LUSCIOUS LIBRARY: My current book wishlist

Books about style and beauty

Looking for some luscious reading? Or a glamorous book for a gift? Here’s what’s on my current book wishlist relating to jetsetting, style, fashion, the 1920s, and high society…


Swans: Legends of the Jet Society by Nick Foulkes

Swans: Legends of the Jet Society by Nick Foulkes

BUY IT HERE: Assouline’s Swans: Legends of the Jet Society by Nick Foulkes


I’ve been fascinated by historical style leaders and socialites such as Capote’s “Swans” for several years now, and have tracked down several books relating to each of the main characters, including Truman Capote, Babe Mortimer Paley, Slim Keith, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman, CZ Guest, Marella Agnelli, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lee Radziwill, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

So it seems that Assouline have also been inspired to create a book devoted to socialites and jetsetting, in the form of this glossy coffee table tome. I would love to get my hands on it!


Here’s the official blurb:

Conjuring images of exotic global destinations and golden beaches, clandestine ren

dezvous on opulent yachts, and star-studded parties in palatial mansions, the words “jet set were once the epitome of soigne worldly glamour.

Swans, Legends of the Jet Society captures the spirit of this world, the last vestiges of a leisured and cultivated age, a world of taste and culture, elegance and beauty.

From bygone aristocracy to modern mega-wealthy moguls, this stunning volume regales with escapades of travel, money, romance, and adventure.


BUY IT HERE: Assouline’s Swans: Legends of the Jet Society by Nick Foulkes



More in these posts:

a glamorous life - man kissing ladies hand - 1920s cartoon.jpg

Fan favourites: A glamorous life - Part 2

Fan favourites: A glamorous life - Part 2 - Jackie Kennedy - Mark Shaw for a cover story in LIFE 1959.jpg

The Power of Style and The Power of Glamour by Annette Tapert

Books to buy about style icons: "The Power of Style" and "The Power of Glamour" by Annette Tapert
CZ Guest by the pool in the iconic shot taken by Slim Aarons.jpg

A socialite life: CZ Guest

Style icon CZ Guest
The Last Mrs. Astor - A New York Story by Frances Kiernan.jpg

Recommended reading: Epicureans, socialites, hosts, philanthropists, and entertainers

Recommended reading: Epicureans, socialites, hosts, philanthropists, and entertainers


Related books:








Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years by Alexander Vreeland

Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years by Alexander Vreeland

BUY IT HERE: Rizzoli’s Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years edited by Alexander Vreeland


Diana Vreeland is a style icon, not just for what she wore, but her influence on the fashion world through journalism, and her own eccentric personality. She was such a force that the role played by Kay Thompson in Audrey Hepburn’s film Funny Face, was based on her.

She worked for both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and as a special consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her wit and insight was legendary, with many mind boggling comments including:

  • I’m sure I chose to be born in Paris. I’m sure I chose my parents. I’m sure I chose to be called Diana. And I’m sure I chose to have a nurse named Pink.
  • Why Don’t You…wash your blond child’s hair in dead champagne, as they do in France?
  • Why Don’t You…have a furry elk-hide trunk for the back of your car?
  • Why Don’t You…own, as does one extremely smart woman, twelve diamond roses of all sizes?
  • Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.
  • You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.
  • I adore artifice. I always have.
  • Where would fashion be without literature?
  • All my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, ‘I want rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple’—they have no idea what I’m talking about. About the best red is to copy the color of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait.
  • I always say I hope to God I die in a town with a good tailor, a good shoemaker, and perhaps someone who’s interested in a little quelque chose d’autre.
  • Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.


Style icon, Diana Vreeland


Here’s the official blurb:

A look behind the scenes at Diana Vreeland’s Vogue, showing the legendary editor in chief in her own inimitable words.

When Diana Vreeland became editor in chief of Vogue in 1963, she initiated a transformation, shaping the magazine into the dominant U.S. fashion publication. Vreeland’s Vogue was as entertaining and innovative as it was serious about fashion, art, travel, beauty, and culture. Vreeland rarely held meetings and communicated with her staff and photographers through memos dictated from her office or Park Avenue apartment.

This extraordinary compilation of more than 250 pieces of Vreeland’s personal correspondence—most published here for the first time—includes letters to Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Norman Parkinson, Veruschka, and Cristobal Balenciaga and memos that show the direction of some of Vogue’s most legendary stories. These display Vreeland’s irreverence and her characteristically over-the-top pronouncements and reveal her sharpness about the Vogue woman and what the magazine should be.

Photographs from the magazine illustrate the memos, showing her imagination, prescience, and exactitude. Each chapter is introduced by commentary from Vogue editors who worked with her, giving readers a truly inside look at how Diana Vreeland directed the course of the magazine and fashion world.



BUY IT HERE: Rizzoli’s Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years edited by Alexander Vreeland



More in these posts:

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"Vogue" magazine covers: 1960s

"Vogue" magazine covers: 1960s
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Luscious at the movies: The best fashion films and TV shows

My top ten selections for the best fashion films and TV shows.
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Luscious at the movies: Films with fashion influence

Here's a look at our list of films which have influenced fashion in some way...
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Chinoiserie wallpaper and fabrics

Chinoiserie wallpaper and fabrics
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Vintage photography: Classic black and white images

Beautiful black and white photos from some of history's best photographers
A young Princess Caroline of Monaco.jpg

Epicureans, socialites, hosts, philanthropists, and entertainers

Epicureans, socialites, hosts, philanthropists, and entertainers



Related books:








One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

BUY IT HERE: One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson has made me laugh out loud regularly in public places, notably in restaurants and on public transport, which tends to make people turn around and stare at me. He’s such a gifted writer, embracing social commentary, solid historical and literary insight, and often travel narrative with an engaging humour and intelligent research.

He was so gracious that when I met him at a book signing and asked him for dinner, he kindly declined but added that if he wasn’t busy, he would have said yes. Who knows whether it was true, but it felt genuine and made me smile.


Here’s the official blurb:

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet.

Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation.

Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover.

Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption.

The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor.

In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.



BUY IT HERE: One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson



More in these posts:


The Great Gatsby film and TV adaptations

Photos from "The Great Gatsby" film and TV adaptations
1920s fashion illustration - Art deco fashion posters.jpg

Luscious loves: Art Deco illustration

Luscious loves: Art Deco illustration
The House of Mirth - fashion and film.jpg

Films and TV shows set in the 1900s-1940s - part 1

Films and TV shows set in the 1900s-1940s - part 1
Life_Magazine_Roaring_Twenties via mylusciouslife - Inspired by The Great Gatsby - 1920s flappers.jpg

Historical style: Summary of our posts relating to The Great Gatsby and the 1920s

A quick look at our posts relating to The Great Gatsby and the 1920s


Related books:







See more suggestions for your own luscious library here via my “books to buy” posts.

Don’t forget to check out the new LUSCIOUS SHOP for men’s and women’s fashion, kids, homewares, gifts and themed pages for beach and countryside lusciousness.

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Cheers, Natasha






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