Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fiction to Fashion: Angelmaker

I just found this totally awesome website that uses books and their covers to create fashion inspiration boards. I just LOVE this idea. So I decided to create one for the incredibly badass book by Nick Harkaway that I finished a few days ago. Angelmaker is a little bit steampunk, a little bit art deco, and a lot of classy criminal cool (yes, that is a thing; read the book). I started working on a fashion board for the hardcover and ended up with one for the paperback as well.

click for detail

click for detail

The Kensington Satchel | $198 at Madewell
Citizens of Humanity Corduroy Jeans in Cumin | $95 at Piperlime
Like a Boss-y Jacket | $180 at ModCloth
Bumble Honey Bee Entomology Earrings | $28 at Etsy
Sabine Boudoir Sequin Cami | $75 at Piperlime
Steve Madden Troopa Boots | $100 at Piperlime
Steampunk Clockwork Ring | $145 at Etsy

What I love about the era that Angelmaker inspires is its decadence, its boldness. Fashion of the time wasn’t afraid to wear black and brown in the same outfit or pair gold and silver accessories. Below is the fashion board I put together for the paperback edition:

click for detail

click for detail

Tartine Satchel | $325 at J. Crew
Sabine Pear Shaped Drop Earrings | $22 at Piperlime
20 Gauge Thin Winchester Brass Bullet Necklace | $25 at Etsy
Rhyme Los Angeles Studded Vegan Leather Jacket | $89 at Piperlime
Chinese Laundry Danger Zone Cap Toe Pumps in Jade | $89 at Piperlime
Fan Favorite Dress | $53 at ModCloth

Nick Harkaway’s crime-filled adventure novel is sharp, innovative, and well-told. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, complex though it seemed at times, and some of the images were so clear in my mind, I felt like I was watching a movie (on that note, a movie version of this story would be killerrrr). I recommend it to fans of tommy guns, smart, sensual women, blind pugs, despicable Asian villains, clockmakers, trains, espionage, leagues of classy criminals, underground London, and automata. Yeah, I know.


Spring Events at Parnassus

fabulous Ann

fabulous Ann

There is a plethora of reasons I love living in Nashville, but very near the top of my list is Amazing Ann Patchett and her killer indie bookstore Parnassus Books. They’ve been open a little over a year now, and the place has literally changed my life. It’s a wonderful thing to have a little bookstore to call home. I take everyone who visits and brag about how We Have Ann Patchett(!) whenever the opportunity arises and sometimes when it doesn’t. I enjoy as much time and money there as I can afford. But it’s more than that. The part of it that’s really contributed to making living in Nashville awesome is the event calendar.

When I lived in Manhattan and worked at the Barnes and Noble on Union Square, author events were part of the job. Alan Greenspan was speaking at an event on my first day. I could rattle off all the others that came through too, but my point is that I got accustomed to them. No, I got addicted to them. Author readings are an absolute high. They put me in this euphoric state of passion and enthusiasm, like plugging in to a giant literary recharging station. I walk away from an author event, signed book in hand, giddy and refreshed. And like most addictions, I had no idea how far gone I had become until I moved to the easily-flown-over Nashville.

Then Ann Patchett came and changed all of that. She brought prestige, a beacon of literature, and with it, ahhh, the author events. Some of the coolest ones I’ve been to so far have been Michael Chabon, Amor Towles, Kevin Wilson, Erin Morgenstern, Lyndsay Faye, Holly Tucker, Jennie Fields, among many others.

And O Glorious Spring at Parnassus! There are so many more events to attend! Here are just a few that I’m excited about:

3/2: Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
4/3: Anne Lamott
4/8: Elizabeth Strout
4/18: Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
4/30: Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
5/3: Isabel Allende
5/8: Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
5/14: Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

I think we all have some serious reading and marking of calendars to do now, am I right?

Easiest Black Bean Hummus Recipe Ever

the food processor and me

the food processor and me

I like hummus, but I love black bean hummus. Problem (that, turns out, is not really a problem): I rarely see BB hummus in the grocery. Solution: I will figure out how to make it, and it will be the easiest recipe ever, and it will be delicious. And so it is. In fact, my husband says I’ve ruined all other hummuses for him.

I made our New Favorite Hummus as my contribution to a Super Bowl gathering, and now that I have more widespread assurance that it is indeed fantastic-tasting, I’ll share.


1 clove garlic
1 15 oz can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika


pepper garnish

pepper garnish

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with cayenne and black pepper.

Enjoy with rough bread, pita chips, cucumbers, and other edible plates.

Also, just a quick note on the ingredient “tahini:” I was unfamiliar with the term and had a bit of trouble locating it in the grocery. I finally found it in the healthy/organic food section, next to the organic peanut and almond butter.

Friday Favorite: Marie Hines

single cover

single cover

I’ve been listening to Marie Hines for years now, and what’s more, I’m proud to say that I have contributed in a small way to her success by writing bios for her past three releases. I’ve been so impressed with the young Nashville singer/songwriter’s bright, blushing melodies from the beginning, but her newest effort, a collection of love songs called The Tide and the Sea, is as bold and mercurial as I have ever seen her, and I cannot praise it enough.

The Tide and the Sea begins briskly, a crisp breeze fluttering through spring grass, playful and steady. “My Love Will Never Fail You,” the expansive, glittering single, makes confident declarations on the origins of love with lyrics like, “I don’t believe in chance. I think it’s the choice we make, and I choose you for the rest of my days,” its melody expanding into broad, undulating layers of a soaring orchestral spectrum. “In My Arms,” co-written with fellow Nashville songwriter Justin Halpin, is a richly textured, sanguine tune with a spirited rhythm. The golden, ebullient “Always Been You,” another Justin Halpin co-write, boasts the title lyric – “You be the tide; I’ll be the sea. The rise or fall brings you home to me, brings you home to me. It’s always been you, love.” – and acts as the magnetic, whimsical cornerstone of Marie’s silvery tunes.

“Forever Falling for You,” co-written with Justin Tam of Nashville folk band Humming House, is a glowing, ethereal track with lyrics warm and hopeful: “We’ll build a house someday; we’ll build a home in the meantime.” And the lilting, dramatic “Forever Mine,” co-written with Justin Halpin and featuring background vocals by Marie’s new fiancé Ben Ringel of Nashville blues band The Delta Saints, swells and diminishes in arresting, elegant strokes, closing the album with an exultant, richly resonant ballad of halcyon love, repeating the chorus: “Oh my love, my life, always you and I, steady as we rise; be forever mine.”

Listen to the new single on Spotify, and look for the love song EP, The Tide and the Sea, on 02/12/13. I highly recommend her past work as well, Worth the Fight and HeartCrash in particular, and for more info about Marie, see