31 July 2009

Weekend Reading List

I'm totally engrossed by this coffee-table book from Assouline called Maharajas' Jewels (Katherine Prior/ John Adamson), studying (jaw-dropped) the gorgeously reproduced photos, drawings, paintings, studies of some truly fabulous jewels actually worn by a (literarily) glittering array of maharajas, ranas, nawabs and nizams that stretched back for thousands of years. It's fascinating to see the jewels in context, the pearls that were larger than eyeballs, the turban ornaments bigger than the head, diamonds truly bigger than the Ritz. Some fo these Indian men looked so aristocratic and refined, some of them looked savage, but all were weighted down with jewels to make a taitai weep. Do people read coffee-table books? I was so fascinated that I tried to read this one, but it's not very comfortable is it, to lift this heavy thing up reclined on the sofa? For my art class, I'm studying a pretty little book Sara Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook, filled with pretty and neat water colour drawings, writings and studies journal-style. It would take a lot of practice to be so fluent, and I can only pray for the patience. I'm just so not-neat. Straying through youtube, I came across a Maggie Smith clip that made me nostalgic so I dug up E M Forster's A Room With a View to read. Miss Smith made such a very strong impact on me, when I was so little, as the fussy, passive-aggressive Aunty Charlotte in the Merchant Ivory movie of this classic! Does anyone have the DVD of this?

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