Eat, drink and nourish the soul with these 10 inspiring reads.

Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend by Meryl Gordon (Grand Central, 528 pages, $36.50)

Bunny Mellon created the White House Rose Garden for her friend John F. Kennedy. Married to the fifth wealthiest man in the country, the avid gardener wore Balenciaga couture even to dig in the dirt—the designer made her custom gardening togs.

Meryl Gordon, the author of Mrs. Astor Regrets and Phantom of Fifth Avenue (about reclusive heiress Huguette Clark) delves into the daily life of the grand hostess who made Kennedy's favourite corn soup. The opening meal takes place in August of 1961 as the Kennedys arrive by motorboat from their nearby Cape Cod summer home. Mellon provides the family respite from the Cold War crisis anxiety with a 'simple picnic' at her beach house.

She advised Mrs. Kennedy on everything from redecoration to gala dinner planning and dignitary meals. As Mrs Kennedy wrote to Mellon after a White House luncheon for the president of Chile: "Now even de Gaulle would think Versailles a bit tacky if he came for dinner here."

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