Comments : 25

Hi and happy Friday. We are headed out of town and boy am I happy about that. I have had one hectic week…had A LOT going on this week, on top of getting a stomach bug, migraine and working myself to the bone….I would say I have earned a little getaway.? As a blogger a great perk (one of the many I might add)? is receiving a? steady stream of books, some really great and some unfortunately,? not so much. Some worth shouting from the rooftops about and others, get quietly tucked away on a bookshelf, for a rainy day and a second chance.

Today I want to share with you a round up of seven particular favorites that are exceptional in every way, true “blue ribbon”, award winning? books, yes the very ones that warrant shouting from the rooftops about!? These are books that I would go and buy and in some cases I have actually bought these as gifts because they were so exceptional.?? So here are my seven faves along with a brief synopsis as to why I love them so…….




1. ROWING BLAZERS.? I have to admit I probably would not have gone out to buy this book, I mean I have never rowed in my life unless you consider kayaking for fun around Centre Island and Hawaii “rowing”! But wow this it A M A Z I N G and I totally understand what all the fuss is about !!!

The pictures draw you in and make you want to sign up for crew lessons pronto and not just because you might be taught by some hunky crew instructor sporting a nifty rowing jacket! The photography is off the charts, the “eye candy”? the gorgeous young men, of course is the striking smart rowing uniforms in their vivid color combinations with the elegant boathouse as their backdrops. The images are so beautiful, the clothing, the scenery, everything is dreamy.

But beautiful pictures aside, the stories and Jack Carlson’s entertaining style of writing make this one engaging read even for a “non rower” like myself. This is one coffee table book you will look to open over and over again. Just beautifully presented! And it proudly sits on my library coffee table and looks right at home:) Click here if you want to check it out on Amazon.



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2. MARKAM ROBERTS.? One of the best design books I have read in years and years HANDS DOWN.? I might even say in decades. . Chock full of just incredibly beautiful interiors, what I also love is that it represents a very broad range of styles from very traditional to more transitional, from pool houses to libraries. It is so comprehensive and beautifully done, his own home and that heavenly view is just off the charts.

I really have enjoyed this book immensely and? since getting it, have? bought it twice as gifts and counting. I suspect I will be giving it to a few of my design loving friends for Christmas as well. This is so worth every cent, truly one of the best design books EVER, so it is an absolute “must have”.

This book is on my nightstand because I have been pouring over it for the last few nights, soaking up each and every yummy detail!

Click here if you want to own it.



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3. STAIRCASES. A book on staircases, you ask? Who knew! Well if you are an architecture buff or know someone who is……run don’t walk to buy this book. Absolutely gorgeous! I never thought I could get so lost in a book all about staircases, but the pictures are absolutely spellbinding. Taken all over the world from private homes to regal palaces, this book featuring the world’s most spectacular and unusual staircases is incredible.

My husband has now taken it hostage and it rests in peace on his desk in the library where he enjoys pouring over the details over it in his “spare time”……as long as he isn’t dare thinking of building another house! That would commit me into an institution for sure! This is a beautiful book, click here to see it on Amazon.





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4. HAUTE COUTURE ATELIERS . Step inside the rarefied world of haute couture, and you won’t want to leave. OMG in my next life I want to be a famous coutourier or a high fashion model or a muse or something in that world…this book is just divine! You will drool over the pages, this is as decadent as it gets. This gorgeous book sits right right on my bathtub ledge because this is where I have been savoring every delicious page, when I finally get to relax and dream in my bathtub!


If this doesn’t exemplify the devil really is in the details…don’t know what does!? A must must have for any fashionista? or anyone who just loves and appreciate how things are made and the craft behind an exquisitely? finished product. I was in a trance as I looked at these pictures….extraordinary!

This gorgeous book takes you behind the scenes of some of the worlds most beautiful couture houses and shows you the meticulous craftsmanship applied to each of the masterpieces churned out whether it is one of the incredible gowns or a piece of jewelry…the attention to detail is staggering. This will give you a whole new appreciation for this most beautiful art. Click here if you need this book.



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5. BETTY LOU PHILLIPS, THE FRENCH WAY WITH DESIGN. Full disclosure here I have been a long time fan of Betty Lou’s and own every one of her amazing books. But this one might just be my favorite, with its heavy accent on French design, it appealed? to every one of my senses in a big way. One thing I love about her books is they are those that fall into the category of the type that you continue to reference and go back to over and over…they are wonderful resources and just priceless for endless ideas! She is like a well oiled machine….a? master!

It is filled with gorgeous images that reflect? a new style of? “merging sensibilities” and the effect is just stunning! Right now this is in my living room, because in the late afternoon I have been trying to use my living room and have been taking my coffee in there to “hang out” and have enjoyed going through her book, it was only fitting that it sits on a French table next to a beautiful french cherub dish. Click here to check this out on Amazon.



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6. CARTIER IN THE 20TH CENTURY. This iconic name needs no introduction and this fabulous book comes in? beautiful hardcover case which makes this a really wonderful gift idea. If you can’t give them Cartier jewels, this might be the next best thing:) The glossy gorgeous pages are filled with beautiful? images of all of their best baubles…and will leave you wanting more.

It is organized thematically and features all of the most famous pieces and collections that Cartier has become world famous for.? Though this is in the family room for convenient viewing, I will be sure it makes it’s way to my husbands night stand as the Christmas holiday season begins as a subtle reminder that his wife likes shiny things and I am not talking about toasters!

You can preorder this amazing book by clicking here.




This book is a must have for anyone who loves jewelry or just appreciates the fine art of exquisite workmanship. A true gem, no punt intended.

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7. BEAUTY AT HOME AERIN LAUDER. Love this book…this book and her style really speaks to me! I actually read most of the book one afternoon as opposed to just looking at the pictures which is what I admittedly normally do and I have to say I really have to hand it to Aerin. First off we have a lot in common, actually a lot more than I realized right down to having boys that play lacrosse and our course our unabashed love for blue and white! I love her effortless style, her carefree attitude, the way she loves to entertain with all rooms being open to everyone (dogs included)…that is a great and very admirable quality.? She must make everyone feel so welcome and right at home.

Really enjoyed the book immensely? and have opened it many times since I have got it. I enjoyed her stories and can so relate to her love of home and can see and feel that she is her happiest when at home fussing around the house preparing for houseguests? or even just cooking up something for her own family. She has enviable style and it is no surprise to me that her brand has taken off like a rocket……she is relatable,? not pretencious, likable and I really admire what she has done. This book is a home run for me! Click here to buy this on Amazon.



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So those my friends, are my book recommendations and books that I think everyone should have on their shelves. Each one of these are loves for me. I would and will be buying these as gifts..they are just wonderful! I love receiving a great book as a gift, don’t you?

They just make such perfect gifts and isn’t the fact that they are so easy to wrap a huge bonus? I mean even if you stink at wrapping, your giftwrap comes out professional looking when you wrap a book…(insiders secret:) It’s those darn corners that get you every time…but not with a book:)

Wishing you a wonderful end to your week, a fabulous and relaxing weekend and may the sun be shining where you are! Be back on Monday!



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Anita Rivera on

Dear Tina, you work so hard. Go, get away, have fun, come back with some goodies and pamper yourself! You are always on the move, so rest up!

I love the notion of that collegial book with the traditional outfits of academia. The staircases, the French way of living….BRING IT ON. My beams resemble those in the photo, but unfortunately, my rooms are too dark to photograph!

Thank you for the uplift before I go teach French with laryngitis! HAHAHA!


Katie Clooney on

Hello Miss Tina… Sounds like you have had quite a week!! Thanks for the great selection of books. Not only do I want them all, but they are great holiday gift ideas. Hope you get some rest this weekend!

Kristin on

I would have never selected Rowing Blazers, but after seeing your review that will have to change! Looks so interesting. Thanks for ALL the recommendations!

Enjoy some much needed rest this weekend. Xoxo

Karena on

Good morning Tina, I love your choices as they are some of my favorites as well! Books have always been a major part of my life and they take us away to other worlds we would have never experienced!

The Arts by Karena

Sue J. on

Tina, Thank you for the fantastic recommendations…especially Rowing Blazers! My son is a rower. My husband and I have always enjoyed seeing the different colors and patterns of the blazers. Have a lovely…and restful…weekend!

Elizabeth@pine cones and acorns blog on

Tina as always a wonderful selection of books! I have two of them but now will have to put the others on my Christmas list!

Take care of yourself and get well soon!

Phyllis on

What a great selection, Tina. I have two rowers who would get a kick out of Rowing Blazers – adding that one to the coffee table!

Lisa on

What a great list! Honestly anything you have recommended I have loved and I already am buying four of these books and need to get the rowing book formy nephew an avid rower who hopes to go to college for it- he would love that!
Enjoy your weekend get away Tina- love your blog:-)

Ellen on

What a terrific review- I just ordered the Markam Roberts book- it looks too good to not get and I can’t pass up a great design book
Some really good holiday gift ideas here- thank you.
Have a nice weekend and hope you are feeling better.

JaNis stufflebean on

Would love to have them ALL!

Leslie @4aroundthetable on

Great round up of books Tina! A have a few but there are a couple here that I will order when the dust settles around here. Hope you feel better and get some rest over the weekend.

Peggy Braswell on

have a rower in my house + the rowing book is a must + love all the rest of the books + great Christmas gifts.

Margie preiss on

Hi Tina!

I just love following your beautiful blog. Will you ever do a special post on your husband’s library? I would love to see more of it…


Barbara Kelly on

Hi Tina
Enjoy your get a way weekend.

Have four books from your selection. This why your blog is my favorite;
we are on yhe same page!


South Shore Decorating Blog on

I love this type of book and do’t have any of these – they are making it to my christmas list though!

Ann on

Thanks for taking are of 3 gifts I need to buy! These are incredible- I also love books but get overwhelmed in bookstores so thanks for narrowing it down!

The Cartier book looks unreal- have fun weekend!

Jeanne McKay Hartmann on

I’m a sucker for a good book and these all look amazing – a chic friend gave me the Aerin book for Christmas and I just love it!

Tina, I hope that you get to truly relax this weekend. I’m so sorry that things have been so crazy in your neck of the woods.

Can’t wait to see you soon! XOXO

elizabeth on

What a great list. My oldest son is a big rower so need to get that, I didn’t know it came out, looks incredible.

And yes to the book on Haute Couture, my very first job many moons ago was working for Vogue in NYC and then I worked for Carolina Herrera for many years so I was immersed in that world and its a beautiful world, but hectic and all consuming. Eventually I needed “out”. I heard about the book and must buy it.

Thanks for your book reviews. This was an informative and fun post Tina.
I really do enjoy your blog, your wonderful style and fun take on life.

S.P. on

You did your homework. You could be a great critic Tina because you know how to “speak” to your audience, very engaging. That Is a special gift that few have. I enjoyed every single review even on the books I probably would not buy.

But on the books I would- M. Roberts-yes, Cartier-yes (mom is a jeweler, its in my blood), and the new Aerin book looks great. Hope you feel better and that are having a fun weekend away.

debby Anderson on

Oh, Tina, I’m sorry to hear you had a migraine. I had one this week that was horrible. It lingered for 3 days! Hope your stomach bug is gone.

All intriguing. I picked up the blazer book and flipped through it. It’s gorgeous just for a coffee table and I love Betty Lou Phillips – Have all her books.

Get some rest. xo

Mrs. Shockley on

Oh what great selections! I will have to add the Cartier book to my wish list with Amazon. I already had Aerin Lauder’s book to my list! The other books I had were Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan, Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style, Linens for Every Room and Occasion, An Invitation to the Garden, by Michael Devine, Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd, Flowers by Carolyne Roehm, An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce by Timothy Corrigan, & Soiree by Danielle Rollins. Sorry but there are so many great books out there. I thought of sharing some of the ones on my list. Wonderful choices! Thank you for sharing!

Karolyn on

Hope you had a wonderful weekend dont hesitate to get intouch if you need anything for this week!!

Pretty Pink Tulips on

Oh my!!! I am a book hoarder! Love them. Savor them. Stack them. Read them. I think this is the one thing that I don’t ever purge! These are awesome suggestions. I really want Markham Roberts book but the others (except Aerin’s) I wasn’t familiar with. Better start Amazoning!

xoxo Elizabeth

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