venerdì, ottobre 28, 2016

The Chef's Library - Favorite Cookbooks from the World's Great Kitchens - by Jenny Linford

I don't know you, but I am a passionate of cookbooks. They are the perfect door for looking at another culture more closely. There is not maybe a more powerful vehicle like food for defining a country.
Italy? It's pasta and pizza. France? Cheese in every sauce.
USA? Hamburger, french fries, sandwiches, robust food.
Food says a lot about the culture of a country, because we understand the most profound and indispensable habits of the citizens of a certain place.

I am a passionate of foreign food and being a Sagittarius when I go somewhere I love to taste the food of that country. It's a must and I know that it is a winning choice and experience everytime.

If you love to travel in your kitchen a lot, The Chef's Library - Favorite Cookbooks from the World's Great Kitchens - by Jenny Linford published by ABRAMS is the perfect book a real database of the most wonderful cookbooks existing in the face of this Earth.

It's a joy for the eyes and the belly this book where you will find the opportunity to discover wagons and wagons of cookbooks for every sorta of necessity and occasion. Do you want to pick up a book for an special dinner? Do you plan an international lunch and you want some inspiration from prestigious sources? Panic can't exist with this book by ABRAMS. Every possible curiosity will be satisfied. There will always be the perfect answer for your necessities.

Sometimes you will want to be less local and more cosmopolitan or maybe more citizen of this Old World, or old-fashioned for cooking or baking something delicious to your family or your friends. Don't worry: many great great cookbooks are waiting for you.

The book is divided per chapters. In the first one there a section of the Chef's favorites Cookbooks.
The second chapter will involve the cookbooks who in the years made the difference.
The third chapter is a Cookbook directory, so Cookbooks of the world, general cookbooks, specialty cookbooks and my favorite section: historical cookbooks!

Trust me: buy with joy and happiness this powerful and complete Library. It is the most delicious one existing in the world and it will be truly helpful in various moment and phases of your existence.

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Twenty-Five Profiles and Recipes from America's Essential Bakery and Pastry Artisans by Sosland Companies

Do you want to succumb at pastry and bread in a trip of no-return?
If your answer is yes Twenty-Five Profiles and Recipes from America's Essential Bakery and Pastry Artisans by Sosland Companies published by Andrews McMeel Publishing this Oct 11 is for you.

This amazingly beauty book will illustrate you thanks to the best American pastry chefs all the best in terms of bread, cookies and all the possible sweet delicacy you have in your mind.

It's a book that you will love with all yourself because explicative, plenty of recipes, the various chefs will illustrate their personal story, their past and present, their passions and their creations with punctuality, but because you will see all the love that these wonderful creative and human beings have put in every creation realized by them.

Food is this: it's a magic, and when you find someone able to let you see this magic, don't miss this opportunity.

I would have wanted to see maybe sunniest pictures of the various food. The color chosen for the pictures keeps the atmosphere cold when bakery and pastry is a joy for the eyes and the mouth.

Perfect gift for Christmas.

Many thanks to NetGalley for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, ottobre 27, 2016

The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell

It was a cover-love story at first in the case of The Christmas Guest written by Daisy Bell and published by Quercus Book this Oct 3.
I thought that a book with such a beautiful, tender cover, had to be read as soon as possible because wonderful.
I requested it through NetGalley and well, let me say I was right: I found the book completely enchanting.

The Christmas Guest will be your best blanket for your Christmas Time, the most delicious gingerbread cookie you'll taste, the most colorful ball of your Christmas Tree, the warmest milk you will sip the Christmas Day for Breakfast, the most beautiful, warm fireplace.

The Christmas Guest most importantly, will be the book that will bring back to you a reason for hoping in a lightest future, a reason for being optimistic and positive, and for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The story as it is told and structured reminded me while I was reading it a tale I read time ago written by Mark Twain for the impressive and real description of the dog's character, like also the story of Enzo, the protagonist of The art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein one of my favorite doggie books, because also The Christmas Guest narrated in first person and this first person is...Teddy the little puppy, like also  in the books previously mentioned.

This book is an adorable gem. The description of the character of a puppy given by the author the most real portrait that could be written. Plus there is this warm, this delicacy, this positive vibe all along the book, these good feelings, this positive, happy and joyous narration. All these elements mixed together gives a perfect Christmas Story able to make the difference.

Who is a dog? They give all themselves for making us happy, for making us joyous and they live in the moment as remarked. A puppy or a dog doesn't mind for a lot of things, they enjoy little things and they just want to be loved by us.

This book written wonderfully well is enchanting for the good heart with which it has been written. This one is the story of a wonderful puppy at first in the hands of a very wealthy couple, Veronica and Richard. Richard thought that Veronica, his companion would have appreciated a puppy and bought one for her. Pity that the partner of Richard, didn't find the puppy so adorable at all and she hated him because he destroyed all her wonderful new shoes, that maybe after all she could have re-bought considering the status of the couple.

Anyway, one day, who knows why, during a car-stop with Richard and Veronica, Mr. Snuffles, at that time the name of the puppy, just 2 months old, ops, who knows why, got lost. He runs and he runs since he meets this new house thanks to the smell of a wonderful chicken dish one of the favorite ones of Richard and Veronica.

The people living in this new house, the Woods are not as rich as Veronica and Richard are, and they have many thoughts, money, but mainly the sad condition in which precipitated their beloved daughter Emily after meningitis.
A state of profound prostration and weakness. Nothing can help Emily to stay better. For Ben and Claire, people with great heart the arrival of this puppy a good surprise, although considering all, they thought at first of not keeping him. They named him Teddy Bear, Teddy for everyone. At first they thought maybe the puppy got lost and no one could believe the puppy abandoned.
Teddy notices the big difference between the house of Richard and Veronica and this one, much more warm and rich of hospitality. Adored by all the family, what happened later will let you smile and cry. Teddy in fact in the house and in the garden, when left alone will act as a perfect terrible puppy, helped by sly Martha, the old cat of Ben and Claire jealous of the new arrival and happy to send him to hell and happy to put him in bad consideration.
At the same time Teddy will make friendship with Tobias (not a lot after all at first) and his dog Lady.

What Teddy would wants so badly is to be kept by this new family because what Teddy thinks is that he can helps them, but sometimes it's a story of puppy disasters, and so what to do?

There will be also heroic moments for this brave puppy as well.

Can at the end Teddy  be a Christmas Blessing? A real Blessing for this Family considering he arrived just a week or so before Christmas?

One of the most touching books I have read, I strongly suggest it to you for the delicate touch, for the beautiful narration, the wonderful situations created and for the positive vibes able to spread.

It was a balm to read it.

A great gift for Christmas for you, your children but for your friends as well.

At the end of the book a special section for the readers.

I thank NetGalley for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned Edited by Gretchen Schultz & Lewis Seifert

I believe in fairies. I have always believed in fairies and little folks and all the rest of magical creatures. After all I grew up in a countryside where most people convinced of the existence of witches and little folk and magical places and where the enchantment part of our culture.     I was terrorized when mom asked me to return home adding: "Run Anna run, before you will be captured by some witches." Fear was the night, the sunset, that indefinite moment when people can also disappear.

I confess that this idea terrorized me and although I consider witches funny because they can go here and there with their magi cal broomstick and they use a caldron for various enchantments    my imaginary world has been mainly populated by fairies and the rest of wonderful magical creatures angels included and wagons and wagons of fairy-tales since I was very little. It's one of my favorite genre this one, the one of the fairy-tales because the most important door for let us fly our imagination abandoning the ordinary world.

When I decided to request Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned Edited by Gretchen Schultz & Lewis Seifert and published by Princeton University Press this First October and I was approved to read it thanks to NetGalley I discovered with great pleasure that the series editor of this book is Jack Zipes.
What a joy and surprise!
An eminence very known in the world of fairy-tales and professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the university of Minnesota.
I interviewed him when Into the Woods  the movie by Marshall was released.
The magical musical written by James Lapine and legendary Sondheim became a movie in fact with Meryl Streep and with Johnny Depp  as the terrible lascivious wolf

Here you can read my interview with Mr. Zipes.

Fairy-tales sometimes were not born exactly for being stories for children but mainly for adults. They're very adult sometimes.
Later with Brothers Grimm the idea of expanding commercially fairy-tales. A lot of adult contents removed, fairy-tales became cultural and mental food for a very young public. In these fairy-tales defined characters, the ugly terrible witch, the good godmother, prince charming, some nasty characters able to create turmoil at the protagonist, and in general a happy and sunny end after a lot of fights of various genres.
After all a fairy- tale contains a morale, there is always something that wants to teach to the public.

In this beautiful book you will find most of the biggest french names of literature of 1800 beginning of 1900 in total 19 for 36 fairy-tales.
These writers are mostly decadent,  and intellectually raised during the philosophical movement of the Positivism.
France lived a straining moment at the end of 1700. The French revolution of 1789 with the decapitation, also in physical sense of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and the season of Terror lived with Robespierre and later the arrival of Napoleon very stressing moments. A lot of changes in terms of governments and substantially what it was a real instance of change, from monarchy to something else, became for Paris and the entire France a real period of Terror. Robespierre tried all his best for keeping in his hands the power although at the end that same power would have ruined, destroyed and killed him as well.
At the same time 1800 didn't start negatively. A new philosophical movement, the Positivism was born. Technology, progress,, new improvements in medicine field and new methods for fighting important illness, there was a new enthusiasm: the idea that industrialization, modernity would have saved the world.
As always, there were also contrary voices. Why? Well intellectual and most sensitive people started to realize something, worried: where could go all the enchantment of the world with the use and abuse of machines? What could it be of old fairy-tales when there was the necessity of building always biggest cities, reducing the green and reducing the contact of humans with nature?
And so these fairy-tales, where there is not always a real happy end, but there is maybe the reality of the times and the melancholy of the lost things never found anymore.
I consider these fairy-tales of strong actuality because world if in the past was enchanted and perfect because man lived a strong connection with nature, at the moment confused and paradoxically lost by the disenchantment produced by the progress and the idea that the materialism could replace a dream or the ability of dreaming.

All these fairy-tales are intriguing, truly captivating, put into the reality of the moment. History teaches us something of great importance: that modification of fairy-tales is indispensable for understanding our reality looking at the various changes through  the lenses of the various centuries of the various story-tellers it's possible to learn where the society went on.  Thanks to fairy-tales we can understand where the world is. A fairy-tale is maybe the most perfect and most powerful mirror not just for understanding our world but also our social condition and our way of life.

This book a perfect gift for Christmas, all these fairy-tales are enchanting, funny, with a touch of sadness written and translated wonderfully wonderfully well. Ah: the gift is just for adults! Keep away this book from children ;-) and please continue to present them classic fairy-tales. Maybe they will remain dream but they will give them the perception of the immensity of possibility life can present. 

Many thanks to NetGalley for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, ottobre 18, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - A Countdown to Christmas - by Ace Collins

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - A Countdown to Christmas - by Ace Collins  published by Abingdon Press last Oct 4th is a beautiful Christian book for a good and felt preparation at Christmas Day.

Oh, Christmas what a wonderful period of the year. The feast of the Arrival of Little Jesus Christ, and a feast of course of joy, happiness because the arrival of a new life means that: joy.

Well I admit that these past Christmas have been very heavy personally, but although  this component, so not a real fairy tale, I can't help myself: I am a real Christmas Lover.

This book written with great inspiration and love will be very appreciated by all of you! I can tell you that and you know that you can trust me. This one is a beautiful, warm book for every Christian and for every person in love for Christmas. A wonderful gift, and a book able to introduce to every reader the feast in its totality, preparing the person at what it will be in spiritual terms of course, without forgetting the culinary part of the feast. Christmas means also big family reunions and launches and dinners of a certain importance, and guests and quality time spent with relatives and friends. A special section of each day taken in consideration, starting from Dec 1st dedicated at some handmade special gifts, my favorite ones, for someone we love.

You will find great recipes, some of them unknown to me, italian (and I love American recipes) but also, important words from Apostle Luke for remembering the moments of the arrival of little Jesus Christ to the world. A lot of suggestions in term of handmade gifts. They will cuddle the person will receive them.

Gifts mustn't be lived during the Christmas Time as something that "must be done." It is, this one, telling the truth a pagan tradition  and should be seriously respected.

Christmas existed also before the arrival of little Jesus Christ and Romans loved to present to their family members or friends little branches of some special trees that they considered blessed. The feast of Christmas before the arrival of Jesus was the celebration of light in the moment in which there was less light in the world.

Go for this book with complete trust. It's a perfect gift and a perfect preparation for your Christmas. Oh: and of course... Have a Merry Merry Christmas!

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, ottobre 16, 2016

Everything I want to Eat by Jessica Koslow

Everything I want to eat - Sqirl and the New California Cooking - written by Jessica Koslow another  wonderful new book published by Abrams this October.
This time the culinary trip we will attend will involve not the East Coast but the City of Angels, a corner of the world, this one where, for a reason or another people do love to pay attention to their body and often curves not admitted.

The restaurant taken in consideration, inspiration and protagonist of this book The Sqirl. Sqirl  has as clients a lot of celebrities, screenwriters, writers, producers.
I was worried but not very surprised when I read that in Sqirl it's possible to taste a great coffee maybe more  lovely than our italian one. In California it's possible to re-create in fact every corner of the world and you can find every sorta of food. Italian one as well.

Sqirl one of the best, wonderful LA restaurant trendy and spectacularly attractive. It is so seducent that you can start a conversation with someone completely unknown, a real stranger to you since at 5 minutes before, making maybe a new and great connection. Power of great food and a wonderful relaxing and at the same time stimulating environment.

It's important to live a healthy life starting from food.
For actors but also for the rest of us it should be a priority a good and healthy body and mind because healtiest.

Sqirl is one of the preferred places for the  elite living in the city. Linda Obst in the showbusiness tells in the foreword the beauty of Sqirl.
Jessica Koslow, the lady launched Sqirl was and is a digital producer and although she worked with the best brands of this world she wasn't satisfied. She found joy and happiness, the real joy and happiness only when she was in the kitchen.
She understood while she was in NYC how hard was to maintain a restaurant in terms of responsibilities.
But she tried and she won once back to LA.
At first Sqirl was synonime of jams. Then thanks to a special rice produced by a family the idea of developing gluten-free food.  At the end of this process the decision of opening a restaurant.
Clients at Sqirl order variations at the recipes proposed.

As also specified before Los Angeles is a particular place and people do love to pay attention at what they eat, and not just for a story of a stunning body.
I was surprised to see in the book (section Meal) that you can find also rabbits recipes. In general rabbit is not an animal taken in consideration by Americans but in this case yes. The meat of rabbit in fact is very good and when there is some diet around doctors suggest to eat this kind of meat because healthy.
You will find with the various recipes also a lessons of rabbit butchery as the author calls it.
You'll also discover how to create the perfect jam thanks to the guidelines of the author. The wonderful rapsberry cardamom jam, the blenheim apricoaft jam, the romantic strawberry rose verankium jam won't have anymore secrets to you.

In the Eggs and Toasts section I love to suggest you the tasty recipe ot Vegetally versatile frittata but of course you can try the ricotta toast a brioche, burnt with seasonal jam and house-made ricotta. Yum!
The Avocado Toast it's with garlic and pickled carrots.

In the section Grains and Beans The Brown Rice Porridge is a must of the restaurant and you should try it in particular during the winter-time when it's fresher  and people wants to taste something different for breakfast.
It's a veggy recipe similar to a famous danish dish.

Vegetables section: I want to suggest you the super green spring with pea salad date jam lemon ricotta and mint salsa verde.

Meat: Cured bacon.

Fish: It's an interesting recipe this one salmon with sorrel pesto. Plus the  Squid toast seems  delicious. Baccalà is a great fish that we also love to eat in our area. The recipe proposed by Sqirl is Baccalà Flower Pot.
Pastry are immensely tasty and prepared with great accuracy and with various tricks so that people can enjoy a good banana bread completely vegan and made with carrots. Less calories but same great taste.

Many intriguing recipes for great desserts. I love in particular the malva pudding cake with apricoats.
If you want something delicious try the hazelnut torte with rapsberry jam, ganache and toasted meringue.

The upside-down is a great cake because you can use pear, or blood orange. A rich recipe with caramel.
If you wish a tasty cake for your tea with friends there is the cardamom doughnut-ish tea  cakes.

Drinks are plenty of imagination. We find the  Cascara Tea a creation with coffee cherries, chicory cloud  a versatile alternative to caffeine-free beverage.

Lait 'n' egg is from a Vietnanese recipe imported by an employer of the Sqirl.

Orange vanilla soda is for your hot summers.

In the Larder section I suggest you the Almond Milk, Magic Green Sauce.

A beautiful, healthy original cook book, perfect for a gift or perfect for ourselves.

I thanks NetGalley and Abrams for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, ottobre 05, 2016

The Road Back to You - An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery - by Ian Morgan Cron; Suzanne Stabile

The Road Back to You - An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery -published today by InterVarsity Press and written by Ian Morgan Cron; Suzanne Stabile is absolutely a book of self-help that you must read for the important topic that it treats: self-knowledge.
Sometimes we think we know who we are, and substantially let's hope that it is true.
Of course we know our personality. We know our lacks, we know our potentialities.

But, but, if there are still corners of your soul that you don't understand, if your relationship lately not harmonic with your relatives, friends, co-workers or community, go for it, and try to understand much better your personality.

This book was born because of the profound existential crisis lived by the writer of this book, mr Morgan Cron some years ago. A pastor, a man of God, once in Connecticut, he tried all his best with  his parish and the people assigned to him, but without any result.

He wasn't able to find the proper connection with the community. Of course to him, a big problem this one. What was wrong with him? Why wasn't able to give his best but always his worst?

So, one day he searched for Brother Dave, a man he hoped could present him a lot of answers, sorting out his most profound crisis of consciousness.

Well at first the author talked, talked, talked about his messy life with Br.Dave, and then once he stopped, Br.Dave asked him: "Did you hear about Enneagram?"

Of course young Ian did. Once in seminary he had a book about Enneagram and he loved to read it, although when he share this passion with a priest, the priest said him of throwing it away, because the Church didn't believe at witches and other genre of stuff similar at this one. In the Enneagram book there wasn't that stuff...

The writer kept the book hidden in some remote corner of a shelf and forgot the existence of it.

Enneagram is a Greek word composed by two words: Ennea means nice and Gram drawing.

It's an old study very well known from the most remote past of nine kind of personalities and it is a philosophy, self-help method that it is considered very profound and of secure effect.

What does have Enneagram of magic? It will give you the self-knowledge power in your hands so that you will express in the future your personality.

For example asks the author of the book: we see the world through our eyes or the ones of the children we were? Do we really know ourself? How much our past interfere with our plans and our present? How can we change all of it setting us free?

Ian Morgan Cron is sure that when we are children we used to wear a mask called personality for protecting ourselves but in adult age personality has us. It's like to be hostage of ourselves.

The nine kind of personalities are these ones:

1- The Perfectionist
2- The Helper
3-The Performer
4-The Romantic
5-The Investigator
6-The Loyalist
7-The Enthusiast
8-The Challenger
9-The Peacemaker (in this personality there is also Pope Francis!)

At the same time these 9 personalities are divided in other three groups/triads: The Heart Group, the Fear or Head and the Gut.

In the Gut we find The Challenger, the Peacemaker and the Perfectionist.
In the Heart Triad: The Helper, The Performer, The Romantic
In the Head Triad: The investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast.

At the same time all these personalities have a deadly sin.
Anger, pride, deceit, envy, avarice, Lush...

The book will then analyze in a very profound way the nine personalities  giving at the end the best portrait you can desire, also for your children!

Very interesting. I am still in doubt: am I  in the second or third triad?
And which personality exactly?
Oh well: this one is another story!

I strongly recommend you this book  without any kind of excitation. It is brilliantly written, fun and entertaining, and at the same time it will give you lots and lots of informations for discovering much better your self. It's a great Christmas gift!

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, ottobre 04, 2016

Power Words What You Say Can Change Your Life by Joyce Meyer

Power Words What You Say Can Change Your Life  by Joyce Meyer and published last December by FaithWords is a very interesting, inspiring christian book.

I am always impressed when I read an American Christian book because I always think that these products are seriously very powerful. This one is powerful for sure.

The author, a God believer, tells in the book that when little she was abused and "thanks" maybe to this fact, she started a personal path, passing through a situation of anger, bitterness, at a very satisfying, plenty, successful and wonderful life.

In what way she did it? Thanks to God and her choice to follow Him and the Scriptures.

In this book the author focus on the importance of words. Sometimes they can be more heavy than stones, sometimes they can poison our life.

Words being powerful must be used carefully and we must pay attention at what we say.

Communication must be a healthy reason for sharing informations, with kindness.

If we believe in God we mustn't judge or report sad stories.
Sure sometimes problems are other ones says the authors: there are still the so-called by Meyer children believers, all that people who maybe are saying that they believe in God but that they haven't developed a full consciousness of what it wants to say.

But let's back to the power of words: what it is important to say?
When we speak we must be positive and we must spread positive thoughts.

We shouldn't never complain says the author because it is a sort of sin.

God uses submitted people add Meyer for messages that can change the course of nations, world, a church, a family.

Sure, a person should always be cleansed before to speak.
Also prophet Jeremiah learnt how to speak wisely slowly slowly.

Why words can be dangerous? Because we can help the devil, the enemy in its action on Earth.

If vice versa we speak kind words, we put in difficulty the reign of darkness.

Sure sometimes we speak without to think too much: it's a sort of childish habit, but we should lose this habit, add strongly the author.

Also during moments of stress we should be very courageous, trying to stay focused and not altered.

Then Meyer tells of the importance of faith.

We should cultivate faith. Sometimes our ideas of not being appreciated, or being neglected it's just a perception.
People are busy, maybe we have been misunderstood.
It's silly to cultivate resentment and bitterness because relationship would be ruined.
Tongue has the power of death and life.
It's possible to create life, or great destruction.
We should have hope, cultivate hope without to complain for everything.
In our society we have a lot of things in other countries there are not, and just for this reason admits the author of the book we should be very grateful to God.
Sure voices for complaining everyday are endless: traffic, housing, etc, but we all should resist angry words, and we should think positively. After all although traffic is a lot we have a car. House can give us problems but after all we have a house. Most people don't have a house and so on.

Life is not a perfect puzzle and maybe that's why it's so exciting.

Let's also remember that our words determines our future, and our present and that we mustn't never develop negative thinking because negative thinking is powerful exactly like the positive thinking but we should embrace God, thinking and living positively our present and our future, visualizing our expectations and our dreams. Stopping negative thoughts.

Plus let's try to see how we speak of our future giving it a great, good feedback.

At the end of the book three appendix.

I really enjoyed to read this book because of the wise words, and the encouragements contained. I suggest it to everyone for the powerful message. It can be a very good Christmas gift for sure.

I thank NetGalley and the publisher for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, ottobre 03, 2016

Mary and Vincent Price's Come into the Kitchen Cook Book by Mary Price, Vincent Price

Mary and Vincent Price's Come into the Kitchen Cook Book by Mary Price, Vincent Price will be released on Nov 16th by Dover Publications
I guess it will be a great cookbook but pity we couldn't see any recipe in the copy sent us but we just read in the various introductions which were the favorite recipes of Mary and Vincent Price and how fabulous they were. The couple published several cook book in fact.

I loved to read the memories of little Victoria Price, daughter of the couple, the love her parents put in the kitchen when she was still a toddler and the importance of kitchen for them all. Victoria thinks that in a family the kitchen is the environment more important of a house and a real symbol of love. Being an interior designer she loves to design beautiful kitchens for all her clients.

She tells with great pleasure of the time she spent with each parent in the various mansions they had when she was little, the adoration for pancakes, and other specialties, like also the big love of her dad for risotto and how, once too old he couldn't prepare it anymore but he was helped by her.

The only upsetting part of this book, considering also the rich introductions, the absence of recipes. It would have made the difference, considering that this one is a cook book.

There are at the end of the book some historical illustrations and some kitchens' pictures.

I thank NetGalley and Dover for this book

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, ottobre 02, 2016

American Gothic The Story of America's Legendary Theatrical Family--Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth by Gene Smith

"My unfortunate brother..."

He had forgotten. For some little seconds he had forgotten what happened and with his mind Edwin was back at the happiest time of his teenage age when he was in company of John.

But that one...was a name that couldn't be named. There was a man very hated in his family: his brother John Wilkes Booth in the night of April 14th 1865 assassinated brutally in a conspiracy the most beloved President of the USA: Abraham Lincoln.

Booth were a family of actors, but you mustn't think for a while that this family was a little family of actors of series B and so one of them did it for desperation, exasperation. No. All the opposite. They were the strongest ones of the USA, very famous, rich and powerful.

Their geniality started with the dad of Edwin and John, Junius Brutus.
Married with a lady in UK, where he lived, he decided to emigrate in the USA where he spent the rest of his life re-meeting another woman with which he has had numerous children.

Real devastation for the first wife and Richard the beloved son born in UK. Richard the son of Junius Brutus discovered the affair once decided to afford to the USA for discovering the New World and making a great surprise at daddy...

Junius Brutus Booth was a man with a great geniality and an extreme passion for alcohol but the most prominent actor existing in the USA.

Edwin and John his children were more than promises: great stars, maybe John the one who, later, would have killed Lincoln, the best one of the two. Edwin told his dad never learnt him anything. He did it all alone on the road.

A wonderful life their ones, plenty of tours in the USA and also outside, great success, they owned theaters, sometimes a life border-line, they were real stars, as it could be now a very famous actor of theater.

But it happened. It happened also in a family like this one where no one should be discontented. One of them decided to shot the President of the USA.
And no one, according to people close to John Wilkes Booth later can understand why he did it.

We know for sure that this young famous actor with a present and future so brilliant and secure thanks to his numerous talents sent all to hell for killing Lincoln, because of some contrasts of ideals with the President. At first the idea in 1864 was to kidnap him but later the group of conspirators gave up.

The idea of Lincoln I developed reading the book was of a very good man. A man conscious of what he was doing for the country and conscious that maybe he could also lose his life killed by an extremist who wouldn't never accepted the abolition of slavery so dear in the South of the USA.

In a way he prepared his family at this event. Lincoln told them till at the nausea that this option wasn't excluded at all.

Although he knew it and he told often to them of the option of the assassination no one was prepared to it.

The devastation of his departure, because he was a very good man, left as always happen in these cases desperation, horror, and people lived without peace for the rest of their lives.
This one maybe the saddest and more understandable drama. The rest of family and friends maybe lived the tragedy thinking that they were just some survivors of this terrible event in a way or in another. Some of them suffered of severed breakdowns, other ones committed crimes as well.

Their life didn't return at any kind of normality for sure and for most of them that episode a real curse.

It was a day like another one that April 14th 1865 for Abraham Lincoln.

He worked, he tried to see who could follow him at the Ford's Theater (located in Washington) that evening where there was "Our American Cousin."
Theater a great passion for this big man.
Some friends refused to follow the presidential couple because busy, his oldest son decided this time of not going, someone else followed him like major Henry Rathbone and miss Clara Harris, the fiancee. The killer at some point afforded close to the box of the President (it was all prepared) and shot him. A bullet ruined the right part of his brain. He was declared dead the day after at 7:22.
The wife completely devastated never returned to the normality and no more found peace.

Is it possible to survive at all of it? In part yes, but for Edwin Booth it was hard like also for the rest of his family. A real curse, able to destroy positive lives after all, successful lives.
Edwin not lived anymore as the best actor of theater at first but like the brother of the man killed Lincoln.
He continued to work until very old but that shadow followed him wherever he went. Some things in a life are unforgettable and you can't forget no more that your brother once killed the President of the USA who tried with all himself to change the country for better. He founded anyway the Players, the society with members like Mark Twain, but also later Hemingway, Herbert Hoover, Humphrey Bogart, Harry Truman, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Dwight Eisenhower, Walter Cronkite, Bing Crosby etc.

John and the other four conspirators killed, after some years the family obtained the body of the young man buried without too many compliments and understandably too much respect.
The corpse was seen by the family. I won't reveal any particular but yes it is true nails and hair grow for other three-four months after our departure.

I find the book hyper informative, greatly exhaustive, linear and a great portrait of the various protagonists on the big stage of life in a crucial moment for the USA. All united by this big passion for theater, that passion later would have brought as in a fiction, at the assassination of the most beloved President of the USA, Lincoln. To him, fatal.

For someone like me who didn't know a lot apart for an article I read on the Boston Globe time ago, this book a great revelation.

I find that Gene Smith the author of American Gothic
The Story of America's Legendary Theatrical Family--Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth, that will be published this Oct 4th by Open Road Media as an eBook made a super work.
He didn't miss any particular of the life of all these men.

I was contacted by Open Road Media, and they invited me to read this book thanks to NetGalley. I accepted enthusiastically.
Not knowing anything of the topic or just few things, I was thrilled, and trust me I couldn't imagine that the so-called actor who killed the President could be someone so relevant for the art and show of the USA. Living in Italy the American History treated just marginally.
Another thing I want to mention, without to spoil too much of this eBook is that Abraham Lincoln was the first president to being killed in the History of the USA.

I strongly suggest it to you because the book is always exciting and plenty, plenty of informations. Sometimes you will get lost for hyper-information. A great big bravo to the author for this historical research put in a colloquial way for every kind of readers.
The book can be strongly suggest also in case of thesis on the topic, because it's a Bible in this sense and because teenagers won't find it as topic of study enjoying what they will read and being very prepared at the same time.

I thank Open Road Media for the trust :-) and NetGalley! as always.

Anna Maria Polidori