Sunday Stories

A cold, rainy Saturday was the perfect time to read this classic for the first time.  I also watched the brilliant, stylish Kenneth Branagh movie on my flight home on Friday night.  Loved both the book and movie!


“The Americans” final season coming next month.  Will miss it when it wraps, but that agree six seasons is about as long as even the best series can go.

A new rule of New York City real estate: “When the designer pups arrive, rising home prices may not be far behind.”

Having started my business after age 35, some good food for thought here.

Baking these this weekend.

Now that I reflexively write in APA style for graduate work, I am firmly in the “pro” camp on the Oxford comma

More than once, I have refrained from buying a handbag or other item because it has a logo on it.  Your thoughts?

Have a lovely week!

Sunday Stories

This Sunday Stories feature has been on a bit of an unplanned summer hiatus.  Between being on the road for work most of the summer, and hitting the books for my own graduate classes each and every day, I've fallen a bit behind on this.

As summer vacation for most people winds down - and I have a week before fall media tours and classes begin again - Sunday Stories returns this week, and hopefully for many more Sundays to come.  Instead of focusing exclusively on stories from the last week, here are a few highlights from the last couple of months.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Do your reading habits change with the seasons?  I don't think mine depend so much on the season as much as what I need to focus on for work and school.

Books are also top of mind for colleges that distribute summer reading lists to their students.  Here are the most popular books that appeared on those lists this summer.

Did you take a summer vacation?  Scotland is high on the list of places Scott and I want to go.  If this post from Aspiring Kennedy doesn't make you want to drop everything and trek to the Isle of Skye this very minute, I don't know what will.

Srsly?  I don't know one person who will hire you if you do this.

Lemon desserts are my fave, and my mom's lemon bar recipe is one of my favorites.  But this one looks like it will become a new addition to my recipe collection.

If you blinked, you missed The Spotted Cheetah - a Cheetos pop-up restaurant.  Because we all need to eat more junk food, right?

Your guide to popular places to Instagram from in New York City.  You're welcome..

Apparently, I am not the only person who tries to figure out the floor plans of fictitious homes and offices on movies and TV shows.

Finally, you can definitely count me in the category of people who just love it when autumn rolls around.

Have a lovely week!


Career Lessons from Julia Child

During our trip to Paris last month, I received an email from the publisher of "The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act" to let me know they were sending me an advance copy for review.


I may or may not have done a little dance in our hotel room.   Coincidentally, we were staying just a few blocks from 81 Rue de l’Université - where Julia Child and her husband Paul lived when they moved to Paris in 1948 (I may have asked Scott to snap photos of me in front of that address on more than one occasion). 


Yes - I am a fan, something that has been referenced more than once on this blog.

The book, which comes out this Tuesday, was written by Julia's great-nephew Alex Prud'homme.  He also co-wrote her memoir "My Life in France" - which I have read way too many times to count.


But that story - and "Julie & Julia," the excellent movie it inspired starring Meryl Streep as Julia - only explores her early years.  It does not go into much depth about her "second act" that launched shortly after the Childs returned to the States and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts and "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was published.

This new book picks up where the first one left off, with the publication of what was the first of many books - and how she parlayed interviews about "Mastering" into an empire and a television career that extended well into the 1990s.  Basically, you see the development and progression of how she became the "Julia Child" we know today.

Decades before The Food Network, food blogs and the practice of Instagramming every lunch and cup of coffee, Julia became the first true food celebrity and laid the groundwork for those who would follow.  Viewers related to her approachable style, sense of humor, and ability to teach people to cook what could be complicated dishes.  She appealed to post-war American cooks who were becoming fascinated with French cuisine and culture, and who wanted to move beyond dinner staples such as casseroles and Jell-O "salads."

Julia is also an inspiration for people who have not yet found their career niche.  After all - she did not even start cooking until she was in her late 30s - let alone write cookbooks or become a media celebrity.

In fact, she was almost 50 when she did her first TV interview!  I started my TV career at 31 - which seemed very late at the time.

Another great lesson is the value of having a spouse who is your greatest fan, cheerleader and partner - something I can totally relate to!  Paul Child was just that for her, and he also happened to have the creative, marketing, photography and PR skills that supported her work.  Ten years her senior, his career was winding down as hers was taking off, which enabled him to focus all of his skills and efforts into helping build the Julia Child "brand."

Once you start reading, your only distraction may be a desire to head into the kitchen and whip up something fabulous for dinner.

Bon appetit!


Sunday Stories: Live in Buckingham Palace, Starting a Business and Save Big on Groceries

We wound down our end-of-summer vacation this week in London - which is why the first article here caught my attention.  Happy reading!

  • Want to live in Buckingham Palace?  Here's one way.

Have a lovely week!

Sunday Stories

In between reading books and watching movies for our upcoming vacation, I continue to catch up on newspapers, magazines and my favorite blogs.  Here - a few fun links from the week.  As always, I only share happy stories.

  • Books, glorious books!  Feast your eyes on this week's Wall Street Journal fall book preview.
  • These 10 things productive and organized people do before noon sound about right to me, although I admit that staying away from digital distractions early in the day would be a bit of a challenge.
  • Has an airline ever lost your checked bags?  This article about how Delta Airlines is investing in a new RFID tracking system to try to improve their baggage operations will make you happy.
  • As someone who does not like sweet pastries in the morning, these savory Tomato-Basil Morning Muffins sound like a winner.
  • Finally, a story I am happy to share since today is my birthday: the older people get, the happier they are.  Something for all of us to happily look forward to!

Have a lovely week!