June 28, 2008

M21, Don't Look: It's the Book Thing

A few weeks ago, the ever brilliant Maison 21 did a hilarious post about listening to your inner Junque Whisperer. As I said in the comments, I fully endorse this philosophy and it's lead me to some wonderful finds. Of course, since he's not reading this, he won't be able to hear what that voice told me: Go. Book. Thing. Now. Of course, that voice said this last week, and I was going to do it anyway, but I am sure glad I listened.

As my partner in crime, Kitchenography sailed out of there with about three small cookbooks and one little periodical, I was dragging my classic LLBean bag full of books out the door and across the driveway. But, damn it was worth the pulled back muscles and strained arms.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, BT's been a little light on the good decorating books recently, so after I zipped through that section, I headed back to the biography section and struck gold! First up, a biography of Vivienne Westwood, purveyor of 60's punk design in London. I can't wait to read this book, I am sure it will be every bit as interesting as her clothes!

Speaking of clothes, I also got a book by Barney's window dresser, Simon Doonan. I have his Wacky Chicks book, which is great and very funny. This new one is called "Nasty" and is about his family and other varmints.

In a look back to the roaring 20's, I found a book called "Them" by Francine du Plessix Gray. Her name rang a bell with me, and I thought this book about her parents looked like it would be a very interesting read.

Another great find was DV, a new edition of the classic book by design doyenne, Diana Vreeland. I might have an earlier version of this, but this book has a new foreward.

As I ventured back to the design section, I saw it had been restocked. I found a really funny book by Sir Osbert Lancaster, no relation to Nancy. The book, Homes, Sweet Homes, is written by Sir Osbert and illustrated with his cartoons. He's one of the only cartoonists ever to be knighted.

One of the most interesting things I found was a series of four books called Courtiers and Favourites of Royalty. These books look to have been published in the late 1800's and are full of facsimiles of old letters, as well as loads of illustrations. I am really looking forward to spending some time exploring these books.

My wee house is getting very crowded!


  1. not that i actually *read* your post, as i am unable to read anything where you might mention the unmentionable b___ t____, but if i *was* to have read this post, i would say that the viv westwood book (one of my heroes) and the that fabulous "courtiers and favourites of royalty" look to be real finds, so i'm glad your voice led you to them...


  2. Those were some great finds. Your Inner Junque Whisperer not only tells you to go to the Book Thing but must also tell you where to look when you get there. The Simon Doonan book looks especially good.

    I like the new banner!

  3. Again, great finds!!! "Homes Sweet Homes" looks intriguing.
    (Love your new header too!)

  4. The new header is fabulous! And, I'm envying BT, as always.

  5. Love the new header!!!!! Looks like some great finds!!

  6. Meg,

    These are great finds! LOVE the new header as well! Thanks for the tips! Send me photos of your fabulous chairs so I can post them!


  7. Thanks for all of the nice comments on the new header. I was thinking about how I could incorporate some of the gorgeous images from the Eastern Shore, and all of a sudden, the inspiration for this picture came to me.

  8. Love your PIGTOWN DESIGN fountain... CLASSIC!

  9. Looks like several amazing reads!

  10. This is so much fun - DV changed me life - cant wait to check out your other finds. KDM

  11. if you haven't already read DV you will love it!

    the header is great -

    and the photos with your new brownie are spectacular!

    have fun taking pictures

  12. You'll love Osbert Lancaster. His observations on architecture & design are just as smart as those in Robsjohn's Gibbing's Goodbye Mr. Chippendale and Homes on the Range but they have a much gentler tone and he seems amused, rather than disgusted by the vagaries of mass taste.

  13. Magna... I actually have Goodbye Mr. Chippendale. I wrote about it last year. http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com/2007/03/th-robsjohn-gibbings.html It's a sweet little book and I will look forward to reading Sir Osbert's book.

  14. Osbert Lancaster was a real character. Good find. He was an illustrator of pocket cartoons, yes, writer, true, and an architectural historian, stage designer, painter, diplomat (Greece, WWII) and famous dandy. His biography by Richard Boston is a joy to read.

  15. I have all of those first 4 books and loved them!!! I know they're not my copies because I would never part with them at the bookthing! ENJOY!


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