Wednesday, May 22, 2013
As much as I love YA titles and have no plans to stop reading them anytime soon, I'm going to make a big effort to thrown in a few other categories as well...mix things up a bit. So while my coffee table book collection continues to grow every chance I get (and I do read each of the new additions) I'm hoping to throw in some adult fiction as well. Lately I've been lucky enough to get quite a few recommendations thrown my way in this department and I'm going to take full advantage. Here are a few that I've been told to add to my collection pronto...
A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.
What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Whoever dares to seek the Firebird may find the journey — and its ending — unexpected.
Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images; glimpses of those who have owned it before. It’s never been a gift she wants, and she keeps it a secret from most people, including her practical boss Sebastian, one of London’s premier dealers in Russian art.
But when a woman offers Sebastian a small wooden carving for sale, claiming it belonged to Russia’s first Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. Sebastian believes that the plain carving — known as “The Firebird” — is worthless. But Nicola’s held it, and she knows the woman is telling the truth, and is in desperate need of the money the sale of the heirloom could bring.
Compelled to help, Nicola turns to a man she once left, and still loves: Rob McMorran, whose own psychic gifts are far greater than hers. With Rob to help her “see” the past, she follows a young girl named Anna from Scotland to Belgium and on into Russia.
There, in St. Petersburg — the once-glittering capital of Peter the Great’s Russia — Nicola and Rob unearth a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption…an old story that seems personal and small, perhaps, against the greater backdrops of the Jacobite and Russian courts, but one that will forever change their lives.
Jackie O: A Life in Pictures by Elizabeth Kane
If the Kennedys were America's royal family, there was only one candidate for queen. Jackie Kennedy was the epitome of style and glamour, envied and imitated by women the world over. The extraordinary life of a woman who survived heartbreak and loss and became a twentieth-century icon is charted is this delightful book in more than 120 stunning photographs and informative captions.
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin
Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.
At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.
Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times in the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.
Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been by Pharrell Williams
Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. Originating at the crossroads of art, design, popular culture, and street savvy, Pharrell Williams’s output is unique. By playing off different disciplines—namely music, fashion, street art, and design—and using each as an element in the other, Pharrell has redefined the role of the contemporary recording artist, blazing a trail for other musicians and prominent cultural figures. Illustrated with lavish photography, this book also explores his musical career in depth, charting his many projects from his production team The Neptunes, to the band N.E.R.D., and his collaborations with friends Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and other hip-hop royalty. This unprecedented volume documents Pharrell’s prolific body of work and his contribution to contemporary culture. In his own unique graphic language, he details his extensive creative pursuits, including clothing lines, jewelry, and accessories designs for Louis Vuitton, furniture and other product design, limited-edition toys, graphic designs, skate graphics, and collaborations with Moncler, Marc Jacobs, the artist KAWS, and with architects Zaha Hadid and Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall.
The book includes ontributions from Buzz Aldrin, Toby Feltwell, Zaha Hadid, Shae Haley, Chad Hugo, Jay-Z, Masamichi Katayama, Ambra Medda, Takashi Murakami, NIGO ®, Loïc Villepontoux, Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Hans Zimmer, Ian Luna and
Lauren A. Gould
**So I think that's a pretty good list to start with, and who knows? Maybe I'll end up finding some real winners and be able to pass the word along to all of you.