Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Friday, November 10, 2023

My Favorite Reader, Paige

I hope that you had a good week.
  Ours was very quiet.  I am officially done with Covid! Today, I am venturing out of the house after being in quarantine for ten days.

The Mister and I have a busy day ahead.  I need to do a lot of returning of things after all of my impulse buys while feeling sorry for myself.  The Mister loves seeing me return things.  He's not so hot on seeing me walk out of the store with a bigger bag than I brought in, though.

Tomorrow, Millie is headed to camp while the Mister and I battle it out, putting up the tree.   I sense a lot of relapse naps coming into my future.

This is the first installment of the second season of the My Favorite Reader series. 

Let me introduce you to my fairly new friend, Paige. We have been following each other on Insta for several years.  When I moved back to Texas, we met for a three-hour lunch, and I felt like I had known her all my life.  I love catching up with Paige and chatting it up about pop culture, Bravo, and of course, books.

Take it away, Paige!

1. Tell us about yourself, i.e., your home state, family, career, etc.



I’m a Texan – 4th generation.  I’m single and have been my whole life.  I used to want to be married, but at this point, I’m so glad to be single.  I’m SO free to do what I want that I don’t even have a pet.  I retired in May 2023 from a long-time career leading a local non-profit called Community Partners of Dallas. CPD helps children involved with Child Protective Services with immediate and urgent needs.  It was a great job, and I loved being part of an organization that was a model for the State of Texas.  Retirement is grand!


2.  When did your love affair with reading begin?


I’ve always been a reader.  I’m a pretty fast reader and enjoy it immensely.  One of my childhood memories is being in the station wagon on a family road trip and reciting a book, to the amazement of my mom and grandmother.  The book was called Five in a Tent.  Loved that book.


3.  What are your favorite genres?

I really like everything.  I probably stick mostly to fiction, but I even enjoy a Malcolm Gladwell periodically.  One of my friends loves a mystery, and she gives me her copies after, so I read a lot of them.  I like making sure I read some “important” books and try to do a Pulitzer Prize-winning author a couple of times a year.


4.  Paper book, ebook, and/or audiobook?

 I mostly read paper (real) books, but I also have an Audible subscription and love those for my car.  When I worked, I could do one a week, just back and forth to the office.  I have it on 1.3 speed, so my Andy Cohen book recently (read by Andy) didn’t sound exactly like him, but it did.  It was The Daddy Diaries:  The Year I Grew Up.  

NOTE:  In case you’re wondering, I just returned from BravoCon with my darling nieces.


5.  What are the best books that you have read in 2022-23?


I read it in 2022, but Horse by Geraldine Brooks is the one I always mention if someone asks me what my recent favorite.  I went and heard Geraldine Brooks at the DMA Arts and Letters Live event a few months ago, and she recommended Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, so I listened to that and loved it.  It's very different than Horse, but I like to mix it up.  I also just finished The Candy House by Jennifer Egan.  I read Welcome to the Goon Squad (Pulitzer winner) some years ago, so The Candy House was part two of that one.


The Measure by Nikki Erlick kept me thinking (read it!), and for a laugh-out-loud book, try The Guncle by Steven Rowley.  Steven’s new one called The Celebrants was good, but not the laugh riot from before.

For a short and sweet read, I loved Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley, who is a Pulitzer Prize winner.  It is basically a fable where a group of animals band together to help a lost racehorse in Paris.  Jane’s best-known novel is A Thousand Acres; it is very different and a true masterpiece.


I’ve just realized I may have a genre – books by authors I like!


6.  What book(s) come to mind that you consider overrated?


Since books are my jam, I hate to call any out.  

I could never write one, so anyone who writes is doing God’s work.


7.  If you don't enjoy a book, do you finish it or not?


Usually not (although it rarely happens that I really dislike something enough to give up), but sometimes I do.  Before I retired, I mostly read while on vacation – so sometimes, the book was THE BOOK for the trip, and I finished it.


8.  Favorite place and time of day to read?

I don’t read at night unless I am on a trip.  I mostly read in the morning or afternoon in one of my favorite chairs – usually my bird chair (see photo).  Take no notice of the Hot Tamales…


9.  Your table is set for six.  

What five authors (living or not) would you invite for lunch?


  1. Andy Cohen is a great guest (he was our luncheon speaker at Community Partners of Dallas one year) and would keep the authors in stitches.
  2. Robin Quivers wrote my favorite autobiography called Quivers:  A Life.  As Howard Stern’s co-host of The Howard Stern Show, she’s seen it all.
  3. John Kennedy Toole wrote one of my favorite books ever called A Confederacy of Dunces – it was published posthumously.  It's hilarious and heart-wrenching, and I’d love to know what he thinks about winning the Pulitzer after his death.
  4. Jane Smiley (see above)
  5. Jen Lancaster is a comedy genius, and her book Such a Pretty Fat is one of my favorite books ever.


10.  What book(s) resonates with you the most?


The Bible.  Anything by Jen Lancaster.  David Sedaris – Me Talk Pretty One Day is my fave of his.  A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara knocked my socks off, as well as her other books The People in the Tree and To Paradise.  They are NOT light reading, but crazy good.


11. What is the funniest book that you have ever read?  The saddest? The most depressing?


See above for hilarious.  It was sometimes sad and depressing, but I loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Pat Conroy and Cormac McCarthy can wrench that stuff out of anyone, and Hanya Yanagihara will make you sob.


12.  What are you presently reading, and what's next on your list?  Is there a book you look forward to that will be published later this year?


I’m currently listening to Tom Lake by Ann Patchett – read by Meryl Streep.  Boy, having Meryl read your audiobook must mean you really made it – although I think Ann Patchett probably knows she is the bomb.  Next, I think I will listen to Matthew Perry’s autobiography.


13. Do you publish your reviews?  If so, where and may we have your links?


No, but you can find me every few years leading the discussion at my book club – the most recent one I did was Perestroika in Paris, and we had people who loved it (like I did) and people who didn’t love it – my favorite thing for a book club book!


Thank you so much, Paige, for your fabulous book insight and suggestions!  My download list has grown by leaps and bounds!


My exclusive discount on Boll and Branch for 25% Off with the Code: PREPPY25 is coming to an end soon.  This is the best discount that they offer all year.  I highly recommend the delicious bedding.

In case you missed my Insta stories, Colleen Rothschild has upped my discount code, PREPPY30, to 30% off sitewide.  This hair mask wins the award for my favorite beauty product of 2023.  I use it as a conditioner.  After shampooing, I apply and leave it in for 5 minutes.  Frizz is a thing of the past, and my hair feels so soft with great shine.

Hello, gorgeous!

I ordered this sweater because it reminds me of the old days in high school. I haven't gotten it yet, but I will keep you posted.

I ordered this sweater.  I am hoping the color matches the pic. 

I love the color red, but I'm kind of picky about what color red.

I ordered this blouse and really like it.  The fit is not too full.  The full-tent look is not my friend when you are height-challenged, such as myself.  The other thing I like is that it has some wool in it so it will be warm, which is great for me because I am always cold.  Also, the collar is stiff and doesn't flop over.

I ordered a pair of these pants and also these to see which ones look better. I'll keep you posted. 

Half Price!

Half price & lots of colors.

Half price.

I've noticed that this style is really popular.


Serena and Lilly is having a great sale.

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. So excited to be your book gal, Katie! Thanks — Paige

  2. I read Perestroika in Paris in 2020…. It was my absolute favorite and made me feel so happy. Good for you for recommending it for your book club! I wanted to but was afraid they wouldn’t think it was deep enough… my bad!

  3. Love this, so many great book recommendations! Added several to my growing TBR list.

  4. Thanks for the recommendations, and for the introduction to Paige! Tanya - the Other Side of the Road

  5. "The Confederacy of Dunces" is a long-time, all-time favorite of mine also.

  6. I'm glad you're feeling better Katie! That bird chair and the hot tamales...I know Paige and I would be friends too : )

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