Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paula Butturini and Mary Kay Andrews: Books on My Nightstand

Two books you might like to read alone or with your bookclub: Paula Butturini’s "Keeping the Feast, " and Mary Kay Andrews’ "Hissy Fit."  One is a true story. The other is fiction.  One is serious.  The other is just for fun.  Both were given to me to read.  Both I recommend.

Paula Butturini is an American writer living in Paris. La Ville-lumière – “the City of Light” – romances us from afar.  It’s always been so, or so it seems.  Living there seems dreamy. The photos here depict soft romantic Mediterranean-French styles, but they have nothing to do with Paula’s book. Just placed here as eye candy. (Plus, they soften the harsh realities of Paula’s story. And . . .  this is a decorating blog, after all!)

Maisons Côté Sud -- love the eclectic style and varied textures.

Paula is a friend of my meilleure amie, Barbara, so I feel like I almost know her. Additionally, that’s also why I wanted to let you know about her book, just released by Riverhead Books. The tall slender American -Italian, who grew up in Connecticut, has worked for years in news bureaus located in London, Madrid, Rome and Warsaw. Her husband, John, is a New York Times reporter. 

Maisons Côté Sud -- Love that wing chair!

Both Paula and John have faced and survived life-altering experiences. She first was beaten up by police while covering the overthrow of the Czech government in 1989. Not long after, a rogue bullet found its way into John and forever changed his life. He had been in Romania documenting the country’s release from a notorious dictator. Recovery for John, in particular, as I continue to read, is ongoing. She chronicles their adventures, both the good and the bad, family struggles with depression, their eventual return to Italy, a wanting for normalcy....  She shares their story as if you're sitting standing in her kitchen watching her prepare delicious feasts or sitting as a meilleure amie around her dinner table. 

A palette cleanser, if you will, before talking about the next book, which is a world apart from the first. This picture is from a favorite 2009 post:
Sitting area of French couple living in U.S.  My post from last March. 

On the other side of the pond . . . Mary Kay Andrews takes us to an idyllic setting in Georgia in "Hissy Fit."  This is a book you might take to the beach (which I did). It’s light and charming. Not many life struggles in this read, unless you wonder if lead character, Keeley, did the right thing when choosing Irish Chippendale chairs to place in the dining room of a large “masculine” estate. My new friend, Elise, had dropped off this book at my home furnishing store a while back. She thought I might find the decorating references and descriptions delightful. And I did.  It’s all about life in a small Southern town, infidelity, new love, self-discovery and decorating, of course. 

9 Responses to “Paula Butturini and Mary Kay Andrews: Books on My Nightstand”

NYCLQ said...

Happy to have stumbled upon your blog (from Debbiedoos). Love the colors & textures from the first photo from Maisons Côté Sud.

Although the post was on books, I don't read books, but I do read blogs! And I do LOVE books... (esp. on design or NYC) as sources of reference and inspiration (like Kelly Hoppen, Shabby Chic, Philippe Starck and Pottery Barn).
enJOYed your post!

:D Lynda

Thanks, Susan. Always looking for something new for the book club. My turn to choose doesn't come up for a few more months and while I'd like to pick the fluffy one about furniture, the other sounds like it would help me keep my book club "cred". I have been meaning to check out Andrews' books on my own though so thanks for the reminder.

Karena said...

Love to have several books and magazines going at once!! Come and follow me as I have a super giveaway coming up for my loyal readers!!

Art by Karena

Michelle said...

Thanks for the insight! I need a new book on my nightstand! I'm also loving the way the BHG editor fixed her ceiling likey, because there's popcorn ceilings in most of my 1977 split.

And thanks for coming over to my I've found yours!!


Paula Butturini's new book sounds like a fascinating journey and also comes very close to home for me. My father was posted as the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia shortly after the invasion. I went over as a young girl to live in probably one of the most spectacular residences in the world - and so I believe started my interior design education at an early age! Of course, also love the eye candy... that first shot is so lovely.

They both sound great...and I loved your little pallette cleansers ta boot!

Greet said...

The pictures you posted here are wonderful!!!

Thanks so much for giving HISSY FIT a temporary home on your nightstand. I want to check out the other book you recommended too. All best, MKA

Susan S. said...

I already read Hissy Fit and loved it! I guess now I'll head to Amazon and check out your other recommendations. Love the way you posted the pretty pictures of Cote Sud. You always have such interesting posts. :)

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