Truly Novel

Novel Interiors

Book lovers will love Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.

And I don’t mean that simply because it is a book.

Every page is, in a word, intimately gorgeous. Through quotes taken from famous novels and authors and the beautiful photography of Ivan Terestchenko, Giramonti reveals a splendid range of domestic worlds inspired by the best books–homes perfect for snuggling up with classics by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Virginia Wolff and feeling like you have fallen into their pages.

But the photos are not the only breathtaking feature of this book. As an avid reader myself, I was delighted to find Giramonti’s writing style as fluid and poetic as some of my favorite classic authors. Her writing is spellbinding. Indeed, when I first received this book and cracked it open for the first time, I could not put it down for nearly an hour, though I had several other tasks begging for my attention.

Readers will be grabbed on the very first pages of the book, where Giramonti classifies the “types” of styles revealed in famous novels. Each section of the book is divided to fit these categories: “Shall I Put the Kettle On?” reflects the writings of Dickens and Gaskell, while “Remembrance of Things Past” espouses the style of Henry James and Edith Wharton and “Oh, the Glamour of It All” presents the bold worlds of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Beverly Nichols. Other sections of the book expose the domestic interiors of homes presented in works by Katherine Mansfield, Oscar Wilde, and Willa Cather, to name a few.

Any lover of classic literature–and home decorating–will find Novel Interiors truly novel and inspiring.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Food for the Eyes


When I read review after review describing The Slanted Door by Charles Phan as the most beautiful cookbook readers had ever seen, of course I had to check this book out for myself. And I found that readers were right: This is one of the most visually appealing cookbooks I have ever laid eyes on. The very cover, with its textured surface, screams aesthetic appeal. And the pages that follow do not disappoint. With their full-page, color photos taken from wonderful photographic perspectives, the recipes become even more appealing.

When one opens the pages of the book, it becomes obvious that the care taken in designing the book was first taken in creating the recipes it houses. From Nem Nuong to Fried Shishito Peppers, the recipes are straight from the famous Slanted Door restaurant in California. I was pleased to find even a recipe for “Creme Fraiche Ice Cream with Blueberry Swirl.”

At the beginning of each “act” of the book, Charles Phan includes a brief part of the history of his restaurant. Each recipe also includes its own short story, making this cookbook one that both photographers, food lovers, and cultural storytellers will enjoy. I recommend this book for anyone who appreciates culture, food, and travel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.