Reading Inspiration by 12.2010

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR. If you don’t believe it, then listening to Andy Williams on repeat, like I did this weekend, will convince you it’s true.

Consider what you like most about December. I love that those who have limited vacation days can take a break; that efforts to be charitable are renewed; and foods that are usually color neutral, like cupcakes, suddenly break out in green and red hues. And while I can be cynical at times, somehow December reminds me of this: Even if Santa never delivered the boxed collection of Sweet Valley Twins books when I asked for it back in the day, the books will show up one by one in my little sister’s bookshelf in later years. And, by the time that happens, you’ll think – who really needs 2oo young adult novels once you’ve read them all anyway?

With that said, there’s no time like the present to share gift ideas for all ages. This is my reading wish list. They’re recommendations I’d make any time, but I package it up nicely here for the holidays…

1. CREATIVE, INC. I’ve always wanted older sister(s) and am always seeking work guidance, so, in many ways, Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho‘s “Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business” fulfills my desire for both. Sharing sound business advice to anecdotes from freelancers who’ve been there, the book resonates not only with creative pros, but any artist who’s ever entertained the idea of striking out on her own. GET THIS FOR Your jewelry making girl friend Libby, interior decorator and stylist friend Jami. BUY IT online.

2. FOOD LANDSCAPES In this beautiful hardcover, British food photographer Carl Warner creates miniature scenes out of things you eat. Each chapter focuses on a different landscape with the story behind its construction. In Carl’s world, parsley becomes trees, clouds are cheese, curtains are made from dried lasagna, and an ocean is created from sea bass, mackerel, and herring. Watch the video by food. curated. featuring the photographer in action. GET THIS FOR Your ten-year-old niece, anyone with a coffee table and/or imagination. BUY IT online.

3. OH JOY! BLOG As I mentioned above, I have always wanted an older sister. But since it’s a bit too late, I’ve taken it upon myself to adopt role models on the web instead. While there are many bloggers whom I admire, Joy cheered me on early in my blogging days, so there’s no denying I’m thankful for her support and think she has great taste. Joy’s website showcases the most delightful things in life: Sweet treatsinterior designfashionaccessories, and the palpable love between Joy and her stylish husband, Bob. READ FOR Inspiration, a pick-me-up, to peek at new design trends, and to gape at some of the prettiest photos on the internet. VISIT

4. EDWARD BEHR’s THE ART OF EATING MAGAZINE I have to tell you, I’ve never picked up a single issue of The Art of Eating. Word has it, however, that no food writing is better than that which appears in those pages. Maybe it’s for a more sophisticated audience; I can’t say. All I know is that it eludes me and I think I would be more intelligent if I read it. Perhaps it’s like The Economist or New Yorker for food and wine lovers. I hope to find out eventually. GET THIS FOR Your professor, yourself. BUY IT online.

5. HOUSE OF BRINSON Susan and William Brinson are high school sweethearts and the wife-and-husband blogging team behind House of Brinson. Though their website is just a few months old, I have a feeling it will become a destination for readers who crave a gourmet’s take on eye candy. Thanks to William’s sumptuous photography, each post stands on its own and deserves a place in print someday, which is not to say the recipes aren’t tried and true. They are, and I had a second helping of their delicious butternut squash lasagna on Thanksgiving to prove it. READ FOR Escape, gorgeous food photography, recipes. VISIT

6. THE ART OF NON-CONFORMITY I have been following Chris Guillebeau’s world travels and musings on his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, since 2008. So when I learned he would be in New York to promote his new book, I asked if he’d like to guest star on Stupidly Simple Snacks. He did. We made Unconventional Snack Bars and every attempt after the first has been a complete success. GET THIS FOR Your world-traveling best friend, a new college graduate, yourself. BUY IT online.

amy • december 6, 2010

Stupidly Simple Gift Guide + Real Simple magazine giveaway
(video) Holiday Reverse S’mores & 2010 in Retrospect

December 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Holiday.


  1. Maddy replied:

    Hi Amy
    I follow your amazing blog from Italy, and those advices are the best I have found on the net. Thank you very much for sharing;-)

    • Amy replied:

      Hello, Maddy! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! This makes me so happy and I’m thrilled you enjoy my reading recommendations. Happy new year and do keep in touch 🙂

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