I was thinking about the books on my nightstand the other day — they are mostly fiction, with a little bit of memoir mixed in to keep things fresh. But when I think about interesting books I like to give as gifts, or stack on my coffee table, they are almost always non-fiction books. You too?
Here are five non-fiction books that caught my eye recently.
1) Design By Nature by Erica Tanov. Fabric bound with gold embossing, this volume is a jewel for your coffee table. But it’s not just beautiful, it’s instructive too, as Erica takes you through her process of approaching and incorporating nature into her work and her home.
2) Recipes for Good Luck by Ellen Weinstein. I picked this up and thought it would make a great gift — perhaps for a new graduate. Each page features a habit or ritual of a notable person, accompanied by related illustration. Examples — Coco Chanel’s lucky number was 5, so she named her famed perfume accordingly. And Michael Jordan always wore his UNC shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform.
3) La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday by Trina McNeilly. What a beautiful book about loss and love and healing! I love what Leeana Tankersley wrote about it: “Every inch of this book – the images, the words, and Trina’s story of losing and finding – is a call to consider how beauty heals us. Not the slick, glossy pretty of perfect worlds. But the hard-won beauty of everyday loving and living. Maybe most of all, these pages remind us of hope we all need to hear: that even life’s endings can become beautiful beginnings in God’s hands.”
4) 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst. These authors are the same talented women that create Flow Magazine, and I continue to be super impressed by excellent work they produce. This book is unlike any other — full of inserts and surprises, ideas, worksheets and techniques. If you’ve been thinking about journaling, or upgrading your sketchbook skills, this is a smart place to start.
5) Modern Macramé: 33 Stylish Projects for Your Handmade Home by Emily Katz. As Jonathan Adler wrote: “Macramé is back-ramé, and this book is the Bible.” No doubt you’ve noticed macramé wall hangings and accessories in home goods collections everywhere. It’s back in a big way — and it’s a trend that you can totally take part in because it’s so DIY-able. This book has projects I’ve never seen before, and clear photo instructions to walk you through the knots.
Your turn. What books have caught your eye lately? Do you find yourself drawn to non-fiction books sometimes? Or when you make lists of books to recommend, are they all novels? I’d love to hear what you’ve checked out of the library lately, or added to your book collection.
P.S. — Looking for your favorite summer read? Try this new one from Katherine Center.