Sunday Reads: June 23, 2013

News:

Cawdor

 

Son and Heir? In Britain, Daughters Cry No Fair (NYT) : Though the law of primogeniture seems antiquated, it still exists inEngland’s rigid society. The article is an interesting read for the discussion alone but I loved the interview with Liza Campbell. Campbell wrote one of my favorite memoirs, A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth’s Castle.

Blogs:

 Lisa Eldridge Summer Reds

Seven Summer Reds (LE) : Lisa Eldridge will always top my list of the most beautiful women in the world. Lucky for the rest of us, she shares her makeup tips weekly on her blog. This week’s offering was a guide to summer red lipsticks. I dare you to read it without opening your wallet.

Magazines:

Mindful

Mindful (Mindful Magazine): I’m the first to admit that meditation is not my thing — sitting still chanting om sounds awful. That being said with the growing reliance on technology and constant connectedness it can be difficult to take a moment to simply be. Check out this article for the basics.

Books:

 9780753823835

Call the Midwife: I’m still making my way through this delightful book. Since I’m listening to it, progress is slower than I would like but there’s nothing like a British accent reading to you!

 

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Sunday Reads: May 26, 2013

adventureandtea

The Ultimate List of Fictional Boyfriends : Since rewatching Dawson’s Creek last summer I’ve had an unnatural obsession with Pacey Witter. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Free Breakfasts in Texas Public Schools : Perhaps it’s because I know two people working with TFA in Texas but this article was really eye-opening. For more information I highly recommend my friend Mallory’s blog.

No Signature Required: An interesting little article about how the advent of technology has affect signatures and how we verify our identity.

21 to Drink Coffee? : The FDA has started looking into the effect of caffeine on a young brain. Though I heard about how caffeine is a drug all through high school, it never occurred to me that it could be regulated. I’m interested in where this movement is headed…

Amazon to Sell Fanfiction: This is the strangest development in publishing yet — and that’s saying something. The best thing about fanfiction is the ability to access hundreds of stories at a time for free. I wonder how this will change the fandoms.

 

Sunday Reads: February 17, 2013

Books:

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Coincidentally, I had already started listening to this audiobook when the bones of Richard III were discovered. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that the Richard in Gregory’s book was that Richard until I read this article!

Even without the connection to recent events, Gregory’s book is an interesting portrayal of the oft demonized king. She turns the suspicion of his guilt on its head and makes him into a highly sympathetic character. By the end of the book I was rooting for Richard and the Plantagenets!

If you’re looking for more historical fiction check out my reviews of Above All Things, City of Women and The Pleasures of Men. For more Philippa Gregory try The Other Boleyn Girl. Made into a movie starring Scarlett Johanson and Natalie Portman, this book details Henry VIII’s relationship with Anne Boleyn’s lesser-known sister Mary. It provides an interesting look into the politics of Tudor England!

Newspaper Article:

State of the Union TweetState of the Union
Less of a news article and more of an event, I loved watching and reading the State of the Union address. In following the speech online, I was astounded by the power of social media. The discussions showed a level of political debate usually reserved for the classroom!

Blogs:

Immersed in Stories: From Binge-Watching to Marathon Reading

I love this take on how much our culture loves a good marathon! Though marathons are generally thought of in terms of television (think Law & Order: SVU), the author also considers reading marathons. I think I’d like to take on a good day of reading, what about you?

Sunday Reads: February 10, 2013

Books
By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only: How We Build Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkins Wilson

The story of how two HBS grads came from wildly different places to start one of the most successful online sample sale sites, By Invitation Only isn’t light reading but it’s definitely fun. I really liked how the A’s (as they refer to themselves) show every step in the startup process and how quickly things change in that environment. They give helpful management tips at the end of every chapter, highlighting what they learned from their experiences – I liked these because I could pretend I was doing homework for my management class!

Of course, I was predisposed to like By Invitation Only. I was an early convert to the online sample sale craze, joining Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Hautelook, and others just weeks after they opened. Even without all of my sample sale love the book stood on its own as an interesting portrayal of life at a startup.

life-below-stairs

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney

As Downton Abbey mania sweeps the United States a whole slew of books about the Edwardian era have come out. Though it’s easy to fall in love with the glamour seen at Downton/Highclere, the reality is that running a house like that was hard work!In this rendition of “Upstairs/Downstairs” Maloney recounts typical menus, daily chores and standards of decorum. Interspersed with excerpts from Punch and other papers, Life Below Stairs was fun to read and definitely made me appreciate my modern household appliances!

Check out some other books about servant’s in the Edwardian era:

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell: This one is a memoir by a woman who was once a kitchen maid.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax : A little different, Wax’s book shows how the series bring a group of fictional women together.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon : If you just can’t get enough of Downton, check out this true history of Highclere Castle where it is filmed. I have this one out from the library right now so I’ll let you know how it is!
The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding – More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs by Emily Baines: Looking for something to eat as you watch tonight’s episode of Downton? Why not try Lady Mary’s Crab Canapés?


Films

I haven’t done much magazine or online reading this week, so instead I thought I’d share the films I’ve been enjoying:

 Valentino the last emperor

Valentino: The Last Emperor *– Ever since I saw The September Issue, I’ve been yearning for a good fashion movie. Valentino hits the mark with beautiful dresses, posh Italian accents and sweeping views of Paris – c’est magnifique!

Funny Face

Funny Face* – I’m a sucker for anything starring Audrey Hepburn but this might be my new favorite. She plays a nerdy bookseller who is taken to Paris to be the face of a magazine and a prominent designer’s new collection. As an added bonus the author of Eloise, Kay Thompson, plays the fashion editrix!

J.crew the man who dressed america

J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America – Part business documentary, part profile of J.Crew this documentary is a wonderful escape from the real world. Clocking in at under an hour it’s the perfect lunchtime treat.

*available on Netflix

~ available on Hulu

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Sunday Reads: February 3, 2013

Blog Post:

3 Steps to Defining Your Personal Brand: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will do after graduation and this article was the perfect inspiration to start re-working my personal brand. Of course it’s all easier said than done but by starting early I hope I’ll get ahead in the long run.

Newspaper Article:

20 Odd Questions with Stephanie von Watzdorf:  I don’t know what is better, that her name reminds me of my beloved Blair Waldorf or that she was the daughter of an art dealer and a ballet dancer – so glamourous! “My favorite stationery is Terrapin by Ted Harrington [and his mother, Cathy]. Ted is great and his work has a little tongue-in-cheek humor to it.”

Of course the article above led me to the lovely stationery store where I found some adorable notecards, check them out here and here.

Maybe Cards

Books:

TimGunnFashionBible

Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible by Tim Gunn

This was a jauntily-paced look at the history of fashion with a few tips thrown in. If you’re looking for a “what to wear” guide, this is NOT it (try this instead). However, if you’re looking for a thrilling look at why we wear the clothing we do, head to the library and check this out right away.

Strands of Bronze and Gold Cover

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
*note: this title will be released on March 12, 2012.

I was so excited for this book because of its connection to fairytale lore without being overdone (Footnote: It’s retelling of the story of Bluebeard. ) — I’m looking at you retellings of Cinderella! Strands of Bronze and Gold had a lot of promise with its strong female heroine and 19th c. setting but I found myself distracted at times by the references to other works. At one point Sophia  receives a letter “Dear Miss Petheram, In vain I have struggled…” which is strikingly similar to Mr. Darcy’s letter in Pride and Prejudice “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Similarly, when Sophia and Monsieur Bernard de Cressac are to be married, he suggests taking their honeymoon in Barbados, which seems entirely too similar to Mr. Rochester’s actions with the mad woman in the attic (Jane Eyre or Wide Sargasso Sea). Though I love a veiled reference to works that have gone before, especially in historical fiction, I found these a little heavy-handed and distracting. All of that being said I think it would make an excellent addition to a YA collection, since teens probably aren’t as picky about their classical references as I am!