Happy May 1st! I am so excited for the new month and the fact that I have hit over 900 followers in Instagram. I wanted to celebrate with not one but two bag features! I am so thrilled to have reached this milestone and am hoping for over 1000 by the end of summer. Today I have the wonderful Lynda Cohen Loigman, whose highly popular debut, The Two Family House recently came out in paperback and Gina Sorrell, also a debut author and her book, Mothers and Other Strangers. I was so excited to be able to have both fabulous ladies on the blog. I have been a huge fan of Lynda’s and she actually introduced me to my favorite nail polish color- Well Read. I was also thrilled to be able to support Gina and her beautiful book baby 🙂
Lynda Cohen Loigman
“An emotional but dreamy novel that…will transport you far, far away from your next dreary Monday morning. You may do a lot of sobbing, but don’t worry, you’ll be smiling by the end.” ―Bustle, “12 Spring Break Reads To Help You Escape Normal Life”
**Buzzfeed, “14 Of The Most Buzzed-About Books”
**Popsugar, “6 Books You Should Read”
“A novel you won’t be able to put down.” ―Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author
Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.
When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel The Two-Family House is a heart-wrenching, gripping multigenerational story, woven around the deepest of secrets.
Bag of choice
This is going to make me sound really old, but ever since I hurt my back a few years ago, my favorite bags are lightweight totes. My friend Gabrielle had a great one that I kept raving about, and last year my husband got a similar one for me for Mother’s Day. It’s made by a company called Monserat De Luca, and it weighs almost nothing. The fabric is beige suede, but it has a little bit of sparkle to it, so it’s fun.
Favorite beauty picks
I’m a Laura Mercier fan. I love the primer, the tinted moisturizer and something called “secret finish.” I don’t exactly know what it does (it’s a secret I guess), but I like the way it makes my skin feel.
Always carry in my bag
Wallet and keys
Lipstick and lip gloss
Hand lotion – usually Eucerin.
Giant individually wrapped wintergreen lifesavers
I keep a notebook and pens in my car so that if I think of a story idea I can write it down. If I’m traveling for a book event, I’ll bring a second tote to carry my computer, books and extra makeup. My mascara always has to be waterproof because I will cry at the drop of a hat!
I’m having a GREAT month for books! I just finished The Orphan’s Tale, by Pam Jenoff and Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister. Now I’m reading All Grown Up by Jamie Attenberg. I’m almost finished with that one, so next up is The Idiot by Elif Batuman.
“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.”
Thus begins this riveting story of a woman’s quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child, Elsie, an inheritance of debts and mysteries. While coping with threats that she suspects are coming from the cult-like spiritual program her mother belonged to, Elsie works to unravel the message her dying mother left for her, a quest that ultimately takes her to the South African family homestead she never knew existed.
What is your bag of choice?
I’m obsessed with bags. Every year someone in my family gives me some sort of tote bag, purse, pouch or foldable bag for my birthday. I always carry a reusable bag and these Loqi ones are so pretty. I love Baggu too. I tend to carry too much stuff, so it’s important to me to have something lightweight, and something that I can wear cross-body. My bright blue Longchamps was a birthday present and I take it everywhere. I also cannot resist a good tote bag. This year my husband got me a bag from Litograph with the entire Strunk & White Elements of Style printed on it. They’ll print novels too!
What are your top favorite beauty picks?
Right now I’m going through a phase of trying new face creams, but might just have to come to terms with the fact that unless I sleep more, I will always look tired! I use Thayers rosewater toner, the cream of the month, (currently it’s this terrific light moisturizer from Luzern), Maybelline mascara, Mac brow tamer, a little powder and Fresh tinted lip balms. I have one in just about every color. For evening I’ll wear a Chanel lip gloss. And I always have lip balm, rosebud salve is a staple.
What do always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?
I don’t carry much make-up but I like to always have a foundation powder compact such as Clarins, or Benefit, rosebud lip balm, and lip gloss.
What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m reading Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World. Caroline is a wonderful writer and a terrific champion of novelists. I love her books, they really sweep me up and carry me away, and her latest Cruel Beautiful World, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, is a stunning page turner about seduction, love, loyalty, and power. I also read magazines, literary, fashion, city guides, design and food magazines. Vanity Fair, Toronto Life, New York Magazine, LA Weekly, Dwell, Good Housekeeping and more. My parents had a beauty salon when I was growing up and bought everything, so I never had to. Now that I’m paying for them, I’m a little more selective, or else I get subscriptions, Poets & Writers is a must.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?
I’m a mom and a snacker, so I always have hand sanitizer, kleenex, healthy snacks for Little Man, fruit leather, granola bars, crackers, and some sweets like fruit juice gummies. I love the Vegan ones that Surf Sweets makes. And all natural raspberry licorice. I have a sweet tooth! And I always have reading glasses, a notebook and pen.
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*Thanks ladies for the wonderful interview! Congrats on two AMAZING debuts 🙂