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July 20, 2024

LuxeBook recommends: Books and movies worth your while  

Ruhi Gilder 
As the first month of the year comes to an end, (unbelievable, isn’t it?) catch up on the highly anticipated new books, fiction and non-fiction, and shows that dive into the world of design, luxury, business and royalty. This list is sure to turn you into a couch potato, don’t say we didn’t warn you! 


Bunny Mellon Style 
Photo Courtesy: Gibbs Smith / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Gibbs Smith Books/ Instagram
Art and design aficionados will love this picture-heavy non-fiction novel about the life of style icon Bunny Mellon. An American horticulturalist, she designed the White House Rose Garden, and the landscape of designer Hubert de Givenchy’s home. She was a philanthropist and art collector. Authors Linda Jane Holden, Thomas Lloyd, Bryan Huffman trace her journey, her personal relationships with the Kennedys, collaborations with high-fashion designers, by speaking with people who knew her, spent time in the houses she designed with a meticulous eye. Professional and archival photography, watercolours, hand drawings, and sketches are included in this cleverly researched novel about Mellon, one of the most influential women in design.  
Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom 
Photo Courtesy: Carl Bernstein / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Carl Bernstein / Instagram
A memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein, a force in investigative journalism, is bound to sit up and take notice. Bernstein reminisces about his start as a newspaper reporter in Washington DC. He discusses the past of American politics, the Kennedy era, the civil rights movement, and crimes he reported on. For fans of non-fiction reads, Chasing History is a must-read for insight into the life of one of the greats in journalism. 
The Magnolia Palace 
Photo Courtesy: Fiona Davis / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Fiona Davis / Instagram
Lose yourself in the past with the New York Times bestselling author, Fiona Davis’ newest historical fiction offering. The Magnolia Palace transports you into New York City of 1919, into a grand mansion of the Gilded Age, where secrets, betrayal, and murder reign. It follows the life of protagonist Lillian, a sought-after artists’ model whose life has been affected by a scandal, prompting her to seek employment at the Frick mansion as a private secretary to heiress Helen Frick. The novel oscillates between 1919 and 1969, where an English model who chances upon secret messages within the Frick house, now a museum, that could uncover the mystery behind an old murder.  


Being the Ricardos 


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Written and directed by award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, this biographical film delves into the lives of hit TV series I Love Lucy’s stars, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Played by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, the former’s performance in the film won her a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress. Released in December 2021, the movie is set in 1952, and follows the personal and professional drama that comes with being a Hollywood power couple maintaining their career as well as relationship, apart from featuring on a much-loved TV show.  
Watch now on Amazon Prime Video 
The Royal Treatment  
Photo Courtesy: Laura Marano / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Laura Marano / Instagram
A rom com with a royal twist, this Netflix original focuses on the life of New York hairdresser, Isabelle who, through a chance meeting is invited to be part of the entourage for Prince Thomas of Lavania’s (a fictional nation) wedding. As she travels to the beautiful country, and spends time with the prince, sparks fly, and we all know how the story goes. Settle in with a tub of popcorn for a feel-good time! 
Watch now on Netflix 
The Last Duel  
Get ready for an epic battle with this Ridley Scott directed historical drama. Adapted from a novel by Eric Jager, by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon, the movie stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck in lead roles. The 153-minute period piece is set in 14th century France and explores themes of betrayal and vengeance.  
Watch now on Apple TV 

TV shows  

Photo Courtesy: Dickinson / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Dickinson / Instagram
Hailee Steinfeld essays the role of the world-famous poet Emily Dickinson in this Apple TV original. This coming-of-age story follows life in America in the mid-1800s, and the literary journey of Dickinson as she examines society, gender roles and writes her way to rebellion. Binge watch this three-season show that just completed its series final episode.  
Watch now on Apple TV 
The Gilded Age 


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Another historical drama series, The Gilded Age released its first episode on January 24, 2022. Created by Julian Fellowes, of Downtown Abbey fame, it is set during the Gilded Age, the lavish period between 1870s to about 1900, in New York City. The series explores the life of country girl Marian Brook, who moves in with her aunts, part of an old-money family in New York after her father’s death.  
Watch now on Disney Hotstar 
A Very British Scandal 


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It must be the season for period dramas, as December-end saw the release of yet another story set in the past. BBC One show, A Very British Scandal, stars Claire Foy and Paul Bettany, in titular roles. The show circles around the notorious divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the 1960s, an event in which the Duchess was vilified by the media for infidelity, as images of her performing sexual acts became public. The three-part drama portrays the misogyny of the time and shines light on the royal relationship that eventually led to front-page news.  
Watch now on Sony Liv 
Also read:
Movies and shows to look forward to in 2022
Bridgerton’s fashion diary: The Netflix show and its splendid costumes

Ruhi Gilder


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