After5

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Last night I settled myself comfortably on my couch to enjoy a historical movie called The Duchess. The movie is based on a biography of Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire. It is a beautiful movie, and Kierra Knightely is truly lovely in it. The costumes were dreamy, opulent, a perfection, although I can’t imagine how long it would take a woman of Duchess’ stature to get dressed in the morning. What surprised me the most was the mood of the movie. I expected something between Les Liaisons Dangereuses and  Le Ridicule, but it was not anything like that at all. Without giving anything away, I will just say that it made me very sad for her and the life she lived. Even though I am sure the movie makers have taken certain liberties while making the movie, they seem to have stuck to the essence of Georgiana’s story. All I can say is that I am very happy that women before me have fought for our rights, so at least in some parts of the world women are free and mostly equal to men. Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other parts of the world. but maybe the 21st Century will change that. 

Photo curtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Amanda Foreman  wrote the book on which the movie is based and from the reviews it received from the readers on Amazon it is quite good. I am going to add it to my reading list.

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For the past few weeks I have been reading The Idiot. It is a slow progress, slower then I would like, but it is not Dostoyevsky’s fault. I am too tired to read by the time I sit down with the book. However, I am enjoying it so much; every word is right, every sentence is so well constructed. And I love the high drama of every scene. It reminds me of watching a play in a theatre. The characters are acting with intensity so that the person in the last row on the second balcony can feel the full impact of a particular scene. It also brings back memories of watching Russian movies. The same atmosphere of drama prevails in them as well.

I got Ana Karenina for New Year’s gift from my husband, and I plan to read it next. You could say I am on a Russian kick. I read Ana Karenina in high school, and for a 15 year-old girl the only scenes that mattered were the ones about Ana and Vronsky. Tolstoy’s thoughts about the serfdom and other sociopolitical problems in Russia were not of importance to a teenager. So this time I want to appreciate the book in its entirety and I look very much forward to reading it. Of course, I have to put away The Idiot first.

If you have read any works of Alexandre Dumas, then you must have loved them. And if you loved them, then you must have wanted more of his books. Well, a few years ago a scholar in France discovered a serial novel written by Dumas, which was published over a period of 10 months back in 1869. The scholar painstakingly put the serial installments together, editing for inconsistencies and syntax errors in a manner consistent with the way Dumas edited his previous works. That is how the The Last Cavalier was born. It is Dumas’ only novel covering the Napoleonic times. The novel was published in the US in 2008. I gave it to my husband as a gift so he gets the right to read it first. But I am the next one in the queue…

So I chose to start blogging right before I went out of town for the Holidays, and that will not help continuity. But here I am  blogging on my Holiday. I went to Barnes and Noble today, and here are a few things I found there which just delighted me.

Did you know that there is a reprint of Daphne du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel? It is available at B&N for $7.95! I read that book many years ago and I loved it, just like any other of her books.

Another book I came across is an Indian cookbook that I have been eyeing on Amazon. It is called Indian Food Made Easy, by Anjum Anand and it was available at B&N for $9.95.  I have not tried a recipe yet from this cookbook. While we are speaking of Indian cookbooks, this book is excellent: 5 Spices, 50 Dishes. I’ve made Punjabi Red Beans and Indian Beef Stir-Fry and both were delicious.


Currently Reading

The Idiot by Dostoyevksy

Currently Listening

Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack
Evaristo Dall'Abaco
Chopin
Mozart

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