Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads

Hopefully you’ve chewed through all those novels gifted at Christmas and are ready to jump into the 2019 reading year. As the saying goes, there’s no rest for the wicked! Word of Mouth TV has three new book and three new cookbook recommendations which will surely take you through to the next episode in March. Guest author Charlotte Smith, a fashion anthropologist, recommends The Riviera Set – a portrait of high society between 1920 and 1960 and the authors who partied with them. And her cookbook recommendation is equally glamorous. Kate and Sarah serve up their favourites as well. Happy reading!

Authors’ best books read lately

Charlotte Smith recommends:

The Riviera Set
By Mary S. Lovell

A portrait of high society in the 20th century, told through the stories of the guests of Maxine Elliott and Prince Aly Khan at the Chateau de l’Horizon in Cannes.

The Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Chateau de l’Horizon near Cannes, over the course of 40 years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the 1920s to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960. At the heart of this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Chateau and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his ‘wilderness years’ in the 1930s.

After the War the story continued as the Chateau changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of, and eventual marriage to, Rita Hayworth.

Mary Lovell tells her story of high society behaviour with tremendous brio and relish, and this book has all the charm and fascination of her bestselling The Mitford Girls and The Churchills.

Kate Forsyth recommends:

The Wardrobe Mistress – A Novel of Marie Antoinette
By Meghan Masterson

It’s Giselle Aubry’s first time at court in Versailles. At 16, she is one of Marie Antoinette’s newest undertirewomen, and in awe of the glamorous queen and her opulent palace life. A budding designer, it’s a dream come true to work with the beautiful fabrics and jewels in the queen’s wardrobe. But every few weeks she returns home to visit her family in the Parisian countryside where rumours of revolution are growing.

From her position working in the royal household, Giselle sees both sides of the revolutionary tensions erupting throughout Paris. When her uncle, a retired member of the secret du roi, a spy ring that worked for the old King, Louis XV, suggests that she casually report the Queen s actions back to him as a game, she leaps at the chance. Spying seems like an adventure and an exciting way to privately support the revolution taking the countryside by storm. She also enjoys using her insight from Versailles in lively debates with Leon Gauvain, the handsome and idealistic revolutionary who courts her.

But as the revolution continues to gain momentum, and Giselle grows closer to the Queen, becoming one of the few trusted servants, she finds herself dangerously torn. Violence is escalating; she must choose where her loyalty truly lies, or risk losing everything … maybe even her head.

Sarah Mills recommends:

Auntie Mame
By Patrick Dennis

With a wit as sharp as a vodka stinger and a heart as free as her spirit, Auntie Mame burst onto the literary scene in 1955 and today remains one of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary fiction.

Wildly successful when it was first published in 1955, Patrick Dennis’s Auntie Mame sold over 2 million copies and stayed put on the New York Times bestseller list for 112 weeks. It was made into a play, a Broadway and a Hollywood musical, and a fabulous movie starring Rosalind Russell. Since then, Mame has taken her rightful place in the pantheon of Great and Important People as the world’s most beloved, madcap, devastatingly sophisticated, and glamorous aunt. She is impossible to resist, and this hilarious story of an orphaned 10-year-old boy sent to live with his aunt is as delicious a read in the twenty-first century as it was in the 1950s.

Follow the rollicking adventures of this unflappable flapper as seen through the wide eyes of her young, impressionable nephew and discover anew or for the first time why Mame has made the world a more wonderful place.

Authors’ best cookbooks read lately

Charlotte Smith recommends:

New York Parties – The Art of Hosting

Using the elegant New York social scene as its model, this guide to planning an unforgettable fete provides useful advice on choosing a theme for the party, serving the proper hors d’oeuvres, and creating an appropriate mood with lights and music. From intimate dinners to corporate cocktails, the caterers for the rich and famous tell the reader how to entertain with flair. Includes tips on developing a theme, selecting caterers, and stocking the bar, plus a selection of 150 innovative recipes and 150 full-color photos.

Kate Forsyth recommends:

Twelve – A Tuscan Cookbook
By Tessa Kiros

This personal cookbook reflects the Siena-based author’s love of the cuisine of her adopted homeland. Its title refers to the seasonal nature of the recipes within, with the chapters divided into the 12 months of the year. It is about the food of Tuscany, seasonal cooking and fine ingredients.

A personal exploration of the culinary traditions of Tuscany offers a year-long odyssey through the Italian region’s finest seasonal dishes, along with information on selecting ingredients for the pantry, preparation techniques, wine notes, and dozens of delectable recipes for Risotto alla Toscana, Zuccotto, Melanzane all parmigiana, Stracotto di manzo, and other regional favorites. Original.

Sarah Mills recommends:

French Women Don’t Get Fat
By Mireille Guiliano

The French women’s manifesto: French women avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure. This is essentially the motto of French Women Don’t Get Fat.

In her first ever cookbook, Mireille Guiliano provides her millions of readers with the recipes that are the cornerstone of her philosophy – mouth-watering, simply prepared dishes that favour fresh, seasonal ingredients and yield high satisfaction. Organised around Mireille’s three favourite pastimes – breakfast, lunch, and dinner-these recipe emphasise pure flavour, balanced ingredients and easy cooking methods. Eating pleasurably is just as important as eating healthfully, and Mireille devotes chapters to dessert and chocolate (essential components of any Frenchwoman’s diet) and incorporates advice on entertaining, menu planning, and wine selection.