Monday, December 19, 2011

hitting the books in 2012

With 2011 coming to an end (what?!) I thought it would be cool to make a list of books I want to read in 2012. In college, I really fell into a rut with reading. I would read maybe one book over summer or Christmas break. Now that I've been out for a year or so, I'm getting back into my literary groove.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling

I've expressed my love for Mindy Kaling before. I've even included her hilarious book in a gift guide. I've been meaning to go out and get Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) for a while now. So imagine my glee when one of my little sister's friends gave it to my little sister as a birthday gift! I'm not allowed to take it to my apartment, but I'm already well into it. I swear Mindy Kaling is like my spirit animal and this book reflects her personality perfectly. It's intuitive, sweet and I've already laughed out loud reading it. It's such an easy read, I'll definitely be done with it before 2012 but I love it so much, it's making the list, anyways.

Bubbly on Your Budget
Marjorie Hillis

Bubbly on Your Budget was originally published in 1937 by Vogue editor Marjorie Hillis. I love that these tips for living elegantly and well, but within your means, are still relevant today. One of the pieces of advice inside is "create a capsule wardrobe," which I think is genius. I always think of my wardrobe in its entirety, and I love that I can now say it's economical! Another? Go out to eat for brunch, instead of dinner. I've got that one down already, too! The book includes beautiful, vintage illustrations and is just generally lovely and enjoyable.

Mrs. Kennedy
Barbara Leaming

I've read other books on Jackie Onassis, but I'm really excited about this one. My friend Elena texted me the other day asking if I'd read it because she wanted someone to talk to about it. That's always the sign of a good book. According to Elena the book is almost sad, describing The Kennedy's marriage and J.F.K.'s presidency. Her exact text was actually "JFK was an a-hole." Gotta love the self-censored text messages. I think it's interesting to look back on this era with a little less of a sense of nostalgia than is normally applied. And I can't learn enough about the classic, renowned first lady.

The Hungover Cookbook
Milton Crawford

Even the cover of this book is witty and helpful. I've always said I'm dyslexic when I'm hungover. I can't believe I didn't know that was a common symptom! The book breaks down hangovers into six categories: the Broken Compass, the Sewing Machine, the Comet, the Atomic, the Cement Mixer and the Gremlin Boogie. Each one illicits different foods as a remedy. These recipes are conveniently provided. It also includes stories, tests (like one to make sure you're not still drunk), and, because laughter is the best medicine, jokes (I'm good, I know). I'll have to read this when I'm sober and remember the advice, though. If I can't read the cover of the book, there's no way I'll get through 128 pages.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
Deborah Needleman

Deborah Needleman works for Domino Magazine, so you know she's got great taste. The book uses watercolor illustrations to show how to make a beautiful, comfortable living space. Learning how to decorate and live on my own has been a work in progress. The easy, obvious thing to do isn't always the most aesthetically pleasing option. This book goes as basic as the best position for rugs, and how high beds should be. The focus is on decorating your home, not recreating pictures from magazines.

100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know 
Cindi Leive

I've been searching for a cook book that would be right for me. What I need is a basis to build my culinary arsenal on top of. This Glamour book seems to fit the bill. I love this idea. Even better is it includes "Engagement Chicken," the infamous recipe that a Glamour editor passed down to an employee and has apparently been credited with hundreds of proposals. I'm not looking for a ring, but I am looking for some great chicken.

The Paris Wife
Paula McLain

The Paris Wife is about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley. It has all the makings to be a book that I will love. First of all, it takes place in Paris (and Chicago, but mostly... Paris). And it's not just Paris, it's Jazz Age Paris. I absolutely adored Midnight in Paris, and this is written in the same vein. It's a love story that we know is ill-fated from the start, and Hadley is definitely portrayed as the protagonist (girl power!). Mix in some F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and other famous characters and I'm sure I'll speed through this in no time at all.

The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in The USA and Canada
Barbara Ireland

Based on the popular column, this travel guide is sure to quell (or agitate) my wanderlust. Whenever I travel, I always compile a list of all the different things I want to do at my destination. The activities are all varied, and each for a specific reason. It's kind of an addiction. I even do it when I'm just visiting my friends in New York. I'm pretty sure they know where to get brunch or go vintage shopping, but I just can't help myself. This book will make my researching much easier. Instead of scouring blogs, magazines and books, I'm sure the compilation of over 600 restaurants and 1,000 pictures will help inspire me to see what's out there.

The Little Dictionary of Fashion
Christian Dior

There are tons of guide books for style out there. This one seems like the paramount one, to me. I mean, it's by Christian Dior, for one. The topics cover everything from what to wear to a wedding to how to tie a scarf. I love that the book is marketed as being "handbag sized." So you can have a little style with you wherever you go.
Everyday Raw Express
Matthew Kenney, Adrian Mueller

First of all, I don't eat raw. I'm not vegan or vegetarian. I made myself a roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, mayo and sourdough bread for lunch yesterday (it was so good). That being said, I'm interested in incorporating different healthy tactics into my life and diet. My first foray into anything raw was juicing. I love making juices with like, 10 different fruits and vegetables. I've started making vegan soups, too. Entrees, deserts and actual meals are uncharted raw territory for me. I'd love to learn more about eating whole raw foods and think this book would be a great start.
Vogue The Covers
Dobie Kazanjian

The covers of the fashion bible are organized chronologically in this book. I love that you can, in effect, flip through fashion history. Okay, so this book is less of a "read" and more of a book to gaze at and drool over, but whatever. It's definitely a coffee table book I want to devour cover to cover.

Take Ivy
Shosuke Ishizu

Okay, I'm cheating here. This is another coffee table book. It has such a cool story, though. Originally published in 1965 by Japanese sartorial enthusiasts, it's now been re-released in English. It's a collection of candid shots of preppy students at Ivy League universities. Now, I didn't go to an Ivy, but my brother and one of my sisters are currently at the same Ivy League where they play lacrosse (my other sister will probably go there too, she's the smartest of us all). I love the Northeast preppy style. It's even better when it's 1960's Northeast preppy style!

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Robert K. Massie

I love reading about historical figures, especially European royalty. It's like historical fiction... But it's true! This biography of Catherine the Great is by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Luckily for readers, Catherine the Great had quite the life. She was extremely powerful and ran with the big power players like Voltaire. She also had a love life and family worth reading about!

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Obviously, this one is a repeat. We've all read about Jay Gatsby and his undying love for Daisy. This book has carried with me way beyond a required reading list and is actually my all-time favorite book. I used to reread it all the time, but it's been a few years since I've read about glamorous West Egg in the Jazz Age. However, in light of the upcoming movie (Baz Luhrman, plus Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, plus F. Scott Fitzgerald is an unbeatable equation), I think it's time for me to revisit this high school classic.


  1. Thanks for the list. I will definitely visit the bookstore this week to pick up a few :)

  2. wow, thanks to introducing to me so many interesting books I didn't know about! I will definitely read some of them in new year ;)
    thanks again:)

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    Meg :)