LET’S BRING BACK: THE COCKTAIL EDITION is a top-25 bestseller on Amazon

December 28, 2012

Ms. Blume’s new book about forgotten vintage cocktails and cocktail history — Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition — became a top-25 bestseller on Amazon today.

The book was the subject of a lengthy feature on NPR’s Morning Edition, and was also chosen as a holiday pick by:

* The New York Times (“With this much festivity to pour over ice, who needs mistletoe?”)
* The Daily Beast (“A charming trip into the libations and drunken lore of yesteryear.”)
* The Wall Street Journal
* Vanity Fair (“Get tipsy together on bygone cocktails as you remember the year just past.”)

Click here to hear NPR’s full story, and here to see NPR’s book excerpts, including three pages of vintage cocktail recipes.

Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition was released this fall by Chronicle Books as part of the larger Let’s Bring Back series, which celebrates lost-but-delightful fashions, delectables, landmarks, and personalities from bygone eras.

The original Let’s Bring Back edition – a top-selling, much-beloved multi-topic encyclopedia of nostalgia – was released to acclaim in 2010.  In 2013, Chronicle will also release Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition, which extols the virtues of certain lost words, phrases, idioms, insults and praises from bygone eras.

The series has also inspired ancillary products, such as the Let’s Bring Back journal and a soon-to-be-released Let’s Bring Back by Lulu Frost jewelry line.

Click here to purchase or pre-order any of the Let’s Bring Back titles.

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NOW AVAILABLE: Ms. Blume’s new book about lost historical cocktails, LET’S BRING BACK: THE COCKTAIL EDITION

September 27, 2012

The great Humphrey Bogart once noted, “The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.”

At last, here’s your excuse to catch up. Introducing Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, a compendium of long-forgotten libations due for a revival. Culled from ancient times through the 1960s, these delectable vintage cocktails are by turns fizzy and silken, sweet and tart, lethal and prim. Some of them are absurd, several are sentimental, while others are outright scandalous. They include:

* Angel’s Tit – Guaranteed to shock goody-goodies
* Du Barry - To get your mistress into the mood
* Green-Eyed Monster - To serve to frenemies
* Hanky Panky – A vintage aphrodisiac
* Kill Devil Punch – A helpful aid in home exorcisms
* Monkey Gland – An unlikely fountain of youth
* Runt’s Ambition – Serve to men with Napoleon Complex

Throughout this illustrated tome, Ms. Blume divulges colorful cocktail history and barroom wisdom alongside one hundred and forty-four recipes that will delight aperitif aficionados for years to come. Whether you’re toasting to an unexpected windfall, treating a malediction, or simply need an occasion to let your hair down, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition has the concoction for you.

CLICK HERE TO BUY Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, and visit the Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition Tumblr here.

Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition is such good reading—it’s a mix of cocktail lore, recipes, anecdotes, and quotations—that even a teetotaler would enjoy it.”
- The Paris Review

Prepare to get punch-drunk.
- Daily Candy


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Introducing LET’S BRING BACK BY LULU FROST, a jewelry collection inspired by Ms. Blume’s book

September 9, 2012

On September 7, during New York Fashion Week, Ms. Blume and Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer debuted Let’s Bring Back by Lulu Frost, a vast jewelry collection inspired by Ms. Blume’s top-selling and critically acclaimed book, Let’s Bring Back.

Five hundred guests and members of the press attended the presentation at the historic Carlyle Hotel.  The collection celebrates three historical Let’s Bring Back icons: beguiling, eccentric Belle Epoque heiress Luisa Casati (who famously claimed “I want to be a living work of art”), Jazz Age activist and publisher Nancy Cunard, and famously irreverent mid-century Surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli:

Ms. Salzer — a guest contributor to Let’s Bring Back, along with Nora Ephron, James L. Brooks, and Kate Spade, among many other luminaries — translated each muse’s style into a 30-piece collection.  Casati – ever-inspired by the celestial and other-wordly – was represented by stars and serpents.  For Cunard, famed for her “signature barbaric jewelry” that included heavy wrist-to-elbow bangles, Salzer created vivid resin bracelets and batik turbans.  Schiaparelli’s collection included gem-covered tassels, lips, eyes, and lobsters – all homages to Schiap’s Surrealist art-world creations with artists such as Salvador Dali.  See images of the jewelry and launch event here:

Hendrick’s Gin – a mutual appreciator of curiosities from times gone by and a longtime sponsor of Let’s Bring Back - created sublime signature cocktails for each of the icons. Click here to see the creative menu and re-create these concoctions at home.

Let’s Bring Back by Lulu Frost will become available in stores and via e-retailers around the world in early 2013.  Look for it in Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and LuluFrost.com, among countless other venues.

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LISTEN: Ms. Blume on NPR discussing her VANITY FAIR cover story about Jackson Pollock

August 14, 2012

Yesterday Ms. Blume appeared on NPR’s The Leonard Lopate Show to discuss her cover story in the September issue of Vanity Fair:

The article chronicles the explosive, decades-long controversy surrounding what may have been Jackson Pollock’s last painting.  Red, Black & Silver was long owned by Ruth Kligman, Pollock’s contentious mistress during the last year of Pollock’s life.  She claimed that the artist created the small, unsigned canvas as a love gift to her just weeks before the 1956 car crash that killed him.

On September 20, the painting is scheduled to go to auction in New York City at Phillips de Pury & Company auction house.  Yet not everyone is convinced that Red, Black & Silver is definitively the last Jackson Pollock – or even a Pollock at all.  To these detractors – who are powerful Jackson Pollock authorities and scholars – Red, Black & Silver is a work plagued by incongruity.

As Ms. Blume reported the fraught history of the painting and delved back into the vivid, often torrid world of New York’s mid-century art scene, Kligman’s trustees gave her exclusive access to Kligman’s document archive detailing the owner’s quarter-century quest to prove its legitimacy – and her own credibility.

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OUT TODAY: Ms. Blume’s new children’s book – THE WONDROUS JOURNALS OF DR. WIGGINS

August 3, 2012

Available today in stores and via online retailers everwhere: Ms. Blume’s new book, The Wondrous Journals of Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins Publisher’s Weekly calls the book “a glorious unveiling of the long-hidden and very weird ‘history’ of life on Earth.”  Amazon has named it a “Best Book of the Month.”

In the pages of these thought-to-be-lost diaries, readers will meet Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins, the greatest paleozoologist of all time, who reveals the secrets of the ancient animal and plant world –- a world before human beings; a world before dinosaurs; a world that, until now, existed well beyond the outer reaches of our imaginations.

Oddities such as the deadly Amazonian Whispering Vine (Vitus Sussurus), the curious tribe of Brittle Bones (Futilis Ossis), a rather gaseous northern-lights creature (Animato Inflatio ab Aqulonius), and a mysterious and indispensable pet named Gibear (Chiropetra Vicugna Pacosis) live again in Dr. Wiggins’s vivid and captivating sketches.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Dr. Wiggins’s journals have surfaced now, in a time predicted by scientists and religions all over the world to be the beginning of the next mass extinction. Can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us and avoid such a fate?

BUY THE BOOK: Click here to order The Wondrous Journals of Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins.


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IN STORES SOON: The splendid paperback edition of Ms. Blume’s book MODERN FAIRIES

May 16, 2012

Available for pre-order now: the paperback edition of Ms. Blume’s book, Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties.  First released to acclaim in 2010 and magnificently/eccentrically illustrated by artist David Foote, the new cover features images from the much-beloved first edition.

imageIn this guidebook to the modern urban fairy realm, readers will receive practical advice on matters such as:

* How to tell a good fairy from a bad one,
* How to spot a “fairy ring,”
* How to tell the difference between dwarves and trolls (one species is far deadlier than the other),
* How to defend against fairies who would do you harm,

… and much, much more.  Also included: eight true cautionary tales about children who have encountered fairies in ultramodern New York City.  Readers are advised to read the book very closely, lest they find themselves in their own fairy encounter. 

Says Barnes & Noble about this new edition: Modern Fairies is a complete departure for Lesley Blume, but one that has garnered both critical praise and commercial success in hardcover, and we expect to see great things from the paperback. It’s elegantly written and beautifully illustrated, which will help set it apart from other books about fairies. Half guidebook and half short story collection, Modern Fairies is for children who love the earnest advice included in the Dangerous Book for Boys/Girls titles and the wicked fun of Roald Dahl. The illustrations are incredibly original and yet also instantly classic. David Foote is a real find and an artist from whom we can expect to see much more. 

Click here to see the Modern Fairies movie trailer, and click here to hear NPR’s exciting segment on the book.

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK: Click here to buy Modern Fairies from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Powell’s Books.

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AVAILABLE NOW: The brand-new, beautiful, amusing LET’S BRING BACK JOURNAL

March 5, 2012

Oscar Wilde once said, “I never travel without my diary.  One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” 

He certainly had the right idea.  A journal is more than just a book of blank paper.  It’s a place to record voyages, harebrained ideas, private obsessions, and the minute wonders (and indignities) that make up each day.

Inspired by Ms. Blume’s top-selling and critically-acclaimed book Let’s Bring Back, Chronicle Books has created a beautiful Let’s Bring Back journalavailable on Amazon now and coming soon to stores everywhere.

Created by Ms. Blume, this elegant, amusing journal of nostalgia prompts its owners with delights from eras past that will infuse their lives with adventures grand and small.  Why not throw an old-fashioned skating party?  Or learn the secret language of flowers?  Go on a world tour honeymoon?  Above all, keep a diary.  You never know when you might need some good reading on the train.

The original Let’s Bring Back—an encyclopedia celebrating hundreds of forgotten-yet-delightful objects, curiosities, pastimes, fashions, words, landmarks, and personalities from bygone eras—was released in 2010.  Starting this year, Chronicle Books and Ms. Blume will also release a variety of topic-specific volumes of Let’s Bring Back, starting with a book about obscure-but-delectable vintage cocktails.

Read about Ms. Blume’s personal history with journals here.

For publicity inquiries, please contact April Whitney at Chronicle Books: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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NEW BOOK: Ms. Blume’s collaboration with photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank on AMERICAN BEAUTY

January 12, 2012

In March, Assouline Publishing will release American Beauty, a photography book shot by Vogue alumna and fine art photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank and written by journalist and culture editor Genevieve Bahrenburg.

imageFeaturing over one hundred portraits of contemporary American women, American Beauty includes a foreword by longtime Vogue photography director Ivan Shaw and a preface essay about formal portraits by Ms. Blume – whose photograph also appears in the book’s pages.  (Readers of Ms. Blume’s book Cornelia will be gratified to see that she is flanked in this image by her longtime muse and sidekick.)

The project is a “tribute to the women who symbolize our country today, each of whom possesses an original blend of grit, grace, glamour, and gravitas that make them fitting exemplars of kaleidoscopic American beauty.” 

American Beauty is available for pre-order on Assouline’s website.

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Gilt Groupe gives a glimpse into Ms. Blume’s upcoming book about vintage cocktails

November 8, 2011

imageIn its just-released holiday entertaining catalog, Gilt Groupe provides a peek into Ms. Blume’s upcoming book about vintage cocktails.

Over the last few years, classic cocktails have surged in popularity: Sidecars, Ward 8s, and Old Fashioneds once again grace bar menus from coast to coast. Also due for a comeback: the once-popular Gin Fizz – a perfectly ebullient, now-largely-forgotten libation.

Click here to read Ms. Blume’s brief history of the fizz, and to see five recipes from her new book.  To be released in fall 2012 by Chronicle Books, it will be the first of many future editions of her Let’s Bring Back series

The first edition of Let’s Bring Back (Chronicle, 2010) also celebrates dozens of cocktails and boozy culinary delectables from bygone eras, from Tipsy Parson to Ambrosia to Champagne towers. 

Read Gilt Groupe’s full holiday entertaining catalog here.

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NEW BOOK: Ms. Blume’s IT HAPPENED HERE, a short but amusing social history of old New York

July 15, 2011

Ms. Blume, Thornwillow Press Ltd., Montblanc, and The St. Regis New York are thrilled to announce their collaboration on The Thornwillow Libretto Library – a collection of exquisitely produced original works by some of the most exciting writers and creators of our time.

imageThe inaugural volume – It Happened Here by Ms. Blume – is a convivial social and artistic history of old New York as seen through the prism of one of its grandest hotels, The St. Regis, home to the Thornwillow Library Gallery.

In its pages, readers will visit the St. Regis suites of artist Salvador Dali (at left with his pet ocelot), filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, and John Jacob Astor, among many other colorful figures.  Here good taste met wild creativity, and more than a little eccentricity.

As an era of electronic books begins, the Libretto Library is dedicated to the belief that physical books – tangible, aesthetically pleasing, letterpress printed and beautifully bound – have a new and even more important place in our lives: as repositories of permanence in an increasingly ephemeral world of letters. The series will regularly feature the work of celebrated writers – both established greats and dazzling up-and-comers – of fiction and non-fiction, from prose to poetry.  Please look soon for other Thornwillow Libretti by Peter Matthiessen, Stacy Schiff, Louis Begley, Harry Belafonte, Jonathan Galassi, and other luminaries.

imageTaking inspiration from the early works of Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press, The Yellow Book magazine, and the early days of The New Yorker, the editors of Thornwillow will create a series of splendidly designed, letterpress printed books in sewn bindings. In addition to a 5,000 copy printing, each Libretto will also enjoy a special limited edition run of 150 leather-bound, signed and numbered copies for collectors.  Montblanc has generously underwritten the project.

Thornwillow would also like to thank the individuals who have helped develop the series, including Ms. Blume, Michael Shnayerson, Henry Finder, Jonathan Galassi, Lorin Stein, and Andrew Wylie.

BUY THE BOOK: “It Happened Here” is available for purchase on Thornwillow’s website.

JOIN THE PARTY: Many publications covered the raucous 1920s-inspired Thornwillow Libretto Library launch event at the St. Regis, including The New York Times, Bazaar, The New York Observer, The Window, Whitewall magazine, and New York Magazine.  Dali was there in spirit.

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