Home > Film, Literature, Mangia! Mangia!, Style > On my nightstand, in my DVD player/Weekend June 27-28

On my nightstand, in my DVD player/Weekend June 27-28

June 28th, 2009


On my nightstand and in my DVD player

I am a voracious reader and avid film watcher — or more honestly I am a complete bookworm and film freak!  During the summer I often sit outside on my patio while my kids splash in the kiddie pool and read my latest book. Rather than watch TV, I almost always prefer to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine after the kids are tucked into bed. I can usually be talked into putting down the book, however, if we have a good movie in the mail from Netflix.

In the DVD

During the past two weeks I’ve watched:

 “Broken English” (note to all you francophiles: has a French angle and is a fun movie)

“The Reader” with Kate Winslet — an intense tear jerker worth watching

“Tron” I also somehow got talked into watching this again, but couldn’t sit through the whole thing

“Dead Man” with Johnny Depp. Love to look at the guy but got bored and went to bed

“Slumdog Millionaire” loved, loved this one

“Taken” with Liam Neeson. Intense action, great acting. If you like James Bond flicks, you’ll like this one.


On my nightstand:

“The Book Thief” I just finished this for one of my bookclubs and loved it. It was hard to believe it was written for young adults.  It is not in the picture because I loaned it to a SIL yesterday.

“Happiness Sold Separately” by Lolly Winston. I am a few chapters into this one and enjoying it immensely. It is a great summer read I can put down, pick back up later and get right back into it. I put it down whenever one of the books I have “ordered” from the library comes in. I borrowed it from a SIL so I can take my time with it.

“Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah. This is a library book with a waiting list so I am concentrating on this one the most and it is also the one my second bookclub is reading. So far I love it.

“The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama. I’ve only read the introduction to this so far.

Two chess books I keep meaning to re-read

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  1. Marsi
    June 29th, 2009 at 09:15 | #1

    Always fun to see what others are reading and watching. I have many of the same books on my nightstand. I am currently re-skimming “Entre Nous” and “Chic & Slim” while waiting for Colette’s “Cheri” and “Le Fin de Cheri” to arrive at my library. We saw the new Michelle Pfeiffer film “Cheri” on our last day in San Francisco, and I LOVED IT. Lots of great little bon mots, gentle advice for aging well, and gorgeous Parisian Art Nouveau styling. (My favorite period in history.)

    Netflix-wise, I watched “Six in Paris” last night while knitting. It is a lot like “Paris J’Taime,” which came out a couple of summers ago. Vignettes of the city, filmed by different directors — but this was shot in 1965 and included Godard and Chabrol! It was very good, very retro.

    “Broken Flowers” is one I have meant to see forever! I love Bill Murray. Now it’s in my queue, along with “View from the Top,” which was recommended as a fun bit of fluff by a Francophile on her blog … darn, I wish I could remember who it was ….

    • Kristi
      June 29th, 2009 at 10:17 | #2

      I just wrote down all those movies you mentioned. Thank you. Hope you had fun in SF.

  2. Marsi
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:53 | #3

    Thanks — we had a glorious time in SF. But today, a serious case of the blahs. I work from home (as an editor), so it’s not as bad as it could be, but still. Blah. I am trying not to think about the fact that last Monday we had lunch at Chez Panisse. The great thing about our annual visits to SF is that it is so inspiring in the kitchen; I always come home in the mood to cook and try a lot of new recipes. Really breaks me out of the recipe rut that’s so easy to fall into. I am loving “The Art of Simple Food,” which I know is one of your favorites, too.

  3. Liz
    June 29th, 2009 at 17:31 | #4

    I love that shirt – I know it was thrifted, but do you know the brand?

    • Kristi
      June 30th, 2009 at 08:20 | #5

      I just checked. It is called “2 much LA” so probably a pretty obscure brand I would imagine. I love the hippie bell sleeves on it, but it makes for difficult, if not dangerous cooking!

  4. June 29th, 2009 at 17:42 | #6

    Oh gosh, so many things here that are fantastic…the black shirt, the italian mama dress, your hair up (looks nice), and the stove got fixed! Yay! I have the dvd Broken English and I really like the movie. She’s so tragic at first but I love how she finds herself at the end and the happy ending. I have lots of the same books you have too. I am currently reading Lucia Lucia by the author you recommended and I love the book. I’m about half way through and savoring every page. I don’t want it to end.

    • Kristi
      June 30th, 2009 at 05:36 | #7

      I’m glad you are enjoying Lucia Lucia. My favorite of Trigiani’s is the Big Stone Gap series. The movie (Broken English) does have such a good message about love: loving yourself and loving others. Also on a totally superficial note, I want the nightgown she always sleeps in (the nude lacy one).

  5. Liz
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:50 | #8

    Thanks for checking. I always change into PJs or sweats or put on an apron before I cook. I always manage to get something on me.

Comments are closed.

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.