lunedì, dicembre 31, 2018

Happiness Make Your Soul Smile by Katie Oman

Happiness Make Your Soul Smile by Katie Oman is a beautiful and
energetic self-help book published by John Hunt Publishing.

We need happiness.
Why?
Well, it's simple: it adds lightness to our days, to our existence.
We experience more "beatitude" we are more balanced, more secure of ourselves, more joyous, more ready for experiencing wonderful adventures, ready to launch ourselves in different projects, because there is a a certainty: we are the owner of our destiny.

Differently a lack of happiness, so unhappiness, uncertainty, lack of self-esteem means an internal block of all the possible development of the souls.
Why? Because you feel unsecurities, you feel that you can't have what others have, you feel that you can't achieve certain goals.


Thanks to Katie Oman, most of these problems will be sorted out, because Katie, starting from the consideration that happiness is a joyous experience and must absolutely be an integrant part of your exsistence will help you step-by-step to reach the perfect internal balance.

It will means to learn to say: no when we can't accomplish certain favors; it will mean to become more focused on yourself at first.


Katie will ask you to imagine what make you happy with a special list: she calls it

Things that Make me Happy.

We are all differents, so try this for focusing on the priorities you have left behind because of your family, your friends, work, social life and try to re-capture your essence, still there althouhg buried in the voices mentioned before, negative thoughts and more.

Try to stay positive searching for happiness. Every chapter of this book starts with a beautiful quote. I would suggest you of create a lot of post-it with all these wise saying adding them on your refrigerator or whatever you can read them often.
The importance of a good mind is a priority in fact. You musn't never forget that your thoughts create our person.

So: negative thoughts won't work OK for you. At first it will be difficult but slowly slowly you will learn (I did it, I spent miserable years; I didn't trust people anymore and I saw just negativity) that it is possible to re-adjust your mind and your thoughts.
Watch your favorite movies; detoxicate your mind with happy and cheerful experiences. Become a bit more selfish for being more happy.

It's the end of the year: Happy New Year everyone! And it would be nice as suggests Katie to create a jar where you will add written notes during this new year. What happens in a year are many moments, and msot of them, you will discover, also if little moments, need to be remembered because joyous.
They will also make the difference because you will remember the beauty of the year.
I experienced the jar on 2014 and it is still enchanting reading all these posts. If you don't keep a journal in fact maybe you can forget events, people, little moments...With a jar and your thoughts, and events, it will be impossible to forget!

An important and balanced life is also well spent eating well, sleeping sufficiently, working on your self-esteem and... Being more optimistic.
Common errors often committed are these ones: fear of changes, living in the past, putting yourself down; these conditions must be treated as will explain well Katie for setting free your internal happiness.
Imagine this: your happiness is in a cage because of your negative thoughts, your discouragement. You must break this existential condition, don't you think so?

Do you remember the last time you listened your favorite songs? No? It's time to create your playlist, suggests Katie.
The songs marked your existence, the ones in grade of bringing you relaxation and good memories; the ones speaking of a good past so that these old sensations will return as a wave and slowly you will rediscover again yourself.
There is nothing more powerful for changing in better the existence of a person, because old and beauty memories will return on the surface and it will be possible so, to work on a different level, remember always this.

We all live in a comfort zone it's normal. What does it happen if you break this habit? Would you be scared, happy, joyous, thrilled? You couldn't wait? Or are you terrorized? Whatever your sensations are, surely the comfort zone must be broken because a real existence means also adventures adventures and adventures. You will learn that you hadn't to prove any fear for that certain event, for meeting a person; for that appointment you wanted to procrastinate; you can't change in better your story if you keep yourself in a situation of immobilism, this is for sure.
Accept your emotions and live the moment.
There is not any serious growth if for a reason or another we refuse sufferance; at the same time remember of not putting in someone else's pocket the key of your happiness. You musn't be a robot in grade of controll everything, at the same time stop to compare yourself to other people and accept your history, unique.

Remember that for everything there is a solution and search for a real and constant happiness! This book is amazing and I am sure that you will be fine thanks to the joyous suggestions presented by Katie Oman.

Sometimes we don't understand what and where we should start for being back at a joyous happiness. With clarity, enthusiasm, and also because the same Katie experienced her own problems, you will learn how to work efficiently in the fields where it is more necessary and soon you will discover a more happy person in yourself: you will discover that no other one but just you are in control of your existence.

I thank John Hunt Publishing for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

sabato, dicembre 29, 2018

Shakespeare and Company A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart Edited by Krista Halverson

Two visionaries, a woman, Sylvia Beach and a man George Whitman in love for books, culture, writers and readers: a place, Paris.

A bookstore that it is a legend: Shakespeare and Company.

These ones the ingredients of the Two visionaries, a woman, Sylvia Beach and a man George Whitman in love for books, culture, writers and readers: a place, Paris.
A bookstore that it is a legend: Shakespeare and Company.

These ones the ingredients of the first stunning book published by Shakespeare and Company Publishing House in 2016: Shakespeare and Company A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart Edited by Krista Halverson another lady who fell in love for the unique atmosphere breathed in the bookstore.

We all know a lot about the first Shakespare and Company opened by Sylvia Beach: an aggregation of splendid American writers in love for Paris because more permissive and because of its romantic atmosphere.
Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and her companion, Ezra Pound, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, his Ulysses, Dubliners, Finnegans Wake, the help, veneration and devotion of Sylvia Beach  for Joyce and her fight for seeing published his books.

Less was known in terms of books about George Whitman, the second owner of Shakespeare and Company and this book wants to give voice at "the second" Shakespeare and Company, a store this one who happily and powerfully is like a magnet for the most diversified reasons: it's a magical place where that utopia of sharing all together a way a life free from money, free from the common conventions but pervaded by culture took place.

George Whitman a communist in Paris, had a motto: "Give what you can, take what you need" and in doing so, he shared books, beds, meals, culture, work with people all around the world of all ages in his bookshop.

The strongest motto of Shakespare and Company is: Be not Inhospitable to strangers, Lest they Be Angels in Disguise. Although it's from the Bible Whitman has always thought that good books are bibles because they teaches us the essence of life.

George Whitman was born in Salem Massachussets, yes the city where a lot of women where hanged up thinking that they were witches in 1600.
He studied in Boston and then he decided that he wanted to discover the world in an adventurous trip that would have brought him in several part of the world.
Mexico, Panama, the same USA, Greenland because of war.

His words of Los Angeles are severe: "...Idiotic voices, lips that never laughs, hearts that never hope...The land of the almighty dollar where banks are filled with gold, skies are filled with smoke, and men are choked with despair."

The idea of the corner of the world where George wanted to settle down was different. He wrote while in Kansas City: "I long to bury myself in a really exciting city, a city where culture is vibrant, a city where music is passionately loved, and where love is something holy and beautiful - a city like Paris or Moscow - where poetry is part of life, where men are poets and life is a poem."

This man was enchanting, you will agree with me.

Whitman  opened a first bookstore at Taunton on the model of the french ones for later deciding to afford to Paris, where with a certain velocity started to accumulate a great quantity of books lending them. It happened in his same room, the place where he lived him, and the legend wants that once returned to his room he found two young people who, while they were waiting for his arrival were reading. The intuition of what Shakespeare and Company would have become started from that episode.

Whitman has always been social; he loved to surround himself of other angels in disguise.

When in Paris he enters in contact with legendary Sylvia Beach deciding that it was the moment of opening his own bookshop on August 14 1951 at 37 rue la Bucherie.

Per decades this bookstore lived under a sober guidance, without a proper bathroom, without electricity, without any kind of commodities.
Substantially people who lived in Shakespeare and Company didn't search for a comfy, or luxurious place where to stay in but for a literary adventure, the best one of their life.

Shakespeare and Company is located in a corner of Paris where exists the oldest Paris's church and the oldest Paris's tree; it is close to Notre Dame, although as also asserted by someone else in this boook, to me Shakespeare and Company would be my church.
Not only: George opened Shakespeare and Company in a vibrant place.
Close to the store there is a neighborood not exactly rich, but populated by students, alternative people, writers, and creatives of every sorta.

In this fertile humus, with a guy like George Whitman, pretty revolutionary also regarding the way of living existing in our world, Shakespeare and Company started to speak at the newest generations of new fights, new battles, giving a special and personal imprint at the current society and at the different social problems experienced in the world.

At first the name of this bookshop was not Shakespeare and Company but Librairie Le Mistral.

Tumbleweeds, people with which George shared his existence, people from all over the world are named in this way because of a dry plant located in the American plains.

Most of them were and are students, people in search of a place where sleeping; at the same time they are in love for culture.

George asked in return at these young people for a free bed and free meals of writing an auto-biography, reading a book per day and helping in the bookshop.

On 1952 a group of bohemians founded Merlin a magazine where a still unknown Samuel Beckett was published with Jean-Paul Sartre. This still little bookshop in the while knows improvements because George bought various other parts for implementing and keeping always more magnificients his shop; the fixation of George for the expansion of his shop will continue forever.

Famous writers frequented the bookshop: from Anais Nin, to James Baldwin, from Ferlinghetti, a personal friend and founder of City Lights, a beautiful bookshop located in San Francisco, to Lawrence Durrell;
and then Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, the Beats, Henry Miller.

Anais Nin writes that Whitman didn't understand when writers personally invited did not stay there with him, by a fireplace often without wood to burn, in a room without a door. Anais adds: "He forgot that these writers from old Paris now had wives, children, mistresses, homes in America, fame and hotel reservations."

Problems appeared for Shakespeare and Company during the 1960s when George was forced to close the store. More: he could continue to offer hospitality to everyone but  not without a proper registration. No sure the reason for these measures, but surely there were thinking brains there and someone who knows? scared by it. There was also whisper of a CIA's involvement.

George didn't lose hope: he called in this phase Shakespeare and Company the Free University of Paris while Ginsberg speaking at the Herald Tribune of this situations: "George is a saint, lives on nothing, gives shelter to everybody. Help young poets, too, but he's very poor....His only income came from books."

Books that George honestly wouldn't never wanted to sell, but lending.

As said once George: "We are slowly reconstructing the ancient monastery that existed here centuries ago, but in the form of a wonderland of books, friends, writers, comrades, such as has never before existed on land or sea, a socialist utopia masquering as a bookstore."

Frank Sinatra suggested at someone of reading some books for then afford to Paris searching for Shakespeare and Company and George: "I know that man" he told.

Some of these young people became important names as it happened for Sebastian Barry, Ian Rankin and Ethan Hawke. Dave Eggers in his 20s told: "Shakespeare and Company? An absurb place - almost down to the last crooked corner and narrow staircase. The bookstore of my dreams."

On July 18 1990 a fire devastated the first floor and front room of Shakespeare and Company. No one of the staff, or people inside were injured, but devastations in terms of books lost in the fire was immense, including the damages caused by fire.
A strained Whitman went to bed, devastated by what he saw and too stressed for thinking.
Once the news spread in all the corners of the world everyone wanted to help George and his venerated, beloved bookshop. From Boston to New York, from London to San Francisco, including Paris, everyone tried their best donating money for the cause: restoring Shakespeare and Company. There were private donations as well and writers organized lectures  for helping George Whitman.
Shakespeare and Company was restored more beauty than before.

If this problem was resolved another one worried George: the destiny of the bookshop once dead.

At first it sounded that Ferlinghetti could be of some help but later they didn't conclude because Shakespeare and Company was still a shop pretty romantic without any touch of modernity and City Lights searched for something different.
The only solution Sylvia, the daughter that George had had when at 70 years married a 20s girl.
Sylvia wasn't too much affectionate to George or the shop because she lived in London, she had her own life and she didn't hear from that eccentric grumpy dad from a long time.

This reunion meant to George Whitman pure joy and later...Discussions also for the modernity touches Sylvia decided to give at the store.
Electricity, a real bathroom, a telephone, a credit card machine and a cash registry. This part of the story is too hilarious! George considered the cash registry a powerful enemy...

One day Bill Clinton visited the shop and would have wanted to meet the owner. George was to bed and he didn't want to see anyone, also if that one was the President of the USA. Later they convinced him in a way or in another.

Sylvia Beach Whitman continues the activity of his dad passed away at the age of 98 years; the shop is very modern, you find it in every social media, it's a real shop without to lose the romantic touch donated by George.
Not only: tumbleweeds continue to be accepted, and every week on the ground floor there are events with the most important writers of the moment: Zadie Smith, Don DeLillo, David Simon...George's back bedroom is now a writer's guest room.

But what it is important is this concept of cordiality and hospitality. If a person doesn't have money but wants to read, he/she can does it, all the time he/she wants because of the rich library that Shakespeare and Company has.

When he was 24 George wrote this: "As the circle of knowledge widens, life grows more beautiful and heroic. We are a part of everything - men, women, books. cities, railroads -all made from the same atoms and melecules, all living together and dying together, joined into one imperishable unity that can never be divided."

When once he talked with his daughter, she said her: "I hope you'll be happy here," because George has been and lived an amazing, beautiful, populated life. Shakespeare and Company was his life; books were his life, and culture kept him alive.

One day he said "I am tired of people saying they don't have time to read. I don't have time for anything else!" proud of promoting literature and sharing this passion with everyone.

Books, the one we read form our identity; who we are. George thought this and it is true. Absolutely.

George Whitman realized his dream of an utopic world where there were no rules, but books, culture and freedom. Absolutely. He spent the life he wanted to spend, sharing what he learned on the road with the people who touched his existence and completely free from the common conventions of this world.

This book is extraordinary. You will find written pages of Tumbleweeds but also editors, writers, and many other people who met and interacted with George; there are cartoons, there are illustrations, pictures, images; it's more a visual than a common book, for let us think, for let us remember a revolutionary, pacific man who believed in others, who believed in a different world and open his doors, his culture, his books, his thoughts with everyone he met along his existence.

Anna Maria Polidori


















 

mercoledì, dicembre 26, 2018

Danza O Muori by Ahmad Joudeh, foreword by Roberto Bolle

When the publishing house DeaPlaneta asked me if I was interested in reading and reviewing Danza O Muori by Ahmad Joudeh, foreword by Roberto Bolle I

said yes enthusiastically because I remembered Ahmad when he danced in the TV show organized by our italian dancer Bolle and that story touched me profoundly.

RobertoBolle: personally I have a great admiration for him. Enchanting, he communicates peace, grace, beauty, sweetness, elegance perfection, and goodness.
The best of this world in a few words.
I appreciate classic dance.The first time I discovered classic dance was through the TV. Maybe I was 3-4 years.Then when I was 6-7 little thanks to a friend, Marzia, who studied classic dance;I found their world fascinating and colored. Later at the high school a friend of mine asked me to join her during a dancing lesson. Oh it was beautiful and she was technically perfect.

The sisters where I stayed various years trying to learn something at school :-) had a dancing classic school. I knew the various teachers; another schoolmate is a teacher of classic dance and I remember she was impressed by my flexibility.
I have great admiration for this field, in grade to present peace, harmony, joy, beauty, precision, clarity and only good vibes in a world devastated by ugliness and rudeness.

The story told by Ahmad at the beginning of the book is of desperation because his house destroyed. The house built by all his family,including himself, destroyed by bombardments. 
Ahmad is starved because he doesn't eat from a long time. Ahmad lives in a place without any kind of dignity and dance apart, his only joy, he doesn't have anymore anything.He had the good intuition moved by the desire of eating something, of going out; he takes his bike for later stopping by at the house that once was his house. He called with a phone at a
person he called "Aunt." They were not related but he knew she could count on her.She tells him in fact, all happy that Ahmad still alive to staying in her house.

Ahmad reconstructs the story of his grand-dad; he tells that he always lived in Yarmouk, Syria before spreading his wings.
His life, the description of his old world is pretty straining in comparison with the terrible vision he presents to the readers of the now: war. The beauty normality were and is dancing,  his main passion.Sure, conflicts between Israelians and Palestininas as tells Ahmad have always been part of his existence although Ahmad admits that in general his place was pretty violent and there was a constant reason for being scared also for other much more little reasons.
The dad of Ahmad was a musician, he performed at festive events as weddings and during a wedding Ahmad tells a nice anecdoct about a big discussion of some of his relatives and how they sorted out the problem. Substantially refreshing them with cold water.
Although the family of Ahmad was dominated by artistic talents, Ahmad has a beautiful voice, his dad is a musician and so on, it was at first weird the first meeting of Ahmad with classic dance.
He did not imagine that a dance could be so gracious, as if people would fly in a space of joy and happinness thanks to an air in a mixture of strong, precise technique, but with the lightness of someone who do that movements every second of his/her existence: that one is the essence of their existences.Positively shocked by the vision, Ahmad asks more informations to his dad although his dad replies him that this kind of dance is a story of women and so not interesting at all.
Ahmad thinks all the opposites: he starts to study  dance fascinated by this world and in 2014 he will participate at a TV show in Beirut, So You Can THink You can Dance, and without not a lot of problems as you will read, bureocratics, mostly. The life of Ahmad hasn't never been simple but plenty of difficulties.


When Ahmad started to dance, he became someone else for everyone: he became the musical note not harmonic with the rest of the members of his family; the element of break with a past known. The main problem was his dad and the idea that he would have had close to him someone unrecognizable for his standards.Ahmad the little singer of the family became his biggest delusion. 
Ahmad is taken for a series of concerts and this time no one will stop him.
The destiny of Ahmad hasn't been a peaceful one because he was supported only by his mother with tragic consequences and broken families.Ahmad tells that when little he was shy, and living in a dysfunctional family didn't have close to him a lot of friends; so to him existence, the best side of his existence became dancing, because dancing meant freedom: when he danced he was free from the mountain of problems he had at home. His only supporter, the only person he could count on was his mom.
One day during a violent discussion where his dad intimidated him again Ahmad replied that no, he wouldn't never stopped to dancing because it would have meant to him dying.

Imagine the solitude of this boy and just this joy in his complicated world made by fears, secrets, wars, devastation.
Ahmad told at the TV show that he dances because "He wants to escape from the horrors of life, trying to find sweetness again through dance."  
Ahmad as a coreographer tried in his shows to let see the horror of war for trying to let think people about the meaning of that horrible word, a condition that presented him various nightmares.
With the TV show Ahmad becomes a symbol for Palestinians and he is recognized everywhere. His new slavery is this one: popularity.

At home situation is devastating: the mother of Ahmad lost a baby, then his dad changed wife, and he wanted to sell the apartment where Ahmad lived.

Ahmad with all these problems develops migraines and sometimes stress is so serious that becomes invalidant under some aspects. There is a problem that must be sorted out...
It's in this moment that Ahmad falls fascinated  by Roberto Bolle thanks to the videos posted on the net.
At the same time Ahmad posts a documentary about him, his dancing in various social medias platforms.  It is a success. The Dutch National Ballet contacts him. No one as writes Ahmad wants to leave him alone and without help. So he affords to Europe and he meets Roberto Bolle in Amsterdam. Ahmad defines Bolle as a magnet for people and a man he could not see or think with a corporeity before. To him he was a dream.
What Bolle tells to Ahmad during a dinner where he shares from his same plate food, is to find a new manager/agent, using social medias with attention, but mainly working working and working hardly every single day without to fall too fascinated by all the rest of the game.
I noticed, while Ahmad was dancing that there was a story behind him; dancing is another powerful art  for communicate our feelings and Ahmad communicated a lot that Jan 1 2018, helped by Sting performing Fragile and Inshallah.


Interesting, this book is for everyone of course but also for all that creatives of any arts, who decided to become or create something unique while fighting against biggest demons existing in their soul.It's a powerful message of hope, this one. A flower grows also in the cement; a soul breaths peace also where there is terror if inspired by art; art seen as a gentle touch against any kind of stress, as a big and refreshing warm hug for the soul.
The story of Ahmad is also emblematic of what it is going on in certain areas of the world; this book is a window for understand why sometimes people leave the color of their places,their sun and moon and mountains, traditions, customs, for other places and new and more pacific adventures. 
Good Luck Ahmad.

I thank DeaPlaneta for this book.


Anna Maria Polidori

















lunedì, dicembre 24, 2018

We build Our Homes by Laura Knowles

We build Our Homes by Laura Knowles
is a wonderful, beautifully illustrated children's books about the various houses created by animals.

Our house is a nest, a secure place where to return, and a place in grade to speak of our habits, our customs, our traditions. It's the passage of our existence, what we love, what we want to keep close to us; it defines us much better than anything else.

For animals is the same. In fact, we use expression like "Our nest, an empty nest" because we feel that connection; like the rest of  animals we are part of the place where we live in.

Each of the animals, humans included taken in consideration have a profound and marked soul and specific habits and modality for building their own houses.

Of course it is a story of environment where they live in, what they find around, and their nature.

Told using the first person, the narrator in each occasion will introduce the animal protagonist of the pages; we will open the doors of houses of a lot of birds, and then  bees, termites the one of a spider, weaver ants, gopher tortoise, meerkats, moles, polar bears! the so-called prairie dogs; we will visit the house of a harvest mice, the one of beavers, and so on.

They will explain to you and your children why they build their homes in a certain way; why they search for certain materials; what they expect from that house and why a house built in a certain way to them it is so important for growing up at the best their children.
They could search for warm; they could find materials outside, or like bees do, they build their house just by themselves, and it is a geometrical work, you will see.

Great book this one, funny, plenty of great informations I am sure that children will learn a lot. Adults as well.
There were some spieces of animals I still didn't know.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

How Rude! Words & Pictures by Clare Helen Welsh and Olivier Tallec

How Rude! Words & Pictures by Clare Helen Welsh and Olivier Tallec
is just apparently a light book to present to a kid, because substantially contains a lot of important messages.

Let's confess it: it happened to us also that sometimes some children ate all the cake we baked when invited; we were happy and joyous because they appreciated our baking, but maybe they exxagerated;  they also drunk like cows, running out all the possible beverages and leaving us surprised and sometimes shocked.

What to say and what to do in these embarassing situations is not simple.

This children's book is amazingly funny.

Duck has been invited by Dot at a tea party.
Duck will reveal his real nature as a horrible guest, eating and drinking massively, pretty soon; as if he would be in his own house, or, I guess, worsew 

Poor Dot doesn't know what to do but will sort out the problem as you will read at the end of this funny story.

Enjoy it, and present this book to all children; they will learn that when they are guests it's important to be educated and that eating and drinking too much as it would have said our grannies it is not a sign of  education.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

En Plain Air: Acrylic Expert techniques and simple step-by-step projects fro creating dynamic landscapes in the open air with acrylic by Mark Mehaffey

En Plain Air: Acrylic Expert techniques and simple step-by-step projects fro creating dynamic landscapes in the open air with acrylic by Mark Mehaffey
will guide you to the universe of paintings in the so-called condition "en plain air," open air. This book will support you in every possible phase of paintings, with punctual suggestions, tips, advices, locations, natural and artificial light, but also examining the biggest differences existing with oil. Oil keeps more time before to dry, so if you need a painting in a rush, acrylic is the best technique.

Wonderful book.


I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 

The Complete Book of Calligraphy & Lettering A comprehensive guide to more than 100 traditional calligraphy and hand-writing techniques by Cari Ferraro, Eugene Metcalf, Arthur Newhall, John Stevens

I confess: I picked up The Complete Book of Calligraphy & Lettering A
comprehensive guide to more than 100 traditional calligraphy and hand-writing techniques by Cari Ferraro, Eugene Metcalf, Arthur Newhall, John Stevens for a review because I am a letter-writer, but my handwriting is horrible :-)

This book will teach you everything you want to know for better your handwriting. It starts by pens, pencils and material that we use for writing that sometimes as we will learn, can makes the difference.
This book then focuses on various styles, and each letter appears as "animated" to you and ready to be discovered in all its potentialities.
If you are an enthusiastic calligrapher, this book is for you!

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for the ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori


venerdì, dicembre 21, 2018

The Forgiving Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Forgiving Jar
by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a new book released soon by Barbour Press. We are back in the existences of Michelle, Sara and the wonderful elderly couple  in the person of Mary Ruth and Willis Lapp.

The couple if you remember the first book I previously treated and reviewed lost their daughter, and they learned this thanks to a letter sent by Sara, the daughter of their daughter, disappeared too many years ago without to let them know anymore what happened to her.
Sara after all has a good existence, but curiosity is great and the desire of trying to understand a world like the one of Amish so distant by her reality is immense. Her mother never told her that in a past phase of her existence she was an Amish.

The Lapps are at the same time extremely sad and excited. Sad because they lost their beloved daughter, but happy for the possibility of discovering this new important member of their family. They tell her that they would have met her with pleasure.

But my favorite character is the one of Michelle. Michelle lived in a disgraceful family, her boyfriend was horrible, she was homeless, no job, desperate she didn't know where to go, and when she meets this nice elderly couple asking her if she was their niece Sara, Michelle answers: yes.
Without exhitation.

For this girl, surrounded just by internal and external confusion, where there was just chaos, disorder, violence, the Lapps meant not the Paradise: more.
Good food, a family where love and friendship were visible, someone in grade of appreciating people, Michelle felt she loved immensely to staying there.

This new book focuses on the arrival of Michelle, again in the Lapps' house, this time with her name and last name Taylor for the Thanksgiving and the one of Sara. Yes, in the previous book the story was, after all, discovered.

The Lapps understood that desperation was high and the possibility of a good nest for Michelle where resting mind and body adding some good hard work and prayers was a good conclusion.
They understood her desperation. Sara at first, in this book doesn't. She thinks that maybe she is again there for opportunism; she doesn't love her grand-parents but who knows why she is there.

While Michelle is genuinily not just in love for the Lapps, her adoptive Amish family but also for that life, that she will choice of not lose anymore.

Ezekiel is the boyfriend of Michelle, while Brad in the first book attracted by Michelle/Sara maybe will start to flirt with Sara...

The jars are not so central in the story after all, because these girls will experience a lot; also the departure of a beloved domestic animal, the joy of meeting someone never seen in their existence, new jobs, friendships and meetings. A marriage and other stories will follow but what it is for sure, these jars and the Lapps will help these girls in their new path and their new existence.

A memorable story this one. Altruistic people are in grade to better the world.

I know you'll love this book. It can't be different. Wanda is in grade to speak directly to the heart of people with simplicity, accuracy and great tenderness and understanding.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a fascinating book written by Katherine Reay(The Jane Austen Escape) about a funeral of an eccentric character, a legacy and a bookshop.


It is not uncommon that when bookshop owners are close to the end they need to find someone who, in love for books won't decide of selling, changing activity once they die. Books are a story of love and if people don't understand it, it can be the end.

Surely the eccentric, called also "crazy" - by Madeline s dad- aunt of Madeline, Maddie, must have thought this, when, close to the end decides of leaving all her possessions, bookshop included at her niece Madeline.

Madeline is not exactly in this business created romantically decades before by Maddie and Pete, her beloved husband.

The name of the bookshop appears singular but there is an explanation. This lady created a lot of joy in people thanks to the fact that she shared with people a lot of books. It meant that these people became readers and most of them did not forget Maddie, and so with the time she received a lot of thank-you letters.

If Maddie wouldn't have been around maybe people wouldn't never started to read. So, when they created the bookshop, to Maddie important to call it shop, and not store for giving an idea of more simplicity and warm, the letters needed to be included.
All of them; close to them notes of Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

Claire and Janet, very well defined characters are the historical shopgirls and one of them took also great care of the latest moments of Maddie; a bookshop is a place where friendship are cemented and people in general are not just customers.
They love to spend time with shop girls and the bookshop s owner ; and they are helped by them; sometimes shopgirls, these ones mature, were ladies (one in particular) who at first searched this place because in grade of presenting warm and security. Shopgirls are the soul of a bookshop: they suggest titles, help readers in search of something new and exciting or the best classics for the season.

The arrival of Madeline - and not only - will create some frictions at first, because her new idea of launching a big sell during the Christmas Time and when in general people tend to read less for restoring the not florid economical situation of the bookshop left by auntie Maddie for later selling the bookshop in Spring, without to count the entrance of social medias will be a change.

But after all, with a lot of intricate, funny, romantic situations, who knows if Madeline, who in the while discovers, living in the house of auntie Maddie a lot of affinities with her  beloved relative, will sell the bookshop?

Tender story, pretty crowded, with a lot of book suggestions for every possibile tastes, if you love books, every chapter is narrated in first person. Janet, Madeline, Claire...Beauty.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Postal Culture Writing and Reading Letters in Post-Unification Italy by Gabriella Romani

It is a romantic and old-fashioned book this one Postal Culture Writing and Reading Letters in Post-Unification Italy by Gabriella Romani, published by University of Toronto Press.
I was intrigued by this book at first because I have always been an avid letter-writer, but I absolutely didn't know anything of the creation of the italian postal system and for what I read it was an enchanting moment for Italy.

Written with devotion whoever will be interested to discover something more about our old postal system and correspondence, passing through books that made the history of italian literature will be more thth enchanted by this book. 

Italy was divided in several many States before the unification of 1861 completed in 1870. Since there there were in Italy many postal systems, of the various Italian Reigns; the most efficient ones based in North of Italy.

The new Postal Sytem unified made people curious regarding letters, postcards, a new way of communication that would have also passed through the same State; from North to South of Italy everyone would have sent the same letter passing through the same postal system.
The place needed to be unified, language included and why not starting with letters and postcards?
If Manzoni the writer of I Promessi Sposi and the writer we must thanks because he unified our language complained because to him postal system was not efficient, writing to a contact in France, there's to say that also people not too much educated and with a little scholarization started to write down letters for staying in touch with parents, relatives and friends who lived distantly, also thanks to our economic postal rates of all Europe promoted by italian postal system. At the moment Italy lives one of the most expensive postal rates of all Europe for postcards and letters.  

With the time as you will read flourished also various kinds of manuals explaining to people how to write a good letter, for various diverisfied occasions.

As it happened in the past there was also somewhere the character of  the letter-writer, the person, who, for hobby, or for a little amount of money read and answered back letters received by people. People searcging for a letter writer could be analphabet or not too secure of his-her written italian and preferred the help of someone more acculturate. 
I remember that everyone told me my granny Marietta was the letter-writer of our area and our house plenty of people when during the last Second World War, relatives received letters from their young men in war in the most diversified places.
She was the only one who had completed all the elementary school because born in another area; she started to live here when she married my grand-dad-
In our territory no one invested in culture and elementary school in the 1940s counted only in the first three years. It was implied that children would have become peasants.

A curiosity I didn't know that the past Postal System was a poetic place where there was also a suggestive, poetic postal calendar at the end of every year for people. Identity of post offices passed also through this important instrument, very beauty with precious illustrations.

An important literary works involving epistolary genre was La Storia di Una Capinera by Giovanni Verga, great esponent of the so-called Italian Verism.
The story this one
Maria is forced to enter in a convent for becoming a nun without too many compliments as also happened to La Monaca di Monza by Manzoni with other results. Maria didn't want to become a nun but her dad a widow remarried a lady and he had to think at the other two daughters. The end is very unhappy, but the book was a great success thanks also to the great power of letter-writing and a style considered absolutely true and felt.
The book  continues with the analysis of Matilde Serao's epistolary fiction.

I find this book adorable and if you love Italy, if you miss your country so much, if you want to know what it meant at first the creation of the Italian Postal System or just for curiosity goes for this book. It is written with love and great competency. I also at first found this book curious because bilingual. It was great reading it in Italian and english.  Beautiful. 

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

giovedì, dicembre 20, 2018

No phone line and other problems

Christmas means snow in our area. I am still without phone line: everything started with the snow fell on Dec 17th

Anna Maria


domenica, dicembre 16, 2018

My Brilliant Friend, L'Amica Geniale TV series by Saverio Costanzo

I can just treat My Brilliant Friend, L'Amica Geniale TV  series by Saverio Costanzo  because I am waiting for the italian or maybe American copy of the first book of the series.

This TV series is, for viewers, plenty of interesting reflections and considering that it is strictly connected with the books let's try to examine some of the most crucial points.

The series is amazing, touching, plenty of poeticity inserted in a difficult situation for the protagonists. The soundtrack is divine.

There are a lot of disturbing  situations, it is true, but the friendship of these girlfriends is wonderfully well reported and told. The narrator, Elena, gives her best, for trying to define in all its possible shades the beauty of her friendship with Lila.

Let's see the most important thematic.

Friendship: a friendship in grade to survive per decades.
It's not just important and precious this aspect marked with emphasis; it's a rare existential aspect. I knew just the case of my cousin still in contact with a schoolmate for more than 40 years.
Often, it is impossible between two girlfriends, because people change; they change cities and where they don't change cities, or places, they just don't tend of staying connected anymore and sometimes it's much better.

These girls, Lila and Elena, feel attraction because opposite characters and so their friendship continues endlessly.

If Elena is an introvert and delicate girl not too much creative, Lila, black hair, is a brilliant intelligence and a real fearless warrior with strong opinions and a strong character; profound eyes in grade to penetrate other people's soul, ironic and sardonic, Elena sees in Lila the other part of her; the bold one, the one in grade of completing her.
Lila, at the same time, finds in Elena a stimulating friend for learning much more; Elena is a calm creature, someone with a life less complicated than the one of Lila; someone with which to share and experience some moment of relaxation and normality.

Similar families, the one of Elena is more open in terms of education after elementary and mid-term school.

Elena attends in fact after the mid-term schools the Liceo Classico where the girl studies Greek and Latin. This, after strong discussions in her family and thanks to the pressures of Elena and Lila's elementary teacher.

Lila, hunger for knowledge and much more intelligent than Elena starts to read as many books as possible and she understands more than Elena the meaning of Greek myths and topics, but not for competing with her, but because she knows that these topics are attracting and they deserve her attention. She does want to follow her friend also in this new adventure.

After all, in other conditions, she also would have attended the Liceo Classico without to going to work immediately in the store of her family where they makes artisan shoes.

There is sufferance in Lila but also the knowledge, thanks to her hard soul, that the reality is that one; she knows that life is the one she is living in, and there is nothing to do. She knows that her destiny won't be simple and she fights for searching, where she can, and without illusions, that beauty that the literary world presents her. In the third episodes we noticed that Lila abandons the reading, because unnecessary to her daily life.

The two friends when more little, read and re-read Little Women by Alcott many times. They wish to be real and new Jo March; they dream to write a book, telling their own story, with their own voice.

But life is complicated.

Another thematic that the TV series and I guess the book treats is the one of books; books in houses, libraries, everywhere and the importance of reading as instrument of personal growth.

Now: I don't think that everyone can understand this point, truly profound, of L'Amica Geniale if born in places where books are available and they are the normality and not weird creatures seeing with a lot of suspects.

If for people of culture books are normal, you must know that, in houses without books, the normality is that one and books are strangers, and creatures not well seen, sometimes, by adults.

A kid or a teenager who will fight against the entire family because he/she wants to read will meet a lot of problems, because probably born in a social tissue where books are not contemplated and so not "understood:" books are considered by many a damage for the grown of the kid or teenager. I have personally seen teenagers who gave up to reading because parents opposed strong resistance.

Poverty: the base of all it's poverty.
Poverty means sacrifices and buying books is not a joke. Money is necessary for other important voices in the daily life of these families.

The TV series launches various messages in this sense; the use of used books thanks to the massive visit to libraries; the gentle teacher who shares her old classics books with Elena for example for being read during her summer vacations in Ischia; money is not spent and children continue to read and understand reality.
At the moment it's possible to find other modalities for reading at a cheapest price than not in the past.

The families portrayed in L'Amica Geniale or The Brilliant Friend are from a poor rione of Naples.
There is in this sense a certain fatalism regarding life. Life can't be changed, life remains the same experienced by the ancestors and it is better to continue in that way.

The beauty of this TV series to me is this moment of rebellion: two girls Elena and Lilu discover books and culture.

The possibility of seeing under other perspectives the reality that they are living in is a privilege.

No one must search for books  for trying to understand the profound meaning of this world or maybe for being saved by this world. In general writers and creatives are writers and creatives because they fight against personal demons.
Said it, it's not that: books are something else.

Lila for example can't be saved by the young mobster of the rione who wants to marry her; Elena will experience the sad repugnant attentions of a vicious ugly man; good books and for extension culture will give the possibility of seeing reality as if lived into a kaleidoscope, trying to understand what happened, reading facts with a different profundity.

Personally I found hard the first episode of the series, because I would want to see childhood protected; protected by sadness, by horrible facts, a land where all children would stay happy and cheerful, but this one is a fairy-tale, because in certain areas or our country or the world children lose their right to be children pretty soon.

I absolutely hate the obstinacy of the dad of Lila; his desire of marrying her with someone Lila doesn't love at all is pure cruelty; I personally love  these girls, because in their differences they are unique and they permeate the other one in a splendid way. When Elena confesses to Lila she wrote some thoughts Lila had previously expressed to her while they were talking one day and she received an A at school, she told her that for let her know that to her she is like an extension of her soul, someone she admires so badly because of her originality. The uniqueness of her girlfriend is a constant in her existence.


Anna Maria Polidori