I thought that this month’s reading list would be predictably self-improvement oriented… but when I looked at the books on my nightstand that I really wanted to read, it turned out to be more about fun! We’ve got a highly-anticipated novel, a collection of fashion industry correspondence, a coming-of-age tale about culture and class structure and a cookbook that’s completely devoted to chocolate (yes, dreams do come true!) Sure, we could make every day about sticking to our resolutions, but where would the fun be in that?! Here’s what I’m reading this month, and as always, leave a comment letting me know what’s on your list!

Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook. I’d had my eye on this cookbook for awhile, so I was thrilled to death when I unwrapped it just before Christmas (thanks Chanel!) There are surprisingly delicious-sounding savory dishes (Cocoa Coq au Vin, anyone?) as well as all the sweets, and I have a feeling that I’ll be getting plenty of antioxidants from all the chocolate I’ll be consuming over the next few weeks as I recipe test.

Peony in Love, by Lisa See. I’m a couple chapters into this delicately spun novel about a young girl living in 17th century China who breaks all codes of etiquette by speaking to a man when she happens upon him in the garden one night. The writing is beautiful, bringing to life the cultural norms and roles of women in China’s Ming dynasty.

Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue YearsAlexander Vreeland. I’ve been fascinated with this legendary editor of Vogue for years, so what could be better than reading about her reign at the magazine through her very own words? Her famous memos to have been published here for the first time, and include correspondence to such icons as Cecil Beaton, Veruschka and Cristobal Balenciaga. No doubt her larger-than-life personality will shine through the very brightest.

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author of Eat, Pray, Love is back with another work of fiction, this time about one extraordinary family spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, and sending the reader all over the world (London, Peru, Philadelphia, Tahiti!) I’m determined not to open this one until I can devote some time, because I have a feeling I won’t want to shut it until I’ve read the last page.

For other book ideas, be sure to check out the last few editions of On My Nightstand!

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