best of (summer reading)

My parent’s divorced when I was young, leaving me to play country and city mouse on alternating weekends. My dad owned a house in the country – a big old dairy farm complete with barn and silo, butted right up against some woods. As soon as the weather turned warm, my brother and I would be herded out of the house, along with encouragements like, “You need some fresh air”, and “Stop reading so much, go play”. We’d feign amusement with the outdoors for his benefit, then sneak away when he wasn’t looking. The cherry and pear trees that lined the property made a perfect nest for a young girl whose nose was always stuck in a book.

These days I’m still an escapist reader, gravitating towards the nearest perch with the perfect balance of sun and shade. And while long summer days seem to provide the right ingredients – there are few things better than basking with a book – not all books are suited to the summer season. A good summer read must take you down a rabbit hole, bringing you on a vicarious departure from the hum-drum; these are not your high-brow contemplative tomes. As such, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites, a ‘best of’ if you will, of summer reads that you can fully lose yourself to; check them out below.

1)  Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut –
A satirical science fiction novel about man’s inevitable self-destruction, from the atomic bomb to ICE 9, an element that threatens to end all human existence.

2)  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez –
An epic and obsessive novel about all the ways we experience love, as told through the course of three people’s lifetimes.

3)  The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway –
A novel about the angst and futility felt by a group of expatriates living in Paris and traveling to Spain, post-WWI.

4)  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath –
The story of a young college girl in the 1950’s, and her eventual breakdown, while spending her summer in NYC at an internship for talented female writers.

5)  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami –
In the search for his wife’s missing cat, an otherwise ordinary man slowly sinks into Japan’s gritty underworld, discovering a dark history he must confront to survive.

6)  On the Road by Jack Kerouac –
The near-fictionalized autobiography of a young Jack Kerouac’s bohemian cross-country adventure, and the characters that come along for the ride.


What are your favorite summer reads?


(Chanel Little Black Jacket) giveaway

enter to win one of these

Remember that Little Black Jacket exhibition that was showing in NY? Well, I have two posters from the event, featuring queen fashion demon diva Sarah Jessica Parker and her virgin sacrifice the angelic Elle Fanning, and I’d like to give them to you, readers. The posters are in pristine condition, and measure 23 x 33 inches.

To enter this giveaway, you must be subscribed to wing and well by email (scroll to the bottom of this page to subscribe). Then, simply leave a comment below telling me which poster you would prefer. You should also consider following me on Twitter, although it’s not mandatory to win. In two weeks I’ll pick two winners (randomly of course), and then promptly ship out your loot. International readers are welcome to enter.

Good luck, and keep reading.

essentials (The Little Black Jacket)

Last week, Chanel’s The Little Black Jacket exhibition wrapped up in New York City (it’s now showing in Taipei). I arrived just in the nick of time to view the floor to ceiling black and white portraits of artists, designers, actors, and models all photographed by Karl Lagerfeld. The pictures were steely and sumptuous, capturing a unique quality in each of its subjects, while uniting them all with a single black jacket. Not just any old jacket, mind you, but the iconic black suiting piece that Coco Chanel first conceived in 1923, and that continues to be a key element of the brand (and its devotees) today.

Karl Lagerfeld explains the concept behind the exhibition in an interview with Gotham Magazine, “Every designer dreams of inventing the Chanel jacket. It’s up there with jeans or the T-shirt; it is gender-neutral—that is to say, it can be womenswear or menswear.” Initially I scoffed at that last bit (certainly Coco had not envisioned a burly man filling out her tweeds), but damn it if Riccardo Tisci and Raphaël Personnaz don’t make it look effortless.

In the end, the show gave me pause to consider my own wardrobe staples, particularly my little black jacket. Though mine isn’t a Chanel tweed (at least not until I swipe one off this kid), it’s every bit as versatile, and damn it if I don’t make it look good.

|ABOVE| Zara leather jacket, Iosselliani studded necklace (also seen here), Bar III tropical floral shorts, Zara basic sandal