I brought a combination of books and magazines, since I read a myriad of both on a regular basis. I try to make time for reading every day, though sometimes a lack of time prevents that. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I love fashion and I love that Barney’s supports independent designers and up & comers. I always try to follow what they’re featuring. This issue is incredibly well-edited and art directed. Alas, perhaps what they feature is bit more aspirational than my budget allows, but amazing nevertheless.
This is one of the company’s home décor magazines, so it seems a bit superficial, right? But it’s gorgeous, I mean the way they lay it out, the way they set up the various ensembles of furniture and jewelry is just beautiful and intriguing. As an advertising geek, I greatly appreciate the paper stock, photography and the way this magazine is consistent with the Anthropologie brand. There is never a disconnect between how they represent their clothing and décor.
[do you like interior design?] I do for my own home, but not particularly for other people. Anthropologie does a wonderful job of mixing eclectic, glam and color in a way that resonates with my style. I find it very inspirational for my own spaces.
I love wine – everyone here knows that. I also love food and don’t have the luxury of a lot of time to cook, so this is my aspirational magazine. It’s what I pull out when I think I am going to have time to sit down and make a gourmet meal, or when I think I am going to have the opportunity to travel to some of the exotic places they cover. This is the only magazine that I regularly subscribe to, so something must be inspiring about it. This happens to be the Thanksgiving issue.
[did you make anything out of it?] Not yet, because my sister also loves to cook and she hosted Thanksgiving this year. She was pretty specific about what recipes were on the menu.
This is an excellent book for advertising professionals, but particularly for women who are passionate about this field. Jane Maas, the author, worked her way up at Olgivy & Mather in the 60’s (a.k.a. the Mad Men era) from copywriter to creative director at a time when women in advertising were incredibly rare. She is the brain behind the famous campaign, “I Love New York.” She was a front-runner for female advertising professionals, as well as a wife and mother. She depicts her professional and personal story in a way that brings Madison Avenue and the energy of advertising world to life. It is juicy – let’s just say that I am glad we have all moved past the Mad Men era. It is also pretty sweet that I had the opportunity to meet her and have her sign my copy of her book.
This is a leisure read for me written by Amy Tan, who is one of my favorite authors. She is also the author of The Joy Luck Club, which is a superb book that shares stories of two generations and four strong-willed Chinese-American women and their daughters as they navigate through life, often times referring back to China and previous generations of the family. I have a great appreciation for Tan’s writing because she is amazingly creative and gifted at bringing the characters and scenes in her novels to life. I have never been to China, but she is capable of transporting the reader to a scene in a way that makes them feel they know the environment incredibly well. As a Chinese-American, Opposite of Fate is Tan’s own memoir about her childhood, upbringing and evolution into an author. In most of her books, there are underlying themes related to the strength of family and the strength of women. I believe I’ve read every one of her books and I always am thrilled when a new one is released.
SARAH VINE AND TANYA KINDERSLEY
Okay, admittedly, I first picked up the book because of its beautiful bookbinding and the title. On further perusal, it was clearly a great read – not just a tutorial on how to wear my shoes. I consider this book more of a reference, or guide, than a start to finish read. Two British authors, Sarah Vine and Tanya Kindersley write their thoughts and advice from a female perspective on topics ranging from politics, to careers, to motherhood (working and stay-at-home-moms alike) to shopping and love – they really cover the gamut. I am not much of a “self-help” reader, but the delivery is wise, intelligently written and funny. It’s a great book to pick up and read about a topic that may be highlighted in your life at that moment.
[What is your main motivation for reading?] I’ve always been a reader, even since I was a very young child. It was an escape in a way just to remove myself from the day-to-day world. So, I typically read more for pleasure, but as I’ve become a mom I’ve started reading more books about child development, things that can give me insight. As a professional, I read things that are more relevant and keep me refreshed as it relates to advertising or the like. I am a huge follower of politics, but I typically don’t read it. I usually watch or listen. So, primarily for pleasure.
I think choice of genres is very diverse. I read a lot of fiction, I don’t read a ton of history but if it’s the right historical book I will read it. My sister-in-law gave me the entire Lyndon B. Johnson series, which is a really long series that I’ve read. I also read Steve Jobs. So, if there’s a really interesting story line to it I will read nonfiction, but no I don’t think it’s changed, but it’s broadened.
[So with your daughter, do you see any kind of a difference in generations when it comes to reading?] I do and I made it a point since the day she was born that I would read to her so she would ideally have an appreciation for reading. Although she got an incredibly high reading aptitude, she doesn’t particularly like to read like I did at her age. I could go read a book for 2-3 hours on a Sunday afternoon. She would much rather play on her Kindle. She might read something, but then she turns around and plays a game or gets on social media. So, it’s unfortunate. They do sort of create the need for reading at school, so she’s getting it but it’s not an organic pleasure for her at the moment, but hopefully that will change.