Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glamour + Camping

Okay.  I'm not a camper.  But I love cute, vintage, domestic type stuff.  So, when I was at the Country Living Fair this year, I was giddy to tour a series of "glampers" (glamorously decorated 50s and 60s style campers).  I decided that not only do I want one of these things, but I'd be content to put it up in my back yard and use as a child would a playhouse.  They're just so darn adorable.

If you're not familiar with the term, it's called "Glamping" (a combination of "glamour" and "camping").  And the creator of the magazine MaryJane's Farm has written a book all about the newish and increasingly popular hobby, entitled Glamping With MaryJane.  Of course, the book has all of the vintage photos and camper re-dos you'd expect.  But it's also very useful--providing suggestions for purchasing, renovating, and using your vintage camper trailer.  A must-read for the domestic diva in all of us.

And while you're waiting to borrow a copy from your library, check out these fun glamping blogs and sites:

International Glamping Weekend

Glamping Hub

Glamping Blog

Vintage Trailer Supply

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Say Nice Things About Detroit...Or Else

Say Nice Things About Detroit isn’t a book that will foster much buzz, even though it’s received solid reviews from critics.  It’s simply not popular fiction.  What it is, rather, is smart, spare, prose, about very real characters living in a very gritty Detroit, Michigan. 

Say Nice Things… centers around David Halpert, who returns to Detroit after the death of his son, and the failure of his marriage.  David proves to be a rather successful attorney and good citizen, and is dismayed by the perpetual economic and social decline of his hometown (the very reasons he left in the first place).  These feelings are compounded by the murder of Natalie, his highschool girlfriend, and her black half-brother, Dirk, a retired FBI agent.  But something within keeps David rooted.  He purchases Dirk’s old home in a mostly black neighborhood, and befriends a young man who it turns out may have been responsible for Dirk and Natalie’s murder. 

Along the way, Lasser paints a clear portrait of the city and streets in which these characters live, which serves as a backdrop to the crime, poverty and racial tensions that seem to pervade.  Gritty, yes, with some realistic moments of tension; but also hopeful, revealing glimmers of humanity in unsuspecting places.  Well worth reading.