Posts Tagged books

new-new news

Yesterday, I came home to an exciting piece of news. I got into grad school! I’ll be starting my MFA in Fashion Design: Knitwear at Academy of Art University in the fall and well, yay! That’s mostly all I have to say about it right now.

Today’s mail brought a little present from Joel. A beautiful new copy of an old favorite. I read Middlemarch so many times in high school!


And now I’m heading back to the kitchen to finish up a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for an office birthday. If it turns out tasty I’ll post the recipe soon!

recent reading

It feels like forever since I’ve talked about books on here. I’m thinking that’s probably because it can get a little tricky juggling a book and knitting needles.

I asked for a few books this Christmas. I’m slowly replacing my ancient paperback, cheap-o versions of books I love with nicer, mix-match hardbacks. I once read that “You’ll never regret buying hardback versions of the books you love.” I wish I could remember who said it, because I think it’s quite true!

All that to say, I didn’t expect any new books to be hiding under the tree. As I unwrapped The Good Earth and a beloved Austen, I thought I was right. And then…I opened this beauty!

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

a gift from Joel

The cover is so lovely and as I turned the pages I realized that I was holding the best surprise I’ve gotten in ages! It is so interesting!

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reading list vol. 3

It’s hard to believe, but today is the very last post in the reading List series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have and maybe you’ve even found a new favorite!  And if you missed the first two you can check them out over here and here. Enjoy!

books and typewriter

click photo for credit

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reading list vol. 1

“What should I read next?” I feel like I ask myself this question all the time. Since fall is the perfect time to snuggle up with a warm drink and a good book, I asked ten of my book-loving friends to answer that question for me. I’ll be posting their answers throughout the month of September. Today we’re starting with three friend/reviewers.

So what should I read next? Time to get some answers!

reading by the lake

photo by Anna Constantino

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interview: roughdrAftbooks

As soon as I saw RoughdrAftbooks I just fell in love with everything in the shop! It’s a wonderful, one woman bookmaking shop based in Philadelphia and has everything from notepads to journals. I’m so glad E was able to make some time to share her work today. Prepare to swoon!

Q. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello there, my name is e. I am an artist, a bookbinder and a freelance designer living in the sweet town of Philadelphia. I am also and not always at the same time, a professor, a student, a traveler, avid reader, chronic list maker, and obsessive documenter… I’ve been designing and binding books for about 14 years and operating my little book studio since 2003. I specialize in making beautiful useful objects (mostly books!!) for people to use in their everyday life.


Q. How did roughdrAftbooks get started?
When I finished art school as an undergrad I immediately began to travel, and the more I traveled the more I became obsessed with the idea of documenting my world. Whenever I would plan for these trips, I could never find a sketchbook I liked because I wanted something that was both beautiful, like an art object itself, but also useful, efficient and most important, it had to lay flat when opened. It was as simple as that. I made my first rudimentary book for a trip to Kenya so I could draw and write on long jeep rides across the country and from then I was just hooked. I made that first book with a crazy binding I just made up using screws to hold it together, and I still have it. I love that it reminds me of the freedom you have when you don’t exactly know how to make something but you try anyway. The best accidents happen that way.

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music and books

There is just something about Fall that makes me wish for a new book, something I haven’t read yet. Maybe it’s the back to school, “bouquets of sharpened pencil” feeling that permeates the end of summer and beginning of autumn. That’s probably why early last week, I found myself standing (on tip toes) checking out the hard to reach tomes on the top shelves of our bookcases.

My fingers found Ayn Rand’s Anthem. It’s a short novella, only 100 pages long, about a world in some distant future completely controlled by the state with no word for “I” or concept of the individual and no room for differentness or unique thoughts.

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a good thought

I’ve seen this little novelty book of quotes popping up in quite a few places. It’s printed in the  Keep Calm and Carry On motif, but I’m not 100% sure why, maybe the quotes are calming or maybe because Keep Calm simply sells? (Full disclosure, I have this print hanging in my dining room and I love it!)

Anyway, I didn’t think much of it the few times I’ve flipped through, but then I saw this photo and quote. I think it’s a good little reminder:

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three cups of tea

You’ve probably seen the cover of Tree Cups of Tea dozens of times, and if you’re like me, you might have even picked it up on visits to your local bookstore, flipping through a few pages before returning it to its table or shelf. It’s not that I didn’t think the story looked interesting, but to be perfectly honest, when it came out, I was mostly reading books by Iranian women dealing with their country’s unique history and current issues. When I saw that Three Cups of Tea was about Pakistani and Afghan schools and the man who was helping to build them, my interest would flag.

my copy

I was glad when my mom gave me a copy of Three Cups of Tea for Christmas last year and excited about finally reading it, maybe because I felt a little guilty for putting it down all those times. I’m just about halfway through the book. It’s a quick read and very, very sad and sweet. Briefly, it’s about the true life story of Greg Mortenson, an American mountain climber, who sacrifices so many comforts, working hard hours in a hospital and sleeping in his car, so that he could save every bit of his pay to build a school in a remote mountain village in Pakistan after seeing children with no teacher sitting quietly on frozen ground working on their lessons.

photo from the BBC

The story is very touching and has made me laugh and tear up a little by turns.

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for book lovers

We have a lot of books, boxes and boxes of them and for some reason we’ve never had enough bookcases, until now!  We picked up a few lovely Billy bookcases from Ikea yesterday and I’ve spent most of the afternoon getting all the books organized on the shelves. And I had to share some gorgeous bookcase inspiration photos…

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a month of Austen

I realized a few months ago that I can’t remember the last time I read a Jane Austen novel. I read and reread all six of her completed books constantly in high school and early college and I miss their wit.  So I have decided that during the month of October I will reread each book, beginning with Mansfield Park.

Miss Austen print by kirby & my well loved books

Miss Austen print by kirby & my well worn, well loved books

I was going to start with Persuasion, but I haven’t been able to find it just yet.  Do you have a favorite Austen book?