I was the type of kid who was always reading books under the covers, well after my parents had told me to turn off the lights. I had to read at night; there just never seemed to be enough hours in the day! I remember sneaking off to the drugstore and buying a paperback copy of Jaws when I was visiting my grandparents; my parents were horrified as I was only in the fifth grade. (“Exactly where did you buy that, Christine?”) I guess it’s no wonder that I chose to be an English and History major (with lots and lots of reading) in college and eventually went on to become a writer.
My taste in books is, like my taste in music, pretty eclectic. While I do tend to favor fiction, the subject matter can be just about anything, as long as the plot is interesting, the characters engaging and the writing itself genuine. Not that all writing has to be beautiful and lyrical; sometimes it’s raw and gritty and that suits me just fine…whatever the style, it just needs to be well done. Throughout the years, I’ve bookmarked (yes, now I bookmark rather than earmark) certain paragraphs just to read them over and over again—all for the sheer joy of how the words work together. Because when writing makes that much of an impression, it truly is a thing of beauty.
How Do I Find My Books?
I have a few people that I rely on for suggestions. (Katie, Sharon, Ryan). Or, because I read exclusively online now (Ryan is now making a face), I go to my iBooks app to “Featured” and up pops suggested titles based upon what I’ve already purchased. I also search NYTimes in my iBooks app for suggestions. Gotta love technology. And I do love technology when it comes to reading…ever try carting four or five heavy books when you’re traveling? It’s a pain. Literally.
And it’s way easier to turn on your iPad or Kindle in the middle of the night than it is to turn on your bedside lamp. Far more forgiving. Needless to say, I’m all in when it comes to reading on my iPad. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t tell you the last time I bought a physical book (besides a coffee table book) and I don’t miss it at all.
The Joy of the Written Word
I have always found comfort and escape in the written word. I love being transported to different times and places. There’s something fascinating about seeing the world through various characters’ eyes. And with everything going on now, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to read. Immersing yourself in a good book isn’t just about escapism (though that’s certainly a nice by-product), it also exposes you to views other than your own. What could be more important than that? It helps get you out of your own world—and sometimes out of your own way.
Some Great Reads:
The following book suggestions are all over the map, which is how I like most things. They are all available by clicking on the link to Amazon (easy peasy) for both Kindle and traditional versions. If you’ve got some extra time on your hands (and I’m betting you might!), here are a few selections I hope you might enjoy:
(click on the book to order: Kristin Hannah – The Great Alone, Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient, Lisa See – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, E. Lockhart – We Were Liars, William Landay – Defending Jacob, Madeline Miller – Circe, Kimberley McCreight – Reconstructing Amelia)
Ann’s Take On Her Favorite Reads:
While I’d love to tell you all about my favorite reads, the truth is I don’t read many novels these days. I actually devote most of my reading time to a few select periodicals. For me, magazines are my guilty pleasure. They are quick, fun and I can make it through an issue in one sitting. Here are three I enjoy on a monthly basis.
First Up: Architectural Digest. I love the way AD features future design trends and they do a great job of showing a variety of styles. I save all my issues as they prove to be a timeless resource. I love seeing the interiors of people I admire. In a recent issue they featured Nate Berkus’s West Village townhouse. While I may not love every bit of Nate’s space, I am able to take away design elements that can I can apply to my own space. (Click on the Magazine to order.)
Another great thing about AD is that they usually have a great subscription promotion going on. I recently gave it as a fun treat to a stylish friend who I knew would love to page through each issue.
Next up: InStyle Magazine. InStyle features the latest in celebrity news, fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends. They have all the latest in celebrity news and Hollywood events. You get a firsthand peek into the life of your favorite celebrities and I love the celebrity home tours. Browse the hottest trends of everything: shoes, bags, clothing and accessories. InStyle also offers a variety of makeup how-to’s and hairstyle ideas to help you look your best. With their “best of” products (picked by the InStyle editors) you can find the best products on the market, and skip wasting money on the ones that don’t measure up. It’s a fun easy read with style for everyone! (Click on the Magazine to order.)
My Final Pick is my Favorite Pick: Living Etc. No, I’m not talking about Martha Stewart’s magazine. Living Etc. is a home magazine based out of London. It’s cool, quirky, and everything in between. It’s a one-stop edit of modern style inspiration and design ideas. Although my home is a mix of grey, charcoal and more grey and charcoal, I am drawn to this colorful display of home interiors. It’s a magazine you will hang onto and marvel at its whimsy.
Living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, dens – this magazine will give you amazing ideas and inspire you to elevate your space. Enjoy!
Christine & Ann