domenica, settembre 30, 2018

Painted Botanical Collage Create Flowers, Succulents, and Herbs from Cut Paper and Mixed Media by Tracey English

Let's develop our creativity, as I say often because it will help us to sorting out a lot of problems, living more happily, and because it is the expression of ourselves and our soul.
If you love to add joy, happiness to your life and if you love plants, flowers and their stunning and wonderful colors, go for this book: Painted Botanical Collage Create Flowers, Succulents, and Herbs from Cut Paper and Mixed Media by Tracey English. Published by Quarto at the beginning of October this one is a book of great inspiration if you are a creative, if you love nature and flowers. You will be immersed pretty soon in a wonderful, poetical colored, sunny world.
I start to tell you that the author is incredibly friendly and I encourage you of visiting her blog; she does her best for promoting in a loving way the arrival of her book sharing and taking care of what her fans are saying her. A long and detailed introduction will drive you step-by-step in this art, collage, that it is simply amazing.
I love it with all myself and in this book you will discover how to paint flowers and more using, close to materials in general commonly used for collage also other medias, so recycling, because everything is precious! in this world, and re-using also old magazines.
Realizations are simply wonderful. I wouldn't know where to start. You will be in grade thanks to this book of realize beautiful and stunning colored flowers, from tulips to romantic roses but also succulent plants, if you prefer them.

Beautiful.
Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Counting Birds The Idea that Helped Save Our Feathered Birds by Heidi E.Y. Stemple illustrated by Clover Robin

Counting Birds The Idea that Helped Save Our Feathered Birds by Heidi E.Y. Stemple illustrated by Clover Robin is a wonderful children's book that you and your children will love so badly.

The story inspired this book the one of mr. Frank Chapman creator of the magazine Bird-Lore, who with his originality and method, you will see, fought in every possible way, for trying to keep the environment plenty of cheerful and beautiful birds.
No sure you, but, every morning I get up with the cheerful good mornings of a lot of birds of every species and there is nothing more beauty than to see life in action through them. They are the sunniest creatures of this world. They nest, they create a special place for them and for their little "children," generally every spring; they are friendly if you will be friendly with them.
It's an important children's book this one, because it will also open the chapter of rare birds spieces, the one that can seriously risk an extinction. It's important that through their parents, children would start to appreciate the importance of taking great care of the environment where they live in and how to protect it.
For them, for the future generations and because we don't have another world to fighting for, so let's keep this one in good health.
Birds included. Too beauty for damaging them.

I insist: parents, buy a lot and a lot of children's books about nature, animals, planets, solar system to your children because it is important, crucial for them to discover who we are, what kind of world is this one, existing animals, flowers, plants, etc, for developing a good and healthy attitude, respect, education and passion for the environment.

Counting Birds is on sale on October 2! Don't miss this appointment. Illustrations are wonderful, I love the cover: I have a special passion for owls.


I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, settembre 29, 2018

Not Quite Christmas COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS COLLECTION by Karen Kleve

COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS COLLECTION is a new collection of short stories written by Sharon Kleve. This author specialized also in Christmas's stories has a fertile imagination and she always creates dreaming and unforgettable stories.

Not Quite Christmas is a beautiful short novel part of the book, with a captivating story and a great moral at the end.

Adair lives in Arkansas but her plan for Christmas is simple: to return home in Seattle. Being a nurse she also starts to thinks that maybe she should try to find a workplace in the sector close to home.
Something goes wrong, she loses her airplane; in company of Easton a sexy and intriguing cartoonist and new flame of Adair met along the way, they will travel across the USA in bus and once in Dallas before to catching the airplane for Seattle the terrible news: her parents decided to booking a flight for the Hawaii and what it is worse is that they haven't put any extraordinary lights on for Christmas's time. What a desert with no one at home, thinks Adair. And now...What to do? Are we sure that Adair is alone? Easton doesn't appear like someone who wants to goes away, but someone with the purpose of remaining in her life. Problems will be sorted out, and Adair will also enjoy the company of new friends. This beautiful short sunny novel wants to let us appreciate people we meet along our way because they can also positively make our difference and our destiny.

I thank Sharon Kleve for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Reason for Leaving Job Stories a novel by John Manderino

Reason for Leaving Job Stories a novel by John Manderino is simply fantastic.
Written in an historical moment when work wasn't a big problem as it is today, this book is a funny lesson about the real vocation of a young boy, the desire of arriving and, at the same time, his continuous failures wherever he worked in; the story starts in 1961 and will end in 1979; audacious, he will keep trying, searching for the job of his dreams, or maybe it would be exact to write, the one he does better without the risk of being fired  for a reason or another; moving on when an experience ends in a way or in another is simple to him; changing skin, changing States various times for experiencing another fail...ahem, job not a problem. The protagonist of these adventurous tales that will delight you with funny, brief short stories, tries to do all his best at work, lost in the most diversified jobs; he will be a teacher, a gas station boy, (so funny!) a window washer, a clerk (this story particularly funny), a graduate teacher assistant and many more; these brief tales are a strong  and very well focused picture, vivid, funny of the reality of the USA and the typologies of people that it is possible to meet along the way in the country. 
This sunny book speaks at the best part of you, presenting some hours spent in relaxation.

Highly recommended. We need so badly a lot of good and healthy humor.

I thank Eurospan and Academy Chicago Publishers for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, settembre 27, 2018

Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky: Friends in Exile A decade of Correspondence, 1929-1940. edited by Nicholas Fox Weber and Jessica Boissel

What a beautiful epistolary is this book Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky: Friends in Exile A decade of Correspondence, 1929-1940. edited by Nicholas Fox Weber and Jessica Boissel. The first one executive director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the second former collection curator at the Musée national d'art moderne Centre George Pompidou.

I started to read it yesterday and I couldn't put down this book. Every letter is a memory, a fragment of some months spent by the two protagonists: Kandinsky, the chatter one, inundated his friend with long letters plenty of facts, anecdotes, sharing with him friends, connections, facts, including potential journals, magazines, subscriptions; there was a sort of fire in Kandinsky's writing-style, a sort of urgency of telling, reporting; his writing is energetic, and at the same time plenty of worries because of the political situation; he lamented frequently lack of money; he was interested to afford to the USA, but they would have wanted to visit the country: how to do that without too much money? Impossible to leave Paris where they were trying to build numerous connections.
Money is also a dear thematic touched when writing about art. Kandinsky waited anxiously for the arrival of spring for being more productive, because light meant in some words: life, color, new paintings.
Kandinsky was in love for Europe, Italy- Known and appreciated very well in Italy where he did various art exhibits Kandinsky didn't forget his distant German friend Albers and several articles appeared in specialized magazines like Il Milione.

Mentioned all the possible artistic movements; from the Impressionism to the Expressionism; Realism seen with the eyes by Marinetti, Picasso was the most important painter of the moment, but there were a lot of art exhibits of many other painters: one for everyone Cezanne. This book is also important for trying to understand the asset of art created during that decade but also the skepticism of Kandinsky regarding some artistic and literary movements and the best artistic influential characters as Peggy Guggenheim was.
Kandinsky offered a lot of help to Albers during the decade; it sounded that arranging an art exhibit for this friend was impossible in that terrible European phase.

Albers didn't write as much as Kandinsky did. He loved to indulge about landscapes discovered once arrived to the USA. Different birds, more colored than the European ones, different sounds, different trees, beautiful world; yes, another world.
He traveled a lot with his wife; in Mexico where he painted a lot thanks to a stunning light, reporting also the political condition of the country; he enjoyed numerous trips across the USA; in the West Coast, where he organized an art exhibit of his works to San Francisco; later he became a teacher at Harvard; described his trips to Boston, Cambridge, New York City.
Albers thanks to the Black Mountain College created in North Carolina (look at my blog, soon we will discover better this reality) became an affirmed name in the artistic panorama of the USA.

Not only: these two friends thanks to these 46 letters will express also different life-styles because of their different and distant continents; while Albers traveled a lot, the sensation was that the Kandinskys enjoyed to staying at home more time;  the language of these two friends with the time became more... distant, metaphorically.

Europe was living a moment of great sadness and stress; the USA experienced an electrifying moment; at first, the chaos lived in Europe was seen like remote and this reflection of a heavy political situation is read without too much difficulty in Kandinsky's letters, while the letters of his friend Albers are relaxed and sounded to appreciate a plenty and good life spent with joy, happiness and serenity.

At the same time Kandinsky, although appreciated so badly several, numerous invites of his friend to afford to the USA, visiting the Black Mountain College, had always ready some reasons for remaining in France.
This choice meant that these friends at the end of this story became Americans and French citizens, but also that the countries they choose for a living meant their own destiny as well.

Two amazing, interesting existences.

I highly recommend to everyone this book in particular if you love art, epistolary genre. These friends were very creative and original also in their writings and corresponding.

I thank Yale University Press and Hudson Hill Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Christmas Stitches: An Historical Romance Collection 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays by Judith Mccoy Miller, Nancy Moser, Stephanie Grace Whitson

Christmas Stitches: An Historical Romance Collection 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays is an amazing collection of beautiful and inspiring stories published by Barbour. Written by Judith Mccoy Miller, Nancy Moser, Stephanie Grace Whitson these stories focus on three talented young girls lived at the end of 1800 in USA and England.

I read A Seamless Love by Judith Miller. We are close to Chicago Illinois; Hannah Cooper works for the Pullmanns. Being very good at sewing, having a special talent, mrs. Pullman decides as said in a letter addressed to her of wanting her for design and stitch gifts for guests attending parties.
It also meant a promotion in terms of visibility and an advancement of career, a lot of work, little hours and responsibilities but also the constant love and appreciation of her mother.
At the beginning of the story Hannah tried to tell to Daniel that she was in love for him but she was refused by him. Her future is still uncertain sentimentally...
Profoundly human and felt, this one is a short story that will touch a lot of chords: the one of work, and fear of losing it, career advancement, talent, appreciation, sacrifice and love, of course.
The other tales are Pin's Promise by Nancy Moser and Ended Hearts by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, settembre 26, 2018

Sotto il falò Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler

Sotto il falò by Nickolas Butler, Beneath the Bonfire, in english, is a new book published by the italian publishing house Marsilio translated wonderfully well by Claudia Durastanti.
Hard tales, tales of border-lines, desperate people; people sometimes  with the desire of "killing" their emotions with drugs, marijuana and alcohol during their spare-time; why? Answers are many; they love drugs and alcohol, they don't love this society, they search for something else; they don't have strong values, (see the Amish's story) so  they are lost and for not "not feeling" their own unhappiness or feeling different sentiments, a chemical answer can be good; reasons are other ones as well.
A harsh story the one of the kid and the grand-dad. The poetic imagine of this old man close to his nephew is "broken" by the imagine of his daughter and mother of the kid lost who knows where, in the most unthinkable and unpleasant situations. Maybe she won't never return home.
Poeticity in this short tale will be the "drinking clouds" experiment invented by the grand-dad of the kid for removing the attention of the toddler from the fixation of his mother, but for the rest the tale is  serious, and thematic like old age, growing a child all alone, the loss of a daughter, immense.

Sometimes people in these tales are rich and they live a good life: they love to hang out with their old mates, with surprising results in every sense.

In the story about Sven and Lily, Sven is the "richest" and most appealing part; the one with a perfect life, a wife, a beauty house.
One day, while they are enjoying their evening spent together playing at pool the arrival of a girl, of a problem, sorted out at first by Lily, his devoted friend.
But after all Lily will think: why saving someone who is saved? Why helping when the other one can't admit, hypocritically, what realistically happened to him?

I loved so badly the story of the couple without, anymore, any kind of dialogue.

The scenario is this one: the mother of Mason is dead, and with his wife, Renée, they are cleaning up the house of the elderly lady passed away.
Mason feels a great melancholy for his mother.  That wonderful dishes she prepared to him, presenting him joy and love also through food; his chat with her; the relationship of his wife with his mother.
They didn't have a good connection; they cordially hated each other.
Mason's relationship with his wife; no more sex, no more dialogues; what he missed the most was someone close with which to chat, with which to living a good life.
Just, at the end the revelation: it's not said.
It's not said that acceptance is the best thing to do: that grown-up son, Mason, will decide.
He will decide that memories are best; her mother's dishes are best, the taste of home much better than the insipidity of a life spent with a lady who didn't mind anymore of him; he wanted to still enjoy a meal prepared by her mother because it meant love; he discovered that he loved to staying in a house nurtured by love and not indifference. He decided after all to staying in that house forever.
Impressive the comparison of a man calling the wife from a public telephone waiting, waiting waiting, waiting... the man becomes old, frail and then he dies, and that place becomes his coffin.

I found scaring the story about Rimes, Deere and Coffee. Absurd in its realism and it brought me a lot of sadness.
Deere is again a rich boy, married, with a great existence. He loves to  spending time in company of Rimes and Coffee because all born in the same place; just Deere made fortune. They love to share together time, drugs, alcohol and escapism from the problems of this world; it happens that a disgrace will involve some Amish because of the altered condition experienced by Deere but no one of them will be so strong to tell the truth also thanks to the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs. Some part of the story at some point reminded me the scenario of the book and movie: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg.

I love "Apples" story, where a man, fired, and lost, because jobless discovers in an orchard of apples and thanks to an old man, the secret of baking and the joy of happiness and love.

A beautiful, but at the same time strong book.
Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, settembre 24, 2018

40 Days of Christmas: Celebrating the Glory of Our Savior by Joseph Castleberry

40 Days of Christmas: Celebrating the Glory of Our Savior by Joseph Castleberry is a book that will be published on October 2; in this book it is celebrated the beauty of Christmas and the importance of celebrating Christmas not just for few days, but starting from the Advent, then Christmastime, for arriving at the moment of the epiphany lived as a feast just in Italy, with the arrival of the Befana an old and ugly lady bringing sweet coil to nasty children and sweet treats to all the rest; for the Christianity it's the arrival of the Magi and their gifts to little Jesus Christ (in this sense there are fascinating Russian fairy-tales of an old lady who didn't offer to the Magi hospitality and that since there goes in the world bringing sweet treats to all babies, searching for little Jesus Christ);  personally I haven't never loved the Befana, but  we enjoy of a long moment of light hope and expectations thanks to our Christmas's Tree like also of all the rest of external lights, removed only after that Jan 6th is over. Christmas was the feast of Light before the arrival of the Christianity;  being a very loved, pagan feast, considering also the moment of the year plenty of darkness, Christianity transformed the feast of Light in another wonderful celebration; a birth; the one of little Jesus Christ,  that it is a beautiful moment for staying together, for enjoying life in the most profound sense, for praying, for developing a new vision of our close future, for a re-born; of course it can't be a quick passage. Christmas says the author and it is true, motivates us "To save money throughout the year. It provides a season to love our family and friends tangibly with cards and phone calls and presence and presents. It leads us to cultivate a childlike attitude to corresponding childlike joy. It gives us an excuse to set aside fasting diets and eat a great feast."
We all say that this one is maybe the most important consumer's period of the year.
Well, yes but these story of gifts must be lived well because gifts were commons also in the old Rome, maybe less expensive, because Romans donated little branches of some trees considered sacred, but there were gifts; why?
Because a gift is symbol of gratification, appreciation, love and friendship.
This book by Castleberry analyzes all the aspects of Christmas, so the Christmas Tree, the arrival of Archangel Saint Gabriel, Christmas Food, gifts and every chapter is interesting because a mix of history and religion. Chapters start all  with some verses taken from the Bible, then a comment and at the end a prayer. An important book for living Christmas as it should be lived; praying, being good, and waiting.

I thank NetGalley for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

What Really Makes America Great by Creative Action Network

What Really Makes America Great by Creative Action Network Foreword by Steven Heller art director author and editor, introduction by Aaron Perry-Zucker and Mark Slavkin Co-Founders of Creative Action Network is an amazing visual book with 100 posters ready for you.
Born for replying with creativity at the motto of the current administration and President, artists, creatives, painters, seriously tried all their best for thinking at a question that after all is simple but difficult at the same time: why the USA is a great place? There were seeds planted along the way, starting from the founders but also from all that citizens who, during the centuries, asked for more rights and freedoms.
We all know that this country has been per centuries a land of possibilities but sometimes it is also true that people forget the potentialities of a place, the richness of a country, not just in economical terms but in its own beauty and specificities; and so these artists, through stunning paintings, will remark you this: the belief that anything is possible, agriculture, innovation, but also immigration, Journalism, Hollywood, Freedom of the press, kindness, religious freedom, public lands for a total of 100 voices, 100 posters, 100 visions of the USA.
This one is the creative, sometimes angry answer to this conservative administration. With a touch of polemic, remarking the results reached by the USA during these past centuries; the USA remains a land and a dream for so many people in the world.
I loved in particular a beautiful, pacific, poetic painting of the USA seeing as a land of flowers.
The visual book will be released this October 23 but you can start to pre-order it.

I thank Netgalley for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Photo Credit: Creative Action Networkwebsite

domenica, settembre 23, 2018

Eisenhower Becoming the Leader of the Free World by Louis Galambos

Eisenhower Becoming the Leader of the Free World by Louis Galambos is a complete biography of this President published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Galambos is the editor of the Eisenhower Papers and substantially he knows this President better than anyone else.

I am particularly affectionate at this President; my first "encounter" with this eminent man's ideas, let me be more precise, with an association he created when he was in office as President, was when I sent a letter many years ago, in 1993 at the PTPI, People to People International for requesting some American pen-pals.
This pen-pal association, and much more, was created by President Eisenhower on September 11 1956. On one of the pages of my PTPI 2003 calendar: "A cultural and educational exchange association dedicate to advancing international understanding and friendship through the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and cultures." Or, as the President said: "Peace through Understanding."
Other great supporters of PTPI, businessmen, celebrities like Bob Hope and  Walt Disney.
I found wagons of pen-pals thank to PTPI. Carolyn, a member from Italian origin (still a real pen-pal correspondent; we use pen and paper), Maria from Seattle, Loida from New York City; beautiful connections still alive. I also had the honor of receiving the People to People International European coordinator, at that time, Lars Poignant in the area.
These correspondents let me understood the complexities of the USA; I didn't lose my english and it meant the world to me, a girl grown up in a rural countryside in the center of Italy with few possibilities for bettering myself.

Eisenhower was a general and saw two world wars, precisely, lived as protagonists two world wars including a world war with the use of atomic bomb; he saw death and terror; a world divided in two separated blocks; problems that needed to be fixed? A lot.

Ike Eisenhower understood that the complexities of the world were a lot and that it was necessary for the creation of a world of peace, more understanding, more communication between nations, people, youngsters of other cultures.

Born in a normal family in Abilene, Kansas, his father David was an ambitious middle-class man who, unfortunately couldn't never become the man he would have wanted to become. He did a modest job; Ike Eisenhower was the latest son of the couple; second sibling of the family, he felt a lot of competition with the other men of the family, Ed, his oldest brother, without forgetting his dad David. Not only: for supporting his oldest brother Ed at the university, he did a lot of personal sacrifices.
His work the same one of his dad; he understood that there were potentialities but they could remain unexpressed if he would have stayed always in that little town of Kansas without a proper higher education and so with a friend he decided to enter in the Army for...studying as well.
Eisenhower was accepted at West Point where he discovered a new way of life. You mustn't imagine that this young and beautiful boy hasn't been messy, because sometimes, it's human, he was, but, thanks to his character and a lucky encounter with  Brigadier General Fox Conner his life changed for better. Fox Conner has been to him a real good mentor and later, Ike Eisenhower became a wonderful brigadier general in grade to make the difference during the D-Day.

A hero of the last Second World War Conflict, Eisenhower entered in policy and won the Presidential elections in 1952; he stayed in office for two terms.

Ike Eisenhower didn't mind if richest people paid more money in terms of taxes (meeting the disapproval of his brother Ed); he understood the problematic of less lucky people of his country; crucial to keep inflation  under control, he did all his best for developing good relationship with Europe; he was scared of communism and tried all his best for keeping that ideology away; at that time problems with the two Koreas were persistent; not just a problem of our days.
He developed policies in grade to bring in a few years the advent of the internet, changing policy of oil as well, in USA and Europe, but what Ike Eisenhower wanted the most was prosperity and development for his country and Europe and he reached that goal as well

This one is a biography that you must read!

I love this sunny cover.

Highly recommended.

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


Anna Maria Polidori

PS: Pictures from my 2003 PTPI calendar, and one of them taken from the site of PTPI.

sabato, settembre 22, 2018

The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection Experience a Dickens of a Christmas 9 Women Dream of Perfect Christmases during the Victorian Era by C.J. Chase, Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Vanessa Riley, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch

The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection Experience a Dickens of a Christmas 9 Women Dream of Perfect Christmases during the Victorian Era by C.J. Chase, Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Vanessa Riley, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch

I love these collections of short novels by Barbour; they are inspiring, they speak at the heart and in particular they communicate great and good feelings. The cover of these Victorians short Christmas's novels with a touch of Dickensian atmosphere is simply amazing, and serenity and tranquillity will descend upon you when you will read these novels leaving you better than how they had found you before.

The story I read  is A Christmas Vow written by Gabrielle Meyer. Beautiful, lady Ashleigh is still single and that year her family experienced important, sad departures. It's Christmas and a party was hosted by the family. Ashleigh discovers that because of a pact established by her family and the one of Campbell, in case that she would have been still single (like also the son of mr.Campbell of course who lives in America) she would have married Christopher Campbell; both of them informed of this story are fighting against this law: why marrying someone that maybe we don't love or we don't like?
Plus Christopher Campbell remembered the past, when they were more little, also the latest time she saw her. No: it was excluded. Invited at this party he is skeptical since he won't see her again; and vice-versa;  they will understand, slowly that maybe this match created by humans isn't so wrong at all.
The story, anyway will become more complicated and there will be also with the entrance in scene of another potential boyfriend; but Christmas and a Christmas's Tree, will sort out the problems...

The other novels are:  One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase, Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze, The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach, Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher, A Christmas Vow by  Gabrielle Meyer, The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels,  Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley, Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad, The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Miracle on the 34th Street A StoryBook Editing of the Christmas Classics by Valentine Davies and pictures by James Newman Gray

Miracle on the 34th Street A StoryBook Editing of the Christmas Classics by Valentine Davies and pictures by James Newman Gray adapted for picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill is one of the most beloved Christmas's stories: during a parade, Santa must be replaced and a gentle old man, offers his help. Susan the daughter of Mother is happy to see the end of the Parade, and the success that it has had thanks to the new Santa. Invited for dinner, the old man doesn't have any problem to tell them that he is the real Santa Claus. Skepticism starts to mount. But what: don't you believe in  Christmas and in Santa Claus, replies Kris. Susan believes in him and asks him, when they speak together alone a precious gift: Santa promises that he will do all his best.
At the same time Kris is also accused of telling lies saying that he is the real Santa; there will be a trial as well, but do you know of? After all the story was resolved for better, and maybe Susan can sees her dream becoming true.

I love illustrations, and the big warm that this book is in grade to communicate.

It is a  precious object, with an enchanting cover but also with precious fonts in grade to give to this book another more precious treat where possible: one of the most important gifts for your children!

Have you ever thought why children are in grade to see, feel things that adults can't see or feel anymore? Because adults have lost the capacity of dreaming.

Dreaming is important exactly like believing and this story wants to remind us that the dimension of dreams and the dimension of believing create a wonderful connection: there is a door, in our soul, that should always stay open, and it is the one of the enchantment, the one dedicated at the dimension of dream and possibilities; sometimes skepticism doesn't pay and our heart shouldn't stay closed, arid, like the one of Scrooge at the possibility of goodness that there is in the world ... starting to see and to feel Christmas's Spirit because simply, exists.
There is plenty of goodness in this world and sometimes in the most unthinkable places. Just, it's important to recognize it. And believe in magic, because magic exists.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

I thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Lock, Stock and Jingle Bells A Hamilton Christmas Novellaby Donna Kauffman

Lock, Stock and Jingle Bells A Hamilton Christmas Novella by Donna Kauffman published on Sept 25th is a lovely, spicy, sometimes intimate, surely bubbling and very well structured Christmas novella plenty of good sentiments and interesting thematic. I read this eBook yesterday night when I went to bed and I am enthusiastic for it.
Holly Berry Bennett didn't like Christmas. She was born the day before Christmas and they called her Holly; her mother's devotion for this feast meant also a shop dedicated to Christmas; her mother thought that Christmas was everyday and she lived with this philosophy. Holly felt a kind of rejection: she had always seen it with antipathy; the connection with this feast to her tremendously sad. Her favorite Christmas? Going somewhere else, (she lived in London before to return to her native town) considering that she had a passion for painting, for staying relaxed while all the rest of humanity was lost in this final consumerist rush.
In the while her parents decided to take an important decision and so she was back to her old native village that she had left without too many compliments for seeing what to do of her life, and her parents's shop.

Sean Gallagher, cook with great experience was in love for Christmas. He had lost all his most important family members, true, but he always returned home with great joy because their family was a real clan and he has always felt a lot of joy, harmony, friendship, and passion for this holiday.
He notices, arriving, Holly Bennett.

Sean had had a great crush for her; but also Holly loved Sean when they were at high school, although she thought that she couldn't never been taken in consideration because he was a leader, and leaders in general searched for a cheerleader.

Their meeting will be a sign of the destiny, because not only they will clarify their past and current feelings but Holly will help Sean to sorting out a past problems he had, discovering important facts of Sean's family buried in a distant past...

I thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Instantly Sweet 75 Desserts and Sweet Treats from your Instant Pot or other electronic pressure cooker by Barbara Schieving and Marci Buttars

Instantly Sweet 75 Desserts and Sweet Treats from your Instant Pot or other electronic pressure cooker by Barbara Schieving and Marci Buttars is a fantastic baking book if you search for some inspiration or new recipes created with a an electronic pressure cooker. After an introduction about the use of the electronic pressure cooker and other useful informations for the baker, the book is then divided  in: Quick Breads and Breakfast, Cheesecakes, Lava Cakes, Cakes, Pie, Cobblers and Fruits Desserts, Custards and Puddings Sauces, Filling and Tappings.

You'll find wonderful, elaborated, colored fruity desserts for all tastes and occasions.
Go for this cooking book with the certainty that you will find just the best.
This yummy, fabulous  baking cook book will be released on October 9 :-)

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, settembre 21, 2018

Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley

Wonderful, beautiful, captivating; a story like this one is a little-big Christmas's masterpiece; it is enchanting.
Amazing.
Christmas at the Cat Café  by Melissa Daley is technically perfect, written divinely, the best Christmas's story that you want to read if you love animals and if you fall in love for cats; fresh, also abstracting this story from Christmas, it would be fantastic. It is clear, descriptive, intelligent, human, real.
And what a narrator...

The narrator, the voice of this book the one of Molly the cat of Debbie, the owner in an enchanting Cotswold's town of a Cat Café where Molly plays without difficulty the role of the Queen.

A little colony the one created by Debbie, composed by seven cats. At first it was Molly, later the arrival of Jasper the "guy" of the situation, a stray adorable cat and father of her five kittens.
In the family? There is perfect harmony. Debbie has a precise routine, she adores all these cats, she is comfy with her life and happy for the result reached.
She has a daughter, Sophie and a boyfriend, various friends. Nothing is more enchantingly perfect than the moment she is living in.

Nothing: 'til at the arrival of Linda. Her sister.

Oh: Linda...Undoubtedly the opposite of Debbie. While Debbie doesn't mind about her body, she is tranquil with every thing she wears, Linda living in another environment is simply more chic and researched.
She heavily discussed with her husband and without any idea of returning home too soon but keeping alive the purpose of using massively his credit card, decides of changing air.
She asks for a place where to staying at her sister. Debbie knows Linda. She is nice, but you know...Just different. She accepts with enthusiasm of giving her a sofa bed where to sleep in, hoping that the situation will be sorted out soon between Linda and David.

What a joy staying at Debbie's house. When Linda returns with various luggage Molly notices him: who the hell is that one?
Beau. Sophisticated, trendy name for an adorable dog who of course will live incredibly funny adventures with all Debbie's cats. Peace is gone...

But not only: when Debbie understands that maybe the sister doesn't have any rush to make peace with the husband, she will ask her of working in the café; Linda is great but after a while as she does with food, her quinoa recipes are memorable, her expensive clothes or accessories unforgettable, she introduces another pet in the café: someone more trendy and appropriate according to her point of view than Molly. The new arrival will be seen and lived with great suspect.

The story of the meeting between Debbie and Molly is enchanting. Molly was the cat of Margery. When Margery's memory became frail, once old, Debbie adopted her, staying in contact with Margery. Margery will surprise Molly and Debbie, you will see and Linda will try to convince the sister of bettering the existence of everyone although at first Debbie doesn't know what to do.

I will stop here because I want to invite you to go to your local bookstore, or online for buying this book on October 19 when it will be released.

It's beautiful, you will see, and you can tell: that reviewer was right.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

Kingdom Files:Who is Jesus? by Matt Koceich

Kingdom Files is a collection of religious children's books published by Barbour  for starting to create a strong familiarity with the various main characters from the Bible. The name: Kingdom Files says all.

These cute, colored books present various Bible's characters like, Daniel, David, Ether. The one I picked up is: Who is Jesus? by Matt Koceich, an inspiring biography of the Son of God starting with his detailed arrival to the world, his childhood and main facts characterizing his existence; we will explore His time, places where He lived in, people touched His existence, His miracles from the beginning of His activity,  response of people and His action in this world. The book is divided in three sections: a Fact File, an Action File and a Power File
Many curiosities will be satisfied for the joy of children  for ending with some meditations about the importance of reading the Bible everyday, being joyous, praying, loving others, having mercy, forgiving, and in synthesis being good people in this world.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Un libro ti salverà - The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Un libro ti salverà by Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation, in english, published by Garzanti has been a book I felt a lot.

Long Island: Simon Watson is an innocuous and nice librarian of the local library of his town. Constantly worried of losing his job because of a constant lack of funds, he is in love with Alice, a colleague and the daughter of Frank, his neighbor and family-friend since he was little.

One day returning home Simon finds a heavy package containing an old book of a caravan of artists, a sort of book where in general the boss of the caravan in particular, here, mr.Peabody annotated the main and most important relevant facts in a daily base.

It would not be correct to call this caravan of artists  circus, because circus still didn't exist but there were a lot of interesting attractions as the ones you find in a circus.

Simon finds this book fascinating and at the same time, considering its potential value a weird and unexpected arrival and gift.

He decides to call the book antiquarian Churchwarry&Sons for trying to understand why they decided to send to him such an important homage. The antiquarian, mr Churchwarry reveals him that maybe there are direct connections in that book with part of his family.

To Simon the book became an attracting and scaring object at the same time, because he discovers that all, all the ladies of his family soon or late  left the world returning to the water, let's use this euphemism.
They were nymphs, magical creatures as the ones told in Russian's fairy-tales.

In the past someone cursed the tarots passed through the various women of the family for protecting someone else: doing that a massive curse attracted all the female members of the family in an endless spiral of tragical repetition of events.

I read tarots in the past and it is absolutely true that when an existential moment is sad or happy and you repeat tarots, cards that you will see are more or less with some little differences that can "define" better the situation that main ones.

At some point there is the arrival of the sister of Simon, Enola with Doyle her boyfriend; Enola works in a park reading the tarots being a story-teller; also the rest of the ladies of this family including their mother and excluding Simon, worked in a circus.
Simon's trouble at work, the discovery of a lot of past situations, the story starts to be complicated sad and plenty of lies.

Maybe the symbol of the re-born of the existences of Simon, Enola, Doyle and Alice is represented by the decadence of house where Simon lives in. He would want to restore it but he doesn't have sufficient money for doing it and he lives in an area where sea "eats" portion of land and houses as well.
He doesn't want to leave this old house because he can still "sees" his parents, he can still "feels" them and he can still appreciates memories. There are corners of the USA where memories are important.

Intense, trust me when I tell you that reading this book hasn't been a joke because I felt the story, the magical part, and the sadness of existences when there are too many hidden secrets revealed all at once and the protagonists need to reconstruct themselves and who they thought that they were and they were not including all the manipulations of adults in their existences when children and...adults.

Highly recommended for understand the human soul and the unwritten rules of life.

I thank Garzanti for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori









martedì, settembre 18, 2018

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March

I am at my first giveaway and I am very thrilled.

So, for all of you, only American readers living in USA this one is a great opportunity.

I am giving away a mass paperback copy of

The Christmas Wishing Tree   by Emily March

Please send me an e-mail here:

buck underscore writer at tiscali dot it adding in the subject: giveaway. Please tell me hi, where you live, you name and last name, and please try to spend some moments for socializing, tell me something of your life. If you want help to spread the word, please forward on Twitter and Facebook this post.

At the end of these days I will write all your names in various post-it of the same color, putting them in a box and asking to someone else of picking up a name.

You have various days! I will end the giveaway the date of the book release, on September 25th.
I will communicate the name of the winner the day after.



Good luck, everyone!

Anna Maria Polidori


The Christmas Wishing Tree: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March

"Each year when I decorate my wishing tree, I make one special ornament that represents a particular challenge of circumstance I overcame during the past year and my biggest wish for the one upcoming...My wishes have a way of coming true...Because I choose to live my vision, not my circumstance...Circumstances are temporary; vision lasts forever."

This, just one of the many other powerful messages of goodness in the best Christmas's spirit that you will find in this precious and interesting book, The Christmas Wishing Tree: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March  that will be launched next week Sept 25th by St Martin's Press.

You mustn't believe that the story will be just Christmas's carols, and a typical also if figurative Christmas's Picture with snow, a big fireplace, a warm house, a happy and united family.

No: this one is a book that will let you think a lot because it speaks of our modern life and problematic.

Jenna Stockton is a doctor at the local Children's Hospital located in Nashville, Tennessee; she asked for a lot of books for the sick children.
A bitter-sweet Christmas this one in this important hospital:everyone know that some children will survive, but not other ones and so, that for some families this one will be with their beloved kids the last Christmas that they will probably spend together.

Jenna, deluded in the past by love at the moment is alone but she is living a hard moment because someone is pestering her and she doesn't know who that person is, and most important, the reason why that person is acting in such disgusting way.
She adopted a kid, Jenna, Reilly. Reilly's mother died and the kid was all alone; the dad of Reilly was a person no one could trust. This one was a promised made by Jenna to Reilly's mother. Jenna loves this kid so badly and she would want to do all her best for keeping him safe and happy.
At the same time Reilly is a happy son. He is healthy, plenty of life, but he needs a dad.
With some urgency. He finds somewhere a telephone number. You know: some men during the Christmas's Time are available for playing the role of Santa by phone, chatting with children, receiving their list of gifts for the upcoming Christmas.

Just...If in the past children asked for a doll, for a little train, now gifts are becoming a serious problem for Santa.

Devin Murphy is an adventurer. He spent a lot of time distant from home. He visited many foreign places, fell and missing Australia so badly and yes, he is a citizen of the world.
Returned at home for Christmas, in the small town of Eternity Springs Colorado, he decides to be one of the Santa's volunteers...by phone. Telling to you the truth he didn't received any call at all, but wait...
The day before Christmas, he receives the call of Reilly. Reilly asks for a dad.
Devin doesn't know what to think of this weird "gift." He thinks this world and the other.
That maybe the kid is sick and wants someone close to him, or that there are other difficulties behind this request.
He tries his best for contacting Jenna but Jenna, experiencing problems with the stalker, changed smart phone's number and added just few contacts. That telephone number isn't in the list of her contacts. Maybe that one is the number of her stalker?
After many other chats with Reilly, amazed by the gifts Santa brought to him in the while, (so he thanked him as well) and his desire for a daddy, Devin will be in grade to speak with Jenna. At first it's a colored chat, because according to Devin, Jenna doesn't understand the desire of her kid.
Jenna didn't know the frustrations accumulated by Reilly in the while, but maybe it is normal because unfortunately lately her worries because of this phantom in grade of altering her tranquillity has changed her mood, and so concentration less focused on Reilly's problems.

Once that she discovers that Devin is a good man she opens her soul to him, letting him understands that the latest moments haven't been so simple or cheerful. Devin knew that because Reilly talked about this weird phantom pestering his mother.

A terrible episode after Christmas will convince Jenna to move on in every sense and she will afford to Eternity Springs in search for that peace and serenity for her and Reilly.

Will it be possible to find love, peace, discovering the name of the stalker behind the dark scenario that we met during the first pages of this book?

Of course, you must just wait for the happy end!

Emily March is in grade to present us the gift of Christmas in the most beautiful ways.

Highly recommended.

Oh, and please, follow me, American readers. A giveaway is waiting for you!

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

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, settembre 17, 2018

Jane Goodall Jane Goodall (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Beatrice Cerocchi

What a woman Jane Goodall! or precisely I should write: Dame Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall known in the world as Jane Goodall is. Naturalist, adventurer, explorer, lover of chimpanzees, activist.
Little People, Big Dreams this time presents to the children, in particular little daughters a new thrilling book about another woman who made and makes the difference in term of discoveries, love for animals and nature and preservation of our Planet: Jane Goodall. Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Beatrice Cerocchi the story starts with the first approach of Jane with chimpanzee.
Jane's dad presented her one day, when still very little, a stuffed animal. It was a stuffed chimpanzee. Oh: little Jane simply fell in love for Jubilee, his name. She carried him wherever she went. And this love, although maybe at first she didn't still know this,  would have continued later.
Jane couldn't complete her studies, so she decided to save every penny she had, leaving for Kenya, Africa. Once arrived Jane is assigned at an important research about chimpanzee, their life outside and similarities with humans. Jane studying them will make important discoveries and will find beautiful connections with human behavior. (Wikipedia pic.)
Her approach? The kindest one of this world. She gave to this first community of chimpanzee names, so that they could have an identity, because each pet, cat, dog, wild animal is different from another one, for character, temperament; exactly as children or adults ones are; who knows?  Maybe she did it also for feeling them more close to her soul.
Once returned to UK, she published her important discoveries in relevant scientific magazines. Jane continued to study chimps in the Gabe for 40 years and now she tries with all her strength to tell to everyone thanks to her many projects, the importance of living in a beautiful, harmonic and healthy Planet.

Parents will find this children's book captivating because there are a lot of thematic on the plate: nature, environment, animals, what it means the destruction created by us, and so problems connected with these animals and other ones as well: sacrifices for arriving; I insist that it is from childhood that children start to develop a good conscience and education, respect and healthy relationship with the environment close to them if the topic is introduced well by their parents.
That's why this book of this lady, Jane Goodall will make the difference. If you have a daughter, this series of books by Quarto are the most proper ones for let her understand  the power that women have in the world. It's not just lipstick and high heels that will mark the existence of a girl (that one is the funniest and lightest part of the existence) but also a life spent sometimes in unknown directions,  following difficult crusades but that can make the difference for the humanity or for a lot of people or...animals.
Not everyone will become a new Jane Goodall but this example, like the other ones proposed in the book series Lincoln's Children's Books by Quarto will inspire and will help your daughters to become best children and later, great adults with a critic perspective regarding life.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.


Anna Maria Polidori

Signposts on the Road to Wellville by Vanita Oelschlager

Plenty of wisdom, phrases from proverbs like this one: "Write injuries in sand, Kindness in marble"  or famous quotes by  writers, intellectuals, as this one: "The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind" or phrases able to mark the person who reads this book like: "You can't go home again, neither start over anew really, but you can continue and grow new roots, new leaves, new seeing, new friends..." Signposts on the Road to Wellville by Vanita Oelschlager is a real surprise. 
The first impact that you receive opening it, it's the beautiful, serene approach to life, to existence.
Every page is accompanied by a wonderful imagine and a quote.
This journal is perfect as a gift if you know someone who is experiencing a hard time in her/his existence and needs some serenity. You know: life is long and sometimes is not a joke.
Life could becomes unrecognizable and the old dear past so reassuring, gone forever.

The death of someone loved, a divorce, a big stress, whatever the depressing moment that the person you know she/he is living, this journal will be in grade to be helpful. Sometimes in fact people need some encouraging words for re-start, for going on again in this life.

This journal is a special tool, and can be very helpful for the most stressing existential situations. Every page, then, leave space at a blank page where you can annotate your thoughts, your feelings; when there is sadness writing down what you feel is helpful.
Make it happens: your new re-born also thanks to this important inspiring journal.

I find the cover beautiful.

Highly recommended.


I thank NetGalley for this eBook.


Anna Maria Polidori

Dickinson's Nerves, Frost's Woods Poetry in the Shadow of the Past by William Logan

Dickinson's Nerves, Frost's Woods Poetry in the Shadow of the Past by William Logan a book published by Columbia University Press is an enchanting reality containing a series of essays, eight in total, where some of the most beloved poems of very famous poets and poems are analyzed with particular acumen by the author, trying to read them with the lenses of the past, the period that they were written in, including also the existential  "phases" that the various creatives were living with detailed accounts of their lives. Poets taken in consideration: Pound, Shakespeare, Shelley, Frost, Dickinson and many more.
The book is technical in the explanation of poems, but absolutely interesting, written magnificently well.  If you love poetry, this book is for you.

For scholars, students, teachers and people in love for poetry.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, settembre 16, 2018

Tradition by Seth Lerer

Tradition by Seth  Lerer is a book by the Literary Agenda, a branch of Oxford University Press. In this erudite work  the Professor starts to saying that our society is less interested from various decades at this part at literature although literature remains a pillar of culture and one of the strongest connections and invisible wires between past and present; the importance of good books, good reading and rereading indispensable for understand the past and the present.
In this sense mr. Lerer admits that every work born in a certain historical period "speaks" of that age and problematic: each reader thanks to his/her past, knowledge, experience, erudition filters the messages of the book and characters with different perceptions. A fact is more than sure: that rereading is necessary for a best understanding of a classics or a book loved so badly.
Then mr.Lerer analyzes David Copperfield and other Dickens's books and influences of these remarkable characters on other writers in modern literature. 1984 by Orwell is read by Lerer as an emulative job; Orwell was a profound estimator of Dante and his Comedia like also of Geoffrey Chaucer. Orwell possessed a lot of copies of the Comedia. One in original, another translated in english: a third one in italian and english.
You will also discover the profound differences existing in the Odysseus and Iliad without forgetting an important digression about social media: reading and posting make all of us authors, defining ourselves.
Books we read define our identity. A book is a research and a discovery. When we find ourselves in a book and we recognize that story as our own story because captivating, it means that it is part of us.
In this sense Marta Nussbaum said in a passage: "People care for the books they read; and they are changed by what they care for."

The author adds:"What is reading if not a performance?"  Reading when we are somewhere, outside,on a bus, while we are waiting someone, on a bench, under a tree if we live in a countryside tells Lerer means  "to be inside" staying outside; absorbing notions, isolated from the world that it is around us but at the same time in great company.

The syntheses of this book can be seen in these phrases of the author:

"What are you reading? This, in the end, is the question that literature wants us to ask. The literature tradition...has both a past and present. Today makes yesterday mean...because the questions "What are you reading?" remains a question asked today. And if we answer it right...we shall give the story of our lives. We shall look our neighbors in the eye, we shall try to get along in the world, and as we talk about our books, we shall know that what makes us truly human in this unpoetic world is our continuing appreciation of the pastness of the past, our taste for a tradition made our own, and our need, when we have been inexact in taste, to ask forgiveness."

Highly recommended to scholars, students, teachers and everyone in love for literature, past, and present.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, settembre 15, 2018

Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach Translated by Elena Spagnol Vaccari Foreword by Livia Manera

This anecdote must be told; days ago I was searching for some literary gadgets and I visited Shakespeare and Company.
I love to get lost in their website. That bookshop is simply enchanting, I don't find other words for defining it.

At the same time the day after, I received an e-mail from Neri Pozza, an italian publishing house about a new book released by them: the one written by Sylvia Beach the founder of the bookshop, in 1959.
I was so thrilled: "Look, what a wonderful coincidence, let me try!" I thought enthusiastically.
I sent an e-mail to their publicity office. Without too many hopes, let me add this.

I didn't think anymore at this request, when I received an e-mail from an italian lady, in the subject: Shakespeare and Co. I thought: "Oh look, they answered me back! And an italian lady works there, lucky her" but then, while I was opening the e-mail (with dial-up it takes some time): "Wait...I don't remember I sent any electronic mail to Shakespeare and Co."

When I read that the e-mail was from the publishing house and that I would have received this book it was as if they would have said me I had won at the lottery. Well, values are diversified in this world. A book to me means the world.

Translated superbly well by Elena Spagnol Vaccari with a foreword by Livia Manera, this one is the first-hand account of the born, history, passions, emotions, lived, experienced by Shakespeare and Company, her founder  and the protagonists of this wonderful reality.

What a glorious, beautiful moment was the one Sylvia Beach lived in.

Her writing-style is fluid, sardonic, ironic, electrifying; she tries all her best to keep normal a life, her one, that was simply extraordinary.

She knew it; she was a great mind and that she was surrounded by great minds and thinkers; great publishers, editors, authors; she was a person genuinely passionate of literature and for this big love, big passion, she helped, completely free, a writer to come out, becoming who became later: James Joyce.

Before to start to see this section of her life, let's  say that Sylvia was the daughter of a pastor from Princeton, close friend of Woodrow Wilson and family. Yes, the future President of the USA. Woodrow Wilson's wedding was celebrated by Sylvia Beach's father, like also, later the funeral and Sylvia was a close friend of his two daughters.
The Beaches went to Paris for a certain time, and Sylvia fell in love for that city where she started to meet a lot of intellectuals.
Once returned to the USA, fascinated by this experience, her biggest dream became the one of opening  a french bookshop in the USA.
Costs, rent in particular too prohibitive; once returned to Paris, she noticed a little bookshop in rue de l'Odeon called at that time "A.Monnier:" she became close friends with the owner of the bookshop, Adrienne.

Slowly, the past idea of a french bookshop located in New York was over: Sylvia understood that most Americans considering that Paris was a beautiful city and that there was a different freedom decided to start to living there.  There were problems with prohibitionism in the USA and at a certain point the author said that men appeared like many pregnant women, because they hid the most unthinkable things under their pants.

The Pounds, a virile Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and wife, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and her companion...Everyone fell in love for Paris, and everyone loved to share their works, speaking of literature wherever they could, but, surely in the french capital.

I know what you think: just these few names keep people breathless considering that Sylvia was very close friends of all of them: writers who made the history of literature of the XX century. In particular Hemingway, as said also Beach, admirable, because of his powerful impact, his prose.

Under many aspects to me Sylvia Beach is similar to Peggy Guggenheim. The first in love for literature and devoted for most of her life at an author like James Joyce; the second promoting art, discovered Pollock and many other painters.

Once found the place where she would have created the bookshop, Sylvia asked for some money to her mother working hardly for making this reality possible. The bookshop had to have a real, proper soul and character and...style of course.
Not abandoned to itself, but marked by quality, harmony, beauty and first of all, love. Love for culture, authors, books.

Shakespeare and Company the name.
Sylvia thought that after all Shakespeare was still very read and an incredibly suggestive author.

Not only: she wanted for her bookshop beautiful prints, and she picked up as companions during this literary imaginary trip on the walls of her bookshop William Blake, adored by Sylvia, Oscar Wilde (the daughter of Oscar Wilde was one of the best customers of Shakespeare and Company) a Walt Whitman's portrait;
Oh, about Whitman...Whitman was a close friend of her aunt. At this proposal I admit I found particularly ironic the story told by the author. Once in presence of Walt Whitman her aunt would have asked him if she would have had the permission of  picking up some papers thrown away by the famous poet, later donated by this aunt to Sylvia.
Accompanied with her during the visit at the poet there was a girl who would have married Bertrand Russell, famous philosopher and thinker.
I think that they didn't search from the papers thrown away although I am still living with this doubt, you know.

A portrait of Whitman and another of Edgar Allen Poe put on the walls of Shakespeare and Company as well. Although the author writes that she thought that the workers maybe would have been there also the opening day, they started to work from all august, the big day arrived: on Nov 19 1919 Shakespeare and Company was born.

Paris had a nest for American authors, publishers, editors, reporters, journalists, readers, whoever was in love for literature and french readers and authors; an international place where to breath the beauty of books, authors, minds, where to share ideas. Second hand books, American ones, were bought in Paris but also imported.
Name a book, Sylvia Beach had that one in one of her bookshelves, be sure of it. And, this tradition is going on.

Sylvia Beach noticed every little particular of a person; physical and intellectual one. Great description for understands the character of Gertrude Stein and her companion, but also the ones of the Pounds, James Joyce & Family with the children who called him babbo in italian (Joyce talked a lot of languages like many other writers and spent a lot of time in Italy), Ernest Hemingway and many other ones.

The Pounds, Steins, were people pretty sociables and once, in one of these meetings, Sylvia met her hero: she had a picture of him on one of the walls of Shakespeare and Company but she couldn't think that she would have met him in person: to her, he was like God: this author was James Joyce, the man who would have marked her existence.

Sylvia loved Joyce intellectually so badly and to him she dedicated time, passion, patience for seeing released in France and other countries his book Ulysses. Joyce thought that after all twelve copies would have been sufficient, but Sylvia thought that no, Shakespeare and Company would have printed 1000 copies. Sylvia Beach became the publishing house through Shakespeare and Company by James Joyce and his Ulysses a monumental work.

She also asked for help to many intellectuals: one of the most polemic opponent at the publication of this book was George Bernard Shaw. And no one, no one, Pound included in grade to change Bernard Shaw's idea.

Sylvia, enthusiastically, thought that they would have sold the book without problems.
Joyce pretended attentions, asked for advice, left the manuscript in the hands of Sylvia and her collaborator, in general young girls in search of a temporary occupation; Sylvia searched for someone in grade of printing the book with all the risk of the story (the book was banned in Europe and USA.)

Sylvia, trusting the author she adored so badly, continued her crusade and at the end she did it. The book was released.

There were some problems at some point with the USA and the so-called "bunnies" that would have wanted to read the book, still banned and stopped at the American customs, once. Where to search for help? Ernest Hemingway was the savior of the situation, with a friend of him called by the author, San Bernardo for obvious reasons, who  brought two copies per time illegally to the USA. The book was heavy and a hardback.

These copies reached the USA and their readers.

James Joyce suffered of glaucoma and Sylvia Beach introduced him a famous and good oculist in grade to fix some of his problems.
Joyce had a lot of phobias. He couldn't tolerate dogs, but adored cats; and being a very respectable bookshop, Shakespeare and Company had various animals. Two dogs and a cat named Black.

Sylvia started to receive also by a lot of people erotic manuscripts after the publication of Ulysses, because they all thought that she was interested in this genre; she refused Lady Chatterly's Lover by Lawrence although the author tried all his best and brought with him several people for convincing Sylvia that his book was good.
Beach couldn't publish another book simply because financially there were costs that a bookshop after all couldn't experience anymore. Sylvia suggested to these writers publishing houses all thrilled and happy to publish erotic books.

Although very in love intellectually with Joyce, Sylvia, convinced by Adrienne, started to spend week-ends distant from Paris and James Joyce.

Sylvia adds that a bookshop means also a lot of hard, manual work, not just intellectual one; James Joyce we can say lived in Shakespeare and Company, pretended to be followed. She was her devoted secretary and she would have done whatever he would have asked her, considering her devotion to him.
James Joyce, uninterested at Ulysses, that he considered like a closed chapter, passed at the realization of Finnegans Wake.

A contract was signed in the while between the parts for clarifying that Shakespeare and Company was the publisher of Ulysses, in case some people and publishing houses from foreign places wouldn't have taken too much in consideration this point.

Let's say that, Sylvia Beach, didn't take in consideration all the aspects of the document she signed skipping some fundamental passages.

Sylvia and Joyce were pretty starved at various points of their existence and Sylvia was thrilled when Joyce received from Harriet Wearer a lot of money; spent immediately after received it; Joyce loved to spend for himself largely also during a dinner in a restaurant; another one like him tells the author were the couple Fitzgeralds: not just munificent, they also left some money in the house for all that people who would have reclaimed money from them. That people could directly pick up the sum from the money left somewhere in their house for the purpose. As wrote Sylvia, Francis Scott Fitzgerald didn't know anymore how to spend the large amount of money that he was accumulating.

One day a Sylvia Beach's friend told her that no, to him she didn't have any kind of legal contract with James Joyce for the rights of the Ulysses. That contract wasn't legal.

The Ulysses, published without any legal contract, was a gift, a donation; an act of benevolence.

James Joyce signed with the American Random House for 45.000 dollars, forgetting his financial problems and leaving forever Shakespeare and Company, followed by other people. He asked for Sylvia's help but Sylvia couldn't be anymore the secretary.

It's a beautiful intellectual atmosphere, the one breathed in Shakespeare and Company, plenty of little or big publishing houses with the desire of publishing works of new authors. A lot of great names were born these years thanks to mr McAlmon. Music played an important role.

The 1930s tells Sylvia were the darkest ones.
A new war was approaching; most of her old friends became famous and returned to the States, but there was still Hemingway around. One day it was 1941 a German soldier asked for Finnegans Wake but Sylvia, stubborn, told him that  she wouldn't have sold that book. Sylvia was worried. Germans knew of her connections with Jewish. Most of her friends and intellectuals were Jewish, and she knew that life could become a hell, and so she decided, not just of removing that book from the window, but of closing Shakespeare and Company forever, putting all her beloved books somewhere else. Germans captured her and she spent six months in a camp; then she was set free. The book ends with the triumphant arrival of Ernest Hemingway, real, brave, savior hero of our times.

I love this book immensely for the bravery, courage, intellectual honesty of this little lady, a miss in grade to make the difference in a place like Paris, skeptical and chauvinist. Not only Shakespeare and Company continues to be maybe the most stunning reality in the world, but the legacy left by Sylvia Beach has been the one of a passionate girl in love for literature and books, in grade of helping writers to come out, just for the desire of doing it, as she did with Joyce; a person who didn't ask anything in return, because her love for literature, writers, books, true, and real.

In a society like this one, where no one move a finger if not in return of something, Sylvia Beach is an example of a beautiful soul; someone who, fallen in love intellectually for a writer, decided to help him with all her possible enthusiasm, love, and dedication for his success and do you know why? Just because she believed in him.

Her cleaned and important legacy is admirable and an example to everyone.

Highly recommended.

I thank Neri Pozza for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, settembre 13, 2018

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book by Susan Orlean will be published next month by Simon&Schuster and it is one of the most beautiful and important book that you will find around if you love libraries and books.
If you are in love for books and if you suffer to seeing them destroyed, it will be painful sometimes, leaving you breathless at some point, because this one is also the story of a big fire: the one that took place in the Los Angeles Public Library on April 29 1986.

200 employees, many branches, the Public Library of Los Angeles started another day optimistically. Weather was good, warm although the month was April, people serene, life was good.

A library is a special place for a lot of people and for the most diversified reasons. You find in a library students in search for the best book for a thesis, bookworms, the ones who, for killing a hour, decide to go to the library, the safest place of this world for reading.

There were many people in the library, when in that morning the fire alarm signaled that something was wrong.

No one took particularly notice of it: it happened every day that the alarm for a reason or another let them know that existed making some noise.

Anyway, firefighters arrived to the library with the idea of sorting out the problem in a second for continuing their morning day, when something went wrong: nothing to do, the fire alarm didn't want to be fixed. It sounded as if there was a real problem in the library. No one was seeing anything but for precaution the library was evacuated.

At first it was difficult to understand where the problem was but then, dramatic moments, firefighters understood that there was a real fire.

All Los Angeles firefighters available tried their best for stopping this fire for more than seven hours.
It was so big, it was so immense, and because of the meteorological conditions we can call it "The Perfect Fire."

A firefighter said, interviewed  by the author, that the fire became at some point of the color of ice. He hadn't never seen a show like that one.

Los Angeles Public Library had an extensive collection of cookbooks, the biggest one in the world. All gone; a total of 400.000 books were killed by the fire, 700.000 damaged; most of them treated for two years in special places, and cuddles like premature babies, before to see the light again.

A fire like this one, so, a news like this one, you can think was in the first pages of all the newsmagazines of the world: no, because unfortunately another tragedy in Europe devastated profoundly minds, spirits and bodies of Europeans putting everyone in panic: Chernobyl. So the only newsmagazine that treated the news, largely and pretty cheerfully was the Pravda that for obvious reasons didn't want to remark the Ukrainian tragedy.

The Boston Globe wrote that the events in Chernobyl and Los Angeles had a "Ghostly Symmetry" because "Each raised the primal fear of a fire that was beyond control, along with our dread of menacing and unmanageable power."

The shock was total and complete. Stress unimaginable. A lady skipped her period for four months, other ones, apart developing post traumatic stress disorder, suffered also of physical illness caused by smoke. Some people, including firefighters spent days to the hospital treated because of smoke ingested.

In the while: who caused that fire? Suspects became also shadows, and librarians tried their best when possible to put in bad light other colleagues. The situation of the 200 librarians of the Los Angeles Public Library became so heavy that most of them searched for a job in other places without too many compliments, while, Harry Peak, a beautiful boy in search of fame, became the first, and main suspected of the Los Angeles Public Library's fire, finishing in jail for a lot of time.
Harry is dead but the author spoke with his sister Debbie. A long conversations with a special taste of beer, melancholy; a disgraceful haunted existences, their ones, tells, Debbie, where tragedies are common in the family. Harry would have been the only one in grade to make the difference; good at school, he wanted to become an actor, Hollywood so close, at just few miles from the town where they lived in, it was a difficult career. Harry was unlucky in the private sphere as well, becoming later homosexual. If stunningly beauty in their little town, there were many beautiful wonderful young boys in Hollywood and he was one of the many beautiful young boys who wanted to try to come out; who wanted to become a name. Let's leave alone the story of Harry, now; what to do now that most of the books of the Los Angeles Public library gone?
Established a committee, librarians of course knocked at the doors of influential people where money more available and "important." Hollywood.
Letters were sent to George Lucas and other eminent directors and stars and in total the library thanks to compassionate actors, directors, in a word, celebrities accumulated 10 million of dollar. It was created a Telethon for other funds, in total 2 million of dollars. The library received  little donations from passionate and devoted people in love for books, who read the news or that had memory of their time spent in that library.
Also a little donation made the difference.

The author tells at first that when little she loved to spend with her mother several days per week, a lot of time to their library. They didn't have a lot of books at home. Some encyclopedias, erotic books but the rest of books borrowed from the library at home.

Growing up, Susan tried all her best for building, buying books, her own library. She started to buying books; they are fresh, so cleaned; she forgot the devoted library where her mother accompanied her all the weeks when she was more little; at the same time that moments remains so precious for the author and her mother; now that her mother is old, sick and unfortunately she doesn't remember the past as she loved to do before, these ones are the instants that the author loves to remember with more intensity. 

It was for case that Susan discovered the story of the fire at the Los Angeles Public Library. It was an age that she didn't visit a library when some day her son told her he needed to go to the library. She accompanied him and the story started from...there. This book was born thanks to the indirect help of her son.

The author remembers that when the big fire of the Los Angeles Public Library took place she lived in New York City, but she didn't remember this news. No one treated this topic at first, but just the following days.

Beautiful also the story of the Los Angeles Public Library. I would have wanted to know the first two librarians: the second one was a drunker, for just a year at the library, the first one in love for smoking, he stayed closed to his office most of the time and when called he cried: "I guess that I should help, isn't it true?" Amazing.

Women in the case of the Los Angeles Public Library made the difference and were innovative.

Yes, because at first this library was born with an annual fee of five dollars.
It meant that just rich people could visit the library, cutting out a great portion of citizenship.
Not only: men could read books; women had just special places assigned to them (they were not free like men) in the library with magazines available to them. Children were banned.
The managers made the difference deleting the annual fee, opening to everyone, children included if more than 12 years old.
It was with them that the Public Library became important and plenty of great, good, rare books.

Someone steal books from the library? Of course. Massively also! You will read. If in the UK people love to steal Terry Pratchett, in the Los Angeles Public Library tastes are different but disappointment the same. Sometimes books are replaced, but it's not said.

Let's speak of books and their durability: The Da Vinci Code is a book very read and resists more or less a year in the public library before to be classified as used book. I love to ask when I order used books the ones owned at some public libraries. They lived a lot of adventures, experienced a lot of houses, spent time in a lot of tote bags, discovered a lot of owners; they don't have a precise soul, don't you think so? I love them, because they traveled a lot before to reaching me. And they're free. Their identity can't be classified. They were books that everyone owned for a while.

You can't believe it, but also people from the studios stole books. The modality: two people, one waiting outside, close to a window, and another one in the library launching the book to him.
When at the library they noticed this, let's call it, custom, well, they changed some guidelines.

A library is not just important for common people, lucky ones but also for homeless. The Los Angeles Public Library pays extra attention to them.

The shipping department of the Los Angeles Public Library is immensely interesting like all the little branches that a library knows in the various corners of the city.
You will discover great people, with immense personal stories and a great fascination for books. I don't want to tell you all the book, but you know, I am tempted.

The intense, felt, engaging writing-style of Susan is immensely beauty.
The New Yorker's forma mentis of the author: "I want to discover everything, tell me also the littlest thing that you remember, because it means the world to me" will keep you there, reading without interruption 'till the end.

You will also read of an experiment made by the author. Susan decided of burning a book for trying to see what she would have proved, and it was devastating.

When culture is killed, people are all more poor. This is a fact.

A chapter is dedicated to all that "people" who with cruelty during the centuries tried their best for killing libraries, books from the face of the Earth for a reason or another.

You will love and adore this book. Trust me!

More than highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Simon&Schuster for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, settembre 12, 2018

Selfie Made by Meredith Validando Rojas

Are you interested to become a celebrity on the net? Interested to receive wagons of likes, followers, seeing your pictures loved by everyone, your videos appreciated by millions of people, Do you want to start to be known as a wonderful internettian human being in grade to entertain million of other souls? Do you want so badly to create a wonderful, stunning, poetic digital identity, where you present your best self?
Right, great, I would add: if you want all of it, and you want to discover what and how to do that; what you should do for reach this goal without to be famous, there is a book that you should read immediately for become intriguing to the eyes of other internet-people. Selfie Made Your ultimate Guide to Social Media Stardom by Meredith Validando Rojas, co- founder and CEO of DigiTour will help you step-by step thanks also at the detailed and interesting experiences that she lived in first person when she created that reality to let you know what to do precisely, which errors to avoid, what videos you shouldn't never post, why a post, or a video becomes viral and what there is behind; what to do for attract people and followers.

Written with great energy, enthusiasm and desire of sharing and helping, plenty of tips, suggestions, I highly suggest it to you.

I thank NetGalley  for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

PS: pictures taken on the twitter page of the author.

Coffee Shop Devos by Tessa Emily Hall

Can a religious book be delicious as well? It's what it tried to do Bethany House with Coffee Shop Devos by Tessa Emily Hall . Published this September, Tessa Hall starts to saying that it's beautiful to chat with a friend in a coffee shop. It's an intimate moment, a moment just for us and our best friend, where we share latest news, where we speak of our sufferance and joys, with calm, relaxation while we are sipping also a coffee or a drink derived by coffee. Some examples? A Mexican Americano, a Midnight mocha, a Nothing but Nutella Frappe  (yum!) and so on.
God, Jesus, adds the author, is our best friend, in particular in an age like the teen-age age when girls feel that no one can understand them.
The approach used by the author is pretty warm and...sweet because accompanied not just by devotionals but...yummy recipes as well. Hall wants to stimulate the conversation of the teen-ages with God, thanks to Scriptures, meditation, imagining that they are sat in a coffee shop with Him, and then expanding this imaginary conversation on social media, their friends, online, and wherever they will want.
Every devotional starts with a recipe, then reflections from some verses of the Scripture.

I thank NetGalley and Bethany House for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, settembre 11, 2018

Quando l'amore nasce in libreria How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Quando l'amore nasce in libreria How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry is a tender, sweet, and very well written story. Published in Italy by Garzanti, the book starts more than 30 years ago, when a young boy, an Oxford student, Julius, meets an explosive, vital American girl, Rebecca from New England.
Rich, beautiful, plenty of enthusiasm for life, she decided of studying in Oxford, an atmosphere, she insisted, she loved so badly.
The family accepted the decision with enthusiasm considering the great reputation of the British reality chosen by their daughter.
For Julius it was simple to fall in love for that hurricane of joy and they started to...waiting, after a while.
Julius didn't still have a proper job, or a good house for offering to Rebecca and the baby a beauty future, but he was working in progress. The arrival of the baby unfortunately meant a great stress...
Thirty and more years later, Julius had a solid reality in Peasebrook close to Oxford, a beautiful dreaming town lost in the Cotswold area. A dream for tourists, and for citizens of the area.
He started in fact decades before the Nightingale Books, a bookstore in grade, thanks to a great selections of books to make happy everyone.
But...Julius dies and Emilia, his daughter must try to cope not just with  the sadness of her beloved dad's departure but also with the bookstore, that she didn't know a lot. She discovers, surprise! that financially, the reality is not as solid as she would have imagined it had to be; Julius was an abstract man not too much involved in financial situations or interested in develop also some marketing strategies for adding more money to his business.
How to fix the financial problems?
Julius knew a lot of people, and he was considered a very good man by everyone. Sarah, telling the truth was more than a friend to him. He met him once, discouraged by the nasty behavior of her husband Ralph; she stopped by at the bookstore and there, she found a wonderful man all alone, in grade to listen to her. Falling in love for Julius was simple.
Ralph was a weak man and someone she couldn't trust anymore as she did in the past. The story of Sarah and Julius was long and felt.
The book will also develop the story of Alice, Sarah's daughter, Dillon the good boy and Hugh, the man who should marry Alice.
Not only: a married girl called Bea, rich but frustrated because all the day closed at home growing up her daughter, will help Emilia like also Andrea and Jackson :-)
Everyone in fact learn something: that the bookstore is strategic and Emilia shouldn't never fall in temptation... Selling the store wouldn't be a great idea at all because  people once start to read, become different. Best human beings. It's normal. Culture and knowledge are great friends of this world. A bookstore is culture.

What I also loved of this book has been the beautiful descriptions, the romantic views of the little town of Peasebrook, and the rich filter of feelings, sentiments proved by the protagonists, like also the ability of the author in the creation of intricate but sweet stories plenty of happy ends; this book is a "lecture of feelings": thanks to this bookshop the author will present us different perspectives about love: toxic, beauty, solid, delusional, but also other sentiments like solidarity, help in the necessity, friendship, new starts, although painful ones. The bookshop in this book is seen as aggregation of "cultural souls;" as a special, intimate place, where to staying lost per hours and good for every little exigency; for the soul, mainly, and where destinies of many people found the proper, positive, answer.Written with great sweetness and profundity, I consider this book magical.

Highly recommended.

I thank Garzanti for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori