Penny Drue Baird

Interior Designer / France; United States / Dessins, LLC

Penny Drue Baird’s Book List

I have always had a very strong relationship with reading and with books. There are few pleasures as satisfying as browsing in bookstores and then curling up with a book. Throughout my life, I have rated very highly that late-night read, preferably with milk and great cookies. Although a Kindle/iPad is the apex of practicality when traveling (even more so for me because I travel for months and I can’t throw away any book), there is nothing like the feel and weight of a book in one’s hands. . . . View the complete text
13 books
W. Somerset Maugham

This is a spellbinder. I couldn’t put it down. It’s another example of a famous author's lesser work being a star. Although it seems like a “woman’s story,” every man whom I’ve given it to has loved it.

Douglas. J. Preston
Mario Spezi

I have always enjoyed a good mystery, starting with Nancy Drew. This true story reads more like fiction than non, yet knowing it is a true tale makes it all the more fascinating.

Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary is my single-most favorite book. Brilliant in recreating the human condition that repeats throughout time and history, uncanny in that human nature hasn’t matured in the last 140 years.

Michael Steinberger

Any trained foodie and Francophile will be spellbound reading about all the very familiar places we love in France. Sternberger had me at “hello” when on the first page he speaks about his all-time favorite food treat in Paris—the praline millefeuille (napoleon) from Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. All who know me, know it’s been my number one favorite for the last few years.

Gael Greene

My total food guru, I have followed Gael since I was a pup. For me, there is simply no one like her. Reading this book was a fun romp and I laughed aloud many times. A must for foodies.

Anthony Bourdain

I read this the year I lived in Paris full-time, before moving back to New York City two days before 9/11. These two facts led to my hibernating in my house for the next year. Today, I do dine in New York restaurants, but Bourdain’s message about what goes on in restaurant kitchens behind the scenes stays with me and I “look the other way.”

William Shakespeare

Like visiting Paris, no matter how many times one reads or watches a production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, it is never tiring nor enough.

F. (Francis) Scott Fitzgerald

Perhaps overlooked in favor of “Gatsby,” Tender Is the Night is, in my opinion, a deeper, more intelligent look at complex psyches.

Penelope Rowlands

Having commuted back and forth between New York and Paris for the last ten years, what is obvious is true—visiting Paris is not even remotely related to living there. These incredibly sensitive essays strike right to one’s heart. They capture the essence of French life and have made me rethink more than one or two serious ideas about life.

Marcel Proust

Many feel that this is a difficult book to get through. Proust is complicated, but his descriptions of France, the world at that time, and interpersonal relationships are superb.

Barbara D’Arcy

This is my decorating bible. The tome has never left my bedside in all these years, and it was my single inspiration into the world of interior design. It subliminally gave me the message that a designer should be able to do everything, which is what my firm does today. Interior design is creating a fantasy for everyday living and, frankly, there are as many fantasies as there are people.

Alexandre Dumas

For many years our family did a summer reading book. The favorite of all our family was always The Count of Monte Cristo. It appeals to everyone, highlighting the triumph of good over evil yet exemplifying man’s vices. 

Michael Pollan

An eye-opener. Green this, green that, Americans are singularly unaware of what is going on in the food industry or where we stand.

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