You Are What You Read
Sylvia Weinstock: Cake artist to the stars 

Originally published on Medium, June 2013. Words and photographs by Melanie Dunea.


Tell me about the books you gathered — how do they define you?

I have very eclectic tastes and I love to lose myself in books. I love art books, reference books, mysteries, cookbooks, gardening books, and current political and historical books.

Is there any book that you despise?

I have no time for trashy or self-help books.

Which books made you fall in love?

Titles about art deco jewelry are something I have fallen in love with.

Is there one book that you return to over and over?


Do you remember reading any naughty books under covers at night with a flashlight?

No. If they didn’t have it in the Massapequa library then I didn’t get to read it. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading Lady Chatterley’s Loveras a pre-teen. It was titillating.

What is your first memory of books?

Babar the Elephant.

What are you reading now?

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. Her language is beautiful; it’s a story of sorrow and warmth.

Is there a book that’s hanging over you that you feel you must read?

I think I should re-read some of the classics. Perhaps some of the Russians. I would have such a different perspective on those books now. But it’s hard to keep up with so many new books that keep coming out.

Do you read regularly?

We subscribe to the New York TimesThe New YorkerVanity Fair andNational Geographic.

Do you like to loan your books out?


Do you have an electronic reader?

Yes, I use it to read at night in bed and when I travel.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Something like: Keep Going.

Life is a great adventure and age doesn’t stop me!

How do you select which books you are going to read?

Book reviews and word of mouth.

What are you going to read next?

I might try the new le Carré or Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson books.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

I like all books! Hey, that’s like asking me which kid I like best.