sabato, giugno 24, 2017

The road to Relativity The History and meaning of Einstein's "The Foundation of general relativity" by Hanoch Gutfreund & Jurgen Renn

The road to Relativity The History and meaning of Einstein's "The Foundation of general relativity" by Hanoch Gutfreund & Jurgen Renn is a book you'll treasure forever.  If you are in love for manuscripts and sensational discoveries like the one of Albert Einstein this book is for you.
Principally that's why I requested this book at Princeton University Press.
The book is physically stunning, superb and warm.
Big, the cover is dreaming if a scientist can pass me this enthusiastic expression. Orange, a page of the manuscript of Einstein's relativity impressed on it and a pic of a meditative Einstein  in the left part of the cover.

We won't find an explanation of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity in this book: no. This book is something else because we will directly read from the manuscript of Albert Einstein what it meant step by step, thought after thought what it meant the creation of the general relativity.

It will be relative ;-) it you won't understand everything or most of it or nothing because you are not into physics, the important will be and you will discover it, the passion put by this scientist for give a new meaning at the world and Universe as past scientists like Galileo and Newton did in their times, "updating" their thoughts.

We will follow his hand-written words, his thoughts, and if you know it, his language. In the left you find the pages written by Einstein, in the right after a first introduction, foreword, the explanation of the pages taken in consideration. At the end in another chapter a list of physicists, mathematicians philosophers relevant to Einstein's thinking and a translation in english of Einstein's paper.

It's a great emotion and I found this editorial project creative and original.

102 years ago the big discovery of general relativity this book was published for celebrating this moment.

I am not a physics, I have high school notions and this book is not a joke although it is very friendly and funny with wonderful illustrations and pictures.

I have always been interested at the general theory of relativity because of the new notion of space and time.

Page after page the theory of relativity will take corporeality. A theory this one born in three suggestive, beautiful and remarkable cities, Prague, Zurich and Berlin from a beautiful, original and creative mind.

Which were the principal revolutionary ideas of Einstein?

First of all let's say that everything we see is part of physics. A static body, a ball in movement, the tea we add in a cup.

The light is a wave, atoms exists, space and time are intersected and mass is energy.

There is also to add that last Febr 10 2016 it was proved thanks to an instrument built by the California Institute of Technology and the MIT that the gravitational waves exist. The discovery of gravitational waves represent to astronomers the soundtrack of the Universe and a new way to explore the sky.

This one an article of the Boston Globe regarding the discovery of gravitational waves.

Highly recommended if you treasure old-written important documents, if you of course  are a physicist, (I shouldn't add this, it should be implied)  and if you are interested to discovering the general theory of Relativity or if you are a student searching for a very good book for preparing your thesis about this topic. It goes straight to the point. Trust me! You won't lose your time. You go directly at the main source: the creator of the general relativity. You can't fail! ;-)

I thank Princeton University Press for the physical copy of this wonderful book!

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, giugno 23, 2017

The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag

I was searching for some books ten days ago and I decided to type for topics. I discovered  The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag and I fell immediately in love for this book. I contacted the author  and she answered me back with great joy.

I received a digital copy of the book and I read it very quickly. I also thank the staff of Allison & Busby for the help received.

The book is warm, very well written, and you will appreciate the wonderful writing-style used by Menna someone who loves writing letters and it's possible to seeing it because there is calm, reflection, meditation, moderation, very good times in the writing, the filters of common life and characters are portrayed with wonderful humanity, maturity, and the story doesn't suffer any rush .
Substantially the book by Menna is like reading a long, positive, relaxing letter with a lot of surprises in the middle.

Importance of letters is relevant in a society where this communication is rapidly disappearing because of the net, social networks and alternative, more instant way of communicating.
Why? Because it restores a value that it is constantly lost in modern times: privacy, discretion, sharing our thoughts just with a sender, giving to this person attention, love, consideration.
A letter's a tactile perception, thoughts and considerations written just for us or from us for some person we do care. A letter tells stories of distant places thanks to stamps, thanks to stationary, of a long trip.

It's a gem of joy, enthusiasm and reflection the book written by Menna.

Positive vibes in every page I fell in love for this book and let me add, originality is also the main thematic from the beginning to the end.

Clara lives in Cambridge and she has a precious store where she offers the chance of writing and sending letters to her customers. Of course her store is not so crowded.
A person once there asks for stationary, a pen and a desk. And then she/he writes his/her letter. Undisturbed.

Clara has a special gift: the one of understanding other people's feelings. Yes: she is magical person and strong of it, she loves to present to unknown people letters of encouragement so that their life can go on much better and will change for better.
She simply walks somewhere, after she closes her store everyday looking at the various houses and people, picking up a person in need, writing the letter as if she would know that person very well and then she sends it.
The destiny of that person is not anymore in her hands but in the hands of her letter, her words, real balm for the soul of the person taken in consideration.
The letter will be read and re-read hundreds of times since every word memorized and then life will discover a new sense again.

It's the case of Edward, for example a widow, still devastated by the departure of his beloved wife. Unemployed, devastated by this loss, he doesn't want to better his life anymore. He has a daughter, Tilly....

Clara doesn't have a man or children.

Once in the attic of her mother's house the discovery of a lot of letters  written during the last second world war by her great grand-mother Marthe, the mother of her beloved grand-father, a man Clara is very affectionate at and with which she lives a profound connection although he is dead from a while. His precious pen makes her company, his legacy of letter-writing, and maybe now, her grand-dad is ready to donating her the future as well with a shocking story from the past.
A letter in fact is for her.
For telling her exactly where she is now and what it must be changed thanks to this story buried in letters written in an another language.
Clara will try to search to discover more about these letters, written in Dutch, because her family was from Amsterdam going directly in the capital of Holland.

At the same time, there are other stories where Menna will introduce us also a wonderful violinist, Finn, two women in love for him, Geer and Ava (the first is a ghost), Ross, the man who knew the souls of people.

It's also a spiritual book The Lost Art of Letter Writing where life and death are intersecated, and where the ancestors will find the answers to the protagonists, or ghosts or people passed away recently will donate new life to their loved ones, leaving them changed for better.

I am more than sure that you will find these stories tender, original and felt like the principal one: the story of Clara.

I highly recommend this book to all of you!

I thanks Menna van Praag and Allison and Busby publishing house
for this wonderful book!

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, giugno 22, 2017

The Alice behind Wonderland by Simon Winchester

A lot of ink has been spent for trying to define the real character of Charles Dodgson, passed at the history for being the creator of a masterpiece like Alice in Wonderland under the name of Lewis Carroll.

But: who was this man?

What kind of connections existed between this writer with the children of family Liddell and other children as well?

Simon Winchester the author of the Professor and the Madman in this latest book The Alice behind Wonderland published by Oxford University Press  will answer these questions and more, looking at this man under a different perspective thanks to a compulsive passion that Dodgson loved to share with the children he loved to being surrounded the most with: the camera.

The book takes inspiration by some pics discovered thanks to an avid collector of Victorian books and materials: Morris Parrish from Philadelphia.
Mr Parrish was a very wealthy man and a student of Princeton. Uninterested to complete his studies, he was a voracious reader and book collector, a passion started by his dad with Charles Dickens' novels.
Parrish was in love with all Victorian literature and writers.
Not only: he read all the books he bought and collected.
He wanted that the books had to be in great condition and the term: "The book is in Parish condition" is still in use by booksellers for saying that books are of great quality.
Sixty-five hundred books were found in his house after his death in 1944 and in an album the picture of the cover of this book: the one of Alice Liddell. Dodgson loved obsessively to portraying children and this one was the little kid inspired him for Alice in Wonderland.

The book is interesting, original and not unidirectional.
Thanks to Mr. Winchester we will discover the fascinating history of the genesis of photography and how this new sport and passion attracted contagiously this young guy, Dodgson and some of other his friends and colleagues as well.
The book doesn't forget a good and informative history  of Dodgson's family, eleven children, just few of them married, sacrifices, the loss of the mother at a tender age, studies and success of this introvert boy.

We will discover that Dodgson loved to portraying children in pictures, spending with them a lot of time, particularly happy when he saw them around, deluded when they, normally, at last, grew up.

Enjoy this book a great portrait in pictures - pity that there is just a picture in the entire book although the description of all the other ones is sumptuous -  of a controversial writer like Lewis Carroll was, author of an immense masterpiece and classic like Alice in Wonderland is and will always be.

I thank Oxford University Press for the physical copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Thanks The New York Review Children's Collection!

Thank you a lot! The New York Review  Children's Collection @nyrbclassics, I received The Doorman's Repose today!
You made my day!

Thank also for the catalogs. I know that we have started a great collaboration!

I want also to thank Shelf Awarness @shelfawarness. You are great, guys! Thanks to your collaboration this one is the first book I receive thanks to you and your help.
You are fantastic!

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, giugno 21, 2017

Eratosthenes and Hyginus Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena A new translation by Robin Hard

Nothing is more beauty during a summer evening than to go out with some friends, in a countryside, choosing a field, putting there a blanket and watching the stars in the sky.
Stars: the reflection of our past, they speak to us of us, of our Destiny, of our existence while they reflect their brightness to our hearts donating us dreams, expectations, illusions, hopes. They speak of past, present and future and our stories and what it will be of our life.

We mustn't forget captains and sailors.
They have always looked at the sky for finding the route during their trips in the Oceans.

If you want to read the sky and its stars, with  a lot of curiosity for a particular Constellation, looking at your zodiac Constellation or the ones of your friends, relatives, there is nothing more beauty than buying this book: Eratosthenes and Hyginus Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena A new translation by Robin Hard published by Oxford World's Classics for reading under a complete different aspect, thanks to the erudite thoughts of these wise men of the past, what Constellations and stars are telling to us, with their myths, legends.
Discovering that there is a special map in the Sky, connected for creating a beautiful masterpiece of incredible stories just written by the stars for us and forever!
Greek's myths mixed and intersected with other legends will take corporeality in a fusion of old and new, passions and feelings, death and life, and the stars will become a real tapestry of stories, passions giving us the exact portrait and mirror of what life was, is and will be for us common mortals: life.

These myths stories and legends are our stories, reflected and seen brightly in the sky in an eternal perpetuity for every human being.

The Constellations, have been completely accepted in their complexity of myths and legends in our modern age as well, following the Ptolemaic table of Constellations.

They are our visible Heaven on this Earth and at the same time what we must expect from life.

Heratosthenes from Cyrene: he portrayed himself like a philologos, inventing this new word and giving to it the meaning of someone interested to many topics. Heratosthenes loved to study philosophy, geography, astronomy. He passed at the story for the estimation of the circumference of the Earth.
When he compiled the myth map of the Universe with his Catasterisms he amplified and gave corporeality to the classic myths told and known previously.

Aratus wrote a long poem about the Universe called Phaenomena a word that in Greek means things that appear, while it will be Hyginus with his four books called: Astronomy who later will complete the work. His mentor the book written by Herathosthenes.

Enjoy this reading! Each myth, of each Constellation is interesting.
Past speaks to us with intensity, feeling and strong energy and you will feel that also the Sky is human like the Earth and the reflection of what we do on Earth.

Highly recommended!

I thank Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, giugno 18, 2017

The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making by Christine Ingram &Jennie Shapter

Two weeks ago I went to the market at Umbertide.

It was a sunny day and I stopped by at the second-hand bookstore created by the Books for Dogs Committee, searching for some used books.
It's impossible to go out without a book according to my point of view, but I am a real addicted. This time I brought home some cookbooks.

I don't know you but I love bread. I grew up with milk, chocolate and bread for breakfast, bread with nutella during the afternoon when I was more little or bread and honey or bread, butter and jam.

I love bread because it exists, because it's our primary source of food, because it's good and because it gives the sense of goodness and not just materially but spiritually.

The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making by Christine Ingram &Jennie Shapter by Anness Publishing Limited is a delicious, captivating trip in the world of bread. Thanks to this book we will  visit many countries in the world discovering their best bread.
My edition is pretty old but you can find the book in bookstores or Amazon.

After a first section all dedicated at the how-to-do-bread, so tools, different varieties of flour, various tips, because more than sure once you will finish to read this book you will want to try some culinary bread-trip somewhere in the world, the book dedicates a long yummy! section at the bread in the world.

Europe apart with a long section starting from UK, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, then North Africa, Jewish bread, North American bread, Caribbean and Mexican bread, Australian, Indian and Japanese bread.

The second part, after this long introduction, all spent by the authors sharing with the readers various recipes of these countries explaining step-by-step how to prepare the most delicious bread you have ever tasted.
The cover and illustrations are beautiful, colored, extremely succulent and captivating.

I thank Books for Dogs for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

One Unity in a Divided World by Deidra Riggs

The Bible says: "If it is possible as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
This book, published by Baker Books, One Unity in a Divided World by Deidra Riggs, wants to focus about oneness and unity in the church and in our society.
Very often we are like lost and we build walls that divide us from the other ones.
It can be because of a racial story, the author is a lady of color and she feels this sentiment so badly because there is a heavy racial history unfortunately in the USA, but also other reasons for discriminating people.
Someone different from us, with different customs, culture, place, religion.
And not only: maybe we don't believe sufficiently at the good actions of God.
God, says the author loves everyone. We must just search for his unconditional love.
But so what should we do? We should search for Oneness, so the capacity of interacting with everyone in positive ways in this world considering every human being as our brother because we are all brothers in every part of the world we live in.
Inclusion can be another word.
In this way there wouldn't be anymore any kind of division because we would be all equals and it's a great attitude this one. When a stranger for example is coming to our town we should embrace the person as if we would have known him/her from a life and not with circumspection. This one is real brotherhood. We should be in grade to reconciliate ourselves with other people and when necessary with God, and at the same time we should try to help others extending our grace to them, for "letting God be God in the life of another person" writes Deidra.
Space: space for reconciliation, for forgiveness, for grace.
Is it possible during a big disgrace to forgive?
Some people did it. I remember when  a very disturbed young white man killed various people of colors in the USA with a gun.
The most shocking reaction apart this senseless action, the reaction of the familiars: "We forgive you for what you did."
Shockingly beauty, intense because there was an immensity tremendously beauty and pure in this act, in these words, and in the terrible tragedy occurred to their dear ones that you would have thought that maybe some moment of reflections would have been necessary to their souls. They have been in grade to forgive. Immediately, without to thinking too much. Admirably beauty.
Let's try to develop mercy and compassion.
Where are human's limits? Our limits are our comfort zones and our impossibility to look at the other one as at a resource, a possibility of discovery and knowledge through a new friendship. Building bridges is better than building walls that won't bring anywhere because will close our horizons.
What it is important to do is to work in progress, for growing up leaving all the doors opened.

Sometimes Deidra told she closed doors to other people for discovering later that her neighbors were like her: people with questions, people with answers or "in need of grace" she writes. 

The main message by Deidra Riggs is to try to understand everyone, every point of view, because we are all creatures of God and in God once we will all return.
And do you know the irony?
Our enemies included.

I thank Baker Books Bloggers for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori