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H&W Book Club: Cozy Fall Reads

September 21, 2018

Happy first day of fall! While team H&W is always sad to say goodbye to sweet summer, we're equally ecstatic to welcome cooler temps, stunning foliage, and the return of all things cozy. And what could possibly be cozier than curling up with a good book as the brisk autumn winds close in around us? On this edition of H&W Book Club, we're sharing our favorite fall reads, hygge reading essentials, and, as usual, plenty of pattern, too.

Andanza Blush wallpaper | Laundry Studio | Hygge & West

AIMEE LAGOS

What's your favorite book to cozy up with on a crisp autumn day?

Farm From Home is a fantastic book for fall, or really any season. Amanda Brooks, well-known style icon, left New York City to live on her husband’s family farm in England, and this book gives you a glimpse into her life there. If you, like me, have ever dreamed of moving to a farm and embracing a different way of life, you will love this book. It’s basically the most attractive version of that particular daydream. The book is divided by seasons and includes recipes—the fall section and meals are especially charming.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book?

I chose Andanza (Blush) because it looks lovely with the cover, but also because that warm pink feels very sweet and cozy, which is the perfect combination for fall.

We’ve all been cozying up with Hygge & West Home, especially as the temps plummet. What’s your favorite home featured in the book?

That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! I love them all equally for different reasons. But the one that I’m especially loving right now is my friend Julie Backer’s Minnesota farm house because she actually did a “Farm From Home.” We had the chance to chat with her daughters when we arrived for the shoot, and they told us about all of their animals and how they became part of the family, and I remember thinking, “These girls are living my dream childhood.” The farm is so sweet and cozy and you can just tell that the Backers and all of their friends and family really deeply enjoy it. Christiana is coming to Minnesota in early October and we’re hoping to go for a visit—Julie has added horses and even more wallpaper since the book shoot!

What are your fall hygge reading essentials?

Well, sadly, reading glasses have recently become an essential for me. I did manage to find a cute pair, which eases the sting a bit. Fall reading really is the best reading, isn’t it? I love wearing a comfy sweater and curling up on the sofa with a nice blanket. Some days you get lucky and the weather is perfect for curling up on the porch sofa with a blanket and a book. I wish I could say that I like a nice cup of tea while I read, but try as I might, I am not a tea person. I much prefer to have a nice glass of red wine at the ready, though I have to be careful and sip slowly or reading time can easily turn into nap time!

Florebela Laurel wallpaper | Tilton Fenwick | Hygge & West

CHRISTIANA COOP

What's your favorite book to cozy up with on a crisp autumn day?

I gravitate toward books that are set in New York in the fall, because what better place to be when the leaves start turning than strolling the streets and parks of NYC? I chose to read Bill Cunningham’s Fashion Climbing because I’m so fascinated by his life and career. He lived so genuinely and creatively. I still miss his Sunday Styles section and this book was such an interesting peek into his life beyond his photography.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book?

I chose Tilton Fenwick's Florebela (Laurel) because it’s such a lovely, classic pattern, just like the lovely, classic man that was Bill Cunningham.

We’ve all been cozying up with Hygge & West Home, especially as the temps plummet. What’s your favorite home featured in the book?

That’s got to be Stephanie Housley’s! Her cozy cabin was made for cooler months. I’d love to bundle up on her sofa with a cup of tea and enjoy her golden autumn view.

What are your fall hygge reading essentials?

In a perfect fall reading world, I’m bundled up in our H&W bedding, wearing my cozy, white terry cloth bathrobe, drinking a glass of red wine with a candle glowing. And I’ve asked Google Home to play me some jazz.

Bruno Gold wallpaper | Tilton Fenwick | Hygge & West

OLA SUPERNAT

What's your favorite book to cozy up with on a crisp autumn day?

Currently, I’m reading food recipes on repeat. I was on a very restrictive diet the entire summer due to digestive issues, but recently I’ve been able to start incorporating more foods back into my diet. Because of that, and now that the slightly cooler weather in Portland is making me want to use the oven again, I am obsessed with meal planning and dreaming up new belly- and soul-warming dishes. I subscribed to Bon Appétit and I love it. Not only are the recipes delicious and very manageable, but the magazine’s photography and design are beautiful as well.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book?

I picked Bruno (Gold)—it reminds me of turning oak leaves, which are quintessentially fall to me.

We’ve all been cozying up with Hygge & West Home, especially as the temps plummet. What’s your favorite home featured in the book?

I’ve had a crush on Christiana’s apartment ever since I experienced it in person about six years ago. Her home is so considered, yet extremely cozy. It has some impressive pattern mixing and layering and is a fantastic reminder that a space can pack majorly bold style no matter the size.

What are your fall hygge reading essentials?

Pillows, blankets, tea, and my favorite corner of the couch that looks out onto our plant-filled porch.

Forest Floor Ebony wallpaper | Pattern People | Hygge & West

MELISSA ANDERSEN

What's your favorite book to cozy up with on a crisp autumn day?

Fall is by far my favorite season, and one of the many reasons is because it's also the season of Halloween. So every autumn, I like to curl up with a creepy classic tale, and Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories is one I return to time and time again. Not only is the original book far spookier than any made-for-the-big-screen adaptation, but it also takes place in one of Irving's favorite haunts (and mine!), New York's Hudson River Valley. Ever since I was a child, I've spent more weekends in the Hudson Valley than I can count, and autumn is easily the season I will always most associate with this bucolic setting. From the very first page of Sleepy Hollow, I'm transported once again to the stunning beauty of Upstate New York, even if it's for more ominous reasons than usual.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book?

I chose Forest Floor (Ebony) because it reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in the book—when Ichabod Crane and his well-meaning, but not-so-trusty steed, Gunpowder, make their way home through the dark woods of Sleepy Hollow after a late-night soiree at the Van Tassel farm... and eventually run into the soul-shaking likes of the Headless Horseman himself. 

We’ve all been cozying up with Hygge & West Home, especially as the temps plummet. What’s your favorite home featured in the book?

It's so hard to choose just one (truly, they all are absolutely fabulous!) but I'm so drawn to Aimee's family lake cabin in Wisconsin. I love how she's taken something rustic and pared back and made it so refreshingly modern and pattern-filled, while still retaining the sense that you're tucked away among nature. The carefree cabin lifestyle—living according to and embracing each of the seasons—has always been so appealing to me as someone who lives and works in the NYC metro area, and with Aimee's beautiful home tour and thoughtful interview, I know a cozy lakeside escape (a mental one, at least) is always within reach.

What are your fall hygge reading essentials?

A crackling fire, a hot drink, warm socks, and a cozy blanket are absolute musts for fall reading. Bonus points if all of the above are beneath a crisp autumn sky!

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H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

June 26, 2018

H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

Summer sun and a good book go hand-in-hand, as this time of year the days are longer, slower, and ripe for getting lost in a great story. This month on H&W Book Club, we're sharing our ultimate summer reads, how we like to enjoy them, and of course, the patterns with which they most perfectly pair. 

H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

AIMEE LAGOS

What is your ultimate summer read?

I chose Colum McCann?s Let the Great World Spin. Set in 1970s New York in the summer, this novel connects seemingly separate stories of diverse characters. Generally I like my summer reading to be a bit lighter than other times of the year. And there are so many other things to do, summer reading really needs to draw you in. While this book isn?t necessarily light, it?s beautifully written and I could not put it down while I was reading it.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I paired Knots (Gold) with this book because the intertwining of lines in the pattern mimic the intertwining of various narratives within this story. It leaves you with a sense that everything is connected in some way, even though we may not always realize it.

What's your favorite way to indulge in a little summer reading?

I love to read at our cabin, no matter the season. In the summer, though, there are so many distractions that it?s hard to find uninterrupted time to read. I find myself claiming to have too much meal prep/clean up when everyone leaves for a boat ride, so I can stay back to sit and read on the dock, which is one of my favorite things to do. Reading a good book while drinking a cold beer with your feet in the water is truly one of life?s greatest pleasures!

H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

CHRISTIANA COOP

What is your ultimate summer read?

Iris Apfel's Accidental Icon may not be ?the? ultimate summer read, but it?s my summer read and I love it so far. I really admire her style, of course, but what I find so inspiring is her unapologetic attitude about just being herself and how she stays so young at heart.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I paired it with Pineapple (Ebony) because I kind of suspect that?s what she would pair it with. Oh yes, and also because she?s wearing a pineapple on the cover.

What's your favorite way to indulge in a little summer reading?

I?ll be wearing a big sunhat and sipping on a gin and tonic. It could be on the beach or just on my back patio?anywhere the sun is shining! I love reading during the day on Saturdays, too, because that?s definitely the happiest and most relaxing day of the week for me and the perfect day to indulge in a cocktail and a book. 

H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

OLA SUPERNAT

What is your ultimate summer read?

My ultimate summer read is whatever?s next on my reading list :) But the book I have taken to the beach multiple times over the years is Deepak Chopra?s Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. It is about self-transformation, which to me is a very fitting subject matter for when you are surrounded by grand nature, in between surf sessions. I?ve actually never finished the book, because I?d usually find myself pondering Chopra?s words while taking in the scene around me: sparkling ocean, vast beach, lush cliffs, wandering people. Perhaps this summer I will make it to the end!

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I picked Strawberries (White), because strawberries = summer.

What's your favorite way to indulge in a little summer reading?

We go to the river a lot in the summer and I always bring a book (or magazines) with me. I like to read while wading in the water or laying out on the shady part of the beach. We pack a cooler full of sandwiches and snacks and make a perfectly mellow yet reinvigorating day of it.

H&W Book Club: Summer Favorites

MELISSA ANDERSEN

What is your ultimate summer read?

My favorite summer read changes every year (there are too many great books to choose just one!), but this year it's Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. This is Berry's 7th novel, but his first writing from the perspective of a woman?the now-elderly narrator, Hannah. The book is a recounting of her life in the countryside of Port William, Kentucky?the two great loves she married and eventually lost, the lives they built together, the farm and farmhouse they tended, the children she raised, the people that came and went, and the community she loved. It's a soft, meandering plot?one that transports you to another time and place?that's as much about the culture of family farming (and how it was transformed by 20th century technology) as it is about Hannah's motto of "live right on" as the world around her changes and evolves.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I paired this book with Queen Anne (Taupe) because it evokes the rolling countryside where Hannah's story plays out. It also reminds me of the poem that first ignited my love for Berry's writing:

"The Peace of Wild Things"

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

What's your favorite way to indulge in a little summer reading?

It's basically a prerequisite that summer reading be done in the great outdoors. For me, that most usually means sitting on the beach in my husband's hometown of Manasquan, NJ, under a striped umbrella, toes in the sand, with the cool, salty sea breeze caressing my sun-kissed skin, the sounds of waves crashing on the shore, and seagulls swooping and cawing overhead. Those days are some of my happiest.

 

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H&W Book Club: World Book Day

April 23, 2018

Currently Reading: World Book Day

Today is World Book Day and we're celebrating with another edition of Currently Reading. Team H&W is always on the lookout for our next favorite read, so every other month we'll be sharing the books we're currently loving with the hopes that you'll share your reading list with us. From coffee table books to thrillers and everything in between, keep scrolling to see how the H&W crew does story time.

 Currently Reading: World Book Day

AIMEE LAGOS

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading? What do you love most about it?

I’m obsessed with this DO book series, and am reading Do/Improvise by Robert Poynton now. It’s sort of business advice with a healthy dose of self help. This one in particular takes principles of improvisation and applies them to professional situations. I love it because it breaks down communication and being open to new ideas in ways I haven’t seen previously.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I’ve paired it with Strike (Navy) because I think that cover looks nice with that pattern, but also because we learned a lot about design from working with Heath Ceramics. Now, whenever I see that collection, I’m also reminded of that need to be open to new ideas and processes.

What's your favorite book from childhood?

Oh, that’s a really tough one! I was a HUGE bookworm when I was young and was almost always reading. We had a glass dinner table and my parents would always scold me for trying to read a book on my lap through the table at dinner rather than participating in family conversation. I loved cats when I was young so one birthday my mom got me a book called All of My Patients Are Under the Bed written by a New York City veterinarian who specialized in cats. It was funny and sweet and I loved it because it allowed me to vicariously spend time with cats (and their crazy owners).

What's next on your reading list?

I keep threatening to finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt but haven’t gotten around to it yet, sadly. I did just order Meaty by Samantha Irby, who also wrote the BRILLIANT book We Will Never Meet in Person (which, if you haven’t read, you should do so immediately), so I imagine I’ll dive into that as soon as it arrives!

 Currently Reading: World Book Day

CHRISTIANA COOP

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading? What do you love most about it?

I’m reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, per Aimee’s recommendation. It’s a beautifully written book set in Chechnya about a girl who loses her father and ends up being taken care of by the doctor there who is dealing with more than her share of burdens. So far, its been really engrossing, although I’ve been too distracted by Peaky Blinders to finish it yet.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I did a bit of an obvious pairing of Moons (Ebony) with the cover. Although so far, the story is not at all the magical escape that the pattern is.

What's your favorite book from childhood?

The Secret Garden and The Little Princess are tied at the top of my list. My mom was from England, so perhaps I felt an even stronger connection to the English settings in these two books. But I loved escaping in stories with their touch of mystery, and I created such a vivid world of the characters in my imagination. I just loved them so!

What's next on your reading list?

I just got Samantha Irby’s new book, Meaty: Essays, that I can’t wait to start. I loved her book We are Never Meeting in Real Life, and I'm hoping this new one will be just as hilarious, authentic, and moving.

 Currently Reading: World Book Day

OLA SUPERNAT

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading? What do you love most about it?

My latest read was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It’s a self-help guide of sorts to leading a happier life. Manson makes very interesting points you may or may not already be aware of, but I find it’s always helpful to hear someone else put concepts and gut feelings into words. I just got back from visiting my parents in Europe and every time I do, I get very contemplative about life and what's truly important. At times unnecessarily crass language aside, the book was a refreshing check for my values (and an easy plane-ride read).

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I picked Julia Rothman's Daydream (Orange), because the colors work well with the cover and birds don't seem to give many f*cks.

What's your favorite book from childhood?

I was obsessed with books as a kid. I couldn’t eat a meal without reading, because I’d be bored with just eating. My older sister always recommended or gifted me books, so I had a steady influx of amazing worlds and adventures to discover. The three series I read over and over again were: The Six Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren; The Little Nicholas by Goscinny and Sempé; and Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers.

What's next on your reading list?

I’ve already started on my next book— Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng—and so far, I can’t get enough.

 Currently Reading: World Book Day

MELISSA ANDERSEN

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading? What do you love most about it?

Earlier this year, I heard an interview on NPR's Fresh Air with author Garrett Graff about his new book, Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself – While the Rest of Us Die. Although it sounds like a book for conspiracy theorists, it's actually based on recently declassified government documents, as well as first-hand accounts and Graff's intensive research. The book follows the United States government through the Cold War and describes, in fascinating detail, the bunkers and secret hideaways designed to protect our government leaders, the extensive lines of succession to replace officials who may be killed, and the roles and responsibilities each agency would inherit in the event of a national catastrophe like nuclear war. This interesting look at the nuclear arms race and how it shaped and reshaped not only the U.S. government, but also the American way of life, is endlessly fascinating and, sadly, quite à propos given the current geopolitical climate.

What pattern and colorway did you pair with your book and why?

I paired this book with Quilt (Cayenne). The geometric lines of this pattern remind me of the intricate plans of the secret underground government bunkers, tunnels, escape routes, and communications channels strategically dotting the American landscape. 

What's your favorite book from childhood?

I've been a lifelong book lover, so it's difficult to choose just one! Even as a child, I enjoyed being cozy and cocooned - especially when reading. I would find a quiet place, wedge my beanbag chair into a corner, and surround myself with pillows and blankets as I got lost in the worlds I was reading about. I read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein so many times I've lost count; Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak was a bookshelf staple that saw a lot of loving over the years; Linnea in Monet's Garden by Cristina Bjork was a constant in my life, as art was (and still is!) another passion of mine; and as I grew older and my affinity for horror and sci-fi blossomed, I could nearly always be found with one of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps paperbacks in hand.

What's next on your reading list?

Dare Me by Megan Abbott. I've been on a Megan Abbott kick recently (read just one of her books - any book - and you'll understand) and this one has been on my list for a while. However, I just found out it's being adapted for TV (with Abbott's help!), so I need to read this before I watch it! 

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Introducing the Hygge & West Book Club

March 09, 2018

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

What could be more quintessentially hygge than curling up with a good book (in your Hygge & West bedding, of course)? Team H&W is always on the lookout for our next favorite read, so every other month we'll be sharing the books we're currently reading (or have just finished) with the hopes that you'll share your reading list with us. From coffee table books to thrillers and everything in between, keep scrolling to see how the H&W crew does story time.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

AIMEE LAGOS

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading?

I just finished Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard. It was his last work before passing away in 2017. It?s not really a novel and not really a memoir. It?s written in the first person and it moves around in time. It?s a short little gem of a book.

What do you love most about it?

It was a labor of love ? his drafts were written by hand, then recorded, then dictated as his ALS progressed. His family transcribed everything. Patti Smith, Shepard?s close friend, helped edit it. It?s also just beautifully written and very moving.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

What's next on your reading list?

I started The Goldfinch ages ago and didn?t finish it, so I would like to start that back up. Lately I?ve been reading more essay and short story collections because I don?t have extended periods of time to read and it?s hard for me to get through novels. Christiana left me The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser and (Getting) Happier last time she was here, so I?m looking forward to reading that as well.

Where is your favorite place to read?

I love to read at our cabin ? in the winter, I snuggle up on a sofa; in the summer, I sit on the dock. We?re usually in ?relaxing mode? up there, so it?s the perfect place to read. Reading in the bathtub is also one of life?s great luxuries ? I need to do that more often!

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

CHRISTIANA COOP

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading?

I just ?read" Patternity: A New Way Of Seeing Things. I have to admit, between the Olympics and the new Queer Eye, I didn?t make it very far in my actual book that I was planning to read last month? the Patternity book is all about pattern in fashion, design and the natural world.

What do you love most about it?

I love how it challenges us to look at the mundane in a new way.

Who would most enjoy this book?

Any of our fellow pattern lovers or people looking for creative inspiration would enjoy it.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

What's next on your reading list?

Next up is A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra.

Where is your favorite place to read?

In bed!

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

OLA SUPERNAT

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading? 

I?m currently listening to The Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis. It?s a crime fiction book about murder, corruption, sex scandals, bad vs. good cops, secrets... all the good stuff.
 
What do you love most about it?

The plot has had some good twists so far. However, I?m partial to this book simply because the story takes place in Chicago where I lived for five years. I love hearing familiar landmark and street names - it makes me feel closer to the characters, as if I?m moving through the city right along with them. The lector even does a Chicago accent!
 
Who would most enjoy this book?

If you like mystery/thriller/crime books, there is a big chance you?ll like this.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition
 
What's next on your reading list?

I?ve been on a mystery/thriller kick ever since I read Gone Girl over a year ago. Recently, however, I?ve been trying to read two books at a time: a ?fun? one and a ?smart? one. So far, I?m only two chapters into the latter - The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - so I?ll make a point to finish that one next!
 
Where is your favorite place to read?

On the couch with my tiger pillow, eyes closed (since I *listen* rather than *read*) or in bed before falling asleep.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

MELISSA ANDERSEN

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading?

I recently finished You Will Know Me by the insanely talented Megan Abbott. The murder mystery follows the family of a young gymnast who is on track to compete for a spot in the Olympics when something terrible happens in their small town. Suddenly everyone - and everything - comes into question. 

What do you love most about it?

Not only does Megan Abbott know how to pen a deeply captivating page-turner, but in this novel she also explores the dynamics of a family with a child prodigy and how one kid's extraordinary talents can affect the relationships between parent, child, siblings, and spouses. I also love how this book - in true Megan Abbott form - puts female characters at the center of the plot in a way that seems to both define and defy feminism.

Right after I finished this book, I tore through another Megan Abbott novel, The Fever. Like You Will Know MeThe Fever sets mystery and intrigue against the backdrop of those formative high school years - a time, as Abbott writes, spent "in pursuit of magic and mayhem." It's another coming-of-age novel driven by a female cast of characters that combines small-town suspense with the personal turmoil of youth in a way that only Abbott can.

Who would most enjoy this book?

Anyone who likes to read! If you love thrillers, mysteries, suspense, coming-of-age stories, domestic fiction, strong female characters, or just plain old great writing, this book is for you.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

What's next on your reading list? 

American War by Omar El Akkad. I've already started it and I cannot put it down. It's a chilling tale set in a near-future America that's been ravaged by climate change and civil war - a world that feels uncomfortably possible today.

Where is your favorite place to read?

If I could read anywhere in the world, I would almost always choose the beach. There's something about the warm sand between my toes, the sun on my face, and the sound of crashing waves that feels so conducive to literary escape. But in my day-to-day life, I prefer cozy nighttime reading curled up in my bed with my guy and my furballs nearby.

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

KATHERINE BILDSTEN

What book have you just finished or are you currently reading?

I just finished The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo. It is such a classic and it took me far too long to finally read it. It's a fictional story about the journey to discover one's destiny or purpose, as told through the adventures of a young Spanish shepherd.

What do you love most about it?

I am a sucker for allegories and human truths, and this book is full of them. I think it's really neat that there's so much room for one to interpret and apply the book's lessons in his or her own way. It's the kind of thing you would want to re-read in 10 years to see if and how the story's meaning has changed for you. 

I also just finished reading A Wrinkle In Time for the first time since the third grade, and it was funny timing, because I think Madeleine L'Engle's words have a similar effect. Both stories are rooted in a specific character's narrative, time, and place, and yet they are timeless.

Who would most enjoy this book?

I think this book is truly for everybody, but I'd especially recommend it to anybody at a crossroads or introspective moment in their life. It's considered by some to be a self-help book!

Currently Reading: Hygge & West Edition

What's next on your reading list?

I just started reading News of the World by Paulette Jiles. It's a western, a very sweet story and I love the author's writing style. No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin is also in the queue - I love Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and think his presidency was during one of the most fascinating times in American history.

Where is your favorite place to read?

Well, practically, my bed on a weekend afternoon. But my most favorite spot to read is on the day bed at my family's cabin in Wisconsin in front of a roaring fire. The only downside is that the coziness of wool blankets, warmth of the fire, and Van Morrison playing in the background is also the perfect recipe for a nap... so I never make it too far in my book!

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