Favorite Things

Ten things that delight me:


The trailer on the left might be handy for one’s book launch party. The one on the right seems pretty perfect to take on the road for a book tour. Park that baby outside a bookstore and no more empty seats at the reading!

 2. Beautiful soap with old-fashioned labels, like these from Claus Porto.

claus porto 3
Violets! My absolute fave.
Claus Porto soaps

3. Charles Dickens’s characters, especially The Infant Phenomenon (aka Ninetta Crummles) from Nicholas Nickleby and the sublimely flustered Flora Finching from Little Dorrit.

The Rehearsal., Felix O. C. Darley,1861 Photogravure
Frontispiece to the second volume of Dickens’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, in the W. A. Townsend (New York) Household Edition (1861-71).
graphic from izquotes.com

5. (Really it’s #4, but being my own webmaster, I can’t manage to fix that). DOG shaming on the internet.

dog shame

6. Knitting yarn, especially Shetland and Shilasdair from Scotland and cashmere lace yarn from Louisa Harding’s Yarntelier in England.

Shilasdair yarn is dyed with  native plants.                            
The Shilasdair Yarn shop on the Isle of Skye


7. Really good chocolate. And I’m not talking Hershey’s kisses, either. 

Patrick Roger Chocolates
The Patrick Roger shop, Place Madeleine, Paris.

8. Beautiful embroidery and textiles. The older, the better.

Gucci, Paris. Loafers? Bedroom slippers? You tell me.
France, circa 1785, altered circa 1795 . Silk satin waistcoat with silk embroidery and silk grosgrain ribbon. Photo from Wikimedia, from the collection of LACMA.

9. Dog-foot violets.

In my very own garden.

10. Paris.

Ladurée on Rue Royale. Packaging- so beautiful it makes me want to cry (while eating macarons.)

 My ten favorite books, in no particular order (as of today):

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

True Grit by Charles Portis ( Donna Tartt absolutely rules with the narration of the audiobook)

secret garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (must be illustrated by Tasha Tudor) 

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Ruby Dee’s narration of the audiobook is earth-shattering.)

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity fair
Frontispiece from 1913 edition from Davis Brass Rare Books

3 thoughts on “Favorite Things

  1. Dear Liza Nash Taylor,
    We are off today (my 80th birthday) to buy your books in Midlothian and to say that we are late bloomers too. At fifty, my writing life was saved by Ellen Levine when she got my first novel published by Random House in 1993. Since then while teaching the novels of Jane Austen and writing at Hampden-Sydney College, I have had six books (small ones) of fiction come out from indie presses, one in England. My husband at 83 has a mystery novel out from a Virginia press and hopes for the second one. We are graduates of UVA and are so so glad to be getting your novels today!
    Thank you in advance for your books! We live where I grew up in Cumberland county and one son and family live in Ivy where he designs and builds houses.
    All the very best,
    Susan Pepper Robbins


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s