|Terrible photo, sorry! Blame the short days here in the North...|
I got some lovely hand lotion (Molton Brown) and Simon gave us both a box of French foods: duck pate, red wine, chocolate truffles and the like. Bill bought me a shed load of Art Deco books, which I'm hoping he'll enjoy as well. My favourite of those so far is Art Deco Fashion by Suzanne Lussier (a V&A publication), but I've not got through them all yet. He also got me the film Turning Point. I'd forgotten how beautiful Ann Bancroft was. It was surprising to see how young Baryshnikov and MacLaine once were (weren't we all?)
My lovely step-children bought me loads off my Amazon wish list:
W./E. (I expected to hate this and love the clothes, but actually I really liked the film itself - both the story lines grabbed me. Madonna was slated for this film, but I have to say I thought it was quite good, and of course the clothes were spectacular.)
Let's Bring Back, by Leslie M. M. Blume. I wondered how this would compare with An Encyclopedia of Exquisite, but it's been a year since I read that, so I need to go back and re-fresh myself. I've learned loads from Blume's book and, at this writing, I'm only in the Ns.
An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. There is a lot in here for the frugal chef and she writes beautifully as well. Her chapter titles are beguiling and much in the style of MFK Fisher who wrote How to Cook a Wolf in the austerity of WWII. Adler has given me a lot of ideas to try, but she does seem to rely heavily on olive oil and salt. However, she gives wonderfully practical advice about a wealth of things, growing and using herbs for one, and she's convinced me to go back to boiling veg, if only to use the water afterwards. I've not finished this yet, but reading it - like reading Elizabeth David - is almost as good as eating a meal.
1939: The Last Season by Anne de Courcy. Having read her book, The Viceroy's Daughters - The Lives of the Curzon Sisters, I knew this would be good and it is. It has all sorts of vivid details about what people did, clothes that were worn, etc. but also very much sets the scene in the months coming up to Britain's declaration of war with Germany.
Keeping up Appearances: Fashion and Class Between the Wars, by Catherine Horwood. Her Ph.D. supervisor was Amanda Vickery, whose book (Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England) I so enjoyed last year...must re-read that soon. If you haven't seen Vickery's TV series on this topic, I highly recommend it (it may be on PBS in the US). Horwood's book was focused primarily upon the middle classes, with a bit about either side of them, but it fits nicely in with what Thorstein Veblen talks about. It made me very glad to live in this day, to be retired and to be living outside of my own culture (because the rules don't apply as easily to me). Whew, what a relief!
I've yet to tackle:
Art Deco House Styles by Trevor Yorke. I've only flipped through this, but I'm thinking I probably prefer Art Nouveau objects, but Art Deco clothing.
London Art Deco, by Arnold Schwartzman. I'm thinking we're about due a fun (as opposed to business) trip to London soon. Perhaps this will give some ideas about what to go see?
Art Deco 1910-1939, edited by Charlotte Benton, Tim Benton and Ghislaine Wood. This is a 'coffee table' sized book and it will be amazing, I'm sure.
I've been on a spring cleaning kick this last week, culling films, books, clothes and what-nots. Have to make room for new acquisitions, after all!
Did you get anything fabulous for Christmas?