It’s not that I don’t read throughout the year. I do. But it’s usually in short takes. A few minutes before sleep. But come summer holidays, apart from topping up the sleep bank, there is seriously nothing I like doing more than reading for hours on end.
To achieve this often takes some executive delegation of the family duties to the husband, and in my case this week, a back injury that meant I legitimately had to spend all day horizontal on the bed. READING.
So, what have I digested (and LOVED) this week:
1. Shall We Dance? by Maggie Alderson (Penguin, $32.95). First confession here. If it has “by Maggie Alderson” on the cover, I will buy it. Have loved and continue to love Maggie’s writing for many, many years. And not just because there’s always a big dose of fashion thrown into the storyline. I fell head over heels for Maggie’s latest leading lady – Loulou Landers, London’s fictitious Queen of vintage fashion but her 21-year-old spoilt brat of a daughter grated on me (mainly because I have a teenage daughter and I’m horrified at what the hormones and attitude may inflict on me on the future!). Lot’s of hilarity and emotion in this one. A great beach read – or escape overnight to a hotel, run the bath, pour the champers and enjoy. A word of warning though: you may want to go shopping afterwards.
2. The Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel (Hachette Group, $38.95). I was a late adopter to the phenonomen that is the TV series Mad Men. But, oh, my, I caught up pretty quickly last year. I think I managed to devour the first three series on DVD over three weekends and then downloaded the fourth series on iTunes as soon as it was available. Yes, I am addicted to the ongoing trials and tribulations that is the Don and Betts show but I LOVED feasting on the vintage fashion dished up each episode. So, when I heard the stylist behind the show had put together a book, I had to get my hot little hands on it. Not only is it a look behind the costuming scenes of the show, it’s full of advice for making your style mark every day. One that will be on the book shelf for many years to come.
3. Three in a Bed in the Med by Ann Rickard (Radge Publishing, $25). I used to work with the very witty Ann Rickard. Ann is someone who cracks up a room when she enters it. And in this, her sixth, travel book, she once again had me in stitches as she visited Greece, Italy and France with her darling Geoffrey and her friend, Amanda. Hence the “three in a bed” bit of the title. The three really do share a bed (get your minds out of the gutter!) out of an accommodation necessity. As the reader, you are transported around the Mediterranean in the only way such wonderful foodies (and wine lovers!) know how.
So what have you read lately? What do I need on my must-read list?