Guest Blog: The Contessa’s Bibles

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Everyone has at least one bible. It doesn’t matter if you
are Jewish, Christian, Hindu or even atheist – everyone has at
least one bible.

Me? I have at least 5. Let me explain. A bible
can be any book that you cannot live without, that you depend
on for a lot of information and without it would be totally lost.

to 10px; WIDTH: 207px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />First and foremost, is my real Bible….the King James version. The
words and actions of my Lord and God are the most important thing in my life and I could not live without.

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But the 2nd bible on my list – and my first secular bible – is my address book. It’s not just for names and addresses but also for phone numbers at home and work, e-mail addresses, fax numbers and cell phone numbers. Mine also includes birthdays, anniversaries, names of children and school name (if they are away at school) and any food allergies. This comes in very handy when having someone over for dinner to make sure they can eat your sumptuous meal.

The Contessa’s definition of a Bible “Any-thing you can’t live without!”

I have a friend who takes it up a notch further and has her address book on index cards. She even lists what she served the last time these people were over and what she was wearing to make sure, heaven forbid, she doesn’t duplicate menu or couture.

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My third bible is”The Illustrated Dictionary of Antiques and Collectibles” by Judith Miller. Miller is one of the world’s foremost experts on antiques and she covers them from A to Z. The book contains over 3.000 entries, listed alphabetically. You can find everything from Aaron’s rod to Zurich pottery and porcelain. There is also a list of dealers and auction houses around the world and Miller also adds informative profiles of key craftsmen and manufacturers. The book is beautifully illustrated with over 1,500 full color photos. If you’re into antiques, this book belongs with you.

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My fourth bible is also antiques and collectible oriented. It’s updated yearly and is “Kovels Antiques and Collectible Price Guide” by Ralph and Terry Kovel. Sadly, Ralph passed away this past year but I’m pretty sure his wife Terry will continue the tradition. This is a very comprehensive price guide of over 43,000 items and current prices. It also has 2,500 color photos in over 650 categories and shows you 500 tell tale marks and logos. There are even a few stories of record prices at auction for particular items. If you are in the business, this book is a great help. It’s how I found out that an old Coca Cola tray that was laying around my aunt’s house forever was worth over $700. It’s also the price guide I use when pricing antiques that I sell and it’s also a great tool if you want to insure your items but aren’t sure how much they are really worth.

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Last but not least is a book that I use for entertaining all the time. It’s “Martha Stewarts Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook“. This is not your average cookbook. It is the most comprehensive hors d’oeuvres collection I have ever seen. The book contains 300 recipes, all photographed in beautiful color . I consider this book to be the most instructive, inspirational and indispensible guide for entertaining. This is not your chip and dip or pepperoni and cheese book. Some of my favorites include lobster and mushroom quesadilla, welsh rarebit in toasted breadboxes, grilled shitake mushrooms on rosemary skewers and fontina fondue with black truffles.

Now, if this hasn’t sent you packing for food, I don’t know what would. Throughout the book, Martha gives you tips on how to make everything look as wonderful as it tastes. I love the tip on how to make tiny cocktail bread with cutouts.

So these 5 books comprise The Contessa’s 5 bibles – for today anyway – the list is always subject to change or growth.

Now you tell me, how many bibles do you have and what are they?

Until Next Time… Ciao Bella!

The Contessa


Note To Reader:
Do you like the home-made scrapbook style address book show above right? If so, you too can make your own!! Find directions for this project and others like it at Fresh & Fun!

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • Like you, many Bibles but my favorite is the Guideposts Bible…on every page there are two translations so when I open the Bible, I see four translations at once. Very nice and helpful for understanding what I'm reading.
    My cookbooks number in the dozens but enjoy, during the summer, those that deal with putting up food or making food as gifts to give later in the year.
    My fiber books include knitting, spinning, felting, crochet, quilting, quilting arts, textile arts.
    Goodness! I'm realizing I could start a small library, perhaps not so small, eh? -smile-

  • Hi,
    I loved reading your answers to this question and I'm updating my reading list!

    Miss Kris,
    You're an Okie too??! I knew I liked you!!!

    Trinny & Susannah rank up there on the top of my list too! Have you read "How to Look Good Naked?" – It has great tips for fashionists addresses how to make every body flaw an asset!

    I'm certain you too would love Trinny & Susannah – they seem right up your reading alley! This was a GREAT BLOG by the way – thanks for being such a wonderful contributor to The Antiques Diva blog site!

    Smart addition mentioning marriage books, I might not have added them to my list, but I love books that help me put the focus back on my priorities and my marriage is my most important priority so I'm going to start reading more marriage books!

    I'll be curious to hear your Bibles! If I know you, you have a few funny ones hidden in the pile!

    What an eclectic collection – from Elvis to Martin Luther to Albert Pierrepoint and beyond! It sounds like it was a fascinating exhibit!

    Gros Bisous, A+,
    The Antiques Diva(TM)

  • What a brilliant way of thinking about the world of books. Thank you. I recently went to an exhibition of real Bibles in London and apart from many early originals was Elvis Presley’s bible, and one that had belonged to the misunderstood Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s last official hangman. Despite his macabre job, he was a thoughtful, religious man who did his job as humanely as possible. Even though the result was the same!

  • I’m embarrassed to say this but I don’t know who Trinny and Susannah are. But if they are part of your bible, I may have to check them out!

  • Toma~

    Where have been? Now that you are found, I’m so thrilled, love you blog and YOUR LIFE! From OK to here, wow!!! Simply amazing! My three bibles are The Bible, photo albums, and a few Graham Rust Painting Books! Can’t live without any of them!!!

    From a, once upon a time, Norman, OK girl have a great day!!!