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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Break

This tree was done in honor of Audrey Hepburn and I wanted to share it with all of you. I am going to take a break for this month but, I will be returning in January with all new books and reviews. My deepest thanks to all of you for your support. My wish and hope is that you will all have a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mailbox Monday

The Woman Who Fell From The Sky by: Jennifer Steil
book courtesy: Crown Publishing Group

Lipstick in Afghanistan by: Roberta Gately
book courtesy: Simon & Schuster

Falling Home by: Karen White
book courtesy: Penguin Group

The Recipe Club by: Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
book courtesy: HarperCollins Publishers

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


The iconic Molly Ringwald shares intimate stories and candid advice in this fun, stylish, and sexy girlfriend's guide to life.

To her millions of fans, Molly Ringwald will forever be sixteen. As the endearing and witty star of the beloved John Hughes classics Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, Molly defined teenage angst, love, and heartbreak. While remembered eternally as the enviable high school princess Claire, or the shy, vulnerable Samantha, Molly has just celebrated her fortieth birthday. Facing a completely new, angst-inducing time in her life, she is embracing being a woman, wife, mother of three, actress, and best friend with her trademark style, candor, and humor.

In Getting the Pretty Back, Molly encourages every woman to become "the sexiest, funniest, smartest, best-dressed, and most confident woman that you can be." She shares personal anecdotes and entertaining insights about the struggle to get through the murky milestones and identity issues that crop up long after the prom ends. Whether she's discussing sex and beauty, personal style, travel and entertaining, motherhood, or friendship, Molly embodies the spirit of being fabulous at every age, and reminds us all that prettiness is a state of mind: it's "the part of you that knows what you really want, that takes risks."

Lavishly illustrated by Ruben Toledo, Getting the Pretty Back is sure to charm women of all ages with Molly's unforgettably personal, refreshingly outspoken take on life, love, and, of course, finding that perfect red lipstick. . .

My Review Comments:

What can I say, I was in high school in the eighty’s and I loved this book. So I remember all the fun movies with Molly Ringwald. It was a light enjoyable read and a wonderful escape for me. I found that I couldn’t put it down, once I started reading it. The book has so much to offer and it really is about feeling good as a women and finding your true self within the pages. It involves maintaining healthy friendships, pursuing our dreams, eating, entertaining, exercising, and encouraging confidence and our own unique creativity. It really challenges you to become the women that you were always meant to be. There are so many helpful tips and recipes sprinkled throughout the pages of this book to draw from. It was wonderful how she included so many of her own personal life stories and personal advice that I was able to really relate to. This book is beautifully illustrated and would make a great gift for anyone to give to a special girlfriend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Promise Me by: Susan G. Komen with Joni Rogers
book courtesy: Crown Publishing Group
I would like to make my own special dedication for this book: "To my cousin Bonnie, my favorite childhood playmate."

Yes, My Darling Daughter by: Margaret Leroy
book courtesy: The Author

The Mailbox by: Marybeth Whalen
book courtesy: B & B Media Group, Inc.

Twelve Rooms With A View by: Theresa Rebeck
book courtesy: Crown Publishing Group

The Wife's Tale by: Lori Lansens
book courtesy: Hachette Book Group

Monday, October 11, 2010

Juliet by Anne Fortier

***Courtesy Random House Publishing Group


When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a precarious journey into the true history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo turned medieval Siena upside down. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse -- “A plague on both your houses!” -- is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems the only one who can save her from her fate is Romeo . . . but where is he?
Full of sleeping potions, secret processions, and the glorious Italian countryside, Juliet is at heart an epic romance that proves that love is strong enough to conquer even death.

Fortier bobs and weaves between Shakespearean tragedy and popular romance for a high-flying debut in which American Julie Jacobs travels to Siena in search of her Italian heritage--and possibly an inheritance--only to discover she is descended from 14th-century Giulietta Tomei, whose love for Romeo defied their feuding families and inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Julie's hunt leads her to the families' descendants, still living in Siena, still feuding, and still struggling under the curse of the friar who wished a plague on both their houses. Julie's unraveling of the past is assisted by a Felliniesque contessa and the contessa's handsome nephew, and complicated by mobsters, police, and a mysterious motorcyclist. To understand what happened centuries ago, in the previous generation, and all around her, Julie relies on relics: a painting, a journal, a dagger, a ring. Readers enjoy the additional benefit of antique texts alternating with contemporary narratives, written in the language of modern romance and enlivened by brisk storytelling. Fortier navigates around false clues and twists, resulting in a dense, heavily plotted love story that reads like a Da Vinci Code for the smart modern woman.

My Review Comments:

I loved this book and it made me sad to see it come to an end. I felt so honored to have received an advance copy of this book to preview. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone that is interesting in the story of, “Romeo and Juliet”. There is so much to discuss about this book, starting with how it was so beautifully written, wonderful character development, and it was filled with layers of twists and turns throughout the book. The story is told in two different timeframes, starting out in the USA in modern times and goes back to ancient Italy. After Julie Jacobs beloved aunt dies, she has a mystery to solve. The mystery includes the characters of Romeo and Juliet in 1340. Julie receives an estate key and a passport with the name Gulietta Tolomei, which is her true name, from her Aunt and she flies to Sienna, where she instantly finds herself in danger. When she gets to Italy she goes to a bank and finds that the key opens a box with a diary that tells the story of Gulietta and Romeo and what happened to them. There are a lot of historical fact findings throughout the book. Also, Julie has a twin sister Janice, whose relationship is strained. But, they do end up coming together and working through their difference to figure out what happened to their Mother. It comes out that they are descendants of the Tolomeis of the 14th century. As they dig deeper they find out that there is a bitter rivalry between the Tolomeis and the Salimbenis much like the one that resembles the famous story between the Capulets and the Montagues. Julie’s has a passionate relationship with Alesandro—Romeo and it is through their relationship that they are able to solve the mystery surrounding their families. This book has it all in my opinion, part mystery, romance, and historical information that all comes together perfectly in the end.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong
book courtesy: Random House Publishing

Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette
book courtesy: Penguin Group Publishing

Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
book courtesy: The Author

Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin
book courtesy: Simon & Schuster Publishing

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman, Ceil Friedman

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble

The enduring legend of Shakespeare’s pair of star-crossed lovers draws millions of visitors to Verona, Italy, each year. But that is just part of the story. Every day, letters, frequently addressed simply, “Juliet, Verona,” arrive in the city. They come by the truckload, in almost every language imaginable, written by romantics seeking Juliet’s counsel. Most of the missives talk of love, of course —love found and love lost, love sought and love remembered. And, amazingly, not one letter goes unanswered.

Letters to Juliet tells the story of these letters and the volunteers who have been writing responses for more than seven decades —volunteers who first acted privately, and who are now sanctioned by the city of Verona as part of the Juliet Club. Featuring more than seventy-five heartfelt letters, this poetic book retraces the history behind Shakespeare’s tale and tours the monuments that have fueled the world's enchantment with Juliet and her Romeo.

My Review Comments:

I saw the movie that this book was based on and it is nothing like the book. This book takes you into the part of the movie that you wanted to explore the most of, which is the Club Di Giuletta, the room with Juliet’s Secretaries and how they came to be. It is their story that is so engaging to me. The letters that are sprinkled throughout the book were so precious and filled with little gems of treasures. I couldn’t wait to read them to discover what the responses would be from Juliet’s Secretaries.

A group of women over the span of eight decades has voluntarily answered each of these letters personally. They are citizens of Verona that have assumed the role of "Secretaries of Juliet", replying to the letters. This book enhances the fairytale like quality of everything considered romantic in Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the book there are images of all the sites in Verona, Italy that are dedicated to the romance of the famous couple. It goes from the famous balcony to the courtyard where there is a statue of young Juliet, and continues to her tomb. It also shows you Romeo’s home and a statue that was erected for him as well and, the courtyard where they were married. It is all beautifully wrapped up in the countryside of Italy. What a wonderful escape!

In the book there is a beautiful souvenir pin that was designed by Ettore Solimani Inscribed with the phrase Se ami credi in Giuletta (If you love, believe in Juliet) which I think says it all.

Have a love issue you'd like to share with Juliet? Send your letter to:

Club di Giulietta - The Juliet Club
via Galilei 3 - 37100 Verona, Italia
Tel: (+39) 045 533115
You can also e-mail your letter to

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mailbox Monday

J'adore New York by: Isabelle Lafleche
book courtesy: Harper Collins Publishing

The Botticelli Secret by: Marina Fiorato
book courtesy: St. Martins Publishing Group

The Jewel of St. Petersburg by: Kate Furnivall
book courtesy: Berkley Publishing Group

Maid to Match by: Deeanne Gist
book courtesy: Bethany House Publishing Group

Thursday, July 22, 2010

O'Juliet by Robin Maxwell

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Maxwell delivers a mesmerizing retelling of the famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, in her latest novel, set in Italy at the beginning of the Renaissance. Juliet Capelletti is a headstrong, intelligent young lady who is facing an arranged marriage to Jacopo Strozzi, her father's new business partner. She does not look forward to her match but knows that it will make her parents happy. Juliet's entire future is forever changed one night at the engagement party of her best friend, Lucrezia, when she meets the handsome Romeo Monticecco. Romeo is at the party to seek reconciliation between his family and the Capelettis, who have been feuding and retaliating against each other for years.
Juliet and Romeo find a chance to talk together alone under the stars, and their destiny unfolds. Both are surprised by the other's passion for poetry and shared interest in Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova. After their first meeting, Juliet is determined to find a way out of her upcoming marriage to Jacopo, even though this means defying her family's wishes for her and possibly destroying the business between her father and her betrothed.
What unfolds is a beautiful love story between the soul mates Romeo and Juliet. Maxwell realistically portrays the torment with which Juliet is faced as she wonders what her future holds. The things I enjoyed the most about the novel were how Maxwell drew parallels between Dante and his love, Beatrice, and Romeo and Juliet, and her use of poetry and quotes from Dante throughout the novel. Readers will savor this exquisite and magical love story."

My Review Comments:

I have to say that I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down because it was so beautifully written. It was wonderful to see Romeo and Juliet placed in a novel format. Romeo and Juliet weren’t just in lust for each other like most other books portray them, they were truly in love with each other. Both poets themselves, Romeo and Juliet were first drawn together by the works of Dante, a famous deceased poet. They met at Juliet’s best friend’s celebration. During this short meeting love ensued, but it was more than love at first sight. There was a solid foundation for their attraction, a mutual connection that made their story unfold truly beautifully. Juliet was vivacious and stubbornly strong-willed for a young woman of that era, while Romeo came across as a peacemaker of sorts, cheerful-natured, sweet and unruffled - at least until it came to defending and fiercely loving his fair Juliet. Both, of course, were dreamers of the best sorts. I loved the depth that it went into about the Capeletti's family silk merchant business and Monticecco’s family business of being farmers. The characters were very well developed and the storyline was different than the Romeo and Juliet we are all used to without straying too far from the fundamental nature of Shakespeare's beloved play. The differences between the Shakespeare version and this one were their ages, locations, and some of the other characters, but it still held true to the basic premise of two young lovers who married secretly, between two battling families and they ultimately have a tragic ending through death tying to achieve eternal love.

"Their love was the stuff of legend. But the legend is only half the story." – quote from the cover

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Sea Escape by: Aimee Friedman
book courtesy: The Publisher

Hurricanes in Paradise by: Denise Hildreth
book courtesy: Tyndale House Publishing

My Sister's Voice by: Mary Carter
book courtesy: Kensington Publishing Group

The House on Oyster Creek by: Heidi Jon Schmidt
book courtesy: Penguin Books

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by: Kathleen Flinn

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


When the author, an American journalist and software executive working in London, is sacked from her high-powered job, she enrolls as a student at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris. With limited cooking skills and grasp of the French language, she gamely attempts to master the school's challenging curriculum of traditional French cuisine. As if she didn't have enough on her plate eviscerating fish and knocking out pâtéà choux, she determines to write a book about her experience and gets married along the way. The result is a readable if sentimental chronicle of that year in Paris in which her love life is explored in great detail, dirty weekends and all, and cooking features as a metaphor for self-discovery. Some readers may feel disappointed that the narrator's encounters with French cookery remain largely confined to her lessons at the Cordon Bleu. On those rare occasions when she ventures into the food-obsessed city, the descriptions of meals are glancing at best. Although her struggles with the language and lack of knowledge about the culture lend comic elements to the story (once, trying to order a pizza over the phone, she said, "Je suis une pizza"-I am a pizza), they, too, constrain the author's culinary explorations

My Review Comments:

I was so interested in this book, especially after seeing the popular movie, “Julie and Julia”, to see a girl going after her dreams. There is such a rage in cooking right now, it makes you wonder what it really takes to become a professionally trained chef. This book really explains all the skills necessary for achieving and living out the passion of food with a beautiful backdrop of living in Paris. It was amazing to me all the history and information that you were given access to from the very private Le Cordon Bleu French cooking school. Besides, being in a foreign country barely being able to speak or understand the French language, Flinn still makes it through to graduate and she manages all this with her love life intact. The best part of this book is it really is a true story with a happy ending, which serves as her true beginning.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to the following winner:

*Liz (Cleverly Inked)

I will contact you through your e-mail for your address and send your package on it's way. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Giveaway

My Giveaway:

This is a giveaway for a wonderful gift package. It includes the novel, “The Wildwater Walking Club” by: Claire Cook, a beach bag, a pinwheel, a beach glass, a pair of rhinestone black sunglasses, and lastly a bookmark. This is to be given out to one lucky winner. (Beach chair not included).

Here's how to enter:

All you have to do is become a follower of my book blog and leave a comment in the comment section on what you are currently reading, along with your e-mail address. How easy is that?

Competition ends on June 23rd, and the winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck to everyone!
(This contest is only available to be shipped within the USA).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Summer We Read Gatsby by: Danielle Ganek

***Received an advance copy courtesy Viking


Half-sisters Cassie and Peck could not be more different. Cassie is a newly divorced journalist with her feet firmly planted on the ground; Peck is a vintage-obsessed actress with her head in the clouds. In fact, the only thing they seem to have in common is their inheritance of Fool's House, a rundown cottage left to them by their beloved Aunt Lydia. But Cassie and Peck can't afford the house, and they can't agree on anything, much less what to do with the place. Plus, along with the house, they've inherited an artist-in-residence and self-proclaimed genius named Biggsy who seems to bring suspiciously bad luck wherever he goes. As these two likable sisters try to understand their aunt's puzzling instructions to "seek a thing of utmost value" from within the house, they're both distracted by romantic entanglements with men from their pasts. The Summer We Read Gatsby, set in the end-of-an-era summer of 2008, is filled with fabulous parties, eccentric characters, and insider society details that showcase Ganek's pitch-perfect sense of style and wit.

My Review Comments:

This was an enjoyable, light summer read. The book centers around two step sisters named Peck and Cassie that need to reconnect to settle an estate from their favorite Aunt Lydia in the heartbeat of the Hamptons. There are lots of references throughout the book regarding, “The Great Gatsby” and the eccentric characters that make up the parties in the Hamptons. Along the way, the step sisters need to solve a mystery regarding their inheritance and they have to work together, which is no small feat considering they are polar opposites. Added to the problem is that Peck wants to keep the house and Cassie wants to sell the house. There is also a romantic element to the storyline of both sisters rediscover their long lost loves. When all is said and done they must choose where their futures will lead them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Between Friends by: Kristy Kiernan
book courtesy: Berkley Publishing Group

Shadow Princess by: Indu Sundaresan
book courtesy: Atria Books Publicity

The Midwife of St. Petersburg by: Linda Lee Chaikin
book courtesy: the author

Some Girls My Life In A Harem by: Jullian Lauren
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Friday, June 4, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the following winner:

* Lisa Gibson

I will contact you through your e-mail for your address and send your package on it’s way. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

By Invitation Only by: Jodi Della Femina

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Nobody knows the Hamptons like Jodi Della Femina, who captures the inside world of love, society, and scandal in this delicious summer page-turner. Toni Fratelli has a busy summer ahead. After several setbacks in Manhattan force her to move home to East Hampton, her To Do list is full. She has to help her father run his popular Italian restaurant, start up her own catering company—and be the Maid of Honor at her best friend’s wedding on the beach. Unfortunately for Toni, the groom’s mother is a competitive socialite who’ll stop at nothing to make sure her son doesn’t marry a local girl. The biggest caterer in the Hamptons is trying to run her new business out of town. And worse than anything, she seems to be losing her best friend to a circle of snooty bridesmaids. At least Toni finds love. When she meets a sexy surfer named Chris, it quickly turns into the most romantic summer fling of her life. But there’s more to Chris than his vintage Mustang and used guitar … and Toni’s going to like the truth. Before the end of the summer she’ll be forced to face her hopes – and fears – as trying to forgive becomes her biggest challenge of all.

My Review Comments:

This is the perfect summer read at the beach. With wedding season right around the corner I thought this would be a perfect pick, too. The story line is centered around two best friends and a wedding. Toni has a catering business in the Hamptons and she is competing with another caterer that is undermining her at every turn. She is doing her best to stay on top with so many distractions, such as being maid of honor for her best friend’s upcoming wedding, trying to keep her Father’s Italian restaurant afloat, and her own love life. What makes this book truly special is the bond between two best friends and unexpected romance that Toni finds herself in. But, everything isn’t as it seems with Toni’s new love Chris. Toni thinks Chris is a surfer who only has a vintage Mustang and not a penny to his name, when really he is so much more, he is a financial businessman from New York with lots of money. This book really takes you into the social settings of the Hamptons with all the extras. It is a great escape. What is really wonderful about this book is how the author ultimately ties up all the loose ends.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Giveaway

My Giveaway:

This is a giveaway for a wonderful gift package. It includes the latest novel, “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See, a bag of Hershey’s Bliss smooth & creamy milk chocolates, and lastly a bookmark. This is to be given out to one lucky winner.

Here's how to enter:

All you have to do is become a follower of my book blog and leave a comment in the comment section on what you are currently reading, along with your e-mail address. How easy is that?

Competition ends on June 4th, and the winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck to everyone!
(This contest is only available to be shipped within the USA ).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mailbox Monday

The Long Way Home by: Robin Pilcher
book courtesy: St. Martin's Press

Miss You Most of All by: Elizabeth Bass
book courtesy: the author/Elizabeth Bass

Claude & Camille by: Stephanie Cowell
book courtesy: Harper Crown Publishing Group

One Amazing Thing by: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
book courtesy: Harper Collins Publishers

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Devil In The Junior League by: Linda Francis Lee

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Former Junior Leaguer Linda Francis Lee has crafted a scandalously delicious novel that takes you deep into the heart of Texas blue-blood society. The Junior League of Willow Creek, Texas, is très exclusive. Undesirables need not apply. Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a member beyond reproach...until her life begins to unravel. When her husband betrays her, steals her money, and runs off to places unknown, it's something Frede would prefer to keep under wraps. The last thing she needs is to become fodder for the JLWC gossip mill. And to make matters worse, there's only one person in town who stands a chance at helping her get revenge—Howard Grout, a tasteless, gold-chain-wearing lawyer who has bought his way into Frede's tony neighborhood. But there's a price: She has to get his tacky, four-inch-stiletto-and-pink-spandex-wearing wife, Nikki, into the Junior League. The crème de la crème of Southern royalty should sit up and take notice, and hang on tight for this irresistible tale of getting in and getting even.

My Review Comments:

I loved this book. Sometimes you need a good light chick lit book that has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments throughout the book. This book takes you inside the Junior League with all their rules and expectations they place on their members. It also describes menus and the do’s and don’ts in entertaining and dressing with fashions and etiquette. Of course everything is nicely wrapped up in their signature Junior League pearls. Frede, who was a former debutante, ends up losing everything around her perfect world and the only way to come back on top is to turn an ugly duckling into a swan. Will she be able to meet the challenges that are laid out to her to get her money and lifestyle back, with help from an attorney? Or, will she even want it when it is offered to her? Will she learn that money doesn’t buy love and happiness? Will she choose love in the end? Lastly, will she finally come to realize who her true friends are and who will stick with her through thick and thin? These are just some of the many questions you will be asking yourself. You will just have to read the book the find out all the answers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

At Home with Carolyne Roehm

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Thumbing through this sizable tome is like having an all-access pass to the sensational events Carolyne has hosted at her Connecticut, New York and Paris homes. With a keen balance of creativity, natural elements and practicality, Carolyne elevates the simple to superb-on any budget. From a shimmering Christmas party with a 13-foot, tinsel-draped pine tree to a cozy pondside picnic with fried chicken, this collection of menus, recipes, venues and tablescapes is sure to inspire. The breathtaking photography will pull you in and make you feel as though you can smell the bountiful bouquets and bubbling culinary delights on every page.
Former fashion designer Carolyne Roehm is renowned for combining a keen appreciation of beauty with practical know-how. Now, with this gorgeously illustrated guide, readers can go behind the scenes of her memorable parties, learn her entertaining secrets, and visit the glamorous homes where she has dazzled her prominent guests.

Imparting fresh ideas and inspiration for knockout events on any budget, At Home with Carolyne Roehm follows the calendar’s seasons to provide year-round suggestions for place settings, floral arrangements, and menus. Emphasizing creativity and natural elements, Carolyne Roehm’s tips are not exclusively geared toward elegant functions: Picnics, cozy fireside meals for two, afternoon teas, and formal dinner parties are treated with equal verve. Drawing on ingredients and imagery appropriate for spring, summer, winter, and fall and all the major holidays, this handsome collection yields a trove of simple but sophisticated recipes along with perfect tabletop and decorative accents to accompany them. Biscuit sandwiches of Mustard-Glazed and Smoked Cheddar; Shrimp and White Bean Salad; Zucchini and Watercress Soup; and Fudgy Rum Chocolate Cake are just a few of the delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes. For successful festive occasions that friends and family will remember for years, from a grand New Year’s Eve gala to a spring brunch with a floral theme, At Home with Carolyne Roehm is itself glorious cause for celebration.

My Review Comments:

This is one of my favorite books to escape into and it is a feast for the eyes. I have found more enjoyment from the ideas and useful recipes out of this book. This is a gorgeous book, showcasing Carolyne’s impressive collection of china, silverware and glassware. There is so much inspiration filled in this book for beautiful tablescape ideas for entertaining, recipes, floral arrangements, etc. One of the many gems from this book is the recipe for brussel sprouts with pancetta and cream sauce, my sister-in-law requests this dish every year for our Thanksgiving dinner menu. Another recipe that I have been dying to make is her, “baker’s chocolate pecan pie bars.” The book it is loaded with indoor and outdoor entertaining ideas. What a wonderful way to spend an evening to relax and unwind with this book and a nice cup of tea. You will not only be inspired by it but, it will be a book you turn to again and again. It’s a wonderful coffee table book too, and I love to decorate with stacks of books on shelves and tables.