The internet has been teasing me today, which has given me the perfect excuse to read, wrapped in my new 100% wool pashmina (feels like being wrapped in a blanket, it's so warm). Before I talk about the books I wanted to ramble just a little. The other day I read an interview in my February issue of British Vogue with actress Andrea Riseborough (played Wallis Simpson in Madonna's W.E.). It is called 'Character Study' and what amazes me is that I hardly learn anything about her character. The interview is only one page long, with five pages devoted to photos of her wearing Armani. In the "interview" she says 'I don't shop', adding that most of her clothes come from charity shops. Why wasn't the interview five pages long with maybe one photo of her wearing her own clothes? Why do we get a fashion editorial every time an actress or other celebrities are interviewed?
I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for an artist that is only interested in promoting his or her craft. Is this really something that the majority of consumers want? Do you buy a magazine because someone that interests you is photographed wearing the latest fashion? Do you? I didn't buy this particular issue for myself (A brought it home) but when I looked at the content I was looking forward to reading this interview, to learn more about Riseborough as an actress, only to read one page and learn nothing, except the fact that she doesn't shop, and a film she stars in will soon be released.
Now to the books.
These days I'm reading two. The first one I got on my birthday last summer, Dancing on My Grave by Gelsey Kirkland (with Greg Lawrence). I started reading it a long time ago only to put it down shortly after, thinking that the timing wasn't right. That often happens with my books; they can sit on my table for months until the right moment to read them arrives. That moment has definitely arrived and I'm thoroughly enjoying it, sometimes unable to put it down.
Gelsey Kirkland was a famous ballerina (she now runs a ballet school) that, for example, danced and was romantically involved with the ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov (some of you probably remember him as the Russian in the last season of Sex and the City). Her story is both inspiring and heartbreaking. I have never studied ballet but still I find myself enjoying her vocabulary, her descriptions of struggles with body movements, physical pain and suffering, and how she strived to always become better. Of course it's wonderful to read about her success, which she never seemed to enjoy. She was her worst enemy. I haven't reached the part of the book where she starts using drugs but her thoughts on body image and how she used to starve herself are difficult to comprehend, especially when all the photos of her reveal a beautiful woman.
I highly recommend this book. I don't think you will find it in bookshops anymore (I got a used copy) but maybe your local library has a copy.
The other book I just started reading is called The Art of Travel, written by Alain de Botton. At this point I cannot really say much about it but what drew me to it were these words on page 9:
If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest - in all its ardour and paradoxes - than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival.
I had to include a photo of my furry friend. She moves so gracefully and every time I'm photographing something on that working table she tends to jump on it. She usually plants herself firmly on my stuff, as if she wants to be in the photo. Yesterday she lay on my magazine and watched the snow falling while my heart melted.