mercoledì, dicembre 28, 2016

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

Well, it didn't happen only in Europe. In my city there is also a square entitled to Giordano Bruno, considered by everyone an heretic . When they burned him and he saw the Holy Cross he moved the face in another direction. At least it was understandable. He was condemned because of it.

We write of witches. In 1300-1600 if women considered witches  burned in Europe. And not just women.

I admit Europeans weren't as sweet as we can think with the so-called special people. People with a certain gift donated by God once born. In the past being too beauty or too ugly or born with a physical or psychological lack could mean a sentence of death.

I grew up with the terror and fascination of witches. I grew up in a countryside and Mom always said me to return home as soon as possible and before the arrival of the evening for not being captured by a witch.
Some neighbors told us that they had clearly heard witches clapping hands and smiling and laughing.

Where is the truth?

Fairies and witches and other mythical creatures are now disappeared because our heart much more devoted and cynical and too taken by electronical gadgets and a life spent in a materialistic way and we have lost our capacity for seeing also the unseeing that there is in this world?

Or, differently they didn't exist?

I do believe in fairies, angels, and I do believe in the magic of the various people of this world so yes I do believe also in the powers of some people.

Witches, wizards?


It seems that Massachusetts imported this tradition of killing potential witches in 1692 and it is what it wants to focus the book written by Brunonia Barry The Fifth Petal.

Beautiful cover, suggestive, I fell in love for this book firstly because of this impressive, sunny, relaxing, mysterious cover. The author confess maybe she is one of the descendants of the witches hanged up in this famous oak in Salem, an area and an oak still not found with certainty. If not yet dead...

The story is intriguing.

The Fifth Petal wants to remember the five women descendants of the witches killed in 1692 in the city of Salem and their fight for finding the place where their ancestors where hanged up. They would have blessed that place once and for all closing with the past this horrible story.

For sure Salem must be a city where Halloween is prolonged and where people love to indulge in esoteric for maintaining a consolidated tradition :-)

The "chief" of these new witches, the story starts in 2014 but there are frequent flashback when in 1989 the new witches found dramatically dead, starts with Rose.

Rose was an important teacher once, very intelligent and acculturated. Unfortunately what she saw the evening in which her friends were killed in the area she thought could be the one where the witches were killed in 1692 - while she was blessing in God's name the area with all the other ones close to her - devastated her mind and she hasn't never returned completely normal.

Her thoughts focused on banshee, the famous oak where the hanging process took place and now there was also this new story of this new departure of a young boy...Rose convinced she had killed the boy through the banshee.

Discovered that her beloved Rose still alive. Callie, the girl who escaped at the horror of the night of 1989, daughter of one of these so-called Goddesses re-afforded to the city of Salem for trying to discover much more. She found another Rose, devastated by illness and her own internal demons.
Callie, after what happened the night in which also her mom lost her life was grown up superbly well by some nuns. They created a good girl with a good career in music-therapy. Callie works with critical patients and her life although this trauma devastated her very positive under many aspects for sure.

According to her point of view Rose not only didn't kill this teenager but absolutely she couldn't have killed the various other descendants of the witches.

After all this new version of witches had as their main characteristic of donating themselves carnally at a lot of men of the area. There weren't powers, there weren't enchantments. There was just carnality.

But so, who could have done it?

The final is pretty shocking but after a lot of sufferance there is the good end.

A very good book if you want to discover much more about: little places, hidden secrets and false truth, and real truth kept buried somewhere per decades, witches, Salem, the power of healing, the gifts of some people, good heart of most of the protagonists, help, our beautiful city of Matera in Italia where the protagonists Paul and Callie will also afford for a brief moment of their existence. Thanks for remembering Italy! wonderfully and vividly portrayed.
My favorite characters remain the ones of Callie and Rose united from an old friendship since Callie was little and that no one, death included can ruins.

I thank First to Read for this advanced copy of the book, released at the end of January 2017.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, dicembre 16, 2016

How to Beat Criticism and Feel Good - Learn to shrugh it off and and move forward - by Awen Finn

Release the criticism, it's your life. Choose to take responsibility for it.

Love yourself and stop to think how other people can think of yourself.

Happiness depends upon ourselves said once Aristotle.

This ones can be in three phrases the best syntheses of this energetic and fantastic motivational book written by Awen Finn
How to Beat Criticism and Feel Good - Learn to shrugh it off and and move forward -

You will read this book in a few minutes.

It is plenty of energy, enthusiasm,joy and there is a true spirit of a warrior in the words you will read.
It starts from Awn's personal sad experience at first, a childhood story of not acceptance from her dad, in few pages she will analyze why we are criticized, the origin of critics and what we can do for avoid this nasty habit.

And plus how we can avoid negative people, the so-called nasty people able to put us down all the time remembering sometimes that WE can also be critics with other people. Seeing the beauty in other will better also ourselves and our attitude regarding life and our neighbors.

We can be criticized for many reasons.

People won't never never never satisfied of us!

Criticism is heavy as said by the author, it put down and not only, it creates a spiral of negativity, in particular if your world is limited and if you don't find all the time someone else who says to you: "Nah, they are completely wrong. I find you fantastic."

But so what to do?

We must try to understand something as the author says: that no one will never be happy of our life, simply because maybe our life is just our life and not the life of anyone else.

Life is a process. We born, we grow up, and later at some point we will die. We are unique. Our character, our behavior, we are here in this world for a certain reason. Nothing is just for a case although sometimes life can be pretty pretty weird.

Awen in some passages will help us to take much more control of our existence, enforcing the inner power that there is in ourselves with strong exercises, with written words, with the power of positive thinking, that positive thinking focused on ourselves and our unicities.

Trust me when I tell you that when I go somewhere I don't mind if I meet a friend more fat, more slim more beauty, more cured, more rich etc. What it counts to me is the soul of the person I have in front of me. Just that.

Then if she/he is fine with the body he/she is in, if she/he is fine of his/her life and if he/she is happy this one is just his/her own business.

Why reading this book?

Because only who have realistically experienced criticism can help you to escape from what I truly consider a real hell for many reasons. Because you can't live peacefully your life, because you can't never be yourself, although you know that the other one doesn't mind if you change or not because what he/she wants to do is just to hurt you and influence you negatively and not the be helpful. If they would be helpful they wouldn't criticize you.

This is the real point.

I thank Library Thing for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, dicembre 10, 2016

You don't want to know by Karen Burns

This one by Karen Burns, You don't want to know is a short tale. Karen loves Paris and at first I won a copy of her The Paris Effect thanks to Library Thing.

I told her about the actual situation in which I am in and Karen insisted for let me keep aside at the moment her newest book. In the while  she sent me this short book.

Beautiful cover, a bit melancholic, romantic, calm if we think at the vase of yellow flowers and in the distance, behind, cobalt. But...The title keeps the promise: you will read an interesting story. The story of an encounter.

The book in fact tells the story of a french girl called Dominique and the fascination an old man feels for her, her beauty and her enthusiasm.
Just, this girl, no one will know if her tale will be true or not, starts to let understand to her newest friends that she needs money, she is very poor, abandoned from her boyfriend. In a few second a respectable elderly man will become someone else...

Quick, modern, the author says she has been inspired by an elderly scam who took place in a village close to her. She found the situation strange.

I am more than sure that you will like this book so badly. Quick, modern, you will enjoy it.

It can be great for a Christmas gift.

Many thanks Karen Burns! for this short book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Mrs. White Rabbit by Gilles Bachelet

What a funny funny book the one written and illustrated by Gilles Bachelet Mrs. White Rabbit. It will be published on February 6th. We all know the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland. Created by Lewis Carroll one of the funniest and most chaotic characters of Alice in Wonderland. Because of him Alice, attracted by this talking white rabbit ended up in a hole and later in Wonderland. The hole the passage for a magical, wonderful and weird dimension.

What we know of the White Rabbit is that this Rabbit doesn't have peace and goes here and there but...The rest of the family of the White Rabbit? Is he married? Does he have someone waiting for him at the end of his running days? Surprise surprise: yes, there is.

Lady Mrs.White Rabbit is here waiting for all the children, and parents of the world for explaining to you in this book all her life. You will think: oh, it will be exciting, the White Rabbit is always traveling so his wife must live an exciting life.

Oh no: an union for lady rabbits should start to take care of this poor Mrs.White Rabbit rabbit. Yes because....You know as it happens sometimes the poor Mrs. White Rabbit must cleaning, baking, cooking, growing up the bunnies she has had with the White Rabbit, sometimes enjoying her husband's friends, like that strange cat... Oh yes, she would dream something different. A different herself, where she is sometimes helped at home. An attentive Mr. White Rabbit, who can remembers special anniversaries being helpful at home, sometimes. Mrs. White Rabbit doesn't never smile and she is always angry with the world because she had decided while a young Miss Rabbit of giving up of all her passions and dreams for following her boy-rabbit-friend. Just later the reality has been a delusion to her and the most, her hard work not recognized! Another frustration. But we all know: house-rabbits work never recognized!

Lady Rabbit keeps a special diary where she writes everything. Who knows that the White Rabbit soon or late, anxious as he is, will discover everything exclaiming: Bloody Carrot!...Can you imagine his reaction?

Run run, little big White Rabbit and try to keep smile your Mrs.White Rabbit!

Strongly suggested. Beautiful illustrations. Simply unique!

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, dicembre 07, 2016

Secrets of Ruth - Fresh Perspectives on Biblical Wisdom for Women - by Patricia Mitchell

The book of Ruth is my favorite one of the Bible. Because of a special phrase contained in it and that I noticed the first time in all its power in a movie you know I love a lot: Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. In the movie one of the protagonists, Ruth, had a violent husband and asked for help at one of her best girlfriend sending her the Bible Page of the Book of Ruth, underlining a special part that says: "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge."

Time ago I bought a keyring with these powerful Ruth's words and I thought when this book appeared at the horizon that I had absolutely to read it.

I didn't know a lot Ruth's book or her story telling the truth although I am a reader at the Sunday Mass. It wasn't a book I knew a lot.  After I finished to read this book Secrets of Ruth by Patricia Mitchell I can tell you what I discovered is amazingly beauty and it presented me a profound peace.

The book released from Dec 1st by Barbour Publishing.

You will find in the book the entire story of course of Ruth, Naomi, the mom of her poor husband and Orpah, the other girl who married the brother of the husband of Ruth.

Anyway, after a while all these men including Naomi's husband died and what to do? Naomi maybe could have also re-married another man and maybe with new children but....Could these two youngest girls waiting for so long?

She decided to set them free. "Do what you want to do and be who you want to be." Orpah decided to follow her own destiny, Ruth decided to afford with Naomi to Bethlehem. "I won't never leave you alone" she must have thought.

"Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" she said to Naomi.

It wasn't simple at all at first, because from the status of good, married women they became poor and devastated, and they had to search for some grain for baking bread. They had to re-start everything from the beginning. But being tenacious, meant to them also a new re-start in particular for Ruth.
Naomi was the one who became the hardest part of the chain. She didn't accept this change.

This book while it explains the story of these two ladies and what it happened later it is also plenty of great reflections about our attitude to life, what we should expect,  the presence or absence of God, our period of weakness and strength and what we can do for better ourselves and what at the moment we can't change, accepting it and trying at the same time to better ourselves.

It's a very wise, calm book, a spiritual book for a spiritual trip  for all of us. But remember that the Bible Book of Ruth is not just a spiritual trip but a real trip who wants to let us reflect about what it can means abandoning a land for following someone else somewhere else. So a physical trip with all the problematic that you can meet.

The message of Ruth is very important and crucial because it's a message for every open heart.
What does this mean?

That it will be important wherever we will go to be good with everyone, accepting what we will find. And also when we see a stranger, or someone we don't know of from a different culture, as it happened to Ruth, we must welcome him/her in our city, country, village, because the acceptance creates good values, great comfort for newcomers and a good base for building a great future.

Of course we can extend the message of Ruth also at a friend or a relative, someone in sufferance, someone who needs help.

We mustn't never be indifferent at the sufferance, but always helpful.

Many thanks to NetGalley for this book and to Barbour Publishing.

Anna Maria Polidori

Conclave by Robert Harris

Robert Harris latest book is a masterpiece of beauty. Written with profound knowledge of the topic, the book is felt, very clear and it has been put a lot of enthusiasm on it.

The story the departure of the latest Pope and the procedure for the election of the new one...Being a thriller, there is some suspense and most of the actual problems of the Church, treated very well in the book.

What I loved the most has been the diversified Church in the world, seen through the eyes and arrival of the various Cardinals fot the so-called Conclave. Each of them with a peculiar history and each of them because they live in a certain part of the world able to influence a potential vote. Also of course thanks to their personal histories.

Beautiful, very well written, you will read it in a few hours. Great and I am sure appreciated gift also if your friends can be of a different religion.

I thank First To Read, and the publishing House Penguin-Random House for inviting me to read this book for a honest review.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, dicembre 04, 2016

Monet - The Early Years - by George T. M. Shackelford

Claude Monet is one of my favorite Impressionists painters. His paintings are famous for being delicate, for giving a special touch at landscapes and seascapes, people and situations.

It can be a tea pot or cup, or can be a man or a picnic scene, but we will always find something that every every painting should be able to transmit: peace, tenderness, and harmony.

His clouds, his green, his snow scenes, his tender way of portraying nature and people with delicacy, like also a sea storm are one of the main treats of this immense artist.

The movement of the Impressionists was born in France during the 19th century and these artists didn't mind of giving or present to people the stylistic perfection known in paintings for example during the Renaissance's period.

They wanted to let us mainly show a situation of life lived in that moment, captured in a certain moment.

We can tell without any kind of doubts that these artists have been the first photographers, because in this sense the spectacularity and freshness presented by a scenery or an event can let us feel the feelings felt by the people portrayed and it is possible to imagine without too much difficulty their conversations, their wonderful time spent together, exactly as it happens when we see an old picture of the dear old times.

The research for the naturalism and simplicity of the life portrayed, people walking in a snow countryside, a seascape, or just a picnic, a tree, gives an idea of sincerity and closeness with the most common life. These artists more than any other ones to my personal point of view have been connected, being interested in portraying the outdoor social life  , the seascapes and landscapes more than other ones have been able with great delicacy to give a voice at the real life lived by people during their time.

In this book: Monet published by Yale University Press the first decade of formative years of Claude Monet.

In a vibrant, interesting book/catalog, the evolution of this painter, his first paintings, including his first important exhibits and also the various influences that with the time of course he felt thanks to Renoir, Manet and other wonderful exponent of the Impressionism.

You can see all these paintings firstly at the
Kimbell Art Museum 'till 01/29/17 and later at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from February 25 'til May-29.

If I would be you I wouldn't lose the occasion for seeing the first Monet, but let me add: Claude Monet.

Many thanks to NetGalley for this book and to Yale University Press!

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, dicembre 03, 2016

Cookie Molds Around the Year - An Almanac of Molds, Cookies, and Other Treats for Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Other Holidays, and Every Season by Anne L. Watson

I have always felt a lot of attractions for cookies because maybe in my corner of the world they're not so common as they're in the USA.

I mean: no one bake them here in my little rural corner of Italy. We are specialized in sweet cakes of various genres, tarts, apple cakes, but not cookies.

But cookies are precious. No sure if you feel the same but maybe because they are little, some of them with butter, they remind me of good moments. They have special positive vibes.

Thanks to my American friends I started to bake some good American cookie recipes and I don't lose any occasion for reading and appreciate cook books where cookies are the main protagonists, maybe the best manifestation of our childhood memories.

So it won't be a surprise dear reader for you if I tell you I found: Cookie Molds Around the Year - An Almanac of Molds, Cookies, and Other Treats for Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Other Holidays, and Every Season
by Anne L. Watson  a true jewel! You can find the book online now at a good price.

It is first of all not the classic cookie recipe book that you buy. There are many sparkle of magic. It's a treasure to discover and to keep close to you. Not just when you will bake and an inspiration for your memories as well. Why?

Well, first of all there are not just recipes, but the main protagonists of this book will be the humanity of the author, the fairy-tales she will share with us dedicated to the kids of all ages :-) during the long winter-days while we eat with her some delicious cookies. Because of her personal stories shared with us, her readers.

These cookies Anne writes of are molds cookies!
Of course it's not said that you will re-produce the same cookie with the same mold but the book is plenty and plenty of great inspiring recipes and suggestions and I can tell you that you will find the mold you will love for obtaining the best cookies with the recipe you have chosen for that special occasion.

It can be Christmas, Saint Valentine, but also Saint Patrick's Day, passing through Easter, Spring, Summer with the picnics that the good season brings with it, Fall with the magical atmosphere of Thanksgiving Day and the idea of being more cuddled because days are shortest and again another Christmas all together with a cup of warm hot cocoa or milk and some cookies to eat with it.
You will find the best cookies recipe for your children but also for you and your friends and your family.

At the end of the eBook you will discover a lot of websites where you can learn more about the cookie molds world!

Because remember: a plain world doesn't have the same taste of a molding cookie sweet world plenty of fantasy and art!

I thank NetGalley for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori