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Mary Shustack shops around

Summer reading list


Who says that when you go to the beach (or pool or park, etc.) that you have to bring along the traditional “beach” read?

You know — the fluffy historical romances or of-the-moment chick-lit titles.

They all have their place, of course, but why not mix it up?

Summer, after all, is a great time to catch up on books you’ve been meaning to get to… which brings me to the books that have been piling up under my office desk for the past few weeks.

This past weekend, when I was sitting outside and flipping through some magazines, I was wishing I had a couple of these with me.

I’ve taken a preliminary browse, but have not yet really sat down with them. Let me know if you have read any — and what you think.

The newest release is “Kovels’ American Collectibles 1900-2000� (Random House Reference, $27.95).


Ralph and Terry Kovel are nationally recognized experts on antiques and collectibles. Their latest effort is a handy, attractive reference that includes chapters on everything from British art pottery to toys and dolls.

Another noted antiques expert, Judith Miller, has yet another new book out. “Antiques Investigator� (DK Publishing, $25) is a quirky find.


The book takes an unusual approach to helping shoppers identify potential treasures by making it like a mystery. The book includes details on “the interrogation,� the “prime suspects,� the “lineup� and offers many “composite photos.� Sure, it’s a gimmick — but it’s also a clever way to offer up some valuable information.

“Vintage Cottages� (Gibbs Smith, $29.95) by Molly Hyde English takes readers on a journey across the country, stopping in charming cottages along the way.


The featured homes, brought to life by vibrant photographs from Tom Lamb, are filled with all kinds of decorative styles. There are classic Arts and Crafts examples and traditional seaside residences, elegant interiors and Folk Art escapes.

“Modern Cabin� (Gibbs Smith, $$39.95) is a look at “the embodiment of retreat, relaxation and reconnection to nature.�


The book, by Michelle Kodis, indeed offers up a look at just how much the ol’ cabin in the woods has come along. A personal favorite? The chapter on “A river runs under it,� a 768-square-foot creation from architect Ron Mason of Anderson Mason Dale Architects. The retreat, in Buena Vista, Calif., offers an entire wall of windows looking out over a river that, yep, runs right under the getaway. Incredible!

I recently did a story for our Real Estate/Home section on the appeal of porches. Soon after that, “On the Porch — Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go By� (Taunton, $30) arrived.


The book, by James M. Crisp and Sandra L. Mahoney, combines the look of a coffee-table book with the practical approach of a “how-to� edition. It’s filled with before and after photographs offering up designs for all kinds of homes.

Of course, no one really wants to dwell on chores, but the kitschy “Classic Household Hints� (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $17.95) makes a fun case for keeping up on all kinds of tasks.


The book, a fun gift for anyone moving into their first place, offers practical tips from Susan Waggoner on tasks ranging from removing scuff marks off the kitchen floor to how to restore luster to an aluminum pan. The illustrations are fantastic, too.

Finally, I got some new jewelry books in. As you may know, buying (and collecting) costume jewelry is a favorite hobby of mine, so I was delighted with “The Jeweled Menagerie — The World of Animals in Gems� (Thames & Hudson, $34.95) by Suzanne Tennenbaum and Janet Zapata.


In it, fish swim, birds hover and butterflies glide along, each interpreted in all kinds of jewels. Really fun — and lovely to browse through.

Then came “Costume Jewelry� (DK Publishing, $13.95) by Judith Miller.


The famed author (yes, that was another of her books mentioned before) has compiled a book just about the size of my hand, which makes it perfect for popping into a bag when heading out to the flea markets. It’s a great little reference filled with stunning photos and lots of practical information.

So — that is pretty much what I had under my desk. Now it’s time to really dive into these titles, a few of which you might like to buy yourself.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 16th, 2007 at 11:39 am by Mary Shustack. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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About this blog
Mary Shustack has been living — and shopping — in this region her whole life. This blog will follow her never-ending search for beautiful things, from home-decorating accents to funky tote bags to quirky collectibles. Come along as she browses through the shops, boutiques, markets and fairs of the Lower Hudson Valley.


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About the author
Mary ShustackMary Shustack was born in Nyack and has always lived in Rockland County, save for those four years she attended the University of Missouri in Columbia. READ MORE
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