My new culinary venture has opened up another world of books to love and collect: cookbooks. While perusing the bookshelves in Barnes & Noble awhile back, I stumbled onto this beauty and knew I had to have it: Ad Hoc at Home.

Absolutely in love with this book. The fun graphics, cheeky humor, and amazing photography are so inspiring to get into the kitchen and cook something. As for doing that and not just oohing and ahhing over the book, I am slowly working away at some of the recipes. What I like about it is its focus is a bit more on traditional home cooking with a bit of a twist, so it gives me some of the basic info I need to know and some ideas to make it different too.

“for temporary relief from hunger.”

You can find it on Amazon, and these lovely images came from an awesome more cooking related review I found here.

You know me, it was first and foremost about the big pretty book.

How was your weekend friends? It was a bit quiet around here and we enjoyed it. Lots of cleaning, laundry, and organizing got done, so that always makes me feel better going into the week. We also rented a couple movies – The Gray for R and The Vow for me — let me just say unless you like watching people slowly die for 2 hours, I recommend the Vow ;-)

My client Audrey of Boston Food Finds sent an article in the Boston Globe my way over the weekend that mentioned this book and as soon as I read it, I knew I had to get this book.

It’s about the history of typography. Seems silly but it’s actually really interesting for a font nerd like me. There are all sorts of little tidbits about movies and how they use type incorrectly (i.e. a typeface invented in the 90’s in a movie about the 40’s) as well as the people who invented different typefaces. I won’t go into details, but the guy who invented Gill Sans was a freak!! But hey, it is a nice font…. :-)

And then there is the Comic Sans debate. I have to be honest: I HATE COMIC SANS. And that’s part of why Audrey sent me the article because we had a bit of a back and forth (friendly of course!) about using Comic Sans on her website. Well, if you read the article, you’ll see that the typography community and graphic design community as a whole consider it a no-go. There’s even a movement to ban it!

So anyway, that’s what I’m reading right now and it’s proven very interesting. I’m all over the place with what I read though…next up on my nightstand is a total girly feel good book.

Do you like to read? Do you stick to one genre or bounce all over the place? How do you feel about fonts lol?

I wandered into Barnes & Noble the other day as I do probably at least once a week. I adore wandering the aisles searching for new reads, people watching, and reading magazines in a hidden corner.

That particular day happened to be an author signing day, which honestly I don’t pay any attention to. However, this author was quite different: as soon as we walked in the door he greeted us, said, “I’m signing my book today,” and started talking. When he said it was a love story set in North Georgia, I was interested but not sold.

Of course Robert’s Georgia Bulldog t-shirt gave it away and Jeff capitalized on it: we ended up in a great conversation about the South, Georgia, Atlanta, and college choices. In the conversation we found out that the author had actually worked on the Wonder Years (which I loved) and Dawson’s Creek before moving back home to Georgia to raise his family and write novels.

By the end of the conversation, I was happy to make my decision on what book to purchase, forego my normal half hour long wander through the stacks, just for the pleasure of reading a book by an author with whom I’d had such a nice conversation.

And of course, I always have so much respect for anyone who puts himself out there, standing next to his product and greeting complete strangers as they walk by. I know how hard that is.

But to me that was a primo-example of a sale that probably wouldn’t happened if it hadn’t been for the personal connection afforded by an author signing day. Without him standing there, his book was one of thousands in that store and I may or may not have come across it.

In fact, it wasn’t just him standing there. If he hadn’t said anything, I probably would have done that half-smile thing and kept on walking. It’s a great example of very basic communication and sales that apply to so many situations, but for this blog, most especially craft shows and markets.

– You must greet people! Be friendly and smile.
– Find common ground. Use anything you can to relate to that person – common interests, team affiliations, birthplace or where you’ve lived, etc. The weather can only go so far, and it gives people something more definitive to remember about you.
– Tell them about your product / service but in a more subtle way. Try to find ways to weave your credibility or successes into the conversation without gloating or being too sales-y.
– If they buy something, great. If not, give them a way to find you again! You absolutely must have business cards on you at all times.

So now I know you’re wondering what I thought about the book: I’m still reading it right now, but so far, I’m loving it! You can get a copy here if you want to.

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! It was wonderful to stay here in Charleston and relax with family and friends. We spent the weekend catching up on Z’s & housework, but also in enjoying the simple things in life – like sitting on the swing and staring at the ocean for as long as we wanted.

As far as relaxation goes, I can’t do it without a book. I always need something to do and TV is not generally on my list. So we went to Barnes & Noble and I happily wandered through the stacks until I stumbled onto this little gem…

Now, I’m really not one to read business books, although I’m sure they’re quite helpful. I like to escape into my books, so I was positively delighted when I found a way to read my absolute favorite – Winnie the Pooh – as an adult and derive some usefulness out of it too!

I haven’t finished it yet, but so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s really true – we’re talking about back to basics of management, communication, business, etc. and it’s funny how the author is so right – these are all the same things we learned as children but we complicate them as adults.

My favorite so far: they’re on a mission to find “The Stranger” (the character the author poses as so he can speak with Winnie, Tigger, etc.), so Winnie-the-Pooh directs Tigger to “find” the Stranger. So Tigger bounces off and comes back awhile later empty handed, to which Pooh asks, “Did you find him?” And Tigger says, “Yes, I did, and I bounced around and watched him awhile, and then came back.”

Of course Pooh says, “Why didn’t you bring him back?” To which Tigger replies, “You said to find him, not bring him back.”

More updates from the Hundred Acre Wood to come I’m sure. Do you like to read business or improvement type books? Found any helpful ones?

So I know the saying is NOT to judge a book by its cover, which is pretty true for people, but I as a designer + book lover cannot help but to do so with actual books. I thought it would be fun to do a post from time to time about how that works out for me!

This version was published by Harper Collins.

A quick note – I love to read older novels. I adore history and biographies, but fiction from the late 1700’s to the mid 20th century is my favorite. So most of these are probably going to be oldies but goodies.

This book cover spoke to me at once – the colors are gorgeous, and the simple but interesting design is awesome. It has a Deco-y kind of feel with the building in the middle…

….and the book did not disappoint! It’s the story of a woman in the very early 1900’s and her son, and the woman is a lover of beauty who ends up as a farmer’s wife, but manages to provide a better life for her son. Her son becomes part of that somewhat “lost generation” that Ernest Hemingway talks about though…a bit superficial and discontented.

It’s very character driven, so if you’re not into that, it’s probably not a book for you. But at any rate, it would be a very pretty addition to your shelves!

Happy Friday!