# book gift guide # book reviews

Holiday Book Gift Guide 2015

Hello Daily Connoisseurs,

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful week. I had a great time with my family! It was so nice and even though I tweeted "I feel like I've been cleaning the kitchen for 72 hours straight", it was a joyous occasion :)

I shared many pictures from our Thanksgiving break on social media. If you don't already follow me on Twitter, Facebook and/ or Instagram, be sure to do so as I often share snaps from everyday life that I don't include on the blog.

Today I have my annual holiday book gift guide for you. I have three beautiful and unusual books to recommend to you this year so I hope you watch my video, which shows you each of the books in-depth.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here , look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and don't forget to subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Sunlight on the River by Scott Gutterman

The world's great poets interpret the world's great art in this exquisite book that investigates the connection between art and words, deepening our understanding of both. The poet and the artist share a special kind of vision--an ability to see and penetrate the very essence of their subjects. This volume features poems by writers who turned to paintings for their inspiration, as well as paintings by artists who based their works on poems. Stretching across centuries and styles,
this collection includes Rossetti's haunting sonnet based on
Botticelli's Primavera; Wallace Stevens's "The Man with the Blue
Guitar," a masterful meditation on an iconic painting by Picasso;
William Carlos Williams's joyous interpretations of scenes by
Breughel; and Adrienne Rich lending a compassionate voice
to the subject of Edwin Romanzo Elmer's The Mourning Chair.
These and other pairings appear as elegant texts facing full
page, glowing illustrations of the paintings. An introduction
to some of the greatest poets and painters in history, this
remarkable book makes a perfect gift, offering compelling
insights into the worlds of art and literature, and the relationship
between the two.

Swan by Laurel Snyder
"Spare, poetic words sit as lightly as snowflakes."--Wall Street Journal

"An enchanting glimpse of a dancer whose name has come to be synonymous with her most famous role."--School Library Journal, starred review

One night, young Anna's mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book biography perfect for aspiring ballerinas of all ages.

Anna Pavlova by Jane Pritchard and Caroline Hamilton

The great ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881–1931) began her career with the Imperial Russian Ballet in 1909, moved to Paris to dance with Vaslav Nijinsky in Sergei Diaghilev’s famous Ballets Russes, and formed her own dance company in London in 1912. Like celebrities of today, she toured the world, endorsed beauty products and department stores, appeared in fashion magazines, and even made a Hollywood movie. But her passion was always ballet, which she sought to bring to as wide an audience as possible. Many of the works she brought with her from Russia are regarded as the foundation of today’s classic ballet repertoire. Created to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Pavlova’s English dance company, this book offers an intimate look at the legendary ballerina whose name still resonates 80 years after her death.

This richly illustrated book has now been revised to include an entirely new chapter on Pavlova's tours to North and South America, as well as new images of Pavlova with Charlie Chaplin. Anna Pavlova: Twentieth-Century Ballerina takes a fascinating look at the iconic star whose career spanned Russia and the West in the first half of the century, showing how she became the most influential dancer of the time.

And, of course, my Madame Chic books!


Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, CA is collecting pre-orders for signed or personalized copies of the Madame Chic books (a perfect gift!). If you would like a signed or personalized copy of any of my books, be sure to give them a call at 310-318-0900 or email them at info@pagesabookstore.com The deadline to order personalized copies is this Wednesday, December 2nd.

Patti from You're Never Stuck blogs about never making a fashion buy mistake again and cites inspiration from Lessons from Madame Chic.

Thank you for making Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic a New York Times Bestseller at #4 in fashion, manners and customs.

At Home With Madame Chic has been released in Russia. This book has two beautiful and different covers. Aren't they gorgeous?

Blue-Hearted Bookworm recommends Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic in her November Recap.

The Mama's Hip blog gives a great review of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic.

Letter of the Week

In addition to all of the great comments you will find on the blog, YouTube channel and on social media, I also receive hundreds of letters from readers. I thought you would enjoy this one from Vanessa E.

Hi Jennifer,
I wanted to share with you about how your influence saved me from mortifying embarrassment today.

First, I must share that I have a head cold, and really not feeling my best. I rolled out of bed knowing I needed to take my kids to piano lesson. I really wanted to throw on sweats and tee, no make up, and undone hair because I told myself I'd stay in my car and no one would see me. I also almost didn't make my bed, put my dirty clothes away, or put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. With being sick, I just wanted to ignore everything. However, your words from your books and videos ran through my head, and I reminded myself that being put together and coming home to a neat home will help me feel a bit better. So I cleaned up, put on real clothes along with makeup and did a polished pony tail.

While I was gone my neighbors called me, and told me my door was open and they had seen a strange car in my yard. The police were called, they searched my home for intruders, and then escorted us through the house to make sure nothing was amiss.
Everything turned out fine so no worries there.

So a day when I contemplated not making myself or my home presentable turned out to be a day that I ended up speaking with all my neighbors and the police.

I will forever be thankful that I was not wearing old sweats, that I had made my bed, and picked up my dirty underclothing off my bathroom floor!

So thank you because had I not thought of you I would have been mortified today.


Vanessa, I just loved your story. We never know where our day will take us and it always helps to feel prepared. I'm glad your story had a happy ending!

This week I would love to know... what are your thoughts on my book selections for this year? Do you have any great books to add to the list? Let me know in the comment section below. See you soon!

FTC: Sunlight on the River was sent to me to review by Prestel. All opinions are my own.

Visit my Author Website

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


KalynBarnett said...

Hey Jennifer! I loved this post. I will be buying "Swan" for my little girls-- I love whimsical children's books. A great gift idea would be a subscription to the beautiful "Darling" magazine! If you haven't heard of it I believe you would love it! Their magazine is titled "Darling the art of being a woman" They use beautiful photography but absolutely no retouching! The articles are inspirational & artfully written I really believe you would love it! Let me know if you have ever seen it.

KalynBarnett said...

Ah, forgot to add that the current issue really made me think of you. This is part of the introduction: "however, what is most important is becoming a pillar, a woman who is the same even when no one is watching-- one that holds an inner compass that guides her every decision-- who desires more than anything to be good, true and noble. This issue of Darling seeks to refocus our lens on character, to make it popular once again. In these pages, you'll find themes of leaving a legacy, patience as a virtue, prudence in decisions, finding beauty with age, being a woman of commitment and righting wrongs of objectification of women."

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Kalyn,

I love Darling Magazine, and wrote a column for them back when Lessons first came out. It's a great publication!



Ladylike said...

Thank you for the lovely gift suggestions. I love giving and receiving books, too! One of your recommendations will be perfect for my mother. I already completed my holiday shopping for her, but there is her birthday! This year, I am giving the following books as holiday gifts. For children: "A Fine Dessert" by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall. As an avid cook and a former history major, this historical fiction for children is irresistible to me. The complete series of nine "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder will be a welcome surprise for my daughter, as we reading library copies right now. My teenage son will receive "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand, "The Explorers' Guild" by Kevin Costner and John Baird, and "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. For my mother: "In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World" by Gabriele Galimberti. For my sister: "Pret a Party" by Lela Rose. A few months ago, I gave to my mother's husband: "Earth is My Witness: The Photography of Art Wolfe" by Art Wolfe, and it was very well received.
And, yes, one lucky person will receive one of your books from me, Jennifer. I have yet to decide upon the fortunate recipient!
How about recording a blog post on cookbooks again? I could write a separate comment on those! Happy holidays! Warm best, Alexandra

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I think you might also like "Orchids on Your Budget: Live Smartly on What You Have" by Marjorie Hillis.

Written by a former Vogue editor, the Amazon review says "first published in 1937, Orchids on Your Budget gives advice on all manner of subjects, from entertaining and creating the perfect capsule wardrobe to relinquishing the family estate. Easing worries about how to put the advice into practice, each chapter concludes with a case study providing examples of women who heeded—and those lamentable souls who ignored—Marjorie's wise words." Merry Christmas, Hannah

tara said...

I have just read The Art of Grace; On Moving Well Through Life by Sarah L, Kaufman. I think you and your readers would like it.The message/ style reminded me of your books. I can vouch for the book you recommend about Ann Pavlova. It is a really luxurious book and any ballet enthusiast ( as I am ) would be glad to receive it. The other book I would suggest is A Family Christmas by Caroline Kennedy. I have made this a present to many people over the last few years and it has always been gratefully received. It is fully of Christmas poems, stories and tales, wonderful drawings and suited to both young and old.

Ashitha said...

Hi Jennifer,

I have gifted your book " At home with madame chic" to my aunts and cousins. They appreciate you so much.

I know that staying in the present moment is your mantra, I wish you could advice more on how to focus and stay in the present moment. Everyday my goal is to enjoy every moment but as soon as I step into the office I feel I'm totally rushed and busy, it gets chaotic and at the end of the day I regret not trying harder to stay present.
Please let me know how you manage to do it.

Ashitha said...

Hi Jennifer,

I have gifted your book " At home with madame chic" to my aunts and cousins. They appreciate you so much.

I know that staying in the present moment is your mantra, I wish you could advice more on how to focus and stay in the present moment. Everyday my goal is to enjoy every moment but as soon as I step into the office I feel I'm totally rushed and busy, it gets chaotic and at the end of the day I regret not trying harder to stay present.
Please let me know how you manage to do it.

Rose said...

Jennifer that was so enjoyable, I think I'll add the art/poetry book to DH's presents, we own a tiny art shop so it's something he would love.

May I offer you a suggestion for your girls? I'm sure you know the Madeline books but in case you don't, please have a look here http://www.madeline.com/. I'm sure your daughters (and you) would love them.

Nancy said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you! I'm so eager to place Laurel Snyder's book under the Christmas tree for my daughter Caroline (8) who is captivated with ballet. I have been trying to give her "experiences" rather than more things, and the book fits perfectly with some tickets I purchased for us to see the Moscow Ballet performing Swan Lake in January. Also, I plan to include a hand illustrated copy of how to make Pavlova (she's never tasted it) for the recipe book she is creating, which we'll make for one of our weekly afternoon teas. What a fun way to introduce a lovely ballerina, ballet, and dessert! Many thanks and wishes for a most blessed Christmas for your family!

Rio said...

Thank you for the book suggestions! I wanted to share a blog post I got in my inbox this morning that made me think about you. It's a natural Christmas wreath using dried orange slices. Here's the young lady's post: http://www.thepeppermintpencil.com/2015/12/natural-christmas-wreath-diy.html
Thank you for all the videos, I look forward to watching them. You would not believe how many times I ask myself "what would madame chic do in this situation".