domenica, marzo 31, 2019

Chopin's Funeral by Benita Eisler

This one was a book I noticed a lot of time ago but that I didn't buy at first, in the second hand book store of the charity association Books for Dogs located in Umbertide, because of the title. I attended too many funerals, I had seen too many people dying during these past years: I thought that it wasn't the case. Last wednesday I won my fear for the topic because when a book whispers to you, when it attracts you, it means that it wants to be read.
I brought home so Chopin's Funeral
by Benita Eisler.

I start to saying that I want to read also the rest of biographies written by Eisler because, this one is a masterpiece; the other ones can't be different.

Said that, follow me in this trip in the past, music, passions, sufferances, experienced by Chopin.

The book opens from the end. Chopin's funeral in Paris October 30 1849 when he was just 41. You musn't imagine a big funeral open to everyone, including poor people. No. Chopin was born very poor, a child of peasants, but all his life he loved to spend time with the elite of the various places he went in, avoiding with all himself common people. When, for example, George Sand, his companion, would have adopted a girl, to him a real horror, considering the social status of the girl and her family.
He didn't like the friends of George Sand, writers, journalists, because sometimes not of their same social status.
It's a weird behavior this one, but maybe, after that he became rich, prestigious, he didn't want to have anything to do with the world he was part of, once; it couldn't offer to him anything; that people, maybe thought thistwouldn't understand him. Who knows? 

Chopin's funeral was attended so, by princes and only important people. Invitations were sent just to them.

George Sand for a reason or another wasn't there, but there was Solange, Sand's daughter. Close to his death Chopin asked in fact, for the presence of reassuring Solange and Solange would have been there in that final terrible moments of his departure.

He was that "dad" in grade to give her stability, reassuring her, presenting her a best world; George Sand hasn't never been in grade to be a good mother for Solange.
Sand, if with her first son Maurice was after all a mother, developed pretty soon conflictual sentiments for the daughter, and Solange has always lived a conflictual relationship with her mother as well, although both these children experienced conflictual relationhips with the mother.

Chopin fought with tubercolosis and other problems most of his life, and his character because of this reason wasn't the happiest one of this world.  His parents didn't want to "monetize" the genius of their son, as done by Mozart and Beethoven's parents (aspects these ones that I didn't know); they loved to seeing him composing, and of course playing. They didn't want to use him for making money, but for let him appreciate the beauty of music. Fryderyk started to playing music soon. At 6 years his teacher was a 60 years old eccentric man in love for Bach, Mozart and Haydn.
Not having too much money for attending the so-called Grand Tour, Chopin went to Vienna once teenager a place that stimulated a lot him musically. Once back to Warsaw he gave various concerts, but then the political situation of his homeland constricted him of going away. Paris would have been his destination. Princesses, princes, everyone wanted to see him playing the piano. Chopin became soon a prestigious and requested character in the right bank of the city and started also of giving piano lessons. One lesson given by him was paid as three weeks' wages for a laborer with family precises the author.
When he met George Sand along his way, Chopin was sexually frustrated.
He sunspected of having contracted a sexual infection, but at the same time he was like sexually blocked. In love for a girl, the parents of this girl strongly disgreed at their union.The engagement broken, Chopin devastated. 
Anyway, Sand and Chopin became lovers.
George Sand understood pretty soon that her companion was frail, and needed more attentions. Once they left for an exotic country but it was stressing because Chopin fell sick; local people understanding that it was tubercolosis didn't want to have anything to do with them; plus that two didn't go at the mass, so they were not religious. They were seen and lived with sunspect and where possible Chopin's health condition deteriorated much more because of unhealthy food.
The love-story with George Sand would have taken many more years of his existence, although some facts, including a book by Sand where she portrayed the bad character sometimes of his partner, let thinks to Choping of moving away. Just...Losing the familiar nest he had created and loved and where, anyway he lived in,  to him meant a deterioration of his health. Not only: the progression of his bad health meant also a lack of creativity. The last months of his existence were pretty hard.
Delacroix, one of the most affectionate friend of the couple once created a portrayed of Sand and Chopin. Later this portrait was divided in two and a part went to the Louvre, another somewhere else. Benita remarks how this portrait, divided, separated gave the idea of two people seen as an unique part of the whole, but also like two portraits.

Listz would have been a remarkable friend of Chopin and also when their friendship was over because according to Chopin Liszt wrote a bad review, Liszt remained affectionate to him and once in Warsaw he met Chopin's parents. In a letter sent to the son, Chopin's dad added that he misunderstood Liszt, but for Chopin the friendship with Listz was over.

Please if you have the chance of reading this book, goes for it. This biography is simply fantastic, wonderful, captivating, written with love, passion, devotion, and great competence of the topic. The reader will be surely captivated by the life, existence of Chopin and his entourage. When a book is very good will add curiosity and other books for exploring the existences of other characters as well.

Anna Maria Polidori











sabato, marzo 30, 2019

On Freedom by Cass R. Sunstein

On Freedom by Cass R. Sunstein
is a little but powerful book published by Princeton University Press.
What is freedom and how, this important human condition is lived today? What make us happy, who, which conditions can "steal" freedom?

It's a complicated matter this one because freedom an individual is intersected with the ones of other people. There is lack of freedom sometimes living with a partner; in an abusive job, in the wrong environment, in the family, also with extreme decisions, sometimes. Wherever an individual lives can experiences lack of freedom.

At the same time a person can make wrong choices, defining in this way his future and his freedom.
As explains mr.Sunstein, the biggest cages for people are addictions: drugs, sex, alcohol, everything in grade to limit the individual freedom because used compulsively and excessivily; these ones are real illness that can be interrupted only with external help and strong personal desire of the addicted one.
Addictions are real cages and individuals, although would want to "move on" from that bad habit can't escape them because of the brain's depedance caused by these addictions.
They don't control anymore the substances that they are assuming: it's that substances, drugs, alcohol, controlling their body, their mind, and mainly, their brain and the new exigencies of the brain; more alcohol, more drug.
This situation causes strong repercussions in the existence of these people. Freedom becomes inexistent. Families and personal relationship devastated.

Freedom means also choices. The author writes: "...The richer you are the less responsibility you need to take for your own life because everything is taken care for you. ...The poorer you are the more you have to be responsibile for everything about your life."
This problem is enourmous. There are countries where a lack of happiness means mental-illness, other countries where it is unemployment that presents this condition.

Sometimes people need directions, because there are obstacles, situations that are blocked, for various different reasons but answers are never simple.

What makes people free and happy can be common situations: the possibility of choosing the school for their children, the place where to live in; these values can change becoming more profound when we speak of abstract situations and values like love, peace; imagine a complicated familiar situation: it becomes more difficult to sort out a situation of lack of freedom like that one. Freedom presents in fact a lot of other sentiments correlated to it: happiness, joy, possibility of becoming who realistically the person is.

But...The society is free?

Are we free in a daily base, while we choose little or big things and  when we take a decision?

Most people try to manipulate our existences. At dfferent levels and using our ignorance, goodness or behavioral biases. This condition put people in weakness; they don't choose what realistically want, they don't follow their own interests. Manipulation, writes the author is a cousin of coercion. Same happens largely in policy; but manipulators as adds the author are real thieves.

Sure: freedom is also connected with our values but at the same time our possibilities. In the book the example a man who believes in green economy, pays attention for environment and its necessities is constricted to buying coal because less expensive.

The author mentions quotes from books by beloved John Stuart Mills and the book by Byatt: Possession.
If you can read all the authors mentioned by Sunstein, please do that. They are all exceptionals.

In the case of Possesion, this one is a complicated love-story, started when Roland, the protagonist, finds interesting material for a research meeting along his way Maud and at home the skepticism of his partner, because it was an age that he didn't bring with his work food on the table.
It's a trip in the past, in Victorian Age. Fascinating.

Why reading On Freedom by Cass R.Sunstein? Because each of us must learn the intricate, sometimes more or less visible wires in grade to let us be more or less free.
The book doesn't offer answers, if you search for them, but clear written words, for yes, trying to sort out some problems, thanks to specific example taken by daily life.
Because freedom is not abstract; freedom is real, but in this historical moment and general confusion it is better to clarify again what it is, why it is so important for people and how to try to reach it, removing all the possible obstacles in the existence of people (pacifically, I recommend!) causing lack of freedom. Like addictions.

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

Anna Maria Polidori











venerdì, marzo 29, 2019

Merci beaucoup Laurent....

Ton livre Le Mystere Lagerfeld c'est 
arrivee! Hooray!
I do really appreciate Laurent Allen-Caron because he gives trust to an italian bookblogger reading compulsively in english, reviewing in english and now, launched, hopefully, also in french literature. 
I studied french for seven years, there is to add, starting when at the third year of elementary school 'till to the first year of high school. Later it was a tragedy when they said me that I would have studied english. I didn't know anything of english, just what's your name, where are you from? and answers. It was a tragedy because during that year I would have also met along my way The Dubliners by James Joyce. Just the idea of that book and author, sorry Sylvia Beach, I know that you can't understand me, still gives me panic.
French to me became a mixture of good and unpleasant memories. I remember my belgium correspondent from southerner italian origins. My french wasn't good enough, my handwriting horrible to him. I thought that maybe english would have given me best satisfactions. I found wonderful correspondents, real friends, with which we are still in contact. Per decades I wrote, read, in a daily base in english.
Paris: I have always loved the idea of being there once because it must be beautiful, but I do truly started to "feel" the essence of Paris thanks to movies by Woody Allen as Everyone says I love You, Midnight in Paris, or Forget Paris by Billy Crystal or French Kiss with Meg Ryan: books I read, and of course, Shakespeare and Company. That bookstore has been a magnet for me per decades.  That authors; that period, that people. They seem to ask me to continue to write about them. They don't want to let me go, and honestly I don't want to let them go away. Reading sporadically in French thanks to social media these months meant a question: why not a book? 
I know that for starting  a good topic was crucial. You read with more joy and happiness. It means a lot. The book needed to treat a beloved subject that I would have loved, appreciated.  A book means the knowledge of a large amount of words. French is similar to italian and I count on me and...  my numerous french dictionaries  if I will need them. Karl Lagerfeld is dead just few weeks ago and Laurent Allen-Caron had written a book about him. I love fashion. Per years I have been a subscriber of the italian version of Elle France. A distant world for someone like me living in a countryside. Elle meant to me the biggest inspiration in particular for the realization of interviews. It's also their fault :-) if I became  a reporter. I considered Lagerfeld, like Coco Chanel, but also like still living people as Valentino, Armani, iconic characters in the universe of fashion.
I thought that this one would have been the best book that I could pick up, for starting. I contacted Laurent explaining him that I was also interested to read his book because I wanted to practice my french. As well. He was enthusiastic by my good idea.
A little story for telling to all my readers that yes, in the future maybe you will also find french books reviewed by me and mainly for thanking Laurent. 
I count to start to read Le Mystere Lagerfeld next week. I am currently reading a book by Columbia University Press and I am concluding a wonderful, stunning biography about  Chopin. Then it will be the turn of Lagerfeld. I read the first two pages. Clear, vivid.  I am optimistic!
I thank the french publishihng house Fayard, for their trust, warm and collaboration.

Anna Maria Polidori



giovedì, marzo 28, 2019

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter

If you plan to visit Paris, if you are fascinated by the city, The Most
Beautiful Walk in the World A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter is for sure a good book.
You musn''t technically imagine that these ones will be real walks.
Yes, of course, there are "walks" in characteristic places, suggestions for picnics close to the Eiffel Tower or in another inconic corners of the city, maybe better at the beginning of the day or in the night, but let's say that the author in this book will give you an idea of Paris: history, literary, important expaxts who made the difference in the city, food, habits, traditions, the old Paris, thanks to journals left behind for the posterity by students who lived in the capital at the end of 1890s.
Surely mr. Baxter didn't choose the house where he lives in with his wife and children with casualty. It was the house where Sylvia Beach lived in, located in rue de l'Odeon. A place resonating on his walls of literary life, books, important passages, let's remember Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein.
It's, adds mr. Baxter, a place pretty visited by tourists in search of that distant, but at the same time, still present past; Shakespeare and Company moved in another place with George Whitman, but that first American bookstore and their protagonists remain in the heart of people.
At the same time some revelations: it seems that when Hemingway returned to Paris in 1944 in rue de l'Odeon, he didn't search for Sylvia Beach. A new affair was born between Monnier and a young girl and so the ladies didn't live anymore together.
Thanks to this book you will discover also who rebuilt France, after the french Revolution and various Emperors. The man was George Eugene Haussmann. He created a new, modern city.
Interesting and pretty scaring the story of monsieur Henri Desiré Landru, a man who killed ten women because of their money from 1914 to 1918.
Historical book, you will discover many interesting and fascinating anecdocts, like also great book suggestions, french cafés, unusual spots of the city, painters like Matisse. I found extremely practical and importants the suggestions given at the tourists by the author at the end of the book.

I would have loved less dialogues and more prose.

Highly recommended.


Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, marzo 26, 2019

Be the Worst You Can Be Life's Too Long for Patience & Virtue Charles Saatchi answers questions from journalists and readers by Charles Saatchi

I feel strong emotions also when I am close to books. 
Lost in the second-hand book store of the ladies of Books for Dogs located in Umbertide, last week it was another good day. I picked up good readings.

This one, a book with a cover completely black, with a black bookmark, and title in golden characters at first "scared" me to death, if I can use this expression. I open it and it was magical, researched but  the book for the emotion "jumped" in the direction of Julie for addictional clarifications: "What is it about exactly?"
It's rare I ask for help. I knew who the author was but...

This book was strongly connected with life and death and I felt it. Immediately.
In particular with the second dimension.

But, but: be careful because this one will be an immersion in life, not death.

I can tell you that in its all disenchantment, in its being sardonic, ironic, severe, Be the Worst You Can Be Life's Too Long for Patience & Virtue Charles Saatchi answers questions from journalists and readers by Charles Saatchi is wonderful.


Maybe because sincere. Maybe because the author, in the position of expressing what he thinks about everybody and everything, gives a detailed tale of this society, what he likes, what he dislikes, his ideas regarding art, with personal ironic suggestions about... Living. In all its possible aspects.

There are a lot of pills of wisdom; life seen as Saatchi sees it.

Some of them?

"...If you want to know what God thinks about money, look at the people he gives it to," but also: "It's certainly true that when I've seen a man get rich, his next ambition is to get richer."

To Saatchi malevolent characters in cartoons are the most interesting ones, and speaking about love at first sight, oh, he thinks it's possible: "Love may indeed be blind, but marriage is often an eye-opener."

Saatchi expresses here also some Famous Last Words, adding that not all of us live.

Speaking about work: "Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted."

The Golden Hollywood...To Saatchi the best moment. Robert Redford, Clark Gable, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Richard Burton...although also the next generation after all populated by a lot of wonderful actors, like Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks for naming some of them. Of the newest ones Johnny Depp and DiCaprio.

Being an art lover, the story of Carmen Herrera, a lady who sold her first painting at the age of 89, now an established painter.

Hilarious the questions mr.Saatchi would want to ask at some famous people.
To James Joyce if still alive: "Have you ever tried to reading your books?"
To Adolf Hitler: "Would it have been all different if you had found success with your paintings?"
Moses: "How did you like Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments?"

If you feel discouraged, if you think you'll end up where you are, the answer of Saatchi: "I always wanted to be Pope and I haven't given up yet."

For people in love of art, Saatchi writes: "If you have never been to see the Piero della Francesca musum in Sansepolcro, Italy, drop everything and get the next flight." I agree!

Did you know that a painting by Matisse was hanged upside down? It happened, told Saatchi.

The stunning picture of a tree
that seems like a dancer, is impressive.
A section is dedicated to all that dictators in grade to convince their people at killing each others for nasty, absurd ideas.

For a girl in search of a man the best option is to visit some London's art museums plenty of cultured and sophisticated men, open to discuss with them that paintings adds Saatchi.

Critical with new art, the author writes he would want to commission to Michelangelo a monument located in New York City.

At the question: have you ever consulted a fortune-teller the answer: "Why do we never see the headline "Psychic wins 100 million Lottery?"

If you search for some humor, goes for this book. It's nice, elegant, sometimes strong, I can tell you that this book is a book of great class and good taste. 

Elegant, for everyone.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori

Ps: pic taken from the book


domenica, marzo 24, 2019

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop A memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee

I felt intrigued by The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop A memoir, a History
by Lewis Buzbee for what promised to the reader and I have been more than satisfied. The author fell in love for John Steinbeck when he was 15 years. Steinbeck is one of my most beloved authors and I think that there is not another writer in grade to filter little communities as he does; I understood the future of people, and what would have happened to some of them reading his books, because John Steinbeck is in grade to enter in the psychology of the characters with an unicity that it is simply one of his most powerful characteristics.
Being a voracious reader, Lewis found later a work in a bookstore, and later he would have become a publisher's sales rep.
This book is informative regarding the book market and how much a book means in term of money for an author, a publisher.
It is a trip in history, analyzing China, the born of modern book in western civilization thanks to Gutenberg and what it is the book market today.

Buzbee doesn't avoid of mention synthetizing very well the story of Shakespeare and Company founded by Sylvia Beach. I am also reading Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation by Fitch and maybe the unicity of that bookstore is incarnated in the way of living known by Sylvia. She wasn't born in a rich family. Her dad was a pastor, but they knew a lot of influential people, of different social classes and they would have helped the entire family of the pastor in many different ways. That was also why Sylvia travelled a lot, discovered the world. The impossibility for certain people of helping others to Sylvia Beach was unknown and strained her a lot as well; so, substantially, the beauty, special touch added by Sylvia at her beloved bookstore was part of the education she received and the example she had known thanks to her numerous connections: sharing. Sharing compassion, friendship; helping others in many different ways and with a devotion that is admirable and should be remarked and remembered all the times. That was why that store is absolutely an iconic place. Because love for authors, literature, books, was installed profoundly, from the first instant of its life. It was thanks to Sylvia Beach if many authors became who they would have become later.
Goodness brings always more goodness. It's a spiral and simply that Lost Generation was everything, but not lost; compacted, friendly, connected they tried to resolve problems, difficulties, helping each other. It's a wonderful example of positive minds.   

George Whitman, the second owner of the new Shakespare and Company is not related to Walt Whitman, the beloved poet, because temporally it couldn't be possible. There was  just as happens often, a case of homonymy; also the dad of George Whitman was a Walt Whitman, a pretty interesting man, and a writer of diversified topics.  George Whitman was born in Salem, close to Boston, Massachusetts.

To Lewis opening a bookstore in the Left Bank of Paris means a strong success, but in California it's a completely different story, adds.

The most beautiful, poetic part of this book is the description of bookstores where you can simply sat on a chair with a book for reading, or where you can get lost per hours in the store, because books needs calm, also when they are choosen, also when they want to enter in your existence. A bookstore, affirms Lewis Buzbee, and I agree, should be plenty of books. More chaotic are spaces, more plenty a bookstore is, more interesting, diversified and attractive appears to potential readers. They surely will find what they search more than not in a common bookstore, too anonymous, sad, for being taken seriously in consideration by a reader.

Who opens a bookstore, or works in a bookstore affirms Buzbee in general doesn't earn a lot of money, but he/she is inspired by knowledge. If you think that you become rich with this activity, forget it, adds.

More than mentioned also City Lights by Ferlinghetti, another important and big bookstore like Shakespeare and Company located in San Francisco, California.

This one is a wonderful reading if you love books, if you want to discover the evolution of books and bookstores during the centuries, their characteristics, the comparison with the Europen ones, alligned at the American structure, and if you want to understand the evolution of reading.

I love the cover. Books are light in the darkness of the spirit.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori




giovedì, marzo 21, 2019

Literary Cafés of Paris by Noel Riley Fitch

Literary Cafés of Paris by
Noel Riley Fitch is a wonderful, little book and travel guide immensely precious for everyone interested in literature; for writers, journalists.
You should bring with you this guide once in Paris.
The cafés you will discover here are absolutely known and they became a name also thanks to the permanence per days, hours, months of writers like Ernest Hemingway, Apollinaire, and many more.
The magic of Paris is also the possibility of spending time sat in a café per hours for writing, meeting friends and colleagues without to being disturbed or judged by anyone.

Creativity follows different paths from the one of a common work.
Noel Fitch loves to spend every summer in Paris where she is, she admits, a café-sitter.

Cafés are lazy places, where creativity is possible because a writer observes the existence of a lot of people in the while, their conversations, their moods, political ideas, gossip.

Let's remember in A Moveable Feast the beauty girl and Ernest Hemigway's reaction at the vision of her. A writer lives of suggestions, gestures, ideas, thoughts said by someone; an existential condition touched for just few seconds in most cases.

Parisienne Cafés are, writes the author, an intoxication of colors, smells.

They have their own function, apart to being choosen by writers and journalists: they sell coffee, cigarettes, newspapers; you find a telephone; stamps, postcards are found in a café tabac.

Introduced in France in the 17th century the first one was The Procope.

For just a coffee and a croissant you spend hours in a parisienne café, although of course, maybe you would want to change location and café during the day, depending by your appointments, and what you are planning to do, and also places you'll visit.

People can think that the time spent by an author in a café is waste time, while it is not.
There is time to sit and contemplate, to dream and observe life, writes Fitch.
It was in a café that Emile Zola wrote the famous essay called "J'accuse."
The café is not just a literary place but also a political one, playing a role in various fields of commerce as well.

Let's see now some of these cafés where, once in Paris you can spend all the time you want, listening, writing, creating, and staying relaxed with your fertile ideas in your mind.

Les Cafés des Deux-Magots founded in 1875 has seen around Oscar Wilde, Grant Wood; Picasso met here Dora Maar.
Le Bar du Pont-Royal has been objects of interestes from the authors of Editions Gallimard.
Closerie de Lilas located in Montparnasse has been the nest of Ernest Hemingway because he lived close to it. He described Closerie de Lilas as "my home café." The visits later would have involved also Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Apollinaire was another affectionate customer.
The Dingo Bar an attraction for Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The restaurant of the Dingo became with the time an italian reality.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Beauvoir loved to create inspired sat at The Café Du Dome. Sartre was also an affectionate of Le Montana like also Goddard, Truffaut.
The cafés of the Latin Quarter are interesting. Here it's located the oldest café Le Procope founded in the 17th century; the Polidor and Lapérouse were founded in the 18th century.
Crémerie Restaurant Polidor was the place choosen by James Joyce Rimbaud, Verlaine, Richard Wright. Being close to La Sorbonne, serving a lot of students and professors, prices are cheap for everyone, and food pretty good.
Le Procope was the nest of the modern Enciclopedie wanted by Diderot and D'Alambert. Voltaire and Rousseau were affectionate clients. The founder was a sicilian man called Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli.
In the Right Bank Le Fouquet's was the restaurant choosen often by James Joyce.

Beautiful, erudite and at the same time useful book, plenty of informations, with also good introductions and observations.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, marzo 19, 2019

The Power of Positive Words What You Say Makes a Difference by Stan Toler

The Power of Positive Words What You Say Makes a Difference 

by Stan Toler, published these days by Harvest House Publishers, considering our times, it's immensely beauty and important.
Words create bridges, unity, harmony, love friendship; when not used well they become like stones thrown in the direction of people or situations, changing the course of history of a lot of human beings.
The book is divided in three parts, The Truth about Words; Strategic Word Use, and Attitude Before Words.
The author analyzes the power of words seen biblically,  with the wise words of estimated authors and wise men of all the times. Words are used for the best; for creating as it happened to a dream at Paul McCartney and his... Let is Be. After all what are words if not ideas put in motions into the world?
And what it is true is also that our positive or negative thinking and so words will create our external world. We are surrounded by positive or negative experiences but also influenced, heavily, by the TV we watch, what we read, people with which we interact with.  It is absolutely true that good words will  be in grade to change the mind of a person, bettering her situation. So, words are important because are a balm for the soul of another afflicted soul.
It would be great to say all the time the right word at the right time. For a co-worker, a friend,  a relative or children. In this case adds the author it would be absolutely indispensible. Most ex-children, so grown-ups people, lived in environments of psychological uncertainty, where they haven't been too much supported by their parents. Differently, in supportive families, children grow up with more serenity having experienced the beauty of words of their parents; good words don't say that parents musn't be severe with children, but being "psychological-wordly-supportive" help a lot.
With words it's also possible to express humility, saying thanks. We can apologize. Words are powerful. They should be used with frugality, but at the same time we should listen to others and their words, while, often we would want to speak and tell what it is happening in our life and so on.
What it will be important to do is to try to be positive, in every situation.

Once when some students understood how much Kipling was paid per word, they sent him  a certain amount of money asking of writing them down one of the words he loved the most: Kypling answered back humoristically with a powerful word: THANKS.
Our world is also populated by social medias, and it is no negative when these accounts are used peacefully and for spreading love and friendship. If too addicted you will find some modalities for not staying all the time connected.
Talkers. Larry King tells that to him they look at  things from a new angle; they they are enthusiatic; they don't talk about themselves all the time, they are curious; they have sense of humor; they have their own style of talking and much more.
The main message of this self-help book is to be kind people, in grade to be compassionate, helpful, good, decent human beings also thanks to the words we use in our daily life, because changing our world is possible, starting from words and a different vision of life.
Highly recommended.
I thank NetGalley and Harvest Publishing for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori


lunedì, marzo 18, 2019

Inside Terrorism by Bruce Hoffmann

I admit that this latest terrorist attack in Christchurch New Zealand scared me to death.


I have friends in Christchurch and the night before, the day after I would have learnt what happened in Christchurch, I sent some messages to a friend. I wanted to try to understand what it was going on in the corner of the world of my contact. She is the owner of the Queen Anne Chocolates. I found the Instagram page of that sweet reality, I posted some comments, that chocolates are truly delicious, yum, trust me, I put on a lot of weight when I received them years ago. Then I went to bed. The day after the hell.
The best book about terrorism, a real treatise, updated three times, in particular after Semptember 2001, is Inside Terrorism by Bruce Hoffman published by Columbia University Press. Mr Hoffman is a real eminence in the field. He studied terrorism per decades and wherever you search for him, he is involved in programs about security studies, terrorism.
Why this word first of all: Terrorism? Do you know? It started to be used the word Terror and later terrorism when Robesperierre instaurated in Paris and France the season of "Terror" a moment in which no one was anymore tranquil; where sunspect whispered everywhere and in every house; where someone could be killed just because considered someone not too friendly.
With the time, terrorism became largely an abrupt manifestation of terror caused for the most diversified reasons. Religious, political. An act of terrorism  wants to create a destabilization in the population and consequently frustration in the government of the country affected by it. Let's think for a second at what happened during the Twin Towers Attacks, where a new islamic radicalization in a structured terrorist group called Al Qaeda, tried to kill the Western Civilization "killing" not just wagons of people but also one of the most powerful and amazing symbol of the USA: the Twin Towers and many certainties. 
Religion and terrorism: a strong match this one, in particular admits the author after that  big ideologies of the XX century collapsed. Communism, democracy, were two certainties, but after that they evaporated,  what remained strong, in particular in the Middle-East, was religion. A list more long than a page will let you  see the power of terrorist attacks created, wanted because of religious terrorism.
After all it was bin Laden who tried to re-create, explains Hoffman a pan-Islamic caliphate, venerated, beloved. Of course the USA were seen as a country who would have played a decisive role for not permitting to bin Laden the creation of this state.
ISIS like Al Qaeda, tries to fight for the creation of this Caliphate as we see everyday in terms of departures of human existences.
These terrorist movements, in their different approaches wants to reach the same goal explains Hoffman.
These days we heard a lot the words: Christian White Supremacists. It was s suprematists who committed the horrible latest terrorist attack in Christchurch.
The USA discovered this movement, violently with the terrible terrost attack of Oklahoma City on April 1995. The terrorist was part of a white suprematist and antifederalist movement.
Sentenced to death the terrorist was killed.
These people, part of this movement are anti-semitic, they fight for bearing arms. This movement created with the time "citizens militias" Incredible but this movement has killed more people than not the Islamic terrorism writes the author.
As we have recently seen from 9/11 a new phaenomen regarding terrorism unknown  in the Western Civilization and in the past confined in the Middle-East took place: the suicide terrorism.
Why this? The author is clear: "Suicides tactics are devastatingly effective, lethally efficient have a greater likelihood of success, and are relatively inexpensive and generally easier to execute than other attacks modes." They are symbolic, ritualistic and communicative....


A complex combination of expressive and instrumental violence. Well, if I think again at 9/11 I would re-start to develop insomnia per months. I had friends in NYC, working close to the Twin Tower.


Being a psychological weapon, terrorists know that this one is a powerful arm. The terrorist attack of 9/11, was pretty unexpensive but the devastations still felt in the population in terms of loss. This kind of terrorism communicates violently a powerful message, becoming with the time an instrument of war....


I will stop here because I don't want to tell you all this book. Just let me add that the author won't forget in the book of analyzing what the terrorism is today and what it is becoming.
Mr.Hoffman  is clear and this book highly recommended to everyone.


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

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, marzo 17, 2019

Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary Calvi

Dear George, Dear Mary by
Mary Calvi tells the love-story between George Washington and Mary Eliza Philipse. The author in the preface added that she wanted to write a fictional book and not an essay for fascinating much more the newest generations about these two young people who lived in the 1700s.

The first time George Washington met Mary, 21 years old was on February 14th.

The book will be particularly attractive to my point of view to all that men and women in love for wars, policy.

  • There is not a lot of romanticism, after all in fact. 


You will be catapulted in the life of a general and in a lot of military history. Of course no one can disconnect someone like George Washington from his first role, as general, politician, President.
At the end a rich bibliography if you are interested to develop some topics treated in the book, and if you want to discover much more about George Washington.

Recommended to men and women interested in military history.

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

Anna Maria Polidori




The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Books Cartoons by the World's Greatest Cartoonists, Edited by Bob Eckstein

The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Books Cartoons by the World's Greatest Cartoonists, Edited by Bob
Eckstein published by Princeton Architectural Press is a wonderful book if you love books and cartoons; written with the purpose of celebrating books in every possible ways.

There are cartoons portraying Amazon, libraries, bookstores; Ernest Hemingway is celebrated close to Oscar Wilde; there are ladies of a Book Club discussing of their latest reading while sipping peacefully some tea. A mice is keeping company to the owner of a bookstore and the lady with some books on his hands sounds a bit suprised.
There are men in a libraries choosing a book from a shelf.
There is an author, a dog, pretty listened during a bark bark, woof woof meeting with serious intellectuals.
There is a man substantially buried by books with reader's block; maybe he is taken prisoner by million and million of words by the most diversified authors!
Someone else remark that no, his daddy is not a sportman. He reads.
Another cartoon will tell the story of these two friends: a man confesses to his best mate that he loves poetry but just when it is funny.
A woman cries to the man she is leaving her that she doesn't need him because she has a book deal.
We will meet an Hamlet transported in our times and with the necessity of buying some books, but...Amazon or not Amazon? That is the question.

Intellectually provoking this love letters to book through cartoons has seen the participation of 33 cartoonists like: Sam Gross, Roz Chast, Peter Steiner, Mick Stevens Bob Mankoff, most of them published constantly in the New Yorker. These cartoons will enchant you.
If you are in love for books, trust me, you know you can do that, I know that this book will become one of your favorite ones!

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, marzo 16, 2019

Book Learnin' A pie Comic Collection by John McNamee

Book LearninL A pie Comic Collection by John McNamee is a stunning comic book. I start to tell you this. I fell in love for it, from the first page. 
It's genial, intelligent, divided per chapters, you will find in these strips irony, benevolence, a good smile and laugh, what you need for re-balance your humor and your mood. And, can you believe it? This brilliant book was born when this cartoonist John McNamee suffered for a shoulder's injury. Horror! What to do? Because, you know, a creative can't stop thinking and elaborating the reality he is living in. Maybe, he thought, comics would have been, simplifying the work, a great answer. Sometimes geniality born from sufferance, mental and physical makes the difference because the brain under stress must find other "answers" for staying calm. John McNamee's works are published regularly in the Onion and the New Yorker. A strip: there is a youngster. He starts to tell: I don't trust my flag, I don't trust my parents, I don't trust the internet, I don't trust myself, the only one I can trust is this cock. Then the cock: he is reading a book: How to betray."

Highly highly recommended.

 I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

 Anna Maria Polidori

The Art of Visual Notetaking An interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting by Emily Mills

The Art of Visual Notetaking An
interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting by Emily Mills is a fascinating book published by Quarto.
This book will start illustrating first of all what it is a visual note, and the various tools and intruments, one of the most powerful one a journal, that you can use, for leaving a legacy, a passage on this Earth, of vice-versa, thinking digitally and with a touch of more modernity and leaving alone sadness, to communicate something important to a large or restricted number of people.
You musn't be excellent in drawing or paintings, you must present yourself, with the message that you want to spread.
Visual noting are great for business, convention, for yourself, with plenty of instructions for being a successful, satisfied visual notetaker!


Highly recommended.


I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori