Thursday, May 3, 2012

Morning Coffee

What did you read with your coffee last weekend?  We were in San Francisco visiting our daughter and I got a chance to read the Wall Street Journal at our hotel each morning.  On Saturday I read some great articles.  First there was an insightful piece by Anna Quindlen on five excellent novels that all deal with the topic of young women searching for their identities and their place in the world:

The Death of the Heart  by Elizabeth Bowen
A Sensible Life  by Mary Wesley
Away  by Amy Bloom
The Pursuit of Love  by Nancy Mitford
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Elizabeth Bowen with students at Bryn Mawr in 1956

She writes that Elizabeth Bowen "... may be the finest novelist most people have never heard of."  The young protagonist Portia Quayne of The Death of the Heart is a 16-year-old orphan searching for herself with absolutely no guidance from the adults around her Regarding Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, she writes "There may be no female protagonist in literature as tragic as Lily Bart -- and, yes, I include Anna Karenina when I say that."  I really enjoyed reading her thoughts on these five important books.  Isn't this photo of Elizabeth Bowen with her students at Bryn Mawr in 1956 fabulous?

In the same paper I read another fascinating article about the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute's retrospective "Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada":  Impossible Conversations."  It opens May 10 and I hope to see this exhibition next time I am in New York.  It will include an imaginative film by Baz Luhrmann featuring the actress Judy Davis who was the star of "My Brilliant Career."  She will be playing Elsa Schiaparelli.  Fashions from both designers will be highlighted as well as their philosophies about clothing and women.   This should be a spectacular fashion exhibition.

  Wallis Simpson wearing Schiaparelli

In another article I learned about the "Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940" exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York.  The Parisian painter Edouard Vuillard excelled at depicting the interiors of his friends' homes.   He was famous for his lush and dreamy paintings of their elegant and inviting surroundings.  For the last forty years of his life he had an unusual domestic arrangement,  living with his art dealer Jos Hessel and his wife Lucy Hessel, with whom he was having an affair.  This art exhibition looks like it will be very beautiful as well as interesting, shedding light on the personal life of this French artist. 

 "Lucy Hessel Reading" 

This exhibition runs through September 23.

And finally, I read the gardening article "How Green is Your Garden" by Marian McEvoy.  She gives us some great tips on how to find our personal outdoor palette.  She says, "I think of gardens that incorporate more than one color as painterly; green-only landscapes are sculptural."  She writes about planting ideas for every shade of garden and gives us examples, such as the romantic rose garden of Carolyn Roehm, pictured below.   

Books, art, fashion, and gardens kept me busy reading this weekend.  I hope you will check out all of these excellent articles.  What have you been reading with your morning coffee? 

All photos from The Wall Street Journal 


  1. Sunday,

    Hello and happy day!

    I love reading the NY times on Sunday! You could while away an entire day with that and a pot of tea.

    All of these articles sound great! I am not familiar with one or two of those books and now will have to go hunt for them.

    The Schiaparelli exhibit sounds fascinating! I have read many things about her and find her so interesting. Paired with Prada...cannot wait.

    As for Edouard Vuillard, I am a great fan of his work. I must say I was not aware of the interesting arrangements of his life. There is always an interesting story ins't there?

    Have a wonderful day! Thanks for sharing such interesting and thought prevoking subjects. I cannot wait to learn more.

  2. During the weekday morning I usually read blogs over coffee and on the weekends, the NY Times -- starting the column "Modern Love" in the Style Section. By the way, have you heard of Paul Madonna? He has a wonderful column in the SF Chronicle called "All Over Coffee." He publishes beautiful drawings of SF scenes, with a simple line from something he heard. A sound bite, if you will...

  3. Hello Sunday!

    I am not sure what happened to my Blogger!

    In any event, this is a fabulous post! The NY times in a treasure trove of information on Sunday, you could while away the day reading it from cover to cover.

    I cannot wait to look more into these articles, love Schiaparelli and Vuillard. I was not aware of his interesting living arrangements.

    Take care and have a wonderful day, Elizabeth

  4. For myself, it was the NY Times travel section, all about London! I found several new spots to visit next time I'm over.
    The House of Mirth is one of my favourite books, of course I love all of Edith Wharton. I reread Ethan Frome every winter and The Age of Innocence still dazzles.

    I must pick up the WSJ this weekend!

  5. Loved your comments this time: I just watched the film "House of Mirth" and "The Last September" based on Elizabeth Bowen novel. I so appreciate your perspective on the novels. They are my escape world. Judie

  6. You certainly did find a delightful variety of topics for your morning study. I love to pick up a New York Times when out of town. I almost always will begin with the book reviews and work my way through the rest. I hope you find equally entertaining articles this upcoming weekend. Bonnie

  7. How glorious when a magazine has articles that seem to be made to just what you are interested in & want to know more about. Hope tomorrow's reading is just as lovely for you.

  8. What am I reading over my morning coffee? You, dear Sunday, with joy. I'll be back to check out these articles and did so enjoy this post. Such a delightful gift, is it not, to have these moments to devour the Sunday paper?

  9. there is nothing better than reading the paper with a beautiful coffee (like in your photo!) - That is why it's impossible to let newspapers die. I get the NY Times Sunday edition and it keeps me reading all week...

  10. I appreciate the WSJ so much! I try to read the weekend edition during the following week on my lunch breaks at work. They always publish intriguing articles on literature, art, fashion and cooking. The Off-Duty section is a champion!

    1. Anbolyn, I agree! I don't usually read that paper and I was so impressed with the weekend edition, especially on the topics you mentioned. And the Off-Duty section is fabulous.

  11. That coffee looks delicious! I love tho read the swedish morning paper and my fav blogs with my morning coffee!

  12. Sunday, I was reading the Telegraph today and saw this article, I thought you might be interested as it referrenced the Bloomsbury art.

    I hope you have a wonderful week, Elizabeth

  13. Elizabeth, thanks so much for thinking of me. I will check this out right now!

  14. That is the cutest coffee I have ever seen!