domenica, aprile 30, 2017

Touring America by Automobile in the 1920s The Travel Journals of Hepzy Moore Cook by William A. Cook

This one another biggest dreams I have: to visit the USA on the road.

The beauty of the USA in fact is in its diversified landscapes, rivers, beautiful natural attractions, original people who you wouldn't never met if you just stop by in a big city.

So when I decided to request this book I knew immediately that I would have loved it.

Dear Old America I love you so badly.

Touring America by Automobile  in the 1920s The Travel Journals of Hepzy Moore Cook by William A. Cook published this May 2 by Sunbury Press, Inc. is an extraordinary book that if you love history, if you love to rediscover the country under a different perspective, you can't miss to buy.

You know what happen: time pass by, someone before us leave some old journals somewhere and then we read it, and we found that not only this material is interesting but realistically wonderful and a great portrait of the USA during the 1920s.

It's what happened to William Cook. His grandmother loved to keep journals like also loved to send letters and postcards to her family and friends.

Correspondence was common in the internal territory of the USA because sometimes a friend or a relative could live for example in the other part/coast of the USA and visits impossible often. So, letters, journals, postcards the only way for keeping updated with the latest novelties.

The grandmother of William Cook  Hepzy Moore Cook was a voracious writer.

Everyday describes fascinatingly well their trip started from Vermillion South Dakota to Yellowstone National Park, and return  years later.

In total 3.180 miles of adventures, troubles, dangerous encounters, stunning views I can tell you that reading this book is dreaming.

You will find along the way coyotes, geysers, abandoned cities, wonderful sites known personally only thanks to movies, people, and that wild landscapes and life that you can just classified as real and so dear and unique as it is the one of the USA. as, don't forget it, the hot. 
With her the husband William A. Cook and the father Ralph Moore.

You would have waited wonderful roads and streets, great automobiles in the USA of 1920s.
Forget it.
Of course it was a luxury an automobile and a trip more than an adventure for this couple and father. If it wasn't a story of wheel it was the engine, if it wasn't the engine it was the gasoline tank, or some other problems. A car wasn't a joke.

Roads at the same time were in a very bad state and a trip so long like the one attended by the three ones a real adventure in the unknown.

But Americans are not just adventurous but able to sort out all the problems with a smile taking advantage also from negativities.

Hepzy won't disdain to keep updated all her family and friends buying postcards and letters very often wherever there was the occasion for sending them constantly news about all their adventures.

At the same time everyday Hepzy found the time for compiling her journals plenty of, as you will see, informations about people, landscapes, places that they were passing and stop by. 
I imagine her after dinner, close to a fireplace created not distant from their tent,  writing down these long notes for the posterity and for the pleasure of remembering, better, impressing in a piece of paper an extraordinary moment of her life.

It is beautiful this corner of America told by Hepzy, wild and real. At some point during the trip the lady will write: "A reproduction cannot carry the impression of the original." Hepzy loved sketches as well but can we try to capture the essence of the beauty?

Of course there were encounters with wild animals like bears attracted by beacons and jam. And do we want to speak of phantom hotels or fishing in mythical rivers some great yummy trouts?
The Scott's had a tent loved to plant when there was the necessity of staying somewhere for some time as told and it gives the idea of a healthy outdoor life.

Then the return in 1927 passing through South Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama. This time without Ralph.
Kentucky appear suggestive and superb, like also the cities with their campus and colleges. Once left Kentucky and the production of tobacco, other adventures lived  through immense cotton field, black people and their children, in the State of Georgia, pictures taken of landscapes and people, postcards bought for familiars and friends and memories to remember and share thanks to the journal always accurately kept updated.
Ah, what a wonderful world would have sung Louis Armstrong. 

 Mr William A. Cook the husband of Hepzy, died at 101 years and  asked to put in his gravestone:

"The greatest thing a man can leave behind him in life is a wide circle of friends."
Wise man don't you think so?

I thank NetGalley and Sunbury Press.

Anna Maria Polidori

Beautiful Smoothie Bowls by Carissa Bonham: 80 Delicious and Colorful Superfood Recipes to Nourish and Satisfy

Beautiful Smoothie Bowls by Carissa Bonham: 80 Delicious and Colorful Superfood Recipes to Nourish and Satisfy is a colored, wonderful, beautiful succulent book that will satisfy you. For sure.Yummy!, the author developed this book sharing informations with healthy food bloggers and enthusiastic instagrammers.Each recipe is gluten-friendly and you can find recipes for vegans as well. Other are gluten-free and there are also paleo recipes. I didn't know this state but there are people who can't eat grains, diary. Other recipes are dairy free. The beauty of smoothies in general I don't know you, but it is what I feel when I drink one of them is this sensation  of cuddle ourselves, like when you prepare a tea or a mug of chocolate.
The first smoothie bowls found in Brazil in 1970s.
Ms Bonham told she joined a program with a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch another snack and a healthy dinner. What she noticed with many smoothies was this: the missing chewing that it is so indispensable and normal in our daily life.
That's why Carissa decided to choose another type of smoothies: the smoothie in a bowl so that people can eat and chewing being plenty, full and satisfied after their meal.
Carissa Bonham will later explain the type of tools you should use, introducing later the so-called superfoods,  the rainbow food that we should all eat everyday. Food of all colors, positive food for our body and mind. From Acai, Avocado, bananas, carrots, cherries, ginger, goji, to green tea, honey, mango, oranges, peaches, strawberries, yogurt, naming some of them.
Recipes are all succulent and delicious. Apple pie, banana berry,cherry cobbler, a bowl full of cherries, sunshine day,carrot cake, there re many many recipes for all tastes, occasions and seasons. Of course Carissa and the various contributors add that it's better to choose seasonal fruits and veggies.

Enjoy these sunny cookbook and happy happy smoothies bowls! to everyone.

I thank NetGalley for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori


My Garden of Prayer Beloved Prayer Poetry from Helen Steiner Rice by Helen Steiner Rice

A prayer is the key that opens our heart, and no one is unheard. In difficult times we should all find a moment for praying in a place where to rest and ask thanks to God for what we have or for what we need.
Tender, sweet, profound, delicate for every occasion, My Garden of Prayer Beloved Prayer Poetry from Helen Steiner Rice by Helen Steiner Rice is the best gift you can donate to a friend or the best book you can buy for yourself for keeping alive or review your personal relationship with God.It will be published by Barbour this July 1.

Christmas, Thanksgiving, every day, these prayers/poems written by Helen Steiner Rice  are a joy and a feast for the heart and mind like at the same time a meditation of the meaning of God and our relationship with Him according to my point of view.

There are prayers for peace, prayers for patience, prayers for hope, prayers for good times, prayers for thanking Lord for what we have received, prayers for the periods in our life when we are more discouraged and we don't have close to us anyone to listen to us. God will be there listening to us. There are prayers for blessing us, our house, for expressing joy, gratitude, thankful and happiness.

Enjoy this precious book because one of the best prayers book you can buy and you can treasure!

The cover is amazing! Celestial I would add.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, aprile 28, 2017

Letters to Strabo by David Smith

What a wonderful book is Letters to Strabo by David Smith published by Matador.

Beautifully written with an amazing researched, absorbing english, it seemed the transposition of a Woody Allen's movie in literature. There are in fact all the elements dear to the famous director.

When I asked at Matador to read this book I thought that it was a travel book. It's much more and what a joy!

Like it happened centuries ago, when nobles traveled across Europe experiencing what it meant visiting the best part of our corner of the world for pleasure, the same does Finn, Adam Finnegan Black, American of 28 years  starting in 1977 and fascinated, and that's the part I love the most by Strabo and its Geography and by Mark Twain and it's Innocents Abroad's book.
Finn will try to find portions of Strabo's works in many European's cities he will stop by like also Twain and Einsten's anecdotes and whoever possibly influenced this world through history or literature. .
His erudition will include James Joyce. Finn will follow the steps of this great writer as well as Hemingway.

Why, am I fascinated by this travel book? Because it's....Unusual and truly beautiful what Finn did because he is young.

It's unusual that a young erudite man wants to follow the past, in particular thanks to some old authors, for discovering the present and looking at the same monuments, roads, streets, panoramas, sunlight as did someone else lived some centuries ago.

For Americans traveling across Europe is a joke, because in comparison to the USA Europe is very small. True, plenty of monuments, culture, a different lifestyle but more reachable and accessible.

This book is a jewel.

Thanks to Finn, the protagonist we discover that not only culture and erudition is possible but I can tell you that it is truly fun and never boring if you do that in motion, with some gossip and following Finn! with his lot of sexy adventures, girls, encounters, food, sometimes a homicide when someone wanted to abuse of a girl, mixing up all with James Joyce, Shakespeare and Company, Peggy Guggenheim, art, Tintoretto, museums, galleries.

Every place is described meticulously, under every aspect and nothing is left at the imagination of the reader.

I wasn't pretty satisfied of the description of Rome. A place of passage. It would have been possible to write this world and the other of this city but I know that Americans don't fall particularly in love for Rome.

But...Thanks to these old thinkers, Strabo and Mark Twain the explorations of these lands more complete, more culturally elevated, and please, don't think I am snob because I am not, I don't travel from a life! just I love to seeing the best of this world, and I think that each of us should search for it and should look at places searching for the best and not just stopping by in touristic sites visited by everyone.

The fascination of the narration is more intense if you think that this man in love for a girl called Eve, a name I guess chosen for a precise reason. With this girl he will start a long-term correspondence.
Postcards, letters, phone calls, meetings somewhere in Europe when it was possible with also other sexual intercourse in particular with a girl called Francoise, pretty weird and rich.

The end is bitter-sweet like life is, but it will present to Finn the greatest gift he could have received from life and an existential choice pretty defined.

Highly suggested.

I thank Matador for this book review copy.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, aprile 26, 2017

The Radium Girls The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls  The Dark Story of America's Shining Women written by Kate Moore will be published this next May 2 by Sourcebooks.

I didn't have doubts: it's a masterpiece.

A masterpiece of humanity, comprehension, love, understanding, and a great reportage.

A book with a perfect, fluid, narrative historic reconstruction of what happened to the "radium girls" and where respect for the victims it's at the first place.

It's a book very readable, a serious, passionate book of what happened along the way and during the decades at many of these girls.

A book, The Radium Girls where these girls are back in life, thanks to  the humanity expressed by Kate Moore in writing this book.

You can see the various girls of the society of Radium Dial in Newark and Ottawa smiling and laughing, happy and satisfied of their life,  you can look at their life in motion, their desire of a good life for themselves still very young and their loved ones.
You can see them wearing beautiful dresses and hats, sunny and beautiful.

They were after all the "Shining Girls." At Ottawa Illinois these girls for joke, when they had some free time loved to add the potion of radium and other substance they used during their work in their eyes, mouth, eyelashes, then they rushed in the darkroom and oh: they were beautifully shining!

A basket of life, dreams and desires to realize for all of them.
Life was all a smile and life was very good to them.

After all they were the dial painters of an important society and their work very well paid. They could buy with their pay whatever they wanted because what they earned was a lot and a lot of money for sure and sometimes the pay much superior at the one received by their parents.

Kate Moore visited all the places in the USA where the girls involved in this history, lived firstly and worked later and she talked with the relatives of the so-called "Radium Girls."

She told that while she wrote this book she put all the pictures of these girls close to her and I don't doubt a second that there was also their guidance behind a beautiful book like this one. A whisper from the other world.
A book helped by good spirits will always be a masterpiece because the force who guide the author is not just human.

I didn't know anything of this story.

I have always loved fluorescent objects and since now I still had in my bedroom some fluorescent rosaries and other luminous objects. I don't love darkness. While I was reading this book I thought that it was better to remove everything from the bedroom! throwing away these objects.

You mustn't think that this one will just be the story of these girls, this one without any doubt can be considered also a narrative historic book according to my point of view and it would be crucially important that everyone would read it by because of  the importance of the damage caused by radiations and radioactivity.
These facts should be known by everyone.
Maybe with the time we have forgotten but we mustn't never forget.

The story starts in 1917 in Newark but ends up in recent times.

Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium in 1898. It appeared more than clear that this substance was great for treating cancer internally. Radiotherapy is called like it for this reason.
Curie remarked that the external use was toxic and burned the skin.

Radium started to be drunk, radium became a sort of magical potion. Unbelievable but true.

The story starts when Katherine Schaub starts to work at the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation based on Third Street, Newark New Jersey.

The girls working in that society were 70 before the first world war conflict but during the war the number tripled and there was space for everyone. Cousins, friends, sisters.
There was of course great joy and happiness although during the war girls worked under pressure.
Picnics were often organized and in general all the girls were very social.
Radium was  the "wonder drug" to everyone.

Grace, Irene, Mollie, Ella, Albina, Edna, Katherine, some of the name of the protagonists of this story.

A story of "Lip-Dip-Paint."

The girls while they were not painting put the brush in their mouth all the time. It was a custom, a habit. Their bosses told them to do that.

During the war the 95% of radium painted on military dials.

The first one to fall sick was Hazel although slowly most of the girls started to be very sick.

It was a problems of tooth at first.

A mysterious illness destroyed, dismantled, better, their mouth involving later their throat as well.

The illness started from the tooth, they fell with great simplicity, and we speak of very young girls of 20 years! giving at first  ulcerative problems, pus.

Then the illness penetrated in profundity demolishing all the rest of the mouth's bones.

A dentist "rceived" the jaw of one of these girls in his hands while he was exploring her mouth. It simply fell in his hands.

It was a horrible illness with a lot of sufferance and a devastating death for all of them.

I picked up some pictures to add at this review and well I looked for case at a pic of a girl dead for the devastation of radium. It was terrible to see but important.

At first dentists, physicians, and doctors excluded the radium; the first girl dead was diagnosed with syphilis but who knew her, knew that it couldn't be possible.

Later dentists and physicians tried to discover if this one wasn't a case of phosphorus poisoning considering that the girls worked in a society where they managed some chemical substances. Radium couldn't never be taken in consideration because it was an amazing new substance.

Many more Radium Girls fell sick and some of these ones became, when the stadium of the illness profound, unrecognizable.

At the end a family of one of these girls preferred to avoid the vision of the corpse to friends and relatives after the death.

At the same time in Ottawa, Illinois a town of 10.000 people more or less all catholic, a town plenty of churches, old habits, good people, a town that no one could reach with great simplicity the radium company decide to open a new radium society at the beginning of 1920s.
There was of course a lot of excitement between the female young population.

Work was very well paid and a lot of them joined the company with the same procedure adopted by their colleagues of Newark: let's: "Lip-Dip-Paint."

In Newark it was the chaos, ignored by the cheerful and happy girls of Ottawa, Illinois. At the beginning, they thought of a great life: for sure this one was the sign of a great present and a better future.

It was still unknown in fact the turmoil that was going on in Newark, and the desperation of dentists and doctors unable to cure with the known therapies these girls.

Doctors simply hadn't never seen a devastation like this one and although they tried to stop this illness with all their knowledge and best medicines, no one could diminish the process of demolishing of the the mouth of these girls.

Their hair became snow-white, they became very anemic, weak.
If the illness didn't start with tooth problems these girls started to limp.

There is also to add something else: we are in the USA and there wasn't public health assistance so it means that slowly slowly once these girls fell ill it was clear that they needed intensive cure ergo a lot of money  spent for a lot of cures.

One of them operated at the mouth 25 times!!! and the company at first didn't want to give them any buck because they didn't recognize any responsibility for what was going on, although with the time they introduced periodical controls and exams for the workers, and although the workers didn't never know the results of these tests.

All the money spent, the girls, proud, constricted to ask money to their families.

A boyfriend for helping his girlfriend married her because in this way she would have accepted his money.

Being this one an unknown illness sometimes doctors didn't want to be paid because of course to them these girls were subject of study but of course not all the times.

At the end one of these girl afforded to New York City where a famous doctor mr. Blum understood without too much difficulty that this one was a radioactive intoxication.

Mr Blum without any kind of shyness wrote to the radium company asking for money for curing the girl. The request was rejected, but later Marguerite found an attorney and filed suit against the United States Radium Corporation for 75.000 dollars one million of modern dollar.
Marguerite opened the road at a sort of "class action" and the case started to be known slowly also in the little and pacific town of Ottawa where the first symptoms of this illness started to appear in the girls like  panic.
The luckiest ones, the ones who didn't die immediately were later affected by leukemia, bone cancer and suffered severe cases of osteoporosis.

As wrote Kate Moore the legacy of the radium girls didn't just simply set different standards at work giving also a great contribute to science and medicine, but their legacy was also left in terms of legislation.

More than 100 of these girls were later exhumed and many bodies donated to the science for experiment. In general bones and tissues of the corpses of these girls reduced in ashes and then analyzed. The girls were radioactive.

The Radium Girls without to want to be that, and this is very sad because the process passed through their devastating death and their fight for recognizing that in that society something was terribly wrong,  were real, real fighters for a good, honest and safe workplace.
Dignity and health at work should always be at the first place.
That work that should have brought food on their table, joy, happy marriages, children, happy times, meant to them death. Only death and sufferance.

Work shouldn't kill anyone.

In more modern times the signs of their fight for obtaining justice recognized also after the second world war.

The USA bombarded with two atomic bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the Pearl Harbor attack and the devastation of the signs left behind terrible.

President Kennedy signed so the international Limited Test Ban Treaty which prohibited atomic tests above ground, underwater and in open space.

The danger of radiations ad radioactivity recognized by everyone.

On Sept 2 2011 the city of Ottawa   unveiled a statue dedicated at the Radium Girl and the governor of Illinois proclaimed that day the day of the Radium Girl.

This book is tremendously beauty also during the most difficult parts, when the girls start to be sick, when they start their crucifixion in terms of visits, hospitals, because told with true love, real passion, devotion for this story. You can visualize and see the various dentists and doctors at work. You can see their impotence and their trouble, like also their determination for trying to discover something more.

It was a battle.
The battle of the girls for trying to survive, the battle of the doctors and physician for trying to curing these girls, the sufferance of the relatives.

It's a story told with great heart and impact and I know that you will love it so badly.

These radium girls  courageous.

The courage to find an answer and where no possible the courage to change, the courage of sufferance and obstinacy for obtaining that dignity that the company didn't want to recognize.

The courage to fight against giant and silence.
Some of them complained that something wrong was going on when still in health but no one listened to them because that society was giving work at so many people.

Some of these girls tried to change work but of course once radioactivity is in the body there is nothing to do.

You will discover wonderful characters also in terms of doctors and physicians. These people as said changed the course of history.

I want to remember Von Sochocky one of the boss of the radium society, also dead because of radium.
Fired from the company decided to help with all himself these girls doctors and dentists, still in trouble and desperate for trying to find a proper cure at this strange horrible illness revealing the secret formula used by the radium girls at work but not only: Von Sochocky developed also the first tests for seeing if the girls were radioactive opening so the road to radioactive future exams.

Highly highly recommended to everyone!

I thank so much NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this wonderful and so wanted book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Photo credits: Pics from the website of the city of Ottawa and if I remember well the working Radium Girl's pic from the Chicago Tribune.

giovedì, aprile 20, 2017

Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith

It's a cultural human trip that could have been done just thanks to books, just thanks to public libraries this one chosen by Ali Smith for celebrating culture with Public Library and Other Stories published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Not only this book is an immersion in great, touching stories and memories, but also an homage to the best beloved British authors.

Books and culture present the possibility of enlarging horizons and perspectives and that's why public libraries so crucial.

Participated, with the contributor of 30 intellectuals, you can really enjoy this jewel of the British author.

I thank NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, aprile 19, 2017

The Pony Express Romance Collection Historic Express Mail Route Delivers Nine Inspiring Romances by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlachter, Connie Stevens, Pegg Thomas

The Pony Express Romance Collection Historic Express Mail Route Delivers Nine Inspiring Romances by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlachter, Connie Stevens, Pegg Thomas published by Barbour recently are beautiful short tales involving the pony express orphans and their race across a territory, the one of the USA, immense.
The service was active for just 19 months, covering the West and East Coast of the USA.

The tales are all human, simple, adventurous, accompanied by a Christian perspective.
God is everywhere.
In the hope of the protagonists, in the mind of the various believers. You'll meet the most diversified situations and plots but each of these authors will be in grade to donate you with their short tales a moment of reflection and beauty, an immersion in the past reinvigorating.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook

Anna Maria Polidori