April 8, 2007

Inspirations from The Book Thing

As I was tearing around on Saturday, trying to find some boxes of yellow Peeps, I happened to be near the Book Thing and so I thought I would pop in and see what they had. It was pretty crowded because they were closed for Easter, but I did manage to score a couple of interesting books and magazines.

When I was living in Wales, I didn't have access to many American magazines, so when I find issues from the time I was gone, I snag them. Even though they are two years old now, they are still interesting - especially to see which trends are standing the test of time, and which are already looking dated. In that vein, I got a couple of 2005/6 issues of House & Garden, a time during which they were making some changes. I also snagged a Town & Country which featured the house of someone I knew in Baltimore. The funniest thing about that was that it was donated to the Book Thing by a friend of my parents.
I also found "Living Well is the Best Revenge" by Calvin Tomkins. This is a book about Sara and Gerald Murphy, who were close friends of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in Paris in the 1920's. It was originally published in 1972, but has since been re-issued. The new cover artwork is a painting by Gerald Murphy. This little book is illustrated with about 70 photos and paintings. It should be a very interesting read.

The coup of the day was a sweet little book called "Sara Midda's South of France - A Sketchbook". This little book, published by Workman Press in 1990, is crammed from cover to cover with the most amazing images from the year she spent in the South of France. I can't really find out much about Sara Midda, but her watercolours are just enchanting.

There are pages of different olives, street signs, house numbers, shoes, fields, farms and so much more. I just can't wait to sit down and savour it!
These illustrations reminded me of the delightful blog, Paris Breakfasts, but with more humour to them. Scroll back through Paris Breakfasts to find Carol Gillot's lovely, ethereal watercolours - she's got tons of photos of Easter chocolates this last week or so.


  1. Gosh, you found some great books. I've only been there to drop off books and on those occasions I've always been in that oh-my-god-our-house-is-drowning-in-books frame of mind so I didn't even look to see what they had, but I'll have to stop by to check them out some time.

  2. The South of France book looks so great- I love the watercolor of the espadrilles! I still wish we had a store like that in Atlanta.

  3. Oh, the Book Thing is just plain awesome! I've unloaded so many beloved but yet unwanted books and magazines there, and picked up an armful now and then. I got a teach yourself Hebrew book and a manual on Flash Action Script. Love the place! You never know what you will find there.

  4. Seriously good buys, Farifax! Lucky girl.

  5. Sooooo funny!
    I was Googling SARA MIDDA and found yr post! I'm working on a book project and trying to get it going and SARA MIDDA is a big inspiration for me for years.
    I will try to be funnier in future :)

  6. PS
    I would love to know what happened to Sara Midda - it's a mystery...


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