What do I do when I am in a reading rut or simply have had no time to finish a book in a while (with six or seven books started!)? I read about books, of course, it’s not the first time! I have a few different gems to share, the first being Books Read By, a platform that shares book recommendations by some of the ‘world’s most interesting people’. I was curious to check the list of an Atlas Obscura co-founder, of the editor in chief of The Gentlewoman, of MoMa’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and Director of R&D, of the founding editor of Design Observer and of the creator and co-founder of Kickstarter. But really, I think it’s worth checking the lists of all the people featured!
Next up, I have the top best selling books of 2021 (so far), by Publishers Weekly. I was surprised that I hadn’t even heard of the no 1 in the Adult category – The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah, alongside half of the other twenty titles listed. So I am due to do a bit of research and add yet more titles to my TBR list!
Source – Livraria Lello, in Portugal, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world
In other news, did you know that Lisbon is the city with the most bookstores per capita, with 41.9 for 100,000 people, as well as the oldest bookstore in the world (in operation since 1732, now with over 50 branches)? Melbourne is the runner-up with 33.9 books for 100,000 people. This article on BookRiot revealed all this to me, alongside the most written about city in the world (New York), the most inspiring literary city in the world (can you guess?), the city with the most authors, the best city for authors and more.
Lastly, you know I love books about books, so I had to share this list of 30 New Reads for Very Bookish People. I was also happy to see I am definitely not alone in my passion for this genre. Bookish people are some of the best people!
5 Minutes That Will Make You Love… Symphonies
I had no plan to deep dive into classical music this week, even though it’s been on my mind for a few years as something that I think it’s truly worth investing time in as it can become a great pleasure.
I was prompted by this New York Times article sharing 5 minute long recommendations from music experts and music lovers that will make you love symphonies. It is part of a series that also looks at classical music, opera, piano and more.
As a complete non-connaisseuse, I had to go a fair few steps back to what is a symphony and what is the difference between symphony, orchestra and philharmonic. I also found this newcomer’s guide to the symphony insightful on etiquette if attending a concert. I was then curious to understand how and why people come to enjoy classical music, especially later in life, when they haven’t been brought up in a classical music environment.
You can read advice from Vice, the New York Times or the WashingtonPost, plus a series on the Atlantic that aims to introduce people of my generation to the delights of this music genre – see here parts one, two, three and four. I think I will probably check out the series Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra at some point.
A Year in Champagne
While trying, with no success, to find a way to watch at home Sparkling: The Story of Champagne, I stumbled upon the 2014 documentary A Year in Champagne, available on Amazon Prime, but elsewhere for free as well if you care to search.
I found it captivating. I didn’t know much about champagne making, certainly nothing about the very strict rules enforced at every single step, from how to prune the vines to how slow, how much and how many times the producers can press the grapes. It is fascinating and you can see why the families portrayed seem so invested and passionate – I don’t think you can really do it if you’re not like that, borderline obsessed.
I’ve also discovered it is part of a series, with A Year in Burgundy out in 2013 and A Year in Port out in 2016. What’s more, IMDb revealed a few other wine-related documentaries and I am quite intrigued by Red Obsession and Sour Grapes.
And finally, I am happy that I am subconsciously keeping to my wish to refresh my French. A Year in Champagne, similar to Nose, by Dior, is maybe 50-60% in French (with English subtitles on screen).
Press for Champagne
You have probably seen images of this Press for Champagne button on Instagram or Pinterest, I know I have and a few years ago I also saved a couple of these images. Going back to them now, I finally learned where they come from and how to get one if you’d like, in English or in French. They come with or without a working ring, but of course, I think the sound would be half the fun.
The creation of Lisa Golightly (serendipitous name!), check out her website for a few other charming bits and bobs!
Most Stylish Beverage Dispenser
I’ve been thinking of this beverage dispenser ever since I spotted it a few weeks ago. It is simply stunning and shows that a simple object can set a different tone to a kitchen, a garden, an outdoor gathering… you name it. I have a beverage dispenser already that I never use, partly because it is too big.
This beauty comes in two sizes (1.8l & 4.2l) and I think the smaller size would be perfect to fill at the beginning of the day with water and my choice of cordial and would ensure I go through the daily recommended amount of liquids in style! On special occasions, it could be the centre of the party, full of mimosa, mojito and other slightly intoxicating concoctions. I am seriously considering how to justify purchasing it.
Writing on Walls & Co.
I love words and for at least a year I’ve been thinking about adorning one of the walls in my house with a quote or a fragment from a favourite book, either handwritten or printed as a wall sticker. I think it can be a really authentic way to decorate a home, and when I stumbled upon the above bathroom I was reminded of my little abandoned project.
I’ve started gathering inspiration here, but I have yet to decide some basics – what would you write and where in your home?
Face the Foliage
Source – All images via Face the Foliage on Instagram
No Miss Onion letter without flowers! This week, I am inviting you to admire and maybe join in the Face the Foliage open creative project using flowers and leaves to create beautiful portraits. Perfect idea to pair with a walk in your nearest park or corner of woods, gathering inspirational ‘materials’ and spending some lovely quiet time once back home, letting your creative juices flow.
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.