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Oct. 7/On my nightstand

October 7th, 2009



One for the Money by Janet Evanovich — Got this from the library for one of my bookclubs. It is a fun read so far. I’m going to hurry and finish it though because I just picked up two new library books today.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery — The chic women over at French Chic recommended this book to me. I’ve been on the library waiting list for ages and really looking forward to digging into it.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey — recommended by so many of you awesome women and also by my former priest! I am looking forward to starting this one as well.

Accidentally on Purpose by Mary Pols — Still re-reading this one by my former coworker for my other bookclub meeting next week.

I need to go back and watch the episodes of this sitcom based on her book. I caught the first one, but I have been so engrossed in reading that I have forgotten when it is on and missed it.  In fact,  I have been so happy with so many books lately that I haven’t watched TV for ages. Instead, I go upstairs and curl up with my latest book. I did watch one movie this week “Wolverine: The X Men Origins” or something like that (not sure exact title) It was a fun movie.

I should just aside the Kate Atkinson and chess books for awhile. They aren’t happening for awhile I can tell.

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  1. October 8th, 2009 at 03:44 | #1

    You’ll love the Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series!!!! It’s a blast until about book 11 or 12. I just finished 15, and it’ll probably be the last one I’ll read. It’s starting to get stale and repetitive.

    Can’t say enough good things about Dave Ramsey.

    • October 8th, 2009 at 07:17 | #2

      I actually finished the first Plum book last night! I like the writing a lot. She is very funny.

  2. October 8th, 2009 at 07:57 | #3

    I could never eat ice cream for breakfast! 🙂

    • October 8th, 2009 at 08:10 | #4

      Oh, I think I could eat ice cream for any meal. I actually made it for my kids and dh and he didn’t want it, so I ate some of it. It just melts and makes your oatmeal really creamy and sweet.

  3. October 8th, 2009 at 08:58 | #5

    Janet’s books are so popular at our library! Will your club be reading book 2 as well or is it more random books? Right now, our book club is reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and I have ordered the movie so that the club can have a special viewing. I love setting up things like that. I did have one lady bring the book (The Time Traveler’s Wife) back immediately and told one of our staff that she thought it was the silliest book she had ever read. This coming from a well read person, now it has made me curious to read. 😉

    Right now, I am reading a wonderful book, The Giril in the Green Sweater. True story based on her experiences during WWII and living in a sewer to hide from the Nazis. I am amazed at the strength and endurance she and her family had to have in order to survive. I have had to read it in small bits – taking in how people could treat others in that way. My friends, who had been visiting us this past week or so, had made a stop over at the Concentration/Work camps and shared with me how they felt as they walked through but also pictures…it is was the pictures that got me. Interesting that I would be reading the book at the same time.

    I hope you are feeling better. You look marvelous – as always!

    xo Cat

    • October 8th, 2009 at 09:10 | #6

      Thanks. Maybe I’ll check that book out. I visited Dachau before and still have such powerful memories of it.
      Our bookclub will read something else next. We each take turns picking something in that group. The other group, we have voted on books and have them scheduled up to next summer.
      Stephanie, I will probably start it tonight. I was on the wait list at the library for at least two months I think! And now I have three weeks before the next person on the list gets a copy!

  4. October 8th, 2009 at 09:05 | #7

    These are great selections. I’ve been meaning to look for The Elegance of the Hedgehog at the library.

  5. Marsi
    October 8th, 2009 at 10:07 | #8

    I just got “Elegance of the Hedgehog” myself and am about three chapters into it. It’s so much more philosophical than American literature. I’m fascinated by the idea that French psychiatrists have “prescribed” to some of their patients that they read this book. I hope you’ll blog a bit about what you think when you read it.

    • October 8th, 2009 at 10:49 | #9

      I hope to start the book tonight, but may not be able to because (YEA!) I just got two freelance writing assignments.
      When I do read it, however, I will try to blog about the book some and would also be interested in your thoughts on it, as well.

  6. Marsi
    October 8th, 2009 at 12:00 | #10

    That is terrific news about the freelance assignments. Congrats!

  7. October 8th, 2009 at 15:17 | #12


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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.