Terrific Titles

Over the last few months I’ve enjoyed the following:

Mary Poppins Comes Back: P.L. Travers - My opinion that Mary is not a soft touch has not changed… but, I enjoyed this story when she returned to the Banks children and 17 Cherry Tree Lane.

Brava Valentine: Andrianna Trigiani - I thoroughly enjoyed this story of the cautious Valentine Roncalli, her family and her family business the Angelini Shoe Company. I am a big fan of this author I loved The Shoemakers Wife. She has a large library of titles. I have a few on my To Be Read list - including: Kiss Carlo and Lucia Lucia.

The Good House: Ann Leary - What can I say… something I loved about this book I learned when I was finished reading it…. which is Ann Leary intended the book to go in another direction and the main character Hilde was not supposed to be the main character - But, Hilde took over the story because she’s quite a character… she likes her wine too much….

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: Margareta Magnusson - It’s a sweet book - it takes you through Mrs. Magnusson’s thoughts on keeping and letting go… This is not Marie Kondo - this is a very practical woman advising you to ask if anyone wants something and if they don’t - just get rid of it!

Every Last One: Anna Quindlen - This is a gripping novel… it went in a direction I never expected but, I was committed to seeing where it went and it left me better for having read it.

Joan Didion:Netflix Bio Pic The Center Will Not Hold.- I chose to watch this documentary of Ms Didion although I have yet to read her. I enjoyed learning about her life as her nephew Griffin Dunne interviewed her. She is a prolific author and I have added The Year of Magical Thinking to my reading list.

Gossip: Beth Gutcheon - I loved listening to Loviah French share the details of her life and her dearest friends since boarding school days (she was there on Scholarship). Now, as the proprietress of a high-end dress shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side - she sees and knows all!

Pachinko: Min Jin Lee - This is the moving story of one Korean family through several generations - beginning in Korea in the early 1900’s and following them to Japan. Sunja is the lovely daughter who makes a hard choice and ends up in another country in exile. Her family endures much as foreigners in their new land.

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I was fortunate to attend The Friends of the Ridgewood Library 30th Annual Author Luncheon featuring Min Jin Lee on April 3rd. What a wonderful event and Miss Jin Lee was an exuberant and entertaining speaker. If you are local to Northern NJ I recommend getting on the mailing list. It was truly wonderful

If you are unfamiliar with this book and this author I can’t recommend it enough - and also I would recommend a book I read last year: White Chrysanthemum: Mary Lynn Bracht- I was unfamiliar with the history of Japans invasion of Korea and of girls kidnapped from their families This story is gripping and hit home with me as a sister and a woman. Hard to put down.

This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage: Ann Patchet - shares her life from childhood to the current day. I listened to this book through Hoopla and to Ms. Patchet reading it… It makes it all the better when the author reads their own words. I previously read Commonwealth and this book still pops into my brain.

Victoria on Masterpiece: Now, that Victoria on Masterpiece is over for the season…

I started watching quite a bit of You Tube. I love Fake or Fortune the fabulous BBC show that marries art and detective work - is that art on the wall a priceless Renoir or simply a good fake??? Oh and the art friends.. its all so beautiful!

But lets talk about my newest love! I am OBSESSED by all things Quintessence - Stacey Bewkes wonderful creation the Lifestyle Blog, the IG feed and The YouTube At Home Series hosted by Susanna Salk - offering access to the most magnificent designers and tastemakers in their homes around the globe - while Stacey films the beauty and conversation.

I have a way too long To Be Read list that currently numbers 98 titles - and growing daily! It includes Jane Erye, Crazy Rich Asians, the Poisonwood Bible - just to name a few.

I read fiction but, will read a biography - What Remains. I especially love historical fiction… give me New York City around 1900 and I’m there… The Angel of Darkness, The Waterworks but, I’ll share an in-depth list of recommended titles before summer starts - #bookjunkie

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Til next time friends!

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thankful for the written word 2018

Hi Friends as we all gear up for Thanksgiving this week I’m sharing my annual installment of Thankful for the Written Word. Last year I wrote about Books I was thankful were in my permanent collection. This year I’m sharing titles I was fortunate to enjoy in 2018.

our local library

our local library

This is a building which holds a special place in my heart. I grew up visiting the Library weekly with my mother. Rita was a avid reader and would read multiple titles a week. If my mother wasn’t doing laundry or cooking - you found her reading.

I volunteer and am treasurer of the Libraries Friend Group - we work to defray costs and purchase materials that are not in the Municipal budget. A library is the cornerstone of any community. I sincerly hope you have a library card.

I have a basket under my desk filled with books I want to read - lent to me predominantly by my sister - in addition I’m borrowing from the library and if anyone sees me with my earbuds in - I can pretty much guarantee I’m listening to a book through the app Hoopla.

So let’s get down to the list: all titles are linked to Goodreads.

 I continue to recommend my Top Pick from 2017:

Also, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my most beloved title from Childhood:

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Happy Thanksgiving - I hope your time with loved ones is wonderful and filled with fun!

Til next time!



in thinking about this weeks post i looked around the chalet and immediately i knew -


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like my quote? feel free to use it -HA!  i am someone who can never do one of anything... not a single scoop of ice cream, not one glass of prosecco or only one piece of art #saynotoemptywalls i collect books to read, to admire, to live with.

i am a bookjunkie.

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Liam is enrolled in a weekly gardening club at our library. so of course i bring home books... on top of the books i have in the TOBEREAD basket under my roll-top desk and the books i am currently listening to through the Hoopla app.

if you're new around the chalet you may not have heard of my Hoopla love! as my time gets eaten up with chaletmomma-ing, work, volunteering etc... it's lovely to listen to a book while i do my merry-maid impression or take a walk (the weather warmed up - i started walking again - break out the confetti! ha).

Heirloom Modern by Hollister Hovey was a must get after Gwen Heffner the makerista storied about her copy on IG. it's filled with amazing images and much beloved objects. this book is right up my alley.





in the past few months i have added volumes through thrifting.- the Van Gogh, America and Alfred Stieglitz, Faberge - these along with others picked up while shopping and museum vising are taking up residence on the porch side table - until i can figure out where they will live

such problems!











i stumbled across this amazing life history of Charles Dicken's - one of my favorite authors in the clearance section (tear on the cover) of my Home Sense store. it has fold out sleeves that contain replicas of documents from his life! i mean it doesn't get any better than this!


combining history and kitch - what could be better! reminds me of author Nick Bantock his stuff is so creative. his Griffin and Sabine series is magical. check it out....


i read Truman Capote works : A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor last year and i'm so pleased to add this to my permanent collection!

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here's what i've been reading - I enjoyed each! the only thing i am not a fan of is scary - no Stephen King for this momma. although - i do own Caleb Carr but, the titles i love are based in Manhattan during the turn of the last century - i am a huge fan of historical fiction -  now i have to mention two more books from my collection - that feel similar - The Waterworks by E.L. Doctorow and Time and Again by Jack Finney.



current read: 

Rosemary the Hidden Kennedy Daughter.


list of my recent favorites:



  • book-lover? 

  • hardcovers or e-readers? 

  • library or shopping?

whats the best title you've come across lately?

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you can check out my past post thankful for the written word to see more of my books!

til next time.