Yes. It’s true. I was named after a lingerie sales woman. When Mom was about eight months pregnant with me, she was shopping in a lingerie store and the lady who helped her was Crystal.

I have tried very hard not to think about why she was shopping for lingerie when she was eight months pregnant. There must be a sensible explanation. Maybe she was buying a nursing bra. I don’t know. The fact that she was only 24 and my Dad was 25 makes me sort of doubt it. Can we not talk about that?

The point is: I have never been sorry that Crystal was there that day instead of Mabel or Maude–although I do wonder if I would be more interested in sensible shoes than glamour if I had one of those names. From the size and content of the stack of books in my office, you’d think I was attempting to become a leading authority on the subject of glamour. I’m not; it’s just research for a project. (More truthfully, an excuse to read what I want to read.)

Forgive the fascination with Coco Chanel. If I weren't Crystal, I'd be Coco. But my brother-in-law just calls me Crusty--sort of a hybrid word he coined out of Crystal and rusty, the color of my hair. But be warned: he's the only one who's allowed to call me that.

Some of the books in my stack are about people who are considered glamourous. Others devote themselves fully to the subject in a scholarly way. And there’s one that no writer can resist—The Glamour of Grammar. I had no idea how MANY books there were on the subject!

I’m sharing my Glamour Reading List and inviting you to join a Twitter book discussion we’re hosting with some friends. To participate, read any book related to glamour. You can choose one from our list or anything you think is relevant. We’ll chat about our books using #GlamourBookTalk. Relax! You’ve got tons of time to find your book and read it. The discussion starts during the last week in September. We’ll remind you often between now and then.

The Glamour Reading List

How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great, by Karen Karbo

Glamour: A History, by Steven Ganelle

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life, by Justine Picardie

The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Glamour: Living the Beautiful Life on Little or No Money, by Susie Galvez

The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English, by Roy Peter Clark

Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Dawn of the Modern Woman, by Sam Watson

Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, and Everything Glamour, by Rachel Zoe

The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Café’s, Style, Sophistication and Glamour, by Joan DeJean

Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets, by Marcel Haedrich

Chanel: Her Style and Her Life, by Janet Wallach

Glamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of Form, by Judith Brown

Glamour, by Carol Dyhouse

Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You, by Simon Doonan

Beautiful People: My Family and Other Glamourous Varmints, by Simon Doonan

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins