StyleBistro Book Club: October 2014
Peruse our picks from this month's new releases, then shop the beauty and fashion finds inspired by our chosen reads.
We're bookworms here at StyleBistro, and we understand that finding your next great read can sometimes be as frustrating as searching for a special-occasion outfit—they never seem to materialize when you actually need one. We also know how inspiring the written word can be, which is why we combed through this month's new releases and paired our top picks with a beauty or fashion item that corresponds to each tome. Be sure to check back each month for a fresh batch of stylish reads.
Cristina Velocci, Deputy Editor: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult ($28, out October 14 from Ballantine Books)
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult has earned countless fans not just for her accessibly written, plot-twisting narratives, but also for her dedication to fully researching whatever setting she chooses to place her characters in. For her latest work of fiction, it's a New Hampshire elephant sanctuary, where a staff member has been trampled to death and another has seemingly vanished. At the center of the story is teenage protagonist Jenna Metcalf, who was three at the time of the incident and is determined to find out what happened to her research-scientist mother, Alice, who disappeared that fateful night. The 13-year-old teams up with a pair of unlikely allies—Serenity Jones, an out-of-touch psychic; and Virgil Stanhope, an alcoholic former cop who botched the original investigation—and the pieces of the puzzle on what truly happened start to merge from there. Much of the book plays off of memory and the fact that a pachyderm never forgets, and since the mammoth creatures are practically characters in the story themselves, it was only natural that this product pick be something elephant-printed. I settled on a blue scarf just like the one Jenna inherited from her mom—it not only physically connects her to Alice, but plays an important role in helping her find the truth, which is so unexpected, you'll want to re-read the book to look for clues you may have missed on the first pass.
Kristina Rodulfo, Associate Editor: The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg ($26, out October 28 from Simon and Schuster)
We already know who Diane von Furstenberg is: designer, business mogul, former princess and inspiration for independent women everywhere. In this riveting memoir, she reveals all the aspirations she followed to success. From growing up as a daughter of a Holocaust survivor to getting caught in a whirlwind romance with a Prince and boosting women's confidence with the wrap dress, her life is a storybook of adventures and travels most of us only dream of. She writes candidly, sharing lessons of life and love, beauty and family in a confessional manner that keeps the pages turning. DVF was always one for glamorous affairs, so when she wrote about tackling New York City nightlife at Studio 54 during its heyday, I couldn't think of a better moment to highlight. "I would put on my cowboy boots, take my car, park in the garage, walk into 54, meet my friends, have a drink and dance. What I loved best was going in alone, the long entrance, the disco music." Sounds like a party to us—what better way to channel your inner DVF than with a pair of metallic cowboy boots?
Katie Davidson, Associate Editor: Around the Table by Martina McBride ($30, out October 7 from William Morrow)
Nothing gets me more excited about fall—well, excited in general—than food. And since I’m in the process of moving (and am one of the only ones in the office that loves her country music), I decided to brush up on my cooking skills with Martina McBride’s new book filled with not only recipes but also inspirational ideas for stylish soirees. “For me, a party is a gift for my friends and family,” explains McBride. In the spirit of the holidays ahead, I found the perfect party dress for hostesses and attendees alike. Anthropologie offers this on-trend online exclusive, which can be dressed up with a glam belt or statement necklace and down with some classic flats (or token cowgirl boots) to fit any style persona.
Caitlin Miller, Senior Associate Beauty Editor: Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers and Swells: The Best of Early Vanity Fair ($30, out October 30 from The Penguin Press)
One of my favorite movies is Midnight in Paris, where Owen Wilson wanders through the streets of Paris and befriends some of the greatest literary and artistic figures to ever grace us with their works. I might not get to go back in time and meet some of my idols, but I can feel like I did thanks to Vanity Fair's new collection of essays featured in Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells: The Best of Early Vanity Fair. In honor of the iconic publication's 100th anniversary, editor-in-chief Graydon Carter curated a collection of work from writers such as Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald and so many more. Each time I picked up this book for a quick read, I felt like I was taking my own journey back to the rich and tumultuous times of the roaring '20s. So naturally I had to pair this book with a Daisy Buchanan-worthy beaded headpiece. This one from Anthropologie has all the glitz and glam needed to feel transported back to this artistic and expressive time.
Bethany Cantor, Style Editor: Murder at the Brightwell ($19, out October 14 from Minotaur Books)
Having just come off reading a string of non-fiction books, Ashley Weaver's engaging, light-hearted murder mystery novel was just what I needed. Set in an elegant hotel in the 1930s, the book is fun to read and, despite the grisly murder that takes place, the politeness of speech and romantically-tinged intrigues throughout the novel give it a playful bent. Just as rich as the storytelling is the fashion in the book. The protagonist, Amory Ames, is always dressed perfectly for any occasion, whether it's gathering up clues to find the hotel's murderer or simply eating lunch by the sea. This misty purple gown with its flutter sleeves and chiffon reminded me of something Amory would wear in the book and it's the perfect thing for your own glamorous getaway.
Ann Brady, Executive Editor: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes ($16, out October 14th from Touchstone)
It's been more than 25 years since a relatively unknown actor, Cary Elwes, was cast to play the lead role of Westley (Mr. 'As you wish') opposite Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride. This book is a joyous compilation of memories from the star-studded cast, as well as director Rob Reiner, with unique photos and behind-the-scene musings transcribed by the dreamy Elwes. The read inspired me to watch the film yet gain—although I usually don't need any inspiration. I laughed along to my favorite parts per usual, but this time I felt more connected to the story. If you're as big a fan as I am of this cult classic, make sure to add this new release to your wish list. What better way to keep wishful thoughts alive than by wearing a wishbone pendant around your neck? (I'm now wishing for a sequel.)
Want even more book-and-product pairings? Make sure to check out our July, August and September selections in the slideshow below: