giovedì, novembre 29, 2018

The Artful Liar Reflections on Betrayal and Deception by Cynthia Leeds Friedlander

Beautiful. Impressive, not just well-written but a real meditative reading this one, plenty of letters, advice, suggestions, tips, every chapter is closed by some suggestions by the author to her affectionate readers  for trying to avoid or better, survive at the failure of a long relationship.

Written superbly well by Cynthia Leeds Friedlander The Artful Liar Reflections on Betrayal and Deception is a book where each of us can recognize a piece or more of ourselves.

It's for this reason that this book is crucial and interesting. For understand the profound dynamics of two people in a relationship but more, the real purposes and expectations that each of them cultivate.

Stunningly beauty, I loved its profundity, reflections, intensity of living and new re-starts.

Highly recommended.

I thank Library Thing for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Gon, the Little Fox written by Nankichi Niimi Illustrated by Genjirou Mita

Gon, the Little Fox written by Nankichi Niimi Illustrated by Genjirou Mita and published by Museyon is a cute and hard children's book where, this time kids will also experience what it means negative actions, how we ca repair them and much more.
If children who will read this book don't live in a countryside, parents must explain them the danger and beauty of this animal.

The story was told once by a man called Mohei and there is a big moral inside.

Gon was the little fox of the countryside. He loved to steal every sorta of food from various houses.
A common reality that everyone living in a countryside experience soon or late.

Hyoiu was a man who tried all his best for feeding his old mother decently. She was not fine and she stayed to bed all the time; Gon stole from his basket the fish necessary for the old lady. When the old lady died, Gon understood that maybe he played a role in this story and tried all his best for recuperate.

Everyday he brought chestnuts and other delicious food to Hyoiu; Hyoiu was amazed because of it, and at the same time he could not explain rationally the arrival of such pleasant food in a daily base in his house. Talking with a friend, they concluded that this story had a divine touch.

Gon, listening what the men were saying about was upset because he thought that there wasn't any divine touch in this story, just his generosity and his way for recuperating; so one day he manifested his presence at Hyoiu.

Pity that the man thinking that Gon wanted to steal something opened the fire.

Gon tried to recuperate, but could think that a fox could have a gentle soul.

Gon did want to let see to Hyoiu that he was after all a good beast and he felt remorse for what he had previously done.
At the same time Gon didn't trust the divine touch of this story; but it existed. God manifested His presence using the little fox, but Gon didn't understand it and so was punished by life.
Gon had a heart. Big. Considering his human nature.
He was a gentle fox and when he understood that maybe he played a dirty role in the departure of that man's mother, he didn't hesitate for helping.

Highly recommended. This one is a beautiful and inspiring book.

I thank Museyon Books for this children's book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, novembre 27, 2018

Ashley's Amish Adventures: Attending an Amish Wedding: A true story by Ashley Emma

Ashley's Amish Adventures: Attending an Amish Wedding: A true story it's realistically a wonderful portrait of Amish society before, during, after a wedding.
Everything you want to know about an Amish wedding will be revealed in this real captivating story experienced by the author of this book Ashley Emma.
Ashley in fact, was formally invited at an Amish wedding in the community of Unity, Maine. Not only the community didn't forget her, but their friendly approach continued to be more than welcomed in Ashley's life.
So we will return to Unity, the beloved community of Amish that followed Ashley, introducing her in their culture and customs, and we will assist at the wedding, but also preparation and what it follows.

This eBook is plenty of pictures, from bedrooms, barns, kitchen, stoves, chariots; there is also a pic of an Amish hat.

I thank Ashley Emma for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Ashley's Amish Adventures: An Outsider Living with the Amish: A true story by Ashley Emma

Ashley Emma donated me for being reviewed a sample of Ashley's Amish Adventures: An Outsider Living with the Amish: A true story.

Speaking about this sample I can tell you that it is amazing!
Everything started when Ashley, decided after wagons of Amish's novels read in the past thanks to her mother, of writing her own Amish novel. It sounds simple at first sight, but accuracy is important and Ashley wanted to be serious and as more correct as possible about Amish's customs. Her idea? Living for a while with an Amish family.

I love Amish because they remind me of old times when life was much more simple, and the solidity of a structure like that one gives certainties.

Ashley found a young family in the one of Caleb: good, serious and populated by eight children! The Amish community was the one located in Unity, Maine. Ashley was accompanied by her mother.

I thank Ashley Emma for this sample.

Anna Maria Polidori

Til there was you A St.Mary's Academy by Seven Steps

Til there was you A St.Mary's Academy by Seven Steps is a short novel pretty intriguing because everything rotates on the disappearance of Janice, the beloved dog of Poppy's parents, a teenager.

Left alone with her, Poppy lost Janice in Central Park and Poppy hates Central Park, NYC because once she saw an episode of Law and Order and you see, she remained traumatized by what she saw. Substantially, pity, she avoided Norah Ephron's movies, which would have added romanticism to that place.
Said that, she contacted immediately some of her friends, because Janice needs to be found, absolutely, or her parents would, metaphorically, let me specify this, kills her, insists Poppy; her mother would call also the President of the USA for trying to find Janice.
Avoid all these potential problems and dramas Poppy, with the help of Caleb, Mya, later Josh a beautiful boy, will search for Janice.

There is not just the happy end, but maybe a new love-story is born...

Fresh, quick, but at the same time bubbling, I loved the location, I loved the story, and I love the centrality of the thematic that was developed wonderfully well.

Highly recommended.

I thank the author for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Dare to Share a Dream (A Dare Romance Series Book 2) by Lorri Moulton

Dare to Share a Dream (A Dare Romance Series Book 2) by Lorri Moulton is a short romantic book perfect for this time of the year.
It tells the love-story between a student and a teacher. Henry is the teacher of Clara, a deaf student.
He feels attraction for this girl and the girl, desperate because her parents would want to let her marry someone she doesn't love, starts to make friendship with Henry, finding him enchanting.
Henry recognizes that this girl is seriously attracting and at first he feels shame for these sentiments that he is proving for her. After all he is his teacher.
He waits the graduation day before to starting to court her seriously, because technically not anymore a student.  More than sure that the future will be with her, Henry will put things in order and later all together, Clara's family and Henry will celebrate the waited happy end.

A tender story, this one that I am sure you will appreciate a lot.

I thank Lorri Moulton for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, novembre 26, 2018

Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald

Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald is a wonderful reading for this cold winter days.
We are approaching Christmas and it is good to dream of good ends.

In this case the protagonist of the story is Kale Brennan. She starts to receiving mysterious packages. One day, we are close to Christmas, someone leave a package at the door of her house.
Who will be this secret admirer of Kale? Her life is populated by a daughter, friends, and now, also by someone who let her feels special.
Kale feels the necessity of a man in grade of giving her stability but first of all good for her daughter; she will discover that maybe she can have the man of her dream blessed by her daughter as well.

I thank Jennifer Rodenwald for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Christmas Tree by Abdiel Leroy

I do believe in magic and I do believe that every creature has a soul: not only: sometimes I imagine to see objects speaking and telling me stories and facts.
Said this, imagine my surprise when I opened this eBook: The Christmas Tree by Abdiel Leroy , where, not only the story is told by a Christmas's Tree, but it contains important messages as well.

Written wonderfully well, incisive, with few dialogues, this tree is "captured" in a forest by humans for being sold as a Christmas's Tree. This tree is sad because during this process he lost his siblings and all his friends. Plus: he doesn't know what a Christmas's Tree or Christmas is.

He is "adopted," it's the case of using this expression, by a good family. There is a kid, there is a biggest kid in that store; there are two humans of different sizes, you see; one is much more tall than the little one.

The tree is brought in a house, decorated, what a spiritual warm the Christmas's tree feels. The Christmas's Tree understands that he can understands what humans are saying and visualizes once the meaning of Christmas.

Once Christmas is over the tree is thrown away, and reunited with someone he knows well, will be so sad and desperate. But, someone love this tree more than he can thinks and he will save him from a sad destiny: death.

In this story there is a wonderful happy end and I warmly suggest to all of you this book. I add more: I hope that someone will realize a Christmas's movie with this story.

Not only: let's spread another important message.

If you, during this Christmas's season will buy a "Christmas's tree" with roots, and you have a garden where you can plant it, please do that. It will be a success, and next year you can also decorate your "old" Christmas's Tree outside.

If you don't, please donate it to someone who can plant it; a peasant, a farmer, someone interested of keeping alive your Christmas's Tree. This world needs, desperately needs more oxygen and nature.

Highly recommended!

I thank so much Abdiel Leroy for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, novembre 25, 2018

James Joyce's Letters to Sylvia Beach edited by Melissa Banta and Oscar A.Silverman

James Joyce's Letters to Sylvia Beach edited by Melissa Banta and Oscar A.Silverman  published years ago by Plantin Paperbacks interested me a lot.

Weeks ago I read and reviewed The Letters of Sylvia Beach published by Columbia University Press and I thought all thrilled and happy at the wonderful possibility of reading also the letters written by James Joyce to her.

After all, of all the writers who marked the most the history of the first Shakespeare and Company, the American bookshop located in Paris and opened by Sylvia Beach on 1919 Joyce has been the most prominent one;  the world of Beach and her assistants rotated massively, reading this book is pretty clear, on James Joyce's necessities.

Sylvia Beach met James Joyce at the house of common friends and it was an artistic devotion crush at first sight; she fell enchanted by this distant hero she still didn't know.
Sylvia understood immediately that the most urgent problem for Joyce was the publication of the Ulysses. Sylvia Beach has great contacts and she discovered a way for giving at the print this book, spreading the news in the USA, where this book was banned.

Shakespeare and Company became a publishing house.

Problems were many, and later Beach discovered that maybe there wasn't any kind of contract, serious and legal with Joyce. You will see: the story is pretty complicated.

So, while Beach continued to support in any possible ways his favorite writer, James at the end signed with the American Random House for a stellar sum of money.

These letters go from 1921 to 1940.
I thought that these ones considering the great friendship felt by Beach for Joyce would have been beautiful letters.
I imagined the writing-style of Joyce, pretty informal and warm. Sylvia Beach's devotion for James Joyce has been remarkable and impressive.

Forget it: I can tell you that, at first when I started to read these letters, I was shocked.

These letters are pretty boring, cold, and distant; miss Beach is treated as a secretary, every letter written without any kind of sentiment and in a formal way, there is never an affectionate touch in the words used by Joyce regarding her and her life.
When he asks something about the private life of Beach is just for later, introducing the new favors that he will ask her and because he can't does differently. I have had this impression.

In these letters you find a constant story of lack of money and continuous requests to Beach.
Beach as you will read helped James Joyce financially a lot; she will sort out problems for publishing his works, not just the Ulysses; you will read of continuous requests of books that Joyce wanted to see; of his health's problems and also there Sylvia Beach was extremely helpful; also when Joyce was not anymore involved in Beach's life, he sent her two letters dated 1940 continuing to treat her as if she would have been the secretary.
Impressions that a person have of another one can't be removed with simplicity.

The richness of character, joy, enthusiasm that I discovered reading with joy miss Beach's letters, she was a voracious letter-writer for sure, in this book can't be found anywhere and it is sad because this lady changed in better the destiny of this writer, one of the most prominent ones of the XX century.

Sylvia Beach also when not anymore young loved to tell the story of her fabulous meeting with James Joyce and what she did for him. Genuinely passionate and a good person, she lived in frugality; legend wants that she didn't want to sell at a German Nazi officer a copy of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce on 1941 deciding of putting away all her beloved books and closing the doors and her adventures of her bookshop Shakespeare and Company forever. 

This book will help you to understand closely, to my point of view, the character of James Joyce but also the dedication of a lady, Sylvia Beach who didn't refuse any kind of favors at this writer per years, living with enthusiasm this adventure started with him and for him, creating the success of this writer.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, novembre 23, 2018

CAN YOU FIND IT? by Surya Sjnani

CAN YOU FIND IT? by Surya Sjnani is a search-and-find tool; an important children's book. Large, captivating and intriguing, thought by the creators of Wee Gallery, each page is colored in a special way: we find red, purple, green,  grey, etc;  toddlers are encouraged to recognize the hidden objects within the page.
It is a stimulating book this one and, implied, it contains a game that it is appreciated at every age: "Can you Find It?"

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Atlas of Adventures: Wonders of the World by Ben Handicott

Atlas of Adventures: Wonders of the World by Ben Handicott  by Quarto Publishing describes, for children interested to become explorers or big travelers of this Old World all the possible, magnificent natural places or creations created during the centuries by creative men of this Old World.
This book doesn't leave any monument, or remarkable place behind and it will be a continuous discovery for you and your children.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

How to think as an Absolute Genius by Philippe Brasseur

How to think as an Absolute Genius by Philippe Brasseur is a children's book interested to stimulate in different fields, geniality and potentialities  of your children thanks to a lot of advice, tips, but mainly thanks to inspiring past genius.

Advice are many: they pass through notes taken by Da Vinci, Charles Darwin's questions about environment and animals; adopting a different yourself as experienced by Salvador Dalì, imagining the impossible as did John Lennon; trying to be inspired by the past: an eminent painter in this sense was Pablo Picasso; or just trusting your subconscious; asks at Sigmund Freud; creating continuously as did Marcel Proust; cultivating dreams as Martin Luther King did with his motto: "I have a Dream" but try also to work in a team like Walt Disney if you have a creative spirit in grade of sharing.
Wonderful illustrations, beautiful colored book, I know that this one will be an appreciated gift for your children because it will speak directly to them and their potentialities.
Children love to be loved and appreciated, feeling that their parents trust them and their endless possibilities.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Famous Family Trees by Kari Hauge

The Medici, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Mozart, Ned Kelly, Bronte, Nelson Mandela, and many others important public characters of our recent and more remote history won't have anymore any secrets for you! and your children thanks to this new children's book published by Quarto: The Famous Family Trees by Kari Hauge.
Beautiful illustrations, each character receives a good introduction for then, proceeding with his/her family tree, for an adventure in the past, and sometimes present of families who, for a reason or another, made the history of this world.

I am more than sure that your children will find this book captivating and you, adults, interesting and plenty of curiosities.
Imagine of starting a conversation with your kids about the importance of some of these characters, like Nelson Mandela and his role in this world and the apartheid in South Africa; or also Marie Antoinette and what it meant marrying a man without love, living in a fake world where reality was not the one of the poor people of Paris and the reasons why someone decided of cutting her head at some point. Permit to your kids of discovering the geniality of Mozart and the talent of Bronte, maybe listening some of his music or reading some bits of their writings. A good book of art, with this one will explain the magic of Florence during the Renaissance and the visionary vision of a family, The Medici, and in particular of Lorenzo.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, novembre 22, 2018

Love Color Choosing Colors to live with by Anna Starmer

Love Color: Choosing Colors to live with by Anna Starmer is a new stunning book by Quarto Publishing. A visual, wonderful colored reality this one, created for inspiring your good taste and for propose to all of you the perfect and colored house of your dreams. It's simple after all to transform thanks to our personal taste a common, simple house in the essence of ourselves. It's just necessary a bit of imagination, and following our tastes, without, adds the author, any kind of fear, because our house is our house and it must reflects our person.

And so...Let's stop with that anonymous white, without character; let's add something about ourselves in the house, the most private space in grade of giving us protection and safety: the mirror of our soul.

Each of us have special affectionate colors and they will become the life companion of our existence. We can see them reflected everywhere and they will calm us, they will present us the best mood, they will  relax us or they will donate excitement, strength, energy. Sure: positive vibes. 
They in fact reflect our character.

Where to start if we want to painting again our house for example?
The author suggests of buying several magazines for a lot of advice; and using, let me add, this book wisely, adding some imagination, you will create the best palettes of colors for your house and your life, for experiencing in every corner of your house a special place where to find a spark of you.

Highly recommended also if you love special books, interiors, houses.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

PS: Pictures taken by

Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily Tips, Tricks and Ideas for You and your Hens by Lisa Steele

Eating properly is extremely necessary in a society, like this one where industrial food is predominant and where most people live in cities without to access at that good food that would make the difference.

But, if you live in a countryside, and you would want to start to eating well, adding some hens  discovering   how to grow, maintain and treat at their best your these animals why don't you read 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily Tips, Tricks and Ideas for You and your Hens by Lisa Steele?
It is an amazing book this one, with wonderful, dreaming illustrations of the rural countryside.
Lisa is a farmer and in the past also her grand-parents were. She remembers the sacrifices of her grand-parents and her family, where nothing was thrown away but recuperated and where food was appreciated because derived by hard work in the farm.
Hens and chickens were and are a special chapter in the daily life of Lisa and her ancestors.
With this book we will discover the perfect diet for our chickens during the various moments of the year, what to give them to eat and drink; I didn't know  about herbal tea. You will also discover how to keep chickens fresh or warm in the various moments of the year. But also the best coops where they can lie their eggs, or the perfect tools where to put their water or food, passing though many more tips; of course a section it's all dedicated to eggs; with explanations nutritive properties and how to treat them; how to avoid illnesses caused by a distracted and too light use of eggs and how transform them in wonderful resource for our body as well.
It's a lovely, beautiful, wonderful book this one and your hens they will appreciate if you read and learn from it, because thanks to these explanations you will be in grade to cuddle, nurture, help, curing your hens as you maybe hadn't never done before!

Highly recommended to everyone!

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Shhh! by Barroux

Shhh! by Barroux is an enchanting children's books published by Quarto dedicated in particular to toddler and for let them appreciate the moment of bed-time.
You know: a kid wouldn't never want to go to bed because life is too exciting and beautiful; a continuous surprise and the world a territory perfect for a little explorer.

Just: it is necessary some rest also for the bravest kid of this world.
And nothing will be more beauty than this hymn at a good-night starting with a kid to bed but traveling also in the world and so passing through a lot of animals and creatures, wild, and an important moment: when they go to sleep. We meet the lion but also the Giraffe, and many other important protagonists that we are sure will let you think your kid that, if they have some rest, maybe it is better to have some as well.
A dreaming book speaking of peaceful lands, where children are friends with animals and where nature is treated with respect, imagination and love.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, novembre 21, 2018

Journalistic Authority Legitimating News in the Digital Era by Matt Carlson

I am a journalist and I found extremely interesting Journalistic Authority Legitimating News in the Digital Era by Matt Carlson published by Columbia University Press.

Divided in seven chapters, the book analyzes the profession of the journalist, his/her authority and how our profession changed with the times and decades.
But...First of all: who is a journalist?

Someone who, although pretty acculturate doesn't work as it happens in other professions because he  learns something "cryptic" and unknown to all the other ones. (See at the voice: doctor, or engineer and so on.)
No: the journalist builds slowly his credibility and his own authority and he/she learns on the road all the rest. I can tell you that, being a freelancer.

The authority is given by the profession and ethic of the man and woman reporting events.
The author asks if it's possible objectivity and what it means.

Three colleagues to my point of view could be for example in the same place where an event is creating a news,  let's see... it could be a fire, for staying in the news of the horrendous Californian fires; right. Probably they will report a similar although at the same time a complete different story of the events, maintaining the objectivity of the facts.

What a journalist does in fact, is to add his/her soul, living as a mission this work, looking through the lenses of his/her own experiences, facts that he is currently living and that he reports. This work is psychological, it's emphatic.
We are not robots.

In biggest newsmagazines or realities as the author will see, newsmagazines and magazines will be influenced by political; a flag supported by the entire newsroom.
The Pulitzer Prize, remarks the author is a necessity because it's an important engine for all American newsrooms for staying in the news. See at the voice Boston Globe and the case of the Catholic pedophile priests.

Maybe a problem could be that, at certain levels, journalists will speak mainly with the elite of power and this disconnection with the real reality  could create some misunderstanding with the base, uncovered and left alone; no one will report their real problems are and this one is negative.

The author tells the positive important impact that photography has had at the beginning of XX century, because it started to add something more to the news: a face of a criminal or of a person involved in some interesting fact, the place of  a murder, maybe also the corpse of a victim assassinated. Later, beautiful magazines as Life.

Photography added color to the piece it's the case of saying.

The internet created more work to journalists, because as also experienced journalists accredited at the White House with President Obama, who started the tradition of using Twitter and Facebook for keeping update of the latest news the world, a press conference is integrative of what said by the President and for trying to understand what it will happen later; they know in part the thoughts of the President and they can develop his thoughts in various directions.

The net has been a real revolution under many aspects. As the author adds, in the past a piece could be saved, cut, put aside, but not "shared" in the rest of the world or the internal American territory by the use of social medias as Facebook, Twitter.
It says a lot in terms of audiences.

A characteristic of a good reporter is clarity. This fact is more than real; our audience is big, and sometimes we are more loved and appreciated by simple people, maybe with less education but more interested to read with passion a newsmagazine or a magazine because they know how precious was to learn how to write and read once, when there was poverty, than not from an audience that it is implied to be there, waiting for us.
So, writing with clarity for everyone is indispensable and also less stressing for our readers.

The book contains much more, and you should absolutely read it if you are in the media or if you are a journalist or someone curious of our profession. We are good devils, after all :-)

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, novembre 20, 2018

My Crazy Stories Starring Emotionally Intelligent Kids 5 in 1 Collection by Daniel Georges

My Crazy Stories Starring Emotionally Intelligent Kids 5 in 1 Collection by Daniel Georges will let discover to your children a lot of stories, many characters, and adventures plenty of moral messages, in grade to make the difference. Secrets are important. Sometimes we share confidences with people we think are friendly and that will ruin a still secret project/dream just because we anticipated them this desire. Maya, curious of discovering what it means secret, will learn the power of that word.

The story I loved the most was the one of Kyle and his birthday gift to his dad.
Kyle tries his best for selling an old pair of shoes of his dad for buying him something more appreciated, but along his way he will be constricted to change his plans; but the beauty of this story is this: that when we are good people then we meet also along our way people in grade to of helping us.

Sally is busy with her long hair; the last adventure is about Johnny and Elvis, two brothers who marked their own territory with different colors. One day the appearance of this strange cat created extra discussions about the ownership of this animal. But you know, cats are magical creatures, and maybe this one was a lesson for the brothers...Inclusion and not division.

I loved these stories, because in each of them there are important messages of goodness for children and I am more than sure that they will appreciate these books so badly!

Highly recommended.

I thank Daniel Georges for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori


I have a old PC and so stories like these ones happen, just it is upsetting and I don't know how to sort out this problem: my Amazon's accounts have been all hackered. You will think that it is simple to create a new password but it is not because asks my sensitive informations, like the expiration date of my card. Everything happened weeks ago.
I discovered I lived according to to Florence. In in Rome.
My real  address is back; it's a comfort.

I am sad and sorry and upset because I started to share, thanks to my smart phone and so a good connection my reviews also on Amazon and most authors and publishing houses are happy to be more visible-

I will keep you updated.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, novembre 17, 2018

The Alchemyst and the Magician by Michael Scott, for discovering Nicholas Flamel

Johnny Depp in his latest movie where he portrays Grindenwald focused his attention also on Nicholas Flamel.
Flamel and the philosopher stone. Yes, also a portion of title of the first Harry Potter, whoever has that precious elixir will remain forever young; or, yes, maybe as it happened to mr Flamel, he wouldn't die. Or not with great simplicity. Or after a lot of centuries, who knows?
Mr. Flamel was an eclectic character and his house still exists in Paris.
You see, in that peculiar historical moment when Flamel was born on Sept 28 1330, people of culture didn't just know a lot on a field of knowledge: they knew a lot in the most diversified human fields. Alchemy, chemistry, astronomy, astrology, magic, art, science, occultism, literature.
Mr. Flamel married with Perenelle, was a man of profound culture, he loved writing, he copied many books. One day he received a strange book written in an unknown language. Mr and mrs Flamel because of it left Paris and started to traveling in the entire Continent trying to understand in what kind of language that book was written for deciphering it.
Once returned home they appeared young and happy, healthy and incredibly wealthy. No one discovered the reason of all that richness donated also to a lot of people by the couple. Flamel lived a long life. Legend wants that one day he died, but when people opened his coffin and the one of his wife (yes once it sounded a sport practiced a lot) people didn't find any body. Were that macabre curious people maybe arrived later? Not the first ones looking at that graves and that bodies brought somewhere else for who knows what purpose? We don't know: legend wants that Nicholas Flamel is still alive and somewhere in the world, he remains the only human being custodian of the mystery of Immortality.

Some good readings for you! about this character.

Years and years ago I bought through a wonderful Irish online bookstore (I am still missing it, Greg, if you read my words) two books that I would want to suggest to all of you, written by Michael Scott: The Alchemyst and The Magician .
If you know Michael Scott, you know that he wrote enchanting books about Irish folklore and in particular these three books Irish Folk & Fairy Tales, Irish Myths & Legends (I have this one as well) and Irish Ghosts & Hauntings, real classics of Irish literature.
I know that there are more books of these series but you can start with these two.
It will be a fascinating trip with immortal and legendary people who  made the culture of our modern world.
Dr.John Dee, another man of great culture, please read the book written by Peter Ackroyd about him, will want to try to steal the book that mr.Flamel received once.
The adventure will see involved two twins. They will try to save the world. Why? Because entering in possess of a precious secret like the one of eternal life, would mean for the entire world a big damage.
In the second book, another excellent helper of mr.Dee will be Niccolò Machiavelli...

Happy reading everyone!

Anna Maria Polidori

photo credit of the pic of  Scott: official site of Michael Scott

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindenwald

Long story this one of Fantastic Beasts.
I requested a book review copy to Bloomsbury, leaving messages also by phone, but I didn't receive any answer.
More than a year ago.
It's normal for "little bloggers" sometimes not being taken in consideration by biggest realities or treated as an individual and not a reviewer accredited like the one of a bigger reality.
I remembered that I forgot Fantastic Beasts and I moved on.
Recently considering the movie with Johnny Depp with an important character on it, I requested again the book to the italian publishing house.
Waiting again, maybe I will be more lucky, who knows? I want to inform all of you that today I went to the cinema (hoooray! once in a while) for seeing Fantastic Beasts, intrigued by the character portrayed by Johnny Depp. Also. I add that I love Harry Potter movies and books.

I am a big fan of Harry Potter and the magical land created by J.K.Rowling was stunning and precious.
I am affectionate to the positive message that the movie was spreading. In that case books and movies were mainly thought for staying "there", you know, without any implied message for the society, viewers or readers. Harry was a teenager when he discovers that thanks to a murder he lost not just his dad but also his mother and that thanks to the spell of protection that his mother pronounced he survived; he also knows that the scar on his forehead means a connections established forever with the author of the murder of his parents: Lord Voldemort. He also discovers that he is a magician.

World was divided: there were the common people, and then wizards and other enchanting animals and creatures.

When Harry studied to Hogwarts reflections of what it could have been in the outside world didn't exist or they were just a pale idea.
He knew about other magical lands, other places connected with his story. Then once returned home, he returned to his daily routine in the disgusting house and family where he lived in, the one of his uncle and aunt.

Said that, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindenwald, let's start to saying this, to me it's not a creature of the mind of J.K.Rowling, no, but of the one of Johnny Depp. I follow Johnny Depp from 15 years and I know how he thinks, what he loves, what he dislikes and what he likes. What he adds in his movies, what he keeps out.

I saw his essence, his ideas, his massive and positive involvement in this production.

Sure: it's a mutation respect to the Harry Potter's saga and something different, there is to add this. It's a story more adult where thematic like love, sex, court, solitude, are treated abundantly. People are more alone.
If Harry was surrounded by a lot of friends, and received a lot of help the idea is that here people act differently; of course they have a story behind, they have a boyfriend, a girlfriend, but there is less company, and more solitude. The solitude of the modern man.

Protagonists: Dumbledore portrayed very well by Jude Law was a man pretty old in Harry Potter while now, like Grindenwald, a middle-age man.

The movie has lost the strong separations of the worlds existing in Harry Potter; and the fight against the terrible wizard personified by Johnny Depp is not just whispered but open. It's not a secret and there is more nonchalance.

Seeing the movie, I compared Lord Voldemort and his affiliates at a masonry group. No one would have wanted to add posters for let know to other ones that they were pro Voldemort, and they tried to be discreet (people of course knew their names but, it was a whisper, a doubts, a suspect in some cases); in this movie in this sense and where possible there is more relaxation. I didn't sleep seeing or reading some Harry Potter. I feel books and I feel movies tremendously and per decades and decades.

Grindenwald is the enemy and should be defeated. But who is this wizard? A powerful man and someone interested to conquer the minds of everyone. More close to the character of a dictator in search of approval and in search of consensus, he is a man although with a blue eye and a brown eye im grade of attracting, thanks to his fascination, wagons of people. Not only: the characterization of this character  to me is a vehicle for a strong message, implied to the years that we are living in. Confused, sad, where darkness is the main color of the souls of people and where smiles and trust, and happiness seems like lost.
At the same time it's this one a powerful message: let's always continue to use our heart and our mind, because maybe what we think that it is true it's not true and vice-versa.
It's a strong strong movie, this one, I can tell you that, with strong signals for the world and the actual historic moment.

When for example I saw Grindenwald surrounded by a lot of people. speaking to the assembly I thought: he speaks like a dictator. He remembered me old dictators. While I was thinking this I saw the atomic bomb and I saw war. Why this wizard  wants this power?
He is not immaterial; so he has a body, his tongue is back (long story you will see.)
Someone who wants to let believe to people that he is in the right, that he is the best option to them, and that all the other ones are nasty people; of course he is strong enough for accelerating this process of brain-washing in people's minds. Yes it doesn't have any kind of sophistication as maybe had Lord Voldemort, because the name couldn't be pronounced; Voldemort could be discovered in bodies of other people or creatures because de fact he didn't have body at all; he was a sort of Sauron, see at the voice The Lord of the Rings.
In this case, what Grindenwald wants is to be surrounded by a beautiful court of people telling him how adorable he is and he wants power because he knows that power is important. For changing as he wants, and as a dictator, the course of the events and of history.

People are, of course confused and when they saw him they embraced what he says as if he would have whispered a spell or if he would be a new savior.

I want also add that Grindenwald is pretty mundane.

He didn't ask to people of joining him with scaring messages launched by terrible creatures but calls people through elegant black velvet "wake" caressing in this way an entire city, and asking to people of joining him.

Black: our man loves black. Why? Black is the color of melancholy but also a color that can't let us see other colors, can't let us present any escapism. It's the color of the night, the color of death, the color of dark mood.
There is not joy in this color and London reflects this in the movie.

Important choices will be taken by the various protagonists;  killing is a gratuity, to Grindenwald. They are in the right; also when they kill. Why?  Because their opponents are the violent ones; but what is, if not a strong lack of freedom an action when the reaction is being killed? Tell me if Grindenwald presents to people freedom of speech, freedom of a pacific reaction against his thoughts.

Why the cemetery? There is in fact a scene in a cemetery. To me there is a reason and more profound than the one that we see on the big screen.
You see: death exists, and when there is a war we lose a lot of people and who is still alive  is tired, because fought for everyone and not just for his/her interest;  for values more big than what he/she thought and he/she can't cope anymore with what he/she saw and lived and experienced; the cemetery is this: it testifies the loss of many people, the memory of the lost ones not forgotten but strong in the living people.

The fight between the blue force, and the red one; the first one of the cold Grindenwald the red one of the good people can be synthesized in this way: the blue one means cold and it would bring at the world just desperation; the red one is life, energy, progress, not the regression Grindenwald would want for the other ones. Not for him, careful: he loves luxury and he is a man in grade of manipulating people.

I loved when the protagonists at some point will visit a place where they must find something. There is confusion, a continuous changes of game, a labyrinthic situation and you can't never tell where reality is, and the protagonists must run, run away for then, finding what they are searching.

The complexity of the movie is also seen in the society experienced by Grindenwald; a society without anymore any kind of values, and in grade also of killing babies without feeling anything just for opportunism.

Close friend with Grindenwald, Dumbledore can't fight against him because of a past story of strong respect, friendship and a promised marked with their blood.

The movie let us discover again the Gothic but a the same time, tranquil world of Johnny Depp; at the end I found Grindenwald comical when he said: "I hate Paris" after a scene pretty dramatic.

I didn't like the new uniforms of the students. I think that the ones seen in Harry Potter are more beauty. And not only: in general in British colleges uniforms remain the same ones per centuries and centuries.
Plus I think that there was an abuse of magic. If sometimes tea is served by a man or a woman when someone visits a house it's better.
In Harry Potter there was parsimony in the use of magic.
It's better if people demonstrate without the use of magic that they're able to do something in life; also little things.
Oh: now the mirror of memories: I wait for some explanations.
When Dumbledore saw Grindenwald in the mirror of memories I think that he wouldn't never have seen him as he is now, because reflections are only from the past. But he did.
I also found less beauty Hogwarts. Less precious and choreographically less studied and more poor. Rich of special effects, but without that touch of extreme elegance that had in Harry Potter.

Apart this, the movie is beautiful and I highly recommend you to go to see it.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, novembre 16, 2018

1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change Edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti

1968: a year of exaltation, complete freedom and rebellion against the establishment; the past years had meant to the USA a lot of unwanted changes.
The terrible assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas on November 22 1963, meant the end of a lot of hopes, like peace and dialogue with the rest of the world for the USA. The assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the first one a leader who fought with energy and pacifically for the rights of black people, the second brother of John Kennedy running for the Presidential campaign, meant another sad signal for the country.
In this canvas, pretty chaotic and dark, a crescent turmoil and dissatisfaction from every possible parts: women recriminated more rights; black people more rights, minorities as gays and lesbians more rights; people in general wanted a pacific country and the end of the Vietnam war. The frame?
Imagine them: young people from high school, from universities, idealist, in grade still of dreaming a better future; they wanted to fight  for a different world with all their strength, asking to politicians in every possible way a different system, more equal, more inspired at good values, less hypocritical more close to common people. Their requests passed through every kind of rights: 1968? The wildest and at the same time sunniest movement never experienced and in grade of becoming important in Europe as well.
For this reason at 50 years of distance Candlewick publishes 1968:
Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change Edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

Beautiful you will love this anthology in grade of speaking to the heart of people.

I am optimistic: I see that the newest generations are fighting in the USA for great values and that the wind of the 1968 hasn't been forgotten at all but it is alive.

Unforgettable! You can't avoid to read it. Beautiful gift for teenagers! I want to recommend to parents these gits to their children. I know: teen age age is a particular phase but it is better a revolutionary teenager than not someone too comfy to the system. This is more than sure! Don't be scared of offering some slices of revolution to your son or your daughter, presenting to them the sweet taste of protest. Your son or daughter will grow up more intelligently.
And, more important, as it happened to the protagonists of this book: they won't never forget what it meant rebellion.

I thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

Christmas at the Chalet is the latest book by Anita Hughes and if you love wonderful locations, beautiful love-stories, richness and the sensation of being cuddled while you read this book sipping a warm cup of tea experiencing another dimension, this dreaming book is for you for sure.
This time the heroine of the story is Felicity Grant.
Felicity is spending some days in the exclusive location of St.Moritz because she is preparing and organizing her biggest fashion show.  Felicity is a a star in the bridal business field and she is electrified by the high expectations of her fashion show.
She will promote, she thinks, her best fashion show.
If her career is magnificent, her private life can't say that. Or better: this Christmas Time, she was thinking that maybe her beloved boyfriend would have presented her a ring, but no, he chooses another gift, yes healthy, yes relaxing, but not the one Felicity wanted.
It's an irony this one: she is so talented, she makes happy a lot of brides, but maybe she won't never be a bride.
While Felicity elaborates with a certain sadness her personal moment, at the same time Nell, one of her model is planning her dream wedding although she has some problems with her divorced parents, because they don't tend anymore to speak a lot, and when they are together is a constant discussion.
There are other problems and at first it seems that Felicity and her model can't see any escapism from this dark scenario.

But as always happen in Anita Hughes's books the happy end is ready for all of us.
Written with her beautiful and sunny writing-style, succulent, creative and in love for everything beauty, you will love this love-story so badly!

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, novembre 14, 2018

La Casa della Bellezza by Melba Escobar

It's a hard book La Casa della Bellezza by Melba Escobar and tremendously sad although enchanting as well. Written using the first person, (when there are not scenes with dialogues) it's a sort of long tale of the various protagonists of this story.

Written wonderfully well, descriptions are enchanting,  shockingly beauty, poetic; Melba is in grade of filtering sentiments, moods, in a captivating way. She is stylistically perfect.

This one is a story of poverty and richness; Karen is a beautician in an aesthetic center called the Casa della Bellezza an exclusive Aesthetic Center where clients, customers, of the rich Bogota are mainly famous ladies. Karen is an Indios, and in her early 20s. She has a son of 4 years and a boyfriend and she would want to reunite the entire family for that Christmas. For this reason she is avidly saving money hiding them in the mattress; for a better existence, for a better future.
An afternoon a girl of 17 years goes to the Casa della Bellezza because of an appointment with her boyfriend. It is a special occasion and she wants to be beautiful.
The day after Karen discovers that the girl was found dead. Apparently she killed herself but Karen and also the mother of Sabrina, strongly doubts it. The mother and father of Sabrina in the while starts a parallel researches for discovering the truth, while the various protagonists will reveal themselves and their purposes.

The tranquil routine and good mood and dreams of Karen are broken forever when she discovers that someone stole all her money; a carnal violence from the owner of the house where she lives in and the indifference of the wife will mean to her a mental devastation and a personal perdition.

Feeling the sensation of being "dirty" she confesses her fears to a lady in search of understanding and comprehension because her husband cheated her with wagons of lovers during the decades. This lady substantially succumbed at the mental power of that man.
She wrote brilliant books all donated to this man because crazy of love for him. He became famous; she became anonymous and not respected at all; her husband traveled accompanied by sweet companies per decades while she stayed home writing the next book for her man. She understood this mental mechanism, and so the narcissistic spirit of her husband and her obscurantism caused by love she proved for him only decades after.

In the while, Karen without money and with a lot of broken dreams doesn't know what to do. A friend of her insists: better if she tries to recuperate her money starting a work as escort.
Oh yes: beautiful bags, and shoes, and whatever she wants, while slowly slowly Karen forgets who she is, why she is in Bogota and her expectations.

Not only: the girl will continue to goes on hurting herself, because she hates her, because she can't accept what she became with the time, cleaning her hands continuously, rejecting the imagine she saw on the mirror.

People she spent time with were rich people and look what a luck, poor Karen, the ones connected with the homicide of the 17 years old girl.

At the end, the weakest person of all this story, Karen the beautician will pay for everyone, because no one could be, considered their social status accused of the murder of a girl.

It's a strong book this time surrounded always by a suicidal air and by the loss of every kind of hope because of the injustices seen, experienced and lived by the protagonist.

This book and this story are a finch in the stomach and a message for everyone.

It's a message for parents: trying to understand children and what they do and who they are friends with considering the society where we live in, is more than necessary; it's a message to young and desperate girls in search of money because desperate and because they lost everything. There is always a plan B. And a best advice. Maybe it's better to hear various bells before to jump in the first and obscure road. I want to precise that to my point of view, in this case the protagonist was like in a cage, because no one seriously in grade of helping her. Partially because she hid what happened, and speaking is a first cure when there are terrible problems like the ones experienced by the protagonist; second because she wasn't surrounded by good people in grade of giving help or the proper answer. Simply, she wasn't as strong as the other ones were and she didn't search in other directions for more help and more answers.

The question in this case is: exist real escapism? Because as explains the author somewhere in the middle of the book it's like if every person would consciously know his/her ends but he/she can't stop her/his own destiny and every step she/he does it means to digging metaphorically her/his own grave and his/her own destiny.

Let's hope for better and for some optimism thinking that the future can be bright, do you want? 

Highly recommended for learning hos to avoid the hell experienced by the protagonist.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, novembre 11, 2018

L'amore al Tempo degli Scoiattoli by Elizabeth McKenzie or The Portable Veblen

Impressive, erudite, this psychological love-story published by Marsilio, L'amore al Tempo degli Scoiattoli by Elizabeth McKenzie or The Portable Veblen in english will conquer all of you!

Translated by Stefano Massaron the first words are for him: not only a superb translation but also clarifications in various points, about the choices made during his work. I found this aspect touching and stimulating.

The story.

More I read this book and more I thought that, after all, the main protagonists, Veblen and Paul were similar although at first, you would say all the opposite.

Grown-ups both in dysfunctional families, they survived at all of it; with stress, with the understanding that maybe their normality would have always had that touch of abnormality that a plain existence wouldn't never have known. Not only: that maybe their existences would always had some shadows. And that maybe the destiny of meeting another dysfunctional person  as partner not a case.

Why? Because they both know that they can't change their families or some members of their families; because pages of their existence can't be rewritten differently; that what they suffered can't be deleted and that the past is still there, sometimes, still whispering to their ears what it meant to growing up differently, with heavy difficulties in their original families; and with uncertainties heavy like big stones; in the case of Veblen his dad for many reasons suffered of mental instability; her mother is an eccentric lady; her step-dad a firm person in grade to present rationality to these two women.

Paul's problem is his brother; not normal, his parents lived their existence thinking massively at this son, more cuddled, more loved, and Paul suffered because of this situation and because he would have wanted a less disturbed, less stressed existence with less embarrassing moments. Sometimes it's heavy also to playing the role of the normal and so, more lucky and patient brother.

Veblen is a precarious worker; her origins are Norwegian and she is a translator; underpaid. She doesn't mind of living an existence borderline and without certainties. She discoveres an adorable house in the beautiful Californian countryside and she restores it.
She is not a fanatic of this society and of the system created and wanted by the most. Her hero is Thorstein Bunde Veblen, an intellectual and a man marginalized by the society; an acute writer.

She knows Paul a neurologist and she falls in love for him; Paul is enchanted but this girl; Veblen sees goodness wherever they go, in every person.
Paul is another idealist, although he doesn't still knows it and plus he is an ingenuous man.

Courted by the powerful daughter and owner of a pharmaceutical group, he will tell her everything about a new project that he has in his mind: a tool in grade to give a first help in case of traumatic brain injury.

The idea is too good; Paul thinks that realistically will be in grade to develop his idea in peace, and following the various steps of the program.

But no: the powerful lady uses this ingenuous man stealing the project, because too important, bypassing important tests and leaving Paul without any kind of dignity and respect.

Paul is devastated because he is a man with a strong integrity and not someone who would want to be part of a clan of corrupted people.

Veblen since she was little developed a great attachment for animals but squirrels remains her favorite ones.
Sense of family, they have a nest, certainties, they spend their time during the long winter-time all together; no one is in peril and the family is in perfect syntony. They love each other and they are happy to stay together.
Some of them are close to her house and in precise, and crucial moments of the story they appear for launching messages, for trying to communicate with Veblen.

Paul and Veblen at first don't know each other a lot, and their expectations appear different: Veblen is open, she would want a friendly place where growing up children, where also giving hospitality to friends and family-members; Paul would want a nest just for themselves. If at first this one appears as an egoistical gesture, it can also be read like the realization of a man after a lot of sacrifices and the impossibility, because of a sad past, of sharing with other ones his reality and joy and happiness because too bitter-sweet, to my point of view.

Veblen is different in this sense, because being inclusive, she idealizes, she doesn't close doors, but she opens to tender imagines, tender visualizations of a happy future together; although not always.

Not always because of her terrible past and a terrible stress she experienced during her existence: a mother constantly judging her choices and in grade of ruin everything; same is for Paul and his brother; Veblen must fights for trying to see the light at the end of that tunnel of uncertainties created after decades and decades of problems, internal conflicts and domestic mental fights with her mother and dad.

At a certain point, because you see, when an existence is border line there are constant problems and interior conflicts, Veblen will thinks that this one will be a terrible error, that maybe Paul is not the best choice. He wants to be surrounded by a lot of luxuries while she doesn't want; he thinks at a complicated life, when life after all is more simple than the one that a person can imagines; he loves appearances where she loves substance. Will Paul be her mr.Right?

In this sense this book remarks the importance of living a balanced life, where the word less is not less important than the the word more where this "more" in particular is not built ethically  well as you will see in this book and where it brings at stereotyped behaviors and luxuries in grade of proving the ability of being a successful person.

It's a critic this book at a society where appearance and materialism define human beings and not their souls, not their characters.

What does a marriage mean, asks Veblen? If you don't marry anyone is an error; if you do, is another error. Is there a certainty? Well, maybe a marriage is happy if the two dysfunctional people are connected enough. But Paul and Veblen are two dysfunctional and properly connected human beings with a happy future together? I won't tell you this! I can add that the book enters in the childhood, teenage age of Veblen and Paul, for create a complete profile of their characters; for giving back a complete human portrait of their existence.

Beautiful. Profound, technical, it analyzes the society in all its complexities.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell

The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell is an amazing, beautiful and romantic book  about Southerners traditions published by Meredith. This new guide divided per theme and precious moments to spend all together will be in grade to offer to all of you a lot of tips, recipes, new ideas for the most important occasions of your life.
This book is an update of what previously lived and shared and experienced by grand-mothers and mothers of the South, precise the author with strength, focusing in particular in the great hospitality of Southerners.
Chapters are: Teas, Coffees and Reception, Brunches and Lunches, Come By for a Drink Y'all, Cookouts, Celebrations and Dinners.
Elizabeth remembers in this book the old times and how in their family, feasts, weddings and other important remarkable events were celebrated also thanks to the help of  her grand-mother and mother. They are captivating stories of the past and the reflection of the present.

Extremely elegant, I immediately fell in love for this book because of it's wonderful pictures, tales; because it is in grade to speak at the heart and appetite of everyone! with delicious recipes, great desserts and dishes. I would classify The Southern Living Party as a good manners cookbook.

Highly recommended.

I thank Meredith and NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, novembre 08, 2018

Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein Correspondence Edited by Laurence Madeline Translated by Lorna Scott Fox

Beautiful book this one published by Seagull Press Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein Correspondence Edited by Laurence Madeline Translated by Lorna Scott Fox.
It's the beginning of 1900 and Paris is the most fertile center of attractions for writers, painters and in general, creatives.
Legend tells that Gertrude and her brother Leo, Americans met, while they were walking, although legend adds that it was not a casualty because they had heard of him, this young painter, Pablo Picasso.
He was still penniless but plenty of enthusiasm and energy and projected in a still unknown bright future.

His being Spanish was a treat beloved and appreciated by Gertrude as she would have said also in his writings and played an important role in this long friendship. Leo and Gertrude  Stein felt artistic love at first sight for Pablo Picasso.

They became inseparable; Picasso was often invited by the Steins to their house, and not only: he found someone who realistically believed in him and could sort out most of his problems, financial ones as well.
Gertrude Stein was for all her life patron, friend of writer of this hurricane of painter.

Not only: the writer started to feel Pablo Picasso in a deepest dimension creating a strong intellectual connection, dependence and veneration for him; the situation if at first accepted by the brother of Gertrude, Leo, with the time became impossible and Leo, decided of moving on, leaving alone Pablo and his beloved sister Gertrude.
Decades after these discussions Leo requested a favor to Picasso:  to add his signature at some drawings he bought decades before because, for financial problems he had the necessity of selling them.
In the while the friendship between Gertrude Stein and Picasso became more intense; yes there were common interruptions that exists and are physiological when an artist as Picasso became famous, and started to travel a lot, discovering a places in turmoil as Spain was,  or when they both experienced what wars meant; substantially, the veneration of Gertrude Stein for Picasso didn't never change.
Later she would have given hospitality to the son of the painter, and since her financial possibilities permitted her to do that, she bought many paintings of his pupil.
Not only: she also asked for being portrayed by him.
It is not distant to add that Gertrude Stein considered Picasso a creature created by her, or if not created by her, grown up by her, inspired by her.
When she didn't hear from him often, she sent to Picasso various short letters for asking him of letting her know where he was, what he was doing, what was going on in his life.

Gertrude stayed in contact with Picasso substantially for all her life and her death meant to Picasso the end of a long and important part of his life. There were also polemics moments of course during this long friendship and sometimes Picasso complained; but always, always considered Gertrude Stein an exceptional human being.

You mustn't imagine long letters in this book because these friends lived pretty closely when both in Paris; telephone existed and they loved to share a lot of time together.

This book contains a lot of postcards sent and received by the protagonists of this book, like also a lot of pictures of paintings by Picasso.

You will adore this book, the historical moment, and notes long and accurate will transport you in that fertile artistic period clarifying the parallel history that these two creatives and their friends lived.

Who edited this book loved the topic immensely and you will feel it.

I thank Seagull Press and Chicago University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, novembre 07, 2018

Kosher USA How Coke became Kosher and other Tales of Modern Food by Roger Horowitz

Beautiful book Kosher USA How Coke became Kosher and other Tales of Modern Food by Roger Horowitz.
The fascinating land of respect for a religion and old traditions and more modern industrialized food is analyzed with great punctuality; it's not said that Jewish people maintain all these traditions, but some families love to do that, in particular the most traditional ones for keeping intact old religious observances. Tending of eat proper foods become indispensable in a daily base.The first five books of the Bible suggest foods that should be eaten and other ones that should be avoided.
Various kind of fishes, meat and much much more.

It's a story, this one told by Horowitz, familiar; the author will also accurately researched historically who made the history of modern American Kosher Food; in various ways these Jewish mainly rabbis suggested, changed, fixed, adjusted recipes and ingredients of western delicious recipes.

A book this one that will let us discover what Jewish community did for keeping modern food, see at the voice meat, a wonderful experience respecting religious values.

This book, written with warm, love and participation is highly suggested to everyone; spectacular to all food lovers.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, novembre 06, 2018

Data Love The Seduction and Betrayel of Digital Technologies by Roberto Simanonsky

Data Love The Seduction and Betrayel of Digital Technologies by Roberto Simanonsky  is a splendid and beautiful book about our society, our relationship with technologies, but most important, governments's relationship with them (including other important societies); all of it because of data.

In the past there was normality and privacy. Discretion: when the net opened its magical doors it was as if people, frustrated of their common life or just excited because of this new dimension found an universe in grade of appreciate them; I compare the net to the magical land where Lucignolo and Pinocchio fell in; the net introduced people in an endless land of freedom where they could meet wonderful people, chatting of everything, believe in everything.

This endless land of freedom of speech, freedom of searching, freedom of posting thanks also to social medias like Facebook, WhatsUp, Instagram, Snapchat, means also for societies, profiles and profits, thanks to accumulation of data. Our tastes, what we are interested in, our video conversations are crucially important to a lot of societies and governments, and all these informations later create algorithms and perfect, imperfect profiles of ingenuous web...navigators.

It's a big problem this one although I am more than sure that if I would ask to someone if worried for it, no one would live at all this story in an alarmist way. Why? Because it is a virtual problem. And being virtual there is still a difference of perception. It's distant from the reality.

But...Is it realistically distant?

What kind of directions will take the net asks the author?

It's important to keep the platform free or we will assist at an internet of series A for some elects, and another one, for the majority of people of series B. The first group of people will access the best of the net, the second one just limited resources. More or less the same process experienced by the TV, in the past completely free.

Was it better so the net of the first hours, completely free? A question without a proper answer to me, considering also the massive changes created by this hurricane. The net destroyed everything, from letters to postcards, but something else resisted at this tornado. Books. They didn't die. All the rest is in great confusion media including; and so in most cases good information is not anymore free.

But...When data became a problem?
Everything started with Edward Snowden and what happened in 2013, when the NSA's agent met reporters of the Washington Post and the Guardian, revealing that the American citizens were spied; adding that they were in good company.

Americans tried their best for capturing after these declarations Snowden: the Embassy of Ecuador in London where Snowden is still living in, saved his life.

But... What wanted to communicate Snowden at the world?

Apart having sacrificed his entire life for this purpose, it meant for the public opinion a new debate regarding the use and abuse of a society always more controlled from powers that we don't see; we are all children of a Big Brother; of a Truman Show.

We are controlled everywhere. GPS if installed in the car tell where we go; smart phones became clever; if you disactivate this function in case you lose your smart phone you can't find it anymore, they tell you; and you say, OK, let's activate my position; losing any sort of privacy;  google maps but also that innocuous cards we ingenuously use at the supermarket for buying food and other items, that sometimes gratify us with some expensive gifts; our preferences, our tastes, what we eat, what we consume is spied all the time People with the time became consumers and consumers don't have secrets anymore for societies in the world, thanks to the net.

Our posts, pictures, comments, likes are controlled. Our life becomes a silent and sometimes unwanted and unconscious auto-biography. 

Where end the privacy of a person?

How can we fight against this invisible prison where there is no freedom although we apparently feel that there is not any prison and we are all free like birds?

It's difficult but the author suggests of using the common sense. Better an e-mail than the use and abuse of Facebook and Messenger so loved by everyone.

Data scientists are in grade to understand people's problems, abuse of drugs, just observing or reading their likes or comments.

Snapchat works differently under many ways because permits to people the visualization of a picture that will be deleted in a few seconds after its visualization. Snapchat is the "internet forgetting," although some risks of the use and abuse of the internet are profound: deep reading is diminishing like also deep thinking and the internet reduces socialization; although in certain situation is helpful.

Will people return to the dear old letters for communicate? Postcards? Oh, if stamps wouldn't cost a fortune!

The author proposes, in a society where forgetting is no secured, forgiving as the most powerful word so that people can anyway work also if they posted on Facebook and other social media deficient things in the remote past; deficiency exists but no one should pay per an entire life for errors committed in the past.

Highly recommended to everyone: from students to common people.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, novembre 04, 2018

Il Mistero della Casa del Tempo The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs translated by Roberta Verde

Il Mistero della Casa del Tempo The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs translated by Roberta Verde is a beautiful, quick positive fantasy book that you will read in a few hours, telling a story of power, magic, and happy ends.

Written with a captivating style, mixes warm images of help, love, friendship, warm tea, milk and delicious sweet chocolate cookies with problems related to old houses and objects potentially cursed, written papers,  but also clocks, furniture in grade of speaking the language of the past, numerous rooms hiding secrets and possibility of escapism, but the most a house with numerous fireplaces, warm feelings, some eccentricity and a resistant past.
If you wait for a scaring book plenty of tension, forget it: the book is extremely pleasant, written with the joyous purpose of entertain, presenting a good reading to everyone.

I still didn't know that this one is also a new coming movie.
If the movie will be good as the book is, it will be enchanting!

Lewis is just 10 years but he lost both his parents abruptly; now, sad, he is waited at New Zebedee in Michigan where his eccentric uncle Jonathan lives.

Pretty religious, the teenager remembers while he says the prayers, the words of their beloved parents regarding uncle Jonathan. He smoked, drunk a lot sometimes, but after all he was a good devil, ahem, man.
Lewis doesn't know if his new house and this relative will be good, discovering not just a wonderful and warm person in Jonathan but also a big and old house where it is wonderful to discover everyday something new.

Lewis learns that Jonathan bought the house several years ago and that the previous owner a certain Isaac Izard and wife were pretty wired people and yes, interested in black magic.

But also the uncle of Lewis, Jonathan is a magical man.
Jonathan is helped in his daily routine by mrs Zimmermann, a nice and chatty lady. A witch, confessed Jonathan to Lewis.

At school Lewis makes friendship just with a boy because he is a bit fat and so the rest of children love to denigrate him. Tarby is different and tries his best for being a good friend of Lewis.

One day Tarby asks for some magic, because he knows that Jonathan is in grade to do that, and he will be satisfied; one night at the local cemetery, Lewis will evoke with Tarby the spirit of someone in a grave. They don't know who this person is but look what a mess, they picked up the wrong grave. The phantom appears immediately; it's pretty cheerful and satisfied while the two children run away terrorized scared and desperate; problems will start to become serious.
That phantom in fact will cause the final fight with ms Zimmermann, the neighbor of Jonathan, Jonathan and Lewis.

The purpose of Izard? The final and complete destruction of the world.

Highly recommended to children and adults! This book is beautiful!

I thank DeaPlaneta for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

The True Story of Riad Khashoggi – Rebel Sheik- by Alan Delaney

A long but captivating book this one written by Alan Delaney: The True Story of Riad Khashoggi – Rebel Sheikh.
Considering also the historical moment we are living in, the sad, horrible departure of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post's reporter, maybe it's better to read this book.

This last name, Khashoggi rings a lot of bells.
This family has an important past.
They are in Middle-East from more than 800 years and they have been always extremely powerful. Kings, ministers, scholars, sultans, they have generated the cream of the society.
Hamza will be the main protagonist of this story. Grandfather of the latest Khashoggis, this man with the time lost most of his beloved friends, remaining a good man; he fought for freedom and democracy.

This book is a thriller but also a tale of another, sometimes very distant culture, in the absorbing high society of Saudi Arabia.

You will meet a lot of diversified people: politicians, some of their names modified for privacy, princes and princesses, secret services.

If you love thrillers, this book is for you!

Highly recommended.

I thank Sharon Keble for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

An Eames Anthology Articles, Film Scripts, Interviews, Notes, Speeches by Charles and Ray Eames edited by Daniel Ostroff

An Eames Anthology Articles, Film Scripts, Interviews, Notes, Speeches by Charles and Ray Eames edited by Daniel Ostroff is a book published by Yale Press.
This one is a beautiful work about the genius of these two talented men: Charles and Ray Eames. The most important privilege searched and wanted by mr.Ostroff in this book  is the one of following decade after decade the existences and projects of these two incredible creative men seen through their words thanks to lectures, speeches, letters, projects.
I love the projects of chairs seen not just as an ornamental object and tool but also like an "instrument" where people should stay comfy in. The analysis of what it was done, so, for the creation of a beauty anatomic object plenty of comfort meant attention for a product not just beauty but efficient during its entire life.
I also fell in love for the project of a house where creative spaces were symbiotic with the rest of the estate.
It's a book this one that can be read entirely, but you can skip here and there for observing their amazing works through the time. Flexible and extremely inspiring, the perfect tool for designers and whoever in love for creativity and beauty.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, novembre 03, 2018

Gingerbread Home Coming Home for Christmas by Jennifer Conner

I was attracted by the cover of this book: Gingerbread Home Coming Home for Christmas by Jennifer Conner, romantic book published by Books to Go Now. This one is a sweet, delicious tale, beautiful for your Christmas's Time.

Emilyn decided to move away from Boston because of some contrasts with her dad.
Her family has a bakery store, kept alive by her chatty and enthusiastic sister Jada with which she speaks in a daily base. Now, Jada tells her that they have a new baker, Thary, in grade to prepare super-yummy croissants.
Jada is pregnant and happy. Emilyn decides that maybe it's better to discover who this new worker is going to Boston. Her arrival saluted with great joy, after a while her sister falls sick because of her pregnancy. Thary, the handsome baker is sad for the departure of his wife; at the same time talking with Thary, Emilyn will understand that maybe she is not so happy after all; it was because of an unhappy story her consequent decision of leaving Boston for another city, Seattle.
Positive book about new arrivals, and new choices! it will warm your heart.

I thank Sharon Kleve for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Tastemaker Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful and the Postwar American Home by Monika Penick

Confess this: when you bought your new house you searched for inspiration in a magazine or more, of the sector.
You searched for some creative inspirations; interior and exterior of a house are important thematic.
It's more common than what we can think to search for an inspiration and magazines are ones of the most powerful sources where to find answers in this sense. 
Sure a magazine that made the difference, with its powerful editor Elizabeth Gordon from 1941 to 1964 was House Beautiful specialized in middle-class houses.
The book I am reviewing, Tastemaker Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful and the Postwar American Home by Monika Penick is an interesting, researched book about the biggest past "influencer" of middle-class homes; Elizabeth Gordon.
Born in Indiana in a Methodist family pretty observant, this girl experienced some problems when she went to the university, because of the religious rigidity of her family. Elizabeth later decided to attend the University of Chicago, modern, progressive and no one this time will stop her to become a leader of the communication with the time: a great reporter in particular of magazines treating homes and architecture at first. The big occasion?
In 1941 she became the editor in chief of House Beautiful, a magazine born at the end of 1800s for giving advice to the families regarding homes; tips, suggestions. War changes everything and Gordon one of the few women editors in the USA, was in grade to create a beautiful reality although in time of war; the magazine obtained a great success and a new debate starting to emerges while war was was still going on: what kind of house would have known the post-war?
Predicting a good postwar prosperity, Gordon tried all her best for defining various profiles, starting from the working class house for arriving at the upper middle class house; thinking that the owners of these houses would have been young families.
House Beautiful from 1943 "became a reliable planning guide," as writes the author, "where her readers learnt how dreams could be dreamt and realities could be built."
An important voice of Gordon's magazine became the "Home Planners Study Course" where she offered in 14 pages the so-called "Livability" and what it means, with important voices like "Money Matters."
The course started to become an educational course for learning more than some bits about architectural style.
What Gordon wanted to avoid, was the arrival of people, also pretty erudite from outside telling to Americans how to build homes.
Proud to be American, Gordon thought that this one was a story that needed to be sorted out by Americans and their personal desires.
Not only: Elizabeth Gordon thought also that: "Architecture is like Religion. There are many faiths...The architectural faith that you adopt is, in a way a symbol of your life." Adding also: "Your House is a Statement of Your Life."
The  PostWar House was fresh,comfortable; a new modernism was thought and surpassed, and Gordon wanted to encourage Americans to design, build and live in modern houses.
Thanks also to her personal suggestions.
The house of the last second post war had to conceived with a New Look: she asked to American of changing their "National Mental Attitudes", for discovering a new emerging cultural desire for self-expression.
Gordon launched these powerful messages to her readers using an inclusive language: she used words like "we" and ours."
House Beautiful penetrated slowly slowly in the social tissue of Americans, influencing their choices.
From 1947, Gordon started to treat Climate problems, and later she would have launched House Beautiful's Climate Control Project.
Gordon has been editor of House Beautiful till 1964. The magazine grew from 226,304 to just under one million in 1964.

Beautiful book, if you love history of architecture, if you search for some inspiration or, if you want to discover more closely who made the modern house in the USA.

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

Anna Maria Polidori