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So What if Mother’s Day is a ‘Thank You’ for a Year of Unpaid Labor? – The Good Men Project

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BOOKS
Georgia: A novel of Georgia O’Keeffe
This uniquely American story — told in this novel by O’Keeffe — starts as the tale of a woman with a good story and a killer bod. A tale of Branding and Marketing? Well, she has a man who wants the best for her and knows how she can get it. But in the end, this is a book about a talent so fierce it crushed pretty much everything in its path — a rare story of artistic triumph.

What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most
Elizabeth Benedict collected essays from women not inclined to platitudes. A strong, smart, complex anthology.

My Name Is Lucy Barton
In Elizabeth Strout’s short novel, a writer must spend a few weeks in the hospital. Her mother shows up. Stories are shared.

Georgia: A novel of Georgia O’Keeffe
The art you know. The life you don’t.

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A Piece of the World
Christina Baker Kline does more than “imagine” the life of “Christina,” the woman in the Andrew Wyeth painting.

Strike Sparks
Sharon Olds says, “I’m not an intellectual, I’m not an abstract thinker. And I’m interested in ordinary life.” Translation: These poems read like stories.

Colette
“Break of Day” is many things, but above all, it’s a love letter from Colette to her mother, in which she asks a remarkable question: Who obsesses a woman most — her mother or her man?

Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis
It’s big as a MacBook and heavy as a small barbell, but if your mother likes to read about fashion, she’ll find it as light as an airport page-turner. Dish? Honey, the dish does not quit.

Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives
“Music, like water, often moves and shapes us without our ever realizing it.” So writes Holly Gleason. The 27 female contributors to her book confirm that wisdom. “Woman Walk the Line” is biographical and historical, briefly tracing careers and lives. Just as compelling are the double portraits of stars and their profilers. Acolytes reflect on their idols, most of them women they’re not likely to meet. The imprinting – by songs — is enormous. Lives get changed — as, maybe, yours was.

“Period. The End: Wit, Wisdom, and Practical Guidance for Women in Menopause — and Beyond”
Linda Condrillo is not a doctor. And she doesn’t play one on the Internet. She’s a woman of a certain age, with her hot flashes behind her, and she’s written a wise, humane guide to surviving menopause. And did I say funny? The book is dotted with cartoons, recipes and the personal stories of survivors. “The change,” indeed! [To buy the book from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.]

“Mrs. Bennet’s Sentiments”
Doesn’t everyone love “Pride and Prejudice?” Really, it’s the favorite book of millions. Growing up, it was Dori Salerno’s. A few years ago, she reread it: “There was a section that seemed different this time around. Darcy was making fun of country families and Mrs. Bennet called him out on it, and her daughters disregarded her with the all-too-familiar eye-roll. But I thought, this mother is telling the truth. It made me think that maybe there was another reason for her to act the way she does besides just being ridiculous.” So she retold the story. This time around, Mrs. Bennet, agitated by menopause, sees clearly the grim fate that awaits her daughters if they don’t marry, and marry well. She’s sane and heroic, she rediscovers her talents, locates desirable suitors, and just generally kicks ass. Her “sentiments” are eye-opening and altogether delightful. [To buy the book from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout
Marya Sklodowska, a brilliant student from Poland, came to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. In 1894, she met Pierre Curie, an iconoclast who taught physics and chemistry. How deep was their love? As Pierre wrote to her, “It would be a fine thing … to pass our lives near to each other, hypnotized by our dreams; your patriotic dream, our humanitarian dream, and our scientific dream.” The Curies discovered radioactivity and, in 1903, won the Nobel Prize for Physics. In 1911, she won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry; she’s one of only two scientists to win the Nobel in a second field. Eventually, radiation killed her. A story you know? Not told this way.

SUSTENANCE

Claridge’s: The Cookbook
Spencer Tracy said, “Not that I intend to die, but when I do, I don’t want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridge’s.” He knew: Claridge’s, which opened in 1853, was quickly viewed as “an annex to Buckingham Palace,” and travelers who require 5-star comfort have followed Queen Victoria’s lead; unlike other venerable institutions, Claridge’s has little need for “marketing” or “branding.” Still, the cookbook is perhaps overdue. “It’s only taken 164 years, so we’re a bit slow with that,” says Chef Martyn Nail, which is just what you’d expect from a man who’s had the same employer for 30 years. He knows: Claridge’s is all about muffled drums, silent workers, a purposeful avoidance of visible change.

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May and Axel Vervoodt: Recipes
The Vervoordts live in a 50 room castle near Antwerp. Axel is an art and antique dealer and a decorator whose clients include Sting, Pierre Bergé, Henry Kravis and Bill Gates. May heads the textile and fabric division. But her greater skill may be in the domestic arts. “May believes food is energy and has the power to make people feel better, spiritually as well as physically,” Axel writes. “Cooking can be a great pleasure, and just as for the potter who sculpts clay, the skill is a craft and the creation is a work of art.” Easy art, it turns out. Simple art. Quick art. Most of May’s recipes require just 20-30 minutes to prepare.

Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes from New York’s Savviest Hostesses
They’re not savvy because they’re rich, but because they know not to serve overly fancy food. The soups here are simple and toothsome. There are no fewer than 15 casseroles, including a mac-and-cheese punched up with dry mustard. And meatloaf — yes, these women live in the real world.

V is for Vegetables
A great many cooks have adopted the vegetables-at-the-center-of-the-plate religion, with animal protein as a side dish, garnish, afterthought — or non-presence. Michael Anthony hasn’t surrendered to the Meme of Vegetables. He includes fish and meat recipes “because that’s the way I eat.” He just happens to like to eat vegetables more: “I am a cheerleader saying, ‘Hey, you can do this. Give it a try.’ I tell readers, ‘Set yourself up like this in the kitchen and you’ll be able to cook this quicker.’”

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Lee Bailey
Before there was Martha Stewart, there was Lee Bailey. He started small. A shop. Then a department at Henri Bendel. Then books. Very successful books — “Lee Bailey’s Country Weekends” won the Tastemaker Award for Best Cookbook in 1983 and has sold more than 150,000 copies in hardcover.

Nam Prik Asian Chili Hot Sauce
Nam Prik is an Asian chili sauce that’s both spicy and sweet. Nam Prik (pronounced: nam-preek, literally “fluid chili”) isn’t like all the other smartly-labeled sauces you see on grocery shelves. It delivers fire and flavor, adding personality to eggs, Mexican food, Asian dishes, meat and chicken entrees — it could be the next Sriracha.

TRAVEL

Travel Anywhere (And Avoid Being a Tourist): Travel trends and destination inspiration for the modern adventurer
You do not want to open “Travel Anywhere” if you have been drinking or toking. First, you will turn down the corners of pages of destinations, hotels and restaurants that are particularly appealing. Then you will go to the Web to see what it costs to go there. And then, if you are sufficiently blitzed, you will grab a passport and rush to the airport.

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Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” So….
You’ve got a map. A Zagat. Maybe you’ll want a few more books…

HEALTH

Manuka Honey
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, where it’s made by bees that feed on the nectar of the manuka tree. Their honey is dark and thick. Its aroma has been described as “damp earth, heather, aromatic.” But the benefits!

Pu-erh tea
Reader Review: “Two years ago I found out yet again my triglycerides were high. The next day you recommended a fermented tea that Alice Waters said lowered her triglycerides. I drank it every day for a year and then forgot about it. Just got new blood work done. Triglycerides are fine.” Tastes great. Unique packaging.

Anthelios Sunscreen with Mexoryl
What’s so great about Anthelios with Mexoryl? Dr. Vincent DeLeo, Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Founding Director, Skin of Color Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Beth Israel: “It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine.” Dr. Darrell Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University: Mexoryl “is the No. 1 individual ingredient in terms of protection from Ultraviolet A radiation.”

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C
I hope I’m not jinxing myself by typing this, but…. since I’ve been taking Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, I haven’t had a cold. Seriously. For two years. Most of the Vitamin C in pills or capsules — that is, Vitamin C in the form you probably take — never reaches the bloodstream. Estimates of its absorption rate are less than 50%. Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C has a 90% absorption rate. And that’s just the start of the good things liposomes do.

IRONY

Anne Taintor Coffee Mugs & More
When the Young Person buys a t-shirt, it is the quintessential expression of 16-year-old attitude (“National Sarcasm Society: Like we need your support.”) So I wasn’t surprised when she gave her mother an inexpensive coffee mug with art of a l940s mom holding a perfect toddler and the words “Parenting… when messing up your own life isn’t enough.” This 14 oz. ceramic gloss finish coffee mug is the handiwork of Anne Taintor, who combines Retro advertising images with snarky captions. Choose from 17 mugs, including “If It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Can I Go Home Now,” “Why Yes, I Am Overqualified,” “The Paleo Diet…. Isn’t That What Killed The Dinosaurs,” and “Martinis…they’re not just for breakfast anymore.”

ART

Shirley Hartman
Because you can’t buy her a real Matisse.

CANDLES

Thymes Frasier Fir Candle
The Thymes Frasier Fir candle in a dark green glass won’t quite convince you that there’s a fir tree in the corner, but it proposes the idea. The smell is of “crisp Siberian Fir needles, heartening cedar wood and relaxing sandalwood.” In simple English, this candle defines fresh.

Diptyque candles
A Diptyque candle lasts much longer than most other candles — between 50-60 hours. And once it fills a room with scent, you can blow it out and the room will continue to be gently perfumed for hours. And… it’s better.

BEAUTY

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
“It’s like eight hours of sleep in a tube.”

T-3 Professional Salon Hair Dryer
No more bad hair days — ever.

Egyptian Magic
Burns, scrapes, skin irritations, diaper rash, sunburns, eczema, psoriasis — it’s the go-to cream for every external problem. When an exceptional moisturizer is needed, we open the Magic. The ingredients are olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis. And — so it says — “divine love.” With the exception of the last “ingredient,” you could whip it up yourself. But you couldn’t improve on the original.

PRACTICAL

Zojirushi Vacuum Drink Mug
What is astonishing about the Zojirushi is how long hot stays hot and how long cold stays cold. Fill it with 16 ounces of steaming coffee in the morning, and six hours later, you can still burn your lips. Put ice cubes in a cold drink, and, six hours later, there’s still ice. Stylish? It’s sleek. At 9.5 inches, it’s just the right size for a tote.

Palomino Pencils 
Among the fans: Sondheim, Steinbeck.

Perfetto Pencils
If you lived in Italy in the 1930s….

Timex Easy Reader Watch
For $25, it’s more attractive than a Rolex.

Capresso Burr Coffee Grinder
A burr grinder may give you the choice of as many as 16 speeds, but because it runs at a slower speed, it generates less heat. The burrs create uniform grounds. This is all good.

Moleskine Notebooks
It doesn’t get more old-fashioned than this — or more modern: Basquiat! Dylan! Moleskines have a leather-like cover, an elastic band to keep the notebook closed and an inner pocket to hold business cards, acid-free paper.

Waterproof: APIE Portable Wireless Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
Big? Not: 7.3” x 2.8” x 4.5.” Heavy? 11 ounces. Batteries? Not needed. The rechargeable battery is good for 10 hours. Bonus feaure: The Hands-Free Speakerphone lets you pick up a call when it‘s connected to your Smartphone. Expensive? $29.

Allbirds: “the most comfortable shoes ever made.” 
Allbirds is a two-year-old major fashion trend of a shoe — made from knit wool and castor bean oil. The two styles (lounger and runner) are unisex and everything is $95.

MUSIC

Joni Mitchell
“Blue” sounds as if it were recorded yesterday. For Boomer moms, this is what a Sinatra CD would be to my mother.

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Porgy & Bess
Ella Fitzgerald sings a verse. She is cool and formal. A lady. Not to be taken lightly. Now it’s Louis Armstrong’s turn. Tender, but let’s not kid ourselves — this is not singing as others define it. This is melodic speech: rough, gutteral. And thus he is ideally cast: His Porgy may have his charms, but he’ll have to stretch to keep Bess.

This article originally appeared on The Head Butler.

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