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Winter Reading

Current wisdom dictates that Christmas gifts should include something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.  In similar fashion, I though my holiday reading list should give me a bit of variety, so here I have something to learn (Couture Sewing Techniques), something to make me think (The Bhagavad Gita), something mysterious (The Muse), something to laugh at (Going Ga Ga), and something to make me cry (To Capture What We Cannot Keep).

    Bhagavad gita, the

    The Bhagavad Gita, a scintillating jewel embedded in the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna set against the background of war. At the beginning of the poem, we learn that there is going to be a great war for the rule of a kingdom. On the battlefield, with armies of the Kuru clan ranged against each other, Arjuna and Krishna explore the necessity of war and the nature of the human soul. The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita encompass the whole spiritual struggle of a human soul, and the central themes of this immortal poem arise from the symphonic vision of God in all things and of all things in God.

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    The Muse

    The Sunday Times Number One BestsellerA picture hides a thousand words . . .On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . .Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

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    Going Ga Ga

    'Why is my hair starting to go as grey as Blake Carrington's? What is our local pub called? Are bootcut jeans still fashionable? These are just some of the questions I'll never answer now I've had my first baby.' With her TV career hitting the skids and her daughter's nappy doing the same every two hours, her husband suddenly unemployed and the bank writing to her only in red, Mel needs to come up with a scheme, and fast: Move to a house they can't afford, of course! Welcome to an endless cabaret of sleeplessness, removal men, sinister toddler groups, husband-stealing lodgers and competitive mums.

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    Couture Sewing Techniques

    This title includes gorgeous photos, clear illustrations & concise language make this the most complete couture-sewing course available. Fashion historian Claire B. Shaeffer has opened the door to the exclusive realm of haute couture in her authoritative guide to the techniques that define couture sewing. And now, the industry bible, "Couture Sewing Techniques", has been revised and updated with new photos and a chapter on specialty fabrics. No one can unravel couture garment construction the way Schaeffer can, from the art of hand sewing to mastering edge finishes, from classic closures to shaping a garment for a perfect fit. Sewers of all skill levels with an interest in fashion sewing will learn the basics for skirts and sleeves, pockets and jackets, evening gowns and more, as well as, most importantly, how to apply the techniques.

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    To Capture What We Cannot Keep

    In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Emile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris - a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Emile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Emile must decide what their love is worth. Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Emile live - one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman's place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

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