September 28, 2008

Sunday Books

This was the weekend of the huge Baltimore Book Festival, but unfortunately we got more than four inches of rain in the past 48 hours, and it was pretty much of a wash-out. Book Thing always has a booth at the festival and they give away thousands of books over the three-day long festival.

Since I'd already gotten soaked to the skin once yesterday, I bailed on my partner-in-books, Julie. But I did zip by the Book Thing warehouse today anyway... It was pretty crowded, probably with all of the people who were going to go to the festival. I managed to find some good books, regardless of the crowds.

First up is a stunning Rizzoli (is that redundant?) book, Wedding Flowers. I am not planning on getting married anytime soon, unless I Marry Adventure, but I thought I might get some good tips and hints on flower arranging. The book is by Paula Pryke and is beautifully photographed by Chris Tubbs.

Since I am going back to England next month, it was fortuitous that I found The Better Picture Guide to Travel Photography. It's full of technical information and loads of great travel photographs. Even if I only learn a few things from the book, it will be worth it if my pictures turn out better than before.

I love those funny 1950's and 1960's books like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home. In the same vein, I found Sold to the Lady in the Green Hat by Emma Bailey. It's the autobiography of America's first woman auctioneer. I thought it would be a quick and easy read.

After my three-week long adventures with a houseguest this summer, Town & Country's Social Graces seemed like a perfect way to make sure I am a better guest when I stay with my old housemate in Wales next month. I also think that it's important to make sure you remember manners that you may have forgotten.

Finally, I found a biography of Marjorie Merriweather Post, American Empress by Nancy Rubin. Everyone in our area is familiar with her name, as a major music venue is named after her. I am sure that most people don't even realize that Merriweather Post was a real person. Her father was the breakfast foods magnate C.W. Post and her long life chronicles 20th century America, from the Roaring Twenties through the early 1970's. Hillwood, her house in Washington, DC, is a treasure-trove of French and Russian arts, including some Faberge eggs.


  1. Have you been to Hillwood? I LOVE it! They also show movies on sunday nights in the summer out in the garden -old classics. It's lovely! You have the best luck at the bookthing! I think you know all the secret shelves to look at!

  2. LOVE the illustration on the cover of "social graces"! cute sore!

  3. Love your book finds!!
    And your new header picture!! Charming!

  4. Looks like you found some great books, lucky you! And I love your new blog header. Someone actually said "cheerio" to me the other day instead of the usual "cheers" :-)

  5. Just... my dad used to say Cheerio and Righty-o.

  6. I wish I had thought to use the title "Sold to the Lady in the Green Hat" for a blog focused on finds and antiques! Great scores Meg.

  7. I was there yesterday and picked up the Wedding Flowers book. I sat in my car read through it and returned the book hoping someone will appreciate this. Glad you scored it, as the only reason I go to the book thing is because of your blog. I'm sure the book on Mrs. Post is fascinating.

  8. Everytime I read your Book Thing posts I get pea green with envy!!! I visited Hillwood last year- lovely, truly lovely.

  9. Anon... that's hilarious! I will probably read and return it, too. I am fast running out of bookshelf space in my wee house!

    Book Thing is an amazing resource. I've read so many books that I never would have otherwise!

  10. Meg, perhaps we'll meet one Sunday. Thanks again for your posts.

  11. Here's the show us all these wonderful books from The Book Thing, and none of us live near enough to go there too.
    Please: Why don't you start getting books and selling them to us via your blog?
    You could do a very cute Book Thing Blog Store for all of us decor book addicts out here!
    xo xo xo

  12. VV - While selling these books is a great idea, it is against the fundamental premise of the Book Thing, a small non-profit.

    Each book is stamped, saying "This a free book from the Book Thing. It may not be sold." Russell's goal is to get books into the hands of people who might not otherwise buy them.

    While I am lucky enough to afford books, I take books there for donations (we donated about 3,000+ books from my father's collection) and return books that I just want to read and not keep. For me, it's all about the hunt to find new and interesting books.

    That's why I have been happy to send special books to people and to give some of them away. Here's a happy recipient!

    I write about these books mostly to bring them to people's attention. If I hadn't known about them until I found them at BT, then I figure that other people might not know about them either!

  13. Re Mrs Post, I have always thought her greatest gift to the world was Dina Merrill. For me she is the chicest of American women. Flawless.

  14. Love this - book fairs are so great - maybe even in the rain? Love these front covers!


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