giovedì, marzo 21, 2019

Literary Cafés of Paris by Noel Riley Fitch

Literary Cafés of Paris by
Noel Riley Fitch is a wonderful, little book and travel guide immensely precious for everyone interested in literature; for writers, journalists.
You should bring with you this guide once in Paris.
The cafés you will discover here are absolutely known and they became a name also thanks to the permanence per days, hours, months of writers like Ernest Hemingway, Apollinaire, and many more.
The magic of Paris is also the possibility of spending time sat in a café per hours for writing, meeting friends and colleagues without to being disturbed or judged by anyone.

Creativity follows different paths from the one of a common work.
Noel Fitch loves to spend every summer in Paris where she is, she admits, a café-sitter.

Cafés are lazy places, where creativity is possible because a writer observes the existence of a lot of people in the while, their conversations, their moods, political ideas, gossip.

Let's remember in A Moveable Feast the beauty girl and Ernest Hemigway's reaction at the vision of her. A writer lives of suggestions, gestures, ideas, thoughts said by someone; an existential condition touched for just few seconds in most cases.

Parisienne Cafés are, writes the author, an intoxication of colors, smells.

They have their own function, apart to being choosen by writers and journalists: they sell coffee, cigarettes, newspapers; you find a telephone; stamps, postcards are found in a café tabac.

Introduced in France in the 17th century the first one was The Procope.

For just a coffee and a croissant you spend hours in a parisienne café, although of course, maybe you would want to change location and café during the day, depending by your appointments, and what you are planning to do, and also places you'll visit.

People can think that the time spent by an author in a café is waste time, while it is not.
There is time to sit and contemplate, to dream and observe life, writes Fitch.
It was in a café that Emile Zola wrote the famous essay called "J'accuse."
The café is not just a literary place but also a political one, playing a role in various fields of commerce as well.

Let's see now some of these cafés where, once in Paris you can spend all the time you want, listening, writing, creating, and staying relaxed with your fertile ideas in your mind.

Les Cafés des Deux-Magots founded in 1875 has seen around Oscar Wilde, Grant Wood; Picasso met here Dora Maar.
Le Bar du Pont-Royal has been objects of interestes from the authors of Editions Gallimard.
Closerie de Lilas located in Montparnasse has been the nest of Ernest Hemingway because he lived close to it. He described Closerie de Lilas as "my home café." The visits later would have involved also Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Apollinaire was another affectionate customer.
The Dingo Bar an attraction for Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The restaurant of the Dingo became with the time an italian reality.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Beauvoir loved to create inspired sat at The Café Du Dome. Sartre was also an affectionate of Le Montana like also Goddard, Truffaut.
The cafés of the Latin Quarter are interesting. Here it's located the oldest café Le Procope founded in the 17th century; the Polidor and Lapérouse were founded in the 18th century.
Crémerie Restaurant Polidor was the place choosen by James Joyce Rimbaud, Verlaine, Richard Wright. Being close to La Sorbonne, serving a lot of students and professors, prices are cheap for everyone, and food pretty good.
Le Procope was the nest of the modern Enciclopedie wanted by Diderot and D'Alambert. Voltaire and Rousseau were affectionate clients. The founder was a sicilian man called Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli.
In the Right Bank Le Fouquet's was the restaurant choosen often by James Joyce.

Beautiful, erudite and at the same time useful book, plenty of informations, with also good introductions and observations.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, marzo 19, 2019

The Power of Positive Words What You Say Makes a Difference by Stan Toler

The Power of Positive Words What You Say Makes a Difference 

by Stan Toler, published these days by Harvest House Publishers, considering our times, it's immensely beauty and important.
Words create bridges, unity, harmony, love friendship; when not used well they become like stones thrown in the direction of people or situations, changing the course of history of a lot of human beings.
The book is divided in three parts, The Truth about Words; Strategic Word Use, and Attitude Before Words.
The author analyzes the power of words seen biblically,  with the wise words of estimated authors and wise men of all the times. Words are used for the best; for creating as it happened to a dream at Paul McCartney and his... Let is Be. After all what are words if not ideas put in motions into the world?
And what it is true is also that our positive or negative thinking and so words will create our external world. We are surrounded by positive or negative experiences but also influenced, heavily, by the TV we watch, what we read, people with which we interact with.  It is absolutely true that good words will  be in grade to change the mind of a person, bettering her situation. So, words are important because are a balm for the soul of another afflicted soul.
It would be great to say all the time the right word at the right time. For a co-worker, a friend,  a relative or children. In this case adds the author it would be absolutely indispensible. Most ex-children, so grown-ups people, lived in environments of psychological uncertainty, where they haven't been too much supported by their parents. Differently, in supportive families, children grow up with more serenity having experienced the beauty of words of their parents; good words don't say that parents musn't be severe with children, but being "psychological-wordly-supportive" help a lot.
With words it's also possible to express humility, saying thanks. We can apologize. Words are powerful. They should be used with frugality, but at the same time we should listen to others and their words, while, often we would want to speak and tell what it is happening in our life and so on.
What it will be important to do is to try to be positive, in every situation.

Once when some students understood how much Kipling was paid per word, they sent him  a certain amount of money asking of writing them down one of the words he loved the most: Kypling answered back humoristically with a powerful word: THANKS.
Our world is also populated by social medias, and it is no negative when these accounts are used peacefully and for spreading love and friendship. If too addicted you will find some modalities for not staying all the time connected.
Talkers. Larry King tells that to him they look at  things from a new angle; they they are enthusiatic; they don't talk about themselves all the time, they are curious; they have sense of humor; they have their own style of talking and much more.
The main message of this self-help book is to be kind people, in grade to be compassionate, helpful, good, decent human beings also thanks to the words we use in our daily life, because changing our world is possible, starting from words and a different vision of life.
Highly recommended.
I thank NetGalley and Harvest Publishing for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori


lunedì, marzo 18, 2019

Inside Terrorism by Bruce Hoffmann

I admit that this latest terrorist attack in Christchurch New Zealand scared me to death.


I have friends in Christchurch and the night before, the day after I would have learnt what happened in Christchurch, I sent some messages to a friend. I wanted to try to understand what it was going on in the corner of the world of my contact. She is the owner of the Queen Anne Chocolates. I found the Instagram page of that sweet reality, I posted some comments, that chocolates are truly delicious, yum, trust me, I put on a lot of weight when I received them years ago. Then I went to bed. The day after the hell.
The best book about terrorism, a real treatise, updated three times, in particular after Semptember 2001, is Inside Terrorism by Bruce Hoffman published by Columbia University Press. Mr Hoffman is a real eminence in the field. He studied terrorism per decades and wherever you search for him, he is involved in programs about security studies, terrorism.
Why this word first of all: Terrorism? Do you know? It started to be used the word Terror and later terrorism when Robesperierre instaurated in Paris and France the season of "Terror" a moment in which no one was anymore tranquil; where sunspect whispered everywhere and in every house; where someone could be killed just because considered someone not too friendly.
With the time, terrorism became largely an abrupt manifestation of terror caused for the most diversified reasons. Religious, political. An act of terrorism  wants to create a destabilization in the population and consequently frustration in the government of the country affected by it. Let's think for a second at what happened during the Twin Towers Attacks, where a new islamic radicalization in a structured terrorist group called Al Qaeda, tried to kill the Western Civilization "killing" not just wagons of people but also one of the most powerful and amazing symbol of the USA: the Twin Towers and many certainties. 
Religion and terrorism: a strong match this one, in particular admits the author after that  big ideologies of the XX century collapsed. Communism, democracy, were two certainties, but after that they evaporated,  what remained strong, in particular in the Middle-East, was religion. A list more long than a page will let you  see the power of terrorist attacks created, wanted because of religious terrorism.
After all it was bin Laden who tried to re-create, explains Hoffman a pan-Islamic caliphate, venerated, beloved. Of course the USA were seen as a country who would have played a decisive role for not permitting to bin Laden the creation of this state.
ISIS like Al Qaeda, tries to fight for the creation of this Caliphate as we see everyday in terms of departures of human existences.
These terrorist movements, in their different approaches wants to reach the same goal explains Hoffman.
These days we heard a lot the words: Christian White Supremacists. It was s suprematists who committed the horrible latest terrorist attack in Christchurch.
The USA discovered this movement, violently with the terrible terrost attack of Oklahoma City on April 1995. The terrorist was part of a white suprematist and antifederalist movement.
Sentenced to death the terrorist was killed.
These people, part of this movement are anti-semitic, they fight for bearing arms. This movement created with the time "citizens militias" Incredible but this movement has killed more people than not the Islamic terrorism writes the author.
As we have recently seen from 9/11 a new phaenomen regarding terrorism unknown  in the Western Civilization and in the past confined in the Middle-East took place: the suicide terrorism.
Why this? The author is clear: "Suicides tactics are devastatingly effective, lethally efficient have a greater likelihood of success, and are relatively inexpensive and generally easier to execute than other attacks modes." They are symbolic, ritualistic and communicative....


A complex combination of expressive and instrumental violence. Well, if I think again at 9/11 I would re-start to develop insomnia per months. I had friends in NYC, working close to the Twin Tower.


Being a psychological weapon, terrorists know that this one is a powerful arm. The terrorist attack of 9/11, was pretty unexpensive but the devastations still felt in the population in terms of loss. This kind of terrorism communicates violently a powerful message, becoming with the time an instrument of war....


I will stop here because I don't want to tell you all this book. Just let me add that the author won't forget in the book of analyzing what the terrorism is today and what it is becoming.
Mr.Hoffman  is clear and this book highly recommended to everyone.


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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, marzo 17, 2019

Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary Calvi

Dear George, Dear Mary by
Mary Calvi tells the love-story between George Washington and Mary Eliza Philipse. The author in the preface added that she wanted to write a fictional book and not an essay for fascinating much more the newest generations about these two young people who lived in the 1700s.

The first time George Washington met Mary, 21 years old was on February 14th.

The book will be particularly attractive to my point of view to all that men and women in love for wars, policy.

  • There is not a lot of romanticism, after all in fact. 


You will be catapulted in the life of a general and in a lot of military history. Of course no one can disconnect someone like George Washington from his first role, as general, politician, President.
At the end a rich bibliography if you are interested to develop some topics treated in the book, and if you want to discover much more about George Washington.

Recommended to men and women interested in military history.

I thank NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for this digital copy.

Anna Maria Polidori




The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Books Cartoons by the World's Greatest Cartoonists, Edited by Bob Eckstein

The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Books Cartoons by the World's Greatest Cartoonists, Edited by Bob
Eckstein published by Princeton Architectural Press is a wonderful book if you love books and cartoons; written with the purpose of celebrating books in every possible ways.

There are cartoons portraying Amazon, libraries, bookstores; Ernest Hemingway is celebrated close to Oscar Wilde; there are ladies of a Book Club discussing of their latest reading while sipping peacefully some tea. A mice is keeping company to the owner of a bookstore and the lady with some books on his hands sounds a bit suprised.
There are men in a libraries choosing a book from a shelf.
There is an author, a dog, pretty listened during a bark bark, woof woof meeting with serious intellectuals.
There is a man substantially buried by books with reader's block; maybe he is taken prisoner by million and million of words by the most diversified authors!
Someone else remark that no, his daddy is not a sportman. He reads.
Another cartoon will tell the story of these two friends: a man confesses to his best mate that he loves poetry but just when it is funny.
A woman cries to the man she is leaving her that she doesn't need him because she has a book deal.
We will meet an Hamlet transported in our times and with the necessity of buying some books, but...Amazon or not Amazon? That is the question.

Intellectually provoking this love letters to book through cartoons has seen the participation of 33 cartoonists like: Sam Gross, Roz Chast, Peter Steiner, Mick Stevens Bob Mankoff, most of them published constantly in the New Yorker. These cartoons will enchant you.
If you are in love for books, trust me, you know you can do that, I know that this book will become one of your favorite ones!

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, marzo 16, 2019

Book Learnin' A pie Comic Collection by John McNamee

Book LearninL A pie Comic Collection by John McNamee is a stunning comic book. I start to tell you this. I fell in love for it, from the first page. 
It's genial, intelligent, divided per chapters, you will find in these strips irony, benevolence, a good smile and laugh, what you need for re-balance your humor and your mood. And, can you believe it? This brilliant book was born when this cartoonist John McNamee suffered for a shoulder's injury. Horror! What to do? Because, you know, a creative can't stop thinking and elaborating the reality he is living in. Maybe, he thought, comics would have been, simplifying the work, a great answer. Sometimes geniality born from sufferance, mental and physical makes the difference because the brain under stress must find other "answers" for staying calm. John McNamee's works are published regularly in the Onion and the New Yorker. A strip: there is a youngster. He starts to tell: I don't trust my flag, I don't trust my parents, I don't trust the internet, I don't trust myself, the only one I can trust is this cock. Then the cock: he is reading a book: How to betray."

Highly highly recommended.

 I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

 Anna Maria Polidori

The Art of Visual Notetaking An interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting by Emily Mills

The Art of Visual Notetaking An
interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting by Emily Mills is a fascinating book published by Quarto.
This book will start illustrating first of all what it is a visual note, and the various tools and intruments, one of the most powerful one a journal, that you can use, for leaving a legacy, a passage on this Earth, of vice-versa, thinking digitally and with a touch of more modernity and leaving alone sadness, to communicate something important to a large or restricted number of people.
You musn't be excellent in drawing or paintings, you must present yourself, with the message that you want to spread.
Visual noting are great for business, convention, for yourself, with plenty of instructions for being a successful, satisfied visual notetaker!


Highly recommended.


I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori