The convenience of downloading a book to a Kindle or an i-Pad is obvious (although I am still sceptical about using such devices in the bathtub and on the beach) but recently I have been thinking how would you give a book to someone who doesn’t have bookshelves anymore? Do you e-mail it?

I love picking books for people, actually putting some thoughts on what they might like, wandering around the aisles of bookstores, virtual or physical. So, before it’s too late, I am going to share with you some of the titles I bought or I might buy if such personalities were on my (very short) list.



Breakfast, Lunch, Tea – Rose Bakery

Impossible to pass up. Rose Carrarini of Villandry in London and Rose Bakery in Paris is my kind of gal “I am not very fond of sweet things and sugar, and yet I became a pastry chef”.  My soul mate. Plus the photos are fabulous and the recipes enticing – rather than recipes they are suggestions with ingredients.


Watermark by Joseph Brodsky. Brodsky, a Russian poet and essayist who emigrated to the US, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and became Poet Laureate in 1991. He loved Venice and wrote a slim volume about the city in winter – poetic, evocative and, by the end, you will want to book a one way ticket.


A Life by Keith Richards. Predictable gift, but worth every page. And I am not even a Stones fan. It’s candid, it’s fun but, above all, it is about the music – extremely detailed when it comes to the creative process and the actual execution. You will find out more about drugs you will ever think possible.


Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. If you didn’t run out to buy it when it first went on sale (as millions others have) this is the book at the top of the list of most book critics. If it really is better than “The Corrections”, then it must be a masterpiece. Hopefully it will be under my tree.


An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton – Sold only through his website – this book has amazing illustrations that will keep any adult interested for hours and the copy is sweet and different from most children’s books.


Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. Someone finally set the record straight on one of the most powerful women ever who was reduced to being described only in terms of kohl, snakes and sex. By the way, she didn’t look anything like Elizabeth Taylor.


On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. A classic that keeps on giving, my go to book to satisfy my curiosity when it comes to cooking techniques and why foods behave a certain way. Food analyzed from a chemical reaction point of view.




Filed under holidays

2 responses to “BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

  1. sue

    I miss you!!!! I bought a Kindle, the Franzen and Richards in that order. Taking them with me to Tanzania where I have hired a hut on the beach … somewhat north of nowhere fancy. I am so looking forward to it, wanna come?

    I am also going to take the first seasons each of Breaking Bad and The Wire.

    PS – I am kind of tempted by the Cleopatra book – but wonder how the hell anyone can tell the true story of someone else without ever having met them…

    • I am so jealous!! Any idea how wonderful it would be to escape one of the worst rainstorms California has ever seen??The Wire is wonderful – it took me a bit to get into it because it’s visually gritty and so unlike any other tv but stick with it and you will be rewarded. Take lots of pics and notes for our project!

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