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On My Nightstand/At the Movies

January 18th, 2010

 

ON MY NIGHTSTAND

After complaining that I didn’t have a single book to read, I scored the jackpot. I had three library books I had been on the wait list for come in. I am reading the top three books in the order in which they are due back. I absolutely am enthralled by The Hunger Games. It is one of those books that makes me want to hide in my room all day and read. It is a futuristic, apocalpytic type novel. Very well written.

Missing Mark is the second in a series by a former TV reporter. I loved Julie Kramer’s first book, Stalking Susan, so I expect this one will be equally as enjoyable.

I can’t remember where I heard of The Believers, but I think it may have been a book recommendation in the New York Times.

Sarah’s Key is a bookclub pick for this month by one of my SIL’s. It is set in Paris and deals with the holocaust. I picked it up at the thrift store and can’t wait to get to it, but I need to get the library books read first.

I’ve seen Reading Lolita in Tehran so many times at the thrift store I finally picked it up for $.60. I’m not sure when I will read it because I am patiently holding back from reading Brava Valentine as long as I can resist. I am going to feature it for my other bookclub next month because it is my turn to choose the book.

FILM

On the film front, I have recently watched and enjoyed both these films on Netflix:
Caprica
and
The Devil Wears Prada
The irony is that 9 times out of 10 the book is better than the movie, but in this case I didn’t like the book, The Devil Wears Prada, but thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Even my husband was laughing. Meryl Streep was amazing and Anne Hathaway could not be more lovely. Plus, there was — of course — the clothes!
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  1. Beth G
    January 18th, 2010 at 14:25 | #1

    I just finished Sarah’s Key and struggled with parts of the first half, due to the difficult subject matter. But the story itself was enthralling and well told, and I just tore through the book because I was anxious to find out what happens to the characters. I hope you enjoy it as well!

    • January 18th, 2010 at 18:31 | #2

      Beth,
      Thanks for commenting. I had no idea what it was about when I heard it was for bookclub and was excited to hear that it was set in Paris! I love reading a good book and am so happy to have a stack of them to read right now.

  2. January 18th, 2010 at 18:36 | #3

    Those are not thin books! They all look good, and I have not seen any of them – new books to add to my list!

    • January 19th, 2010 at 07:56 | #4

      Andi, I don’t know about the others but I must say I am seriously loving The Hunger Games …

  3. January 19th, 2010 at 22:05 | #5

    Love these recommendations… I’ve read a lot of good books lately- I will share them with you soon!

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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.