Murder Mystery Novels, 80s Action-Comedy Flicks, Herringbone Floors, and Legos for Grown-Ups

Books, movies, interior decorating, toys… Here’s what’s been occupying my time and thoughts lately.

Tana French :: A friend of mine introduced me to In the Woods and The Likeness several years ago, and I have been gobbling up the Dublin Murder Squad novels ever since. Tana French’s latest, The Secret Place reminded me why, and has me going back to re-read them all again. With two sets of characters, each chapter goes back and forth in perspective and plot. I will admit I am not a crime or mystery novel fan. But every time I pick up one of her books, I am immediately engrossed, as well as impressed with her authorship skills.

Beverly Hills Cop I & II ::  These classic Eddie Murphy films (along with Coming to America and Trading Places) are staples in my childhood upbringing and film education. Having kids of my own, I have to wonder at how I was able to watch these at such a young age, but such is the case when all your siblings are at least a decade older than you. So despite my guilt at allowing my kids to watch it at nearly 12 and 16, I am reminded at how fantastic these movies are, how grateful I am to have grown up with films of this caliber, and wondering why they don’t make them like this anymore. True 80s comedy and action rolled into one. (And just to brag a little, I can do the Axel Foley laugh perfectly). Side note: I exclude the third installment because it wasn’t done in the 80s, and let’s face it. It was terrible.

Scandinavian Design :: This isn’t a new obsession for me, considering my Danish heritage. But after spending nearly a month there this summer, my love for the clean, mix of vintage and modern Euro style has been revived. And the timing couldn’t be better. I’ve been wanting to do some remodeling/reflooring in our house for awhile, and lucky enough for me, a water line in our refrigerator broke, secretly dumping water into the floor of our house for God knows how long. This of course now requires a new floor and kitchen remodel. So what is my current Danish design trend? Always has been, always will be WHITE FLOORS. But more over, white floors in a herringbone pattern. I am totally crazy about these little chevrons right now. I want them on my floor; I want them in my stainless steel backsplash. The pattern is elegant and old world without looking outdated. While my house is just a little track home in a subdivision, that’s not stopping me from making it as Scandinavian as possible.

Legos :: While we’re on the subject of my love for all things Danish, might as well confess my crazed infatuation with the old toy. Lego originated in Denmark (in case you weren’t aware) and the name literally translated means “Play Well.” I have done so since I can remember, and I’m proud to admit we have an outrageous collection of these things in our house, which include the Tower Bridge, proudly displayed with mood lighting, the Death Star, R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, and the X-Wing, and the VW Bus, Ferdinand. Legos in our house are not just another toy. So it was no surprise to anyone that I went ape over the Sea Cow (from The Lego Movie) since it’s a masterpiece of design and expert building. It too, now has a place of honor just here next to where I type, where it reminds me that “I am not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship” (Louisa May Alcott).

ObsessionsJulie Kanta