picardie, a long-overdue tome I absolutely must get through by a wonderful fashion storyteller
Fashion is Spinach, Elizabeth Hawes, a seminal work for anyone who gives a you-know-what about Fashion with a Capital "F," recommended by "Ms. Spinach" Betsy Lowther, brains behind the blog of that name
A German notebook, unfindable here in the States, and way better than any notebook, even Moleskine
Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, for my odd obsession with Indian flavors
Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant, which is an homage to the power of the internet, bought almost solely because I "know" its editor, Olga Massov of Sassy Radish
Andrew Wyeth Looking Out, Looking In, the catalog from the National Gallery of Art's recent 60-work exhibition on this pivotal American artist. Also, I'm a homer.
To the right, on their end, an old daily notebook I bought when I started my current job, and a stack of German language classics I bought in the bargain bin in Vienna

In the basket, left to right
CLEAN, Alejandro Junger, MD, which led my first foray into clean eating over a year ago
The Asylum, Simon Doonan, who is one of the funniest voices in fashion
My Nook,* which I never thought I'd like, but I do. I keep less important works on it, things I'd probably give away down the road.
The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness,* for which I waited not-so-patiently, as I'm a sucker for vampires and smart, kickass heroines
Train Like a Mother, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, who host a podcast to which I've taken a liking on this newfound running hobby of mine
The Golden Calf, Helene Tursten,* a fast-paced Swedish mystery I found recommended on Politics & Prose's shelves
The Woman Who Died A Lot, Jasper Fforde,* from one of my absolute favorite authors, and smartest writers out there, the latest installment in the fantastical Thursday Next, "literary detective" series, which all literature lovers should read
My favorite cozy socks. I don't wear socks at home, 99.9% of the time, but when I do, it's one of two pair of L.L. Bean ragg socks (these are cotton, but I love wool ones, too). I have red and black.

There. That's at least part of my list, and a lot about me. What's on yours?

4 comments:

Miss Scarlet said...

My To Read pile is humungous. And quite varied, as well! Yay for reading!

DC Celine said...

Scarlet, what's at the top of your list? Anything style-related in there?

Ice Charades said...

If you don't mind the life-in-middle-school aspect, I've got to say "The Wonder" is a fascinating read.

DC Celine said...

Ice Charades, some of my favorite novels are "life in middle school." Will look it up!