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Showcase Sunday (1)

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

Two of my non-writing passions are interior design and vintage style so I thought I would share with you today some of the fabulous books I’ve seen recently at the library that made it into my book bag.

gypset travelGypset Travel by Julia Chaplin (Assouline)

If Shabby Chic took to the road during the Hippie Era, it may have looked something like Gypset Travel.  This book is a follow-up to Chaplin’s Gypset Style (which I haven’t seen yet) and explores the bohemian lifestyle around the globe.

You know those memes where you see yourself as one way, your friend see you another way, and you’re actually something completely different?

I’m all over that!

One of the chapters explores West Country, defined as the counties of Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.  In this chapter, Chaplin specifically is discussing the Glastonbury Pop Festival (1971) and some of the yurts and temporary housing that crops up around the grand old houses.

Credit: WSupermain2, CC

Credit: WSupermain2, CC

In my wildest dreams, I see myself living in a cottage on those green hills and pulling on my Wellies (which she calls ‘gumboots’) and going off on a country stroll with the dogs — there are always several dogs in this picture, spaniels probably. And ponies.

A book like this isn’t practical for actual doing (at least in my life) but it’s fun to explore and daydream.  If the West Country is not your thing, you may like some of the other chapters on:

  • Montauk, USA
  • Deia, Spain
  • Aeolian Islands, Italy
  • Lamu, Kenya
  • North Goa, India
  • Byron Bay, Australia
  • Jose Ignacio/Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
  • Alto Paraiso, Brazil
  • Todos Santos, Mexico

So explore, dream, and if you have the means, do.

vintage tea party yearThe Vintage Tea Party Year: A Perfect Tea Party For Every Occasion… by Angel Adoree (Mitchell Beazley)

I adore this book.  This book has a great vintage vibe that is so much fun to flip through and get ideas for a non-traditional take on traditional party occasions.

This book is perfect for someone like my sister, who loves entertaining on a small scale, and isn’t afraid to go bold with vintage clothing picks, vintage dishes, textiles, and some DIY fashion.

Each section has large color photos of the delectable treats and drinks (recipes included) that Adoree recommends for the event (ex: ‘The Devil Drinks Martini’ and ‘Hearts and Champagne’ for a bachelorette party). Adoree takes it several steps further with DIY fashion accessories, treasures for the home, and fabulous hair-dos that any hairdresser would envy.

Seriously, I’ve got the hair length for these styles but no way am I teasing and pulling my hair to pull off a cabaret look.

I also love that Adoree, an East London girl, provides patriotic event options for both sides of ‘the pond’ including suggestions for Guy Fawkes Day and ideas for 4th of July for the ex-Colonies.

Party ideas in this book include:

  • New Years Eve
  • Tea parties for Children
  • Coming of Age Tea
  • A romantic ‘Tea for Two’
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Wedding Tea
  • Baby Showers
  • A Gentleman’s Tea Party
  • A Patriotic Tea
  • Picnics
  • ‘Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night’
  • Christmas Tea

If you think that you’d enjoy The Vintage Tea Party Year, I’d also like to recommend a title coming out next month by SkyHorse Publishing:

vintage partiesVintage Party: Do-It-Yourself Decorations, Drinks, Dresses, and More with the Flair of Yesterday

This title feels like it’s along the same thread and has great party theme ideas like:

  • Mad Men Martinis
  • Gatsby Galas
  • A 1940’s theme with “Airmail” place settings

Both titles look like must-owns for the creative minx looking to spice up her entertaining occasions with a blast from the past.

That does it for my first Showcase Sunday and next week, I’ll be switching to fiction and showcasing some recent picks (YA and Adult)  in historical fiction and fantasy.


Update on my 2014 GoodReads Challenge:

This week I read “Unleashing Mr. Darcy” by Teri Wilson (romance, e-book format), “Blind Date” by Emma Darcy (manga romance), and “The Bachelor Prince” by Debbie Macomber (manga romance). My total for the year is 25 books and climbing!

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at

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