Ayn Rand

I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged this spring, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Published in 1957, Rand’s ideas seem very modern to me.  It’s a dense and philosophical book, but I think it was well worth the time spent to consider her ideas.

Read this interview with Rand to get a snapshot of her philosophy.


I started my summer reading with a book I didn’t know was on my list.  When I picked up my books from the library,  I came across Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire. It was written by Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, which I read a year or so ago and very much enjoyed.

Guiliano was president and CEO of the champagne company Veuve Cliquot, taking it from 1% to 25% of the market share during her tenure.  The lessons she learned and her approach to life as a native Frenchwoman  inform the stories and advice she gives to working women in this fun and helpful read.

Much more than a typical business “self help” book, Guiliano is a mentor for women who want to be lovely and accomplished, stylish and interesting, and create a life that is balanced and enjoyable.

Visit Guiliano’s website to read an excerpt.

I’m having fun lining up my summer reading list!  Here are a few of the books I’m looking forward to…

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — the classic that I should have read by now and will finally get to with the support of my book club buddies.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard — a book that I read about in a magazine on an airplane and promptly added to my reading list.

Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland — by the author of the fantastic Josephine Trilogy.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant — I have yet to read any of the historical novels by this author, but they are right up my alley, and I can’t wait to get started.

I just added a few new items to the molly & mary Etsy shop, including three vintage books from the sixties and seventies:

Cooking with Style: Easy, Elegant Recipes and Menus for Exciting Entertaining (1967)

Fifty Great Buffet Parties (1974)

and, the piece de resistance…

The Emily Post Book of Etiquette for Young People (1967)

These glimpses into retro entertaining and etiquette are very fun reads!

Anyone who knows me or has visited my Etsy shop knows that I adore scarves, especially vintage scarves designed by Vera Neumann.  Today I discovered a book at Anthropologie about this designer’s career.  The book is described as “A chronicle of the career of the incomparable designer, artist and entrepreneur Vera Neumann, who built her company on the philosophy that fine art should be available to everyone…”  It’s now at the top of my wishlist!

Last month I participated in a very fun workshop on making paper sculpture at Paper Nerds.  Paper is my favorite material, especially the pages of old books, which is what we used for our sculptures.  We learned how to make romantic paper flowers, darling little birds, and paper lanterns to decorate string lights.

I have been collecting over-loved vintage books from estate sales and thrift stores so that I can give their wonderful pages of text and illustrations new life.  I can envision bouquets of paper flowers in my future. ..

I’m two-thirds of the way through Sandra Gulland’s Josephine Bonaparte trilogy, and I can’t stop reading.  Gulland’s writing has swept me up into the dramatic story of the woman who married Napoleon.  The first book begins with Josephine’s girlhood in Martinique and the trilogy continues through her life in Paris during the French Revolution and her marriage to Napoleon.

The story is told through fictionalized diary entries, so it has the compelling nature of a novel, but the author also includes footnotes that explain the historical context, which appeals to the scholar in me.

I’m delighted that I still have an entire book to soak in before this experience is over!

Visit the author’s website,, to learn more about Gulland and her work.

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