We are always looking to pick up new yet productive habits – from eating healthier, to procrastinating less, to working out more, to dressing nicer, to reading more, etc. On a recent flight from New York to Los Angeles, we read “The Power of Less” by Leo Babauta that has definitely encouraged better habits and put a little dent on how we live our lives. “The Power of Less” has taught us how to break down tasks and get rid of the clutter in our life to achieve our goals, and finally empowered us to believe that anyone can accomplish their goals. We are truly inspired by Babauta – he isn’t an expert of any kind or millionaire; just a normal guy who decided to change his life in 2005 and accomplish his goals through better habits. We continue to follow Babauta and his writing on his blog, Zen Habits. We consider this a must among our required reading list!
Everyone loves a love story, and a perfect book to cuddle up with a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa) to this winter is Paula McLain’s “The Paris Wife.” Based on Ernest Hemingway’s real life partner Hadley Richardson, “The Paris Wife” gives readers an inside look into a timeless, but tragic, love story, while also rubbing shoulders with the literally elite (including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce).
With dazzling details of the young couple’s travels throughout Europe, impeccable biographical research, and the beautiful Hallmark portrait McLain paints of Paris in the 1920s, it’s virtually impossible to not get sucked in for hours. It’s no surprise that “The Paris Wife” is climbing the New York Times bestseller list.
Hemingway’s love and ultimate loss of loyalty to Hadley becomes even more heartbreaking as Hemingway had stated that he would have rather died than fallen in love with anyone else.
“The Paris Wife” will make the perfect gift this holiday season. Head on over to Amazon to pick up this required reading.
Do you remember the Shel Silverstein’s story that taught us how to give, sacrifice, and be selfless through the loving relationship between the giving tree and young boy? We just reread the childhood classic, The Giving Tree, and it brought us right back to our childhood memories. And now as we have “grown up” and taken on more responsibility, we might feel more like the giving tree than the young boy, at least it did for us. Pick up The Giving Tree for a walk down memory lane, and if you feel like learning a new language while you’re at it, the book comes in 30 different languages!
Our office cannot wait to get our paws on Boo’s new book, Boo: Little Dog in The Big City by J.H. Lee and photographed by Gretchen LeMaistre. The dog that has stolen our hearts, recently announced that the book is set in San Francisco (Boo’s home town) and will be filled with the most adorable snapshots of Boo and Boo’s best friend, Buddy, taking over The City by the Bay.
Boo seems to be no stranger to the spotlight, as the pup recently reached 4.5 million likes on Facebook and appeared on Good Morning America and Anderson Cooper 360’s RidicuList. Until the book hits the stands, we’ll have to do with the few pre-released photos of the sweet little pups wagging their tails around San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks.
Animal lovers and Francophiles–best-selling photographer, Rachael McKenna, has created the ultimate books for you! In “The French Cat” and “The French Dog,” McKenna fills the pages with beautiful and sophisticated photographs of the cats and dogs of France. Born and raised in New Zealand, McKenna’s heart-warming images of animals have been published on greeting cards, calendars and posters around the world. After years of honing her craft in the studio, the talented McKenna decided to begin photographing animals in their natural environments. With her family’s recent move to France, McKenna found it the perfect opportunity to begin snapping photos of cats in everyday life. Released this past October, “The French Cat” tells the story of McKenna’s new life in France while featuring her delightful photos of cats. After discovering the special place dogs also have in French life, McKenna began work on her next book “The French Dog.” Featuring stunning images of the dogs of France, dog-lovers will be happy to know that McKenna’s latest creation has just been released this April.
Just in time for the start of spring, Winterzine, the third installment of a new quarterly publication dedicated to celebrating the seasons called Seasonzine, just launched this month. Each issue of Seasonzine features season-inspired stories, photographs and illustrations from 30+creators from across the country. The creators behind this new “zine” are actually two childhood friends, Dwight and Christine, who are California transplants living in Brooklyn. These California-blooded friends decided they needed to forget about the harsh winters and start finding inspiration instead. With the help of friends and family, they were able to self-publish what they call a “yearbook” of each season full of gorgeous spreads and heartfelt stories. We absolutely love taking in the season-inspired photographs the most in each issue!
We weren’t sure whether to put this under our ‘Required Reading’ or ‘Inspiration’ category, but for those unfamiliar with Juxtapoz, it is a monthly magazine that highlights the most interest art talent of the modern times. Juxatpoz describes the art they feature as “unpretentious and raw,” and I think that’s what we like most about this magazine. It’s always something new and refreshing to read. Many people consider it more graffiti or pop surrealist type of art – either way it provide for amazing inspiration across the board.
This month’s issue features the work of Australian artist Jeremy Geddes. Our favorite painting of his is “A Perfect Vacuum.” “A Perfect Vacuum” is also a book by Stanislaw Lem, which is included in the painting.
“I feel like my look is not “polished” enough. Tips?” ”What’s the difference between a close friend and a best friend to you?” Lulu Chang offers real answers to these questions and personal advice in her new book, Lulu Says. Last year, the San Francisco based blogger of Lulu and Your Mom set up a Formspring to try to connect more personally with her readers. She received over 10,000 questions from her readers, from personal questions to styling questions – questions that everyone wants to ask, but sometimes is afraid to. After the overwhelming feedback, she compiled enough questions to put it together into a 68 page pocket-sized book. Lulu tries to be the best friend or older sister that you never had. Now, she actually considers herself a real “Mom,” instead of just using the word in her blog name, which is inspired by a bad mom joke.
P.S. You may remember Lulu from our past “Required Reading” post, The Fashion Coloring Book.
With everyone’s busy schedule, our stack of unread ‘required reading’ can pile up pretty quickly. That’s one of the reasons we love Wilder Quarterly – it’s quality over quantity, coming only four time a year – giving us plenty of time to read it thoroughly. Wilder is ‘life through the lens of the growing world’, covering everything about the seasons from indoors to outside, culture, travel, food and design. With so much great design derived from the natural world right now, the gorgeous imagery captured each issue is more important than ever. There is something for the amateur and expert in every issue, so don’t get scared away if you don’t consider yourself a horticulturalist!
We can’t really call this one Required Reading, since there isn’t anything to read, but here’s a cute little coloring book by Carol Chu and Lulu Chang, featuring 50 different fashion designs and looks to color. Perfect to keep the kiddos occupied during holiday layovers or road trips. Who knows, you might discover you have a budding little fashion designer on your hands!