martedì, aprile 30, 2019

The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P.Hale

The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P.Hale is one of the most fantastic, beautiful, surreal book that I have read since now. Although The New York Review presents this book in the Children's Collection this one is a great reading for adults as well.
I bought this copy during a tea party organized by the ladies of the charity Books for Dogs, in Umbertide.
The eccentricity of the various characters, components of the Peterkin's family will conquer you. The members of this family don't read the reality as all the rest of common families, in fact. Forget it.
Implied: every family is particular and with specificities. The Peterkins are original. But where, you will ask to the reviewer?
They are original mainly in the... thinking and in the area of problem-solving.
, and let me add something else. They are in that way and they love to being in that way. They don't suffer, they don't think to be wrong.

The Peterkins don't see the simplicity of an action, they see the immense difficulty and complexity that a situation of every sorta can presents; they must analyze, often without resolving, sometimes, searching for absurd, hilarious solutions without escapism but at the same time their wonderful world is populated by helpers (the lady from Philadelphia, mainly) in grade to give them good advice, suggesting the simplest actions for sorting out problems experienced in the various chapters. They're a dreaming family; they live in a "system of thinking" made by complexities, made by mental structures plenty of originality, surrealism and absurdity. But... You will love this family, you will smile and laugh living their experiences and adventures and they deserve a big thumb up because they live an existence completely different from the rest of people and they are simply adorable.
Not only: they live in a perennial enchantment regarding this world, and this positive vibe will reach you.
It would be beautiful to live with a family like this one, because stimulating and original. Seeing sometimes our old world under other perspective is always stimulating.

Highly highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori

Dear Lupin Letters to a Wayward Son by Roger Mortimer & Charlie Mortimer

Beautiful, sunny, absolutely irresistable memoir  Dear Lupin
Letters to a Wayward Son by Roger Mortimer & Charlie Mortimer published by Constable. I picked up this copy of the book at the second hand store located in Umbertide, Books for Dogs.
This one is the long correspondence of a dad born in 1909, a pretty known man (journalist at the Sunday Times) with his son, through many decades, the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. We will assist at the various different existential phases of Charlie's existence. His becoming a man, failing some schools, entering in the Army, changing job a lot of times, always with the support, appreciation, worries of his dad. Letters include suggestions, domestic issues, illness, books read and suggestions, daily family life, big and little events.
What I appreciate of this book is the warm sensation transmitted by these letters, including the sunny and funny reflections of Charlie at the end of most of them, commenting the moment, what it was going on and why; often he distanced ironically himself from the positions and visions of his dad regarding what he had to do of his own existence.
There is a lot of that healthy, wonderful hilarious british irony that I love so badly and that makes the difference.
A wonderful reading for everyone!

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

venerdì, aprile 26, 2019

Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier

Clotilde's Edible Adventure
s in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier  is another intriguing and yummy book published by Broadway Books that I found at the second-hand store open by the ladies of the charity Books for Dogs in Umbertide.

Let's return to Paris, this time trying to search for a place where to eat following Clotilde's suggestions.

French people don't eat street food, crepes apart. They love to eat properly, and in general, if you are invited by some french friends, wait for a lucullian, abundant lunch or dinner.
Said that, what to do when we are tourists in Paris?
Personally I visited Nice and I ate pasta and meat. So, mediterranean dishes. In Paris, the atmosphere is different.
Clotilde will answer all your basic questions: from language to reservation, how to choose the best place where to eat; differences of locals (le restaurant, le bistro, la brasserie, le café) and what to expect by the various realities.
If you are an American and you love a robust breakfast, Paris will be your ideal place, because a french breakfast is pretty delicious and caloric as you will see. In general people tend to prepare croissants, french bread, brioche and other delicacies at home for their breakfast.

Like all the other European capitals Paris is expensive and so the author will offer you a lot of help for trying to avoid common errors that could be committed; the importance of tips and how to choose carefully your restaurant avoiding at the end bad surprises.
You'll discover that it is possible to eat in private museums, but you will discover also restaurants for vegetarians. They start to appear to the horizon, although french adores meat and they tend to be meat-eaters.
The book is divided in two parts: a first one dedicated at eating, with suggestions of the various realities in the Paris's arrondissements selected by the author, the second dedicated to shops about teas, bakeries, cheese shops, bookstores with a special eye for cookbooks and so on.

A wonderful guide in grade to offering to everyone and every wallet endless culinary possibilities.

I adore the cover!

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, aprile 24, 2019

Dear Me A letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self Edited by Joseph Galliano Foreword by Sir Elton John

Impressive for sure this book I discovered  today at the second-hand store wanted by the charity Books for Dogs in Umbertide: Dear Me A letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self Edited by Joseph Galliano Foreword by Sir Elton John
published by Simon & Schuster years ago. I love the cover, I love the
originality of writing, and as always, I love these books by memories wanted so badly by Simon & Schuster.

Haven't you ever had, sometimes, the desire of hugging your little self?

In this lovely book absolutely vibrant a lot of known people, from Stephen Fry, to Annie Lennox, from Emma Thompson to Yoko Ono will tell something to their dear selves. This one is a book speaking at people's souls reminding them who we have been, who we are, what we became in the while.

Pretty diversified the approach chosen by the various protagonists for writing a letter to their selves. Some of them will wrote a typewriter-letter, other ones will be more  creative; color, fantasy, sketches, a good introduction, just few words, or wagons of words.
Some of them will remind to their selves of staying close to good people; other ones that, after all they will love a good pair of glasses in the future; that they will change the path of their existence, experiencing darkness as well; some mature selves will speak with more intimacy to their 16 year old selves; genre and sexuality, destinies, unsecurities, parents, diets, music, movies; someone as Stephen Fry anticipated this book, writing to his self a letter when he was a teen-ager in 1973.
Everyone will offer pictures, memories, sweet, tender, creative, for an unique portrait of their own...Self. The youngest and the oldest one.
I want to contribute with a letter to my Self.

Dear Me,
it won't be simple. You are an original soul, plenty of creativity, dreams, expectations. I wouldn't want to delude you, saying that resizing your world would be better; you wouldn't listen. I don't know if it's because of your sacred fire, or because you are stubborn or simply because you think that dreams are the engine for living well or because maybe you are a dream but you are like that and I wouldn't have the courage of stopping you.
I would want to be like that 16 years old girl after all, plenty of enthusiasm. I would want to hug you with all myself, telling you that it will be fine, although it will be complicated.
Stop to vomit because of tensions accumulated at school. Stay calm, please: too much tachicardia. It's not the case. You will made it, although now in that place, populated by sisters, you are feeling a lot of solitude and the sensation of being taken prisoner. Enjoy your schoolmates, the vision of beautiful movies, a big passion you love to cultivate. You met a different world when you went to the city for studying from your countryside. I know you miss that freedom and possibility of being you, but try to see the richness of meetings that you are doing and that will form, I am sure, your character.
I know that leaving french for english meant to you a big sacrifice. I know you loved to studying english in the intermediate school, thanks to that nice lady every Monday afternoon and I see you crying desperately now, because you don't have the pale idea of what James Joyce wants to say in The Doubliners. If it's a consolation, I donated your old english dictionary, destroyed by you, launched several times against the walls of your bedroom, recently. What a relief!
Trust me, you will learn a decent english. You can't believe it now.
English could be helpful, you want to open several doors thanks to the knowlege of another language, I know that just your world is too little for you, but please, be wise and careful.
Remember this, clearly and vividly: your errors will be committed because you don't have the entire picture of your life, but just the frame. Childhood has been confusing.
Remember this and remember that during your 17th year you won't be fine.
This and more will mean other causes of troubles.
Stay tranquil.
If you can, stay focused on yourself. Mmm... Speaking to a future journalist, yes, you'll become a reporter, is asking too much. You are projected outside although you have a big sensitivity.
I know that you are an altruistic soul, someone imaginative and plenty of fantasy but sometimes it would be necessary to stay focused.
On yourself.
Try to act with less naivety. I know that this one is a main treat of your character, an adorable one sometimes, but you can't trust the entire world.

Try to stay optimistic.
It will be hard, very hard sometimes.

Ok, done!

Highly recommended book.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, aprile 22, 2019

A History of Reading by Steven Roger Fischer

A History of Reading by Steven Roger Fischer by Reaktion  treats
the immense history behind an activity that most of us love to do: the one of reading.  Books, physical books, the only instrument of knowledge not killed by the arrival of the internet and... ebooks.
All the rest, a millenary culture was killed: letters, telephone calls, visits; what it meant sociality in the common sense of the words was destroyed and a profound mutation invested all our society.
Books, with dignity stayed in their old places, in our houses, in libraries, smiling for a change that didn't invest them, but all the rest of the human sphere and the world.
Why this?
And what does reading means?

First of all let's say that for humans reading have always been a great necessity and as adds the author: what it means music to the spirit, reading is to the mind and if writing is expression, reading is impression, writing is public, reading personal, but more, reading is forever.

Describing also the birth of literature in China, Korea, Japan, Americas and India in the first 240 pages, in our western civilization a big change was represented by the arrival to the horizon by Petrarca, and later Dante and in Englad Geoffrey Chaucer. Slowly books were read aloud, in particular in 1500 (Ludovico Ariosto and L'Orlando Furioso) but also before, in 1300 when a wealthy man requested a copy of The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi, because he wanted to read it aloud to his sons.

Slowly there was the arrival in books of chapters, with also, for readers, lectern and desk.
It was of course the printed page who made the difference: we speak of Gutenberg.
It was the biggest revolution for books and accessibility.

If in our modernity, writes the author, we see written words from the morning to night, in the remote past it wasn't in this way. People once invented the printed word, were in grade not just to read the Holy Word but many other books as well.

It's a beautiful excurses this book written by Fischer, through centuries, writers and thinkers and what it meant and mean for men reading in all the aspects and complexisites.

Interesting book, for whoever in love with literature and books.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Letteratura e Giornalismo, Literature and Journalism edited by Daniela Marcheschi

It's a sweet  book this one, the second tome of Letteratura e Giornalismo, Literature and
Journalism edited by Daniela Marcheschi and published by Marsilio Editori, italian publishing house.
Why this book is sweet? Because the problematics treated are italians and I found, reading it, all the domesticity of our country.
The importance of magazines and newsmagazine was great also for the italian territory for trying to create unity and also the possibility, thanks to an accessibile price of giving a product that everyone should have read with pleasure.
The journalist was the person who reported, the filter between reality and the world outside, the one telling a fact, the mediator between reality and his/her readers.
At first the book starts with a question: is it distant literature and journalism? Conclusions are interesting. Let's remember that Ernest Hemingway started his profession as a reporter before to giving up, becoming a great writer with a journalistic writing-style.
This profession is compared to the one of priesthood in the book.
The book dedicates an entire chapter at mr. Dino Terra a journalist and writer, culturally influential in grade to report thanks to his literary reportages the mood of Italians thanks to his interviews. He tried all his best to share with his readers an elevated culture. Journalism meant to him ethic and civil engagement.
A chapter is dedicated to the literature in the 1800s, journalism and humor, with examples as Carlo Collodi with his Pinocchio, Dickens with Oliver Twist or David Copperfield and wagons of other books; these writers and reporters (Dickens was a journalist) tried their best for reporting social conditions  and injustices without to lose that sense of wit and humor, characterizations of people and situations, giving us a perfect picture of the society were they lived in.
Camus will introduce us the second post-war and France a country where the thinker denounced a cryptic language. A society, the french one unable to reflect on its errors, and a big problem was the use of rethoric for not saying anything and for launching smoke on the eyes of readers!
Journalism must be, for Camus, vivid, clear, it must pays attention to the reality, it means ideas and thoughts. Camus insists that optimism is a great choice, but always accompanied by critic sense.
A chapter will treat sexual freedom and consumerism and the polemic of Pier Paolo Pasolini against the political establishment with his ferocious articles released in Il Corriere della Sera against the Democrazia Cristiana and its leaders.

Children started also to be interested by the arrival on the scene of various magazines dedicated to them, focusing on the society and it's mutations.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Thanks Wordsworth-Editions!

Thank you so much Wordsworth-Editions,

I received the package with three beautiful classics, ready to be read and reviewed some days ago.
It was an age I wanted to contact Wordsworth-Editions. With a book-blog, collaborating with them would have been good, I thought.

Classics are incredibly important in a period like this one; in this confused and superficial society they stimulate critic sense, they add a lot in the existence of a person, they are unforgettable  profound and they give sense to the existence.

I had choosen Wordsworth-Editions many years ago when I started to read english books: at first reading in another language is hard when we start massively an activity. I bought through the net classics by Nesbit, a book about irish fairy-tales, Dickens. I didn't know the story of this publishing house, but their prices were the best ones that I discovered in that italian site and to me what it counted was that :-)

The philosophy of Wordsworth is in this direction:  "To produce the best quality books that we can at the lowest possible price."
At the moment the publishing house has in active 270 classic titles for adults and children and they cost just 2 pounds and hald, the cost of a cup of coffee.

What kind of books did I choose? You'll be curious to know: The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens, I started to read this one, This Side of Paradise & The Beautiful and the Damned by Francis Scott Fitzgerald two books in one and Little Men &    Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott. Again two books in one.

A splash in the Victorian Age with Dickens and the fascination of a curious place, a kid, Nelly, an old man....

With Fitzgerald we will penetrate the early 1900s in the rich and sophisticated world of New York City and its upper class. This Side of Paradise, after a lot of short tales appeared in prestigious magazines was the first book released by this author.
It obtained immediately a great success and re-printings were furious in the real sense of the word. Still not mature as it will be The Great Gatsby, it is possible to find in this first book all the most important thematic beloved by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The sense of lightness and superficiality of Amory, richness, sex, failures.
The second is the story of Anthony focused on failures and a life spent  senseless.

I decided for the latest two books of the series of Little Women, together in one book, because I hadn't read that ones. Less known than Little Women, we will find again in the first book Jo March and her husband and the boys of their school at Plumfield; in the second what happened to them 10 years later.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, aprile 19, 2019

What Kind of Creatures Are We? By Noam Chomsky

It's a trip; a trip in the mind of the most acclaimed thinkers, from the oldest to the most recents one: from Descartes to Mill, from Newton to Russell, for naming some of them.
Divided in four chapters What is Language? What can we Understand? What is Common Good? The Mysteries of Nature: How deeply hidden?  you can use this book reading the chapters more inviting for you, certain that each of them will present you a lot of originality and an approach that politically, scientifically, will let you think and elaborate a lot. Mentally.

I confess I hadn't never read a book written by Chomsky 
and I was a bit intimidated. I found this latest short but dense and erudite book What Kind of Creatures Are We? interesting, captivating; Chomsky tries to define us using science, passing through philosophy, language, policy, social problems.

This work starts to focus the attention on the importance of language and what it means in terms of difference the development of languages for the human being. The development of sounds is historically old, but recent at the same time, and it meant for man something precious: an immensity of thoughts, a never-ending possibility of mental expansion in the most diversified dimensions and directions using an organ defined, with a born and a conclusion, but exceptionally flexible under many aspects: the brain. The brain is like a computer, and its immense power starting with the possibility for every individual of elaborate, with erudition or less erudition thoughts, is a demonstration of it.
Chomsky won't avoid to spend some pages writing something about the second brain of our body: the intestine. The intestine is important because the base of our emotions, our main worries. An intestine kept well means a healthy state for the entire body.
Why language is so important for men?
Because it permits us to make the difference. In goodness and badness.
Let's, for example, as also writes mr.Chomsky, use an example by Mill.  On Liberty Mill writes that the first leading principle of that book was this one: "The absolute and essential importance of human development in its richest diversity." All that situations, all that governments that can't permit it, are not good realities.
Every good society should in fact develop the diversity found in its social tissue, starting from social policies, work etc.
Of course, the egoism of few people can make the difference; it happened in the past as in the present, as you will read. Problems and debates didn't start, ethically just now but  2-300 years ago.

Chomsky analyzes the various situations and social possible policies, including anarchism, an utopistic shape of state born during the Enlightment. This kind of government refused every kind of authority.
At any possible level.

For politicians having public opinion's consensus means best negotiations for obtain what necessary for the weakest part of population.

John Dewey understood something incredibly modern to my point of you: "Power today, he wrote, resides in control of the means of production, exchange, publicity, transportation and communication. Whoever owns them rules the life of the country" and we speak of interactions in progress in a democratic state.

Sure, workers to Dewey hadn't to be tools, considering also absolutely scandalous the use of children for work: "Illiberal and immoral."
The consideration of Dewey regarding industry after all wasn't great at all if he compared it at a feudalistic system wishing a democratic order in grade to make the difference.  

Men who create sometimes societies that can be better are also beautiful minds and genius. In this sense Chomsky focuses the attention on Isaac Newton, the one in grade to give more precise answers respect to his eminent italian colleague, Galileo.
Newton, inspired by new-platonics and alchemical traditions presented to science a different aspect: not to seek ultimate explanations but to find the best theoretical explanations of experience and experiment.
This thing was possible because the world started to be seen as an elaborate machine.
What Newton demonstrated was, according to Koyré "that a purely materialistic pattern of nature is utterly impossible."
That men are magical creatures if I can use this expression is true and the complexity of our brain say all.
Man is never satisfied and for this reason search for religion, myth, philosophy in the perennial research of explanations or as mr.Chomsky puts it, in "The deeper understanding of the phenomena of experience."

If you search for a book in grade of opening your horizons, this one is for you! for sure.

I love the cover, warm, encouraging and inviting.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, aprile 17, 2019

Confronting Inequality How Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth by Jonathan D.Ostry, Prakash Loungani Andrew Berg forewword by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Confronting Inequality How
Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth by Jonathan D.Ostry, Prakash Loungani Andrew Berg foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz focuses the attention about an important fact: it's up to the governments if they want to create and live a big inequality between the various social classes.
Said that, sharing richness, and permitting to everyone of living well wouldn't mean to the upper social class any danger in term of richness.
As President Obama admitted: inequality in incomes is harmful for sustained economic growth. An average incomes means winners and losers in a country and it's again, unfair and dangerous.
Surem a good conclusion could be the policies's impact on the distribution of income, tempering the distributional impacts. Redistribution of the so-called richness won't hurt if not too unbalanced the economy growth of a country. Another perplexity that there is: people won't work hard doing that.

Not taking any measure for fighting the immense gap created by this new society, there is not anymore the middle-class, problem is this one,  means more poverty in economic and social aspects.
The book is divided per chapters, where each of them will explain firstly the measurement and drivers of inequality, analyzing later what it means the economic policies on growth, taking in consideration the various policies: financial openness, austerity and so on. A chapter will include also a new danger: the one of robots. The arrival of robots will mean less work for humans, because a robot can work much more; let's also add as say the author that investment in this field will mean and means less investments in traditional capital, buildings, traditional machinery. There is a consolation. Robots are not consumers so people will buy the products created by them.
The consolations adds the authors is that "People bring a spark of creativity or a critical human touch." The risk is a strong resentment of workers regarding the arrival of robots in a close future (two decades more or less before the invasion will start.) Anyway, before to be too alarmistic, authors precise that this one is not our destiny.

In the future, education, including higher education will be absolutely indispensible because people well-learned won't never be replaced by a robot. So, investing in the education, culture of your children will be an indispensible card to play for granting them a good work. Problem is that if people don't work with sufficient dignity and they don't receive a good pay they won't be in grade to invest in the education of their children and this terrible spiral of poverty will invest culture and future of the newest generations. 

Plenty of graphics, statistics, this book is wonderful for understand a society in motion too often devoted to inequality, with an increasing gap between rich and poor pretty embarassing.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Two weeks ago I went to the new second-hand bookstore open by the ladies of Books for Dogs. I was searching for some special books although I still didn't know what exactly I would have brought home.
I discovered in the various sections visited and re-visited many times,
The Paris Wife 
by Paula McLain.
This one is an absolutely stunning book about the life and existence of Hadley Richardson, the first wife of Ernest Hemingway, and of that precise segment of her life in which she was married with him.
The portrait created by the author, let's start to say this, it's beautiful, intense, true, punctual.
Narrated in first person, the narrator is a credible, sweet Hadley.
Ms. McLain told she did an accurate work of research. It is visible, I can assure you this and very well done.
There are here and there dialogues, but they are well structured.

The portrait of this lady is wonderful.

Hadley Richardson hadn't had time for love. His dad killed himself, his mother fell sick and she was still single and virgin at the age of 28 when she would have met in Chicago Hemingway. She was conquered by him, his personality and his character.
Hadley was a remissive, romantic girl, someone tender, someone absolutely in love for him.
Once married, the two will decide, because of Hemingway's work to go to Paris for a living. "If you want to work seriously forget Rome, go to Paris" said him a common friend writing down several letters of recommandation for the various writers expatriated in Paris. Big names of American culture lived in Paris: Pound, Stein, Beach, many journalists, reporters, editors.

Immediately after the marriage and her life in Paris, Hadley understands that Ernest Hemingway is taken by his own necessities, he is worried for his work and what it will be.
Sometimes Hadley, a pianist had the impression of seeing a kid more than a man while he was sleeping, someone who wanted to be reassured, who didn't want to stay alone; someone who needed a wife close to him.
His Paris Wife.
The two lived in the Left Bank and Hadley couldn't wear glamorous dresses, following fashion, but after all she didn't care because she had the love and affection of her husband.
When this relationship starts to end?
There is always a reason.
Maybe it was when someone stole Hadley's luggage with all the written material of Hemingway. From there, including the arrival of Bumby, (Hemingway felt he was in trap, because he still didn't want that baby) the trust of Hemigway on Hadley fell miserably.
They started to see rich friends, and one of these ones was a mermaid called Pauline Pfeiffer. At first a great friend of Hadley, later, as you will see, she stole her husband.
Pauline was beautiful, rich, she wrote for Vogue, it says all just this, but as Hadley/Paula will write at a certain point, this new people with which they started to hanging out with didn't represent her.

At the end Hemingway chooses Pauline and... other two wives.
The end of the relationship with Hadley was pretty stressing as you will read.

Hadley was much more lucky in terms of love, because with the second husband she experienced that solidity Hemingway absolutely couldn't give her in any possible way.

I found, in particular at the end of the book, a great great sadness, more than for the promiscuity of situations told, because the various protagonists were lost and suffered a lot, in particular Hadley and because that new-born love wanted by Hemingway was pretty weird and without any touch of the romanticism seen with Hadley.

Anna Maria Polidori

Brevity The Art of Writing Very Short Fiction A guide to Writing Flash Fiction A short Short Short Primer A Flash Fiction Handbook by David Galef

It's not simple to writing and surely it's not simple to writing in a captivating way.

I have wagons of books of the most acclaimed American authors about the art of writing, thanks to my correspondent Maria, a wonderful soul.
Each of them provide the best for stimulate the creative process of writing.

In this latest book by Columbia University Press called Brevity The Art of Writing Very Short Fiction A guide to Writing Flash Fiction A short Short Short Primer A Flash Fiction Handbook by David Galef, it is taken in consideration the so-called very short fiction.
That fiction, flash fiction counts 500-1000 words, micro-fiction 250-500 words, but less as well.

Once when I was at the high school and we wrote a composition, my italian teacher was shocked by the essential and punctual brevity of my writing. "I am still impressed" he said me months later.

Sometimes brevity is the answer.
You must be concise but incisive in short fiction, you must extract the best of an anecdote, the best of a moment of a day, or a situation you want to treat.

You don't have the space and words of a tale, a novel, for reporting a fact.
You must be brief, staying in the piece and reporting with wit, humor, sadness, happiness, what you want to communicate to your audience.

As you will see in this book there is a hidden world behind short fiction.

Some examples?

Vignette is a writing-style. You must have the ability of "photographing" in words a situation, a problem, an encounter, searching for the detail that later you will "enlarge" for creating the main topic of your composition.
Letters another genre absolutely appreciated because like also diary entries, there is an universe that can be explored.
You must use your alter-ago, the existence of another person for imagining a detailed letter where to report intelligent observations following the guideline of a common letter.
Same will be for a diary entry.

When I go to the supermarket I always bring home when I find them the list of the shopping of other people found in the basket. They intrigue me and they permit me to penetrate in the existence of that people. You understand a lot from the shopping list of a person; these lists, start to speak of an universe to us unknown but that it can become familiar for the sensitivity of a writer and, let me add, extremely precious.

Fables are crucials for every kid and adults as well, because they speak to our soul, our most profound feelings.

Perfect Miniatures speak to you through suggestions more than anything else, and the compression of short fiction will be intense enough for leaving your reader without...breath!

Soliloquies, Rants, Riff, Themes, meet the most profound necessity of our soul; a vibrant externation of a problem, a necessity, an urgency, a past episode of your existence.

Twists will let you exercise in the art of surprising your readers turning a good character in a bad one or vice-versa, mutating a scene, a situation in its opposite.
After all, reality it is not the one you see in your everyday existence most of the times.
Think just a bit at this, and you will discover an universe and it will be simple to imagine other scenarios, more complicated and with unexpected conclusions.

The final chapter is dedicated to the Internet, although what I can wish for you is to being published by big realities as the ones mentioned by the author: The New Yorker and The Paris Review. It would mean you have something to tell, you are able to do that; there is solidity and reliability in that two companies for what I heard. It helps.
The author treats of course the arrival of the net and what it meant for magazines and newsmagazines.
A different fragmentation, the end of many realities and a mutation, often, pretty painful.

Every section analyzed reports various writing-examples and then some stimulating exercises for you!


I love the cover.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori


domenica, aprile 14, 2019

Dickens's London by Peter Clark

Do you plan a visit to London and do you want to travel in the Victorian Age?
Or: are you a fan of Dickens's books and you can't wait to visit his London?
In both these cases I suggest you Dickens's London by Peter Clark published  by Haus Publishing.

Five, intensive walks, where not only you will visit the main locations choosen by Dickens for his beloved, immense works, but you can also discover the daily, contemporary London.
The author warmly suggest to bring with you a London road atlas so that you can enjoy also London's food, taverns, restaurants for every wallet, and much more.

When Dickens was born London was a city in transformation. From a pre-industrialized city, populated by numerous horses, animals, and subsequent smells of every kind in the city, with the time slums were destroyed and a best modernity appeared to the horizon.

Dickens won't never forget that first imagine of London. He was a great observer, and knew London intimately.
Peter Clark followed, for being more accurate the expanded volume published by Robert Allbut London Rambles "en Zigzag" with Charles Dickens.
Once the author died in fact, for commemorate him, writers decided to create little books, booklets at first, with the most beloved places celebrated by Dickens in his numerous novels. Considering the success, these booklets became soon real and important books.

Immigration was a thematic lived by Dickens with the arrival in the city of people living in the countryside, but also with new immigrants from France, Italy. There was also a good community of Jewish, but in this sense Dickens was a very racist writer, and couldn't take in consideration people not born in his own country.
If added in his books, they had, most of the times, negative treats.

Each walk will take an entire day, if you take it seriously, so you should plan more than 5 days of vacation.

The first walk: From Trafalgar Square to Lincoln's Inn Fields the place where Dickens worked when little. To the north of it, you will find the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, where you'll see  a painting created by a friend of him. The portrait in the cover of this book. It is delicate and fascinating. Dickens was in his 20s.
Dickens didn't never return in the places where he worked in; he did it when that buildings pulled down, destroyed. Not before. David Copperfield's locations are these ones, while in Little Dorrit, Dickens focused on the changes of the latest thirty years in London.
Back on the Strand close to the Savoy Hotel lived Miss La Creevy,
Nicholas Nickleby.

From Lincoln's Inn Fields to the Mansion House the second walk. Chancery Lane the spine of legal London as says mr.Clark, here we meet the location of Bleak House, and close to, at Old Square Kenge and Carboy Mr.Pickwick's counsel Snubbing had his chambers.
And not only him...

Walk Three: from Holborn Circus to Soho Square. In this walks you will see three of the houses where Dickens lived in.
Great Expectations, The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Martin Schuzzlewit, Barnaby Rudge...

From Bermondsey to Holborn Circus is a walk associated with the book Oliver Twist.
Mentioned also Newgate, a terrible english prison closed and destroyed later, in four books: Barnaby Rudge, A tale of teo Cities, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations.

The last walk from the Bank of England to Trafalgar Square and Westmister.
In these streets lived the first love of the beloved writer.
Scroodge's counting house around Cornhill. These streets were locations for Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit, Bleak House.

The last chapters is dedicated to the first suburbs: Chelsea, Camden Town, Greenwich, Hampstead, Highgate, Limehouse.

The author explains at the end also when his love for Dickens began: when they presented him an edition of Oliver Twist at the age of 9, encouraged by his relatives to continue to read Dickens. His grandfather, tells, left school at the age of 13, but knew Dickens's books very well.

This one is of course a literary trip in London and in its unicity I highly suggest it to you, because starting from Dickens you will see that it will become a complete long walk in the city and at the end you can return home saying to everyone that realistically you discovered London. And you can tell to everyone you saw it with the same eyes of Dickens.

An unique trip in the time and in the history.
Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, aprile 13, 2019

Symphony of Happiness, Sinfonia della Felicità by Simona Corvese

I want to start to saying I received this ebook review copy more than two months ago. I lost the epub; because without anymore internet connection at home altered in the daily-routine, just recently I re-downloaded the file. 

This book written by Simona Corvese, Symphony of Happiness, Sinfonia della Felicità is extremely warm and human, and it is, maybe  the first thing you notice, while you are reading it.  
It seems a modern but at the same time Old fashioned book of good feelings, where bad people won't make, for once, a good end, and where, good people will reach happines and joy.
The reason of the title is this one....

The story is divided in the present and in the past, the 1970s.
In general when writers opens several "windows" is not always a big success, because the story can't be followed anymore well, they add too many characters, too many stories, too many dialogues. There is...confusion.

In this case it's the opposite thanks to an author that to my point of view is riflessive and plenty of good heart also in the choices of dialogues, intelligent ones. She loves all the characters invented and she is sweet with them; for each of them prepared an incredible story, very well told using maturity, understanding. David, Roberto, Gyorgy, different destinies, same formation, are interconnected. Plus, let me add this: this book will let you discover a world, the one of classic music, that it is simply enchanting.
It's an altruistic book, positive, plenty of great values, friendship, love, generosity, passions, dreams, expectations. It's a meritocratic book also this one where, for sure, it is not important the nationality of a person if there is talent. This giving love, this desire of loving as parents is another strong thematic treated in the book.
The end is wonderfully moving.

The story:
Roberto Neri is a famous director of orchestra; he has a wife, Laura and shares his apartment with a little turtle called Valentina. Back in Milan after a long time spent around the world directing the most prestigious orchestras you can think at, he abruptly faints in the historic center of the city because of low pressure. The last thing he remembers the wonderful sound of some violins and in particular the way a violin was sang by a little girl called Livia a rom like the rest of the other children close to her.
Livia and her friends surrounded him, when fainted, all curious and trying to be helpful in a way or in another.
People, skeptical regarding their help, tried their best for sending them to hell, but Roberto can't forget the magical sound of that violin played by that little girl.

When Roberto re-meets Livia asks her if she wants to start a school for singing violin professionally thanks to his wife Laura, a teacher and founder of a reality La Fondazione Musica Senza Confini, No Borders Music Foundation completely free for children and people who would want to study music and don't have the possibility of doing it, a charity helping marginalized children.

Livia lives with Jòzsef his cousin and his mother Vicka. As you will read it's a complicated situation. I don't want to reveal more, but the story of roms is pretty interesting and fascinating.  

The place where Livia and Jòzsef the cousin will study is beautiful. Teachers in that school are amazed by the wonderful ability of these two children of playing violin. It's unusual.
David is another director of orchestra, and a great friend of Roberto.
They share a great talent but also a sad, old,story. Their friendship is long and strong, born in the sufferance.

Roberto is conquered by the talent of Livia and her sensibility and she remembers him someone he had previously lost. Livia would have wanted with all herself to study music for becoming a musician but problems, difficulties and the hard heart of people, sometimes because of their broken dreams, is not helpful.

Gyorgy, their dad is now a real delinquent; when he discovers that these children attend music classrooms under the wing and protection of director Neri, he decides of going away with them: Spain.

The children try their best for staying connected with music also when in Spain. A dream is always a dream.

Roberto's personal life is haunted by a sad past and a terrible incident where, both his parents lost the existence when he was still little.
Once adult he experienced another important trauma.

Roberto at the end will re-discover Livia. He is seriously interested in adopting the teenager, but problems remain persistent under many aspects...

This one is a trilogy, so I guess you will wait for the second book as anxiously as I do!

Not all the story has been revealed.

I thank Simona Corvese for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori