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Good morning friends! It’s a beautiful but chilly Saturday morning here, I am still under the weather so I am going to take it easy today and watch Christmas movies and read books, what are your plans?
Speaking of books, I personally think they are the perfect gift . Did you know that in Iceland there is a tradition called, Jolabokaflod, pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot, which for those who don’t know is the annual flood of new books and Icelandic tradition of exchanging books with loved ones on Christmas Eve. The “Book Flood” tradition dates back to World War II when foreign imports were restricted and paper was cheap books became the predominant gift to give.
Today I am sharing 9 books that are on my Christmas wish list.
From Shawnee Chief to Top Brass, this guide to over 60 varieties of peonies presents an eclectic selection of specimens―from those with the best visual appearance and the most fragrant perfume, to those that are easiest to grow and produce the best cutting flowers. With commentary on each bloom, easy-to-follow growing advice, and glorious photography, Peonies will appeal to anyone who appreciates the romance of the majestic peony.
Garden Secrets of Bunny Mellon is for anyone who has enjoyed time spent in a garden, from aspiring garden makers to those who manage large estates. This collection is comprised of extracts from Bunny’s own writings and garden notes, as well as photographs and drawings from her archive.
Chapters are organized by Atmosphere (sky, horizon, shadows), Climate, Light, Space, Shape, Maintenance, and more―readers will feel as if Bunny Mellon has come alongside as a gardening guide and friend.
Bunny Mellon was of the affluent class and mingled along with her husband, Paul Mellon, in the circles of the East Coast gentry of the Kennedy and Reagan eras. But Mrs. Mellon, as she was respectfully called by those professional gardeners who worked with her most, wasn’t snooty about social position or afraid to get her hands dirty in the rich soil of her family’s Virginia farm. Beyond this, Bunny Mellon was known nationally and internationally as a style icon of her time, enjoying friendships with Givenchy, the Kennedys, and the like. Her personal passion was for design, and that was exhibited in her fashion and her garden.
A late acquaintance, Linda Holden learned that Bunny wanted to write a gardening book but never found the time. Searching the family’s archive after Mrs. Mellon’s death, the editors―whom all shared personal relationships with Bunny―discovered a trove of photographs, illustrations, and writings and have now turned it into the how-to gardening book Bunny had hoped to write.
Versailles: The Great and Hidden Splendors of the Sun Kings Palace
Versailles is one of the most photographed places in the world. Yet masses of tourists make it virtually impossible to imagine the splendor of the palace as it existed from the time of Louis XIV, the Sun King, in the 17th century, until the fall of Napoleon III in 1870. Now, four talented photographers were granted unlimited access to Versailles when the château was closed to visitors, and their work allows privileged access not only to the private suites of Louis XV, the boudoirs of Marie-Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour, the celebrated Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, the charming Orangerie, and Marie Antoinette’s bucolic Hamlet, but also to mysterious chambers and hushed apartments never normally seen. Captions describe daily life at Versailles and the momentous events that have taken place there, all published in a sumptuous oversize format befitting its majestic subject.
Inspired by the twenty-three “tales,” Matthew Dennison takes a selection of quotations from Potter’s stories and uses them to explore her multi-faceted life and character: repressed Victorian daughter; thwarted lover; artistic genius; formidable countrywoman. They chart her transformation from a young girl with a love of animals and fairy tales into a bestselling author and canny businesswoman, so deeply unusual for the Victorian era in which she grew up. Embellished with photographs of Potter’s life and her own illustrations, this biography will delight anyone who has been touched by Beatrix Potter’s work.For the fans of her children’s literature who want to know the real-life animals behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, Jemima Puddle duck, and of course, Peter Rabbit.
Interior designer Mark D. Sikes burst onto the publishing scene with his New York Times best-selling first book, Beautiful. His new book, aptly titled More Beautiful, picks up where the first left off, in a celebration of classic, all-American decorating. The rooms featured in More Beautiful are divided into five distinct styles, all of which exude the happiness that comes with surrounding oneself with things you love. “Traditional” is chockablock with vibrant color, antique furniture, and heady doses of trim and pattern. “Country” is a new take on the style, where distressed finishes and modern silhouettes mingle for a warm welcome. “Coastal” is streamlined, with natural woven fibers, sun-faded linen and neutrals, and blues and whites galore. “Mediterranean” evokes faraway lands, with a saturated palette, ornate tiles and ikats, and iron details. Finally, there’s “Beautiful”: a peek inside Mark’s own Hollywood Hills home, which nods to all of his favorite design signatures–including Italian wicker, blue and white, Anglo-Indian antiques, and more. With all-new photography by Amy Neunsinger, the book will inspire with rooms that are light-filled and crisply patterned, chic yet comfortable, and just the way people want to live today.
Now, this beautiful new book by bestselling author Janelle McCulloch – part guidebook and part armchair delight for garden lovers – shows you where to find these wonderful garden destinations, from the celebrated and famous to the secret and little-known. It also details the private estates that only open several times a year; the ones that tend to go under the travel radar. Elegantly designed and illustrated, the pages within are also packed full of spectacular botanical-inspired hideaways to stay, linger, shop, dine and drink at, from garden-inspired restaurants to garden-enhanced hotels. It’s the perfect gift for any garden lover and shows you how to make your next visit to England a truly memorable one.
A joyous celebration of Fortnum & Mason’s love for extraordinary seasonal food, Christmas and Other Winter Feasts is filled with flavoursome recipes for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as well as Guy Fawkes and Burns’ Night.
From seasonable soups to hearty January eating, and featuring exclusive stories from the Fortnum & Mason archives, Christmas and Other Winter Feasts is the essential accompaniment to any party, gathering or feast.
Do you have a Christmas book list? Or a family tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve? What are you currently reading or coveting?
Have a great day!