Palm Beach Book Fest Starts… Now!

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A 2016 Palm Beach Book Festival panel discussion. Photo by Taylor Jones.

Short notice is better than no notice at all.

The Palm Beach Book Festival has been on our calendar for three months, but we forgot to tell YOU about it. Our apologies.

Day One (that’s today) is hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University, and includes two panels:

  • David Denby and Ed Boland, discussing the question, “Are the classics still relevant in today’s classrooms?”
  • Laurie Hernandez, an Olympian, TV personality, and debut memoir writer on hopes, dreams and being 16.

Day Two is the 9-5 literary big bang, held at CityPlace’s Harriet Himmel Theatre. Click here for a full schedule and complete description, but here are the highlights:

  • 9-10 a.m.: “You Go, Girl!” Panel discussion on the writing of memoir vs. biography, with authors Leslie Bennetts, Geri Hirshey and Dani Shapiro.
  • 10:30-11:15 a.m.: In conversation with New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger.
  • 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: “Oprah’s Book Club,” with authors Amor Towles and Joan J. Buck.
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m. In conversation with (Palm Beach resident) James Patterson.
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m.: In conversation with New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin.
  • 3:45-4:30 p.m.: In conversation with movie legend Robert Wagner on his memoir, moderated by co-author Scott Eyman, a local film expert.

You have two hours and 35 minutes to get to PBA for the first panel. Go.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

And Now, Raptis

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Photos courtesy of Raptis Rare Books

For years and years, Palm Beach was a small island with two bookshops.

Now there are three.

But the Classic Bookshop (310 South County Road) and The Palm Beach Book Store (215 Royal Poinciana Way) have little to fear from Raptis Rare Books. Raptis specializes in first editions and important volumes in exceptional condition, serving literary collectors in Palm Beach and around the world.

Raptis celebrated the grand opening of its Worth Avenue shop earlier this year. As its name indicates, it’s not your first choice if you’re looking for a great beach read. This is where you’re going to go if your library won’t be complete without a $16,000 signed copy of Albert Einstein’s biography, an inscribed first edition of Watership Down  ($12,000), or the first English edition of Machiavelli.

Raptis was founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), who also exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs. Hours at the Worth Avenue gallery are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

Palm Beach Chic

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Photos reprinted with permission.

Palm Beach homes, Palm Beach gardens and Palm Beach life, written by a Palm Beach girl – someone with stories to share and the kind of access you only get when you’re a lifelong friend.

palm-beach-chic-coverThe book is Palm Beach Chic (The Vendome Press, 312 pages, $75), a gorgeous volume that’s witty, understated and urbane – much like Palm Beach itself.

Author Jennifer Ash Rudick moved to the island when she was 12, and gives us the insider-est possible perspective on the homes, their histories and their occupants. The book (graced with jaw-dropping photographs by Jessica Klewicki Glynn) celebrates the architects, interior designers and garden designers who’ve made each home perfect.

“Since its early days,” Rudick notes, “Palm Beach has been synonymous with awe-inspiring structures.” Awe-inspiring, yes, and anything but cookie-cutter. You think you know what a Palm Beach mansion looks like? Not possible. Whether a Regency estate, a Mid-Century Modern apartment, or a “surf shack” on Billionaire’s Row, the only standard is excellence.

Inside the description of each house is the description of the way life is lived in each house: “Days are spent en famille,” Rudick writes in the chapter about the Gumdrop House. “The mornings begin on the eastern loggia with coffee… tennis is at 11:30, followed by a buffet lunch on the western loggia at 1:30.” So very civilized.

And then there are the laugh-out-loud stories. Chronicling the massive renovation at Casa Amado: “A rustling in the entry hall turned out to be a fox the size of a German shepherd.” Moving into a vintage second-floor Worth Avenue flat: “Their belongings had to be hoisted through a window by crane. ‘We’re never leaving. We can’t!’ says the wife.”

Interior fabrics and furnishings are meticulously sourced. And the art… oh, the art.

These homes are showplaces, every one, without a hint of conspicuous consumption. Each chapter is a vignette in one grand Palm Beach story. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: Taste. Exquisite taste.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Palm Beach Visual Arts

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Cover photo courtesy of Pelican Publishing Co.

Palm Beach has long been home to those who seek after beautiful things – to create them, to cherish them and to collect them.

In her new book, local gallery owner and author Deborah Pollack weaves the story of Palm Beach’s history as told through 125 years of its artwork. Palm Beach Visual Arts (200 pages, Pelican Publishing Co., $34.95) wraps its narrative around every conceivable art form – painting, photography, jewelry, architecture, sculpture, ceramics, and fashion.

Produced in collaboration with the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the book introduces us to dozens of painters, photographers, sculptors and collectors. Its pages open with the earliest artists to work on the island, including George Wills Potter, who sketched island life for his real estate company brochures. We read the story of how Pan of Rohallion (still residing in Pan’s Garden) became one of the nation’s earliest pieces of public art. The book walks us through several eras and into the present day, where you’ll meet our own Sandra Thompson, longtime cover illustrator of the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide.

Palm Beach artists and art lovers have always lived passionate and interesting lives, and Pollack also explores their romances, relationships and heartbreaks. As charming as Palm Beach itself, the book perfectly captures the sense that the island’s history, people and art have been woven together since the first brushstroke.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

The New Formal

the-new-formalInterior designer James Aman’s portfolio is proof that traditional style doesn’t equal old school. “Early on I realized that my client base represented a new generation of collectors,” he writes in his new book The New Formal. “They respected classic traditions but savored the beauty and drama of cutting-edge art. Their vision of formal living replaced the Old Masters, heavy tapestries, and ornate furnishings of previous generations with contemporary, often provocative works of art that inspire and delight in brighter, more open spaces.” This is an aesthetic all of us can embrace.
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On Thursday (Feb. 16), The Palm Beach Book Store welcomes designer Jim Aman to a reception and signing for his book, The New Formal. The volume celebrates the cutting-edge version of “formal” that Aman has brought to interiors from New York City to the Hamptons – and closer to home, a Palm Beach Regency and an oceanfront apartment in The Breakers.

Aman’s designs create serene but sumptuous settings for his clients’ collections. His goal is to integrate contemporary, often provocative works of art into spaces that inspire and delight the collectors and complement the way they live. Aman steers well clear of bare-bones, minimalist boxes; the landmarked homes are luxuriously personal and welcoming spaces.

Thursday’s event runs from 5:30-7 p.m. at the The Palm Beach Book Store, 215 Royal Poinciana Way. Please RSVP via email, or telephone (561) 659-6700.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Palm Beach Panache, Please

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Here’s an interesting approach to achieving iconic interiors – Palm Beach Panache: Infusing Island Style with Serendipitous and Re-Imagined Finds (179 pages, Decorativa Press, $49.95). Author Carolina Fernandez worked long and hard to scour South Florida’s resale venues (consignment and antiques stores, thrift and second-hand shops) to explore, explain and illustrate the style she calls Palm Beach panache.

The book “promotes design and decoration with serendipitously found objects.” The idea is to comb the best resale shops, pick the pieces that speak to you, and transform them (if necessary) to fit your space. What results is a fascinating catalog of the kinds of furnishings that Palm Beach island homes sported in decades past. True to the book’s mission, she shows how to take those iconic pieces and patterns and integrate them into your home.

DSC_1475Example? The Loop Chair (photographed by Alissa Dragun, who shot all the book’s images). “Purchased in bulk by many native Palm Beachers a couple generations ago, they were commonly used for entertaining and for weddings,” Fernandez writes. “Their relatively light weight makes them highly portable; add to that their decent price point and beautiful lines and you have the makings of a hands-down favorite, even today. It is still possible to find entire sets of Loop Chairs in second-hand shops around the island. More often than not, you will find them lacquered in the exuberant Palm Beach Panache palette of orange, eggplant purple, bright yellow or turquoise.”

Nothing snobbish about the book’s pairings, which range from Harry Bertoia and Ingo Maurer to Target, Ikea and Overstock.com. The book is a particular treasure trove for aficionados of Mid-Century Modern. The biggest downside? Because so many of the images were shot at consignment and thrift shops, if you fall in love with a piece, you may have difficulty finding one just like it.

Applause to Fernandez for donating a portion of the book’s proceeds to the Church Mouse (the thrift shop to beat all thrift shops), which supports the work and ministry of the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.

Click here to learn more about the author and the book.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

Moving to Palm Beach County: The Un-Tourist Guide

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Author Marian White (left) with PBAU’s Vicki Pugh.

3D Book Cover ShotWhen the first image that greets you is the Midtown Beach clock tower, you’d imagine the island of Palm Beach would be well-represented. In Marian White’s new book, Moving to Palm Beach County: The Un-Tourist Guide, you’d be right.

While the book explores the experience of moving to Palm Beach County in general, the island features prominently. Flip through its pages, and you’ll find photos and references to all that’s iconic about living at the higher end: Polo, the Lake Trail, Worth Avenue, The Breakers, Lilly.

“The island of Palm Beach is unlike any other place in the world,” White told us. “While there is certainly truth to the fabled mystique surrounding the island, there is also a lesser-known hip side with young entrepreneurs, trendy new restaurants, a booming arts scene – and just lots happening in and around Palm Beach. It’s not as sleepy a place as some may think, and it is a great place to live and visit. You don’t have to own a beachfront property to appreciate the beauty here. From the clean, well-lit streets to the dreamy, well-manicured hedges, anyone can appreciate the exquisite attention to detail throughout Palm Beach.”

White’s book is, indeed, an un-tourist guide for living in a very tourist-y place. Evidence? She’s nailed it on the restaurants locals know and tourists (generally) don’t. The book is more than just a catalog of things to do and places to visit; there are guest-written sidebars on topics that include:

  • Things to consider when buying a boat
  • Elite equestrian sports
  • Where to shop (and a browse through five Worth Avenue boutiques)
  • Florida architecture and design

In his book-jacket praise, one local Realtor calls the book “a house hunter’s dream come true.” Clearly, the primary audience is anyone moving (or considering a move) to Palm Beach County. But we couldn’t help thinking that it’s an awfully nice reference book for those of us who already live here.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.