Last summer, in her magical house tour, author Catherine Newman argued that the book everyone wants to read when staying at someone else’s house is Maira Kalman’s illustrated masterpiece The Principles of Uncertainty. “It’s entertaining,” she says. “You can leaf through it. I recommend this to everyone as a hosting thing to put out.”
Have you read it? The book is very charming and compelling — with illustrations of tomato bisque, women in fancy dresses at the opera, cute dogs, Henry VIII and his wives, thoughts on death, you name it, she draws it. But! I have another book to suggest for guest bedrooms…
Shit, Actually by Lindy West. Have you read it? It’s the funniest book I’ve devoured in the past few years. Lindy recaps — and hilariously eviscerates — iconic movies from the past 40 years, including The Firm; The Notebook; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; and, of course, Love Actually. You can pick it up and flip to any page and die laughing.
What would you suggest for a crowd-pleasing book that guests can tuck in with? My next two choices would be a collection of mini memoirs and Mindy Kaling’s essays. Please share your recs below… Also! Our updated house tour is coming up this afternoon, and I’m excited to share. (This was our last one from five years ago.) xoxo
P.S.All the books we’ve loved lately and how to be a great house guest.
(Photo by Lyndsay Hannah for Cup of Jo.)