Good Reads as Great Gifts for the Holiday Season!

I have always had a true passion for books! I am happiest in a room with books all around me…on shelves, next to my bed, above tables and under. For this reason I have always loved to give and to receive BOOKS for holiday presents and going to Catherine Anspon’s Texas Artists Today Book signing the other night lit the fire in me to spread the word of all the Great Books that are around. I have been noting online, on TV and by visiting my favorite book stops…one, an old favorite, Brazos Bookstore and secondly a new entry, Curate, Paper City’s Pop-up Books Boutique in Tootsies, Highland Village that was chocked full of awesome design books. All hand-picked from the newest classic designers and vintage first editions from the likes of C.Z. Guest, Gloria Vanderbilt, Billy Baldwin, Tony Duquette and many more. I was inspired, to share with you, what I feel are some of the best, most unique and favorites of mine.

The list is varied, but I must admit it swings to the side of what I love to do and look at…heavy on fashion, although there were more Home Design Books that I loved and just couldn’t narrow my choices. So, could you say this is my personal Santa Book Wish List…you betcha!

First, from Curate, TOOTSIES Highland Village…so many books I must have but here are a few personal favorites.
World in Vogue: Peoples, Parties, Places by Hamish Bowles and Alexandra Kotur.

  • One of a kind book of 300 photographs of some of the most celebrated actors, artists, models as taken directly from the pages of Vogue;
  • Many never-before published photos of people, houses, parties from celebrated figures from many worlds
Texas Artists Today by Catherine Anspons

  • Compillation of 62 artists surveyed, never before represented by a monographic book via insider studio hours
  • Accompanied by concise essays that elucidates each talent’s intent, inspiration and working methods.
  • Limited edition, can be signed by collaborator/author
Italy of My Dreams by Matthew White

  • Intimate inspirational celebration of Italian style
  • Personal photo album & historical documentation of Italian style
Dream released by I Am Water Foundation

  • Puts a face on America’s homeless through images shot by Peter Duke, L.A. based photographer
  • Has recorded images of homeless for past year in three American cities
  • $100 cost goes entirely to I Am Water Foundation, founded by Houston’s own, Elena Davis.
  • Each dollar delivers a bottle of clean, safe, drinking water with words of inspiration
True Prep by Lisa Birnbach & Chip Kidd

  • Not my style, but a great gift for many I know
  • Newly updated revision of infamous, Prep Handbook
  • Incorporates 21st century givens while underscoring the importance of tradition.
  • Terse advise and blue blood humor
A Matter of Style: 10 Famous Women That Changed Fashion by Paola Saltari and Valerie Manferto de Fabianis

  • Documents incredible lives of Coco Chanel + 9 other female icons of style & elegance that inspired many
  • Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Quant, Twiggy and Lady Diana.
BRAZOS BOOKSTORE, Bissonet, carries a wide variety of the newest, most cutting-edge fiction and non-fiction, all personally selected. They have many books to choose from but have given us a list of, still available, signed books, from previous readings at their store…always a treasured, great gift for the holidays.

Signed Books: (as of today, very few copies left in each title)

True Prep by Lisa Birnbach & Chip Kidd

(description above)

Literary Houston by David Thies

  • New signed copies due in
  • Gathering of historical and contemporary writing about this Texas City
  • Organizes work according to themes: bio/memoir, visitors, city itself, events, poetry & fiction
Bitch is the New Black: a memoir by Helena Andrews

  • Andrews is only black writers for NYT and only for
  • Caustic & humorous account of her life.
Freedom by John Franzen

  • All signed copies gone, but book is worthy of mention
  • An Oprah’s Book Club favorite that she describes as exquisite/magnificent, covers three decades of family drama in Minnesota.
Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

  • Big debut; local author
  • Compels us to consider among other things the inescapable connections between sons & their mothers, plus much more.
Some other books, that I love or know I will love…..ALL available on
Hookers, Midgets & Fire Trucks by local author, Linda Gale Thompson

  • Author speaks of laughing, loving, crying and honest-to-God begging for answers to get through the absurdity of life, which she equates to a party!?
  • Loving story of a beautiful romance and life filled with tragedy, challenges and love; and how a family used laughter, not tears, (maybe a few) to get through it all.
  • This book is already looking at national attention from big name talk shows and possibly a movie??!
Women’s Wear Daily: 100 Years, 100 Designers by Bridget Foley, Laurie Sprague and Carolyn Eckert

  • Commemorates the 100th anniversary of WWD
  • Celebrates 100 designers who have had a powerful impact on fashion, forever changing what we wear and how we live
  • Chronicles history, trends, cultures of past century
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

  • Author worries about her failing memory in her inviting new collection of essays
  • Very similar to her previous, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”
  • Easy read at 137 pgs.
  • Collection of essays written for O, Vogue, NYT and New Yorker…fluffy, nifty airplane read
American Fashion Designers at Home by Jonathan Adler/Rima Suqi

  • Step into the private homes of more than 100 American Fashion Designers
  • Co-publication with CFDA
  • Visit homes of Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan,+ more
The Seven Women Project by local author Karen and Meredith McCullough

  • In depth, humorous study of the seven women inside all of us that make up who we are
  • Takes the reader on a delightful journey of nurturing self-discovery…to find her voice, her soul and her spirit
  • The Chic Sheet Speaker Series this Fall at Tony’s featured this author, Karen McCullough, as our most entertaining speaker.
Ellements of Personal Style by Elle editors Joe Zee & Maggie Bullock

  • 25 modern fashion icons on how to dress, shop & live
  • Hundreds of practical tips & inspiring photos

The list could go on and on, whether you’re a browser like myself and can literally spend hours in a bookstore or have picked up the online bug and just know what to order. There are so many great books out there in Tabletop, Hard copy or Kindle-like format. Enjoy…..and to all a Good Read! Happy Holidays!

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