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Francesca recommends books – and art! | Manolo for the Big Girl

Francesca recommends books – and art!

Here we have more of the superfantastic literary recommendations by Francesca, as well as Francesca’s favorite art print!

Before Francesca continues, she wants to know: Have you yet ordered your copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife, which many, many of Francesca’s internet friends have also read and loved, loved, loved?

And have you yet ordered the memoirs of Camryn Manheim, who shares her superfantastic fattitude in the funny and relatable Wake Up, I’m Fat!?

Good. Then we may continue.

Francesca was completely drawn in to the vivid, dramatic, and somewhat creepy The Virgin Blue. The critical reviews for this book by Tracy Chevalier, who went on later to write Girl with a Pearl Earring, were lukewarm at best. But Francesca found it fascinating. The book follows the lives of two very different women, who each live in rural France hundreds of years apart. It is true that the modern-day narrator is not as sympathetic as Chevalier perhaps intended. It is also true that the relationships between the two women rely on coincidences which require great suspension of disbelief. However, the story — especially the parts dealing with the heroine of the 1600’s — was for Francesca a real page-turner and quite chilling. Come to think of it, perhaps Francesca also likes this book because a certain shade of blue plays an important role, and Francesca is obsessed with blue.

Speaking of believing in your own taste, Francesca learned much from Wine For Dummies. Yes, ’tis true. There is much here that will make one seem more educated when attending a cocktail party: how to swish one’s wine, and what sort of glass to use with different types of drink, what makes dry wines dry and sweet ones sweet. But the most valuable tidbit in the entire volume is the encouragement to trust yourself, and not to drink a “fine” wine just because “the experts” say it is fine. “The best wine,” the author says, “is a wine that you like.”

Are you looking to “break into” freelance journalism? Francesca recommends this introductory book which explains how to think of ideas for magazine articles, how to pitch them, and how to write them better: Writer’s Digest Handbook Of Magazine Article Writing

And now, Francesca, who is a big fan of abstract expressionism, presents her favorite painting of all time, the “Composition” by Jackson Pollock:

Francesca could stare at it all day. Someday, when I move into a larger apartment, this poster will adorn Francesca’s wall.

9 Responses to “Francesca recommends books – and art!”

  1. also a dummy October 2, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    In the same vein as “Wine for Dummies,” I also really got a lot out of “Art for Dummies.” It helped me not walk around museums like an idiot going, “Oh, that’s pretty.”

  2. teteatete October 2, 2007 at 11:39 am #

    *eyes Francesca suspiciously* I think we were separated at birth! (I am also 5’10! *cue creepy music*)

  3. Margo October 2, 2007 at 5:06 pm #

    In the ‘…for Dummies’ line, there is a great little collection of books called ‘The Ginger Series’ from Awa Press that include ‘How to Drink a Glass of Wine’ & ‘How to Look at a Picture’, and others, they are beautifully written and illuminating. And have really cute covers. http://www.awapress.com/products/published/books/TheGingerSeries/

    Has anyone else read Eat, Pray, Love? With a title like that, I really didn’t want to like it…but I loved it. I understand the snark that’s been dished out, but it ultimately just got to me so much. Liz Gilbert’s other books are great, too.

  4. Christy October 2, 2007 at 7:13 pm #

    I liked The Virgin Blue too, but yes, the historical portions were better than the present day ones. I also liked The Lady and the Unicorn by the same author.

  5. Elizabeth K October 2, 2007 at 8:17 pm #

    Francesca, did you know they are making The Time Traveler’s Wife into a movie? It’s make favorite book too and I’m not sure yet how I feel about it being made into a movie.

  6. de October 3, 2007 at 8:19 am #

    Francesca, the De not only says “ooh! pollock! good eye…” (she feels her art degree requires such a response)..but also this:

    I have a print of my own personal favorite painting of all time, hanging ing my hallway at home – and when I bought the print, framed it and hung on it on my wall…suddenly the wall felt complete.

    This wonderful image that likes to sit in the corner of my mind now had representation in real space in my home, and its definitely a comfort for me. It was almost like hanging a portrait of a family member.

    Do indeed get a print and hang it with pride, the De says you shall never regret it.