I am so excited it is the weekend! I just want to relax, and sleep in or at least sit in my bed later than normal and read. Then perhaps I will do a little baking and that is it! I am tired from this past week.
Although I have been busy these last few weeks, I did manage to read five great books and watch a few excellent movies.
I have decided not to write a review of each book for two reasons, the first because I loved them all, otherwise I would not have recommended them. Second, according to my sister, I give too much away and I don’t want to ruin these books for you.
I will say this, if you wish to know about being a female painter in the time of Vermeer or Rembrandt than you would enjoy the Golden Tulip. If you like Mozart and the story of his life and that of his family, with a little mystery thrown in, than Night Music is for you. If you are a big fan or Virginia Woolf and the celebrated White Garden of Sissinghurst Castle than you would enjoy The White Garden. If perhaps you are interested in Paris, and the everyday life of the rich, with the secret life of an incredibly well read concierge thrown in the mix than you would love The Elegance of the Hedgehog. And last but not least, The Bird Sisters, the story of two elderly sisters and the enduring power of sisterhood, hope, sacrifice and small town America.
As for movies, if you have not already seen it, The Light in Her Eyes is documentary shot right before the uprising in Syria. It tells the story of Houda al-Habash, who became a Muslim preacher at the age of 17. Houda al-Habash founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, 30 years ago. Her goal is to teach women about Islam by memorizing the Qur’an so that they are educated about their rights as women and within their culture and religion. Her thinking and teaching goes against conservative male clerics but she persists because she believes that women can be both educated, lead modern lives and have more rights while still following the traditional teachings of the Qur’an.
I found this documentary to be eye opening, no pun intended. I think that there are so many misconceptions about Islam and this documentary shows that the women of the Middle East would like to be educated, they would like to have more rights, and that they are not just following along behind their men like lemurs.
I also watched The Hedgehog a movie made based on the book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which I mentioned above. I loved this movie! It is interesting, amusing and thought provoking. There are mixed reviews but I do not really care about that, I think it was entertaining. Now, I will tell you that the book is definitely more in depth and complex, and frankly sophisticated. But this is a movie sometimes some of those complexities are lost in translation.
If you have read any of these books or do read them or would like to have a few of them too read, please leave me a comment and send me your address via email. I would be more than happy to continue the tradition of The Brown Paper Book Club started by Jeanne at Collage of Life.