Plain and simple, I love to read. But over the years, my ‘reading for fun’ (which basically means reading fiction) has been reduced to when I travel, which I try to keep to a minimum. I have always loved reading non-fiction books. This runs the gamut of self-help titles, cook books, decorating books, spiritually minded inspiration, business motivation, and my obsession with magazines.
There have been a few business, self-help, and decorating titles that have shaped my thoughts and steered me in a direction that has made a difference in my design life. They may inspire you, so here are my faves:
- 9 Secrets of Women Who Get Everything They Want (1998) By, Kate White – This is an easy read, and very gutsy and insightful, if not slightly irreverent. I love this book and have read it probably four times, cause I’m weird like that. Back in early 2000’s, she came to Lansing and I went to hear her speak. It was a very small gathering, so it was pretty casual, and she was captivating. I’m pretty sure I sat in awe, maybe with my mouth agape, hanging on her every word.
- Living a Beautiful Life (1986) By, Alexandra Stoddard – I could pretty much stop the list here, because this book has influenced me the most, and it is everything I have come to live and believe. It has even rubbed off and influenced my hubby (I will have to share that story sometime). For over a decade, I was pretty obsessed with Alexandra Stoddard’s work and bought and read every book she wrote. On a trip, one year to Cape Cod, we were traveling through Connecticut and I ran into her (or I may have stalked her, but same diff). It was pretty much the highlight of that year.
- American Country Cooking (1987) By, Mary Emmerling – This was the first ‘lifestyle’ book that I could not get enough of. Now let me just say, I love me some Martha Stewart, but this book has been the one that I have had almost 30 years and I still make recipes out of it. Last year, I ran into Mary Emmerling in Round Top, Texas (randomly, not stalking) and totally geeked out!
- A Passion For Detail (1991) By, Charlotte Moss – Beautifully photographed and a pleasure to read.
- An Affair With a House (2005) By, Bunny Williams – The house featured in this book is one I would like to have an affair with myself. It’s gorgeous and so inspiring.
- The Artist’s Way (1992) By, Julia Cameron – Something of a spiritual, creative journey of self awareness.
- Feeling at Home: Defining Who You Are and How You Want to Live (1999) By, Alexandra Stoddard – Can’t get enough.
- Shabby Chic (1996) By, Rachel Ashwell – There’s so much of Rachel’s first book that had me sleeping with it for months. I have all of her books, have read them cover to cover, love her evolution of style, but this book is still my favorite.
- Organizing From the Inside Out (1998) By, Julie Morgenstern – I randomly read all sorts of books about organizing your life, from physical items to your thoughts and actions. This is one of the best.
- Ralph Lauren: 50 Years (2017) – Ralph is the true pioneer who made creating the backdrop for life and fashion something of an art. I want to sleep with this book, and dream about having the life lived in these photographs, they are just sooooo good. When someone says “that is so Ralph” you know exactly who they are talking about. He’s a next level icon!
In looking at this list, I’m realizing that I only have two listed from this century. Wow, that makes me feel old. However, the fact that these have stood the test of time, especially when the internet puts any information at your fingertips, should really say something.