Tag Archives: taschen

mario testino: in your face and on your coffee table

Mario Testino: In Your Face, Taschen, $60

You know I love a good coffee-table tome. And if it’s one that will spark a lively conversation, no matter who walks in your door? So much the better (and infinitely more interesting than leaving boxes of trivia cards scattered throughout your living room, or playing a rousing game of “Would you rather…?” after one too many white wine spritzers).

This isn’t your mama’s coffee-table book, thank goodness. Everyone from your spouse to Great Aunt Hilda will have an opinion – and a strong one at that – about the contents. But that’s a good thing, right?

Read on

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get gifting: the jet set

A few too many of my dear friends qualify as full-fledged jetsetters: they’re off to who knows where on a moment’s notice, rack up frequent flyer miles like they’re calories during the holidays, and can instantly tell you the best hotel to stay at in any city around the world. Then again, though most of my travel is of the “wishful thinking” variety, there’s not a thing in this travel gift guide I wouldn’t love to find under my tree. Just goes to show, whatever her (or his) mode of transport, these picks are positively sure to please.

Read on

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travel in style: the NYT 36 hours

You know those “36 Hours” travel columns you’ve been saving from the New York Times for years? The ones that are stuffed away in a folder somewhere, shredded at the corners, turning yellow and brittle, but you couldn’t throw them out because you were dreaming of the day they’d be stuffed in a suitcase, ready to take you on a perfectly-guided weekend trip?

Toss them! The NYT teamed up with Taschen to reprint the best 150 of them into what might just be my favorite travel book ever (well, perhaps the second best, followed only by Taschen’s Paris): The New York Times 36 hours. It has photos, pinpointed maps, restaurants, hotels, shopping, museums…but only the best of the best, so you don’t waste your time wondering which historical site is a must-see. It’s the perfect antidote to those overstuffed, overwhelming two-hundred-page guidebooks you typically buy for a weekend trip.

The book is broken up by geographical quadrant, so you can thumb through, say, the Southwest and decide whether to hit Scottsdale or Santa Fe. Once you’ve made up your mind? Photocopy a few pages (a much better fit for your crossbody travel bag anyway), and you’re set. It also makes for pretty wonderful imaginary trips…you can picture yourself strolling down the cobble-stoned streets of Boston or the waterfront of Seattle, and there are just enough photos to make it sufficiently tantalizing for mental travel.

Nab it now…and pick up an extra while you’re at it. Something tells me this will be a no-brainer holiday gift for at least 3 people on your list.

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random friday finds: the journal

ugh, remember when your english teacher used “journaling” as a verb?  used to drive me absolutely crazy!  that said, i seem to be on a  journal kick of late…i just keep seeing examples that make me wish i were one of those people that carries a notebook everywhere i go.  i mean, as a writer, isn’t that de rigeur?  in the hopes that some of this intent will morph into action, i thought i’d share a few styles that i can’t resist.

first up is the keel’s simple diary, which literally just debuted over at taschen, one of my favorive publishers.  i’ve only had it for a couple of days, but i’m already smitten.  i love the bright colors, the totally portable size, the back pocket for stashing…whatever.  but mostly i love that it’s already filled out for you!  this is truly a diary for those who think they have nothing interesting to say – you’re virtually guaranteed to sound utterly witty and brilliant.  each page contains a few random questions – multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank…i even spotted a graph.  you pick a page – go in order or don’t, there’s no judge here – answer the questions, ponder the extremely random quote on your page, and move on with your life.  i love this because i know once i get started, i won’t be able to resist it on a daily basis.  check out a few sample pages here, and grab it in any lovely color (each one means something about your personality, so choose wisely!).  this is most definitely going to be my go-to gift this year…stylish, clever, and only $15!



of course, there’s also the classic moleskine.  if it was beloved by hemingway and matisse, who am i to argue?  i yearn to be one of those people furtively sketching away in my moleskine at the hippest coffee shop in town.  sadly, mine tend to mostly end up filled with names of websites i mean to visit, or brands i happen across while shopping.  but i’m thinking if i had one of these amazing engraved leather covers from engrave your book‘s new artist series for my moleskine, it would encourage all sorts of creativity.  each one’s designed by a well-known graphic artist, then laser-engraved onto untreated calfskin.  they’re a little pricier at $60, but you can refill them with a standard moleskine forever, and that lovely leather will turn the most beautiful shade of honey brown (or be covered with coffee stains…but doesn’t that just make you a true artist?).


all that said, something tells me these to-the-point little notebooks from orange beautiful are still the most appropriate for my typical state of mind.  don’t we all need to be reminded to stop whining every now and then?

so, what do you think of these sweet new journaling options? are you a journaler by nature, or are you inspired to give it a go?

happy friday, everyone!

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must read: taschen’s paris


(all photos courtesy of taschen)

it’s getting to that time of year when i’m restless, and just desperate for a vacation.  but, times being what they are, i’m relegated to daydreaming about fabulous locations.  for me, it’s not so much about the sightseeing (though i do that too).  it’s about the shopping (duh), the food, and the people-watching….just relaxing and “being” in a city.  if you’re the same, you’re going to love taschen’s paris.  

this is quite possibly my favorite “picture book” of the year (though i know it’s only march).  it’s essentially the perfect marriage of a coffee table book about a city and a guidebook – you get the best of both.  rather than the traditional travel book about cathedrals and museums, taschen’s paris is devoted to three things:  hotels, restaurants and shopping.  the book is broken down into those three categories, and is piled high with gorgeous photos of the best in each group.  it’s exactly what i wish every guidebook could be…though it’s definitely not portable.  you get photos of rooms, lobbies and salons in the best hotels in paris.  you’ll see fantastic plates of food and the most perfect sidewalk cafes for people-watching.  and the shopping section…le sigh!  you’ll get photos of every stunning flagship store in paris (hermes, louis vuitton, etc), but you’ll also find out about the little hidden gems – sometimes so hidden, they don’t even have a storefront!  


if you’re craving a vacation, but paris isn’t in your budget this month, taschen’s paris will get you as close as you can get without boarding a flight. splurge on a box of macarons (the next best thing to sitting in the laduree tea salon), brew a lovely cup of tea, and curl up in your favorite chair with this book.  you’ll be transported, i can promise you that.

leaf through some of the amazing photos at taschen’s website (warning – you’ll become a fast addict to the rest of taschen’s publications!), or at amazon.  and stay tuned…i predict more wanderlust ahead!

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