What Makes a Good Book?



A little book update: I’ve been writing this book for a over a year now (a whole year! my god that went fast!) (inconsistently at best, there were more than a few months when I didn’t touch it at all) and have only managed to eke out 65 pages, or 27k-ish words. Only. I know that’s an accomplishment not worth diminishing, but sometimes it feels like nothing instead of something. Why can’t it go faster? Why can’t I get it all out of my head and onto paper? I’m toying with the idea of joining a writing group this winter, for moral support alone. There are fits and starts to this whole process, and then periods of quiet so buzzingly loud it makes you crazy. The silence is the worst. I’ve been sleeping with my notebook and pen in bed next to me, just in case the all-too-frequent midnight burst of inspiration wakes me, and I can capture every word (even if they don’t make sense in the morning).

But I’ve been wondering: what makes a good book? Is it just relatable characters? A believable plot? Flowery prose? There is no universal equation, as everyone wants and expects something different out of the books they read, and it’s why some people love one author but hate another, despite that author’s mainstream popularity. What do you want out of a book? Do you want to recognize something inside of you within those pages? Do you want an escape? A nicely resolved, tied-up-with-a-bow ending? Or is it enough to read something and know someone wrote the very best book they could? Is that enough? Have I worn you out with questions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Some Exciting News



One of the other perks of getting all of our engagement photos from Inna was the beautiful packaging it all came in. Everything came wrapped in tissue paper, our DVD customized with our smiling mugs and secured in a gorgeous, raw paper case. She graciously included a handful of free prints of some of her favorite shots, which I thought was an especially nice touch. I know I’ve complained before that weddings are expensive, but seriously, the one place I would never skimp is the photography. Feed me mac and cheese from a box at my wedding, I don’t care, but I want beautiful photographs. Inna has been worth it and then some.

I had forgotten, in all the excitement of that day, that Inna had also taken some solo portraits of both Jamal and me. It gave me an excuse to finally update my About page with a new, current photograph of me (I previously had a picture of me at 3 years old. Really.) as well as answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. I feel all official having an FAQ section! But that’s not my exciting news.

You’ll also notice, if you read that new bio, that I included an extra special bit of news: I am now a contributing writer for France Property Magazine! France Property a monthly digital magazine focusing on the French real estate market, from current market conditions, to all the beautiful views money can buy.


It just launched yesterday, and if you’d like to download it you can do so at the iTunes App store (currently only available for the iPad/iPhone). In this month’s launch issue, I’m sharing a gorgeous apartment for sale on the left bank. I am so happy to be a part of this publication; it feels like a natural extension of what I already do. Go check it out!