giovedì, agosto 15, 2019

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun
Bythell is an interesting book for many reasons. Bythell in fact, owner of one of the most prominent and important second-hand bookshops in Scotland located in Wigtown, Dumfries, Galloway will let you discover the secret of this profession.
It's a tedious work, sometimes  and online markets ones, principally Amazon, are reasons of stress, sometimes.

Who are owners of second-hand books that will end up in the market? In general relatives of dead people. They want to give away the books of their beloved ones as soon as possible. In general these dead people are in possession of large libraries.

It is ironic maybe to write this, but at first, when I bring home a second hand book, in particular when this book has been "lived", it is old, it has been in a house per decades (not just bought and read and then passed away; I classify these books as new, they don't have any kind of energy and they are free to be read when a customer wants) it is not said that I can read it immediately because I still feel the "presence" of the previous owner and sometimes that "presence" blocks my reading.
Only the time will "wash" the book from the previous owner, and once set free and mine I will read it.

It's ironic but absolutely true what tells mr Bythell when, at some point explains the excitment of customers for a still-not-yet-open box plenty of books. It is true: a new box plenty of used books is a magnet for every customer, I can tell you that. 
Time ago a british lady suggested me to look at their new arrivals and like a baby I picked up various books of great interest, let me add this.
But why this? 
In part it happens when there are regular customers, to my point of view in the bookshop; they know titles, books, where they are located and they want to see, although there are wagons of books, new old books; some novelties; not because that ones are insufficients, but because, to my point of view, what the customer wants to find and sometimes can't find also in a big bookshop is The Book; that book in grade to make the difference, also when they buy a lot of books. In this lot-of-books, there is always a special book, more appreciated, more loved, more wanted, more desired. It's the one dreamed, researched, desired, wished, in these still unopen boxes. As children do during the Christmas's time opening, plenty of expectations, their beloved gifts for Christmas and thinking that maybe Santa read their letters and brought them what requested.
Ordering books is not anymore an activity of a bookseller thanks to the internet and the simplicity of finding books online. 
You know: old books means also traces of old owners. Not just "felt" but also real. A special dedication, a postcard, an old, fascinating bookmark, a telephone number with a name, an address.
Personally the most exciting thing I found in a book were some boat-tickets of a couple. Nice people I discovered. 
The author tells he discovered in a book 100 letters of condolences.

It is strange, but these signs create connections, open doors in unknown existences. I find fascinating second-hand books because of it, telling to you the truth. They have a past, they have a history; they can whisper this story to us, they can let us imaginate worlds and existences. 

The second-hand bookshop of Bythell sells also stamps and second-hand typewriters, like also "sixpenny horoscopes compiled by somebody who claimed to have foretold the Japanese earthquake" writes, ironically. 

It was interesting the read that an important copy of the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, per generations, numerous generations in a Scottish family, ended up in the hands of an italian, hoping that the tradition of passing this copy from generation to generation would continue. 

For making more money Bythell created the Random Book Club and during a november day, when sadness, cold days "whisper" a research of good humor, a lot of customers bought Terry Pratchett's books. This author like "John Buchan, P. G. Wodehouse, E. F. Benson and many others, is an author whose books I can never find enough of. They sell quickly and usually in large numbers. In one day last year we sold our entire Penguin Wodehouse section of over twenty books, all bought by three." I don't doubt it.

"Antonio Tabucchi and his Pereira Maintains was a book I greatly enjoyed but Blindness was astonishing. There are few other books in which I have felt so completely immersed and – ironically – visualised so clearly" tells Shaun.

There are difficult books, books that you wouldn't want to sell, but that they sell and you are in that business and you can't avoid to do that; books, that, for this reason, generate some delicate questions: where will they end up? 

Other customers are confused by several writers: One day Shaun met someone asking for To Kill a Mockingbird convinced that the author wasn't Harper Lee but J.D.Salinger.
Confusion happens.
Last week in the second-hand bookstore a discussion with british people regarding the book written in Paris by Hemingway. I didn't remember the correct one, and no one knew the answer just that it wasn't the one I mentioned. It happens.

Diary of a Bookseller is a brilliant, ironic, realistic "diary of a Scottish bookseller;" a bookseller who sells online, to physical customers, buying collections of hundreds of books of people passed away, and trying to make the difference in a market plenty of discount. 
A great and enjoyable reading.


Warmly recommended.

I thank Melville for the copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 


sabato, agosto 10, 2019

The Golden Moments of Paris A Guide to the Paris of the 1920s by John Baxter

The Golden Moments of Paris A Guide to the Paris of the 1920s
is a book written by John Baxter and published by Museyon Books. I admit I became addicted with John Baxter. His tales are fascinating, he is captivating; he knows how to capture the attention of the reader.
Every city has a moment more fertile, and the one of Paris, as a capital chosen by a lot of foreigners for its freedom and possibility of working, was the decade of the 1920s.

We know most facts: the creation of Shakespeare and Company wanted by Sylvia Beach; the story with Monnier, the publication of Ulysses by James Joyce; as wrote Sylvia in her biography appeared on 1956:  “My loves were Adrienne Monnier and James Joyce and Shakespeare and Company;” 
Baxter adds "Ironically, all threee in one way or another, betrayed her."

Montparnasse became in the 1920s as writes the author "In a city notorious for its insularity and suspicion of foreigners a place where artist could meet writer, dancer befriend painter, model encounter poet, surrealist consort with Impressionist, Russian
seduce Greek." Important restaurants where to meet people le Dome, le Select, le Rotonde.
Russian considered french the most elegant tongue for a polite conversation and the arrival of russian people of culture in the capital after all was not so surprising. In particular esponents of the Russian Ballet. 
Diaghilev a big impresario was one of the most prominent Russians in Paris. His eccentric life, his problems with diabetes, his constant research for some definitive cures created a myth. Coco Chanel paid his funeral. He is buried on Venice's island of San Michele, like also Stravinsky. 
Paul Guerlain was a romantic and in the 1920s created The Blue Hour, L'Heur Bleue. Coco Chanel didn't lose time creating Chanel n 5.

Gertrude Stein received a lot of visits because of the numerous paintings of Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne she owned. 

Everything sounded pacific in the 1920s? Not exactly. A tall and slim man with a long beard loved to kill women. Widows. Serially. I am not joking.
Landru loved to kill widows plenty of money. Same scheme all the times, once discovered and arrested, after a trial, was killed. 
The famous stove where he would have put parts of dismembered bodies (never found)of the poor killed women for been burnt has been sold during an auction at someone in the USA. Brrr...

The story of Voronoff, whispered all the time of a horrible, scaring word, but I didn't want to write these thoughts, thinking that, well, they could be fantasies of my fertile imagination. Considering that Baxter added it, the word is AIDS.
But let's start from the beginning.
Voronoff was a Russian in Paris promising to people, most of them celebrities, a longest life, plenty of virility and less problems in general. He tried everything, including, and this one the experiment scared me to death and let me think at AIDS a transplant of a human ovary into a female monkey named Nora, inseminating it with human sperm (and not only this episode and experiment telling to you the entire truth.) Charlie Chaplin, Yeats and many more his clients.
Baxter, regarding AIDS writes: " It was even suggested that, in transplanting ape organs into man, he may have unwittingly transferred the AIDs virus, though no
evidence exists to support this contention." It is still unclear the birth of AIDS, sure these experiments didn't help, to my point of view.
Paris in the 1920s was a Paradise also for whoever wanted to experience a so-called artificial Paradise: absinthe, opium or the culture of forgetting through drugs. Yes, leaving alcohol alone, for once. Baudelaire wrote that "True reality is only in dreams."
If people needed a prescription for buying an aspirin, "drugs as cocaine, heroin, opium
and cannabis, all “natural” plant compounds, could be bought at any pharmacy as pills, gels, syrups, even teas" writes Baxter. I imagine the joy of consumers.
"But while not as powerful as its refined variants, morphine, heroin and codeine, opium was addictive."
Jean Cocteau smoked 60 pipes a day, trying to detox his body, without success. 
We will discover what happened at the Eiffel Tower, but a chapter I loved a lot was the one of the so-called Inconnue. An apparently sleeping girl mask (created after her death, it seems) attracted the attention of many. Dead, maybe this girl committed a suicide, so that's why she is so peaceful; that's why she smiles so much, she wanted it so badly, she did it and she rests in peace now. She apparently killed herself in the Seine in an historical moment when dying in this way was considered romantic. Point of views. 
Someone else thought that this mask can't be the mask of a dead person because muscles reveals life. 
Mystery continues. 
Paris inspired musicals. George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris  starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant and French music hall star George Guetary. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1932 wrote the screen musical Love Me Tonight.
Cafés in the 1920s changed. First of all owners created "the noisette, a classic
express with a dash of milk that gave it the color of a noisette or hazelnut. Americans preferred café allonge, “stretched” with extra hot water into something like brewed coffee. Cafés also introduced tea, wine, spirits, even, grudgingly, coffee with milk" writes Baxter. 
Paris was also chosen by gays and lesbians for the freedom breathed in the city. 
Wilde called homosexuality: "The love that dare not speak its name." Men in Britain with this tendency said to friends and relative that they had "an unusual temperament." No one spoke openly of homosexuality. In Paris the story was different. There was freedom and it wasn't illegal to have a companion of the same sex. 
Homosexual couples we remember Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas,
Djuna Barnes, Janet Flanner, Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, Romaine Brooks and the Australian Agnes Goodsir, Oscar Wilde’s niece Dolly.
An homosexual, I guess bisexual back to the "normality" Robert McAlmon. He married Annie Winifred Ellerman called Bryher, an ex lesbian. Don't be too confused. People sometimes, before to find their own dimension try a lot :-)
A story that touched me a lot was the one of Harry Sturgis Crosby and Polly "Caresse" Peabody. Both wealthy but desperate people, they killed each other in a homicide-suicide. "Death is our marriage" they said. 


A lot of other stories of the Paris of the 1920s with then, as always, the best walks you can desire.

I thank Museyon Books for the copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, agosto 06, 2019

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Name is Lucy Barton
by Elizabeth Strout is a remarkable tale regarding the existence of a disfunctional family, the resistance of Lucy, in grade of going away for building her own existence, following her dreams and becoming a writer, telling at the same time stories of memories, loss and people, found and lost again.
No one in this book is expecting anything by anyone. Lucy knows perfectly that her family is not the best one of this world and she searched somewhere else the answers she wanted. She grew up in a poor family and so to her, with a life plenty of sacrifices, money didn't mean a lot in crucial parts of her existence although as she adds money means power, and maybe freedom from life's chains, let's add this. She is not attached as some people could be, at her financial situation but she analyzes her existence and the one of her family and friends also thanks to her mother. What happened at the end? A lot of suffering, a lot of failures, but also joys, happiness, because life is this and more.
Lucy re-meets her mother once to the hospital for a serious illness. Her mother won't stay with her at long. She has a peculiar and special characteristic: her mother is in grade to see the future, to imagining what will happen and she will also imagine the future of Lucy. A lady, the mother of Lucy, specialized in telling her, stories of sad marriages. 
I had a relative I miss a lot specialized in telling stories of car/motorbike, domestic incidents and so I found absolutely familiar the character of Lucy's mother and it is also true something else: a mother, as also will be in this case, won't never answer to a simple question like: "Mom do you love me?" maybe because it is simply implied, although a real manifestation of sentiments sometimes for mothers are not possible because of their characters.
Close to the end, the mother of Lucy won't want that she would assist at her physical departure. They're strong and unforgettable events. She will prefer to die alone, for not giving her this sadness; loving her she did it.

Lucy's family at the same time hasn't been supportive with her, because she has always lived as someone different from that family, as someone who fought for reaching her goals, for being published, for searching to put into words a complicated existence as the one she was living.
It's terribly complicated to write down something when a family is dysfunctional, when there is not happiness; reporting sad facts is devastating; at the same time it's a gift; a gift donated for let know that it is possible to live a good existence although sometimes it hasn't been fair at the beginning, it hasn't been good and there were a lot of fights.
Just, people must want it. It's a positive message this one to my point of view, given by this book. No one of course is removing any single sad experience, but people can change for good the course of their existence if they want. 

This book is written with an intensity, clarity, profoundity and knowledge of human feelings and attention that it is shockingly beauty. It's like a long narration, a long talk, an interview, realistically, where the person tells her life, what happened, intersecting the story with anedocts told by Lucy's mother, the days she stayed to the hospital with her and they both looked at the Chrysler for some company from the hospital. 
New York is the city protagonist of these stories; New York Stories, Lucy calls these stories, because New York in this sense is in grade of appearing and disappearing, with its own protagonists, real, precious for then evaporating somewhere else. 

It's an historical tale also because it remarks the big problematic of AIDS and what it meant for Lucy, who lost people because of this terrible and scaring illness with mention at the Twin Towers Attack on 9/11 and at the big impact on her children who watched on TV in real time the end of the most important symbol of NYC.
Someone once said: if you lose the way, don't worry, look at the Twin Towers and you'll know where you are. Once, no one knew where they were, and where the way was, because, simply their compass was gone.

It's interesting what Lucy says about writing and her family. She refused of visiting her family for writing more, giving more space to her career, because she didn't have a great relationship with the members of her family, all cold with her. At the same time, she adds that she wouldn't never have written in a certain way the books she wrote if she would have shared her time with her family, influenced by their vibes. 

I found this book at the second-hand store Books for Dogs located in Umbertide. Great quality-books.

Anna Maria Polidori 






giovedì, agosto 01, 2019

A Tale of 12 Kitchens by Jake Tilson

I love cookbooks, maybe just beause they exist, but this one by Jake Tilson published by Weidenfeld &Nicolson is simply extraordinary. 

Jake Tilson in fact didn't create just a cookbook, but to my point a view a scrapcookbook, telling to all of us, what it meant and it means to him eating, presenting a good dish, sharing suggestions, family recipes, in a continuous and suggestive trip arund the world.
A Tale of 12 Kitchens in fact the title of this scrapcookbook. Yes because for the Tilson's family, not just for Jake, eating, having guests has always been a crucial part of their existence. Hospitality it is called, but also  desire of spending some time together, sharing a meal.
What it meant for the Tilsons? Meals passed through quality, and farm products, remembers Jake. At a certain point, they started to plant every sorta of veggies; they had a big garden. Not only, there was great appreciation for bread and baking their own bread became a mantra, because bread is also another symbol for families of food, appreciation.
Jake has had the big luck of visiting in not suspected times, in the 1960s (tourism destroyed partially the real aspect of many realities, I absolutely agree) France and Italy, when menus writes the author, were written in italian or french, where there was less aggressivity touristically, and when there was mainly local food. It insists a lot about local food the author, who lived for a certain time in Tuscany as well where he discovered, I want to add them because the same revelation touched greatly another American friend of mine, Connie: Zucchini fried flowers. You will find this recipes like also the one of panzanella and many many more here.
Scotland will present us many other surprises, like also cosmopolitan cities like Los Angeles and New York. If you love food, if you think that food is not just eating but also a family-tradition in grade to speak per generations; if you think that family dishes tell the story of a family; if you are curious about food of other corners of the world, this book is absolutely for you.

It is simply stunning and a real, a real treasure. I adore and I adore and I adore how they thought at this project, in a modality in grade of telling and sharing, adding pictures, situations, family moments, recipes, giving back us what food is: sharing and conviviality.

Absolutely suggested! to everyone. This one is a great gift! Trust me, if you have friends in love for the topic.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe
now also a BBC program is a wonderful and quick book by Penguin divided in two parts about the letters exchanged by Nina with her sister Vic started after her arrival in London for being a nanny at the household of Mary-Kay Wilmers and her two children.
Constricted for communicate in writing letters, she did it reporting to her sisters dialogues, experiences lived, people met, little incidents occured, experienced made during that years and also when she left this correspondence continued. 
Nina's style is absolutely fresh, captivating, it arrives to the heart for warming you, delighting the reader, present good and positive vibes. She is extra-funny and a hurricane of joy and happiness.

Warmly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

To Hell with Picasso & Other Essays by Paul Johnson

To Hell with Picasso & Other
Essays by Paul Johnson is remarkably good if you want to read the impressions of an established columnists regarding customs, life and what happens in the Uk and the world. The years taken in consideration are just apparently distants, these pieces published in the Spectator were written from 1992 to 1996 but they are absolutely good also for our times. I read some of these pieces and I found them informative, profound.
Love of books for starting: mr Johnson tells that he has books in every part of his house, and that this one, with painting is his main passion. He is pretty frugal confess, for the rest. He doesn't mind for beautiful clothes, expensive cars, but he is a book addicted (I know the feeling) and  he adores paintings.
Pavarotti, an artist I simply adore (I am able to listen his operas per hours) and what happened at La Scala in 1992, reason for a piece and some reflections. That year the famous beloved tenor committed a little error and spectactors complained for the rest of the entire opera. A reason for some reflections regarding the behavior of the italian spectators and the ways italians treat, with great respect, education and distance (we are discreet it is true) foreigners. Italians, writes the journalist are educated people, not important their social state, this one is a common treat recognizable from North to South; their being not "abusive", not too intrudent in the life of a person (in particular when mr.Johnson paints outdoor) truly appreciated by the columnist. Just, for obscure and still unknown reasons they lose their patience while in a theater for watching an Opera. 
Johnson in another column takes in consideration the short tale. It can appears a strange form of writing, but remarkable writers started their profession with short tales. They're vital and fundamental for forming ideas, and for giving to readers a wonderful product, not too long, but in grade of being absolutely appreciated.
Mr.Johnson admitted that was a passionate of the genre because some American realities paid also a dollar per word (oh my God!!! what a luck for someone in grade of writing well) and so he was absolutely tempted in the creation of good products, because the possibility of earning great money was visible and realistic.
But the column focuses in the sad reality of the 1990s: there are not anymore interest in short tales. A great suggestion to newspapers and magazines? Re-starting to take in consideration short tales as it happened in the past, when authors like Hemingway, Kipling, and more became names also thanks to this art.
Just some pills of what you will find in this book, absolutely suggested to everyone because terribly interesting!

I have bought this book at the second-hand bookstore located in Umbertide called Books for Dogs.


Anna Maria Polidori 

giovedì, luglio 25, 2019

Dogs Still Know Best Two Angels Guide their Human Thought, Grief, Learning & Love by Angie Salisbury with Iris Matos

Dogs Still Know Best Two
Angels Guide their Human Thought, Grief, Learning & Love by Angie Salisbury with Iris Matos is the real story of Angie, her passions for dogs and the terrible loss of both her dogs. The author musn't convince me of the power of love and the existence and presence of our beloved pets passed away. I know that not just pets but also humans are watching over us once dead and maybe with more power than not when they were alive. When my little dog died because a bit old, he appeared to me in dreams. He was peacefully and beautifully running in a field with green grass and he was happy. I dreamt him two times in this way and sometimes when I go somewhere for a walk sounds strange not communicate anymore with him. Walking  with a dog in a daily base is an extraordinary discovery.
The author suffered terribly when both of her beloved dogs disappeared, but this pain became reason not just of growth but discoveries, sensorials, emotionals, feeling that her beloved pets were and are still here; because her dogs didn't never abandon her but they are still close to her; they started to appear to her with special signals after their death. A touching account for whoever is in love for dogs and pets in general.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 


The Fashion Designer, written by Nancy Moser

The Fashion Designer, written by Nancy Moser
is a quick reading and the second book of the saga The Pattern Artist. The story of Annie starts this time when, arrived more or less from a year in NYC with her husband, we are at the beginning of the last century decides once she lost her job  to launch herself in the world of fashion and style creating a brand in grade of being worn by all women thanks also to other friends.
They are at first financed by a couple although this couple would want something more classic and exclusive. The story is long but pretty quick, because plenty of dialogues. 
Situations that protagonists will cope with are the msot diversified. 
I appreciate a lot the courage of these group of women, and their tenacity for realizing their dreams and what they wanted to become in their existence. 
Many thematic, some of them also pretty devastating, this book  opens a large discussion about a lot of topics.

Warmly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Frasi, e Parole d'Auguri Il Bon ton del Regalo Come fare pacchi regalo, fiocchi e biglietti d'auguri Il linguaggio dei fiori

Yesterday, going to Gubbio I stopped by to the Bookstore of DelBaldo a publishing house I love so badly and asked for the offer of three books at just 5 euros. In a myriads of available titles, books of angels are close to the one of cooking, baking, gardening, manuals for remembering birthday close to the ones of inspiring journals, I discovered this one: Frasi, e Parole d'Auguri Il Bon ton del Regalo Come fare pacchi regalo, fiocchi e biglietti d'auguri Il linguaggio dei fiori.
Apparently another book to keep for some inspiration, I thought. But I know DelBaldo and the beauty that there is in this publishing house. And so, Oh my Goodness, when I opened it I remained shocked for its beauty. This book is wonderful.
From illustrations passing through poems and beautiful pages of people of culture of all ages and places, divided of course for theme this one is a real treasure to keep or to present to someone else, because trust me, you will make a beautiful figure with it. It is a splendid book to be kept in an area where it would be visible. Romantic, absolutely poetic and stunningly unique a special tribute at the beginnings goes to Catharine Klein  born in Russia in 1861 and dead in Berlin in 1929. She was in fact a great illustrator.
Meaning and colors of flowers, best occasions for presenting them and what flower is best to present for not making a bad figure, cards, graduations, wives, husbands, Christmas, Friendship, religious occasions, birthdays, funerals, Easter, Valentine's Day, you will be guided in a surprising, colored, trip in what it is after all our daily life, with tribulations, joys, happinesses, with a delicate touch because our life must be always plenty of poetry, romanticism, grace and beauty.

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, luglio 23, 2019

Giraffe Asks for Help by Nyasha Chicowore Illustrated by Janet McDonnell

Asking for help is incredibly important; when we are little, but also once grown-ups. This, the main message spread by the children's book Giraffe Asks
for Help by Nyasha Chicowore Illustrated by Janet McDonnell.
Illustrations are superbly amicable, friendly and warm, so children and adults will feel that they are cuddle by nice characters while they are reading this story, accompanied by a warm atmosphere and positive vibes. It pays a lot; children are empatic and it's important to transmit at any level, illustrations and dialogue the idea of being welcomed into the story. It was a long long time I didn't see so sunny characters, with beautiful facial expressions, wonderful smiles as the ones I have seen here.  
The story: Gary is a little giraffe. It's his birthday, the 6th one and he is thrilled because he imagines that at this age he can tries to eat the leaves also from the tallest tree of the savana. Everyone wish him a happy and joyous birthday and Gary is happy of all these attention from the elephant, the lion and so on: he is thrilled and joyous. Just...He can't still reach the tallest leaves in the big tree. He tries in every possible ways but he fails, till when someone suggest him of asking for some help. When he asks for some help everyone is more than happy to realize Gary's dream so that, although not yet sufficiently tall as he should be for eating that leaves, he will reach them thanks to the help of his friends and that leaves will be wonderfully delicious.
Help, asking and receiving help is an important thematic. 
Asking for help means like that a kid is not in grade to do something and so maybe it can be seen as a signal of weakness but...Is it always in that way? Sometimes asking for help means also to interact much more with friends, understanding also their point of view, how a problem can be sorted out seeing and lived it also differently thanks to a second or third perspective given by a friend.
How much your children ask for help? How much autonomous are they? What could be done much better by your children if they would ask for some help?
Your kids, if they will ask for help, will become emphatic people, someone in grade also of giving help when other kids are in difficulty, increasing their altruism.
Help is better than anything else, the message of this powerful children's book published by Magination Press book imprint of the American Psychological Association.

Highly recommended to everyone; illustrations are so warm and tender, characters so sunny and wonderfully friendly that I know that you will adore this book and if you are a kid you will read it dozens of times because you won't want to leave Gary and Company and their beautiful life.
I want to add that the story has been humanized, so Gary although a giraffe lives in a house with plants and flowers; he has books and sisters playing with various different dolls. 
Oh, I know that you'll love these characters!

I thank Eurospean for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 




lunedì, luglio 22, 2019

American Indian Myths and Legends by George Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

If you are a passionate of Native Americans, their traditions, customs, numerous legends and fascinations there is not a best book than this one: American Indian
Myths and Legends by George Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. Published by Pimlico, I found this book  at the second hand bookstore of the british ladies of the charity Books for Dogs.
These legends are comprehensively numerous. They are old in most cases, transmitted orally and they space from the big thematic of creation to other ones. Native Americans tried also to figuring out why moon and sun are so different. That legend is pretty shocking. A story of an absuse.
We will discover what happened to raven, he wasn't a nice animal after all, and why the crow became black (spoiler: he was white!) and why the owl has this shape. Much much more in a book in grade to make the difference. Most of these legends can be with tranquillity read also by your children or at your children. I would warmly suggested you to do that, because they are stories, legends and myths in grade to develop the fantasy of children and adults as well.
You can read the entire book or as I did, some of them in the various numerous parts, ten, of this book. Captivating, wonderful parts, where all the iconic and dreaming world of native americans is revealed in all its powerful way of communication.

Anna Maria Polidori

NetGalley and problems for downloading ebooks

These past months are very stressing, as you know.
I don't have anymore internet connection at home. At the end I decided of talking of with some attorneys of an association of consumers for trying to sort out the problem. Speaking, it appeared more than clear that I have been also hacked several times and in various websites and that was why, probably I wasn't in grade of downloading ebooks by NetGalley, just an example of what happened during these years.
I am an affectionate of this platform. There are books still not yet published that I can read and review. It is a fantastic experience that I ADORE!!!
I have publishing houses with which I work constantly well, and I love to explore the book universe. But, you know that.

I want to inform all of you that in this phase I changed password at my Amazon.com and Amazon.it site. For a certain time if you visited the Amazon.com profile I lived in Florence. Pity I didn't write down the address; in the italian profile in Rome.

Said this, maybe it will be necessary to reset Amazon Kindle re-starting from the beginning. I am so sorry again with the publishing houses, authors, if I didn't give coverage to some of them properly. Trust me when I tell you that this one is a moment of great confusion.

Many thanks for your attention

Anna Maria Polidori

Email...

Situation of the e-mail where most of the e-mails of publishing authors and publishing houses are conveyed.

Yes there are problems there as well.

Situation became paradoxical also regarding that e-mail because at a certain point it was impossible to check my e-mail as I did in a daily base.

Once it remained blocked for more than a year and half and I started to use another account for receiving my e-mails with great damages because I forgot of reporting to the site of our pensionistic system the amount accumulated during the various current years, paying much more because communicated later.

Anyway, once, for curiosity I googled my old e-mail and voilà! It was working. To me it was a great joy!


I am sorry with christian authors that sent me their ebooks, I participate at their contest with great joy, I love amish books for example but this one is not the best moment for read their ebooks for the problems I told you previously but...Please, continue to send me e-mails. They said me that on January maybe the situation of the dial-up (we don't have DSL or optic fiber, I live in a countryside), will be hopefully sorted out.

I am a very patient person.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, luglio 21, 2019

Geniuses Together American Writers in Paris in the 1920s by Humphrey Carpenter

Detailed and passionate, surely Geniuses Together American Writers in Paris in the 1920s
by Humphrey Carpenter tells a story pretty profound and interesting of all the writers and creatives emigrated, better, expatriated because of the Prohibitionist Era from the USA in the Old Europe and precisely in the lazy, romantic Paris.
But Carpenter, intelligently doesn't start his trip from the 1920s but from the 1770s and before when Franklin and before, other diplomats, spent a lot of time in France, trying to cemeted a good friendship with people of the Old World and at the same time enjoying Europe.
Henry James did the same and Gertrude Stein was substantially born and grown up in France.
But why most Americans picked up as first choices Paris in the 1920s? The most important intellectuals (you will remember when Hemingway at first thought as first option Italy when he married Hadley but then someone else suggested him: "If you want to work seriously goes to Paris because you'll find the best writers and people in grade of being helpful") choses this Capital because Paris represented what the USA were not anymore: the US were becoming a materialistic land and place and in this capital, in the Old World, they could find also a more normal dimension where living well meant also appreciate the good and little things of life.
Who represents well the so-called Lost Generation baptized in this way one day by an irritated Gertrude Stein to a shocked Ernest Hemingway? Not this one, because later he realized all his dreams and more although he couldn't totally win his internal demons but as adds the author Harold Stearns, poor and and broken.
These people were real geniuses? The author thinks that "The geniuses had mostly turned turned out not to be geniuses after all. Yet they had been geniuses at being together, drinking together, sleeping together, and quarrelling together; and that was something worth remembering."
Not only: they were extraordinary people. My fascination for Sylvia Beach and her work with James Joyce proves that dedication and help exists in this world. Sylvia did this world and the other for Joyce but Joyce after all when signed for Random House remembered few of the help received by her, telling just that: "All she ever did was to make me a present of the best years of her life."
No words...
Without Sylvia Beach Joyce surely couldn't never have seen published the Ulysses, a book not loved by part of intellectuals of that time, and the Dubliners. Let's add that personally if the course of history would have been totally different I wouldn't never been traumatized the first year of english at the high school when I still knew few words for reading the Dubliners the book choosen by our english teacher (I just studied french) and Joyce wouldn't never been reason of frequent tachicardias per two decades when I saw, terrorized, his works displayed in book stalls or bookshops. I know that I would have been traumatized by another author, of course, there wasn't escapism in this sense. I made some peace with him, bought an used copy of The Dubliners a year and half ago but it was very hard.
Ernest Hemingway was  another altruistic man, and, back to the book of great help  bringing the copies in the American territory. That book, the Ulysses was banned in the USA. There was a solidariety that didn't take in consideration money. Sylvia Beach helped Joyce financially, but also providing him good doctors for his eyes's problems but later Joyce didn't remember it when he became rich thanks to Random House for what I read.
Enjoy this book, enjoy Hemingway, Robert McAlmon the publisher, Pablo Picasso, enjoy Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare and Company, the joy and altruism of Sylvia Beach, her love for books and authors; enjoy a fantastic moment, that after a while knew an end. When Hemingeay left, when people moved somewhere else for a reason or another. But... This historical parisienne's period for all these expatriates was remarkably important and will always be remembered for being an exceptional moment in the history of literature, because the most prominent thinkers interacted, lived, loved, hated, dreamt, were born as established authors all together in Paris, changing the face of the capital thanks to their influence and customs, and the one of the world and literature. Let's just think at the new writing-style created by Hemigway.

This one has been one of the most beautiful books I read about the 1920s in Paris. Written with passion, love and desire of telling to you something more, highly and warmly suggested to everyone.

Anna Maria Polidori




giovedì, luglio 18, 2019

Bookshops by Jorge Carrion

It was an age I wanted to read this book by Jorge Carrion
Bookshops. I wrote several months ago to the publishing house Quercus, but it was impossible a book review copy so I ordered an used copy.
Intelligent, brilliant, this book is for whoever is in love, badly in love for books and has the desire of exploring the complicated, monumental, wonderful world of the most important, old, fantastic bookshops located in the entire world.
It's a trip this one that will touch a lot of lands, the entire Globe. The author will visit, explore and first of all will live for us the most remarkable bookshops in the world.
The book starts with several essays written by various authors, Sweig but also the italian Luigi Pirandello, about the importance of reading, taking in consideration some protagonists in love for reading. Reading is wonderful. My dream is that culture as also in Northern European Countries soon or late won't be a story just for the so-called "elite" but of masses and that ignorance would be replaced by desire of knowledge.
Bookshops are dramatically important for readers; they create a special place where to staying, where to create connections, new friends, and where reading or choosing the books we want to read or buying in complete peace. I don't know you but, personally, when I choose books, this process can take hours.
A favorite bookshop to my point of view is chosen by a reader because of political common views, because dreaming, because there we find that relaxation impossible to find somewhere else, because we can call that place home and we know that we will be always welcomed and no one will count the minutes we will stay there but they will ask us of staying, letting us appreciate the place.
Freedom. Words are this. Freedom from the scheme of our daily routine, freedom from our daily dues; reading a book we can fly away from the place we live in, seeing and visualizing other worlds, times, people, places, events. And it's life and you are living that life, because you are imagining it. So, this process of imagination is life,dreams, possibility, relaxation, hope, creation.
History of books, and of the first important library of Alexander of Egypt, still felt and lived of course as a horrible loss for knowledge is fascinating.
Italian bookshops have made the difference with the arrival of eminent italians, Americans authors; in Paris we have seen the arrival of two Shakespeare and Companies, with two charismatic owners: Sylvia Beach and George Whitman.
Let's return to Paris, do you want, my reader?
Let's speak of that historical moment, opened by two books that made the difference because in part prohibited: Les FLeurs du Mal and Madame Bovary. We are in the mid 1800 but these two books meant a moment of fracture with the past. There was innovation, there was desire of expressing in strong ways new messages through the powerful message of words.
Later, the expatriates in Paris at the beginning of 1900s understood something crucial: that maybe it was better to self-protect themselves, their creativity and the work that they were creating, but not only. They refused of following what was trendy in the literary market of the USA; they were searching for escapism and they were following originality; writers but also journalists loved to develop new messages with incredible creativity and fertility and thanks to the desire of coming out with something new in the mind. They promoted themselves.
Sylvia Beach fell "literary in love" for James Joyce launching this author in the Olymp of literature with the Ulysses. No one will be upset I hope, if I write that if James Joyce is so famous, is thank to her. Sylvia Beach encouraged, helped reporters as Ernest Hemingway and other ones at becoming great names in literature. George Whitman won't forget the model built by Sylvia Beach and will create a fairy-tale of bookshop where people, wagons during the decades slept there, helped George in the store, helping him to create this amazing reality, an utopistic world in the real sense of the world, that became reality because happily wanted by the owner. Whitman lived with these two mottos "Give what you can, keep what you need" and "Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise." Whitman trusted people, strangers, everyone, donating them the possibility of becoming different people, exploring the world of books, reading, writing, working in a field they loved so badly. Maybe sometimes these people were partially starved, but not of knowledge, abundant in Shakespare and Company. Not everyone maybe but most of these tumbleweeds became great, good writers.
Sometimes when I think at these two people, Sylvia Beach and George Whitman I think at the importance that Shakespeare and Company and their existences meant for many creatives and what would have happened if the creatives in the early 1920s or later would have been surrounded by a selfish Sylvia Beach.
The course of history would have been completely different.
The book explores the oldest bookshops existing in the worls, including one located in Cambridge.
When books became a real business? It happened with the Victorian age, with Sir Walter Scott  and Charles Dickens in particular. We will see which chains are monopolizing the market in the various areas of the world not forgetting Oceania.
It's not important where you will pick up your next books, it is important that you find a magical place in great of giving to you comfort, hope, relaxation, calm.

I warmly suggest you this book, because informative, but at the same time a narration in grade of transporting you with warm everywhere. The homage at numerous italian bookshops is wonderful, like also at numerous italian authors. I didn't know these italian realities, but it will be for sure a pleasure to look at them more closely.


Anna Maria Polidori



mercoledì, luglio 10, 2019

Fitzgerald & Hemingway Works and Days by Scott Donaldson

If you are an estimator of Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald you cant' absolutely miss the latest book released by Columbia University Press Fitzgerald & Hemingway Works and Days by Scott Donaldson. It's a magnificient portrait of both these two writers "read" and seen through their works and the thematic they appreciated the most. Divided in two sections, you can read all this book, the portion of the author you like the most, taking also inspiration from every chapter for appreciating more the works written by these authors, or it can be used for school or as a good introductions to their books.
We will meet in Fitzgerald appearance, richness but also desolation, desperation, loss, money problems. Fitzgerald, great friend by Hemingway introduced the pennieless writer at the Esquire, where Hemingway would have written a lot of wonderful pieces that made the history also of a new way of making and writing in journalism; a different writing-style, the same one that we will find in his numerous novels.
Nothing is missed in the reconstruction of the existence of Fitzgerald and Hemingway. The story of Francis Scott Fitzgerald starts from his birth, his arrival to Princeton his first love-delusions, the entrance in scene of Zelda in his existence, the years in Paris and New York and at the same time the arrival, pretty quickly of fame with his pieces and later thanks to his first and acclaimed novel This Side of Paradise.
Fitzgerald started to write this book when still in Princeton and it is remarkably autobiographic. Written with, what the writeer writes "So sure a sense of the times" it's a strong good-bye to the fascination of Victorian Age and the good manners, apparently brought with it. People were scandalized by what written by Fitzgerald: ""None of the Victorian Mothers ...had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed."
The belle, an expression typical of a southerner girl became "flirt" and later "baby vamp." Times were changing like customs as well.
The Great Gatsby immortalizes Fitzgerald in the Olymp of writers because as someone wrote (T.S. Eliot) that book was "The first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James."

Ernest Hemingway. Loved, appreciated, someone obsessively social, but also with profound demons in his own existence one of the main theme of his books, war apart, is death, and in particular the connection of life and suicide, particularly because heavily touched by it, because of the departure in that way of his dad and later, his frequent depressions.
Hemingway, like also Francis Scott Fitzgerald will always use his personal experiences and his reality for writing; changing names, situations, but slowly slowly writing down his own existence, seen and filtered through the eyes of the writer in all his books.
He was a man of strong passions and being a pasionario he wasn't diplomatic at all. He wrote strong words against Mussolini and his books would have been burned at some point because banned by the regime. He was in this way with everyone else; colleagues, other writers. He loved and hated; strongly and never falsely.
Although at some point abandoned the journalistic career for the one of writer, he would have met in the sector a lot of friends.
It's not an error saying that when someone writes there are problems around; writing, like painting, means also fighting against the soul's demons of the creative.

Scott Donaldon's writing-style is fascinating and captivating, because he loves the topic and he is in grade of transmitting very well what he knows to everyone.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori