Home > Film, Literature, Mangia! Mangia!, Style > On my nightstand/Nov. 19

On my nightstand/Nov. 19

November 19th, 2009

On my nightstand


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (not shown, it is now on my dh’s nightstand!): I finished this book on the place last weekend. We are discussing it at my bookclub meeting tonight

The Road by Cormac McCarthy — I started this in Sedona and it has completely captured my imagination, but I have set it aside because I just had a bunch of library books I ordered come in.

Dreaming in French by Megan Mcandrew — I began this last night. I can’t wait to get back to it. It is about an American couple transplanted in Paris told from their daughter’s viewpoint (so far that’s what it is about!)

The Likeness by Tana French — I think I heard about this by The Evening Reader’s  blog (see righthandside). Looking forward to starting this, as well.

The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio  by Terry Ryan — my OTHER book club picked this last week for this month. Will have to get going on it. I have either already read it or tried to read it in the past. I’m sure I will remember which when I get started on it.

Slam by Nick Hornby — once again set aside until my library books are read.


We just finished the last episode in Season 1 of Battlestar Galactica last night. (on netflix). Now on to season 2!

I will be hitting the movie theater sometime this weekend for the second Twilight movie, even if I don’t know what is called off the top of my head, I’ll be there!


So far, I’ve been offered two opportunities to post on here for pay and turned them both down. The first was a while back and was about plastic surgery. The second came yesterday and they wanted me to write about — get this — crotchless panties. No thank you. I will, however, post something for pay in the future if I think it will be relevant or interesting or at least nonoffensive, to you, my readers. Thanks for understanding.

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  1. November 20th, 2009 at 00:51 | #1

    Love your collection of books- we both share a love for Anne Barone!

  2. Marsi
    November 20th, 2009 at 08:55 | #2

    Crotchless panties? Good grief, what kind of blog do they think this is?? I’m also glad you turned down the plastic surgery offer.

    I’m impressed with how much you read. I read so much for work that, to be honest, it can be a real chore to do it for leisure. It’s not the great escape for me that it was for most of my life. Now, the escape is knitting.

    • November 20th, 2009 at 09:13 | #3

      I think I’ll always be a bookworm. I was the little girl who came home from school and went to her room to read the rest of the afternoon …

  3. November 20th, 2009 at 15:33 | #4

    I can’t wait to hear about The Road. That’s on my TBR. I hope you love The Likeness! I think I may actually read it again soon. I really enjoy her writing.

  4. November 20th, 2009 at 16:38 | #5

    HA! Crotchless panties and plastic surgery?! That’s hilarious!! I promise not to be offended if you want to write about either or both of those…but I applaud you for turning them down!! 😉

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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.