martedì, febbraio 28, 2017

The Typewriter's Tale by Michiel Heyns

A typewriter will always be a typewriter.

This one the first, resonant message emerging from the stunning, beautiful novel The Typewriter's Tale published today by St.Martin's Press and written by Michiel Heyns.

Written superlatively well, figurative writing-style, the writing is maniacally cured, researched, elevated, the atmosphere of the years taken under consideration vivid and very well portrayed.

If you can think at first starting to read it that the book can't absorb you, the intrigue will conquer you immediately.

I choose this book because I love Henry James' books.

Her Portrait of a Lady enchanted me when I was 18 years.

James a genius in discovering lacks, greatness, goodness and badness of the human soul.

Thanks to this book I discovered many anecdotes of this writer and his family that I didn't know: from the Fletcher's theory of mastication to the funny, absolutely funny observation that made me laughed a lot and that the typewriter will put on the "mouth" of her lover in the Journal she was writing in about health and James' family's relationship with it:

"The whole family [James] is obsessed with health, and as a result suffer from a variety of ailments unheard of in the annals of medicine. It is my theory that they positively bring on ailments in each other."

Said that, you will be curious to discover something more of this precious, very researched novel.

The story is real, the conspiracy realistically existed and involved the typewriter of mr.James here called Frieda and Morton Fullerton one of the best Henry James' friends, let's use this euphemism.

Mr.Fullerton worked at The Times of London during that time, and he was a guest at the house of Henry James like also Mrs Wharton with which he established a passionate relationship in th while.

People of great culture, very rich, their life has never been difficult in the common sense of the word, and they have always had the best. Best men, best women, best clothes, best travels, best everything. A privileged circle of people.

Frieda, chosen by Mr James thanks to her qualities as typewriter was working for him from various months when one day she meets Mr Fullerton who stopped by for a visit at Mr.James' house.

Of course the man a fascinating one. Let's imagine the man of experience, the 23 years old and a bit shy girl conquered by him.

 Maybe Frieda imagined that it could have been possible.

Possible also for her to being loved by someone of that privileged circle.

She donated her body to Mr.Fullerton with great simplicity but Mr.Fullerton didn't want the body of a typewriter because in love for her and let's imagine that it wasn't for  sex urgency either, considering the lovers he had and reputation as libertine he developed with the time, but simply because he wanted to use this ingenuous typewriter for his purposes and Mr.Fullerton knew how powerful could be sex for obtaining something in return.

In which way?

He wanted to return in possess of some letters according to his point of view too much compromising sent to Mr.James and considering the frequent illness of Mr.James it would have been great to have them back.

Just in case...

If Mr.Fullerton considered the sexual meeting with Frieda like a routine and another woman without importance added to his conquests, laughing of the availability of this girl with his rich and acculturated friends, including Mrs. Wharton, the girl still ingenuous started to fall in love for Mr.Fullerton.

The idea of this wonderful, absolutely perfect man who was asking her to destroy a precious word as trust between her and  Mr. James didn't alarm her. No: she started to searching for these letters.

In the while and waiting for the return of her "Prince Charming" of the situation she started to write a Journal . The protagonist: herself and her beloved object of desire: Mr.Fullerton.

Mr. Fullerton didn't have any kind of serious purpose on Frieda and I think that he hadn't never thought for a second that he could have taken in consideration a choice like that one: the typewriter, a girl socially inferior respect him, culturally, sexually and with a different background but the insanity of his gesture, followed enthusiastically by the typewriter, repeated, brought the typewriter in a condition of perennial ecstatic dream able also to ruin her good relationship with Mr.James based on trust.

I found impressive to seeing Henry James in action while he was writing a book. Or better: imagining how a book was written at that time. There was more life, not a desktop, not a PC, not solitude in a word, but interaction.  Someone real in front of us with which sometimes to speak, to interact.

A human world.

I loved when the relatives of Mr.James William and family afforded from Boston where they lived to England in vacation.

They brought the typical energy of that city I love so badly in the pages of this book as well.

The typical enthusiasm of Bostonians always ready for fighting for new causes and new injustices and new goals to reach.

Miss James, the daughter of William was fighting as a  suffragette for trying to obtain more space for women. We are at the beginning of 1900.

Miss James interested in a medium able to connect her with her beloved aunt Alice.

She asked at the typewriter...

Also in this part of the book I must try to understand if miss James was honest with the typewriter or simply she used her for trying to see if the girl was honest or a manipulator, manipulated by Miss James in this case without to think who she had in front of her. Miss James could simulate surprise or shock or astonishment with simplicity.

I think I later found the answer when Mr.James burned some documents.
The Typewriter tested also from James' family.

It's a book, The Typewriter's Tale that will let you think a lot about manipulation, manipulative people, hidden purposes, broken friendship and trust.

Not only:when the typewriter discovered that an affair was going on between Mr. Fullerton with Mrs. Wharton and the adopted sister (in this second case she was his girlfriend) she was shocked, maybe thinking that a man like Mr.Fullerton would have become in the while a friar waiting for another encounter with her after more than a year or two.

It's a book that will let think of being more prudent in choices, and more diffident if a novel can teach something.

Under some aspects I would compare it at Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos although in very little measure.

Highly recommended for sure!

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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, febbraio 26, 2017

Fathers Collected Poems written by Ken Kopronwski

Fathers Collected Poems written by Ken Kopronwski is a book of 68 pages published by Ravenswood Publishing where the author will introduce us at the delights and sadness of life, passing through the character more relevant in life: the Fathers of his family.

He will tell us the story of his family thanks to his poems passing through his grand-dad, his Dad, himself.
I found a lot of poems very strong, real like the one of the departure of his brother. Shocking.
Ken describes death, life, illness, joys, good moments, very sad ones looking at all these life's aspects with respect, although he is projected to the now and future.
Reading his life through his poems we will meet precious words: joy, happiness, sadness, leaves, old houses, trees, nature, seasons, kisses, funerals, children, brother.


I didn't like the cover of the book. To me too sad, considering the words plenty of life I read in the book.

I thanks Ravenswood for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Llewellyn's Little Book of Chakras by Cindy Dale

Llewellyn's Little Book of Chakras by Cindy Dale will appear this next April on stores and online published by Llewellyn and it is a plenty, beautiful informative book about the so-called subtle energy organs universally known as Chakras.

My experience with Chakras pretty recent.

When my dad died one of my childhood friends Elisabetta, who owns a store of crystals stopped by and said me: "I have a gift for you." It was a green stone. "It's for your fourth Chakra, Anna Maria, the one connected with heart." I immediately dressed it and kept it for two weeks.

It is stressing to lose a parent and I can tell you that once I returned home from the hospital thinking that, physically my dad wouldn't never been returned home, not a joke.

A semi-little-panic attack maybe while I was driving home but it was over like also desperation and although a little tachycardia when I decided to sleep in the bed where dad rested since the previous day, sick and unrecognizable from the strong man he was, I can tell you this: I slept well.
That first 14 days spent with Elisabetta's green stone as well.

I removed it for trying to see if strong enough for bringing a pain like the departure of dad is. Everything went OK.

The gem worked well on the fourth Chakras and stabilized my mind and my sensations.
Chakras are important for keeping balanced our spirit and body.

This new book by Llewellyn will introduce the reader, also the one without any kind of knowledge at Chakras at the discovery of these lights and what we can do for bettering our life thanks to them.

We don't see these organs. They have shape, they have lights, the author saw lights when more little in the various member of her family, surely you can't touch them and a common doctor couldn't cure an unbalanced chakra, let's use this expression.

Have you ever heard the expression: "When you have a psychological problem treat it or it will become an illness?" Good: it is I guess  a Chakra's story.

The author explains that Chakras act physically, psychologically and spiritually and they can be of great help for all of us along our life.

The book will explain you the various Chakras, seven the most common ones, how to take great care of them.

A Chakra in some cases can help you to heal from a physical illness.

You can discover chakras thanks to the help of pendulum and other systems and you will learn that there is another world waiting for you: the one of Chakras, colored, plenty of spirituality, able to let you establish  a best connection with your self and your health.

Enjoy this book!

I thank NetGalley and Llewellyn for this book.

20 Ways to Make Every Day Better Study Guide Simple, Practical Changes with Real Results by Joyce Meyer

 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better Study Guide Simple, Practical Changes with Real Results by Joyce Meyer will be published by FaithWords / Center Street on April 4th and it is a Christian self-help book of great help because it will pass through God's Word.

Joyce Meyer starts to ask to the reader if she/he speaks to God in a daily base and if she/he reads the Bible, because of great help. I can tell you I love to speak with God, I love to be angry with God, I love to Thank God in a daily base.

We are all stressed, all taken by our responsibilities but we must focus on Him for making the world a better place where to stay and the day even better. Starting from the others but also from ourselves and our necessities.
What would we want to do for ourselves that make us happy?
It mustn't be a big dream but also a little, realized dream that maybe we can't realize because there are other priorities.

Meyer focus also on the power of resentment and the importance of forgiveness for create a new fresh start.

No comparisons with other people and their lives. We are here because God wanted to donate us this Life and our History is unique.

Just, let's open the door of our soul to God everyday for bringing more Light, more Happiness and Joy in our existence!

Beautiful book for sure, plenty of lessons, reflections you will keep a journal and you will focus in your priorities and life for bettering everyday.

I thank NetGalley and FaithWords for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, febbraio 23, 2017

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Roundabout (Streamers) by Ruth Silvestre

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Roundabout (Streamers) by Ruth Silvestre was published in 1991 so a lot of time ago. This past Wednesday I went to the Umbertide market and I stopped by at the local second-hand book of the charity Books for Dogs and I picked up this book as well.

I have always loved children's books since I was little.

They're colored, nice in general stories very intelligent.
I couldn't put down this children's book.

I read it in a hour or so. The story pretty simple and so kind. Joe is a little boy who lives in England. His aunt lives in Italy. She left UK because of weather and because Italy could give her best life's expectations.

His dad is the owner of a restaurant.

Joe loves to go out and explore the world 'til the moment he will visit Italy his biggest dream.

A certain day he is enchanted to see an old and abandoned roundabout in a certain corner of the city.

And surprise in the surprise, an old lady of 84 years, Aunt Peg lives in it.

He is astonished but the old lady will discover soon how to start a sweet friendship with this little boy. Tea, cookies, a nice chat and then the roundabout maybe is still working?

Joe starts to be affectionate at this lady and he will help her in many ways for keeping her life more simple. Because a lot of situations started to be complicated.

The end of this book is moving and the book speaks of friendship without age, help, loss, industrialization, new re-starts, traveling and for once, good surprises.
I am more than sure that this book would be appreciated also by children of our time.

Anna Maria Polidori

Interview with Meia Geddes author of Love Letters to the World

Meia Geddes is an American writer. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Months ago I was chosen for read  her book: Love Letters to the World thanks to NetGalley.

Delicate book, you can read my review here

I wrote to Meia months ago, asking her an interview.

For personal reasons, illness and dad's dead I postponed the interview.

Please enjoy what Meia told me of her world, the USA, her studies and her life.

I found this interview very interesting.

Meia, please tell me your life-story, I know that you arrived to the USA from China. Please tell me when, what you remember of your life in Sacramento and later the East Coast. Why did you move from the West Coast to the East Coast?

It’s all a little ambiguous… 
According to the nanny whose care I was in for about a month before my adoption, I was estimated to be six days old when I was left/found in a small town or country part of Anhui, China, in 1992.

This was most likely because of China's (former) one-child policy.

I was placed in an orphanage and foster care going back and forth, it sounds like, for about two years, then my mom, Maggie, adopted me.

She came with a group of six other American families adopting baby girls from the same orphanage and we all met in a hotel. I screamed and cried a lot, according to mom’s accounts, and seem to have quickly developed attachments to certain things: keeping on my approximately seven layers of clothing, keeping in sight my polka-dot stroller and, later, carrying around an Ernie doll. Ernie from Sesame Street.


Mom raised me in Sacramento, which has been nicknamed “city of trees” and is the capital of California. Life in Sacramento is still very vivid since it seems only yesterday I left, but I won’t go into all the details. 

In retrospect I’m glad to have spent my early days in Sacramento though I was neutral about it at the time. 
I eventually let go of the layers of clothing / stroller / Ernie. I moved to the East Coast for college because I wanted to experience the romantic, stormy dark clouds of this side. 
In all seriousness, there was this very clear vision of going to class in the pouring rain with my umbrella.

Being adopted what do you think of your real mom? Have you tried to search for her or for both of your parents? Would you be curious to search for your origin or are you OK with the mom you grew up you with? In Italy we all say that it's not important who the biological parents are but who raise children.

I am very glad to have ended up with the mother I have, she is an inspiration—an inspirational human being. 

We continue to marvel at how such bureaucratic procedures / paperwork resulted in our being brought together. 
By “real mom” I actually thought you meant “adoptive mom” because to me my real mom is the mother I always had since around age two. I agree with your saying in Italy! 
Mom also has always had lots of friends who were a constant, terrific presence in our lives, so this “village” has been wonderful, something I’ve taken for granted.

I have never tried to search for my birth parents, though when I was younger there was a time I wrote in a diary to them as if they might be able to read it. 

My mom tried to be in touch with my foster mother by mail, but never heard back. I am not interested in searching for my birth parents and potential siblings, though understand that other adoptees may want to and feel the need to (and I know there are some who have been successful). 
I’m comfortable with the mystery of my origins, living with a sense of lingering curiosity. Maybe it’s like this notion of “embracing language like unrequited love”—the resignation, the wondering and questioning, the moving-on-in-joy even while a certain sense of suspicion or sense of doubt (at language, at the “what if”) may never go away.

Please tell me about your studies, university, what you loved, what you didn't love, if you found beautiful people in the USA 

I concentrated in English and Literary Arts (essentially reading and writing) at Brown University in Providence, RI. I loved that Brown's open curriculum allowed for such flexibility in choosing courses to take.
One thing that may have not been as good was that we were situated on a hill—we called it the "Brown bubble"—fairly isolated from the city of Providence and its people.
I met many lovely people at Brown, and of course have found many in Massachusetts. I think as I've gotten older I've gotten more proactive in meeting new people. 

People really are beautiful and wonderful in their weirdness even if I'd also rather keep my distance at times.

When did you start to write?

I am not sure when I started to write, but the first book I wrote and put together (literally) was about a boy named Jimmy. It was a story told in verse and I wrote it in fifth grade. Mr. Morgan chose it to go on in the "young authors" competition and I was immensely proud.

Why did you decide to write Love Letters to the World?

Love. Love is an astonishing thing, when you feel it and receive it and maybe simply realize it in retrospect. How when you are sitting on the street selling and giving away paper cranes and someone comes along with a cup of tea, or a scar on their belly that they want you to see, or stories of their troubles in love, or a Wikipedia article they think you will like... 
Maybe that is just called kindness, but I like to think of it as a kind of love between strangers when there is that spark.
It can be a very difficult thing to love, but then suddenly a stranger girl comes in for a hug. Maybe the more correct answer is love and its lack.

What is the world to you Meia?

The world is a beautiful, strange, mysterious place, to me. One can address it as "body, concept, stranger," and send missives to it, but it will not respond, cannot be shaped or tamed. The chaos, the cruelty. 
Though one can make worthy attempts—and maybe especially with the world of the self.
The world is a temporary home.
So I guess I don't know if I can ever be entirely at home in it.

Have you got some writers inspire you?

Carole Maso comes to mind first and foremost.
I read her collection of essays, Break Every Rule: Essays On Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire, in college, and it was one of those books that changed my life. The breathlessness, the passion, the ecstatic approach to life, it's so moving.
In the same vein, other writers who convey a similar lust for life, I’ve found, include Mary Oliver, Kahlil Gibran, Walt Whitman, Roald Dahl... There are so many!

Which are your main hobbies apart writing?

Photography and reading, mostly. I have recently gotten into a bit of watercolor and want to experiment with art more. I want more hobbies, though!

How do you consider this historical moment?

Generally I can be very cynical, but I ultimately lean towards hope.

Main fears for the future?

The death of loved ones. Then, also, loss of a certain authenticity and sincerity, an awe for the world and wonder at being alive.

Thanks Meia!

Anna Maria Polidori

Together at the Table : A Novel of Lost Love and Second Helpings a book written by Hillary Manton

Together at the Table : A Novel of Lost Love and Second Helpings a book written by Hillary  Manton Lodge is a delicious, yummy book.

I requested it at Blogging for Books and sent me via NetGalley a lot of time ago and I am sorry for the delay.

I think that books tell also the moments we are living in, and maybe I waited 'til now unconsciously for various reasons. The disappearance of my dad, this "Together at the Table."

Our family in fact is also famous for being social and we love to spend good time with friends and relatives and our lunches and dinners became memorable sometimes for number of people.

As it reminds a very great quote in Lodge's book by Cesar Chavez:

"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him....The people who give you their food give you their heart."

The book starts with the departure of the mom of the protagonist Juliette.

Juliette suffers a lot for this loss and at the same time she needs to cope with the end of a relationship she started with a doctor via internet.

She was seriously taken by this relationship but at a certain point she preferred to give up, and a reassuring Adrian, the cook of their restaurant entered in her life.

Neil will reappear at some point in her personal story.

Juliette plenty of questions in her mind about her real feelings for Adrian and for Neil.

In particular she discovers the truth when Adrian who maybe wanted to try to understand if seriously loved by her, proposed to Juliette of marrying him.  Thanksgiving. Juliette wasn't ready for it, although she thought with Adrian her life would have been complete. She could see her future with him, but her mind and heart were still in one direction: Neil.

The book is also stunningly interesting and truly yummy! for the wonderful recipes that the author shares with all of us.

There is just another question: at the end will all the protagonists be together at the same table?

The book is truly rich of good values and good sentiments.

The book is the third one of the  The Two Blue Doors: A Table by the Window, and Reservations for Two.

I thank Blogging for Books and NetGalley for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, febbraio 22, 2017

The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller

Did you know that John Adams was interested in a garden like the Obamas and that Johnson decided to cut out most of the cost of the food of his dogs because too expensive, and that black people at the White House lived/slept in the basement, now three rooms and that the White House was so warm until the 1950s - when air conditioned sorted out the problem - that all the Presidents during the summer-time decided to emigrate somewhere else?

That Lincoln didn't love to eat a lot and Eisenhower interested in choosing the best cook for the White House because someone who appreciated food?

Rich of anecdotes, The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller on stores now it is truly interesting, fascinating and wonderful.

The author, Mr Miller works at the White House. The idea of writing a book all dedicated to the black cooks and stewards who served the American Presidents and their history a recent idea.

The manuscript of this book firstly read by President Barack Obama.

Who works at the White House's kitchen? Have we ever thought at the food eaten by a President and his family? No. I mean: I haven't never taken in consideration this aspect of the "Living at the White House."

Maybe others have. But I hadn't.

Well, the book written by Adrian Miller, with a privileged look will not only reveal us from George Washington to Barack Obama what the various Presidents loved to eat, adding various and yummy recipes in the while but also a particularity maybe unknown that some of the most important stewards, cooks at the White House were black.

Black people in fact a strong reputation of being great cooks, the White House always more or less surrounded by a staff of great black men and women who served with great affection, love, sacrifice, because big families with a lot of guests is in a day a never ending work, the various Presidential Families.

Food it's another key for understanding the History of a country but also  people, in this case the First Citizens and First Ladies.

Their moods, their tastes, their way of conducting the domestic daily-life.

Of course the Queen of the kitchen, with directions given to all the Kitchen staff department the First Lady but Eisenhower made a difference in this sense.

John Adams was the first President who desired to create a garden at the White House as said before strong and conscious of something: that a house without a garden is not a real house.

Barack Obama in recent years revived the tradition of John Adams one of the first Presidents of the USA, and in this case for pressing people: let's eat good quality food, the main message.

Who were the most representative stewards and cooks of the White House?

We will discover Fraunces for example the cook of George Washington.

This lady served this President for a long time. Once she died she was buried in a grave in the cemetery without any kind of name but it was built close to her a monument for remembering her.

Another steward important in a crucial moment of the USA Crump. Crump lived and served also during President Garfield. Surely this President would have marked his future as well.
The USA were still recovering after the shocking departure of President Lincoln when also Garfield seriously injured and well if you know History you know also the end of this story.

Crump was a great mediator with press. He was one of the few, with doctors, nurses and family members that could see everyday the President.

Pinckney the last one for a long time of black stewards
, three generations in which stewards after him, just white.

We meet again a black steward with Fields and more, because a lot of black people have marked the history of the White House.

Thanks to this book we will discover some presidential culinary curiosities.

Roosevelt started to appreciate pigs' feet and he was really fixated with this discovery: also when he met other Presidents of foreign countries he insisted for let them eat this dish.

Many many good and yummy recipes in the book.

For you

 The White House Eggnog recipe.

 This version  from the recipe files of the late White House executive chef Walter Scheib.

Makes about 1 gallon
6–7 eggs (pasteurized if possible), separated
1 cup sugar
¾ cup bourbon
¾ cup Cognac
¾ cup dark rum (Scheib recommended Meyers)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 quart milk (or more if a thinner consistency is desired)
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip to ribbon stage (lemon yellow in color), about 5–7 minutes.
2. Add the alcohol, and mix well; and scrape sides of the bowl and mix again.
3. Pour the mix into a 1 ½ -gallon bowl and set aside.
4. In a separate clean mixer bowl using a clean beater, whip the egg whites and salt into very stiff peaks and fold them into the mixture in the bowl.
5. Wipe out the mixer bowl, pour in the cream and vanilla, and whip until very stiff peaks form. Fold this into the eggnog mixture.
6. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. This may take 3–5 minutes, as the meringue and cream must be mixed completely.
7. Transfer the mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate for 3–5 days. Serve very cold topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
8. If the foam rises from the eggnog mixture during refrigeration, reincorporate it by whisking right before serving.


Caroline Harrison’s Deviled Almonds
The recipe created by Caroline Harrison. 

Makes 4 servings
½ pound almonds, blanched
4 tablespoons butter
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the almonds and butter and sauté the almonds until they are light brown.
3. Drain on paper towels.
4. Place the almonds in a cake pan and lightly season with cayenne and salt.
5. Serve hot.

Oh, and remember: don't try to send any kind of food as gift at the President, if tempted because if in the remote past it could be accepted now it is automatically thrown away.

I thank NetGalley and University of North Carolina Press for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, febbraio 21, 2017

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland

Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland a book that will be published by Bonnier Zaffre this next April 20th has been  love at first...word!

This book is dense, cured, spectacularly interesting, a great literary work according to my point of view and surely dedicated to all the book lovers and bookworms of this world.

It was interesting to read The Lost Words also because of the informations about second-hand books market. I didn't know of a lot of it although I buy a lot of second-hand books.

Every book suggestion of Loveday here and there spectacularly important, rich and precious, and most of them...My favorite books! for sure.

When I opened the file for giving a look at this book I couldn't interrupt my reading anymore because captured by the narration and first words of Loveday.

Her words started to resonate in my mind and I felt the urgency of discovering much more of her life-story.

The narration is conducted in first person by Loveday, "interrupted" just for few pages close to the end for giving space to another central character of the book.

Loveday is the 25 years old protagonist of the tale, an acculturated shop girl of the second-hand-book owned by Archie and called The Lost Words.

The interior dialogue of Loveday will let you show the profound soul of this girl, her dreams, her fears, her expectations and her brutal skepticism of a happy life and the reason why one day she ended up to work in The Lost Words her favorite place in the world. Although young she has an important and sad past behind her but also a responsible life because she knows what it meant sufferance once.

Loveday after all doesn't want to avoid human contacts, just she thinks that with books is more easy.

More easy to communicate, more easy to find a connection than not with other human beings. And she is scared. Scared to commit the errors of a past she would want to remove although bittersweet and in the first time surely beautiful.
Scared to become like her parents.

Loveday has a profound respect, gratitude for Archie the owner of The Lost Words Book Shop because once she hired her giving her the opportunity to work in a privileged place. A place where a book can cost few pennies but also much more and where culture is also synonymy of antique, precious, delicate.

Loveday won't miss to tell us in a sort of mental-time-travel and flashbacks, what happened in the past to her family, a normal one with some problems.

A secret she would want to reveal to all her dear ones but that, being pretty discreet she doesn't for not ruin any kind of relationship. Thinking that maybe she wouldn't be loved anymore if she would tell the truth, because sometimes people don't want truth but lies.

Scared by a possible relationship with a man because of her past, she is diffident.

Nathan a poet and a man able to understand her maybe  can changes her moody idea of love although it seems that Loveday is only grateful to him for his company.

But: if someone would tell to Nathan something of her past and he would change idea about her? asks at some point to herself a scared Loveday.

From the past in fact there are some worrying signals...

Arrivals of old books of her family, mostly classics, and then a cookbook with a postcard and more.

What is it going on?

And who can be the sender of all these books?

Who knows: maybe her past boyfriend, with a sick love for her. Rob...

Maybe it is just love.

I did appreciate and I cried for sure reading the words of Loveday, in the wonderful beautiful last poem dedicated to someone she loved immensely.

I found the book plenty of wonderful values: gratitude, solidity, difficulty sorted out thanks to love, real help, sometimes not visible but always there, love for reading and love for learning, love for life, love for new starts and new beginnings, forgiveness and understanding.

I highly suggest this book to all the book lovers of this world.

It is...Fascinating. Truly fascinating and spectacular.

And as it says Loveday at the end in a poem:

"A Bookshop is not
magic, but it can
slowly heal your

I thank NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for this book. 

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, febbraio 19, 2017

The Witching Time by Rachel Faugno

I fell in love for Massachusetts thanks to an actor, my favorite one: Johnny Depp, because he incarnated the mobster Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger and a newsmagazine The Boston Globe.

This love is continuing and when I can read a book set in Massachusetts I am always very happy.

I discovered recently a new publishing house thanks to Library Thing.

I have some British and American friends fixated with ravens and Gothic world.
I immediately visited the website of Ravenswood Publishing & Imprints and I decided that yes, it would have been nice to read and review some of their books.

I picked up few titles considering the large amount of books I am reading and wait to be reviewed.

The only one I could download with my dial-up The Witching Time by Rachel Faugno.

I have always fell in love for witches stories maybe because when I was little living in a countryside some women said me that they had heard witches clapping hands and laughing and smiling and mom terrorized me: "Please return home before the arrival of night for not being captured by a terrible witch."

Plus I love stories with old secrets, old houses, spirits, and unfinished stories.

Massachusetts is an American State but with a natural and strong European touch, so if Europe in some part of the USA not felt, Massachusetts has never lost its roots but it also shared some Europeans traditions and customs during the centuries not always positive, like the one of killing women because considered witches.
No one is perfect :-)

The story of The Witching Time starts from the past and from that execution of Bathsheba Spooner and the rest of conspirators brought  her husband to death. It was 1778. It was July 2 1778 when this young lady lost her life with her child still in her belly.

I didn't notice at first that this story was based on a real story and according to my point of view it's important first of all to focus on the story of Bathsheba not known by everyone for then reading  the book with more knowledge of the facts.

Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner was born on February 15 1746 and died hanged up on a tree on July 2, 1778.

There is a curiosity to add: the Salem execution of witches, in 1692 was caused by British mainly but  this one the first lady to being killed in the USA as a federation of States immediately after the Declaration of Independence in 1776. An American execution.

Bathsheba was the daughter of a very important lawyer and military officer, Mr Ruggles although as we have seen not in grade to avoid the death of his daughter.

Bathsheba married Joshua Spooner. Joshua Spooner was a rich farmer very well known in the city of Brookfield.

Her main faults? Adultery, a pregnancy and the following homicide of her own husband.

Bathsheba fell in love in fact with a very very young soldier, Ezra Ross 16 years old. The young boy was a soldier of the Continental Army.

Bathsheba took good care of him and restored his health.

The young boy lived in Linebrook but too sick to return home.

Ross very grateful  stopped by often in the house of Mr and Mrs.Spooner and Joshua Spooner started to appreciate him a lot becoming friend with this young boy.

He invited him so on business trips in various cities, and it is more than normal to think that Mr.Spooner treated him as a great friend.

The two men traveled but they also stayed home as well and once Ezra and Bathsheba started to have an affair.

The lady soon became impregnated and truly infatuated by this young boy.

What to do now?

At least if she would have lied she would have had a best card to play, but obviously for what I can feel the lady seriously taken by Ezra, in love, a sick love because it brought all of them in a dark spiral of obsession, murder and death without any possibility of escapism.

Bathsheba started to ask to her young lover of killing as soon as possible the husband.

So Ezra Ross who accompanied Joshua Spooner to Princeton brought with him also a bottle of nitric acid, a bottle Bathsheba gave him, just in case... Once poison was the quickest way for killing a person.

But let's imagine this young boy, not yet an adult one. Let's imagine his innocence. A baby arriving soon, a lady asking to kill a man considered like a father. A scenario too big to him. Let's also imagine his mental confusion.
Maybe he was scared, maybe he thought at the horrible action he would have done at Mr Spooner. Who knows?
He gave up.

He returned home without to kill Spooner. He returned home, his home where he felt he was still in a peaceful place.

Who couldn't wait anymore was Bathsheba.

Bathsheba wanted to see dead her husband as soon as possible and maybe she dreamed a new life with Ezra- So while Ezra and Joshua were in Princeton, thinking that maybe the young lover (let's imagine it) not in grade to kill her husband invited other two British soldiers, escaped prisoners to stay at her house for discussing of the probable homicide of her husband.

What said Mr Spooner once returned home and found these two men?

The wife told him that she asked to these soldiers of helping her. The husband didn't say anything although the family had various servants.

Surely Spooner wouldn't never thought that these two ex soldiers were there for committing a homicide. His homicide.

Bathsheba didn't lose time and informed enthusiastically Ezra Ross of the latest developments via letter. Maybe she guessed that the little young man couldn't be able to do everything all alone.

The young boy once received the letter returned to Brookfield on February 28.

But he didn't kill materially Spooner. He couldn't. Brooks killed him and Buchanan and Ezra Ross helped hide the body in the well of family Spooner.

After that the homicide was committed the men Brooks and Buchanan spent the rest of the night in another village drinking.

The truth was more than evident. The three men captured immediately and young Ezra Ross asked for a priest. The three men not only confessed but they said that the mind of this crime was Bathsheba Spooner.

The homicide committed on March 1 1778.

Bathsheba asked to be executed after the birth of her child but there was nothing to do. An autopsy  revealed that the lady was pregnant by, approximately, 5 months.

Back in modern times we can say that Caroline the protagonist of this story is a lady apparently with a normal life, with a husband, Alan that she loves but that she physically avoid any contact with after the terrible departure of their beloved son James. An error, something she committed. She is under therapy for healing and she still "feels" her toddler close to her as a real presence and she speaks of "we" and not "I" when at first she interacts with people.

She discovers that her poor aunt Hetty disappeared recently decided to leave her the house where she had always lived in. Alan and Caroline thought of selling quickly the estate, thinking also that they could make some money from it being a historic house.

But Caroline is not part of this world. She is also part of that obscurity that her mom and her granny had always refused to take in consideration and for this reason punished: the witches world that aunt Hetty had devotedly and proudly continued. In the schemes and plans of aunt Hetty Caroline should perpetuate the family tradition.

An unfriendly friend of aunt Hetty, Mrs. Stratton will welcome her in a cold house in a still unfriend place for Caroline.

Mrs.Stratton is a devoted baker of apple cakes, apple pies, and she loves to drink warm strong tea for restoring body and soul but she hides the most.

Caroline will  understand soon that her life is turning upside down. She will be capable thanks also at Mrs.Stratton of actions that in the past would have considered scenarios of a  horror movie, but that in that house and in that normality are the normality.

She has frequnt vision of a beauty woman, Bathsheba and being a descendent of that lady she imagines maybe her destiny will follow the one of Bathsheba.

She knows Eddy, a beautiful young 18 years boy at the end of high school and she will fall in love for him. A passionate, strong love lived with immense joy and refreshment after the devastation of the married life she spent with Alan, a much more cold and practical man.

Eddy to her means the innocence, means the freshness and the most powerful desire of being back to life in every sense.

Caroline will start to appreciate the pagan rituals of the various witches friends of her aunt Hetty and she starts to love the atmosphere although the cost of all of it will be very high.

The book is constructed in a superlative way. I can just tell you that I couldn't put this book down until the end.

It is powerful, very well written, and intense.

You will feel in every page the story and its protagonists. Few, very well centered and focused.

I fell in love at first with the stunning, beautiful and romantic cover of the book.
This girl is surrounded by white candles and in the mirror the reflection of another lady once existed in this world...

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in crime, a lot of crime you will see, with a lot of black magic, old and new love-stories, historic facts, old houses, and if you want to learn something about pagan world.

I thank Ravenswood Publishing & Imprints for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, febbraio 17, 2017

Good Clean Food by Lily Kunin

Bobbi Brown is an enthusiastic and she started the foreword of Good Clean Food telling that she discovered Lily Kunin the author of this book thanks to her Instagram page Clean Food Dirty City.
The book will be published this March 7th. 

Lily proposed on hr Instagram page very healthy food, gluten-free food able to make us all feeling better, because light and mainly healthy because in most cases vegan.

But why Lily an enthusiastic of this diet?
Because everything started from and with her illness, a strong gluten intolerance who caused her big headaches and migraines per years.

Being more than OK and first of all very happy for her life and her health now she wants to share with all of us her secrets for staying well.

The big change in NYC where Lily personalized completely her diet. Gluten-free, plenty of smoothies, delicious and adorable dishes the main word is "Staying well with yourself." The cookbook is plenty of healthy ingredients. Lily doesn't forget meat for whoever loves it, it can be added of course in her dishes, but in very little quantities and thinking as she says at "How you feel your body."

Eggs are pastures eggs, and every food Lily cooks is biological.

Every recipe can be changed and of course can be modified by the reader according to his/her taste and occasion.

What it is important to understand is how food make us feel. Does it make us feel good? Joyous, and most importantly happy and healthy, quick, or sick, depressed, tired? In this final case we should change something isn't it true?

It's from this base that it will be necessary to start this culinary trip that it is also something else: a long life with less Western health problems. Being the USA a place where pasta is not the primary food I remember that an American lady intolerant at gluten I knew two years ago, said me that the USA is not developing the same strong  health policy for curing this illness if compared to Italy.

Lily starts to give to the reader advices for finding great food, tools necessary for cooking like also most of the food you should keep home. And it is impressive!
From salsa to sausages passing through  pesto, Lily will continue to guide us in her wonderful, colored, perfumed world of veggies.

How to build the perfect dish? First of all Lily says, choose veggie proteins: it can be whatever you want to pick them up and then some greens, topping extras and a dressing.

You will cook of course also staying focused on the various ingredients offered by nature during the various seasons of the year, and using organic seasonal fruits and veggies you will see that it will be better. You will be seasonal but don't worry because Lily will suggest you the best dishes and soups for starting.

She will teach you how to prepare the perfect veggie broth but also how to start  a super-day with, also, a lot of yummy smoothies.

There are some recipes for our skin in every chapter of the book.

What to eat for breakfast?
Sweet potatoes, blueberry buckwheat pancakes for example.

But if you need a detox?

No problem: the book suggests you a super green smoothie, a mom's minestrone, pesto zucchini noodles, and why not to try an ice-cream? A berry beet pops.

You need to restore?

Good: a sunny immunity  bowl can be the answer like also a red lentil earth curry.

And for sustaining your body?

Mint chip shake, a lazy lentil salad, zucchini almond dip, kidday maccha latte.

Should we forget sweet treats? No. A goji granola, apple plum crumble, salted caramel bonbons, choc chip cookies, double chocolate chews some of the recipes you are more than invited to try.

In  Parties the final section of this  stunning and truly colored yummy cookbook we will re-meet a lot of the recipes we know and we met in the past chapters of the book. All of them chosen and put together in number of three for create some ideas and suggestions for special menus for your friends when you want to invite them for a lunch, dinner or another occasion.

Great book! I highly suggest it to everyone.

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS books for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Witch's Book of Shadows The Craft, Lore & Magick of the Witch's Grimoire by Jason Mankey

The Witch's Book of Shadows The Craft, Lore & Magick of the Witch's Grimoire by Jason Mankeypublished by Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. last February 7th has a wonderful cover, and I am more than sure that reading also the synopsis of the book, it maintains the promises and expectations offered and promised to the readers: the story and the modern use of the Book of Shadows, the instrument used by witches for their enchantments in the past.

Just, pity, there is nothing in the copy sent us by NetGalley and Llewellyn Publishing House.  Maybe too worried for some possible bad enchantment we could have created against someone like many modern Morgan witches? Mmm..We can't know.

Anyway the author of this book Jason Mankey is a pagan and I am sure that as also for all the rest of the other books I reviewed from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.  he did a very good job. Maybe just, a little example of what he wrote could have been added. At the end with all the badness that there is around the world maybe no one would have practiced any kind of black enchantment.

I thank NetGalley for the book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes by William Sitwell

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes by William Sitwell, editor, is a wonderful and colored cookbook about British cuisine involving 100 cooks and bakers for serving to the readers all the best and innovative idea in terms of British food.

In the foreword it is specified something I didn't absolutely know: that in the past food, weather, politic, in general not treated during a normal conversations with friends because considered not too important topic.

Time pass by and changed the customs of Britons, all launched not just to remark that they love food, (and wine let me add this) but implementing all their knowledge about food, recipes, ingredients, resources, that they have with big influences of all the other ethnic group for creating a wonderful and stunning, yummy book.

This book is a melting pot of great ideas for every part of the day starting from breakfast, with recipes about straweberry jam but also  brioche french toast.
Talking of snack unforgettable will be Pea and mint croquettes,a bruschetta,a bagna cauda and always in the snack we find a minestrone with orzo, pasta & mint pesto.

Analyzed all the dishes that local herbs can present to people.

A courgette soup with chard bruschetta, and for lovers of legumes, Burrata with lentils and basil oil a perfect dish.
Are you a ricotta lover? The recipe for you is: the Baked Chard Ricotta with a hot tomato, garlic & pepper chutney.
If you want to mix  various flavors: meat and apples will be your answer with a great Sausage Meat & Apple Turnover.

Fish and Sea Food section: we all know that UK is an island and so we have recipes with oyster if you like them, a salted cod with winter cabbage bacon & beer sauce, a Happy Fish Pie, and many many more.

In the section Poultry, Meat and Game Courgetti & Beef Ragù, a tagliata di manzo, Poched Chicken with saffron sauce and cucumber, many recipes with lambs ad chicken as main protagonist and there is the appearance in a recipe of a rabbit, the Garlicly White Rabbit. The one of Alice in Wonderland maybe luckiest one ;-) and still alive.

If your son or daughter loves coca-cola  you can't avoid to prepare Ham in Coca-Cola for a sparkle of happiness and energy.
Lamb chops & dirty sweet potatoes will be a great match.
Traditional roast rib of beef another interesting dish of the section. 
A recipe truly versatile with with every meat is the pot-roast guinea fowl with wild mushrooms, prunes and thyme. I want to signal also the duck pie.

Pasta risotto & sides offers Risotto con piselli, limone e ricotta, Rotolo di spinaci al burro e formaggio, sausage, radiccio & lemon gnocchi, but there are also dishes, pretty tasty with polenta, and a rabbit lasagna and a classic risotto con funghi, and a recipe with farro as protagonist accompanied by roasted leeks & smoky-sweet romesco.


We find a recipe of burger buns, a chocolate bread pudding, cherry clafoutis, a chocolate guinnes cake, an eastern mess, pretty elegant, I would want to add. If you have some friends in love for grappa try this recipe: figs roasted with grappa & amaretto gelato.
Other recipes I want to signal: Bakewell pudding, summer pudding, and a yummy dark chocolate, chilli caramel, & macadamia nut tart, Granny's Honey and Apple Pie.
Saffron gives profundity to dishes, cakes and cookies and biscuits and here there is a recipe: Cornish saffron cake. Many recipes with plums.

I found the recipes original, multi-ethnic and surely yummy! Great cookbook!

The cover is stunningly original and in the perfect British-style. Plenty of fantasy, color and innovation.

I thank NetGalley for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, febbraio 16, 2017

Open When - Letters to lift your spirit - by Karen Salmansohn

Open When - Letters to lift your spirit - by Karen Salmansohn by Ten Speed Press will be released this March 7th.

I requested this book at NetGalley being approved last Aug 27th so some months before that my dad passed away. I didn't notice that Open When had to be reviewed with the new year at first and I remain of the idea that all the books I picked up before my dad's illness and later departure have a sort of strong coincidence with what happened later and the powerful words of novels, self-help books I picked up a strong guidance for healing.

Open When is a wonderful, quick but not for this reason light self-help book.

It is profound in its simplicity and informality and plenty of good and inspirational wise short letters that in the sentiment of the author must be opened when it is more necessary.

Beautiful, cute inspirational drawing will accompany every letter and trust me when I tell you this, you will find all the possible positive vibes from these letters.

Encouragement, advices where necessary because life sometimes is not simple, but a continuous change, this book wants to help you through changes and through new expectations, paths, remaining positive....Plus it wants to donate you the most precious word of this world: happiness, and the ability to staying focus in what it matters the most for you.

This book wants to donate you happiness, joy and a good start in your daily life.

I would suggest you to read Open When in a daily-base for not losing your sparkle and going on with serenity. You can also think of  choosing the letters more close to your soul reading them often during the day or the week.

But...It's not important how you will use this book for your personal growth and happiness, the important thing is that you read carefully the words contained.

A real balm for your soul and your spirit.

This one is a brief book but plenty of meanings and that's why it is so precious.

I thank NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for this lovely book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, febbraio 14, 2017

New Americans by Geoffrey C. Harrison and Thomas F. Scott

New Americans by Geoffrey C. Harrison and Thomas F. Scott published by Norwood House Press is a very powerful interesting book for students and their teacher about a controversial thematic, that as we will see hasn't been a  real novelty for America: the immigrants.

At first they were the 13 colonies. These people, British, constituted the first and most important community for the modern USA.

There weren't other people in the USA until the arrival of Cristoforo Colombo and the discovery of America. Thanks to this, new people slowly slowly afforded to the USA. Native Americans destroyed by the white man, we shouldn't never forget this dark page of history, and a new face started to take place.

Problems started to come when many ships arrived in the USA plenty of immigrants during 1800. The main concept at that time was the Nativitism and so the idea that people arrived before in the USA had to have best treatment than not the new ones, in terms of freedom and rights although as we have seen rights and freedom built slowly slowly by the various Americans. Please check out this book and my review: The Fight for Freedom .

The northern part of the world was considered from the first immigrants the best one, so Swedish, Germans people appreciated, while the South part of Europe read and seen as more "dangerous." Irish, Italians, Russian seen with suspect like also their religion: the catholic one.

The book asks if some Nativism is back today but maybe we should ask what it means for immigrants to afford to the USA and what it is today the American Dream.

In 1850 the discovery of gold and the Gold Rush and talking of immigration the arrival of people from Asia.

At the beginning of XX century government tried to reduce immigration.

Other errors from the USA committed during the First but also Second World War? Dauring the latest mondial conflict the USA rejected  a ship of Jewish immigrants. Half of them died tragically once returned home because of course captured.

It was clear for the government that the arrival of new forces and new brains meant also the arrival of new opportunity of growth. The USA is  a land built by immigrants.

I personally know immigrants who left our land and made fortune in USA and later Canada. If they would have remained here they would have spent a tranquil life but nothing more.

The book offers various point of debating and the story of immigration is surely articulated, at treats  very sad, and a policy that changes periodically the cards on table.

Very beauty book! Suggested to everyone not only students and teachers for trying to understand our actuality and the past as well.

I thank NetGalley and Norwood House Press for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler will be released this Febr 20th by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Stunning, beautiful, dreaming paintings of all the nature of the Globe. Passing through the Artic's nature,  frogs, birds, wolves, this one is a book dedicated to children but I would want to enlarge the public/readers at adult ones, nature-lovers because too beauty for not being on the shelf of the house of everyone.

The book with its spectacular, relaxing painting of nature portrayed during the blue hour a special moment,  when day and night are fused and in unison they speak an only voice and language that it still is not the one of the night and can't be anymore the one, bright and colored of the day.

Colors are beautiful, from cobalt to blue, white/ice, but never sad or cold for a fascinating and suggestive natural trip. Magical and impressive.

I loved tremendously, loved the painting of  bluebirds, like also the one of the serpent and the landscape with a hill, sweet trees, a owl in the tree and an eagle flying somewhere.

I thank NetGalley and  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Fight for Freedom by Geoffrey C.Harrison and Thomas S.Scott

What is freedom? How many freedoms should exist in the world? And should we speak of more freedoms or just a word: Freedom for classifying the human rights of people?

Should we give at freedom a limit or each of us should be treated with dignity?
If there are more than a freedom how many freedoms we all can pretend for us and our dear ones because of our necessities?

Let's say that the sum of many freedoms we obtain in a society gives just a word: Freedom.

Reading the beautiful scholastic book written by Geoffrey C.Harrison and Thomas S.Scott The Fight for Freedom, something is extremely clear: that maybe the American Constitution can have also its own age, but that for sure, each citizen of the so-called Land of Freedom and Opportunity fought with all himself/herself for seeing his/her rights recognized in all the States and sometimes it was a heavy, hard and stimulating battle.

Made the Constitution it was clear that it was necessary to talk and fight for  Human Rights.

This one the biggest problem.

Every American in particular if in some of the groups we will analyze, for obtaining the freedom of expression has fought also losing the most precious thing existing in this world: their life. An example: Reverend Martin Luther King.

Americans are real fighters, because they understood very soon that for obtaining something it was necessary to fight.

Every Constitution is wonderful and speak universally for all the citizens of its country.

The American Constitution is beautiful and not different from the other ones.

Some passages: "All men are created equal" and every human being should search and go for  "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are impressive.

There is to add that only the American Constitution has the research of happiness as one of the most important value for the human being and this is remarkable.

But what happens when happiness can't exist because there is no freedom?

In general we can classify freedom in this concept: there is  freedom 'til this freedom doesn't damage another human being and the space or life of another human being.

So, understandably each of us should be free to act as he/she wants, just keeping in high respect all the other people around him/her.

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson John Adams were the ones who influenced the most the final Constitution of the USA.

But...Who were the Americans at the time of Franklin, Adams and Jefferson? Not just Sweden and British, populations arrived from many countries in the world and for the most diversified reasons. Irish, Italians, French, Spanish, Germans...

People who decided to invest the rest of their life in this new and still unknown distant Land.

They were the most diversified one and at the same time each of them needed to be respected. And according to you was it simple?


This book, 50 pages in total is able to sum in few pages the history of the American Human Rights, and trust me when I tell you that it hasn't been a joke and it won't be a joke for the future as well, to fight for the human rights.

Each period has different exigencies, each period, once a step has been reached, offers the opportunity to fight for something else. In this sense it's comforting because it gives the sense that the world is in progression and not regression.

You will see: there will be new fights waiting for the Americans, a land of warriors.

The book treats the history of the American History of Human Rights 'til at recent times, 'til at President Obama.

One of the most urgent problems of the USA once created the Constitution the condition of black people.
In the USA there was a situation of slavery. In particular slavery was a condition wanted and desired by all the States of the South of the USA because of their extensive plantations of cotton.

The Northern States of the USA fought for the abolition of slavery but of course the South opposed a great resistance. This resistance brought at a separation from the Federation, the creation of a new reality for these 13 Southerners States and the beginning of the War of Secession started in 1861 and ended up in 1865 with the complete failure of the South and at the same time in 1863 with Abram Lincoln who started to declare for ten States of the South the end of slavery, completed after his death.

What would have meant for black people this new freedom? Owning land, more dignity.

But do you think that this one was the end of the fights? No, of course no. The beginning of more fights for more rights.
The request for a rest of life spent in dignity.
Many important fights would have interested black people from that moment on.

Being able to spend time in the same café, bars, restaurants, schools, bus with white people the priority.

Discrimination and prejudice unfortunately strong and in the past there were schools only for black people like also hospitals only for black people. Impossible to believe?  It is a part of the US History this one.

At the same time another group of people started to fight for their own rights: women. Women in 1800 stayed at home, perfect housewives but... they couldn't vote, they couldn't work but they had the same brain of men.
Women at a certain point decided that it was arrived the moment to change direction and to obtain all that freedom men had had for centuries. It was another turmoil for the system but at the end women won the first of many other battles to come.

Also black women started a movement for seeing recognized their rights.

In 1964 with the declaration of the Civil Rights Act a victory for everyone. Black and women as well.

We are in the 1970s and this time who tried to start to declare their own rights gay couples with at the end the permission for gay couples of building a family with an act wanted by Barack Obama.

The USA is a country very religious and this is very good. The USA is under the protection of God. In the dollar you can read In God We Trust, God is everywhere. Every President, not important if from left or right will always close or mention God in his speech several times and this is comforting and gives strength to the USA.

At the same time the gay rights created a profound debate about family and the meaning of family. Should a gay couple to have the right of build a family and adopt a children?

President Obama answered at these questions some time ago.

Wonderful book, I really enjoyed reading it. It's written very clearly, it's captivating, many questions will pop up in your mind trust me and it's a wonderful base for understanding a complicated, fascinating country as the USA is.

This books have been written for stimulating debates at school.
I suggest this text to all teachers and students.

Most students don't love history and it's a great pity  Teachers can win their diffidence with this book obtaining their attention. The past is the mirror of the present.

Our freedom exist because before us some people fought for us and we will fight for other rights and other generations will live more freely than us because they will enjoy rights that at the moment there are not. 

To me  students will fall in love for this book, when they will keep in their hands this book because The fight for Freedom is not just a great lesson of History, never boring, but will pass through the various fights for obtaining rights by a lot of American citizens.

Trust me: there is nothing more stimulating and adrenalinic than fighting for a good cause.

Each of us fight for something, no?

I thank NetGalley and the publishing house for the book.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, febbraio 12, 2017

Poems in the Manner Of... by David Lehman

Poems in the Manner Of... by David Lehman is a book of poems that will be published by Scribner this next March 7th and it will be very particular.

A passion started during the college and never abandoned this one by David Lehman for poets and poems, a classic for every young man or woman at college.

Surely Lehman fell in love, wisely, for the best ones. From Catullus and his love-pains, it is known he died for love, passing through Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, W.B.Yeats, Wordsworth and many other ones, once the idea: writing poems "In the manner of."

At first it was just a passion. Later it became this book.

What Lehman wanted to do writing poems "In the manner of..." was and is celebrating all that genial people who marked this Earth with wonderful thoughts and amazing visions.

You will find also wonderful astrological profiles of these great genius. Thanks to it I discovered why Yeats is so melancholic :-)

Beautiful book for every poetry lover and writers. Wonderfully written.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan  is called like that because the story is centered on the choir of the town and the idea of destroying it considering that no other men are around because of the last second world war, it is in fact 1940, and so who can sing without men in a choir? Just women?
The arrival of Primrose Trent from London and the promise of keeping alive the choir will make everyone more happy.

The stylistic style the epistolary one and that's why I picked up this book.
Another reason why I picked up this book?  The cover, one of the most relaxing one I have ever seen around.

If you fall in love for letters, journals, the old modality of communication, if you love history and you find fascination for the fact of the last Second World War this book is for you and I guess you will find fascinating to discover how many facts can be reported thanks to the old ink thanks to these ladies!

The stories of the town's people and of the historic moment live thanks to the various "letter-writers" of  Chilbury and thanks to them we will discover joy and sufferance, also very heavy of the various people of this British village.

British books about war or other difficult moment experienced in the country are never negative or depressing because characters, in this case women portrayed always strong and able to carry on every possible problem. An example for everyone.

Many thanks to First to Read for this book!

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, febbraio 10, 2017

The String of Pearls by Thomas Preskett Prest

The String of Pearls by Thomas Preskett Prest is a dark book you'll love so badly.

It is in fact the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Strange street Fleet Street.

Once, as also written in the London's biography by Peter Ackroyd Fleet Street was an insane little river, but because of sanitary problems and illness that the river brought to the people, during the time the administration transformed it in a street, although a touch if insanity it is still going on.

No one knows if this one is a legend or not.
Surely London is not just the capital of UK but also a city avid for blood and so it seems that once upon a time there was a weird weird strange barber called Sweeney Todd in Fleet Street.

This book, The String of Pearls inspired the legendary musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler created and launched in 1979 and winners of eight Tony Awards.

Later Johnny Depp would have created, based on the musical by Sondheim with Tim Burton as director Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It was 2007.

The story of Sweeney Todd told in this book, is pretty different from the musical and the movie. 

The horror, I wouldn't never read it differently, in different ways is left to the imagination of us, readers, but the book is written with great linguistic property and class. The writing style of 1800 is adorable because punctual, precise, can I add: perfect?

Anyway the lovely partner of Sweeney Todd, a barber of Fleet Street has a store with mr Jarvis Williams and there they sell wonderful delicious sweet meat pis. They are loved by everyone. They're the sweetest ones you can find around and who knows if attracted by mrs. Lovett or simply because the meat is so delicious, the store is always plenty of people.

Mrs. Lovett in love with Sweeney Todd, a good criminal pair this one.

Sweeney Todd has a good work as barber, although strangely not all the men who enter in his shop for making their beard go out after the work. Who knows why. A dog is still waiting for his owner...
Through a trap door Sweeney after the service, in general he cut the throat at his victims, would send them to Mrs Lovett for being "prepared" to becoming delicious meat for the customers of her delicious reality...

Sure something starts to go bad for Sweeney Todd. Killing means also someone who start to search for some missing people. Johanna is searching for her fiance, and at the same time also Colonel Jeffrey is searching for his friend Thornhill strangely missing. Where are them all?
Maybe in the stomach of some very satisfied people, who knows? but no one still know this horrific reality. Surely all of them spotted the last time close to Sweeney Todd's barber's shop. So later, where did they go?

Great relevance in the story also at the poor boy Tobias Ragg, one of the most interesting characters of the book, the young apprentice of Sweeney Todd...

Go for this book if you search for pure horror but also a horror told with great respect and without to go into details that could scare people. It's a classic, It says all the word: classics.The String of Pearls like all the classics has the characteristic of eternity and immortality.

I thank Endeavour Press for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Candy Is Magic by Jami Curl

When we open the door of candy world we enter in a magical land of seasonal fruits, chocolate, aromas, sugar, colors, in a world, able to conquer everyone forever and ever. Candy represents our childhood. They're sweet, tasty, surely unforgettable.

Candy world is magic. Magic because candies represents joy, happiness, a moment of absolutely pleasure for toddlers and sometimes also for their parents. It's also a world made by precision, because the creation of a lollipop so thin, so delicious, colored, is just apparently simple.

Jami Curl is an enthusiastic. The owner of Quin, a company of candy based in Oregon in this book will introduce us at more than 200 recipes of candies, lollipops and other sweet delicious treats. At the beginning of the book a very good and technical explanation and introduction of all the various roles  ingredients and tools indispensable in a house for making a real good candy.

What is candy-world if not imagination, creation, fantasy? Each of us potentially could create a candy tells Jami using the perfect ingredients and giving  thanks to our imagination shape to a candy-dream. Color, shape, taste, everything is important in a candy, in a lollipop, in every candy-world creation.

Jami loves to prepare candies, lollipops with tasty seasonal fruits and ingredients and it's remarked the importance of using good and seasonal ingredients in the book.

Beautiful! sweet, an indispensable cookbook that also Willy Wonka would want to buy! :-)

I thank NetGalley and the publishing house for this book

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, febbraio 08, 2017

Always by Sarah Jio

I checked my e-mail yesterday night and I received a message from Random House. The manager of the publishing house asked me to post as soon as possible a review for the launch of Always by Sarah Jio. Eeeek...Bloody Hell, not yet read, I thought in complete panic  without thinking that the launch was yesterday.

I decided to change my schedule and I started to read the eBook yesterday night. I finished it today.

You'll need to keep close to you a box of Kleenex because Always is moving and one of th most interesting love-stories I read since now.

I picked up this book by Sarah Jio time ago for various reasons.

I love her books, I had read previously other novels she wrote.
Seattle is in my heart.
One of my best pen-pals - yes you know paper and pen, envelopes and stamps, that dinosaurs thing of the 1990's - with which I am still in contact with is from Seattle.
One of my favorite movies Sleepless in Seattle set in that city.
Being a friendly reality I have also other connections as well.
I feel the thematic of homeless a lot and I thought while I read the synopsis of this book in NetGalley that this one could have been potentially a very good love-story. As always, my instinct didn't fail. I was approved and joyous for it.

Always by Sara Jio is impressive because it's not just a love-story.
It's something else. It's a love between a man and a woman stolen by destiny and then re-donated at the protagonists.
It's the book of second chances.

It treats of loss and return, of waiting, love and defeat, and at the same time of crucial choices in our life and understanding. Of real love able to set free the partner for love, of gratitude and dignity and sentiments respected.

The book is never superficial but profoundly explores the sentimental dynamics of a lady who thought she had found a stability in every sense and that maybe she must re-think all her life again.
Because the past better than the present, because simply, the love of the 20s for Cade too strong for being thrown away again not giving to it another possibility.

It's a book that will speak at the heart, at the conscience, at the life and at the dignity of people and their lives trying to have respect for every point of view.

The story starts with Kailey and Ryan, a happy couple at the italian restaurant Le Marche of Seattle.

Kailey is a reporter of the Herald and she reached the success she  desires. Ryan a very successful man. A happy couple who intend to start a life together, celebrating the joy of staying together with a wedding pretty soon.

Kayle is a reporter very involved in social problems and she treats the topic of homeless very often. That night while leaving the restaurant Le Marche while she was waiting for her fiancee and their car she notices this homeless pretty starved close to the restaurant. She presents him something to eat and when she looks at his eyes she recognizes him. Impossible to fail: this one was her boyfriend Cade McCallister, never forgotten.

Cade had a label and was very famous in the music industry of Seattle during the mythical 1990s. Why now Cade is here, in this state, homeless and what happened to him during these past 10 years? She asks a desperate Kayle to herself.

Kayle is shocked, and she starts to live in a life of flashbacks.

Oh: the power of the twenties and the magical idea that everything is possible and that life is in your hands. You can imagine to find mr.Right,   and building a good existence with him, having some children, working and being a satisfied girl.

In general it goes in this way, but not for Kayle.
To Kayle the dream of marrying the man she loved so badly broken. Broken because she knew something: that Cade was her Mr. Right and the man with which she would have wanted to spend the rest of her existence. And he just disappeared like a ghost from her, without to tell her why, without an explanation.

Once this dream over she didn't think at love anymore with the intensity of the past.

Two years spent together, from 1996 to 1998 one day Cade simply evaporated from her life.

Her dream of a family, of a love, some children, replaced by a successful work and other gratifications. Her heart locked until later she would have met Ryan. Other age, a more mature love, her sentimental life back.

Kayle accepted this second chance with enthusiasm thinking that life must be lived and truly loving deeply Ryan. Cade McAllister buried in some corner of her heart but now inoffensive.

But...What happen if the past returns, and which can be the reaction of a person at the return of someone so beloved?

It's what the book wants to analyze, and it does it with great maturity and class according to my point of view.

Memories of the moments  Kailey spent with Cade are back in all their intensity. They had lived a real, beautiful love-story. Walks discovering secret corners of Seattle, trips as the one they did at Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, where Kailey's grand-dad knew his future wife, unforgettable moments for both of them, moments spent together enjoying the company of each other and thinking that yet, they were made for spent the rest of their life together.

Few characters all very well centered, the book doesn't know any kind of dispersion but focus in the relationship created by the two protagonists at first in 1996. The book is divided in two part: a first part is set in 2008 the crucial year of the return of Cade and a part from 1996 to 1998 the years of the first relationship between Cade and Kailey.

Not only.

Always is also a book that wants to speak at the heart of people revealing the social conditions of American hospitals, sometimes too cold with people marginalized by the society for many reasons.
It wants to speak at the heart of people reclaiming that we are all human being, and it is not important if we are rich or poor, each of us has dignity and should be cured very well.

But in which state Kailey finds Cade? In a miserable one. This man must suffer of some mental retard, she thinks desperate. Maybe he remembers her, maybe not. At the beginning the reporter can't interact with him because the man is absent, starved.

Kailey once saved by him decides that now it's arrived the moment of helping her biggest love of her life, but at what price?

Ryan will understand her feelings? And mostly: is she still loving Ryan as much as she should love him considering that very soon they will be married?

Always is a book that tells of changes. The changes that can occur during our life, the differences that we can find in a person we love so badly and we thought we had lost forever and the acceptance of this person transformed by life but also of the immutability of love when the feeling has been real and sincere with all the crosses that can bring with it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is another example of a great love for a wonderful, conflictual man. At the end of the book the protagonist will discover that her love, unforgotten, Edward Rochester had lost the vision from both his eyes because of a terrible incident but she won't go away from him because real love is able to resist everything.

The title Always created because of a tattoo the protagonists once will decide to do while in vacation, in french, Toujours, while the cover of the book speaks of true love. There is the tradition of put a red wrap in a branch of cherries tree everytime you think you have found your true love.

I highly suggest you this book for the maturity I found while I was reading it. It is written by a writer who gives dignity to each protagonists and at the end of the book in the happiness and unhappiness that some protagonists will live, no one will be completely defeated by life because love will always win in every case.

I thank NetGalley and Random House for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori