The Richard Burton Diaries, edited by Chris Williams, Yale University Press

In Crying in the Car there is an essay called ‘YouTube and the Indulgence of Memory’ where I confess my (once) big secret that I adore everything about the Golden Age of Hollywood. I collect coffee table books about the subject, and biographies, too, so this book, in that light, is perhaps no surprise.

It’s massive, packed with stories about life, celebrities and, of course, Liz Taylor. Best of all, he writes with great flair and talent, summed up best by the New York Times when a review said, “Come to this volume for the love story, stay for the lit talk.”

Can’t wait to pick it up!

The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe, Random House

Taken from the Random House website:

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

It sounds pretty powerful, reminding me, a little, of the premise of Brenda Walker’s Reading in the Moonlight (which I have at home).

By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life, Ramona Koval, Text Publishing

I believe the theme of reading being restorative and fulfilling that is seen in the above two titles is carried on here in By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life. Koval’s esteemed literary journalism with the ABC has seen her grow a following no doubt as big, if not bigger, than many of the authors she’s interviewed over the years. This book is her story about “the authors that have written themselves into her life”.

Grace: A Memoir, Grace Coddington, Random House

I read an article somewhere (can’t remember where, otherwise I’d reference it better) about this book which annoyed me: it said one should read it in order to learn more about Anna Wintour. I thought to myself, Why? Grace’s story should be (nay, is!) enough to warrant interest. In case you’re not aware, Grace Coddington is creative director of Vogue magazine and in the course of her long career has been a model, a fashion editor, had a documentary made about her and, yes, has worked with Anna Wintour for over twenty years. It sounds fascinating.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

Okay, okay. This isn’t a book. But every time I’ve come across it in a bookstore, packed up like a little treasure chest, I’ve wanted it bad.

From the Phaidon website:

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design features 500 graphic designs including newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record covers and moving graphics from around the world, which have set a benchmark for excellence and innovation.

The dividers that come with this ‘book in a box’ allow you to define how you want to organise, whether it is chronologically, alphabetically, by designer or by subject.

Compiled and researched by experts, and illustrated with up to six images per entry, including rarely seen historical and contextual material, The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is the ultimate reference guide for the design professional and enthusiast alike. Designed with exceptional production details and rich with information, this book also becomes an object that appeals to the creativity and imagination of the reader.

And in true interwebs style, there’s a video about it too.


Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity