mercoledì, agosto 30, 2017

The True Life by Alain Badiou translated by Susan Spitzer

The True Life is a book published by Polity. Little, it is 80 pages but dense of considerations it is written for young people by Alain Badiou and translated by Susan Spitzer.

The author starts with Socrates and Plato. Yes it was maybe true that between the two men there was more than a friendship but there is to saying something else: that every kind of sex, including the homosexual one was very practiced in old Greece and accepted, and like said our touristic guide when I was 15 years and we visited Greece, it was the Catholicism that destroyed their society in this sense introducing the idea of sin.

Said that, who is a young boy and girl today and which is the purpose of the young person today?

Sure there is a lot of confusion and for obvious reasons. Living for ideals, so being a good person, living with some ideals and building a life of success, good house, great career? Is it possible to living adopting these two situations? Which is the true life? Maybe the true life can be a life of sublime thoughts disconnected by an excessive wealth.

The author traces also a historic condition of the past generations in terms of work and study and what it meant in the past the gap between the various social classes.

The author takes also a proper picture of a politician inspired by The Republic by Plato. Is a politician always a good man?

In which society the young people live first of all?

It's an anarchic society, an immature society; it's a sort of Youth-Land where everyone is young, where no one is old, where responsibilities don't exist, where the old schemes are all gone and it's possible to live the life dreamed without passing through that symbolic  moment of initiation so typical in the past. For a girl marrying someone meant to entering in the adult age; at the moment it doesn't say anything because weddings in general end pretty soon and there is not anymore a real emotional stability.

Old people must be young as well, and when necessary they must prove that they are young with exercise, plastic surgery and all the possible escapism for avoiding old age.
The wisdom of the age is seen as a scaring thing, and not like the time able to presenting to youngest ones some lessons for their life although it's better to commit life's errors. So also the multi-generational help is gone.
This one is a society of consumers and grown-up infants, and this society is a society asking continuously to people of every age of buying everything.
The latest great TV, the other great object able to satisfying the most profound desire, the best house, the best trip, everything.
The author admits that when an adult is taken by consumerism so badly it means that he is not yet an adult.

In the past society asked of saving money to people, keeping them wisely apart. Now, it's a continuous asking for money, without any sort of job-stability and so with a more uncertain future.

Just a very little part of population have biggest amount of money in their hands. All the rest of population lives without a lot of expectations and money.

If in the past solidity was given by a society structured and able to give answers, securities, jobs, a family with children,, a good future, when the system collapsed, the uncertainty created a lot of Peter Pan although adults and in a dangerous condition according to the author, because this one an extension of the infant age.

So the young person doesn't feel anymore the sensation of "becoming adult" as it happened in the past.

The author later describes the role of the young male and the one of the girl in our society.

A society in which old roles, old values are not yet over, but put in serious crisis by this lack of... values fundamentally and this extra-freedom in grade to give the permission of being whoever the young want to to be. Just...Where this world will drive us?

Plus oldest generations although in search for the fountain of the eternal youthfulness are scared by young boys and girls and interrogate themselves with a certain worry: where these young boys and girls will be in grade to go and do being like this?

A very stimulating book written by a 79 years old man for young people, so perfect for a gift, but according to me great for everyone.

I surely thank NetGalley and Polity for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Geronimo Stilton The Curse of Cheese Pyramid

In The Curse of Cheese Pyramid   another wonderful adventure lived by Genonimo Stilton.
This time the Rodent's Gazette and the same Geronimo experience a stressing moment.

Geronimo is in fact taken "prisoner" by his grandfather.

The grandfather of Geronimo has clear ideas: his nephews is spending too much. He takes taxi for going to work, he loves to give work at some people at the Rodent's Gazette. No way! He fires all the rest of mouse working in the newsroom and Geronimo is devastatingly alone because of all these changes.

Living with his grandfather a real depression. What to do?

His grandfather takes a decision considering that his nephew loves to travel and writing great books about these trips: Geronimo will fly to Egypt!  Leaving: NOW!!! insists his grandfather.

Funny adventures, with a long description of the trip and another memorable adventure waiting Geronimo and at the end who knows? Maybe we will see again his grandfather crying and complaining at his return.

Highly recommended!

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, agosto 29, 2017

Nineteen letters by Jodi Perry

It's so romantic! And not just this. Nineteen letters by Jodi Perry is the real fight of a modern warrior for his eternal love conducted with great determination, lightness, tender touch, and following the natural course of the time.

It's a book this one written with great grace, using the voices of the two main characters, and all the possible heart and sensibility. 

Shockingly fluid writing-style, it's like if this book would have been told by the same Braxton and Jemma without barriers, without mental restrictions to any thought, it's like if the protagonists would be "mentally naked" in front of their personal history, feelings and if they would want to confess and tell to the reader everything, every personal emotions, every part of their love-story with sincerity.

God, what a wonderful book! Just for this.

The story in itself is so romantic. This couple is wonderful, they have a great physical and mental connection.

Jemma was going to work one day when she experiences a serious car accident. Braxton her husband is devastated, but much more when Jemma returning to life after a period of coma, won't remember any of their dear ones. For Jemma her mom, her dad, her husband perfect strangers.

But so, what to do? Jemma's mother's will ask to Braxton of never giving up. "Write her letters..."
Braxton is too in love with her for giving up and the idea of writing to her sounds a good idea. Written words can be more powerful and absorbing. They remain, awakening old feelings maybe.

And Braxton starts to write. He writes down their beautiful love-story started at the age of 7 years, the most beautiful moments spent together...
The letters will be 19 because 19 to them is a magical number.

In the while Jemma will remember? Will there be the happy end for this couple?

I won't tell you this because I want that you must read this masterpiece of love, understanding.

The most powerful book about love I have read recently.
I hadn't never read any books by Jodi Perry. She has a new reader for sure.

I thank NetGalley and Hachette for this eBook!

Anna Maria Polidori

Happy Birthday by Mamoru Suzuki

Who doesn't love to be celebrated during his/her special birth day? Happy Birthday by Mamoru Suzuki published by Museyon, is born for this purpose. It's a hymn to life a beautiful, tender, cute, children' book to present to your kid but also to a grown up child :-) thinking better, because these ones are the memories substantially of every mom of this world remembering the special day she experienced the joy of maternity and the arrival of her baby. Her baby: so frail, precious, felt, tender, wanted.
A special date, a special day to be remembered.

The book remarks with great poetry and thanks to beautiful, cute, sweet illustrations the arrival of the baby in this world through tender, poetic drawings and... words.

A mom plenty of expectations always thinking that this kid is not exactly her kid, but a child of this world and that he/she will have his/her own destiny wherever he/she will want to go, and with whomever will want to be surrounded by, but the most important, surely she will always love him/her, support him/her wishing him/her all the best for this special day and the other ones to come.

Beautiful. Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, agosto 27, 2017

American Pulp How Paperbacks Brought Modernism in Main Street by Paula Rabinowitz

Henry James (Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square) anticipated the arrival of pulps in a close future in one of his writings. It was clear that literature couldn't remain close in a temple for just few people.
It was important a standardization of the phenomenon for permitting to everyone of enjoying classics, crimes stories, romantic novels, new books in general and mainly what it could have been produced by the various publishing houses and writers.

Not only: pulps meant also a trip across the culture of the USA during the various decades. Amazing and impressive. In a pulp we find the history of a country in perennial change, with its contradictions and beauty.
American Pulp How paperbacks  Brought Modernism in Main Street by Paula Rabinowitz is a very excellent paperback book, it couldn't be different, with a beautiful suggestive cover, published by Princeton University Press and a real impressive study about the various genres of pulps.
Rabinowitz tells she is a pulp addicted thanks to her parents and she loves to collecting pulps.

From the housewife intrigued by love-stories to the student searching for classics in the past read only thanks to local libraries, passing through the business-man, the teacher or the working-class man in search for a good book to read, pulps were in grade to satisfy all the necessities of the diversified customers.
And paperbacks helped a lot the construction, the building of a culture, presenting also a moment of escapism from reality.

Legend wants that pulps were born thanks to Allan Lane's intuition in 1935.
Mr. Lane was the manager director of Bodley Head Publishers and he was waiting for the train in a railway station and at the same time, bored, he was searching for something to read.
Not finding anything interesting the idea: it would have been good to publish cheap paperbacks for everyone, distributed everywhere, so that people could live them as part of their lives and daily shopping. But it was Penguin that made the real difference.

Penguin was born at first with this mission: publishing indestructible paperbacks just for a dime. Penguin produced an indestructible product, timeless in every sense giving to the readers all the best, from classics, to crime, from children's paperback book thanks to their children's division Puffin, to essays.

The concept of literature changed drastically. It was important to reach everyone and everywhere. In grocery stores, train stations, news agencies, wherever there was a place interested to selling pulps. People started to read in everyplace. At a cafe, waiting for the arrival of a bus, or in a bus. In a train station or in the train, while they were waiting for a dentist's visit, in a park.

These paperbacks, little, thin, light, were the best friends you could think of bringing with you in the bag while you went for some shopping, or you traveled somewhere. Discreet, available when necessary, strong enough for surviving at the time, they're still fascinating items to be kept with religious respect in a house.

Certain people were more lucky than other ones and they had in their houses hardback classics and many other books as well, but bringing somewhere a hardback meant a lot of weight and a stoic work.

Plus all the rest of people, from the working-class to students, needed to be helped, for starting to read, for discovering fascinating new worlds,  great adventures, beautiful thrillers, crimes, and so on. These generations would have grown-up with a culture available to everyone for a very cheap price. Beautiful!
Every person would have wanted to pick up a pulp. 

Covers were studied for attracting the various customers. These covers could be seductive, violent, explicit, anticipating a lot the plot of the story and anticipating the desire of the reader, all happy to "jump" into that story with all herself/himself.

Readers discovered black writers like Perty, a genre dedicated to gay-lesbians, a novelty, but also important thematic like war, with books treating Hiroshima and what it meant the nuclear war in Japan because the USA have always been in grade to looking forward, looking with very modern eyes at the expectations of the readers offering to their avid readers what the reality was producing in that exact moment, for motivating them, for keeping in their readers a critic eye about the reality and for growing up generations of intelligent, modern, informed readers.

Slowly these paperbacks disappeared and in recent times it seemed also that the book with the advent of the net would have been disappeared, killed and buried by the eBook like it happened for letters as physical object.
But, irony of the irony, if everything else was destroyed by the net in more or less 24 years, letters became e-,mails, postcards e-cards, just two example, the book  survived! at this cultural revolution more alive than before and more strong than ever. Yes. It survived at the worst predictions, and it will remain with us forever.

I truly suggest to everyone this book by Princeton University Press. It can be good for a student in search for some material because there is a lot about pulps genres in this book for a research or thesis, but also for a personal curiosity.
Pulps changed the history of the reading in the USA and its citizens. It says a lot about a winning policy looking at culture, people, their intelligence and instruction because as I say often it's not important what you read but that you keep reading :-)

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

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, agosto 26, 2017

Living with the Living Dead The wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse by Greg Garrett

I wanted to start to read immediately Living with the Living Dead The wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse by Greg Garrett when I received it. Although I lost my dad last Nov two I try all my best to staying cheerful, positive and strong.

Then it happened something involving my dad's grave and his corpse and I postponed the reading for some days.

Death is part of our life, but zombies are different "people". They're dead but "living dead." They can live in our world. They're different from us but we can see them like a sort of mirror. Why this?

The tradition of zombies is very old says Greg Garrett, and the cinema at the end of the 1960s re-launched zombies and after the success of The Walking Dead many different productions treated the topic.
Why people need the help of these scaring monsters so similar to us, because they have been alive like us for going on?

Maybe for giving an answer to all our fears. It's undoubtedly true something: that after 9/11 the relationship with death became more complicated for all the Americans and maybe it was felt like a necessity to trying to find answers also in that human sphere that it can be the other world and also the world of zombies. Maybe metabolizing "just" death was too much. Death: darkness, obscurity, a chapter completely closed in the existence of a person.
A zombie is someone else, more close to our human dimension, more able still to let us feel the sensation of life although he is not anymore in our world.

But it is also true that the world is surrounded by this mythical and pretty scaring characters from ages and our culture, the American one is impregnated by zombies. They're everywhere. Cinema, TV, but also at the supermarket, in some brands of food, I want to say, ;-) and so on.
Why this?

Apart the purest interest and fun that people have watching a movie with zombies, the undead, man thinks that zombies are fascinating.

Ken Foree described the zombie in Dawn of the Dead: "When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth."
But so zombies are creatures of Hell?

Zombies can be this and more. Undead walking on Earth for infecting people for example.

As the writer remarks, zombies becomes more "famous" when there are tragic facts unable to being explained rationally like it happened during the 1960s or also with the HIV-AIDS infection or after 9/11.

Zombies can be the cathartic escapism and answer for all the sadness, unhappiness of a population, representing also a new reality for looking under different lenses at what it is going on in the world.
Not only: zombies gives consolation because one day we all die.

Zombies breaks an important tradition: the one of the man who had always kept defined the role of death keeping it in a discreet place.

Now death is accepted and considering the turmoil in the world is part of our human existence and can happens in any moment and for any irrational reasons.

Sometimes it can be because of our fault, sometimes it is not yet arrived our moment, but other ones can decide for us like it happened for the 3000 and more victims of the 9/11 attacks and all the other ones during this long war against terrorism.

In many graves you will find the epitaph: "Prepare yourself to follow me" as writes Garrett. So true considering the mortality of men.
With my dad we did something different :-)
He was a funny and at the same time grumpy man. We wanted to play this game with death. Death happens and we can't avoid it, but we have thought at his new house, as dad called that place so scaring for him, "light"and colored and a place where everyone can think: "I am happy to be here saying to you ciao because you present me joy, serenity!" Dad loved wine and he was a man plenty of great memorable stories and saying. Once he started to saying: "Don't start to walk if your mouth doesn't taste of wine."A tribute to life. We asked for this epitaph because we are here for living before to dying and also for keeping light a grave because death is never simple and it's better to stay cheerful and remembering the beauty of the life lived.

Death received corporeality in many ways during the time. The dance of death one of the most famous manifestation, and then in various tales by Hemingway, Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
Zombies are helpful because they can help us to understand this transition from a condition to another, analyzing later our human condition seeing also under the various religious confessions.

The analysis of McCormack's book The Road is very interesting because a father and a son survive after a post apocalyptic scenario and the old rules of the world are all gone: church, traditions, law, normality, nothing is more true but when there is their triumph the world becomes anarchic.

Let's remember the 9/11 attacks. There is nothing to do: that one has been the first terrible moment in which not only vulnerability but also important questions rises the mind of the relatives of all the people involved in this mess. I can tell you I had two correspondents in NYC and these questions never abandoned me as well, although they're alive, because their life changed forever after this terrorist attack.

"Why did it happened to our dear ones?" What kind of justification can we find for a horror like that one?

The only justification was surely a moment of disorder under many aspects but the most terrible fear another one according to Garrett:  that Americans could become monsters after the confrontations with the terrorists killed all that people.

An anarchic world the one of the zombies can't be a good answer because everything would be permitted. Garrett will also talk of the alliance between Tony Blair and George W.Bush Jr. for fighting the war against the terrorism. "When we go over the Dark Side, it is possible that we will become more not less like the implacable foes we oppose" says Mr Niebuhr.

This book by Greg Garrett is surely a good trip in the world of zombies, current and past events, death but most importantly is a trip, a good one you can do, trust me, into our most profound fears, in the problematic still unsorted out by our society. A society not anymore beauty like the one that was just 25 years ago but plenty of stress and worries and in search of answers.

That's why it is important to read this book. For exorcising our fears and our problems.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is a classic without time. Written by L.M. Montgomery this copy by Random House is for all that children that for the first time read a classic and they're too little for understanding all the complexity of a book. It can be presented at a kid of 6-7 years old.
I read it in a hour or so. The story is solidly adapted well by Deborah Felder.
A childhood spent in many different houses, the one of Anne.

 Anne remained orphan very soon and at first she stayed under the wing of Bert Thomas, his wife and their children, when her mom and dad disappeared because of a fever.
Mrs. Thomas was the housekeeper of Anne's parents, both teachers. After the tragic death of Bert Thomas, the girl passed at Mr.Hammond and his numerous family. Eight children and a lot of work for Anne.
Later after the departure of Mr Hammond, Anne will spend some time in a close orphanage before to being adopted by Matthew Cuthbert and Marilla. The two needed honestly a boy for helping in the farm but here the surprise: the arrival of a bright little girl, Anne.
Matthew convinced Marilla at keeping this little girl and Anne remained with Marilla and Matthew. Hilarious and tender episodes, Anne will develop soon a strange conflictual relationship and competition with a boy more old than her at school. We will also see the friendship with Diana, and at the end of the book again other sadness and important decisions for Anne.

Why reading classics and why a classic is so important for a kid?
Because a calssic,  gives to life all the sense that life has and all that values that life should have everyday and that sometimes are forgotten.
There is in Anne of Green Gable a great multi-generational respect. For old people, babies, families, life, dead ones. There is dignity.
There are beautiful values and there is respect and a good word for everyone.
More: there is hope in a hopeless case. Anne in her short life suffered a lot, because of the tragicity of her existence, but she didn't never lose optimism and a great positive attitude regarding life, also when it seemed that her life was populated just by darkness.
Children can learn to be compassionate, good, kind, that a good word sometimes can save a life, and a gesture of kindness priceless and extremely important and that sacrifices are part of our existence, reading Anne of Green Gables.

In a world sometimes senseless, a classic, a children's classic can make the difference.

The cover is dreaming with Anne looking forward to a brightest good life.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, agosto 23, 2017

The Children's Treasury, Fairy-Tales, Nursery Rhymes &Nonsense Verse edited by Alice Mills

Several weeks ago I went to my favorite second-hand bookstore for trying to find something to read. In the children's section I discovered this gem, that calling it gem is reductive, because The Children's Treasury, Fairy-Tales, Nursery Rhymes &Nonsense Verse edited by Alice Mills is the most beautiful english children's book I have ever seen since now.

The great, maniacal cure for creating with words and illustrations the best effect is very appreciated.. Illustrations accompanying verses and rhymes are extremely colored, in general illustrations are the ones of very famous children's books illustrators. Their characteristics? Being old-fashioned, cute, tender, sweet, nice like also the ones chosen for the dreaming fairy-tales. It's a joy for the eyes and for the mind this book, able to keep very cheerful adults and children. A book created with great accuracy and love by Grange Books.

Anna Maria Polidori

Walking on Lava Selected Works for Uncivilized Times edited by Charlotte Du Cann, Dougald Hine, Nick Hunt and Paul Kingsnorth

Where this world  is going on and how can we develop a different attitude about our environment complicated by climate change and a lot of unusual, scaring weather's answer from a crazy climate?
How can we give  peace again to Earth and men?

In my land old people said that when Earth is stressed and there are quakes or floods or uncertainties caused by extreme climate conditions, people are stressed and peaceless as well. A good environment means for man peace because the environment is every man's land.

This book published last Aug 4th Walking on Lava  Selected Works for Uncivilized Times edited by Charlotte Du Cann, Dougald Hine, Nick Hunt and Paul Kingsnorth the sum of the first ten books published by the cultural association Dark Mountain where we meet, in very erudite words, without hiding anything the risks for the future, the story of our humanity and a project for saving the Planet re-thinking our history with creativity.

The Dark Mountain Project was founded in 2009 wanted by a group of ecologists and creative people who thought that what they were hearing about nature and ecology was not sufficient for changing the world in better, but that, at the same time the world needed and needs extra-attention because what we are seeing in a daily base is scaring. I am writing when two days ago we experienced in Italy the quake of Ischia where two people lost their lives and a lot of houses and a church collapsed with great simplicity as if they would have been sand. Italy: a year ago we lived the quake of Amatrice with wagons of dead people. Who knows: maybe if the climate change wouldn't have been so strongly influential we wouldn't have lived all these disasters, or in less measure.

What these group of thinkers of the Dark Mountain Project wants to do is to try to reunite all the creative mind for telling to the world, their world as it was and proposing some solutions.
These tales, poems are amazing. I prefer the tales of the past, where nature was tranquil, where agriculture was clean and rich for every man.
In all these tales there are big reflections about the state of the world, and where this Old World is going on and what we can do for changing the situation before it becomes too irreversible, if it's not arrived yet the point of no return. Returning to the past can be a great idea :-)

I thank NetGalley and Chelsea Green Publishing for the eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Love, Madness & Scandal The Life of Frances Coke Villiers Viscountess Purbeck by Johanna Luthmann

Love, Madness & Scandal The Life of Frances Coke Villiers Viscountess Purbeck by Johanna Luthmann will keep you intrigued 'till the end of this fascinating real life-story of intrigue, love, betrayal, scandal.

Looking at the picture-cover of this book published by Oxford University Press Frances Coke Villiers appears with a spark of malice in her eyes, but the painting gives also the imagine of a young, discreet girl, I would add a bit worried.
You wouldn't never think for a second that opening this book you would find a story like the one you will read.

Frances Coke Villiers was a girl of noble origin born in 1602 and his family had great connections with the King as well. Like most of noble kids she grew up following the standard education of that age. Good schools appropriate for girls and once a teenager, trips to Europe for discovering the Continent appreciating the beauty of other places.

Her wedding with Sir John Villiers was of course wanted by her family, and by King James I. This one, Sir John was a great party for her.

The wedding wasn't the celebration of love at all and Frances didn't know that her groom would have soon developed also a strange mental illness with which the groom coped for all his life.
Substantially this mental illness was bipolarity, but when the symptoms more insisting, John Villiers wasn't a subject you would have wanted to have around. For this reason and for being cured well, he left their house leaving Frances alone.

Frances was young and romantic and very soon started to appreciate, while her husband was somewhere else sick, the friendship of Sir Robert Howard. The man pretty soon conquered the heart of the girl and the two started an intense, felt, love-story, "involving" also in this story the various servants of the houses where they lived their transgression and their memorable moments of joy.
Happiness, we all know is volatile and pretty soon Frances discovered she was waiting.
Yes: a baby!

Now: what to do?

The poor husband John Villiers, once cured by his mental illness was pretty shocked by all this turmoil. Returning to the normality  pretty stressing.
Let's imagine he was upset when discovered that his wife didn't cry too much during his absence but had some fun with someone else and the trace was the arrival of a baby!

There's to add that British noblemen and noblewomen don't mind at all for "bastard babies" living them very well and so the centrality of the aspect wasn't the baby at all but the betrayal, and for Frances and her lover these moments lived with this guideline: "Always Deny." The two lovers won't admit their relationship. Also when there was the evidence of a baby.

But so: if Howard didn't have any sexual intercourse with Frances, who impregnated Frances? Frances said her husband although the husband physically absent for two years. Confusion dominated the trial.

The trial brought to conviction and although Frances' husband disappeared soon the problems for Frances never sorted out with simplicity...

It's a beautiful, very readable, wonderful, stunning, intriguing, funny at some point, book this one by Oxford University Press and I am more than sure that you will love this book and the story of Frances Coke Villiers exactly as I do.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, agosto 21, 2017

Fate Rode the Wind An American Story of Hope and Fortitude by Larry D.Quick

Fate Rode the Wind An American Story of Hope and Fortitude by Larry D.Quick has been one of the most desired and wanted book for a lot of time. I loved the cover, and I knew that I would have loved the story as well.
I obtained a physical copy from iUniverse more than a month ago. The big heat forced me to interrupt my reading. I didn't want to lose any word of this book. 
Let me start to saying that I found this book a real jewel. Intense, real, felt, passionate, beauty, the story is set up in the rural countryside of Illinois, in a crucial moment for the USA, 1941: there is the Second World War and the USA are still undecided. What to do?
To the USA, the second world war appeared like a distant war, after all the country still untouched. Better to see what it was going on. The story follows the adventure of a farmer mr. Milbur Quinn and his numerous family for three years, ending it in 1944 with new re-starts and some good-byes.
The story is very positive, without too many tragedies, but true in every detail and fact reported, with a healthy optimistic vision of life and that's why I strongly suggest this book to you. History repeat itself and countrysides in moment of big stress, can be the most positive answer for everyone.

There is optimism in the Quinn's family. Milbur decides to buy a pony to the children in particular to Marianne, as a distraction but also a responsibility and for keeping the children closest to that life and that farm, and plus he decides to renovate the house, adding more comfort for everyone with warm water, and a better heating system.

Marianne although also all the other characters are developed wonderfully well, is the central and main character of this story. A teen-ager with  problematic with her mom, misunderstood by her, new desires and expectations and at the same time a good girl like all the rest of her brothers. They all work very hard in the farm, feeding animals, cooking, baking, cleaning up the house, going to school and being responsible.

This book takes the perfect picture and atmosphere of a rural place where people are connected, they work together for bettering places, houses, there is generosity and desire of going on peacefully in this world.

Milbur was interested to hearing what it was going on in Europe about war reading the newsmagazine and listening the radio and when Japan attached Americans to Pearl Harbour President Roosevelt was constricted to enter in war against that State, setting free, the Americans were called the allied, at the same time the rest of the world, mainly Europe from the messes caused by Hitler and Nazis. No one still knew the proportion of hate and horror caused by Hitler, with more than six million of people killed in various camps like the one of Auschwitz.

The war changed the habits of the American families and food was rationed like also shoes and other items. There was more work for people and men in particular in factories producing guns.

The farm where Marianne and her family lived didn't experience a terrible impact about food because of the war, because in most cases they were independent and they had most of the ingredients used in the kitchen for the various meals.

Marianne in the while with his pony named Rocky lives her adventures going to closest houses of her girlfriends and starting to learn from her body and mind that she is changing and she is becoming a little woman. Her first dates with various boys, like also the love-story of her friends are analyzed with great precision, love, punctuality and understanding giving to the reader the exact impact that every news, fact, has in a little community and how devastating can be gossip.

A healthy family this one of the Quinn where people, children included are serious with themselves and the others considering what an action can means in life.

I suggest to everyone this beautiful book, written with great intensity, extremely detailed, where every aspect of rural life is analyzed, from religion, to the farm-life, passing through the various friends of Marianne, the town and the meaning of the town for a rural family, food, customs, friends, relatives, feasts, celebrations. Nothing is left out and the book is realistically a vivid account of a portion of History, modern History of the USA seen through the perspective and eyes of a farmer's family.


I thank iUniverse and Authorhouse for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

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