It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Once again it’s Monday and I finished Novella Carpenter’s Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer over the weekend.  The review is typed up and I’ll be posting it tomorrow.  I’ve decided I need to get better at spacing my reviews out over regular intervals rather than in random clumps.   I loved this book.  So much that I’ll say it again –  I loved this book!   But more on that tomorrow.

For anyone who missed it, I reviewed Michael Pollan’s book Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education last week.   I’m not sure how the book was conceived, but it reads more like a journal than a book on gardening.  There’s something about his style of writing that reminds me of Thoreau or May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude.  It was my first time reading Pollan and he definitely doesn’t disappoint – which is pretty amazing considering all the hype surrounding him.

What’s the link, besides growing stuff, the use of colons and emphasis on “education” in both titles?  Novella Carpenter was Michael Pollan’s student at Berkley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

It’s the last week of January, and by rights the last week of my month of gardening books.  But I’m not quite finished.  There’s still one or two stragglers on the list I’d like to share.  So I’ve decided to extend the celebration into the first week of February (what the heck – it’s a short month anyway) so I can get to a book by Gertrude Jekyll I wanted to include.

So please check back in… and don’t forget to stop by J. Kaye’s to find out what everyone else has been reading.

It’s Monday! What am I reading? The J. Crew Catalog!

J. Crew Catalog

First, here’s the link back to J. Kaye’s meme.

Second, I’m obsessed with the J. Crew Catalog.  And what does that have to do with books?  I’m so glad you asked!

About my obsession…  It started a few months ago.  Not with the first family’s fashion sense, but when Domino Magazine (moment of silence) featured the home of J. Crew’s creative director.  There was something quirky and smart about it that drew me in.  When I saw Lauren Hutton featured in a style shoot I was completely hooked.

Then came the August issue and the two page spread shown above.  J. Crew had (obviously unknowingly, unintentionally & with no prior knowledge of this blog’s existence – can’t accuse me of grandiosity!) bought into why I started BookSexy.  Because I honestly believe (as cheesey as it sounds) that style is something internalized, not just about how you present yourself externally.  Style has to do with ideas and interests and genuine curiosity.  It’s about having something to add to a conversation.  Which is why it makes perfect sense to me that J. Crew featured an obscure Steinbeck novel in with their List of Necessities.  And that their new  Tribeca Men’s Shop sells vintage books like the one featured above along with standard merchandise.  (They also hold celebrity readings at the Soho Shop).

I like this new literary world where the President of the United States’ Summer reading list makes Letterman.

Do I wish they’d looked a little farther afield than Steinbeck?  Well, yes.  Personally I’d have liked to have seen a Michael Chabon novel or something from McSweeney’s.  Maybe even a graphic novel drawn by Dave McKean.  But this is a start.   Don’t forget that J. Crew is still a fashion company.

Even if it’s a fashion company that puts its clothes on Alex Katz.

For a different take, check out this post at  And if you have an opinion, I’m interested in hearing it.  Please leave a comment.