Thursday, December 24, 2015

reading a beautiful book

A person who writes "Lifestyle" books is Alexandra Stoddard.  She is an interior designer.

One of her books is titled, Gift of a Letter.

I have that one.  (Mostly I encounter her books in the form of out-sized, good-quality paperbacks, though I'm pretty sure I have The Art of the Possible in hardcover....)

Sometimes I find they've republished one of her books with different cover-art.

One of her earliest books was Living A Beautiful Life:  500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life.

Editorial Reviews on Amazon:

"Alexandra Stoddard takes the dollars and cents out of the concept of luxury and instead dwells on the more personal aspects of graceful living that are far simpler and far more appealing." -- Mark Hampton (a New York interior designer)

"Living the beautiful life used to mean having money.  Alexandra Stoddard shows us that it's no longer a matter of money -- it's an attitude and a skill, and one that Stoddard teaches us in her book." -- Marsha Mason

------------------------------ On a blog titled "A Lady Always Does" ~ Learning to be a 21st Century Lady, the author discusses Living A Beautiful Life, writing:

The book was written in the mid-80s, so it's fairly dated -- Stoddard recommends using a Filofax to keep organized- but I find it a very soothing book to read.  The focus of the book is on the rituals of daily life, having a pleasant breakfast nook with colorful place settings, lighting candles in the bath, that sort of thing. 

...I think it started my life long interest in living beautifully which has sort of culminated in this blog.  Some cons of the book are that the language can be kind of annoying (take a shot every time she writes "ritual" and you will be very drunk indeed before you finish the first chapter)....

The Grace Notes sections at the end of each chapter are a quick way to pick up some inspiration if you are having a dull moment....

Basically, this book is kind of a weird Martha Stewart Living / Pinterest mashup....If you can get past all the crazy bourgeoisness, you can find quite a bit of inspiration.
[END QUOTE, "A Lady Always Does" blog]

These two Stoddard books which I'd not yet heard of, looked interesting, to me...

One of my favorite Alexandra books is Daring To Be Yourself -- you can open it anywhere and just read something, you don't have to begin at the beginning and plow clear through...

That's what mine looks like (above).

When I went to buy it for somebody else for Christmas, it arrived with this cover:

And apparently at some point, there was an edition floating around with this cover art: