December 2012 Archives

Interior Design

It's a new year, why not freshen up the look of your house? These new books on interior design might give you some ideas.

Click for availability and more information Ann Getty: interior style, by Diane Dorrans Saeks; photography by Lisa Romerein
The first-ever compilation of the luxurious interiors from the influential designer and philanthropist Ann Getty. Fluent in classical styles and periods and known for sourcing her vast array of objects and opulent materials from across the globe, Getty creates interiors that are steeped in historical style yet remain fresh and vibrant for today's clientele.From the exceptional residence she and her music-composer husband, Gordon Getty, use for entertaining and displaying their world-class collection of art and antiques, to the comfortable yet elegant townhouse she designed for a stylish young family, the book showcases richly detailed interiors that are coveted by design enthusiasts and collectors. Featured are pieces from Getty's successful furniture line of original designs inspired by the renowned Getty collection as well as her own extensive travel and design studies.This intimate look, Getty's first-ever monograph, demonstrates how to combine objects from different time periods and styles in a sumptuous atmosphere rich in bold colors, vibrant textures, and classic elegance. 

Click for availability and more information Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors , by Michelle Gringeri-Brown; with photographs by Jim Brown
Traveling from upstate New York to Washington, D.C., to San Mateo, California, and various places in between, the authors found eight great examples of ranch interiors sure to inspire. Flip through the pages of this book and you'll find kitchens and baths that stand out from the crowd but are still at home in this modest architectural style. You'll see how the judicious addition of the most inexpensive details can make your house look like a zillion bucks. The homeowners of our featured homes share their tips on color, flooring, window coverings, furniture arrangements, and more. They turn off-the-shelf components into custom features and talk about both their successes and their challenges. But most importantly, they show how to live stylishly while still having a life. Like you, they have kids, pets, and jobs, and would trade a kitchen floor that doesn't show muddy footprints for a white carpet any day. Their stories explain why these rooms work, and provide you with resources and ideas for everything from the garage door to the art on the wall. Read a review of the book from the Los Angeles Times Home blog. 

Click for availability and more information The Collected Home, by Darryl Carter with Trish Donnally
Readers who love new traditional design that's clean and refined yet comfortable will find inspiration and liberation in how acclaimed designer and author Darryl Carter perceives the home as a collection of beloved hand-selected items. The Collected Home dazzles with gorgeous photographs of rooms and details, and enlightening text about what makes a space extraordinary. Additionally, the author provides--for the first time ever--hands-on advice for approaching home design, such as defining short- and long-term goals, from selecting an antique door knocker to planning the architectural elements of an addition. 

Click for availability and more information Interiors, by Martyn Thompson
Photographer Martyn Thompson has managed to assemble a stunning collection of the homes of the most well-known figures in the design world. Featuring such fascinating subjects as Francisco Costa, creative director of Calvin Klein; Italian jewelry designer Elsa Peretti; interior designer Thomas O'Brien; fashion designer Francisco Costa; hotelier Sean MacPherson; designer Sonja Nuttall; and fashion designer Anna Sui; this book is a sneak-peak into the interiors of the style-makers.

Click for availability and more information Mirrors: reflections of style, by Paula Phipps
Presents a history of the mirror, discussing the different forms it has taken and its various uses a decorative detail throughout history, from the artifacts of the ancient world, to the refinements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the modern innovations of the twenty and twenty-first centuries. 

Click for availability and more information 100 ways to happy chic your life , by Jonathan Adler
A vibrant, hilarious mash-up of style bible, decorating tome, and self-help guide. In gorgeous, full-color spreads, 100 bold ideas for Happy Chic dwelling, decorating, and entertaining are revealed. As a bonus, five project gatefolds invite readers to create their own Happy chic handicrafts. 

Click for availability and more information Jennifer Post: pure space, elegant minimalism, by Anna Kasabian
This book showcases fresh, contemporary interiors that reflect Jennifer Post's "pure space" philosophy: a serene, meticulously organized volume that offers a peaceful break from a busy world. From lofts in New York City to Miami high-rises to Palm Beach villas, each interior is immaculately conceived, detailed, and constructed--the epitome of pure, tailored modernism. In her own words, Post demonstrates how she transforms living environments into elegantly edited spaces, using clean lines, white surfaces that reflect natural light, and open areas that allow a home to breathe. Since the age of eight, when she traveled to neighbors' houses offering to organize their closets and rearrange their rooms, Post has been dedicated to her pure aesthetic vision, resulting in a timeless body of work. 

Click for availability and more information Vintage remix : the interiors of Kishani Perera , by Kishani Perera
Interior designer Kishani Perera knows that good design is everywhere and at every price point. Mixing modern with vintage, and retail with custom, her eclectic interiors incorporate pieces from designer showrooms and Etsy alike to create spectacularly layered, vibrant homes. In Vintage Remix, Perera's striking interiors serve as a guided tour through the stages of design, from deciding when to skimp or splurge to adding the finishing touches and unexpected elements of whimsy. Her mix-and-match philosophy will help readers discover and express their own tastes. Perera takes the intimidation out of blending styles, proving that pairing seemingly opposing pieces can strike a balance that is classically chic.

New Science Fiction Books

| 1 Comment

Why not close out 2012 with a new Science Fiction novel. Unless, of course, the Mayans are correct.

Click for availability and more information Angels Ink: an asylum tales novel, by Jocelynn Drake
Trying to fly under the radar in Low Town, a place where elves, faeries and other creatures walk among humanity, Gage, the best tattoo artist in town, who uses his unique potions to fulfill any heart's desire, cannot hide from the powerful warlocks who want him dead. Part 1 of a series. 

Click for availability and more information Bowl of Heaven, by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths...and it's on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship. A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated--one group captured by the gigantic structure's alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape--the mystery of the Bowl's origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe. 

Click for availability and more information The Cassandra Project, by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick
With interest in the space program waning, a public affairs director at NASA reveals a shocking secret about the Apollo 11 mission from fifty years ago. Co-written by two masters of the genre.

Click for availability and more information The Hydrogen Sonata: a Culture Universe novel, by Iain M. Banks
Suspected of involvement after the Regimental High Command is destroyed as they prepared to go to a new level of existence called Sublime, Lieutenant Commander Vyr Cossont must find a 9,000-year-old man to clear her name. 

Click for availability and more information The Lord of Mountains: a novel of the Change, by S.M. Stirling
Rudi Mackenize, now Artos the First, High King of Montival, and his allies have won several key battles against the Church Universal and Triumphant. But still the war rages on, taking countless lives, ravaging the land once known as the United States of America. Artos and his Queen, Mathilda, must unite the realms into a single kingdom to ensure a lasting peace. If the leaders of the Changed world are to accept Artos as their ruler, he will need to undertake a quest to the Lake at the Heart of the Mountains, and take part in a crowning ceremony--a ceremony binding him to his people, his ancestors, and his land. Then, once he has secured his place and allegiances, Artos can go forward, and lead his forces to the heart of the enemy's territory... 

Click for availability and more information Only Superhuman, by Christopher L. Bennett
A tale set in a near-future solar system of genetically engineered super-humans inspired by classic comic book heroes finds Troubleshooter Emerald Blair helping to restore order to unstable space habitats in the Asteroid Belt only to find her loyalties tested by rivaling factions and her desire to put her powers to good use.

Click for availability and more information Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
A tale set at the end of the twenty-first century finds the planet's divided hominid population subjected to the forces of a splintery metaconsciousness that inundates networks with plans for cataclysmic technologies, prompting an unwitting jury member to participate in a grueling decision. 

Click for availability and more information 1635: the papal stakes, by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon
Held hostage by a papal usurper, 1635 uptimer Frank Stone and his pregnant downtime wife, Giovanna, become targets in a rescue effort by Harry Lefferts and his infamous Wrecking Crew at the same time the true pope is targeted for assassination.

Click for availability and more information Three Parts Dead, by Max Gladstone
Hired to resurrect a deceased fire god to protect his rioting city, Tara, a first-year associate in an international necromantic firm, teams up with a chain-smoking, faith-questioning priest to build a case in the city's courts and investigates suspicions that the god was actually murdered.

New Fiction

 2012 has been a great year for fiction. Here's a dozen titles from the last month to round out the year.


Click for availability and more information Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles, by Fabio Bartolomei
Diego is a forty-something car salesman with a talent for telling half-truths. Fausto sells watches over the phone. Claudio manages (barely) his family-owned neighborhood supermarket. The characteristic common to each of these three men is their abject mediocrity. Yet, mediocrity being the mother of outrageous invention, they embark on a project that would be too ambitious in scope for any single one of them, let alone all three together. They decide to flee the city and to open a rustic holiday farmhouse in the Italian countryside outside Naples. Things would have been challenging enough for these three unlikely entrepreneurs, but when a local mobster arrives and demands they pay him protection money things go from bad to worse. Now their ordinary (if wrongheaded) attempt to run a small business in an area that organized crime syndicates consider their own becomes a quixotic act of defiance.

Click for availability and more information The Balloonist, by MacDonald Harris
In 1897, three men, a scientist, a journalist, and an adventurer, set off in a hot-air balloon hoping to be the first men to land on the North Pole, as Major Gustav Crispin, the scientist, contemplates their situation and remembers his love affair with the exasperating Luisa. Originally published in 1976 and nominated for the National Book Award. 

Click for availability and more information The Canvas, by Benjamin Stein
Loosely based on the true story of Binjamin Wilkomirski, whose fabricated 1995 Holocaust memoir transfixed the reading public, The Canvas has a singular construction--its two inter-related narratives begin at either end of the book and meet in the middle. , a psychoanalyst in Zurich, encourages Minsky to write a book about his traumatic childhood experience in a Nazi death camp, a memoir which the journalist Jan Wechsler claims is a fiction. Ten years later, a suitcase arrives on Wechsler's doorstep. Allegedly, he lost the suitcase an a trip to Israel, but Wechsler has no memory of the suitcase, nor the trip, and he travels to Israel to investigate the mystery. But it turns out he has been to Israel before, and his host on the trip, Amnon Zichroni, has been missing ever since. . .

Click for availability and more information Finding Casey, by Jo-Ann Mapson
Glory Vigil, newly married, unexpectedly pregnant at forty-one, is nesting in the home she and her husband, Joseph, have just moved to in Santa Fe, a house that unbeknownst to them is rumored to have a resident ghost. Their adopted daughter, Juniper, is home from college for Thanksgiving and in love for the very first time, quickly learning how a relationship changes everything. But Juniper has a tiny arrow lodged in her heart, a leftover shard from the day eight years earlier when her sister, Casey, disappeared-in a time before she'd ever met Glory and Joseph. When a fieldwork course takes Juniper to a pueblo only a few hours away, she finds herself right back in the past she thought she'd finally buried.

Click for availability and more information The Greatcoat: a ghost story, by Helen Dunmore
It is the winter of 1952 when Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her new husband, Philip, a medical doctor. While Philip spends long hours working away from home, Isabel finds herself lonely and vulnerable as she adjusts to the realities of being a housewife in the country. One evening, while Philip is on call, Isabel is woken by intense cold. When she hunts for extra blankets, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hidden in the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under the coat for warmth, she starts to dream and is soon startled by a knock at her window. Outside is a young RAF pilot wearing a familiar coat. His name is Alec and his powerful presence disturbs and excites her as they begin an intense affair. Nothing though has prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on her own.

Click for availability and more information Kafka in Love, by Jacqueline Raoul-Duval
An English-language translation of an accessible introduction to the literary master is inspired by the stories of his four defining romances as documented in Kafka's personal journals and offers insight into his decision to maintain long-distance, correspondence-based affairs with a sequence of fiancées he never married. The author uses his voice in her own writing, and a third of the book is pulled from Kafka's journals. It is the perfect introduction to this giant of world literature, and captures his life and romances in a style worthy of his own.

Click for availability and more information Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, by William Kuhn
When Queen Elizabeth, disguised in a skull-emblazoned hoodie, sneaks out of Buckingham Palace to escape her duties for a little while, an unlikely sextet of royal attendants team up to find their missing monarch and bring her back before her absence sets off a national scandal.

Click for availability and more information The News from Spain: seven variations on a love story., by Joan Wickersham
In these seven variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories range over centuries and continents--from eighteenth-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president's wife. A race-car driver's widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer--all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what's in someone else's heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination. 

Click for availability and more information The Nostalgist, by Griffin Hansbury
Stoop-shouldered and balding beneath a porkpie hat, Jonah Soloway is an old man before his time. Estranged from his astrophysicist father and effectively orphaned when an SUV took his mother's life, Jonah longs to make a human connection?even if it means lying to get it. When he calls the phone number on Rose Benevento's 9/11 missing poster and reaches her mother, Vivian, one lie gives birth to another and another, and before Jonah knows it, the truth becomes indiscernible even to him. Stalked by Rose's ghost and desperate to keep the Beneventos from uncovering his lie, Jonah finds himself adrift in a city he no longer recognizes and more alone than ever.

Click for availability and more information Noughties, by Ben Masters
Celebrating with his friends the night before his Oxford graduation, Eliot Lamb reluctantly prepares to confront his feelings for a fellow lover of literature while receiving ominous messages from an ex-girlfriend and revealing a tragic long-time secret. For fans of Martin Amis and Zadie Smith.

Click for availability and more information Raised from the Ground, by José Saramago
First published in 1980, this book follows the changing fortunes of the Mau Tempo family--poor landless peasants not unlike Saramago's own grandparents. Set in Alentejo, a southern province of Portugal known for its vast agricultural estates, the novel charts the lives of the Mau Tempos as national and international events rumble on in the background--the coming of the republic in Portugual, the two World Wars, and an attempt on the dictator Salazar's life. Yet nothing really impinges on the grim reality of the farm laborers' lives until the first communist stirrings. 

Click for availability and more information This book is full of spiders: seriously, dude, don't touch it , by David Wong
From the writer of the cult sensation John Dies at the End comes another terrifying and hilarious tale of almost Armageddon at the hands of two hopeless heroes as they become embroiled in a new set of horrific but absurd challenges when movie-induced zombie phobia enables a nefarious shape-shifter race to take over the world.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

January 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.