Stories for: Books

Books, FashionCloset Confidential

After years of moaning and groaning of “having stylish pieces but not knowing how to put them all together”, fellow Boston blogger Susie gifted me with a copy of Closet Confidential, a humorous yet comprehensive look at fashion for “real women with real bodies and real budgets and a desire to care out their own style”, all based on author Winona Dimeo-Ediger’s “cache based on personal experiences/humiliations”. READ MORE

BooksBlue Bloods with Bite

BlueBloodIt seems like every blog has a resident vampire/Twilight obsessee–in the case of the The Daily Obsession, it seems like I am it, given that I breezed through all of the Twilight books in one, highly unproductive holiday week, and routinely lend out my copies to coworkers and friends too ashamed to purchase their own.  For the record in case you are wondering, I am fully on Team Jacob, and not Team Edward, something about Robert Pattinson just doesn’t do it for me.

I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post that since Twilight ended, I’ve been moving on to other vampire oriented books, and my newest find is Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series, a sexier take on teenage vampires, with an injection of NYC Upper East Side money and private schools, and added vampire lore and history tracing back to the Mayflower.  Blair Waldorf already has the sardonic wit and sassy, scathing put downs that make Gossip Girl such a hit: add some fangs and a lust for blood, and you have one of Blue Blood’s main characters, Mimi Force, a beautiful, ancient teenage vampire (or Blue Blood) who rules prestigious prep school, Duchesne. READ MORE

Books, HomeYabu Pushelberg for the Home

As some of you may or may not know, I’m currently in the midst of trying to buy some real estate in Manhattan.  After 24 years of living in some kind of shared housing, I’m ready to take my shoe boxes and makeup bags and find a place to call my own home. The past three years, I’ve lived in an apartment that I’ve decorated only with beauty loot, waiting until I have my own space to bust out the creative design cap.  And that moment, my friends, may be sooner rather than later.

So it is with fortuitous timing that one of my favorite design firms, Yabu Pushelberg, publishes its first book, a portfolio of their gorgeous interior designs, that I will be sure to take much of my inspiration from.  Anyone who has walked into Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, stayed at the St Regis Hotel in San Francisco or dined at Fin in Las Vegas has experienced the duo’s amazing creations brought to life. While I am a shameless viewer of all sorts of ah “design porn,” I was particularly drawn to the images of the private residences featured in the book.  Yabu Pushelberg isn’t available to purchase for a few more weeks but I got my hands on an advance copy and snapped a few pictures below the cut of my favorite spreads to give TDO readers a sneak peek.  (As you can see, I’m a particularly big fan of their “clustering” technique- be it mirrors, artwork, or pillows).

The entire book is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. READ MORE

Books, Food, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Food & Wine Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook

Accessories, Books, Cheap & Chic, Fashion, Food, Jewelry, ShoesCheap & Chic: August 2009

Books, Fitness & Health, InterviewsTDO Interview: David Kirsch

To amp up for summer, I’m now going to the gym about 6 times a week.  But as I started paying more attention to working out, I realized that I didn’t know the answer to some very common exercise questions.  So I turned to David Kirsch, celebrity trainer to the uber hot and uber famous to settle once and for all those nagging concerns.

Kirsch has shaped some of Hollywood’s hottest bodies including Anne Hathaway (did you see how amazing she looked in her post-breakup pictures), Liv Tyler and Ellen Barkin.  He is also famous for getting Hedi Klum from baby weight to runway ready in three weeks for the Victoria Secret fashion show back in 2005, just eight weeks after birthing her child.  (The show was recorded November 9 and Kirsch arrived in LA to train Klum on October 13.)

Kirsch has also developed a series of workout related products.  His newest book, David Kirsch’s Butt Book, is out July 13, but we’re giving you a sneak preview of how to do one of his signature butt exercises. Read below for the tips this master trainer shares with TDO readers to make your own workout more efficient: READ MORE

BooksSo, You’re Going Through Twilight Withdrawal…

You finished the last of the Twilight book series, and you’ve watched the trailer for New Moon, but you just need something else to get you past your Edward Cullen fix.  If this sounds like a familiar situation to you, run to your nearest Barnes and Noble, to pick up Vampire Academy, the closest substitute to Twilight and the long departed, much beloved Buffy. Vampire Academy, was recommended to me by the younger sister of a friend, has all the elements that made Twilight and Buffy so addictive in the first place:

Embarrassing book cover art, and reading meant for a demographic much younger than your own?  Check, including a faux Angelina Jolie look-alike (making that Kindle all the more useful to conceal your book choices).

Interesting and fascinating descriptions of the vampire sub-world?  Check! Vampire Academy has that and more, centering on a whole academy of young vampire royals and their loyal Dhampirs, who are half vampire/half human  sworn guardians to protect the vampires against the evil Strigoi, vampires turned bad.

Touching female friendship?  Check! Buffy is to Willow as Lissa Dragomir (Vampire royal) is to Rose Hathaway (Dhampir.)

Forbidden love story?  Check!  I won’t give away the love story here but be on the lookout for the love blossoming between Rose Hathaway and someone else that is just as Edward/Bella and Angel/Buffy-worthy.

I breezed through the first book in just about 2 days and soon devoured the next 2 books in the series the following week after.  While  Vampire Academy lacks a very key Robert Pattinson, it makes up for it with zero Bella whining/angst in the books (exactly how many times can one hear Bella talk about how muscular Edward’s chest is and how unworthy she is of his love?)  And surely when this book becomes inevitably made into a movie, someone equal to People’s Sexiest Man Alive will be cast for the key role of Dimitri, Rose’s teacher and mentor — here’s hoping!

BooksKafka on the Shore

As soon as I finished finals in May, I set out to create a big list of summer reading. I have always loved to read, but sadly, my favorite hobby was put on the back burner during second semester due to the large quantities of schoolwork filling up my plate. Since May, I have read quite a few novels, but none of them made any lasting impression on me until I read Kafka on the Shore. This gripping novel, a blend of reality and fantasy, takes you on a wild ride not soon to be forgotten or put down! Written in 2002 by Haruki Murakami and translated to English in 2005, Kafka on the Shore quickly became a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2005 and for good reason.

I have to confess, I was a little apprehensive about opening the book. The back summary speaks of talking cats and fish raining from the sky. I am usually a realistic fiction fan, hardly ever choosing fantasy, so this tidbit of info was a little off-putting for me.  Luckily, Kafka on the Shore delivers just the right amount of reality and fantasy to appeal to both camps of readers. READ MORE

BooksLake With No Name

Guys, I have been on a reading rampage lately, devouring books in one sitting- not even showering after the gym and giving up my otherwise Tuesday evening events to down a 300 page book in 3 hours. I used to do this when I was 12 and then the Internet happened and it hasn’t been until this summer that I’ve gotten back into appreciating good books.

At any rate, here’s one that I read last night that I enjoyed though I’d have to preface the review with a few personal details.  The book is called Lake with No Name, a memoir written by Chinese mystery novelist Diane Wei Liang chronicling her life in Beijing before and during the Tiananmen Square Massacre.  It was originally published back in 1993, but Simon & Schuster picked it up again in time for the 20th anniversary of the event which happened on June 4, 2009.  Now, despite the implications of all that, the book is not (nor do I think it was meant to be)  a political statement but rather a coming of age love story of a bright college student figuring out her relationships during the late 80s. READ MORE

Books, SkincareLittle Bee, Big Buzz

I received this book, Little Bee, as part of a Sephora mailing they sent to beauty editors to launch their new summer beach collection. While the major event that sets the story in motion does take place on a beach, reading about it didn’t particularly motivate me to slather on some of their Divine Oil and go for a frolic in the sand.

The name of the book, the cover and even the cutesy, cryptic description (It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.) had me thinking this was going to be an easy, breezy book.  Boy, was I wrong and I figured that out somewhere in the middle of the first, mildly graphic death scene.

That said, I did read it in one sitting- which is something I haven’t done in a very long time.  It’s a good book, but when I finished around midnight last night, I had to distract my mind by hitting up a few fashion blogs before turning in for the evening. READ MORE

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