“At Home with Country” & More Good Summer Reading

by hookedonhouses on June 3, 2010

Cabbages & Roses book coverCabbages & Roses: At Home with Country by Christina Strutt

Whether you’re a fan of the vintage look of Cabbages & Roses, the fabric company that is known for its fresh take on English Country, or just a romantic at heart, you’ll love this book.

I spent a lazy afternoon on my porch, reading it from cover to cover, and it was almost like taking a mini vacation.

The rooms transformed by Christina Strutt’s signature vintage country style range from her own 500-year old cottage to a houseboat on the River Thames. And every lovely page made me go, “Ahhh…”

(Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy. Learn more about the book here.)

House of Havoc book coverHouse of Havoc by Marni Jameson

I’ve been a fan of Marni Jameson’s since her book The House Always Wins came out, so I was excited when she sent me a copy of her new one, House of Havoc (love the titles). It’s rare when you can find a book about decorating that is not only full of helpful ideas but keeps you laughing out loud.

She offers plenty of practical advice about decorating when there are kids, pets, and spouses living with you. The whole book is kind of a reality check. Your house will never look like a model, she says, so it’s time to readjust our expectations. (More info. on her website.)

Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That HouseLife Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House by Meghan Daum

This is the next book I want to read this summer. The title alone sold me on it because I know I’ve definitely had that thought before. Just imagine how sweet life would be if I had that wraparound porch! (Learn more about the book here.)

Have you read any of these? What’s on your summer reading list?

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Kirsten June 4, 2010 at 8:09 am

so, really, all you had to do was put Houses, and Books in the title, and I was sold. All 3 on order at Amazon, pronto! thanks Julia!
.-= Kirsten´s last blog ..The Truth about Eight Year Olds, And A NilsenLife Guest Post! =-.

Tricia Rose June 4, 2010 at 8:19 am

Good suggestions Julia, thank you!
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Problems with Blogger =-.

Pat June 4, 2010 at 8:51 am

no, I haven’t read any of these, but I fully intend to! I’m always looking for a good book like these look to be.
I just finished “Fifty Acres and a Poodle” and it’s secquel. Loved them both! Not so much decorating oriented, but the adventures of moving from big city to farm life and all the laughs along the way.
Excuse me..got go find these books!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Let’s Lighten Up! =-.

hookedonhouses June 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

Pat–The “50 Acres & a Poodle” books are some of my all-time favorites. People never seem to know what I’m talking about when I mention them, so I’m glad to hear you like them, too! I might have to re-read them again this summer. If anyone’s interested, you can read more about the series here:



Deidra June 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

I’ve got to read “Like Would Be Perfect…” I followed your link to Amazon and learned that the author once lived in Lincoln, NE!
.-= Deidra´s last blog ..Summer Daze =-.

LeAnn June 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

What a great way to spend an afternoon! I have been wanting to get “At Home With Country”, maybe I’ll get it this weekend.

Have a beautiful weekend Julia.

.-= LeAnn´s last blog ..TV cabinet from ho hum to fun fun…. =-.

Barbara June 4, 2010 at 9:20 am

Oh, great suggestion! I got an amazon.com gift card for my birthday, and now I know what I’m going to order! Thanks for the great suggestion!

Kelly, Arte Styling June 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

Thanks for the list! I read “The House Always Wins” and really enjoyed it. Didn’t know she had a new book out! Sounds perfect – I love her philosophy. (You might like “House Lust” too, if you haven’t read it already, by Daniel McGinn.)
I’m definitely picking it up along with the “Life Would Be Perfect…” book. These books are right up my reading alley!!
.-= Kelly, Arte Styling´s last blog ..The Joys of Estate Sale Shopping =-.

hookedonhouses June 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

As a matter of fact, I credit McGinn’s “House Lust” with inspiring me to start this blog. Great book! If anyone’s interested, here’s the Amazon info:



donna good June 4, 2010 at 9:28 am

definitely reading, Life would be perfect if i lived in that house….

Nicole June 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

Oh, I’m glad you found that third one; when I heard of it, I thought of telling you about it!

Melanie Beth June 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

I like the look of that third one! Perfect timing too, as I was just about to start the hunt for something new to read!
.-= Melanie Beth´s last blog ..Bears in the Night =-.

Slowish Food June 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

The tact is quite a bit different, but I’m reading Twelve by Twelve by William Powers. It’s about a woman living, by choice, in a 12-by-12 structure and the environment and neighbors around her. I love thinking of simplifying to that level (she, unlike me, wouldn’t need to find a place for a husband and three kids in the 12-by-12), even though I could never do it. I’m loving the book — its own mini-vacation, although in a much different setting than “At Home with Country.” :) Thanks for the suggestions!
.-= Slowish Food´s last blog ..Scenes from the Garden =-.

Kate (Little Beach Bum) June 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Haven’t read any of these but I think I will have to check them out – the Cabbages and Roses book particularly. I love the look of English Country. It just seems so cozy and inviting, in both the wintertime and the summer. Yum.
.-= Kate (Little Beach Bum)´s last blog ..Deviled Egg Sandwich =-.

Tracey June 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Can’t wait to read Life Would Be Perfect…..BTW, love, love, love, your blog!!!!
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..Beware the “Shoulds” =-.

Kate (Little Beach Bum) June 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Julia! While stalking the gossip blogs, found out that Sheryl Crow just adopted another baby boy! (http://www.sherylcrow.com/default.aspx) maybe that is why she is selling her house? A new baby might need more than….three stories and over 10,000 square feet…maybe? ;)
.-= Kate (Little Beach Bum)´s last blog ..Deviled Egg Sandwich =-.

hookedonhouses June 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Maybe that explains it! Ha. -Julia

Julianne June 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Oh my gosh, those books look amazing. Now perhaps I’ll try to convince our library to order them…they usually don’t have anything in stock that was published before 1989, bah.

Susan S June 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Summer reading is the best! Somehow, I always remember my summer reads more than any other time of year. These sound delightful! Somewhere I had read about the book, “Life Would Be Perfect”…., but I had not heard of “House of Havoc” and I’m wondering if it was written just for me! ;) ;)

Lori-Anne June 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm

So. Because I sighed deeply when I saw the couple of pics you posted from the Cabbages and Roses book, and thought “Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House,” I’d better forgo both those titles and go straight for House of Havoc! Thanks for the recommendations :)
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..We’ve Moved =-.

Susan June 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Meghan Daum’s book is going to be my beach book this yr.
.-= Susan´s last blog ..After 33 Years….My Ten Favorite Things =-.

Pamela Rosenberg June 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

I haven’t read any of these so thanks for the heads up. What a perfect post for the beginning of summer reading time.
.-= Pamela Rosenberg´s last blog ..Inspired or Disappointed? {Big and Carrie’s New Apartment) =-.

Renee July 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

Great book ideas, I can’t wait to read them, especially the Life Would Be Perfect one since I’m always obsessively admiring other people’s houses, haha! I recently read Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews and LOVED it. By the way, I am SO happy that I stumbled upon your blog Julia. It is great to know that I’m not the only one “hooked on houses” :)
.-= Renee´s last blog ..Michelles Beach Condo Design =-.

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