The Simply Luxurious Life®: What to Read?  

April 1, 2010

What to Read?

Every once and awhile I find myself without a book in which I can’t seem to put down.  Thankfully this is not the case right now, but just in case you’re currently in limbo, looking for a book to read and unable to find one that grabs your interest, I thought I’d share a few that I would gladly read again and would be happy to lend you if you only lived nearby.

My selections are each from a different genre or category, and each, in their own way, offers a bit of pleasure, a smile or two, or additional contentment to your already fantastic life.

 So read on to maybe find the book you’ve been looking for to add to your nightstand.  Fingers crossed.

1. Take It Up A Notch

Happiness that is.  The word “project” looks and sounds a bit daunting, but do not be deterred.  Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project is for anyone who already knows that the life they have is quite all right, but they just don’t feel they are appreciating it enough, or feel that with just a few tweaks and adjustments they may find their life more enjoyable.

Some excerpts:

“Act the way I want to feel. This . . . sums up one of the most helpful insights that I’d learned in my happiness research: although we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act.”

“Even a modest pleasure can be a luxury if it’s scarce enough – ordering coffee at a restaurant, buying a book, or watching TV – which is why deprivation is one of the most effective, although unenjoyable, cures for the hedonic treadmill.”

“It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that if you have something you love or there’s something you want, you’ll be happier with more.”

“Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.”

2. Inspiration to Start Anew
Kristen Lobe’s novel Paris Hangover has been available for a handful of years, but I had to include it.  I have revisited this book a number of times, and I still find myself being mesmerized by the main character’s gumption and tenaciousness. 
If you’ve ever wanted to find the courage to pack up just enough of your belongings (and your furry-haired friend) in a couple of suitcases and relocate to the city or locale of your dreams, this novel will give you the nudge to make your dream a reality.  The protagonist, a bit whimsically, begins the novel by deciding to start her life fresh in Paris after having lived in New York City most of her adult life.  The adventures and loves she encounters make for a scrumptious tale.

3. A Light-Hearted, Enjoyable Caper

When picking up a book to dive into, I need to feel better after having read a chapter or two, not disturbed.   And while I love mysteries, sometimes the violence involved is too much. 

Well, if you are of the similar mind, I have an author for you to begin reading – Peter Mayle.  He, like the aforementioned protagonist in Paris Hangover, up and moved from the states to Paris and currently resides in the south of France.  The majority of his fictional books involve a mystery, but death is not the crime.  In The Vintage Caper the mystery lies in “who stole the wine?”  Other subjects in earlier books included the seeking of the beloved truffles, and stolen artwork as well.  Light-hearted, yet still illegal activities nonetheless.

What you will find in his most recent work (pictured below) is savory descriptions of French cuisine, brief, yet interesting schooling on wine and vivid imagery of beautiful chateaus and wine cellars in France.  Needless to say, this novel piqued my interest immediately. 

4.  Common Sense Repackaged

Bethenny Frankel has kind of taken Bravo by storm lately, and I must admit I jumped on the bandwagon.  Her first book, Naturally Thin, came out last year, and she has since followed it up with a book of even more recipes, as well as a book of rules for remaining naturally thin – The Skinnygirl Dish and The Skinnygirl Rules.  Before you skip over this book because it involves “dieting”, read a few of the excerpts because it might just catch your attention.  As much as we all pride ourselves on knowing what we should do, this book reiterates and gives specifics to make sure we do indeed do what we know we should do.


I think everybody deserves to be healthy and get into the best shape of her life.  That’s why I’ve collected all the simple facts that have taken me twenty years to learn, and crystallized them into ten simple rules.”

Your diet is your bank account. Don’t eat too much of any one thing, don’t eat the same thing twice, balance starches with proteins, vegetables and fruits with sweets, and always balance a splurge with a save.”

Dieting is not helping you; it’s hurting you and subtly undermining your own personal power.  It also negatively alters your metabolism.  I’m serious about this.  Diets, by definition, tell you what to eat. Why should anybody else tell you what to eat?  What does anybody else know about what you need and desire?  It’s your body, your taste buds, your preference, your life.”

Hopefully, your curiosity has been teased a bit regarding at least one of these books, and if not, please share what you would gladly read again or pass on to a friend.  I’m always in search of my next new book.

Here’s to a lovely treasured Thursday.  Happy reading!

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At April 1, 2010 at 6:25 AM , Blogger Finds said...

Good Morning S.L.
For mysteries, have you heard of Sue Grafton?
I assume that you have read......Eat, Love, Pray, by Gilbert
Paris Hangover, sounds wonderful!
Lovely post.

At April 1, 2010 at 6:48 AM , Anonymous Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi said...

Some great suggestions!

At April 1, 2010 at 7:26 AM , Blogger Simply Luxurious said...

Finds -

We must enjoy the same books. I have thoroughly enjoyed Sue Grafton and have only gotten halfway through her alphabet series, unfortunately (or actually fortunately because that means I have more to read). Her protagonist is quite enjoyable to follow (can't think of her name right now).
Oh, and Eat, Pray, Love - read it in about two days - wonderful read.

Thanks for the suggestions! Always enjoy your comments. =)

At April 1, 2010 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Maggie said...

I must try that Paris book. Thank you!

At April 1, 2010 at 8:37 AM , Blogger Lorrie said...

The Paris Hangover and the Vintage Caper look like fun books - I'll add them to my list.

Thanks for sharing

At April 1, 2010 at 12:14 PM , Blogger Couture Carrie said...

Oh I love Peter Mayle!
Fab selections!


At April 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM , Anonymous Cafe Fashionista said...

Oh, I adore you for this post, doll; I absolutely love books and never leave the house without one in my handbag. I am currently reading Zoey Dean's "How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls." Such a guilty pleasure read!! :)

At April 1, 2010 at 6:00 PM , Blogger Simply Luxurious said...

Cafe Fashionista - I will definitely be checking out Zoey Dean's book. It's always good to have a pleasurable read around. Thanks for the suggestion!

At May 17, 2010 at 3:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I will get/order two out of this books: The Happiness Project is in my mind since you mentioned it the first time. The heading already caught me. The second book I would like to read is Paris Hangover. I plan to move to London in the end of the year. I have been there once for one week, but at this time I was not open-minded enough for the city. Now, I'm very excited to discover all its beautiful places. In Paris I have never been, but I really would like to go their. I guess it is easier to make a trip when I'm living in Europe again.
Okay, I need to make an order on Amazon! ^^

xoxo Sandra


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