Posts Tagged Books

Electric Avenue

fifth_avenue_thumb2By Megan Johnson

Everyone knows the four famous females of Candace Bushnell’s notorious Sex and the City. But in her new novel, One Fifth Avenue, Bushnell uses her keen insight into Manhattan’s upper echelon to deconstruct both sexes through the eccentric inhabitants of an infamous Manhattan apartment building. Upon the death of penthouse owner and society doyenne Mrs. Houghton, new society darling Annalise Rice and her success-obsessed husband, Paul, take over the space to the dismay of first floor residents Mindy and James Gooch, who struggle to keep up with the filthy rich.

Acclaimed author Philip Oakland takes in seductive social climber Lola Fabrikant as an assistant, and she quickly becomes his lover in an attempt to ascend New York society. Other residents include bon vivant Billy Litchfield, who realizes that by associating with the rich he is accepted as one of them, and celebrated actress Schiffer Diamond, whose past relationship with Philip is equally as juicy.

Through the struggle to survive in dog-eat-dog Manhattan, Bushnell’s characters must look beyond their seemingly perfect wealth and privilege to recognize their faults. It’s easy to declare the novel as another chick-lit tale of the obscenely wealthy. However, One Fifth Avenue greatly surpasses Bushnell’s previous writings in poignancy and emotional depth. Through the struggles her complex characters face, the reader comprehends that no matter how privileged a life one leads, the hardest person to see in a negative light is often the one staring back at you in the mirror.

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This is Me Brimming with Excitement

by Cross Woodfield


I guess you can’t really call this a book review because I haven’t read the book because it hasn’t been released yet.


It’s more like a book PRE-view.


On October 28, I don’t know what y’all will be doing, but I will be voraciously yet exactingly savouring my first look at Influence by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the coffee table bible of our generations’ fashion trends.


Now I am the first to admit that as far as acting skills reach, the twins are no Meryl.  But they are (in my opinion) unquestionable fashion icons and risk-lovers when it comes to style.


So this book sounds pretty fab:  according to Penguin, the book’s publisher, it will feature “exclusive photographs of Ashley and Mary-Kate from world renowned photographer Rankin, and a wide variety of other never-before-seen materials and interviews from Mary-Kate and Ashley’s personal collections.


I’m not trying to get my hopes up or anything, but it seems to me the girls would have to try awfully hard to make anything anything that’s constructed of Diane Von Firstenburg and Karl Lagerfeld interviews, and pictures of Marianne Faithfull and Twiggy, mediocre.


I think it’s very mature, humble, and wise of the Olsen twins to use their power for good: knowing that millions of girls worldwide will listen to whatever they say, they’ve decided to teach us about those who came before them.


What do y’all think of the Olsen twins?

I must admit they’re my total guilty pleasure…them and blackberry cobbler.

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Tim Walker Pictures




Imagine trees that blossom tulle gowns-come-laterns…and free-spirited Mena Suvari types hugging beat-up cadillacs…and little kids making paper swans on the beach.


Needless to say, I am totally in obsession with Tim Walker’s picture book called…well…Pictures.


It’s inspiring from beginning to end and, as much as I cannot believe my own words, worth the hundred and twenty-five dollars.


The thing is, it’s art.  Inspiration like that is priceless, and I don’t think truth, like the truth that Walker captures, can really be valued in dollars.  I guess pictures like his either move you or they don’t, and you either forget them or you think about them and chew on them and they change your life, if only a little bit.


So I’m going to Oxford in the fall for a year and when I saw the book I immediately thought I could rip up every picture from the book and line my room with them.


But my girlfriends gasped gasps of unspeakable horror and let out blood-curdling screams when I told them that.  Do you think it’s bad to rip up a book if you only do it so you can admire each page each and every day?


I don’t really understand why a book is sacred and can’t be ripped up.

Please enlighten me.



They ripped up books in Dead Poets Society!


And if Ethan Hawke can do it then so can I!


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Sweet Table Books


by Cross Woodfield


Ok so I’m starting this thing where I review books that I hope will inspire you guys.  I think you can never have enough inspiration, and you can never be too cultured. 


I’ll call it “Sweet Table Books,” like coffee table books, but sweeter, because we’re sweet-tooths through and through.


And besides, “coffee stunts your growth, and I wanna be 5’10” like Cindy Crawford.” (see Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.)


The first book I’m going to review is a lovechild of all of my all-time favorite after-dinner treat, Nylon Magazine, and the publishers at Universe. 


It’s called Pretty: The NYLON Book of Beauty, and it is filled with pages of faces that are off-beat and natural-looking, that embrace and challenge our notions of pretty.


And they go back to basics, with pictures of the originators:  David Bowe, Betty and Veronica, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, you get the general idea.


And I think that drawing beauty, fashion, and lifestyle ideas from people that didn’t know they were beautiful is one way to assemble looks that are strikingly original and intensely personal.  To me it seems someone who can take fashion tips from an animated character or follow the jewelry trends of impoverished women in India (cough-cough-Sienna-Miller-arm-bracelet-cough-cough) is a person who recognized elements of design free of judgment and with an open mind.


Now that’s inspiring.

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