" />Reviews Published 50 Book Reviews Professional Reader 2016 NetGalley Challenge

lunedì, maggio 21, 2018

Star Song They Met Jesus: A Child's Life of Christ by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Star Song They Met Jesus: A Child's Life of Christ is the first eBook of a long series of 8 eBooks written by the christian author Katheryn Maddox Haddad.
In this first eBook the author tells us the beautiful arrival of Jesus Christ in the world. It is not just a touching and well-explained eBook perfect for Christmas but also for this season (after all Christmas should be in our heart everyday isn't it true?)

You will discover more closely the characters of Mary, a teenager gifted by the arrival of a baby although still a virgin thanks to God's help, Joseph her future husband, a pure soul, Elizabeth the cousin of Maria an old lonely and sad lady gifted by God with the presence of a child when not anymore young. Other important elements of this tale the barn where Jesus Christ was born and then the arrival of shepherds because of the angelic presences, messengers in the world for spreading great news and a revolutionary element: the arrival of this little baby called Jesus in grade to mark history in a pretty great way.

Angels will always be close to all our protagonists announcing just beautiful arrivals: the pregnancy of Saint Mary, and then the birth of Jesus Christ to shepherds.

Other important portraits the one of Anna and Simeon, Zecharia and the Wise Men.

History and miracles, oppressive men, social difficult situations and reality walk together in this wonderful ebook.

Each chapter closes with some little big meditations for bettering ourselves.

I thank so much the author for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Modern Cider by Emma Christensen

Are you searching for a book plenty of informations about cider?
Your secret dream was the one to become a master in the art of making great apple cider and now you would want to realize this dream?
Do you want to discover the most modern recipes associated with cider?
Good: Modern Cider by Emma Christensen photography by Kelly Puleio is for all of you!

I picked up this book because I am apple lover and I was curious about cider.

This book will help you for obtain with joy a wonderful homemade cider thanks to the instructions given by the author, beautiful pictures starting from... Apples, what they are their main characterizations and specificities, how to mix them for obtain a good cider, tools you need  for an excellent result without forgetting the best recipes for wonderful drinks.

I thank NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, maggio 19, 2018

Peggy Guggenheim The Shock of the Modern by Francine Prose

I am very enthusiastic by this book Peggy Guggenheim The Shock of the Modern by Francine Prose published by Yale Press and Jewish Lives. The author presents a vivacious book, a stunning biography, a vivid and fresh portrait of one of the most important icons of the last century.

What a woman Peggy Guggenheim was!
I confess that I knew the Guggenheim Museum but I hadn't never read anything relevant involving the founder.

So, the phrase of Peggy Guggenheim: "I am not an art collector. I am a museum" with me was more than perfect.

The life of Peggy Guggenheim has been incredible, true, sordid sometimes, yes,  but also pretty normal for the standard of a person like her according to my point of view.

In general a life of a creative is not like the typical life of a business man and doesn't follow the common trajectories that should have.

A real artist, someone with different visions won't never live a common life. It's sad because she will be "different" but in the scheme of life is perfect because in that way that creative soul won't be killed by monotony.

Not only the one of Peggy Guggenheim hasn't been at all a boring, sad, monotonous life but it was pervaded and moved by two main forces: sex of every kind with a lot of diversified partners and art.

These ones her two main additions. As the author remarks in several passages of the book she hasn't been a mother for her two children.

Peggy Guggenheim's dad died like many other people of the so-called elite during the inauguration trip of the Titanic,  while he was helping other people leaving them the available place in the lifeboat. A gentleman.
Guggenheim was incredibly wealthy and same was for Peggy although some friends thought that maybe her standard was less wealthy than the one of her dad.

Why Peggy started to fall in love for art? She was born in an environment where she could breath culture. Then thanks to a bookstore and later new trips to Europe she started to fall in love for art.

Contemporary art, in particular avant-garde, that one interested her a lot.

About men and women, oh wow! If you go for something like that in this detailed, intriguing, captivating book you will find incredible love-stories, some of them with tragic epilogues but all of them lived by Peggy Guggenheim with all herself.
She loved her men and later she would have loved  to remark them her richness and her being the first one, trying to keep her lovers and friends dependent financially, emotionally or erotically by her.
She could be terribly generous with some friends and ex-husband, Vail is an example, assisted for all the rest of his life in a monthly base, or pretty stingy.
If you were so lucky of being invited in one of her feasts in her palace Venier dei Leoni when she lived per decades in Venice, great! It was an honor for sure for you but you hadn't to imagine great food, champagne. There was the cheapest wine she could find and just some little food.
Peggy loved to keep all her money under control, her expenses, but in this sense I don't think that it was a Jewish treat. It's common, in artists, painters, catholic and of other religious confessions as well.
They're stingy for surviving or just for going on. In the case of Peggy Guggenheim, this lady although very rich was buying a lot of expensive art. She enjoyed social life, saving money for buying art.

Peggy Guggenheim was born for enjoying sexual pleasures,  trips, art, but also for leaving to the world an immense legacy: a real museum!

One of her lovers was a young Samuel Beckett Nobel Prize later, but in general Peggy loved to experience sexual relationship with all artists she interacted with and when tired of the man of that moment she tried to find a lover for him. She did the same for Vail her first husband.
She was generous in this sense, although sometimes it meant  a catastrophe. Most of her important relationship ended up with violent discussions and not just verbals.

Her children didn't exactly grow up in the most appropriate domestic atmosphere and Pegeen paid the highest price for all of it deciding one day of killing herself.

Perfection doesn't exist and if a person can be perfect in a field, in another can be "distracted."

Peggy Guggenheim was beauty?
In the cover of this book I don't see an ugly woman although Guggenheim's problem was her nose. She tried to fix the problem but she increased this fixation because plastic surgery was at the beginning. She was sad of not being beauty because most of her friends including Casati were beautiful women and it meant a lot in that social class. But after all although Peggy Guggenheim wasn't as beauty as the standard of that time required she had a lot of men and women, an adoring court, a lot of friends.
She was a lady of culture, she was a wealthy, someone who loved to take care of her friends, and someone in love for art. Artists loved her because they understood that she was serious in her intentions.
Before the arrival of the Second World War, Peggy escaped in the USA with her friends, ex husbands directed to the USA and bringing with her the art that in the while she had accumulated.

Then, after the creation of Art of this Century, the promotion of Jackson Pollock still an emerging artist, and many other ones, the idea of leaving the USA for a place in Europe where setting her museum. Forever.
But where?

Thanks to the Biennale she visited once to Venice, Peggy fell in love for that city and she ended up to create the museum in the Serenissima.

She spent in that beautiful italian city decades. Her guests and friends were Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Prince Philip and many other ones.

But, what will remain of her are not her excesses, are not her eccentricities, are not her family-problems but the words of a proprietor of a café on the edge of Campo Sant'Aponal, who synthesizes her life and legacy very well. When ms.Prose told him that she was in Venice because she was writing a book about Peggy Guggenheim that man's eyes became bright: "Oh, la Peggy!"
And he started to tell.
To tell to the writer that he was a young artist when he knew Peggy Guggenheim and that it was thanks to her if Italy discovered the Abstract Impressionism and if Venice considers Guggenheim a heroine because she completely changed the face of that city in better thanks to her museum. Close to Titians and Tintoretto people admires the beauty Peggy Guggenheim built during her tormented life. A tourbillon.
I love to imagine the owner of that café reading this book right now thanking the good inspiration that brought Peggy Guggenheim once to Venice.

Highly recommended.

I thank Yale Press and Jewish Lives for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, maggio 17, 2018

Eating Eternity Food, Art and Literature in France by John Baxter

Paris: what a dream. Time ago I went to a store and I bought a bracelet because there was the Tour Eiffel, close to a turtle, a star and many other good omens."It's a symbol of trips, travels, bonne voyage" I said to that shop-girl.

Paris is sophisticated. Having some relatives close to the capital, each year they return for summer-time.
I remember that once I bought a monumental french cook book of one of the most beloved British authors because I wanted to impress them with some stunning recipes they know very well.

Eating Eternity Food, Art and Literature in France by John Baxter published by Museyon is the best example of a book that wants to present this capital in its vivacity, creating an interesting intersection of forces like lyric music, painting, photography, creativity in general that at the end will resonate thanks to a main voice: food.
And social life.

Paris is a capital in grade to feed not just stomachs, but minds, senses, creativity, expressivity, just...existing.

Food has always meant a lot in french culture although existed an incredible sad gap between rich people and poor people in the past centuries.
Paradoxically if now the so-called elite eats organically, try its best for maintaining a beauty and healthy body in the past monarchy didn't mind and while poor people ate mainly veggies, preserving their health, king and nobles at Versailles loved to drink warm chocolate, tea and champagne without to talk of food with more than 20 dishes per meal available.

Noblemen loved to hunting and it was a story mainly of sport, and outdoor activity; a chef mr. Vatel killed himself once the duc de Condé ordered him to follow a three-day feast, hunting included, created for celebrating the end of restoration of his chateau of Chantilly. Vatel was a wonderful chef. He trusted a lot himself, he had a great reputation and not any little or big error could be committed considering that the main guest was the king.

That chef, thinking that the fish wouldn't never arrived at destination in time killed himself.

Later Madame de Sevigne wrote: "...Monsier Le Duc burst into tears. You can imagine the disorder which such a terrible accident caused at this fete. And imagine that just as he was dying, the fish arrived!"

For french people food is this and the author is right: it's a story of life and death. If you have french friends, you know that and you can also understands paradoxically that chef.

Food has always been not just on the tables of poor and rich, with the introduction of potatoes thanks to Marie Antoinette but also in the mind of painters and creatives.
A moment, a suggestion, an idea of the way of living of the past presented to the immortality have always been the dream of painters inspired by Vermeer.
In this sense the art of Simeon Chardin influenced later Matisse, Cezanne and Picasso with his creations of Nature Morte.
Chardin was attracted not by rich people but poor ones, the servants, their work, their gestures while they were working and he presented us an age, a period, a moment, giving voice to the poorest ones, to the unknown no one will remember apart his canvases and his colors.
Being historical the book will also follow the french revolution and what it meant the capture of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette like also the history of the new months established and wanted by Robespierre. You will see that also this sanguinary revolutionary man thought that an homage to food was indispensable.
France is famous for his wine and an attentive analysis analyzes the old times where the monopoly of this art in the hands of monks and people of clergy.
France co-lives with more than 246 diversified variety of cheese for every taste and occasion.
Another great french addition started to be in modern times restaurants  attracting people like Victor Hugo, George Sand, Jean Cocteau, Napoleon.
Curious to know what Napoleon ate? Being a soldier with not too much time for eating  he was frugal in comparison to the french royal family and thanks to some gastritis problems he avoided heavy food.
Bread is an immense and wonderful voice for french people like also soup with an interesting evolution.
France has also known absinthe, described by Oscar Wilde in this way: "After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world."
Loved by intellectuals as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Degas, Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, Proust and Satie, Toulouse-Lautrec developed a special cocktail he loved to bring with him wherever he went.
Artists discovered at the same time that the best thing to do was to try to portraying nature and so they went in the country for discover a different dimension and it was what Monet did.
You mustn't imagine that Monet went in a rural place all alone, and in a modest house. No. He was followed by a lot of people from a gardener to a sommelier. Reading you will discover his private habits, what he ate, what he loved, and same it will be with Matisse.
The author won't forget a special chapter where the french Riviera will be protagonist thanks to prestigious guests that in the past made the difference: Renoir, Picasso, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and if you are curious to discover where Sartre, Modigliani and many other intellectuals and painters spent their time during the coffee-time and where you could have met them (see at the voice Midnight in Paris the movie by Woody Allen) you are satisfied. At the end of the book the best suggestions for living a tremendous, unforgettable gastronomical experience in Paris.

Highly suggested this one is a book perfect for you in particular if you plan a trip to Paris, if you are a food-addicted or a culture-addicted, or a painting-addicted or if you are an art-addicted. Or if you love...Life.

Many thanks to Museyon for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, maggio 15, 2018

Autumn: A novel (Seasonal Quartet) by Ali Smith

I admit it: I spent two years for reading this ebook by Ali Smith
Autumn: A novel (Seasonal Quartet).  My dad died more or less the period I was approved for reading this book and it was in Autumn. I didn't want to think at Autumn too much. Fallen leaves, the end of an existence.
But, apart it, Ali Smith's writing-style, her prose, at first didn't match with me.

Then I discovered a physical proof of: How to be Both. I opened it, I read some pages.Time passed by. You must find a connection with a writer. I found it.

Autumn is the story of Daniel Gluck 101 years old at first dead, later pretty sick and assisted, then vigorous intellectual old man.

In the numerous flashbacks we will discover the friendship, meetings and intellectual talks between  Elizabeth and this old man of 85 years old, with which she grew up intellectually with since she was 13 years old.
He will be a constant in her life and this friendship will also mean to her assistance when Dan will fall sick. 
Elizabeth starting to be friend with him when a teen-ager instilled in the mind of her mom some doubts regarding this weird friendship, but Elizabeth replied that everything is relative.
Elizabeth and mr.Gluck one day during a walk imagine...
Will you go to college asks him.
The girl replies yes because my mother went to college so this one will be the second generation. Why not?
He mentions a lot of topics...What would you want to study? Math, literature, physics, art...?
A college. A collage. And so let's try to imagine a collage.  Later that night Elizabeth thought that "She was chosen by the moment."
Her mother is skeptical. Too old for being a friend that man.

This book was written after the Brexit and here some considerations of the writer who portrays vividly what happened in UK: " All across the country, people felt it was the wrong thing. All across the country, people felt it was the right thing. All across the country people, people felt they'd really lost....All across the country, people threatened other people. All across the country, people told people to leave. All across the country, the media was insane....All across the country, promises vanished. All across the country, social media did the job...All across the country, money money money money. All across the country, no money no money no money no money."

Daniel is a man plenty of culture and introduces Elizabeth in the still unknown world of books, music, talents of various genres. He is captivating and their talks are never banal.

One day Daniel will tell Elizabeth: "It is possible to be in love not with someone but with their eyes. I mean, with how eyes that aren't yours let you see where you are, who you are."

The hope in this life? According to Daniel: "That the people who love us and who know us a little bit will in the end have seen us truly."

In a conversation with the mother of Liz Daniel will confirms time travel is real. "We do it all the time. Moment to moment, minute to minute." But he will add something else, a constant about human nature: "Not to see what's happening right in front of our eyes."

Stunning. Beautiful. Sad, plenty of poetry.
You'll love it!

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook!

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, maggio 13, 2018

Healing Berries 50 Wonderful Berries, and How to Use Them in Health-Giving Foods and Drinks by Kirsten Hartvig

Healing Berries 50 Wonderful Berries, and How to Use Them in Health-Giving Foods and Drinks by Kirsten Hartvig and published by Watkins an indispensable cookbook if you love, appreciate, eat and are an addicted of...berries.

Berries are famous for their rich nutrients and curative properties so each of us should consume in a daily base berries, fresh or put away for being eaten with tranquillity later.

As we will discover, each of us introduce a lot of berries in a daily-base.

One of the most common food we can find everywhere the author explains  berries meant to her more than two years of work, long walks in beautiful landscapes, a lot of recipes, cooking, baking before to seeing the realization of this book.

But..How can we describe berries?

"Berries are small juicy, edible fruits that are round or oval in shape, sweet to sour in taste, generally brightly colored and containing seeds or small stones" explains the author.

Do you know that strawberries classified like berries don't technically meet this criteria while bananas, cucumbers, apples! are botanically berries?

Amazing! Not only: we will also discover that tomatoes are berries like also persimmon and kiwi.

The author explains the rich mythology and magic behind berries and I am more than sure that discovering the secret meaning of berries in the past will keep all of you interested and fascinated as I was because most of the time we forget it but there is a secreat meaning in every food we ingest. This world is more magic than what we can think.

Plus: eating berries is healthy because for hunting them it's necessary to go out, into the wild and it means movement, energy, enthusiasm and fresh air.

Berries help against metabolic syndrome being rich of vitamins, amino acid, minerals.

How to bake, cook berries?

Recipes are pretty endless and yum all delicious!

Use berries for a healthy and delicious breakfast! Nothing more natural and good than to start with freshness adding berries to smoothies, desserts and wherever you think you can love them. It's up to you and your creativity and imagination in the kitchen.

The description of these 50 berries is detailed for later appreciating the most succulent section: the one about food, dishes and how to create masterpieces of taste for you and your family and friends.

From breakfast to snacks, passing through preserves and condiment without forget dessert and baking, drinks and tonics enjoy a delicious cook book (with, for every recipe, a nutrition profile) and keep it always close to you because the temptation of a good sweet delicious berries cake an irresistible one like a breakfast started with freshness, cure, love and attention for you and your loved ones.

I thank NetGalley for the ebook!

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, maggio 12, 2018

I've Always Meant to Tell You Letters to Our Mothers An Anthology of Contemporary Women Writers Edited by Constance Warloe

One of the most impressive books I have ever read dedicated to Mothers it's
I've Always Meant to Tell You Letters to Our Mothers An Anthology of Contemporary Women Writers Edited by Constance Warloe and published years ago by Simon&Schuster.

I think that there is not another book more powerful than this one in grade to capture the strong, conflictual, beautiful relationship between a mother and a daughter.

A Wednesday I went to Umbertide and as I do often I stopped by at the second-hand book store of the ladies of Books for Dogs.
I didn't have in my mind anything specific.
I was there for something...precious and special.
I discovered this book and I felt that it was what I wanted to bring home.

Seventy-five daughters for an anthology, compiled with great love, devotion intention, patience.

Yes, we speak of intellectual daughters: most of them writers, and then reporters, poets, cartoonists, an universe of thinkers sometimes with mothers who were thinkers and writers as well.

Some of these names are known: Joyce Carol Oates, Lucile Adler, Natalie Goldberg but you will see...

Names and last names are not important in this book.
You won't buy this book because there is that certain author you love so badly, no.

It won't be that one the principal reason because you will want to read what these women experienced, what they meant to tell to their mothers.

You will buy this book for understand.
Understand if your relationship with your mother is similar to the one they are experiencing or they experienced and what it meant to them their mother and what their mother mean at the moment to them, adults and maybe mothers of other daughters.

These writers will be intellectually naked and sincere with their readers and their mother reporting with intensity, joy, sadness, frustration, happiness their memories.

Some of them will describe the life spent with their mothers, illness, problems, conflicts, additions, because sometimes it's difficult to be a daughter and to be a  mother and there is not a secret recipe for learning. There is who doesn't have memories of her mother apart in pictures because dead before to be in grade of...remembering.

Elizabeth Brundage writes: "I worry about being without you. I cannot imagine it. You are my mommy!"

Other ones will return with their memories at old times when their mother was still alive and what it meant that gift of life.

Tess Enroth writes: "After your death I often found myself composing letters to you, almost forgetting they would not be mailed or written. I'd have you with me in my dreams, too, and carry the illusion of your presence halfway through a busy morning."

Elegance, favorite meals, memories of a remote past kept closed jealously in boxes of letters or pictures,  fragment of moments.

Dawan Raffel: "When I was born no doctor was present. It was only you and me."

Carolyn See goes straight to the point: "Dear Ma! I've always meant to tell you that it didn't have to be this way; you made your own life by yourself..."

Shari Thurer thanks her mother: "I regard myself as tremendously fortunate to have you as my mother, with your remarkable capacity to both treasure my visits, and overlook the times I don't find time to visit." 

A diversified universe of intellectuals, united together for painting for every mom a wonderful portrait giving back to the readers in all its magnificence the most profound and true meaning of being a Mother and a Daughter.

Anna Maria Polidori