By Beth Zollars

5 Minute Read


Tick tock…December 12th teasingly glowing from the upper right-hand of my lap-top screen and all I can think of – how many holiday tasks are left on my elf list?

A mound of Christmas cards tauntingly sitting in my Tiffany Garland china bowl reminding me of the fact, IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS AND YOU DO NOT EVEN HAVE A BLOODY PHOTO YET!

Chill out over- ambitious self. 

I will eventually get a Christmas tree and the cards will go out. Our Christmas Eve soiree will be joyfully warm and another year will be put to rest December 26th. 

In the meantime, a few besties whom I always like to gift with a little something are regretfully not checked off my list.

Not having a retail store means one thing – shopping.

I haven’t had to shop outside of my store floor for many years. Clothing can be difficult to choose for a friend, although I love finding the perfect sweater, shoes, wrap, accessory for my superwomen kitchen cabinet. 

A cinch for gift success certainty?

The perfect book. I personally love coffee table books, transporting you on a sublime photographic journey – somehow incomparable to what a computer screen can produce.  

My Fav Picks for Your Best Gal Pal

I believe the books, besides needing compelling content, have to be visually mesmerizing and photographed in a captivating way. 

Check out the books below, perfect picks  for anyone appreciating a worldly stylish view. 

1. The Grammar of Spice by Caz Hildebrand $30

A must-have for cooks and foodies alike, this resourceful work profiles the origin of over 60 different spices and their common uses. With 100 custom color illustrations inspired by the work of designer Owen Jones, this stylish read will both inform and inspire.

2. In Paris by Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide $20

The perfect present for anyone who has ever dreamed of living in Paris

Profiles of twenty real-life women of Paris – artists, activists, booksellers, and filmmakers, aged fourteen to seventy, living in tiny attic studios, grand apartments, or houseboats – are accompanied by more than 100 full-colour photographs by French it-girl and fashion designer Jeanne Damas, as well as tips on secret Parisian hideaways and the French art de vivre: from the five types of red wine to order depending on the occasion, and the coolest bars to drink them in, to the best red lipsticks, and places to be kissed.

3. Frida Kahlo Fashion as the Art of Being by Assouline $195

Frida Kahlo was not only an iconic artist, she was also a bold beauty and an avant-garde fashionista whose timeless sense of style continues to inspire and influence the worlds of fashion, media, and art today. Fashion is an optical effect that Frida knew how to employ shrewd intelligence and artistic intention.

Frida knew that life is theater, and fashion was her costume. Frida understood the importance of image and attitude, no matter who you are. The canvas was Frida’s mirror, and she was the painter, the model, and the painting—author, subject, medium, and object. Frida was her own best work of art.

4. Be R Guest by Rena Kirdar Sindi  $60

The de-facto international party planner Rena Sindi has for years amazed society with her blend of extravagant, dazzling, graceful, and, above all, entertaining theme parties that she has orchestrated impeccably around the world.

Finally, she is returning with an entirely new compendium of uniquely creative and inspired tips, themes, menus, costumes, and much more to help make your next gathering fabulously imaginative. Rena holds nothing back as she details everything from the minute details that make an intimate soirée pop to the careful logistics that make 100-plus person bash come together.

The tasteful inventiveness that has made Rena such a celebrated name for years pours through from every page as she instructs on table settings, guest lists, invitations, décor, music, and, of course, food and drink. Wishing to impart her passion for spectacular hosting, Be R Guest will quickly become your authority for innovative party throwing—replacing the stress inherent in planning with utterly unmitigated fun! 

5. Chic Stays by Conde Nast Traveler $85

From Sofia Coppola’s luxurious family retreat in beautiful Bernalda, Italy, to the beaches of Kate Winslet’s secret Scottish hideaway of Eilean Shona, to Kate Moss’s favorite beach in the Maldives, each of these thirty-six personal tales of the loveliest spots around the globe are packed with anecdotes and lyrical descriptions to transport readers.

The photography bursting across each page—from the crystal waters and azure skies of UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, to the lush hillsides of Sri Lanka, to the hipster hangouts of Portland, Oregon—adds to the allure, inspiring a new desire to discover these beloved corners of the world.

6. Grace – The American Vogue Years by Grace Coddington $175

This is the second and final volume of Vogue editor Grace Coddington’s collective best work. The pages showcase photographs from the last 15 years celebrating the legendary photographers the fashion icon has worked with. Featuring gorgeous color illustrations, as well as personal anecdotes, this massive book is a treasure to behold.

7. The Authentics by Melanie Acevedo and Dara Caponigro $60

The Authentics goes around the world to take a dive into the private worlds and gorgeous homes of creative trailblazers in art, design, and fashion.

Good reads are always a sure-thing especially during wintery weather cooping you up inside albeit in front of a fire. 

What are some of your favorite reads? Do you have a favorite holiday book? How about a favorite coffee table book?

Comment below and thanks for stopping in.

Enjoy your reads and Happy Holidays!