While I am over here patiently waiting for the weather to get cooler, I wanted to share a few good books that you should add to your fall reading list for when it is eventually possible to curl up by a fire. The first is sort of a shameless plug, but for a fantastic book. My friend Ingrid Fetell Lee just released her new book, Joyful, on the aesthetics of joy. A book ten years in the making and highlighted in her recent Ted Talk, she explores the connection between our surroundings, visuals and our feelings of joy. You can also follow along on her blog The Aesthetics of Joy. I would say, the timing of this book release could not be better – we all need a little extra joy these days, and it will truly change the way you look at the world.
The second book, The Devil in The White City is a little more in keeping with Halloween month. It is currently being adapted into a movie (with Leonardo Dicaprio as the lead) and follows the story of Daniel H. Burnham, the chief architect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. Henry H. Holmes, America’s first true serial killer. It is a study in dark and light – the hope, impossible achievement and ingenuity that went into building the famous fair (where the Ferris Wheel was first invented) contrasted with the details around Dr. Henry H. Holmes victimization of those who found themselves crossing paths with him. I could. Not. Put it down. My life basically got put on hold for a week while I read it, I can’t believe it took me this long to even discover it (it was released in 2005.)
Below are some actual historical photos of the fair. “The White City” was a city built specially for the fair in less than two years, by tireless crews working around the clock. It was designed by a committee of famous architects and all torn down when the fair was over. Every building was stylistically different, but all were painted white for a unifying and dramatic effect.
And the first Ferris Wheel, considered America’s answer to the Eiffel Tower (debuted at the French World’s Fair several years earlier).
Being a shop girl myself, I thought it was high time to explore this little novel written by Steve Martin (the actor) At times it can feel a little dated (Land lines! Answering machines!), but in a charming way. Mainly it is a quick bit brilliant read – both a love story and a tribute to the growth we experience in romantic relationships, even when they don’t work out. It was already made also into a movie (with Claire Danes and Steve Martin playing the leads) five years after it’s release in 2005. The movie popped into my head a couple of weeks ago and I realized I’d never actually gone back and read the book. Both are fantastic!
Hope you add some or all of these to your must read list this fall! And feel free to leave any further book suggestions in the comments.