sabato, agosto 19, 2017

Uberworked and Underpaid: How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy by Trebor Scholz

Uberworked and Underpaid: How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy by Trebor Scholz published by Polity is a strong book about the digital labor and its reality and at the same time it's a stimulating book because you will learn everything about the most known web companies ruling the net-world-dimension, what it means copyright in the net, or labor, or just being there, supporting your favorite actor, or writing reviews of your favorite books and how companies are acting regarding it.

Sometimes the so-called digital labor is very underpaid or not paid at all.
Also the word labor is different from work. Work, as the author writes means a daily activity, working with hands and constantly. Labor is a medieval word meaning pain and toil. Classified under labors there are activities like writing a poem and growing up a baby adds Mr. Lewis Hyde.

But digital work shouldn't be considered after all as a different work from the common one "disconnected" by the net, but the story is still dramatically different in this society where it is also pretty difficult to define what it is leisure connected with work. Where start leisure and when work is implemented by it?

When we want to buy a book always more often we google the title on Amazon or other websites reading the synopsis and some reviews.
But what kind of world is this one of book reviewers?
A group of millions of passionate people and bookworms.

There is the shocking beauty story of ms.Harriet Klausner from Pennsylvania. This lady wrote more than 31000 reviews for Amazon while the author wrote this book and she is considered a sort of monument, taken in great consideration from newsmagazines like The New York Times, The Washington Post but she doesn't receive any buck for this work. The author wrote that if ms Klausner would have been paid 5 dollars per review, now she would have saved 155.000 dollars.

So there is to ask to ourselves: what motivate people to write? Why do they work for free?

Another interesting chapter is the fan labor, the one involving a saga, it could be Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, your favorite actor or the TV series you love the most. Again, in most cases it's a free work or very underpaid in the best lucky cases.

43 million of people writes the author, in the USA (a statistic of 2013) live in poverty and long-term jobs assuring a stability and a security for the future are disappearing.

Social networks? People, writes the author: "Are using Facebook for "free" while consuming a culture of their own consuming." Interesting also the sections dedicated to Instagram and other socials.

Students attending 4 year college in the USA work in stage for free most of the time at first. 77% of these people are women.
In Germany there are 400.000 underpaid or not paid at all academic students assistants working in university.
Why this?
Because they live in the hope of a better future and a better tomorrow. Not only but according to the author these young people starts to develop psychologically a "self-denigration" behavior.

That the net has changed the cards on the table of our daily life is evident. With the time appeared more than clear that the net created discrepancies talking about work as well.
In this book Uberworked and Underpaid the reader will enter in a paradoxical world where few privileged people with a great intuition earn wagons of money and the rest of them nothing or they are very underpaid.
What the book wants to do is to try to connect, after the big euphoria for the arrival of the net more than 20 years ago and the various societies connected with it and the high expectations of all the people for this new "life-platform" and this incredible way of communicating, all the workers around the world for trying to define a best future for all of them active thanks to the net and the so-called digital labor.

You must read this book. It's of great relevance, sometimes sad but dramatically true and very well done.

I thank NetGalley and Polity for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, agosto 16, 2017

Heat, lack of sleeping, what a mess these past weeks were!

To all publishers, authors, books waiting to be read :-) I want to keep everyone tranquil: I am back. Slowly but I am.
It's still difficult after weeks of lacking sleep, great weakness because of heat but I try my best.

It was a horrid warm summer able to put me down in many different ways.

Last weeks Italy was interested by an immense heat with temperatures too high for reading or writing.

It was impossible reading trust me, eyes didn't collaborate at all too stressed for the heat and brain decided to go to vacation.

Writing became painful for me. I am very quick in general, I can write a piece in a few minutes, I am a reporter, and same is for reviews. Three reviews every three days in the past... But it was impossible in that condition to elaborate thoughts.  Impossible to write anything staying lucid, clear. The few reviews I posted did let me feel that they could have been written very differently and with more strength. They were altered by the conditions I experienced.

Many thanks for your attention. I love you all, I am back and I count to post my first review  after the big, unusual heat this week-end.

I want to thank NetGalley because thanks to them I discovered the big universe of American Publishing Houses and wagons of wonderful books ready to being picked up and read. I also thank all that publishers who trust me and give me the possibility of reading their books in physical or digital copies.

I thank the Universities Press of Yale, Oxford and Princeton for the good work we are doing together and for the trust they give me.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, agosto 07, 2017

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell

I fell in love for Little House on the Prairie TV series since little. Yes I confess that her books arrived later...
I think I fell in love for your country, I am italian, also because of it.
When I discovered that there was the chance for reading and reviewing a book about Laura Ingalls Wilder, I tried all my best for capturing it in the real sense, more or less of the word.

Let's start to saying that The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell will be published by Timber Press this next September 20th.

Add this date to your calendar because, trust me when I tell you that this book is stunningly beauty, serious, detailed.

The book doesn't just describe the books, locations, States, world met by Laura, but it is a real great biography mixed with the environment, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family met and this fusion of aspects precious and important for remembering a woman who marked so profoundly and in positive ways a lot of generations of Americans and people all around the world presenting enthusiasm and good sentiments to everyone.

A biography of a great woman and writer, with many details about the family of the Ingalls Wilder and later her own family.
The book includes a lot of maps, drawings, illustrations and much more.

I thank NetGalley and Timber Press for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Acid Trip Travels in the World of Vinegar with recipes from Leading Chefs, Insights from Top Producers, and step-by-step Instructions on How to Make your Own by Michael Harlan Turkell

Passions are passions in particular in culinary sector. You can fall in love for pasta, pizza, appetizers, veggies, meat, desserts, chocolate. Sometimes you can fall in love for...vinegar.
It's what happened to Michael Harlan Turkell. As he tells in the book everything started because of a bottle of wine not anymore so....good.

Since there he decided to learn much more about vinegar and the immense world of vinegar, that it is pretty diversified and rich of flavors.
In the latest book published by ABRAMS this Aug 8th: Acid Trip Travels in the World of Vinegar with recipes from Leading Chefs, Insights from Top Producers, and step-by-step Instructions on How to Make your Own you will learn everything about vinegar, production and importance of this aliment in a daily base.

This trip has been long and the author and his wife visited many countries, for understanding much better what vinegar means for a country.
From France to Italy discovering in this second case the Aceto Balsamico a specialty in past from Modena known only in recent years in all the italian territory, and then Japan, Austria, North America meeting the most important producers of vinegar like also Chefs in grade to suggest the best recipes created with vinegar. In every section-country the best recipes you can ask for for stimulate your appetite and desire of eating a real treasure for the palate.

Not only Mr Turkell tasted these different sort of vinegar and recipes in many wonderful countries, but for the joy of all of us he returned home from all these different places and flavors, plenty of recipes to share with readers in this cookbook for creating with vinegar the best recipe for every occasion and taste.

And...If you want to try to produce your own vinegar, all the instructions for living this adventure in first person!

Beautiful pictures as always! I know that you will fall in love for this new temptation by ABRAMS.

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, agosto 06, 2017

Experience and Experimental Writing Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses by Paul Grimstad

Experience and Experimental Writing Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses by Paul Grimstad is a book published by Oxford University Press.
In this book Grimstad analyzes the classical pragmatism thanks to giants of literature like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville and the Jameses.
We will see how the various authors intended the pragmatism and lived the pragmatism influenced also by philosophical thinkers like Kant, putting their vision in action in their literary works.

Literature is influenced by social, political situations lived by the country. We are in the USA it's 1850 and entire country lives a policy of "I want to stay to myself." There are not a lot of connections with Europe. Washington, NYC and also the most progressive Boston decided to keep themselves to themselves.
The ideas developed from the Old Europe are elaborated under new visions. Self-trust and expansion became the two words more "whispered" if we can use this expression and Lincoln's vision of the world reached the maturity. The USA started to create its identity, after a fratricide war, a new mentality that would have driven all the Americans to feel the pride of "Being American" from NY to California, from Alaska to Tennessee. It wasn't a joke because in the while new sectarianism born in this moment of pride, while Europe thought that the American experiment was a failure, and also religious radicalism started to become stronger.
Industries and the advent of a new and different world created another frictions.

In this context the Humanitarian and the Pragmatism takes place.

For writers it will mean to work intellectually with experience and the experimental writing describing reality in all its complexity.

Mr. Grimstad will analyze the differences between the idea of Cavell, where to him "composition, experiment, attention, search, interest and poetry" all related to giving a complete description of experience compared with the vision of other writers and intellectuals.

Every chapter will be a discovery of very beloved authors. For Henry James for example re-reading his writings still "in motion" meant new experience to be put in words.

Enjoy this book. For scholars, students, teachers interested to learn much more about this cultural movement.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, agosto 03, 2017

The Perfect You A Blueprint for identity written by Dr. Caroline Leaf

The Perfect You  A Blueprint for identity written by Dr. Caroline Leaf is a wonderful new book by Baker Books.
Dr Leaf developed with the time the Perfect You as loves to call  our being unique in our genre studying the brain and the connection with our mind from decades.

We are all born with a personal touch and for a mission that no one can steal us.
Our being unique is in our character, in our approach to life, friendship, love, in our interaction with the environment and with other people. What we can offer in terms of precious contribution to this life and this particular moment in which we exist can't be given by anyone else thanks to our personal vision and touch.

This book focuses in particular about the problems that there are when our Perfect You is not anymore balanced for the most common or uncommon reasons. It can be because of a big stress, alcoholism, depression, and so on.

What to do in this case?

This one can be a big problem.

The Perfect You, ourselves with our innate characteristics and our vision of life can stay in stand-by at long when and if there are conditions able to "kill" our identity putting in sufferance our mind and modifying, incredible but true, our brain and not for best.

What it is important to understand is that our mind in fact changes in better or worse our brain and the potentialities of our brain. Not the opposite. In the past people thought that changes were mainly a function of the brain.

No: it doesn't work in this way and so it's primarily important to cultivate in the real sense of the word spiritually good thoughts for re-balancing  a stressed brain donating it a new life.
Positive thoughts will capture a positive life.

A stressed brain is dangerous for many reasons and a psychological unhappiness for a lot of time, for too much time, a chronic unhappiness will cause a dangerous alteration of The Perfect You  exposing the person sometimes also at living very important physical illnesses.

For working much better with our person and for re-balancing The Perfect You doc. Leaf will introduce us the Unique Qualitative (UQ) Assessment Tool.

A very beauty long section is dedicated at profiling your Perfect You with questions about yourself, your vision of your self and your attitudes, your qualities.
You will discover a lot, writing it.

I found the book extremely interesting and original because it starts from scientific basis, without forgetting the real Master of our brain, soul,  body: God.
I loved to read the role and impact of MRI and f MRI for trying to understand our brain at a different level and the new discoveries thanks to atoms.

Although this one is a self-help book, with more than a touch of scientist notions, God is the main protagonist of this book.
Without Him we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't play our role in the society.

I love the cover because very colored. Futuristic look,  the mind of the man seeing in all its centrality and perfection.

I thank BakerBooksBloggers for the physical copy of this stunning and interesting book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, agosto 01, 2017

Under the Cover, The Creation, production, and reception of a novel by Clayton Childress

We love books and we love buying them online, in our favorite bookstores and our houses populated by a lot of books but...
Do we know the process of the creation of a book from the first idea, intuition of the author to the final product, later sold on bookstores and online stores, and what it remains of it after its launch and reception?

If the answer is no, this book Under the Cover, The Creation, production, and reception of a novel by Clayton Childress is for you!

Published by Princeton University Press it will reveal to the reader the amazing work that there is behind the publication of a book.

Written with great love, accuracy, attention for every little detail, it is extremely clear in the exposition of the various steps of the creation of a book, it's a great reading, captivating and  interesting!

Intriguing from the beginning to the end, this book can't be put down for a second.

Mr. Childress will analyze the creation from the beginning to the end of Jarrettsville a novel published by Counterpoint in 2009, written by Cornelia Nixon. The tale: a real historical murder in the profound South of the USA.

Under the Cover will largely touch a lot of topic of book industry.  The main differences between recent authors, in general people with another very well paid work, like in Nixon's case and so without the stress of writing a book feeling the pressure of making money with it for a living, if compared with authors of the past.
We will discover that Mario Puzo decided to write The Godfather  for desperation thinking this one his latest chance before to giving up with this career.
Bloomsbury decided to publish Harry Potter, but just few copies at first.

Publishing houses, their marketing strategies, their fields of specializations under the lenses of Childress, like also the role of agents in a writer's life.
In the past their role "limited", now a bridge, the most powerful one between the author and publishers.

Nixon fired her first agent, hiring a new one, Weil, the same agent by Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café) because she was searching for something else. And because she wanted to The story of her first two books and her first agent is very interesting.

Childress will explain the genesis of Jarrettsville from the first version created in a Starbucks for a story of time well-spent, to the final editing and important changes wanted by the publishing house later.

A writer is not alone in the process of writing.

In the creative final process of a book every element is important: title, cover, synopsis, reviews, the book launch.
Every market is analyzed.
The power of Amazon if compared with other markets and its ability of helping authors in the process of selling copies of their books makes the difference, tells us the author.

Childress will explain how the New York Times, the most important and prestigious newsmagazine where all the authors would want to be launched, pick up successful books and authors.
The New York Times receives 1000 books submissions every week but just few books will receive the privilege of being read, reviewed and suggested to the readers.

We will also appreciate how the final product in commerce is lived in book groups located in various areas of the country.

But what we will understand the most thanks to Under the Cover is that buying a book means to buying the final and definitive piece  of a long process of materialization of ideas, purposes, expectations.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, luglio 26, 2017

The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman

The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman is an intense, historical, sophisticated crime novel.
Imagine: NYC, a day like another....
Who was this man and why was killed? This one the first questions pooped up in the mind of detective Woodrow Cain, from the South of the USA to the Hudson River, NYC with his first case in his first work-day in the city. A homicide pretty difficult to decipher. A great luck, he knows it.
Thinking also that the smell of this corpse, considering his conditions, will follow him  home, clothes included, the cop is in trouble for other reasons.
His colleagues discovered that he was recommended for this place in NYC so he started to be "hated" immediately.
His private ex-life left in the South is a discouraging mess, with an ex-wife in love for alcohol and for his ex best friend, let's put things like this, now not anymore in this world,  and with a cute daughter with which he corresponds in a daily base via letter, a terrible father-in-law, and in general cold relatives, just able to put him down because of the shadows of his past.
We are in 1942, the city of New York is a fertile place rich of busy people of all the possible ethnicities.
In this contest, a man pretty secluded and private, living in a fascinating corner of the city, a letter writer, Jewish from Prussia, with great knowledge of five languages, Yiddish, German, Italian for telling you some, discovers that maybe the case of homicide he reads in the newspaper is connected with him.
He knows the dead man.
He knows him and he has copies of the letters written by him. And, if his conjectures true, maybe the story is more complicated than what it can appears.

This man is Danzinger. The chapters dedicated to him written in first person are fascinating, intense, powerful moments; Danziger in fact filters with the power of his mind people and events.
Important past, he will contact soon Cain and together will visit the city morgue  where the corpses of the various John Does have been put, close to the public and historical hospital Bellevue.
They won't just discover the identity of this first person Herr Hansc as Danziger will call him but also that he is in good company. Another corpse, the one of Schaller will be discovered moments later and each of these corpses have a special mark: the one of people close to a Nazis group called Bundits.
Although illiterate, the two, Germans, sympathized for this dangerous Nazis group maybe because someone promised them a good work.

The story is more complicated when Danzinger will discover that   crime will continue at a different level and the game more dangerous for obvious reasons...
At the same time, we will also follow the private adventures by Cain in love for a girl close to Danziger, the arrival of his daughter from the South, the discovery of the real identity of this fascinating letter-writer and his complicated past...

The Letter Writer is not just a beautiful historical crime book novel but also a wonderful and stunning portrait of the private  lives of all the protagonists and the one of NYC the city that never sleeps.

Highly recommended!

I thank so much! Dan Fesperman :-) and Penguin Random House for the physical copy of this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes is able to see the brightest side of life from food, to drinks, from landscapes to exotic trips. Her descriptions are warm, she really enjoys life

Emerald Coast  published by St.Martin's Press this August 1 is able to make the difference.


Real old values are back. Love is love and is not connected with the value of money able to ruin everything and everyone and it is a sentiment treated with respect and not with superficiality.
Rich people are not light people without any kind of ethic or problem or brain.
Rich people have a brain, a heart, feelings, culture, a life and problems as well.
The story is not just interesting.
It is written very well and there are portrayed real characters with their sufferance,  joys, happiness. They live their life in the entire intensity of it. In a word: they are alive.

I have loved also the interconnection, fusion in the various chapters between the "now" and "past", present and memories.

Anita Hughes is "a succulent describer."
She describes a beautiful vacation, passing through cocktails to fabulous dinners, stunning views, as no other ones can do better than her with a vision of life that it is incredibly beauty.

Of course, life is also something else and this time Anita added also the "something else:" feelings, sentiments, real life, real love, real sufferance, avoiding superficiality.

Sardinian's location chosen by Hughes for her characters is Porto Cervo.

What I loved the most was the  historic reconstruction of Sardinia as a touristic exclusive locality. I didn't know this story.
The Aga Khan, his arrival to this island, his love for the island and the decision of inviting a lot of people, VIPS, like Grace Kelly and so on in this corner of italian Paradise. I guess that these bits can interest a lot the reader, because the life of the jet-set is interesting and because every locality speaks of us, our past, our traditions.

The love-story is set up in various parts of the world but mainly in Italy and it pays a lot because the Bel Paese presents a different dimension, also when we speak of "exclusive places."

The beginning is this one: Lily is 35 and she is divorcing from her biggest love of her life: Oliver, after 10 years of marriage, and a daughter, Louisa of 6 years.
Their love starts when Oliver works in Naples, Italia. Both in their 20's, their love bloomed in Spello a medieval locality  of Umbria, and continues to Florence where Lily arrives thanks to Oliver for later, leaving for the USA.
This love-story continues through letters, when Oliver decides to afford to San Francisco where Lily lives for trying to see if a real love can be possible.
The answer is yes.
There is another man, Roger, very appreciated by the parents of Lily, in particular by Lily's mother, but Lily is uninterested to him declaring to her mom: "I am sorry I am engaged with Oliver."
Oliver thinks that this is perfect.
They love each other, they want to spend the rest of their life together and so what should they wait for?

Oliver doesn't still have a house and a good work and stability, but love is love and money is not anymore the priority for this couple, but starting their life together seeing what will happen later.

Being Hughes a positive writer there is a good happy end for everyone, of course.

Thanks to Lily's good advice, in fact, Oliver will become a great food critic, for the Chronicle of San Francisco at first and later for the NYT.
Lily arrives in Sardinia for launching her new store. She has stores in Milan, and USA. Oliver is there as well because of a restaurant's review for the Times with his new flame, Angela a florist from New York.

Can ten years spent together being deleted for a couple maybe still in love? How much important  memories are for us?

If for some people moving on pretty simple because they lived terrible experiences with their partners, for Lily is difficult. She still loves Oliver and she feels shame declaring that she is a young to-be-soon divorced woman although she wants this divorce, and she asks to her personal butler to find for her a sort of companion for let think at her husband that she is not alone.
At the same time they both remember. The beauty of the beginning, their marriage, their years spent together, their living together.
And: will their love-story survive at a divorce?

 I suggest this book to everyone. I know that it will be appreciated.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, luglio 23, 2017

The Ring of Truth and other myths of sex and jewelry by Wendy Doniger

Why rings are so special for men and women? What do they represent in our imaginary and in our subconscious?
A ring: the never-ending love, the infinite relationship with the other one. The shape of the ring, round, in general gold, gives a sense of precious love and an endless love-story.
But how much important is the ring as distinctive element in our society passing through the history of jewelry?

It's what will explain to us in this wonderful, captivating, fascinating, sexy and sensual trip Wendy Doniger in her latest book:  The Ring of Truth and other myths of sex and jewelry published by Oxford University Press.
A ring is not just a ring. A ring is sensuality, sexuality, a strong symbolism of loyalty or infidelity, a mask for infidelities, a passionate sensual game for obtaining what we want to obtain, a horrible object hiding a terrible past.

A ring has a great power: the power of love, hate, destruction, memory, loss of memory, and in the past, rings were also associated to abandoned children.
In general these poor moms put in the basket close to their babies a little jewel.
In some case this object was a ring. In most cases these moms being illiterate couldn't add anything else, not a message to the posterity for their beloved children for explaining why, with the death in their heart constricted to abandon them. A ring was a gift for remembering them the family where they were from.

When a man declares his love to a girl presents her a ring.
Symbolically it's like to close a circle in term of affectivity, sensuality and sexuality as you will discover. The choice has been done and the ring means that the girl is under the man's power.

The story of Cinderella will "shock" you because revisited under a sexual "vision", the story of King Solomon the wise man able to speak with every creature is treated for remarking the importance of a lost object like a ring later found again in his case while he was eating a fish. There are several versions of this story in the book.

We find Boccaccio with the tale from the Decameron of the clever wife, but also the love-story of Tristan and Isolde, the ones by Shakespeare where rings are centrals for sorting out stories, passing through the big scandal that would have brought Marie Antoinette Queen of France in a difficult position and would have increased the big hate felt by french folk for monarchy, Louis XVI and this Queen in particular with also tales written by Dumas and other french writers, who with their fertile imagination tried to guess or imagining the real version of the facts.
The most painful chapter the one of incestuous love with examples taken also by Indian literature. Suggestive the chapter all dedicated to Indians and their relationship with jewels and rings.

Thanks to modern literature, let's remember Henry James, Somerset Maugham, we will explore another side of the story of ring and jewelry after the painful chapter dedicated to Marie Antoinette Queen of France: the one of the slut assumption. Jewelry are pretty expensive and of course if they can't be presented or bought there are some ethical problems: where these jewels come from? Is this fruit of a honest relationship?
No, of course.

It's not forgotten Hollywood with Marylin Monroe iconic symbol of that phrase passed at the History: "Diamonds are girls's best friends,"

and with many anecdotes from movies and stars and ads remembering that diamonds are indestructible and that's why they are picked up for cementing with a good ring a solid union.

The book is clear, written with great warm, love, passion, continuously stimulating, the example taking in consideration for explaining the story of the ring through myth, legends, literature very interesting.

I know for sure that this book will be loved by everyone!

I thank Oxford University Press for this beautiful book!

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, luglio 21, 2017

The Imperfect Disciple Grace for People who can't get their act together by Jared C.Wilson

Who is the imperfect disciple for Jared C.Wilson author of The Imperfect Disciple  Grace for People who can't get their act together published by Baker Books?
Substantially someone who is growing up with Jesus although he/she is not perfect, although he/she can be messy or his/her life can be messy. He/she is also someone who believes that after all God has a plan for him/her although he/she can't believe anymore to it.

Mr.Jared doesn't search for perfection and he knows how living this life can means imperfection.
We search for good actions but sometimes we are not ethical, and attracted by badness. In synthesis we are not good people. It's like if we would be dual. But Jesus asks and wants for these people: sinners.
People who perennially fight against the badness and evil temptations in a daily base. I's simple to fall. Evil is hidden behind a beautiful angel adds Wilson.

Some indications were left by Jesus for all of us. Who are the most Blessed people?

Well, Jesus explains everything in the Sermon of the Mount, where he clarifies to everyone what it means to live a good and complete blessed life.
He says:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed at the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness'sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."

It was another Scripture this one truly loved by my beloved priest Marino. He stayed with us for 63 years and every morning he picked up this scripture for the daily mass dedicated at the Dead ones.

These people portrayed here are the luckiest ones of this world for Jesus.
They are persecuted, after all they're not successful people but Jesus, first of all search for them.
Maybe He also search for them for trying to let show to the rest of people the world with the eyes of these people. Seeing the world with the glasses of these people is wonderful.
Sure no one wants to see around people like these ones assures the author making various example. We don't search for them in press conferences, we don't want to hear their opinion because they're border-line, they're losers.

But...This world needs the real Jesus so badly affirms the author and so each of us should follow these Beatitudes.
Jesus promised to help the most stressed people in this world.
But where to start?
First of all we could start to be similar to Him.
Jesus was a revolutionary for his time and his thoughts immensely important and young also for our culture.
And then...
Go out observing the world.
The author speaks of his daughter.
Once she found him peacefully sat. He enjoyed to seeing people and observing the world in a public space.
He wasn't reading anything on his smartphone. The smart phone wasn't around.
What it was important in that moment was enjoying the moment, being there, looking at people, looking at the life close to him and that was what it mattered the most.
The author thinks that we are too occupied with little things.
Jobs will make people holy but we must also remember that we are not holy for what we have done but because of what Jesus has done remarks Wilson.

Jesus is not distant from us. We are not his servants, but substantially men and women who follow His word and his example being sinners  trying to do the best.

The author then analyzes his readers. Most of these people live in a big city.
Sure: where we live and how we live it says a lot about us, our way of living our life-style, work, friendships and so on.

Living in a city in general let us introduce another word: "Self." We work and we establish first of all a big connection with ourselves, and it becomes like if we would be trapped by society and its values and standards of living.
Reading what it writes Mr Wilson is like to listening the Sunday sermon of my priest Bruno: we give to Lord and Jesus the time we think we should give Him but priorities are others. Cars, work, family, friends, hobbies.
It's a story of society and of course our addiction to all the things it offers us for making us happy.
Reading the Bible in a daily base will be helpful for keeping Christ and not us at the center of the Universe.
It's important to give voice to God and to hearing His voice and so to trying to find some places where for some minutes we can rest and meditate about the Scripture or just for praying establishing a contact with Him.
It is also true that at the end praying everyday is seeing like a sort of obligation but as also adds the author what it is important to do is to speak clearly to God trying to understand thanks to Him what it is going on in our life.
The author suggests various prayers.
Mr.Wilson suggests also the importance of being part of the Church's community where we live in revealing us at some point the nine irrefutable laws of Followship adding also to becoming who you are.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

The California Garden Tour by Donald Olson

The California Garden Tour by Donald Olson will be published soon by Timber Press a specialized American publishing house about gardens, plants and flowers. This one is an interesting book about the most iconic, important gardens of this superb and diversified State of the West American Coast that it is: California. 

A dream for many thanks in general at the good weather,California offers spectacular views, thanks to the extension of this State, but also wonderful landscapes, beautiful corners.
We will also find different kind of weather and so diversified  plants, and flowers.

The book is divided in sections: Northern California, East Bay, Sonoma & Vicinity, Central and North Coast, Southern California starting with Los Angeles & Vicinity, Pasadena & Vicinity, South Coast, Santa Barbara & Vicinity, Palm Springs & Vicinity, San Diego & Vicinity.

In each section you will find the various private mansions, parks or universities gardens of the area where you live in or where maybe you are in vacation in at the moment and a visit in some of these places don't appear to be bad considering that it is summer-time.
From the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden with its carnivorous plants, to the Getty Center and Getty Villa in which they incorporated diversified genre of plants including beautiful superb succulents but also romantic flowers, passing through The Secret Garden of Monterey located in the heart of the old part of the city,  to the beautiful Californian vineyards seen in all their beauty thanks to the chapter dedicated at the Ferrary-Carano vineyards and winery,  Alcatraz won't disappoint you as well. You can't believe it, but they created a stunning and remarkable garden in the island and considering the weather, plants and flowers are pretty interesting.

I thank NetGalley and Timber Press for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, luglio 19, 2017

Danish Fairy-Tales

Danish Fairy-Tales  in italian Fiabe Danesi is a book published by the italian publishing house Iperborea specialized in North European literature.  Let me add, I loved to read it so badly.
When I was little I was a voracious readers of fables and fairy-tales.
I remain of the idea that the mental structure of a good kid, his/her character, the good brain and the ethicity he/she will develop is a work done by parents thanks to imagination, dream, reality, and good fairy-tales and books as well.

Fables and fairy-tales are crucial for children because  they speak to the heart going deep in the soul and working in the morality and conscience of any individual little or adult.
A fairy-tale won't pass once it is told but will remain impressed as a tattoo in the soul of any person and with the time, when the kid will be adult in grade to let him show, in less creative ways, reality, ethical behaviors, the paradoxical side of life, constricting him to confront his life with our modern ogres, witches, terrible creatures in general. It's possible to be these characters as well because life is long and situations change of course and we are not angels all the times. At the same time, if during the childhood the kid has discovered the world of fairy-tales he will be in grade to sort out problems with more creativity. In moment of desperation fairy-tales will be helpful to find a good solution to the problems.
What it is sure is that a strong morality is waiting the kid or the adult behind each fairy-tale.

In this book created by Iperborea the attention is focused on the various most known Danish fairy-tales.
First of all I want to re-assure everyone. They have all a wonderful happy-end!

What I noticed is that they're all very ethical and the scheme is similar: good people will win against sly, dishonest, cruel men or creatures that they meet along their way.

Not only: there is great respect for old ones. Sometimes old people are seen as people in grade to sort out the problems of the youngest ones, because wise.

In general it's a fairy "buried, hidden" in a body of an old woman for seeing if the person in front of her is someone in grade to prove respect, decency for the old person. In this case, only in this case they will present him joy and happiness in this life, but the message is clear: being compassionate and educated pay always.

Sometimes we speak of a little elf in grade to being helpful.

What I found extremely interesting has been the connection of two beautiful fairy-tales connected with St. John's day a very important pagan feast as well. It's a very famous feast in our little corner of the world where we love to celebrate as well. On St.John's Day's Eve we pick up perfumed wild flowers, some walnuts leaves, three kind of waters, leaving the perfumed water outside for being blessed by St.John. The day of St.John we love to wash our body with this blessed perfumed water.

Said that, in these two fairy-tales St.John's day is lived as a day in which a field destructed by someone every year. A boy will discover that substantially three girls danced all the time in the field because once they lived there...It's a wonderful fairy-tale, you will see. The boy will break the curse.
Then there is the story of a gold flower captured by a bird with beautiful gold feathers...

There is blessed money ended in good hands, but also money ended in bad hands like in the fairy-tale of the little coin of luck. You know: sometimes you must preserve the littlest and most "insignificant" coin that you keep in your pocket, because that one could make the difference.

I found absolutely hilarious the fairy-tale of the wife, the cow and the husband. This cow was sold at the market. Three people paid the cow like if it would have been a goat. Everyone repeated to that poor lady that her cow was a goat and after all she started to believe it.
The husband of this wife not happy for the pay, but he will be in grade to recuperate all his money and much more. I laughed a lot reading it.
The box of desires is suggestive, like also the two tales of the sheet, and in the second fairy-tale the knapsack is included.

What also I loved so badly is that people portrayed in these fairy-tales are very good. Good people live a good life, bad people live a bad life.
If a treasure is discovered there is loyalty and people will divide money or will tell them that there is this money.
No one will do anything if not ethical and nothing against other people for damaging them apart witches, evil spirits etc. It's a very important message. Just for this reason these fairy-tales should be read and re-read considering the historical moment we are living in.

I found so sweet and beauty the tale of the three little pink pigs. The nephew was instructed by his old granny of selling the cow, but he returned home with three little pink pigs. He met in fact along his way an old lady and he "sold" her the cow for these three little pink pigs.
Although his granny at first very upset and desperate, she will discover that these three little pink pigs could make their fortune!

Go for this book if you have a kid and you want to tell him/her wonderful, serious, beautiful, sometimes scaring fairy-tales. And go for that ones as well. They won't sleep once, but then they will be fearless. Go for this book if, adult, you search for a beautiful world where at the end good people will win against bad people, for once :-)

Highly recommended.

I surely thank Iperborea for this wonderful fairy-tale book! I returned a little kid for some while! Thanks a lot!

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, luglio 18, 2017

Cages by Sylvia Torti

Cages is an interesting book written by Sylvia Torti.  This one is the first book I read about the life spent by scientists in laboratory. 

Songbirds is the song of God thinks more than sure David one of the scientists in the lab studying the birdsong of many and beautiful diversified birds and trying, with the help of Anton to discover the interactions and implications that there are between these animals with us and our illnesses. The two scientists work well until the arrival of Rebecca. 
Rebecca lost her previous work as a photographer and so now she thinks that working in a laboratory is another great chance. She loves birds and plus she can put some food on her table and paying her bills. It helps.
Anton's origins are italian and he starts to make friendship with Rebecca. He tells her about San Gimignano. He is a good cook and he starts to taking care a lot about Rebecca and the two thanks also to a trip to Miami of their colleague David lives the perfect  moment for falling in love as later David will discover with a certain disappointment and.. a sabotage and someone fired as well...

Culturally great. Highly recommended.

I thank Schaffner Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, luglio 16, 2017

Kierkegaard's Muse The Mystery of Regine Olsen by Joachim Garff

I was intrigued by this book: Kierkegaard's Muse The Mystery of Regine Olsen written by Joachim Garff, the official biographer of the philosopher.
Published by Princeton Press, on the cover the antique picture of an enigmatic,  sweet, melancholic, tender girl.
The story is stunning for sure and deserves a lot of attention.
In a society where love is consumed in a few hours and then forgotten for another new one, in this case I met an extraordinary and I want also to add sad love-story.

It's an old-fashioned love-story, the one between Regine Olsen and the known poet, philosopher and thinker Soren Kierkegaard.

This couple split up after a year, maybe - reading between the lines of what Kierkegaard wrote - because the thinker panicked for having met the right person. According to him no one could live close to him in a normal relationship.  Better to ends it.
Regine was devastated. From that point on they will live as if something unsaid was in the air; Kierkegaard writing down his reflections in various journals, Regine searching for him, destroyed, everywhere, for her lost love. Soren maybe happy to still have Regine's soul in his hands, Regine seeing that this love-story didn't end at all.
Kierkegaard was unable to move on although he decided to split up from Regine.
But not only: if Soren unable to going on with his existence, his ex fiance and now married woman was at the same time haunted by his presence, by her same feelings, by that lost opportunity without return, searching for him, waiting for him, meeting him in special places and routes of Copenhagen trying to establish not just a visual, but also an erotic contact with her past boyfriend.
The force of this love, able to survive at a husband, time, consumed Soren Kierkegaard, devoted forever to this dream, and his girlfriend became the main inspiration of his works.
Regine became his perfect spiritual sensual muse.

In a world where men kill women when there are problems, in a moment of extreme hate between couples this book is like a wonderful fresh rose, able to speak at the conscience of people, at their feelings, at their sentiments.
Sure: also the one lived by Soren Kierkegaard could be classified as a "sick love" because his torments, his idealization for Regine didn't know end. He interrupted his probable happiness and life shared with Regine for selfish reasons after all. The fear of being happy, the fear of not being perfect at her eyes, but....Ending this love-story  meant that he preserved it for the Eternity and at the same time his behavior after the split was sweet and not destructive.
He ended up their story before the monotony would have killed love and passion, preserving intact his love and permitting him to fall in love for her again forever and ever again.
It was a creative reaction at a great pain and sufferance, the elaboration created by the mind of this thinker able to enlarge the horizons and able to "read" and idealize his Regine living with this intact dream in his heart although it meant the sacrifice of a life.

Soren Kierkegaard has never forgotten her and this "disability" of forgetting who knows maybe once became his same illness, that illness who brought him to the grave. At the end "imprisoned" in his own body for a little while, he suffered a lot but I want to think that having experienced real love to him it was more than sufficient for going on.
I want to search this as consolation, because to him this girl, Regine meant not the world, but the Universe, and she was his... Queen :-) in real sense.

A love-story impossible to live at a certain point for this couple. When of course they split up and Regine started to dating her future husband Fritz Schlegel.

From the beginning: Soren Kierkegaard once met this girl and to him it was like a revelation for her purity. Later he asked to her if she wanted to become his girlfriend.
And from some point on, 1840 'till 1841 per a year, no problems for the couple but then, the engagement was broken by Soren and later, Regine started to dating and later married Fritz Schlegel. With the time Mr Schlegel became Governor of the Danish West Indian Island and Regine the Governess, an important institutional role of great prestige.

But...the invisible wire of affection, love, eroticism between the two lovers remained intact. In his journals Soren portrayed in great details his daily  "casual" meetings with the ex fiance and married woman where they exchanged some glances without to speak in a body language of extreme significance.

The profound love and affection lived by Kierkegaard for this lady remained intact also when she decided to move on with her life, choosing someone else.
When the poet and philosopher died, in a testament left all his properties to his beloved fiance, a real shock to the rest of the family.

Contacted the Schlegels, the husband of Regine answered back in a letter without too much sentimentalism that no one was interested in the properties left by Kierkegaard and that his wife, in case would have been grateful to have in return just some letters she exchanged with him during the period of their relationship and other few items.

The husband of Regine surely not very happy of discovering that the past abruptly was back in their lives and not just left behind in Copenhagen.

Once the couple returned to Copenhagen they found a different and at the same time similar world and also, you will see, after the departure of Kierkegaard the publications of the famous Journals written by Kierkegaard. Another reason for being upset for Fritz. He discovered in fact thanks to these journals everything about the daily meetings her wife had with Soren and more than surely he must have thought: "Why if all was ended up she was still thinking of him?"

The book is plenty of extracts from the letters exchanged between Regine and her sister Cornelia and the journals kept by Soren Kierkegaard. Many pictures of the various protagonists, locations, this one is a  historical beautiful book.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, luglio 15, 2017

How to fall in love with anyone by Mandy Len Catron

Love is love. We fantasize about love, we would believe that love is perfect and that the happy every after we see after a romantic cartoon or a movie will end well and that our relationship will be the best one, and no one, time, expectations and our personal growth can kill it.
My parents have been married for 60 years and 9 months and something. Then dad died last Nov 2.
And for mom is hard obviously.
Personally I am still single because I idealize love a lot giving to it expectations and perfection. I grew up with the movie by Norah Ephron and it says a lot. My favorite one is When Harry met Sally but also Sleepless in Seattle, You've got Mail are fantastic and I remain of the idea that although the most recent cynical pieces regarding When Harry met Sally, these love are not impossible. Nora Ephron was romantic in her screenplays but also pretty connected with the reality.

A long premise, because it was pretty interesting to read How to fall in love with anyone by Mandy Len Catron. Mandy was selected, chosen by the New York Times section Modern Love with the article: "To fall in love with anyone, Do This," one of the most clicked articles of 2015 with millions of visualizations in the world. After this beautiful experience the idea of writing a book in essays about love and what it is love.

But the book by Mandy wants to be to her also a self-therapy for the traumatic experience lived by her once their parents decided to split up after a long marriage. The author remembers the perfection of this love-story she loved to tell to anyone. His dad was the coach, her mom the reporter of the school magazine. They fell in love during an interview. A never-ending love. Their parents wouldn't never increased  the sad percentage of divorced couples because her parents were perfect, their love perfect, their times perfect.

Unfortunately when their fairy-tale ended Mandy felt a lot of sadness and I think also the incapacity of sorting out this loss. Because a dying love means a loss and if we want the failure of a couple and more of a life-project. Mandy felt all of it and started to read compulsively books and magazines about love.
Mandy didn't accept any new start of her parents too devastated for what happened to them: her dream of a perfect world where harmony would have reigned forever was broken and although time passed by this situation was lived by her with great internal conflict.

At the same time we will also follow Mandy and her love-story for Kevin, long ten years. A love-story of habits, of expectations, but also radical differences.
We will see thanks to her the online dating communities. We will discover the new phase she lived as single,  and then the re-discovery of love.

We will see how Hollywood lives love now.
Love is not anymore analyzed at the beginning the most beautiful phase, but in its pains, sufferance, maturity, problematic that there are in a couple. The first meeting is not anymore important to Hollywood and Nora Ephron is dead as well...

Intelligent book, sad because of course the author would have wanted a different end, but sometimes a terrible end is the beginning of something else.

Like this book is! A bad experience brought to Mandy notoriety, the possibility of sharing in a lot of prestigious places her thoughts and this one is positive and it will be a great new start to her.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Simon&Schuster for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, luglio 13, 2017

The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky

A beautiful, felt, moving tribute book the one written by Sasha Abramsky to his beloved, appreciated grand-dad Chimen Abramsky: The House of Twenty Thousand Books.

Hillway, we are in London was a special place. The house bought in 1944 by Chimen Abramsky and his wife Mimi, became The House of Books with the time as Sasha Abramsky calls it.
Substantially, tells Abramsky in the house of his grand-dad there were piles of books everywhere apart in the kitchen (where, true, books shouldn't be kept) and other little few places kept books-free.  The story of Chimen Abramsky is singular.
He was the son of a very estimated rabbi and they lived in Russia, when he was born in 1916. Then his dad was incarcerated for political reasons and also sent in Siberia where he spent hallucinating moments. Chimen once he saw all of it, became an atheist, starting to fall in love for Communism and socialist ideology. Contradictory behavior considering that his dad was put in jail by the Communists? It's the power of being young and a thinker. Just this.
Not only: somewhere in the House of Books was found after the death of Chimen Abramsky a letter signed by him and written by his wife Mimi (when they were very young) where there is written he thinks it was more than corrected what the Communist party did to his dad, sending him to Siberia, because his dad was a reactionary.
Sasha Abramsky remembers his grand-father not too proud of these old radical first political positions.
With the age Chimen Abramsky's radicals ideas became more mitigated and acceptable.
In that house, empty now, there was the biggest collection of socialism written books existing in the world. Starting from the books by Karl Marx and possessed by the same Marx, and then books owned by Lenin, plus Morris's books, all first editions of the most, prestigious books you can think at, the house of Chimen Abramsky was incredibly...Plenty.
Chimen loved to attend every week the most prestigious auctions from Sotheby's passing through Christie's for buying always new old books. With the time his house became the Temple of Books and the whisper of souls that had written them. Of course he also collected letters, documents and wagons of other material inherent Socialism.

You mustn't think that Chimen and Mimi Abramsky were people without sense of hospitality because of all these books.
No: all the opposite!
If the author remarks that the house was plenty of thousand books, at the same time, maybe they have received in their kitchen the same amount of people or more with the decades writes Sasha Abramsky.
Very social people sometimes with some friends shared different ideologies.
Chimen Abramsky was opened at a direct confrontation with opposite opinions all the time cultivating friends with diversified ideas as well, and these discussions, pretty warm could bring at long silences per months, because each part "offended" by the other one.
More in general if the house became "property" of the books accumulated by Mr. Chimen with the years the kitchen remained the temple of Mimi where she prepared her famous teas to share with her guests and succulent dishes and the dining room the intellectual place where to sharing ideas as well.

Not everyone could access at the immense library Chimen Abramsky built in his house with the years. Not because Chimen didn't want to share, remembers his nephew Sasha but because he wanted to feel a connection with the other person. The person requested to seeing a document hadn't to feel curiosity for his house or his books and what he created with it. If he felt that the person was genuinely interested to seeing certain documents and she/he was nice, cordial, he wasn't surely someone who would have neglected the vision of books and documents although he could strongly refuse it when he felt that it wasn't the case.

Sasha Abramsky since very little loved to spend in his grand-dad's house a lot of time, and he went there as often as he could for breathing the atmosphere of culture that only his grand-dad could present him.
Sasha remarks that when he was little he thought that in every house there were books by Leibniz for being read and discussed as he did with his grand-dad and that books were part of every house and every person.

When his grand-dad fell sick with Parkinson, his wife Mimi died a lot of time before, he spent most of his time in that kitchen and the author remembers the long hours spent with his grand-dad in the kitchen talking with him during these fading moments of his existence. The kitchen became the most important part of the house.

Chimen and Mimi's Abramsky's bedroom contained of course the most beloved books of the house. Nested there.
It was another place characteristic and crowded of books. From the bed to the rest of the bedroom there wasn't a lot of space left for the couple. Little Sasha once remained in the house of his grand-dad when he was just 5 years old and slept there or tried to, but as all the rest of the children of this world, although his love for his grand-father and grand-mother so badly asked for his parents all the time and before 5 o'clock Chimen Abramsky re-accompanied him home. I guess, exhausted.

Sasha remembers also when once dreamed that his so loved grand-father was dead and the House of Books completely empty by books. He was terrorized by this nightmare.

The book is also a cultural history of the Abramsky family and the motivation brought them to London, with only, when they escaped from Russia just two children because the other two still kept by the government in Russia and just after various years and thanks to the pressure of many important people who knew the reputation of the Abramsky family, they re-joined the family.

The book is also the story of Socialism seen through the books and documents accumulated by Chimen Abramsky.

It was an enchanting world the one of Chimen Abramsky lost as he was in his reading, in his books, in his ideology, in his friendships and in his way of life. A way of life that leaves to the author, his nephew, all the melancholy of beautiful years and conversations spent with his grand-dad in the House of Books.
For the first time Sasha Abramsky shared in a book what he feels for his grand-father, what a terrible loss has been this one to him, and firstly the honor and privilege that has been to be the nephew of Chimen Abramsky.

Highly suggested, it's a moving, interesting and sweet book. Written with great love, passion, dedication.

I thank The New York Review of Books for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, luglio 11, 2017

The Forever Letter Writing What we Believe for Those We Love by Elana Zaiman

The Forever Letter Writing What we Believe for Those We Love by Elana Zaiman  will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide this Sept 8.
Elana Zaiman is a rabbi, chaplain and writer.
A long tradition this one of rabbis in the family of Zaiman, where old-fashioned traditions are very important.

One of these traditions is the so-called Forever Letter, a letter, in general just written once per life or anyway written in important moments of the existence by a person and sent to a member of the family, parents, siblings, friends, relatives in general.

The book is very interesting, plenty of example of letters, memories of the author, including her dad's Forever Letter to her. Elana Zaiman will tell you moments to choose, and reasons why we should write a Forever Letter in a certain time of our existence at someone we love.
Sure the intensity is high, the written words marks a difference. A Forever Letter for being called like that must contain the essence of life.

It can be written for leaving a legacy, a trace of the roots of our family, in a moment of illness, when we think we have something important to communicate.
Mrs. Zaiman will explain also what to write, how to write it. The only guideline: don't tell family secrets in these letters. I guess that there is space somewhere else.
We live in a society where instant messages, social media are more important than reflection, meditation.

It's a world that rush this one but these letters, writes Mrs. Elana are wonderful because you can read and re-read them in moments of discomfort, in moments of weakness and when you need the most some balm for your soul and words.

This letter in fact, has been hand-written by someone who love you and wants to stay close to you if not physically, mentally. 
There is a different power in hand-written words although this art is losing appeal.

Personally I love letters in general. Today I received a letter from a correspondent. My God what a hallucinating trip did that letter! It returned to the USA, and my pen-pal sent that again to me and this time with success. It was great to read today her latest updates.
With another  American correspondent we share a book where we write and describe our life and our current events.
I haven't never completely lost the contact with paper, because it's natural, joyous indispensable.

Said that: enjoy this book and Happy Forever Letters to everyone.

I thank NetGalley and Llewellyn for this ebook.


Anna Maria Polidori

Homes & Haunts Touring Writers' Shrines and Countries by Alison Booth

Are you in vacation? In particular in UK and USA, East Coast? Do you love reading and your dream have always been the one of visiting the places where your favorite novelists set their books in?
Or the houses where their lived him? 
If the answer to all these questions is yes, Homes & Haunts Touring Writers' Shrines and Countries by Alison Booth  is the book for you!

Published by Oxford University Press the book traces the importance of  literary tourism, during decades and centuries permitting us to discover many places visited, lived by our favorite writers.

Why this interest of people for this tourism? Well it's explained very well if you love reading and writing and if you watched... Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen.
Do you remember the story? There is this American writer in vacation with the girlfriend and the parents of the girlfriend.
They didn't like him a lot (the girlfriend still did) and so he loved to spend all the time during the night alone along the streets of Paris in search for inspiration 'til at the moment, magical, when he meets in a corner of Paris, close to a bend, an old-fashioned car with Hemingway in it, and later Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The writer will meet all the giants of painting and literature of that time, Picasso, Gertrude Stein...
The writers and artists who made our literary, artistic life this past century, with a trip in the Belle Epoque and an encounter with Toulouse-Lautrec for not forgetting anyone. The American Writer amazed and shocked to live thanks to them in their favorite places, sharing meals, cocktails, ideas, and thoughts about writing. He couldn't believe at what he was seeing and living.

Sentiments are these same ones when you decide to visit one of these houses, one of these places.
Because you love to being there, because these writers means to you a personal growth and maybe the discovery of a world, distant and fascinating. Maybe when you were still little you established a connection with some of them and their writing and maybe you decided to become a writer, a reporter, a thinker thanks to them. Maybe you continued to read thanks to them.

Trust me: bring with you this book and pick up some writer's shrines or houses where your beloved authors can be found.
Discover with your eyes  where they loved to go, where they lived in, how they are remembered.
Whoever you will choose, from Elizabeth Gaskell, a writer I would encourage to read much more, to Longfellow, from Dickens, to Brontee, - and many other ones - it will be always a great surprise.
This book will reveal to you all the best places where you can find objects, houses, places, pubs, historical documents to visits and much more.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame, and the Death of President Lincoln by Rebecca Langston-George

The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame, and the Death of President Lincoln
by Rebecca Langston-George is a children's books on stores this Sept 1 by Capstone.
Every time I read the story of John Wilkes Booth is a strong experience. That man had everything. He was a very famous and affirmed actor, everyone portrayed him as a wonderful human being, a very talented actor...It's shocking to think that he did what he did.
He had his own life, he had money, success, women, fame, talent, everything and he destroyed his name and the name of his family, a family of actors, starting from Brutus, his dad, for an insane, horrible, stupid, silly, insane gesture.
Killing President Abraham Lincoln has been a devastation. Although the President could be criticized by the Southerners people, and also if a dramatic War of the Secession took place for several years leaving the South in profound sufferance, no one wanted an end like this one.
President Lincoln was loved because of his simplicity. He lived a real life. He spent a life of sacrifices, with important departures. He was a compassionate man.

He thought that all men should be set free and should have the dignity of building their own existence. No one should be put behind because of the color of his skin and for these positions, he was criticized.

Unfortunately the story of the Booth brothers maybe signed also by the geographical area where they lived and worked in. Considering the big success of the Booth Brothers, Edwin, John and the other sibling, worked in different areas. Edwin in Boston where there has always been a wind of freedom, another brother in California, and John in the South of the USA. John has always considered himself like a Southerner but surely to live there and being influenced by the ideas of the people of that places didn't help at all a fertile imagination.

He would have wanted to kidnap the President, he wanted to do this world and the other to the President.

He killed him once in theater, in 1865 while the President was attending a performance at the Ford’s Theater. And he was killed as well like also the other conspirators.

The book is not just beauty, there are many pictures of that time with the various protagonists, President Lincoln, his killer and a great historical reconstruction. I am sure every child will like to read this book so badly.

I thanks NetGalley and Capstone for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, luglio 10, 2017

From Junk Food to Joy Food All the Food you Love to Eat...Only Better by Joyce Bauer

It's a succulent and healthy cookbook: From Junk Food to Joy Food All the Food you Love to Eat...Only Better by Joyce Bauer published by Hay House Inc.

You know: American food in particular comfort food is delicious but at the same time so caloric.

Bauer explains that, for staying well, cutting out cholesterol, arthritis, sometimes caused by what we eat or we drink and other nasty illness, maybe it's arrived the time to adjust...calories for good! using the most beloved American comfort food.

So, the hyper-caloric nice comfort food, or just the most common and beloved succulent recipes will become slim ;-) healthy thanks to the wise and attentive new recipes proposed by Bauer.

Joyce will explain to all of us what to do for maintaining or losing weight continuing to eat sometimes these delicious recipes staying at the same time completely healthy.
The book is divided in eight succulent chapters. At some point I thought I could add weight just watching pictures and reading recipes.

Starting with the succulent and hyper-caloric American breakfast, ending with the most creative cocktails and beverages, putting all the rest in the middle of the book, you will discover how you can create the best meal for you and your loved ones cutting out the danger from it.

I love breakfast so let's take an example with something we eat for breakfast:  let's consider the beloved diner pancakes. A joy to eating them. A joy of 750 calories! After a long comment motivating the reason why we introduce 750 calories with pancake, the alternative healthy recipe proposed by Joyce with just 270 calories.

Let's now consider the chicken cacciatore. The recipe counts 550 calories. The one proposed by Bauer just 195.

A common sloppy Joes counts 630 calories. The recipe by Bauer only 295.

Fried zucchini is commonly 885 calories (bloody hell!) the recipes proposed by Bauer just 220 calories.

Chicken Parm Hero counts 1570 calories. No way for Bauer, proposing a recipe with just 320 calories.

Just some little wonderful example for let you discover how the book is structured.
Not only: you will find a table of conversion if you need it, and of course in the introduction all the tools necessary for cooking and baking.

I strongly encourage all of you to buying this joyous but fundamental cookbook in our society where there are always more problems because of food and illness connected to the abuse of industrialized food.

Happy eating to everyone!

I thank NetGalley and Hay House for this beautiful and informative eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, luglio 09, 2017

Love Kindness Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue by Barry H. Corey

Love Kindness Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue by Barry H. Corey is an intense trip in the Kindness that all of us possess.
I was so pleased that the phrases chosen by the dad of the author, while he was still a student for giving him a direction (he is a pastor now), the ones our priest Marino repeated everyday during the morning mass. They became for him a mantra and a way of living exactly like for Mr.Corey.

From Matthew: "And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." In practical terms: "Whoever receives you receives me and whoever receives me receives him who sent me."
This fascinating trip for discovering kindness in ourselves and other ones mustn't scare us, because we will become best people.

Kindness means staying close to other people in moment of difficulty or also just being there. It's important. Of course it means to change our schedule, to be more present for other people but the sensation proved is priceless because we know that we work for bettering ourselves and the life of other people as well. It means dialogue, humanity and a new way of seeing the world.
Kindness is love.

If you search for a great christian book about Kindness written by a pastor and with a lot of biblical references go for this one. It's beautiful!

I thank NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for the eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Heretics! The Wondrous (and dangerous) beginnings of modern philosophy by Steven Nadler and Ben Nadler

It's a wonderful, beautiful, sunny, colored, funny book Heretics! The Wondrous (and dangerous) beginnings of modern philosophy by Steven Nadler and Ben Nadler. The cover, with spectacular, warm colors, reminds us at old--times

Princeton University Press launched this graphic novel, a real funny full immersion into the mind of the principal thinkers of the 1600.

These philosophers didn't change just philosophy but the structure of the modern thought thanks to their innovative ideas. At first we meet Giordano Bruno burned, poor chap, because of his too much modern ideas.

At the same time 1600 is a period of ferment.
Galileo Galilei with its theories about Earth seen as a Planet in movement is condemned by the Church: he is a heretic.  Just these recent years the Catholic Church admitted its error, giving back him peace, credits and respect.

Descartes thought that only men had souls, excluding animals and all the other creatures from his theory. His theories, like also the ones of the various thinkers of 1600 and 1700 spaced from philosophy to physics because there is to saying this: we live in the XXI century in an Age of specializations, where people in general are specialized in a certain field of knowledge, and that's it.

In the past starting from Humanism passing through Renaissance and also 1600 thinkers were able to create beautiful and original theories with different subjects and topics, thanks to the immensity of their knowledge, extended in arts, philosophy, history, physics, literature, astronomy, medicine, science, occult.
Descartes studied science and perception and objects. I found hilarious this.
Descartes says: "How can I know that I can know if I don't know what it is to know?" A friend of him looking at him and at a bottle of wine close to him thinks that maybe it is better to stop to drink too much for avoiding other nonsense :-)
Movements of bodies other topics developed by Descartes.
Pascal a much more pessimistic thinker like also Thomas Hobbes.
Hobbes thinks that for governing people it's better just a person.
separating the State from the Church and thinking that the Church should stay out from the decisions taken by the State.

Spinoza at the same time thinks that nature or God are synonyms. There is no bad or good in nature to the Jewish philosopher. Goodness or badness happens and that's it. According to Spinoza we should try to understand what it drives us: our passions or our rationality?
Leibnitz was a passionate mathematician but gave also fundamental answers about the human being. Leibnitz believed in God as most of these thinkers. The graphic novels ends with the arrival in 1703 of Isaac Newton with his three fundamental laws of motion and law of gravitation and with Voltaire.

In common these philosophers shared a passion: the one of trying to discover the essence of the world in its complexity and its reality.
This choice meant   troubles and problems. Most of them considered heretics, their thoughts too innovative for being appreciates by the most conservative and skeptical part of their world, they are  the most modern fighters of the free thought. Some of them lost their life because of their ideas, someone else  in jail, but, all of them fought for giving a new definition of the world where they lived in.

Passionate, this sunny graphic narrative novel will be surely appreciate by everyone! What I loved the most the immediate full-immersion in a multi-dimensional reality involving God, physics, philosophy, society, laws, order, government in just 180 or so pages. Stunning!

I thank Princeton University Press for the physical copy of this amazing graphic novel!

Anna Maria Polidori

Inventors and Impostors: A Sordid History of Innovation and Imitation by Daniel Diehl & Mark Donnelly

Inventors and Impostors: A Sordid History of Innovation and Imitation by Daniel Diehl & Mark Donnelly is a book about History and discoveries during the centuries with this peculiarity: thanks to the curiosity of these minds we will discover what happened in the while and before their appearance to the most important inventions. We will learn that the final inventor in general of the inventions you will read in this book hasn't/haven't never been the principal mind/minds of the invention.

The authors in their foreword admit that they're historians and well I don't know you, but it is known that certain inventions were "intercepted" by someone else, let's use this expression. Donnelly and Diehl said that they searched at first with enthusiasm thinking that their work would have been simple, quick.
While, they add, it was the opposite! because a name called another one, a situation followed another situation and so on, like in a Chinese box.
It's an intriguing book this one, with informations that, the authors clarify, you won't never find in scholastic books where will report to you who invented that certain machine or theory but I am sure that this book will interest you and will let you think a lot about our world and its dynamics.

Many the inventions taken in consideration: the one of the electricity (electric light), Alexander Bell and the telephone, the theory of the evolution of Darwin, the discovery of America, Guglielmo Marconi with his radio,  Isaac Singer & the Sewing Machine for a total of fourteen discoveries.

Using a journalistic expression the authors think that: "The public has the right to know."

I thank Ravenswood for this ebook!

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, luglio 07, 2017

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

What happen when someone is missing and become a ghost for everyone in particular when a daughter disappear abruptly leaving all the family in the most complete desperation and shock?
It's this one the latest thematic treated in the newest Lisa Jewell's stunning, wonderful book:  Then She Was Gone by Penguin on stores this July 27th.

I followed various cases of missing people as a reporter and I found this book extremely beauty, shocking, very well written, realistic, vivid, centered, very focused on story and characters, clear, lucid, and for this reason extremely captivating. The author couldn't imagine anything more beauty, dramatic and shocking in the complexity of events created in the while. When I finished to read this book this afternoon I was "burned out." I felt the story, the characters, their secrets and visible emotions and motivations. This novel is very strong in its complexity.

Captivating remains the main word with which I can define Then She Was Gone from the first to the last page. I couldn't put down this book for a second. I downloaded it yesterday with other eleven ebooks by NetGalley and I thought: OK Let's start with this one by Lisa Jewell.
I had read and reviewed also her previous book: I found You and I was more than satisfied.

Well, it was love at first...word! I couldn't stop to read it.

Lisa Jewell knows how to keep the reader interested and curious.

At the end you cry, but at the same time you are mentally stressed because you read an emotional tale with an emotional end and you can't cope with everything.

There is a partial victory. At the end the reality will be revealed and people will continue to live their life with less questions, more definitive answers but fundamentally with that peace that only a truth defined after a big shock can presents to a family in sufferance after a tragic adventure.
At the same time although the desperation of the tale, the cruelty lived and inflicted by some protagonists, you discover that there is still life.

The book is told with the various voices and point of views of the main protagonists, so you can "experience" also their own feelings and Lisa Jewell in this sense is wonderful entering perfectly  in their souls. Feelings, sensations, motivations pathos and sentiments of the various protagonists are fluidly expressed and lived with immense knowledge,  of the human beings' dynamics and feelings and interpretated in an hypnotic way entering in the mind of victims, murders, criminals, innocents.

The story is the one of a normal, common Londoner family. Lauren is married with Paul, they have three children in their teenage age, Jake, Hanna and Ellie, the littlest one. Chaotic family, typical problematic, a cat, a tumultuous but happy cheerful  life populated by breakfasts, lunches, dinners, school, teenage problems, family routine and the joy of growing up three children. For Lauren and Paul this one was their life.

Ellie is a common teenager, pretty  beautiful, plenty of life. She falls in love for Theo and that afternoon they have an appointment, but then she sees her old tutor and the course of her life will change. Forever.

Noelle Donnelly is a pretty weird and hard lady. It's not possible to obtain everything in life, true. We classify normality a  life with a husband and some children. For Noelle seeing "this" normality is weird. She doesn't have friends, she spends her time alone. She obtained a degree in math from a prestigious university, Trinity, deciding to choose of tutoring teenagers.

It means she can visits various houses, discovering the life of a lot of young students, and their parents and siblings as well observing the environment where they live in.

She hasn't lived a lot of love-stories and she arrives virgin at a good age of her life when she meets a writer and mathematician, Floyd, author of a book who bewitches her. They don't exactly fall in love. They start a sexual relationship and at some point Floyd asks her for a child. More than 40, the child is conceived but there are difficulties. Once, two times. What to do for not losing the object of her passion?

Ellie experiences some difficulty with math and Noelle Donnelly, Irish origins starts to tutoring her falling in friendship with this girl so different from her. She would have dreamed to being like this girl. Life is so simple for these girls. Boys, school, everything. There are no complexities in these existences. To her, a real mistery. A mistery she discovers to be terribly obsessive.
A suggestion Noelle Donnelly Lauren obtains by Sandy a very nice neighbor.
Just, Noelle is weird with Ellie, she tells her strange things and the girl is too scared for continuing to being tutored by her and she asks to her mom of suspending these lessons. After all she has recuperated why continuing to see this nasty ad inopportune, maybe frustrated lady?
Ellie doesn't reveal to her mom the reasons why she wants to interrupt these lessons, thinking that they're not important, after all.

Noelle is too shocked when she understands that she is unwanted by Ellie. Ellie removed her from her mind in the while and to Noelle this is another shock.
She starts in the while to developing a horrible plan.
And one day, with the promise of a book where she girl would have studied it happened the unimaginable...

Lauren the mom of Ellie re-starts to live a sort of life after Ellie's disappearance, because after a tragedy like this one life is different.

She neglected her children and they abandoned their nest very soon, she neglected to cook after the disappearance of Ellie and children did it with passion and resignation all alone for their parents because the mom was somewhere else, lost in her thoughts, lost in her personal, private, impenetrable desperation that after all was the desperation of everyone else in the family.

She lost Paul, her husband with the time because the dialogue with her not anymore existent. He has a new companion.

Lauren goes on although her new existence is more poor, less populated by people of the past (and there are not a lot in the present) because you don't want to see anymore a lot of people, you don't want to tell all the time what you spent in terms of tears and anger, and unanswered questions.

Ten years after Ellie's disappearance one day Lauren receives a call from a police man. They have found something. Ellie's bag and some remains of Ellie's body. Her baby eaten by wild animals or who knows...

Some weeks after the funeral of Ellie's poor remains, Lauren meets Floyd. She is 55 and her passion for him the one of a teenager. Sex is the most beautiful one she has had from a long while. Floyd the best man she could have dreamed to fall in love for and with. Wonderful, tender, in love, protective. He has two children: Sarah-Jade a model pretty singular but nice born thanks to a relationship ended a lot of time ago and Poppy, the nine years old daughter he had had from Noelle Donnelly.

At first Lauren doesn't see the coincidence with this name and the disappearance of her daughter, just... They are so similar, in many ways. Ellie and Poppy. How can it be possible?

It's the beginning of everything because the heart of a mom can't stop to search for the truth, because the truth is more important than the same life. When Lauren discovers with horror the connection between Noelle Donnelly, the tutor of her daughter with her boyfriend and the similarities between Ellie and Poppy she starts a personal research. Interviews with Noelle Donnelly's relatives in the while disappeared without leaving traces, with her parents in Ireland, searching the lady in the net as well.

Who was Ellie's tutor? Hanna, Ellie's sister will confess to her mom that Ellie didn't like that lady at all and that was why she wanted to suspend the lessons. Ellie, simply, for candor, thought that maybe it was better to avoid certain details to her mother, she kept certain thoughts expressed by her tutor for herself, although these details would have been vital considering what happened later. A message of this book can be this one: dialogue in families,less discretion.

A missing person is like a phantom and that's the scariest part of the tale.

A disappearance leaves people astonished, shocked, without answer, without a body, and mainly without any kind of certainty and loads of questions. It's one of the biggest disgraces in this life compared to the one of losing a child. In this novel Lisa Jewell mixes superbly, dramatically well these two factors; the disappearance and the person disappeared: a child, the most precious character that a mother and a family can think at.

The complexity of what happens to Ellie while she decides to enters in the house of her tutor Noelle Donnelly for the promised book remind us at the case Fritz or Natascha Kampusch, in Europe kept segregated per years, mixing the story with elements of more recent horrifying stories as well.
It is terrible to read these pages but also interesting because we will seeing them reflected under the perspective lived by Noelle and Ellie.

I don't want to reveal more.

Floyd the man of a lot of secrets has been seen by Lisa Jewell as a character who at the end will choose for a drastic decision and a man he admitted is unable to love.
In this sense I disagree because Floyd had immediately perceived that Noelle was a very bad mother for Poppy, and he did all his best for saving Poppy from a mother without maternal sense offering to growing her up  with the tranquillity, decency that a baby must have, giving her the proper education (Poppy is homeschooling a practice very appreciated by many families in UK) considering also the intelligence of the baby and her potentialities and discovering at some point a truth that would have just let him decide to send Noelle and Poppy to hell giving up with everything, but...simply he didn't and I think that the answer is not complicated. It's...Love. A story of love and dedication. 
Parents sometimes are not the biological parents but people who grow up children with love. The ones do take care for them, the people able to teach them the lessons of life, educating them, loving to spend time with them and the ones who will mark their existence forever. In this sense to me Floyd is a winner. And he loves, absolutely loves Lauren.
The story with Noelle could be classified like the classic story of a man not in love for her, but searching in the while physical pleasure and company.
Sure there are extreme gestures lived by Floyd but dictated by very severe reasons and completely unwanted.
I would have seen at the end more "mercy" and understanding and a happiest end. Floyd has been another victim to my point of view of a great manipulator like Noelle is.

But, said this, these ones are just personal ideas, I can tell you that this book is a winning one.

The end is spectacular because can writes the words: "The End" at the story thanks to the direct written words of the central character of this book: Ellie and it is so touching. An extreme gesture in an extreme condition for giving back peace to her loved ones, setting everyone free and blessed with this final extreme love-letter, permitting to her family of continuing to live the existence in peace.

I surely thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House for this eBook!

Anna Maria Polidori