must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend

Is there anything better than the Friday before a long weekend? Especially when that long weekend is the one that marks the beginning of an entire season of sunny days, watermelon and swimming pools.

I plan to spend my Memorial Day doing…well, not much. Lots of lazing around on the deck, during which I’ll probably be sipping a glass of wine iced tea and poring over some of the pretty, pretty books that have landed on my desk this month.

Wouldn’t you just kill for your Memorial Day to have a view like this?  

Time & Tide, images by Christian Chaize, via Shopping's My Cardio

Time & Tide: Photographs of Praia Piquinia, by Christian Chaize (Chronicle)

I cannot begin to tell you how much joy this beautiful book brings. Truly, it’s still sitting in my living room because I just can’t bear to put it away. It’s decadently huge (large enough that you’ll consider ripping out a page or two and sticking them in a frame), and because each photo was takein from the same spot over an eight-year period, it’s an almost hypnotic, time-lapse experience to flip through the entire book.

Of course, if I’m feeling more haute couture, I’ll turn to this delicious new tome, with its lip-smackingly lovely illustrations from all over the fashion world: New Icons of Fashion Illustration, via Shopping's My Cardio

New Icons of Fashion Illustration, edited by Tony Glenville (Laurence King)

Oh, how it inspires me to strike a fierce fashion pose, and maybe change out of these scrubby clothes I’m sporting. But then, I’ll probably forget all about that idea when I meander over to pick up this beautiful new cookbook from the chef at Slanted Door, one of my very favorite restaurants:

Vietnamese Home Cooking, via Shopping's My Cardio

Vietnamese Home Cooking, Charles Phan (Ten Speed Press)

Can’t you just taste the salt and lime flavors already? I love that this book does more than dole out recipes – it actually teaches you about the history, techniques and ingredients in Vietnamese cooking. The Hubs and I have struck a deal: we’re going to cook through this entire book as a joint project of sorts (oh, the things you divine to entertain yourselves with when you’re footloose and baby-free!). Based on all of these gorgeous photos, I’m going to be eating very well.

Of course, once I’ve cooked the perfect meal, I’ll want to curl up in the perfect house. Which I don’t have. But what I do have is Michael S. Smith’s latest treatise on interior style, which I’ll pore over to find a few helpful tips I can actually incorporate into my meager 1,100 square-foot townhouse. Just until my mansion’s ready, you understand.

Building Beauty, via Shopping's My Cardio

Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design, Michael S. Smith (Rizzoli)

I love that this tells the story of a single home, taken from its humble “before” to a glorious, awe-inspiring “after”. The saga of the house itself is pretty fascinating, actually (shortly after being completed, the entire home and its contents were auctioned off!), so perhaps I’ll sink myself into my pretty new sofa and actually read this one.

Here’s hoping a beautiful beach, an illustration-worth ensemble, a delicious meal and a home you love to be in factor into your holiday plans. Have a fabulous, footloose and fancy free long weekend, friends!

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  1. Pingback: 9 Housewarming Gifts Guaranteed to Get You Invited Back - Trulia's Blog

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