A peek at some of my fashion library.

When I was asked to do a piece for The Book Stall Newsletter I was overwhelmed with excitement. Why you might ask, the answer is a simple one I’ve been in love with books, one could say, obsessed, since I was a child. I have read and was read to, I think, since birth. I loved my library at my Evanston primary school, where I spent many hours helping in the stacks…as well as visiting the fabulous Evanston Public Library with Daddy every Saturday morning, and the amazing book floor at Marshall Fields State Street (remember that!), where a special friend of my family, “Aunt Harriet”, held court in the fiction area. She always let me select a book from the children’s area that she would give me, pure Heaven.

Marshall Field’s book department early 1900’s. Photo courtesy of James McKay of the Marshall Field & Co., History & Future + Memorabilia by Field’s Fans Chicago Group on Facebook.

My copy for The Book Stall….reprinted with permission…I’ve added some photos….

My love for Independent Bookstores began with The Main Street Book Store on Michigan Avenue, just down the street from my work, where I spent many a lunch hour browsing and buying the newest fiction, mysteries and lifestyle books. And now my Independent Bookseller of choice is the amazing The Book Stall in Winnetka. I live in downtown Chicago so I must take the Metra to visit this perfect environment.

With this history of loving books it was an easy transition to start a Book Club thus nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club was born and who better to partner with me to provide our reviewed books than The Book Stall. I also do book reviews, as well as many topics that strike my fancy, for this blog.

I wanted to share some of my current, and a couple not so current but important for my list of recommended titles, books to add to your library as well as think of as gifts. I am an extremely eclectic reader with emphasis on Fashion/Lifestyle books for my Book Club. Other interests are historical fiction especially English or French themes with a bit of the Gilded Age thrown in. Also think of the new books from Fiona Davis and Rhys Bowen. I’m learning toward some Russian fiction, think A Gentleman in Moscow for an example. Mysteries, not thriller nor anything scary, more Louise Penny (who doesn’t love Armand!), Charles Finch, Cara Black, Charles Todd, Steve Berry and an occasional Cozy such as Laura Child and, of course Christie.

A very small sampling of my cookbooks.

I also collect cookbooks, not only for recipes but to read as well…the usual suspects, Ina Garden, her new one is, of course a must have, Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry, some of the books by Food bloggers such as Half Baked Harvest, love anything from Edna Lewis, as well as anything on New Orleans, Jubilee, a true gem and the new bio on James Beard, The Man Who Ate Too Much, a must read.

Now my recommendations for Fashion/Lifestyle (my fashion library is 1000 volumes and growing!). NORELL, one of many monographs by the uber fashion insider, Jeffrey Banks, you can’t go wrong with anything he writes.

The brand new book from the exquisite writer and lifestyle guru Hamish Bowles, Frederick Forquet: Fashion.Interiors.Gardens, it is breathtakingly beautiful and features a fabulous designer many are not familiar with, it is my December nenasnotes The Fashion book Club selection.

Here are a few more for your consideration, by the way, The Book Stall always has an extensive fashion and lifestyle collection. Here we go…Supreme Models; André Leon Talley A memoir; the brand new bio on Richard Avedon, What Becomes A Legend Most (an upcoming Book Club Selection);

About Time: Fashion and Duration (be sure to read Virginia Wolf’s Orlando the Met’s exhibitions inspiration) and finally, this list could fill pages, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things.

Of course no fashion book list could be complete without some Chanel books and there are several new ones, both non-fiction, (perhaps an oxymoron in Chanel’s case) and fiction, I recommend Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Manifesto, Chanel’s Riviera, Mistress of The Ritz, The Queen of Paris, The Last Collection, The Real Coco Chanel and the upcoming The Chanel Sisters, there is no end to the fascination with Chanel!

I hope I have given you some new titles to add to your list…the selections are endless…happy reading!



“Dear Customers,

As we watch Covid-19 cases in Illinois rise to alarming levels, it’s clear that we need to alter our operations to keep you and our staff safe. Starting this Monday, November 23, we are temporarily stopping in-store shopping. Fortunately, there are still many ways we can help you with your holiday list, and we’re committed to making this season as merry and bright as possible!
For more information, or if you need help with gift ideas, call us at (847) 446-8979, or email us (

  • Shopping from the comfort of your couch? No problem, we’ll deliver* or ship!
  • Feel like getting out of the house? We’ll continue to offer front-door pick-up.Need a puzzle? Browse our windows and choose your favorite! This is a difficult time, but please stay tuned as we refine our efforts to get books into your hands.

Our Red Invitation Sale will be entirely online (and by phone!) and we’re happy to extend the 20% discount from Friday, December 4 (starting at midnight Thursday night) until midnight on Sunday, December 6.
*Delivery is $4 and available in the following communities: Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Glenview and Evanston.”

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