mercoledì, dicembre 11, 2019

Cook, Taste, Learn How the Evolution of Science Transformed the Art of Cooking by Guy Crosby

Cook, Taste, Learn How t
he Evolution of Science Transformed the Art of Cooking by Guy Crosby published these weeks by Columbia University Press, is a wonderful, at the same time interesting excursus in the art of cooking and what it meant for the humanity this act.
Eating is one of the main priorities of the humans; the first one; drinking water and eating with moderation mean preserving the body from dangerous risks.
Starting from the evolution of the man, so with the Homo Erectus and his possibility of increasing more intelligence thanks to a different and more researched food, passing through the art of cooking food thanks to the "invention", discovery of the fire and its potentialities.
A discovery this one in grade of assuring a best way of eating, killing in various cooked food various potential patogenic microorganisms. Humans detect six basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami and fat. 
With the time men understood something crucial: the possibility of planting seeds in grade of giving them food for the rest of the year. This one, the birth of agriculture, a process not only indispensible but wonderfully important for eating well.
Cooking is not just an act of love; if you read a cookbook, you'll understand that cooking is a mixture of chemistry, physics, food science. 
It's only in the 1500-1799 that cooking became an art thanks to the dicoveries of illuminating men like Lavoisier. But it will be during the French Revolution in Paris that cooking became thanks to Careme, who later would have inspired the same Auguste Escoffier, the most legendarious french chef who would have remarked "The fundamental principles of the science of cooking, which we owe to Careme, will last as long as cooking itself." 
The life-story of Careme is a real fairy-tales with a good end. Abandoned by his parents, he started an apprenticeship at a Paris pastry shop working later for Talleyrand during the Napoleon's years and later for many other influential people. He also wrote a book L'art de la cuisine francaise with more than 300 soups and 358 sauces.  It's always France, thanks to the legacy left by Careme that will make the difference in the art of cooking although later Germany became a good competitor. At the moment, we know a lot about food, and eating and what eating means for living a longest life, trying to find good and natural ingredients for great, good, natural dishes.
In the book you will also discovered several delicious recipes.

Interesting, informative, the cover is magnificent as well.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, dicembre 10, 2019

Francesco Bartoli L'Uomo, Il Professore, lo Scrittore, Lo Storico

Interesting meeting the one with the author Fabrizio Ciocchetti in Umbertide f
or presenting to all the citizenship his latest book Francesco Bartoli L'Uomo, Il Professore, lo Scrittore, Lo Storico. Ciocchetti told us that he discovered the eminent profile of Bartoli only when close to the bedside of an universitarian teacher of Perugia. Fabrizio needed some informations for another book but this man, before he left, took his hand strongly and firmly asking him a favor: not to forget Francesco Bartoli. Who was this man, thought Fabrizio? The story of this book is a real research; cemetery, the houses where Bartoli lived, archives, books.
Born at the beginning of 1800 in Perugia, Bartoli lived just 60 years. Years plenty of events, this man was an eclectic one who reminded me, while the various orators illustrated the character of Bartoli at that people who lived during and before the Renaissance in grade of spacing in different areas of knowledge.
Bartoli passed at the history becoming famous once dead because...Forgotten and re-discovered by the author of Umbertide. There are not names of streets dedicated to him. 
Journalist (the profession was pretty different; just few people read and what they read were mainly essays) and writer as well he tried to write a history of Perugia, starting from the Middle-Age. A monumental project dead after the publication of the first book. We don't know why; maybe because of a lack of time, maybe because it would have taken too much energy or just because Bartoli had many other more important projects in his mind. I wouldn't be surprised of it.
Catholic, for all his life experienced this rivality with Bonazzi, another historic character and writer, biographer of Perugia, this one very well known; the second was anti-clearical, a character of left. 
But...The most remarkable idea Bartoli had in his life was to trying to change the devastating situation of Perugia and areas close to the city in terms of education. At the beginning of 1800 the city counted just 12.000 people but only 5.000 had a decent scholarization. For the rest people were not in grade of reading and writing. The genial idea of Bartoli was this one: creating a series of schools for students and adults with the desire of continuing their studies, where and if in the past they could not have attended any sort of school because too poor, because also if pretty little they needed to work in the fields or in the farms of their parents. It was a big success. While Fabrizio illustrated this part of the story I thought at my dad and at that scholastic sessions attended during the evenings for having a piece of paper, because the war had destroyed everything, school included and I thought that maybe we should thank Bartoli for this idea.
I also thought that it's up to people of culture the transmission of knowledge. Sorry, but to me it couldn't be different, although Italy still live a sort of snobish behavior that don't pay. If books is not found in a house it's extremely difficult that people will search for it. That's why it's important sharing and the creation of cultural sites. Men like Bartoli a real blessing.
To me what Bartoli did was absolutely normal; if the establishment of that moment didn't want to better the cultural situation of the territory was symptoms that ignorance was preferred to knowledge because more comfy for the elite.
The author and other people were so surprised that a man of law, a teacher at the university did something like it: teaching to poor people was seen as surprising, maybe for the distance existing in terms of social classes, and because this act "read" by them as "inferior" to the social condition of that man: nothing is more beauty than finding a man in grade of sharing his knowledge, not closed in a pedestal but available for everyone. Sharing culture is the best thing to do. People of culture can't never know what happen if they plant in the mind of people seeds of culture but surely something extremely positive. 

Higly recommended book.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, dicembre 06, 2019

The Art of Ideas Creative Thinking for Work and Life by William Duggan and Am
y Murphy published by Columbia University Press focuses on the importance of developing a great idea for changing the world. And most times, these ideas "arrive" in the mind genially or because people, simply noticed behavior of other people in confrontation with other stressing experience as it happened with the suffragettes in London and later with Tolstoj's way of living. This one was the experience lived by Gandhi.  
Pablo Picasso decided to change in the Cubism his art also thinking that pictures, images at the moment would have given sufficient answer for viewers. It was necessary "the shock of the new" also in art, for trying to bring new life and new attraction and originality to art that differently wouldn't expressed itself well anymore according to his point of view.
Putting together an idea, seeing it clearly, and then projecting something in grade of changing the world as it happened for the arrival of smartphone, or for the pacific movement of Gandhi or for Picasso in art, means also passing through various steps of "understanding". 
Bur which advice for all of us?
Leaving the smartphone alone for some time, socializing, having some dinner with friends, gym, and staying happy. A leader, someone sure of himself/herself won't never permit of putting himself/herself in a position of criticism. Let's stay firm in our ideas and to everyone with a genail idea in his/her mind, good luck! Many more advice for the creative of the now and the future this book is beautiful because richly illustrated, and a great tool for understanding the world and the dynamics necessary for a talent, and for a new idea to become reality, talking its shape thanks to the geniality of a man.

Highrly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

Sex in the Brain by Amee Baird

I was anxious and at the same worried to read and review Sex in the Brain by Amee Baird
because in our family we spent terrible and serious experiences connected with brain strokes and other illness so it's a thematic I feel closely.

I found the book not just readable for every reader, also the most prophane ones, but also captivating, humoristic under many aspects, and written with passion. 

The author, a clinical neuro psychologist in fact, keep the topic, she interviewed wagons of people or familiars in contact with people afflicted by various brain illness, or with serious pathologies, in a light way so that people can understand, without to feel too much stress, and at the same time having some fun sometimes.

I had read when I was 17 a psyhologic book where the author, an American one asserted that maybe we won't never discover the most intimate secrets of our brain because brain is our thinkable organ and so he wants to hide to all of us his most profound secrets.

Maybe it is true, but this author thanks to a voyage in the existential experience of people tries to understand the most of it.

We speak of sex in this book an activity that should be in a daily base constantly in our mind, because like eating and sleeping a primordial activity of men. Not only: without sex no one would exist; children are the extension of our existence.

In most cases, when there are illness, brain injuries, or tumors affecting brain, or when there are operations for sorting out difficult cases in epileptic cases, we can assist at a complete different vision and mutation of behavior regarding sex from these patients.

In particular people operated in the right emisphere of brain for removing epileptic brain cells later tends to develope a drastic change of partner, sometimes becoming homosexual, so changing genre and experiencing new way of loving. 
Not only: the situation of difficult epileptic patients with many seizures, and not curable without operation create a condition of dependance and various family members will care for them. When the problem is sorted out, not just the patient will experience a new freedom under many different ways, but psychologically also the various carers who lived with the idea of taking good care of their sick familiars must change their vision and sometimes it's difficult to re-adjust the roles portrayed for so many years or decades.

I this book you'll read the clinic case of a lady who became compulsive regarding a star, collecting all his posters, dvds, etc, not admitting that the man was dead and dreaming of meeting him; there is the experience of a girl who, after that she made love with her partner, she completely forgot where she was. You can think that she wanted to delete that sexual making experience because delusional. No, no: it was a case of amnesia sorted out successfully.They were married, so a solid couple. That sex session you will read caused this problem.

There are also studies conducted through the most important available exams now, and I confess that here I laughed thinking at these "hardcore" MRI's and EEG's in which people during these exams stimulate sexually themselves or with the help of the partner for trying to see the effect that an orgasm has in their brain and the modifications during the orgasm in their brain; which areas are more awoken compared to other ones, and which ones should be "fixed". Differently it's possible to see which areas are giving hyperactivity or create too much sexual sleeping mood in a person.

Our brain still remains the most surprisingly and unknown organ of our body and "cheating" it remains a big fight.

Absolutely beautiful!

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, dicembre 04, 2019

A Calm Fire and Other Travel Writings by Philippe Jaccottet Translated by John Taylor

It's not a common travel writing
book A Calm Fire and Other Travel Writings by Philippe Jaccottet Translated by John Taylor published by Seagull Press, but mostly an intellectual researched experience about travelling; travelling in disgraceful places where unfortunately war and dishamony have been the most important themese during the centuries; the travelling intended by Philippe Jaccottet is not descriptive of places, as you would wait from a common teavel-writing book, but a philosophic approach that will space in centuries, will capture religious thematic, understanding the mutation during the centuries of places and cultures, capturing episodes, reporting, and analyzing; an activity that absorbs the poet in various countries, from Italy to Lebanon, from Athen to Israel and much more, passing through literary remembrances and the research of the past in biblical passages when saint places are described as Bethlem the little town where Jesus was born for example. Sure the present, with the little church created where the moltiplication of loaves took place, the absence of fishermen but just swimmers in the Jordan, the presence of old women in the area, their existence just "dictated" by the holy presence of christian history create a strange harmony and disharmony with the following pages where Saul lived and biblical passages of his existence will be protagonists for then returning abruptly to the reality, writing of a country, Lebanon that means whiteness, the same name of the moon, where snow is falling down "on the rusted carcasses of tanks." Places the one of this area where you have the certainty that people for a while, maybe for little moments, lived in peace, tasted freedom as a precious dish, understood what meant peace, for them fighting back again, building graves that looked like fountains. As the poet writes citing Rumi: "Death breaks the cage, but doesn't kill the bird."
Israel is a peaceless place where the signs of violence are everywhere: whoever live in that place risk the contagion of evil as also wrote Hugo in Les Tragiques. Sometimes is more simple to hating and fighting against someone or some group of people without understanding reasons. All the Middle East is described, with also closest countries, like Italy for giving not just a fresco, but a historical, religious, philosophical touch of these realities and people who live, in a daily dramaticity sometimes.
I found fresh and interesting the first part of the book with the description of Italy; Rome, then Fregene, avoiding Ostia considered immensely ugly; Venice is seen after an additional day spent there as "an unhealthy town full of superficiality, fabricated to delude stupid couples dull by their conventional love and determine, having paid the price, to go into ecastasy about everything."
There is also to mention that the swiss poet remarks the poverty that there is in some corners of Italy.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

lunedì, dicembre 02, 2019

The Scarecrow and the Servant by Philip Pullman

The Scarecrow and the Servant by Philip Pullman is a children's book I bought weeks ago at the second-hand bookstore of the charity Books for Dogs loc
ated in Umbertide.
It is a beautiful tale, plenty of imagination and rich of adventures and good feelings.
The story is this one: once a scarecrow becomes human and escape away from the field where he was living in. 
While mr Cercorelli, the owner of the scarecrow, is searching for him frantically, during all the adventure experienced by the scarecrow, this one is happy and cheerful. 
Without thinking too much of being a scarecrow, so with a physical body different from the one of humans, he just embraces this new state in which he has the possibility of walking, experiencing, speaking, thinking, loving, in a word: living.
Along the way, he meets a little boy called Jack; Jack doesn't have a family and was sleeping in a barn when he decided to go out for a wak. 
The character of the scarecrow fascinated him too much for not following him when the scarecrow asked him of becoming his servant.
The scarecrow's character? Elegant, sophisticated, absolutely dreaming, optimistic and open to all possible adventures that they will meet with enthusiasm and positivity. 
That's also why they will encounter along their way wagons of weird characters sometimes; searching for a job in a farm, they will later join the army; the scarecrow will perform on a stage; they will meet a fortune-teller, but first of all a band of bringants, later a crow and much much more.
Jack is prudent, constantly searching for food, unnecessary to the scarecrow, and more meditative but he won't never forget this weird, and fantastic friend, as you will see and also if reality wouldn't never permit something like that, what it is nonsense in Jack's life became a reality forever for the joy of everyone.

Beautiful! Wonderful Christmas's Gift!

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, novembre 30, 2019

How to Write Special Feature Articles by Willard Grosvenor Bleyer PhD

How to Write Special Feature
Articles A handbook for Reporters, Correspondents and Free-Lance Writers who Desire to Contribute to Popular Magazines and Magazine Sections of Newspaper by Willard Grosvenor Bleyer PhD is an ebook I downloaded on the website In this book whoever is interested in writing can find good suggestions, tips, advice for being published by a newsmagazine or magazine. Good luck, first of all. In particular this book is dedicated to that reporters not too prepared but that anyway can give a contribution writing for various and different realities. A freelance who wants to send a piece at a magazine should start to studying that magazine or newsmagazine. What kind of magazine/newsmagazine is that one? Is a financial magazine? A local one? Is it a gardening, cooking magazine? Pieces are requested pretty long or short? What kind of style adopts the magazine/newsmagazine?
After these considerations the author will start examining the body of the article, giving extreme importance at that good beginnings but also at the rest of the body of the piece.
Important: once the piece has been revised, should be submitted in a clear form. A piece sent to an editor sometimes is like a job interview. The editor will develop a certain idea of the person who sent the manuscript, just seeing in which condition it arrived in his hands. 
The second part will let you show special articles published in the Boston Herald, New York Evening Post, The Independent, Detroit News and many more.

Anna Maria Polidori

La Via del Bosco Una Storia di Lutto, Funghi e Rinascita by Long Litt Woon

La Via del Bosco Una Storia di Lutto, Funghi e Rinascita by Long Litt
  • Woon is a new intense book published by Iperborea. I have chosen this one also because of the theme. When I was little I loved to going to the forest and closest fields of our area for picking up mushrooms with my granny. It was an activity I loved to do so badly with her; I adored her. She was so sweet, compassionate and kind. I loved to searching for mushrooms with her so much that the day she died, I was 6-7 years I remember that the thing I said her, still thinking that she was alive in her beauty black dress, I hadn't never seen a dead person before, was: "Oh granny Marietta, how beauty you are. Now we can return to search for some mushrooms as soon as possible. You are fine now."When I kissed her and felt that ice I was not just scared but I knew that also if I would have continued to calling her she wouldn't never returned in the world of the living ones. Not in that shape.

So, yes mushrooms are magicals creatures of the forest for sure as also discovered this sunny Malaysian lady for study in Norway, who later discovered love in Eiolf and decided of staying forever in that country.
Eiolf and her were a sunny couple; abruptly,  one day, once arrived at work, Eiolf died.The author explains she was devastated by this departure; she was devastated by this unexpected, incredibly sad loss. She lost weight, she didn't have appetite; she could not read anything; she felt irritation for everything friends and relatives said her, because no one understood her feelings and no one could understand what she was feeling in that moment. A new hobby could be a moment of escapism and Long Litt discovered that a mycologic course could be the proper answer. It was an heterogeneous group of people that one with which she shared time with, first mushrooms's knowledge and experiences in forests. 
But the beauty of being a mushroom passionate is also the contact with the forest, and with that wildnerness in grade of rebalancing the soul: searching for mushrooms is also a relaxing and stimulating activity at the same time. Not only: a forest brings more oxygen to the brain and body benefits a lot by a strong contact with clean air and a good healthy walk.
With the time Long Litt became an inspector, a character that it is important in Norway and she re-discovered a new re-birth thanks to this hobby, passion and work, at the moment. As it happens in all the other part of the world, Long Litt tells that there is great secrecy regarding the places where mushrooms are found, and that she was particularly upset once, when asking to a person where she had found some mushroom he replied: "Oslo." She confessed she banned him from his contacts.
You will see chapter after chapter, what mushrooms mean for the author and at the same time what it meant to her this new start and at the same time the strong, intense connection created with her husband. 
Long Litt will also share with us some quick recipes starting from starters to first, seconds and so on.
Not only: she will tell us that dear ones passed away continue to assisting us in the other dimension where they live in.
I love the illustration in black and white of several mushrooms.

A beautiful book of new re-starts and new beginnings with a heavenly touch from her husband.

I thank Iperborea for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, novembre 27, 2019

George Washington A Life in Books by Kevin J.Hayes

If you love books, if you love history, this extraordinary new book by Oxford University Press George Wa
shington A Life in Books by Kevin J.Hayes is for you. And it can be a beautiful Christmas' Gift as well.
This one is more than a biography; it is a literary trip following the entire existence and...library of beloved President George Washington. Of course a lot of people, authors published books about Washington. 
Why Hayes thought at this special topic?
Because once, during a vacation in Australia when some people he met along his way asked him some questions of this President, Hayes didn't know what to tell them. He didn't remember a lot about him, after all. The genesys of this book is this one. 
Written with great gusto, love, passion, the reader will remain captivated till the last page by the story of this soldier and man of letters. In particular if in love for books, in love for reading. The life of President Washington became difficult once his dad died. He studied privately and in a local school, but without to attend the exclusive british school of his siblings. He started soon of falling in love for books and books brought him in lands he didn't know for sure. He fell passionate of poetry, travel-writers as Defoe, but also of all the works by Stevenson with Robinson Crusoe. He loved reading The Spectator and as writes  brilliantly at the end of chapter three the author: "The men Washington met and the those he read about in his teens would significantly shape the man he would become." Washington met along his way people who would have helped him to build his culture, putting at his disposition their libraries.
He loved to travelling and let's say that his first trip alone has been an adenture surrounded also by fleas and unexpected and unwanted guests. He preferred spending his time outside during the night with the rest of his friends.
Once Lawrence Washington, his second dad, and brother died, and a place left vacant, Washington accepted a mission for trying to diplomatically speak with the french for the Frontier and in that occasion, exploring the wilderness of the territory he wrote a journal. This journal became a real success and was published pretty soon. The vastity of culture of Washington was remarkable, and later, during a fight against french another letter he privately wrote was published.
The future statist, a soldier, was also intrigued by garden and agriculture's books. Washington would have expanded this passion and this section of his library during his entire existence.
Washington would have transmitted love for culture and books to his nephew as well, trying to avoid in the case of Jacky (and Patsy) Curtis the problems and deficiences of his own education. Latin, Greek, the Bible, stimulating reading and what it was necessary was offered to them. He would have followed his nephew till the end of his studies, with intense exchange of letters with his tutors and teachers, because sometimes Jacky problematic.
Once Revolution was over literature became a crucial point for American culture and George Washington encouraged the expansion, publication of new authors, understanding the power and beauty of good literature and books in general.

Beautiful cover.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, novembre 26, 2019

Un'eterna Giovinezza Vita e Mito di Carlo Michelstaedter by Sergio Campailla

Un'eterna Giovinezza Vita e Mito
di Carlo Michelstaedter by Sergio Campailla is a story tormented and with a sad end. The title remembered me what once written by an American correspondent many years ago about Marylin Monroe: "She died young and she will always be remembered as a wonderful and beautiful woman." Same is for Carlo.
Born in Gorizia, his dad was a solid Jewish man, with profound tradition, a good position, and created with the wife four children. Carlo grew up in a good humus, with siblings close to him and vice versa. Sure his soul became soon tormanted and the moment of fracture when he left for studying in Florence. Substantially Carlo didn't know yet what he would have wanted to do with his life and what course he would have wanted to attend. Avid correspondent and letter-writer, he was a voracious creator of sketches, drawing and paintings as well. He inundated his family with letters, sketches of people he met along his way and at the same time he started to be open to all the possibilities. Unfortunately, as it happens sometimes, doors, in any sector, journalism, drawing, creative arts, remained close. No one embraced the arrival of Carlo in Florence. He tried his best for finding a financial independance (in the past he also thought of reaching his brother in New York City) passing through newsmagazines, magazines, but without any success.
He hasn't been lucky in this sense also thinking at his friends. Yes, he met two established, later people of culture, but that ones, of course at the moment were also building their own existence.
His main problem became bad encounters to my point of view, and for someone like him so sensitive, meeting wrong people has been devastating. This giving private lessons in Florence for earning some money was fatal, because once a lady, more old than him captured his attention. He absolutely adored this creature; he venerated this woman, Russian, with an intense past, rejected by her family, a sort of expat in Florence. Fascinating, sensual, it was simple for Carlo to fall in love for her, but what will destabilize him a lot and without any possibility of recovering was the suicide of Nadia. He was devastated; he tried all his best for reacting at this news rationally, but the distance of this young man, sensitive, and imaginative, from his family caused in his soul a profound mutation; he was becoming different. He was Jewish but he didn't like to observes Jewish's traditions. Carlo loved to eat ham, and other food in general prohibited and became less observant also under many aspects. From a little town to a big city like Florence was, he reacted at authors like Vasari with great diffidance; in this sense I confess that also where I studied, a little center, there was the idea that Vasari didn't have a great reputation writing tons of lies about the various stellar characters he portrayed; for this reason I haven't never read his book. 
After the departure of Nadia nothing was back like in the past; in family when he returned home there were frequent discussions; his dad wrote him some guidelines important and that needed to be followed by him; he was strongly deluded by this son; he fell in love for another wrong girl and it was another fight qith his family; the existence of Carlo has been not just tribulated but surrounded also by a lot of suicides. Not just the one of Nadia, but also the one of his beloved brother in New York and after two years, because he couldn't find a future for him in any kind of field, and was still dependant by his family, from his own.
There was in his mother's family a big trace of depression and maybe that was why the story of Carlo ended up in this way.
It's a difficult book this one, that will leave you a profound melancholy and, as it happens when there are cases of suicides involved, of big failure. Failure of society, families; suicide just remove from the person to other ones problems. We musn't never forget it.
More than feeling shame, the family of Carlo should have asked to themselves where they committed errors. They could not help the son in NYC, clear, but maybe the local one yes, while they buried his body during the night, for avoiding chats and gossip. But: is gossip more important than a son? Or the good name of a family? Oh well...
Sometimes maybe it is true: it's difficult to find peace in this world.
The author of this book is "obsessed" by Carlo  and he wrote many books regarding his works giving back some peace at this young man gone too soon.

I thank Marislio Editori for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

lunedì, novembre 25, 2019

Paris France Introduction by Adam Gopnik written by Gertrude Stein

Paris France Introduction by Adam Gopnik written by
Gertrude Stein is a book about France and a sort of testament left by the influential American author who lived most of her existence in Paris, regarding customs, character, characteristics of french people seen with American Eyes. It's an interesting book this one where you will discover much more about a country and its people from the fundamental. Stein writes about everything: from education in France, to characteristics of french people, as the one of being frank, passing through fashion that french people naturally create; domestic life, with the centrality of sons seen without distinguishing a boy by a man; their mother will be in fact always close to them. She doesn't neglect of sharing and writing down her impression about dogs, in particular working ones with numerous anecdots, cats, popular and beloved by french people, french countryside, food and food culture, and much much more.
Gertrude Stein will start to tell why France was so peculiar and central for the American culture at the beginningof 1900s. 
Beautiful portrait of a section, the first 40 years of the world and what it meant to living as an expat in a foreign country, that de fact adopted her and her companion.

I found this book in the website:

Anna Maria Polidori 

domenica, novembre 24, 2019

Fatti Coatti (O Quasi) di Carlo Verdone con Marco Giusti

I was putting in order some books in my library when I noticed this one that I had still to read: Fatti Coatti (O Quasi)
di Carlo Verdone con Marco Giusti. I saw this book wagons of time during these past months; I had picked up this book at the public library when they sold used books. Oh, I absolutely adore all Verdone's movies. They're productions pretty intelligent, never boring, but always fantastically hilarious. I grew up with his movies.
Hilarity, melacholy, phobic episodes, tics and portraits of the italians during these past decades, his movie that will let the viewer thinks a lot. There is much more in Verdone in fact than the simple comicity. I didn't know his life in detail but I can tell you that reading this book I had the impression that was not just exceptional but also under many ways surrounded by a lot of sufferance and various adversities, although the star of Verdone became always more bright with the time. Carlo Verdone has always been affectionate to all the members of his family and will tell in great detail and with great sweetness the various characters who marked his existence; her granny Assunta, her aunt, his uncle Gastone. 
One of the most hilarious episodes when he went to Iran with his dad and both fell pretty sick.
The departure of his granny was a tragedy, but later his dad lost the papers necessary at the people of the Funerary Home for burying the beloved one. A story that took hours, without sorting out anything or finding the necessary papers. When, at the end the dad of Verdone asked of going on with the burial, the arrival at the grave of Assunta meant a moment of profound comicity.Why? Because in the chapel there was written: Barbara Bambini nei Casini; Barbara Children in the Messes. Everyone started to laughing. Sometimes, it is true, funerals have some comical aspects.
Verdone will also speak of his works, his changes and of a different idea of cinema respecting fans at the same time. Not only: Verdone will also tell his beginnings, what it meant meeting a collaborative and pleasant public in grade of appreciating his work and stimulating him positively.His meetings with charismatic people, as Leone was will help him to coming out prepotently at national level, becoming who Verdone is today: one of the most affirmed and passionate actors and directors. His icon and inspiration was Alberto Sordi and the book is dedicated to him.
Verdone will tell the friendship with a friend of him, disappeared abruptly too soon with which there was a great friendship, Francesco; the entrance in scene of De Sica in love with his sister Silvia.
I have had the idea thanks to this book that Verdone is pretty competent regarding illness, trips, friendship, music, work; he wasn't an excellent student, he changed various schools; publics, privates, he wasn't a great scholar maybe but at the end he became a successful man.
Of course you will find in the book the most iconic and hilarious sketches of Verdone.

Beautiful, this book is not so recent, but if you want to laugh or smile intelligently, it's surely for you.

Anna Maria Polidori 

giovedì, novembre 21, 2019

New York City Trees A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area - How to Identify Trees - Best Places to See Trees - Official NYC Great Trees - Ten Tree Walks by Edward Sibley Barnard

I live in a countryside where trees are the essence of our place; my dad was a voracious tree-planters in particular of fruit-trees; when I noticed this new book by Columbia University Press New
York City Trees A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area - How to Identify Trees - Best Places to See Trees - Official NYC Great Trees - Ten Tree Walks by Edward Sibley Barnard I thought that it had to be wonderful.

Yes because, let's think for a second at New York City. I haven't never been there, I would have wanted to visit the city so badly in my 20s I remember, but watching many iconic movies, like When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, You've got Mail, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks or Everyone Says I Love You by Woody Allen, (just for naming three movies, there are many other ones of course) the city is also characterized by long walks of the various protagonists along beautiful parks and streets of New York City. Fall, Spring, Summer: NYC is always enchanting and you can notice in many scenes all the beauty of the green or fall scenario thanks to the other protagonists of it: trees and the powerful impact that they play in general. If it's fall they will bring romanticism and rich suggestions, if summer joy, if spring re-birth. 

So to me the discovery of these trees had also an emotional and affective meaning. First of all let's say that they city has respected trees from the remote past, when the area was a great sheet of ice; later it became a fertile area cultivated by the Lenape.There was an abundance of trees, great food, and fish for sure.

In modern times when Europeans arrived in the New World and that territory once just green became a big city, it was indispensible at a certain time to find some green areas for the residents. 

And, as I thought reading this book, that land and its past called the present; because respect for trees, for environment, for creating beautiful parks where people could enjoy spending their time, having fun with their families ad staying in peace has always been a devotion for this city,  its citizens and administrators.

There are 43 wonderful realities in this sense in New York City and its five boroughs and they're all stunningly big. The creation of Central Park meant planting all together 1 million of trees and every year new trees are planted in the city for creating new green and not losing the exercise and philosophy of seeing green and trees all around.

This book is divided in various sections: in the first, the Best Places to See Trees is a real map of all the places where you can enjoying spending some time; there is of course Central Park but also  Riverside, Fort Washington Park, (they all have an history, you will see) Oakland Lake, Bloomingdale Woods, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. And you musn't imagine for once that you will visit just a little place for few people; no, no: these gardens, these areas were and are created for recreational purposes and so they are big and wonderful and plenty of many, rich diversified trees; in another section you will see which ones are New York City's Great Trees. Some of them are surely amazing. 
The third section is a real Tree Guide, so that thanks to the conformation of various leaves, you can with simplicity recognize a tree from another one; there is a stratospheric diversification in New York City regarding trees. There is the Austrian Pine close to the Himalayan one; but also the suggestive Japanese Maple, the Sycamore, the Dogwood, the Devils-Walkingstick, the TulipTree, the Chestnut Oak, and the Persimmon as well. I thought if New Yorkers loved to eat persimmons although for what I read they leave them in the trees. What a pity: yes they help little birds in that way because they tend to eat that fruits during the winter-time, but they are delicious fruits eatable also by men.  I just ate one of them a hour ago.
I don't want to forget Magnolias's trees.

It's a beautiful guide this one and a real act of love for parks and trees. Trees are incredibly important for our existence. They provide us their fruits, they restore us with their shadows during the summer-time, they bring peace and joy during a pic-nic attended under their big "hat" and they present calm and suggestion.

You should bring with you this sunny guide when you will visit the city, in particular if you'll be there during spring, summer or fall if a tourist, but also if you are a New Yorker who, previously didn't pay too much attention at the topic.

When I open the package and I saw this book a lot of calm irradiated me and I know that the same will happen to you. The cover is stunning and this one is a precious book, written with love, dedication, originality and thought as a book that had to remain in the mind and in the heart of people to my point of view, centering the purpose.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, novembre 20, 2019

Social Media and the Public Interest Media Regulation in the Disinformation Age by Philip M.Napoli

Social Media and the Public Interest Media Regulation in the Disinformation Age by Philip M.Napoli
published by Columbia University Press makes the point about the fruition from million of users of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, definying the past, present and maybe future of news, and what it meant for these social medias (somewhere I read that theorically Google is the first editor of the Net) the fruition of news.
The web was invented decades ago but the real revolution started only 25 years ago and it deleted an entire world, with its appearance. Information, news were and are of course included. It was a Tsunami.

At first, the internet in its germinality wasn't necessarely too much connected with users; there were still problems of aggregation. Like in a public square, you must find a good singer, or an attraction for keeping that square crowded. 

Journalism at the same time appeared in online platforms; at first completely free; some of them pretty soon decided of moving on from the printing edition, investing and preferring to reach virtual users. This one to the author and other esponents of the field hasn't been a brilliant idea at all.

If the net was still trying to understand where to go, a young boy from Harvard had decided the destiny of the humanity: his name was Mark Zuckenberg and created Facebook the social media more loved in the world. Beautiful and friendly interface, although there were miriads of sites like that one, where you could post pictures, where you could find new friends, interacting with distant correspondents, Facebook became immediately a planetarian success.

At first it was a platform that reached million of people thanks to the idea of finding new friends, re-discovering schoolmates lost from decades, distant relatives and friends; later it became a complex social media pretty influential also politically. 
At the same time, while FB was emerging, other realities were doing the same things: YouTube, Twitter. 

Facebook, YouTube, but also other powerful social medias will always tell to people that they are not editors, but story is different, because with the time they started to self-publishing, sharing news, creating videos, spreading, I am sure, without any fault fake news in grade of ingenerating chaos in the world.

Thanks to the use of algorithms, social medias, - but also important newsmagazines as the New York Times - prepare news, things, attractions for people so that  they will stay in that virtual site much more; they know immediately what people love, what they would want to see and read.

What it is emerging with great worry reading this book to my point of view is that there is not any kind of real freedom when we are in the net. We think that we are free; we think that we want to read a certain news; that we want to see a certain content, but substantially it's all an algorithmic story where our freedom is costipated in a sort of: "She/He should like it." A limit of the net and information could be this one. 

More there is to saying about news, and what it happened during these decades; information became decadent, for using an expression of the author. Fake news can be built everywhere; also in the bedroom of a teenager and then spread in the world with the consequences that we know; people don't tend to read as much as in the past. 
The same political systems sometimes are influenced by social medias and what it is launched in the net.

The internet and information represents a big complexity as you will read.

This book is written with passion; it is interesting and informative and it's for all users.
While I was reading this book I thought that I would want that every person should know what there is written in this book. It would be helpful for them and for their internet-choices.

Highly recommended.

I thank Columbia University Press for the physical copy of this bool-

Anna Maria Polidori 

domenica, novembre 17, 2019

Venezia Città delle Asimmetrie by Ettore Camuffo

Venezia Città delle Asimmetrie
by Ettore Camuffo is an intense, interesting, sometimes technical book about the creation, the realization the transformation during the canturies, of Venice. Venice has been the dream of everyone from centuries. Most people decided of starting to live in Venice; Peggy Guggenheim had also a personal gondola and with this "car" of the canals she loved to going here and there for meeting people in the Serenissima. A chapter will explain you the various and most important palaces, one of the them the Venier. This one experienced a lot of influentials and positive people; apart the Venier Family later the eccentric and snob Casati would have brought to Venice artists like D'Annunzio and Man Ray. Later this important and most significant palace of Venice became the temple of Peggy Guggenheim.
The structures of these palaces were conceived in this way also for practical reasons. Interesting the chapter of wood, and what it meant for Venice, the spasmodic research of it during the centuries. Not only: you will discover how work is used in a city as Venice.
I loved so badly the chapter about the gondole. They're maybe the most beautiful characteristic of Venice; these little boats with a gondoliere who permit for once to everyone of feeling a sensation of importance and unicity; in the past gondole were not just used for tourists but for funerals and important families loved to keep them. With the time customs changed in the Laguna as well and people decided of changing habits. In the past gondole were more articulated, as you will read, and there is also a private gondoliere who, can you believe it? once was a woman, but at the moment became a man. He arrived from California, but the other gondolieri at first didn't accept him and he works privately.
There is the story of big companies of cruises that in general tend to parking for some while in Venice these enormous ships, with all the various positions; interesting the birth of Venice.

Highly recommended book if you love Venice and if you want to discover Venice in detail.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

sabato, novembre 16, 2019

The Lost Books of Jane Austen by Janine Barchas

The Lost Books of Jane Austen by Janine Barchas, published by Johns Hopkins
University Press traces the fascinating world that there was behind the literary story of this beloved author. and pulp fiction, authors connected with it and. modernity of publishing
It is true that Jane Austen became a name because published, because estimated, but most of her fame and her success is also synonime of pulp books; yes that books so cheap, so economical printed for the working class, that, in opposite case wouldn't never being in grade of buying a hardback and mostly important, reading. There is also to add as remarks the author that pulp fiction is trasversal and so that also rich and estimated authors bought these cheap books, for saving money, because attracted by their cover. There are many reasons why a person also pretty rich is motivated to buying a pulp book. In the case of Jane Austen, James Joyce for example a case of a writer perennially, till later obsessed by lack of money had a great selection of pulp fiction, including the ones of Jane Austen; same was for Henry James and Mark Twain; both of them truly hated the idea of Jane Austen and her literary genre.
These pulp books by Jane Austen and other authors started pretty soon to being spotted in railway stations and other places pretty distant from the common bookshop, and they were in particular printed for travellers. Pocket Books in the Usa and Penguin in Europe in this sense made the difference. When you buy a Penguin you know that it will be forever. What changed intellectually? It was a revolution, because books reached everyone and not just an elite of readers. They were much more democrats and they were there for their readers. A lot of more people could know, dream, living the passions and stories told by Jane Austen; something that, if pulp fiction wouldn't have existed they could not have been reached. We all know the power of literature, we all know the power of knowledge, also of these work sof fictions and the vision of Pocket Books and Penguin was soon imitated by other publishing houses and new characters, new vendors, book stalls started to born, and to represent a new idea of literature and its ability of sharing knowledge with every person, of every social condition. It meant business as well. You will find absolutely find fascinating the story of publication from various publishing houses of Jane Austen's novels.

Not only: with the time Jane Austen and many other authors became crucial for all that people interested of giving out a product in grade of educating the working class, trying to avoid deliquential acts passing through education. We all know the immense power that a good mind develops thanks to culture.
For this purpose creation of paperback editions became  indispensible, but while someone was fighting for their publication fwith the purpose of educating people less acculturate because they could not go to college or also maybe had a poorest education, at the same time discrimination regarding paperback editions remained at long; also till at the beginning of the XX century, when paperback became a phaenomen of big proportion. In part thanks in Europe to Penguin; the idea of the European Publishing House, of publishing books in grade of resisting at the passage of time was of big inspiration for other American realities. Where, they thought, people need a book for reading? In bus and train station but why not? also in a drugstore and wherever a person could find them.
In particular after the big crisis and recession of the end of 1920s paperbacks became something else: an education tool for all that readers more poor but with that anger of knowledge in grade of letting them buy books.
Not only: promotion of cheapest paperbacks became a reality when put in comparison a pocket of cigarettes at just 22 cents and a hardback, more than two dollars.
It could not exist. It was indispensible to change song. Under the war restrictions as you will read were also applied to paperback books. This time it was a big success and after the war, paperbacks edition became incredibly important. But Jane Austen with many other authors didn't spread culture just through paperbacks editions, but also through...soap and cheap paerback copies presented as giveways by a company of soap. This one an interesting and wonderful idea.
A publishing house reprinted classics books, including the ones of the beloved author  with beautiful paintings on the covers. We are in Philadelphia at the end of 18900s and the beginning of 1900s. Illustrations were in grade of giving a first idea of what the reader was buying, at a cheap price. Personally I love paintings and beauty on the cover of a book, a pretty common practice at the moment, but unusual for that times.
Jane Austen has never been an author just for women. Men also adore her books and tend to read them. The idea of classifying her books just for women appeared can you believe it in the 1960s when in the past suffragists brought in the squares Jane Austen because considered a feminist.  It was the XX century that classified Jane Austen an author just for women. In 1896 and 1897 Pride and Predjudice was published in the series of Christmas for boys and girls.
There would be much more to writing about Jane Austen and pulp fiction. The clarity of this book, but also the captivating style and its wonderful approach will guide through the land of publishing houses, successes, and a fight always and still existing: the one of keeping culture accessible to everyone for a best future.

Highly recommended also as a Christmas Gift.

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

Anna Maria Polidori