My Favorite Things

By Cornelia Read


1. Bouchercon


San Francisco was so so so so amazing. Rae Helmsworth rocked the Hyatt and put together an amazing team of volunteers, and this time it was like a really, really fabulous high school reunion only we all looked better than in high school and there were no evil cheerleaders. Not to mention Lee Child’s wonderful Reacher Creature party, this time open to all attendees for the first time ever, which is tremendously kind and generous of Lee to do for a lobby-full of 1600 people who, let’s face it, can probably outdrink the Shriners and the Kennedys combined. Not to mention tanker captains.

For a taste of what it was like (and to see the fabulous Ball O’ Twine sculpture), click here:





2. Roger Vivier shoes

Viviers are what Queen Elizabeth the II wore at her coronation (hers had 3,000 garnets on them), and what Cathering DeNeuve wore in Belle de Jour. Also, the guy invented the spike heel to match Dior’s New Look. Credit where credit is due–take that Manolo.




3. B. Kliban cartoons


I used to have B. Kliban sheets, in boarding school…

 4. The view from Nepenthe, in Big Sur…

 5. The Exeter-Andover game, especially when we beat those Smurfs…

6. Playing with quick snapshots from my iPhone until they’re hallucinogenic…

7. Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations…



8. Berkeley… and the sun setting over the Pacific in general.


9. Sargent paintings

10. The odd little brick building in the vegetable garden at Monticello. Those windows are triple-hung, so you can slide them all the way up from the floor to let the breeze through on all four sides, and there’s still a Windsor chair in there that you can sit in and read, or just take in the view.

10. Yah, too much “gracious living.” How about a little Velvet Underground?




 OK, guys, what’re your top ten this week? Movies? Music? Pharmaceuticals?

Here’s a bonus from me:


 The Photoshopping my sister Elena did of my daughter’s ex-boyfriend.


26 thoughts on “My Favorite Things

  1. Kaye Barley

    What a wonderful group of favorite things!
    Cornelia, I still have one of those very same Kliban cards. I just couldn't part with it.
    This Sargent painting is too beautiful for words.
    But I have to say I think my favorite of your Top 10 is Number 11. Brilliant!!
    I'm going to choose just one favorite thing from this past week, which was a week filled with some lovely things and nice surprises.
    Deciding to take early retirement, effective Feb. 1, 2011.

  2. Debbie

    Kay congrats!
    Cornelia, somehow I thought Kermit wasn't quite so tall!
    top ten? Hmm….
    1. Relationships
    2. Watching grace in action
    3. Listening to positive people
    4. Seeing the impact one person can make
    5. Watching what people can accomplish when they come together
    6. Creativity
    7. Ingenuity
    9. Beauty recognized
    10. Häagen-Dazs
    (Having created that list and in looking it over before posting the comment, it donned on me that 1-9 applies to the Murderati community…I swear that it wasn't intentional but thanks everyone for being the sumation of the list!)

  3. JD Rhoades

    Maybe I'm just projecting, but the woman in the Sargent painting looks like she's recovering from a long night.

  4. PK the Bookeemonster

    Great list!

    1. New books
    2. Time to read
    3. Snuggle time with husband
    4. Walking my dog in autumn fields as the sun is angling
    5. NOT driving in snow yet
    6. Fun with c0-workers jacked up on Halloween candy
    7. Drinking lots of water
    8. A song comes on the radio that you just have to dance to
    9. Getting things done on the weeknds
    10. Sleeping in on Saturdays

  5. pari noskin taichert

    Some of my favorites in no particular order:

    1. La Bajada hill on the drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe
    2. O'Keeffe country — Abiquiu, NM
    3. Fresh ground peanut butter and honey.
    4. Gardenias in winter.
    5. Babies' full gut laughter.
    6. Maxfield Parrish Sunsets in a real sky
    7. Curling up on top of the bed when I have too much work to do and allowing myself the pleasure of reading a really good book.
    8. Kodaly's Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello
    9. Writing
    10. Long walks outside in beautiful neighborhoods
    11. Dear friends

    That's it for the moment . . .

  6. Alafair Burke

    Love the photoshopping. So much more clever than cropping (or gauging eyes out).

    1. The white truffle pizza I just ate for lunch
    2. Saturdays when I don't have to copyedit

    All for now, sigh…

  7. Cornelia Read

    Debbie, gorgeous list!!

    Louise, the only bummer of Bouchercon was not seeing you.

    Dusty, that's why I like her.

    PK, YES! Especially the not-driving-in-the-snow-yet part. And it was so great meeting you in SF…

    JT, I think we need to be the B Kliban sisterhood…

    Pari, wonderful. I'm imagining you with a PB&H watching a sunset with a gardenia in your hair.

    Alafair, this too shall pass… and the pizza sounds awesome.

  8. Reine (Marie-Reine)

    1. Woodman's – Fried Lobster:

    2. Mountain view near my home (even if it isn't in Boston):

    3. The Newman School:

    4. Jacqueline Perry, MD – Rancho Los Amigos:

    5. Kendall:

    6. ChCh: Peck Quad 8 – 2B:

    7. Odense:

    8. The Huntington Library:

    9. Medicare and Harvard that paid $36,000 – base price plus needed features – for my new chair on June 4 (even though I don't fucking have it yet)!

    10. Medicare that just paid for my $644.00 shoes attached to my AFOs (not that I don't scream at the rehab military industrial complex who think a pair of sneakers should fucking cost that much! Here they are without AFOs attached, priced for the general public:

  9. lil Gluckstern

    Wonderful pictures, and I love Kliban cartoons. Really love the shoes! Thank you for the interview.

  10. pari noskin taichert

    Here's another one, Cornelia:
    20 lbs of roasted green chile, steaming in a clear garbage bag, and filling the entire house with the smell.

    That's one of my favorite things that just happens to be happening right this minute. Yum.

  11. Cornelia Read

    Reine, flu powder would be SO AWESOME!

    And Pari, don't rub it in. I was just talking to my daughter yesterday about how much I miss decent green chiles–you are such a lucky duckie!!

  12. KDJames

    I love your list of things, Cornelia. You're so impressively eclectic. But I only have one favourite thing right now. Plumbers who really meant it when they say they have 24/7 service and will come to your house on a Saturday night to replace a water heater gone suddenly horribly gushingly bad.

    Okay, two things. A credit card that can handle it. Sigh.

  13. Reine (Marie-Reine)

    Pari, a schoolmate from Albuquerque had his mom send chiles every November. My mouth is watering!

    Cornelia- Oups, I mean floo powder. Don't want you getting sick! And I don't need the Ministry of Magic after me, either!

  14. Anonymous

    A few of my favorite things:

    To welcome in the Autumnal pageantry, an unassuming but flawlessly bespoke glen check flannel burqa by Anderson and Sheppard.

    For winter, a lovely handed lambs wool and cashmere double breasted fine herringbone burqa , with waistcoat and black thigh high accessories.

    For spring, the de rigueur Eddie Bauer hunter's khaki down/feather filled (with last season's catch!!) burqa with obligatory Uggs.

    and lastly……….for summer……….the diaphanous virginal white packable Hampton Burqa Peignoir appropriate from beach to boudoir. !!!!!

  15. Cornelia Read

    Anon, you have made me burqa crazy! I parade around the house in the white number. Thankfully, we have shades. WHAT IS YOUR MAILING ADDRESS??? I have a letter for you that's actually stamped and everything… and the Hawaii books are so beautiful. And so are you…

  16. Reine (Marie-Reine)

    KD! Not your water heater! Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh! And you're getting ready for NaNo-ing?

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