sabato, giugno 29, 2019

Tokyo Mindscapes Where to Go, When to Go, What to See Photos and Text by Misaki Matsui

It's peace, harmony, gentle touch, romanticism without forgetting modernity, although modernity in its all visibility is immersed in a timeless land, where sacrality is respected by temples, shrines, beautiful gardens, attractions for spirituality and prayers, for wishes, and desires, for expectations, beauty, for an immersion in the nature.
All of it and more, you can find in this beautiful visual, tourist guide that you must bring with you when you will visit Tokyo. Tokyo Mindscapes Where to Go, When to Go, What to See P

hotos and Text by Misaki Matsui is the answer to all your questions. Published by Museyon Inc. I have always loved the spirituality of Japan and this looking at the world always with calm, positive vibes; a touch this one that the western civilization doesn't have.

Every city, in this case a capital, if big is crowded. Tokyo the most populated city in the world can be visited in every season of the year, although of course, you will find a diversification of things to do and places to visit.
There are theaters where you can assist just at traditionals Japanese shows; there are parks and towers similar at Central Park and the Eiffell Tower.
There are gardens that you should visit if you want to capture the moment only in the early morning; other ones that just want per visit 300 people, for keeping the visit absolutely beauty for the eyes and the spirit.
Temples dedicated at the research of a good marriage; other  ones devoted at the God who protects business.
There is a big statue of Buddha, there from the 1200s, but also many other ancient places.
There are gardens still in progress, created for restoring peace in the soul and where slowly slowly creators added always more variety of local plants and flowers mentioned, look at the poetic touch, in literature and poetry.
Not only: the idea given wonderfully well by this writer is that Tokyo not only loves its past, but venerates it with great passion, respect, beauty and devotion.
If Chrysathemum is, sadly, for our culture the flowers of our dead ones, Japanese celebrate them and Wisteria with great relaxation, joy and happines in a temple where parents and children search for good grades and admission to big and important universities.
Tokyo is also a tripude of festivals of plants, flowers, trees, cherries in blossom, but not just that ones.
In this season of the year, if you are in Tokyo you can't miss the creative garden of Fukagawa. The Kabuki is a beautiful very old theather, but you shouldn't miss also to visit the so-called Walkable Island, The City of Art.
The Kokakuen Garden named in this way because of a poem that says that the people’s happiness should come before the ruler’s is another magnificient offer of the city for tourists and passionates of peace and tranquility.
If you love hydrangea, there is an old temple all edicated to this magnificient flower.
Aquariums are another attraction of Tokyo with their numerous goldfish of all sorts.
There are spots of Tokyo winking at Elvis and the USA.
There are children busy at preserving the passage of their parents and the large collections of arts and culture accumulated, transforming houses in real museums open to everyone.
Celebrated is also the arrival of fireflies, symbol of beauty of summer in Japan from more than 1.000 years.
Visit the Shrine with more than 100.000 trees from all Japan but don't miss the Mount Fuji as well. It is an active volcano, but the latest eruption in 1707, a lot of time ago.
A place dedicated to nature, beauty and grace of course has also the Institute for Nature Study, part of the National Museum of Nature and Science. All of it, 50-acre forest in the middle of Tokyo. You can't leave Tokyo without tasting Maguro-Zukushi. Toyosu is the most important fish market of the city. An experience.
For all the lovers of Art Deco, there is the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum and if in Tokyo during the Christmas's season you can't miss the Blue Lights.

At the end of the book a functional calendar with the most important events and places to visit, a map of the city with informations and the most relevant places to visit and their history, starting with the city of Tokyo.

Beautiful, relaxing, I would want to go right now in Tokyo for finding that peace sometimes lost in our culture and so well defined there.

The city of Tokyo passes through temples, shrines, but also dedication at nature, flowers, plants, gardens. I love it so badly. We musn't find Heaven once dead, but when we are here, although grace, beauty, harmony, calm, serenity are values sometimes not practiced.
Tokyo, for everyone too stressed, is a city to visit for re-connect the spirit at the harmonic universe surrounding us.

Highly recommended.

I thank Museyon Inc. for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

Pakkun the Wolf and His Dinosaur Friends Written and illustred by Yasuko Kimura

What a sweet children's book Pakkun the Wolf and His Dinosaur
Friends Written and illustred by Yasuko Kimura is. Published by Museyon Books
The story is simply adorable: one day, while Pakkun the Wolf and the Hen were speaking peacefully an egg of the hens rolled out from the nest falling in a hole. The unknown. A hole represents this. It can be a good surprise, as it happened for Alice in Wonderland, but it could be also a horror-story.
Ops: what to do now? The Hen cannot abandon the nest and so Pakkun offers his help: he will search for her egg, wherever it is. Starting his trip in the hole.
The scenario changes abruptly and Pakkun can't understand anymore where he is, until he discovers that he is arrived in the Land of Dinosaurs; weird, strange creatures he hasn't never seen before. Will they be friendly?
Pakkun the Wolf doesn't lose his courage and asks to the weird creatures he meets along his way if for case, they have seen somewhere a little hen's egg. It starts a wonderful trip in seas, skies, magical ancient lands 'till at the arrival of the Valley of Dinosaurs Eggs. In that land there are many eggs and one of them is not an ancient, distant egg of a creature disappeared, not anymore existing but of a hen.
This portion of the story whispered to me the taste of remote past; the help that we receive from the past, from dead people, they can be our neighbors, parents, friends, but also from people of literature and other creative arts, for understanding the world where we live in.
Back in the common and more known world we know better, Pakkun the Wolf is seen more than heroically for the poor hen who would have been devastated if she would lose her chick forever.
In this sense joy and happiness are here the main thematic. The reunion with the other siblings of the chicken, and the joy of her mother-hen are immense.
The return of that chicken has lived by the hen with an incommensurable joy and with immense gratitude.
The morals of this story are many; that help can make the difference in the living of a person. Pakkun wouldn't never have found the egg if assaulted, if hated, if damaged by the rest of Dinosaurs, creatures he doesn't know at all.
It's more than a moral, this one. Being helpful and at the same time receiving help is priceless because also if you must climb a mountain you can do that with the help of others; in opposite case it would be impossible to do that.
The past is another moral: we musn't never think that the past is buried and doesn't speak to us. We are connected with the present too much but sometimes answers can be found in the remote past for sorting out contigent problems of every sorta.

The third moral is that in the differences that there are between creatures, and a wolf can be nasty with animals more little than him, we see solidariety, we see dialogue, we see inter-connection and inclusivity. Maybe Pakkun that day stopped by for speaking with the hen just for saying her: hi! and then seeing she was in difficulty, he was in grade of being helpful. In every possible way.
It means that dialogue, open-minds, dedication, inclusivity are the only ways for staying happy all together and for building a cheerful, happy society.

The fourth moral is that the unknwon sometimes scaring at first, can be absolutely good.

For children and parents, this children's book in its complexity offers various readings and morals.  

Absolutely recommended for your children!

I thank Museyon Inc. for the copy of this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, giugno 25, 2019

Elogio della Modernità Da Turner a Picasso, Eulogy of the Modernity from Turner to Picasso by Flavio Caroli

The story of the arrival of this book must be told. I asked for a book review copy months ago after that I watched an interview of Mr. Caroli on TV. "Look: it sounds an interesting book. I want to review it."  Considering that a branch of this publishing house sends via postal mail I waited patiently, when weeks later I was reached by an  e-mail. At the publicity department of UTET people were pretty upset: the book returned refused. I wouldn't refuse any book, I am a book addicted. I thought immediately: oh, no! Again?
I explained in detail what it was going on in my corner of the world and bad waters I was sailing giving another address. At the end we sorted out the problem but it took several months before I could see the copy of this stunning hardback book of history of art in my hands.

Now: considering all the rest of books innested in the early 1920s that I read and reviewed I thought that maybe it was arrived the moment of touching art as well.

Flavio Caroli in his Elogio della

Modernità Da Turner a Picasso, Eulogy of the Modernity from Turner to Picasso published by UTET, will surprise everyone. It is shockingly quick in the various chapters, but at the same time this book is a full-immersion of informations.
It's substantially a turbillon of artistic movements, the so-called avant-guards, painters, paintings; Caroli synthetizes very well a century pretty problematic with all the possible changes seen in the world and society. Let's remember that painting is a great representative of it; it follows the turmoil, happiness, joy, sadness that a society "transmits" thanks to peace, wars, contradictions and the XX century, no one can says the opposite, has been a strong century with two sad world wars and endless atrocities of every kind and fight in various part of the world for obtaining different rights.

Written with the structure of the dialogue between a niece, interested in art and his uncle, this book is  the internal dialogue of mr.Caroli himself. Considering the friendly approach, it is a great book for someone that must still be introduced at the knowledge of art,  because it's intriguing, because there are a lot of thematic that later people can develops with other books, and painters less known can be appreciated. A book of art must be read but it can be also a valid visual instrument of approach for starting to love art. A first step. Trust me. I experienced this.
The first time I picked up a book of art I still didn't read but I got lost for paintings of Modigliani, Van Gogh, Monet. It was the scholastic book of art of my brother. I spent hours looking at that paintings and since there I love art and painting.
So, don't be shy; sure the art of the XX century maybe needs to be explained, because we are not in the Renaissance, there is not perfection; there is a different research of color, intimacy, feelings, contrasts. It is a "problematic painting" because it is realized in a problematic time, I would add.

The idea of been lost in the world, sad, happy at the same time, the idea of a man living alone in a paradisiac, terrible place is a fascination donated by the Romanticism. Man is little and undefined in confrontation with nature, and nature, trips, roads, are just metaphores of our trip in this existence. William Turner in England was in grade of giving a fresh look at Romanticism mixing with it the modernity of the arrival of technology seen with the eyes of a train. Nature remains strong, like also strong is the advent of this new way of communication.
While Delacroix in France painted The Freedom seen it classically Gericault introduces not just a new way of painting, but also scientif paintings. Secluded in a manicomy after the realization of his most famous painting, he will try to focus his attention on the problematic of the other guests of the structure, the Salpetriere, opening a new way of paintings; sufferance, madness.
Realists could be cryptic as it does a painting by Courbet probably an homage according to the critic of art to masonry without forgettin the vulva.
The Impressionism with Claude Monet will make the difference in the history of art. Impressionism was born for giving a new answer at the concept of life and space. Yes: it is a story of light and conception of the meaning of light for these new painters; Impressionism captures the moment; yes, like it happens with photography; under many aspects these two states of art can be compared; it's a story of moments, lights, imagining that nothing will return as it was before.
Going outside becomes a priority.
Nature is a real heaven. Impressionists will donate calm, relaxation and at the same time, will donate a vivid description of what it was going on in a certain moment of the day and how light changed changing in the various hours of the day, giving a different idea of landscapes, monuments taken in consideration. Not only: light is not anymore seen and represented as did painters as Vermeer but becomes a fusion with the rest of the landscape portrayed.
If painting gives shapes to a new style at the same time sculpture follows this trend, giving a new idea of reality: shape becomes always more confused and deform, while matter and light are the main protagonists.
To Caroli Van Gogh represents the conclusive experience of the self-destructive individualism of the late Romanticism.
The Espressionist is seen through the eyes of Gustave Klimt, the biggest representative of this movement and in France by Henri Matisse not just a painter but a writer as well.
The second part of the Espressionists will see as protagonists Vasilij Kandinskij in a strained moment for the world. Mediation for these painter in art was represented by colors and the meaning of colors important because the add musicality. If Vasilij was searching for color and musicality, Meidner searched for all the possible deformities afflicting the existence; physicals or psychologicals. In Italy we had a representative of the movement in Viani. He searched all the time of representing, thanks also to his diversified human experiences, the latest ones, from pronstitutes to homeless.
Picasso and Cubism. It's a story of influences, of historical moments again. James Joyce and his books, Marcel Prous and the Research, the XX century adds the author is the century of the Relativity. In this context was born one of the most famous painting of Pablo Picasso Les Mademoiselle d'Avignone 1907.
Futurists at the same time tried to capture rebellions, moments of agitation. After all these artists anticipated as also did Picasso the theory of space and time by Albert Einstein.
Carrà, Boccioni two eminents Futurists.
The Methaphysics painting will see as protagonists Giorgio De Chirico and Alberto Savinio. Reality is lived in an hallucinating state. In Les Parents by Savinio the heads of the two protagonists are the ones of animals. The man is naked, while the lady's got in her hands a posy. Behind them, flames and destruction. Joan Mirò surrealist will enchant the reader with his visionarity, although the author won't save Salvador Dalì, a pretty embarassing protagonist for contemporary art, he adds. A chapter explains also what happened during the 1930s, and what it meant art during the years of European dictatorship.
Modern art couldn't include painters from the USA, like Hopper and a final chapter is dedicated to the most remarkable painting of the XX according to Caroli.

This book is remarkable because we will see through the eyes of Caroli and the paintings of the  painters of the various avant-guards what happened in the XX century and why art became what it is today.Confusions, wars, conflicts, new existential problems not existing in the past centuries brought an answer of an art always more undefined, always more sufferent, always more at the research of the human state of the soul of the painter and of the meaning of the society, always more focused in the reality and in the moment; in the now. In the XX century, paintings started to be more than in the past centuries a mirror of the human condition.
Is it possible to give shape at the most important fears, horrors, devastations? In what way it is possible to represent the social, political condition of people? Artists are, sometimes priviledged also in periods of oppression but they live the tumults of the world where they live in and they absorb the social, political ideas and transformations of their countries. The art that you will see is the mirror of one of the most conflictual centuries of the entire humanity.
I want also to add that art is a key for understanding history, so if you have children allergic at history, try to help them mixing historical informations with art. It will be a success.  

Highly highly recommended to everyone.

I thank so much, hoooray we did it! UTET for the physical copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, giugno 20, 2019

Vanishing Bees by Suryanarayanan and Kleinman

Temible and since now unstoppable, everything started in the USA. It was 2005 when US beekepers noticed that their bees were massively dying for unknown reasons. The illness was called later Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. Vanishing Bees
by Suryanarayanan and Kleinman treat the topic seen it under various perspectives. Governments, beekeepers companies productors of pesticides  Published  by Rutgers Press this one is a valuable book if you want to understand the problem.
Sure: keeping bees healthy and in a good environment, so not close to factories, not close to pollution or places where farmers add pesticides means the best choice. And honey, I do pay a lot of attention at what I eat, where it is from, etc, pays.
Once as tell this book, a beekeper had chosen two places where to keep during the easter time the various hives and he noticed that a group of bees, once he returned home with all of them were much more healthier than the group exposed at pollution and unclear environment's conditions.
Problems of insecticides, DDT, (appeared during the last second world war conflict) meant to the beekepers a danger and beekepers since there started to fight a personal pacific protest with these companies, launching various and diversified alarms because they saw that their bees reacted in worrying ways at the arrival of pesticides.
Beekepers observing their bees, noted a "mutation" of the condition of life of bees, with, at the end these consequences. Colony Collapse Disorder is a multifactorial illness, but mainly caused, add beekepers by pollution, use of pesticides.
But...not all beekepers agree with this firm position of the most, regarding Colony Collapse Disorder as you will read and so it is difficult to find a solution at this big problem. Yes, because bees play the most important and crucial part during spring and summer-time: the one of impollinating the world and in this way, continuing the humanity of the Planet, keeping it alive and healthy. A world without bees would mean rapidly a world without a lot of creatures, a lot of flowers, plants but also without men.
Prince Edwards Island, Canada, the land where was born mrs. Montgomery the creator of Anne of Green Gables is also famous for potatoes. They organize festivals of potatoes,
they have a museum of potatoes, tons of yummy recipes all for you with potatoes. There is a big celebration of this tuber and a real veneration. What happened in 2000? There was a strange and abrupt departure of a lot of bees in the island and beekepers started to search for the cause. It happened that some farmers had used on the fields where they planted potatoes the so-called Admire by Bayer. Expanded since 1995 when the Canadian Government permitted it, this chemical substance, imidacloprid started to have a great success and was tried also in PEI with funest results for the bees. Bees are not attracted by the flowers of potatoes, but some of this chemical substance could be found into nearby ditches and so in the nectar and pollen of the goldenrod and clover plants. Not only: the amount of imidacloprid was incredibly elevated. This chemical also, remained per various years in the soil.
Beekepers asked for a moratorium on Admire.
Bayer made its own studies and the company is of course involved in the great debate that there is regarding Colony Collapse Disorder and how it can be possible to arrest it. Sure: the multi-factoriality of the disease, Varroa for example can be another co-cause, keeping bees weak, but also climate change are not helpful. Sure: a world without pesticides, a cleaned world would mean a simpler existence not just for bees but also for the human race. 

Highly recommended.

I thank Eurospan and Rutgers University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Peregrinations Walking in American Literature by Amy T.Hamilton

Peregrinations Walking in American Literature by Amy T.Hamilton 
and published by Nevada University Press fascinated me for the intensity of the stories told. Walking means always telling a story. Oldest people in my rural community told me how, in the past, they reached closest cities just...walking, because there weren't other ways; no roads, no cars.

The same ones told in this book. Peregrinations was born for a story of destiny. The author as you will read experienced, although without to know that, a special meeting with two men, Hormell and King who walked per more than 3000 miles with the purpose of proving that walking is a reality and for supporting a noble cause. Impressed by what discovered later, she decided to launch herself in a literary adventure through the beautiful, terrible, absolutely stunning large territory of the USA, taking in consideration the most long walks that, for a reason or another made the history of..walking in the USA.

The author will take in consideration the walks of people taken in captivity  as it happened to Mary White when on Febr 10th 1676 she was taken prisoner with large part of her family. When she will write a journal about this experience she will focus on the this state of "disconnection on the path to reintegration."

Two centuries later the same experience will affect Sarah Wakefield taken prisoners by the Dakota. In her journal not only her experience but also customs, traditions, women's conditions.

Sure, walking in the American Literature and history meant also sufferance. A lot of sufferance if we take in consideration the forced Long Walk march of the Navajo, who had to abandon their lands because the white men had "won" their territory. To them walking was not a pleasure (not that it was incredibly cheerful for the ladies taken prisoners as well, but they saw after all, light after the tunnel) but desperation. It meant a complete defeat, but also the loss of their lands, traditions, religion, customs; a world from an endless time was completely destroyed. They lost their land and losing their land they lost their roots.
Someone wrote: "I shall tell my children about the horror, and they shall tell their children. We can never forget what happened. In the future, if we survive, we must remember every detail..."
There wasn't just sufferance in walking. Mary Austin was an example of temerary woman; she didn't want to live a passive life, and for reaching her new destination she walked in every possible way. It was, again, a big adventure because she discovered in a strong confrontation also the big desert of the West.

What these journals written in particular by European people, American citizens did, were important because they permitted to discover at a largest public the immensity, diversified world  existing in the USA with its own plants, flowers, animals, and characteristics of an endless land where different weathers, trees, ecosystems terribly differents from a part to the other of the USA, exists.
Emerson and Thoureau won't miss to remember the beauty of nature. The second one will live a full-immersion into the forest at long, understanding the powerful connection between physical movement and spirituality. To him a powerful fusion: man and environment. Not only, Thoureu insists in a point: "that walking gives the walkers the comfort and familiarity to move freely."
Another long walk was the one who affected in recent years, we speak of may 2001, 29 Mexicans. They left Veracruz trying to reach the USA, but it was a mortal trip. Some of them survived but most of them ended up dispersed or found dead in the desert. A book was later written by Urrea regarding this big trip, thanks to articles of newsmagazines, pictures, an accurate account of what it means to be not completely prepared for nature and the asperity that a brutal enrivonment can presents to men. These poor men didn't imagine the desert and what would have waited them. Maybe they knew something of it, but maybe they didn't imagine that it would have been so devastating.

Walking means to establish a relationship with the environment close to us; not only; it means spiritual and religious connections as you will read, but also the ability and possibility of entering in contact with the most powerful force existing in the world; nature, and so religion, ecstasy, respect, surprise, joy, sufferance, death, tribulation.

Highly recommended.

I thank Nevada Press and Eurospan for the physical copy of this book.

domenica, giugno 16, 2019

Learning from Henri Nouwen & Vincent Van Gogh A portrait of the Compassionate Life by Carol A. Berry Foreword by Sue Masteller

Learning from Henri Nouwen & Vincent Van Gogh A portrait of the
Compassionate Life by Carol A. Berry Foreword by Sue Masteller is a stellar, particular book to my point of view. Published by InterVarsity Press, this book speaks the language of compassion and a compassionate life seen of course through the eyes of the writer, the wife of a pastor, but also the one of  mr Nouwen through the works by Vincent Van Gogh.
Mrs Berry attended a course in 1978 by mr. Nouwen where the teacher expressed all the magnificient message left by Vincent Van Gogh not just as a painter, but first of all as a sensitive, wonderful, touching, human being in grade to be compassionate, close to people, in the particular the last ones of the world, peasants, later miners.
Being Vincent Van Gogh's dad a pastor, peasants were a strong reality in the church he ruled and often, Vincent's father asked him of joining him during his visits. Years later Vincent wrote to his brother Theo: "Even as a boy I sometimes looked up with endless sympathy and respect into a half-withered female face where it was written,
as it were: life and reality have left its mark there."
People who forged his character and entered in his soul for remaining there forever.
The existence of Van Gogh as we all know has been difficult, unlucky, and being a sensitive person of course difficult for this reason as well. Although his father was a pastor, he didn't meet as also writes the author, a great compassion from his family. They would have wanted to see more real consistency in what he was doing, but the decision of dedicating his years to an art's life meant most of the times lack of money.
Theo, in particular, his brother will always remain close to him.
But what does the word compassion mean? To suffer with. Being compassionate is sharing with other a common destiny, being close, comforting and understanding.
As adds the author Saint Paul wrote ones: "Always consider the other
person to be better than yourself, so nobody thinks of his own interests
first but everyone thinks of the other people’s interests instead."
When Van Gogh left his house he began a trip that brought him at the Hague, Paris, London. Here he worked for an art dailer but this work didn't have success and after a while Vincent left London embracing the cause of the miners in the Borinage.
He did it with simplicity and, living his life to the fullest and protecting the rights of the miners who, at first saw this boy with great diffidence.
Consolation means cum solus with , so alone with and as adds Berry, it's not so simple to stay close to someone in the sufferance, because sometimes we stereotyped sufferance or just because we would want to fly away, without helping our relative or our friend in the sufferance. I experienced a lot of sufferances but I can tell you people evaporated where not strong enough for helping; but let's add this, it is human.
The new existence of Van Gogh was characterized by compassion in particular regarding the poorest people around him like a prostitute in trouble. There will be also a love-story but it ended up tragically because the girl, pressed by her family returned to be a prostitute, a profession that permitted her of earning a lot of money.
After this experience Van Gogh went to Drenthe. Continuing to potraying peasants.
and "feeling them" as wrote to Theo: "One must paint the peasants as being himself one of them, as feeling, thinking as they do themselves."
Ready for the biggest world, Van Gogh won't never return home once he again, left Holland.
Berry explains that: "Every human being does have a great, yet often unknown, gift to care, to be compassionate, to become present to the other, to listen, to hear, and to receive. If that gift would be set free and made available, miracles could take place."
Paris meant to Vincent and Theo a wonderful experience thanks to the vibrant parisienne life and the new knowledge he had about color theory.
What Van Gogh did from this moment was to research spasmodically for vibrant colors and that light in grade to make the difference. Bright colors were compulsively added for bringing joy in the darkest corners of people's existences.
When in Arles Van Gogh would have wanted to create a studio but the only one agreed was Paul Gaugin and  as we all remember that friendship and sodalice brought Van Gogh at an ugly moment of auto-lesionism: for a reason or another he cut one of his ear with powerful consequences for his health; frequent seizures, a lot of headache. And depression. Gaugin terrorized escaped away when discovered what his friend caused to himself. Destination Paris.
More than a year spent at Saint-Rémy for recovering, Theo insisted: he had to live with him and his family.  
It hasn't been another great success and at the end Van Gogh returned home one day with this apparently episode of suicide. He didn't die immediately: two days later, assisted by Theo.
It is still disputed this story because yes, maybe it was a suicide but maybe also a probable accidental shooting. We won't never know that and Theo didn't add anything in any letter, too devastated for the departure of his creative brother.

I have been touched by a sermon of Steve, the husband of mrs Berry. I knew a person like Lyn, someone who loved to share, making happy and joyful other people.
I add some of the sermon.
"Lyn didn’t have any money because he put people before money.
He valued friendships more than he valued things. He gave every-
thing he had, wherever he was. Men and women are generally
valued by what they acquire. It’s one of the big lies, of course, that
we are what we own. Lyn measured life and its value by a higher
standard. Material wealth came in far, far behind an extensive list
of priorities, topped by helping others. That’s what he did. He left
behind a legacy of people he had helped and nurtured. You never
had to ask Lyn to help with anything; he was always one step
ahead of the asking. He always offered; he never sat by and ex-
pected someone else to do what he could do or to help where he
might help. Lyn did not grasp for things. He did not measure his
life over and against others....Lyn taught us how to trust. He taught us that you could have your heart broken and still go on loving. He taught us that sacrifice for the
ones you love is never too great.

The book is divided in three parts: Solidarity, Consolation and Comfort with a lot of paintings of Van Gogh's production. A real joy for the eyes.

I thank NetGalley and InterVarsity Press for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, giugno 14, 2019

Enemy of the People Trump's War on the Press The New McCarthyism, and the Great Treat to American Democracy by Marvin Kalb

Enemy of the People Trump's War on the Press The New McCarthyism, and the Great Treat to American
Democracy by Marvin Kalb is a book by Brookings and as all the books published by this publishing house, it is not just pretty clear and vivid, but also written with great passion.

President Trump has represented, from the day of his elections a big abnormality in an American System where check and balance, respect for all institutions, (legislative, executive, judiciary power) passing through the press was the normality.

Mr. Kalb explains that there wasn't difference if the President was Republican or Democrat, each of them before the advent of Trump respected the role of the press.

A free press does it; it reports what happens in a daily base. In a healthy, and real democratic country, free press is the companion of democracy, because they live in complete friendship; there are problems when segments of power starts to attack systematically the press, reporters, journalists, considering them liars;  the Washington Post, the New York Times two examples of newsmagazines not seen well. When this segment of the State is the President, telling to his electors that "the press is the enemy of the people" it is terribly destabilizing because a leader means that who voted for him is approving, following, what the President is saying, and will believe at his words; these electors will start to hate reporters of the NYT, the WP, just for the fact that they exist; the people who didn't vote for him will start to develop a strong adversion and hate for the President, with all the possible consequences that the story implies: the country is confused, divided, conflictual, peaceless and the compass seems like broken. Phantoms that people thought completely forgotten after the arrival of Trump strongly re-emerged: the white suprematists became more strong with him; they are a group of people who can't see minorities, immigrants, Jews, and so on.
The same policy of the President was not amicable from the beginning with immigrants; the desire of building a big wall for discouraging the potential Mexicans and their arrivals in the Land of Opportunities was just one of the ideas; chaos after chaos, reported by the press, the President delegitimized the role of the press from the beginning, adding that what journalists wrote was all fake news. People hadn't to listen to them. They were just liars. They had just to listen to him. Let me add: thanks at the media, if not it would be impossible.
This one as also wrote Kalb is an age of Darkness or: obscurantism.

But...Was there a precendent in the USA? Someone similar to Trump, who fought against something strongly and that at the same time hated the press?
Yes there was; in the differences of the case, this one was McCarthy. Cold war, the world divided in two Blocks, the enemy could just be the Communism. And the press, seen as an allied or an enemy. It depended.
McCarthy's hate for Communism, for Communists, he saw Communists in every corner of the street created the so-called historical period: McCarthyism.

Problem won't be just this historical moment, but how the USA will be left, once the age of the Trumpism will be over.

I strongly suggest you this book. It gives coverage to decades of American policy and journalism with passion, enthusiasm and desire of being helpful. This book was born for remarking to everyone that no one is an enemy, and the press is not the enemy of Trump but as the author will conclude: "...with all due respect to the office you hold, Mr. president, the "enemy of the people" is not the press. It is you."

I thank Eurospan and Brookings Institution Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, giugno 11, 2019

Serious Fun How Guided Play Extends Children's Learning edited by Marie L. Masterson & Holly Bohart

Serious Fun How Guided Play Extends Children's Learning edited by
Marie L. Masterson & Holly Bohart published by The National Association for the Education of Young Children is first of all a book dedicated to teachers and their metodology of approach in kindergarten classrooms. This book will be inspiring, with new ideas for increasing the productivity of the daily routine in the kindergarten.
Why this title: Serious Fun?
Because what this book wants to do is to focus mainly on the importance of play in the existence of children and how, through this activity, is possible to study and learn. Play is also important because children in that particular phase of their existence will learn how to cope with difficulties once grown up.

Examples in this book are many: teachers should implement, extending, creatively, the play of the various children, without being too intrusive, but  seing what happens if a new advice is put there, with apparent casualty.
If teachers can, they should add in their conversation with children new words of the vocabulary, repeating them often, so that children can understand and memorize them for later being in grade of using them. In this way children will increase their vocabulary. The pretest should be a certain play, a dramatic play; it could be a drama, a painting, a drawing, whatever you can think your students would appreciate.
The diversification of their existence will enrich the entire classroom with their tales,different customs and traditions.
Of course, an admonition for all teachers is not to discriminate children for the colors of their skin.
Storytelling will be another important voice. Storytelling passes through movements, words, painting, sculpture, whatever communicates something to other people.
So letting see a drawing, or a sculpture, or a painting to children will mean to start a play created with fantasy, emotivity; it will be possible to understand their thoughts through their fertile imagination, and slowly, from a project made by some old masters, the new little creations of these children with their own and unique perception of reality, world and imaginery world.
Everything is math. Trees can be counted, our smart phone's got a number; we call other people through their numbers; words can be counted,we have a certain numbers of cars, and we are surrounded, in our environment, by the most diversified geometric figures. It's the reality. We live, without to know that, in a physics and mathematical world.
Although the evidency, some children don't love math. In what way is it possible to increase the interest of children on this topic? After all for all their life they will have a direct confrontation with math in a daily-base and for the most diversified reasons. In general children entering at the kindergarten have notions of math but learning and loving is not the same thing. Serious Fun treats also math seen though the eyes of The Math Center for African American Boys; choosing the best material and support will help them and the rest of students. A good knowledge of math will help all students during their future existence.
Outdoor activities, interesting games, something is clear: that the years of kindergarten are the best formative ones for the creation of good and learned children and that's why it is so important maximine the work done during these years by teachers.

Important tools, tips, advice for teachers so that they can develop their school-sessions everyday with a new idea, captivating stimulating experience for their little students.

I would warmly suggest this book to parents as well. Sometimes parents don't know how to stimuate the fantasy or creativity of their children and this book offers a lot of diversified options. For future, beautiful minds.

Highly recommended.

I thank Eurospan and The NAEYC for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Three Little Birds by Lisa Mullady Illustrated by Kyle Reed

Three Little Birds by Lisa Mullady Illustrated by Kyle Reed
and published by the American Psychological Association is a book that everyone should read, adults included. The thematic, in fact, is pretty strong: the one of gossip but also revenge, passing through the sensation of being marginalized from an activity or hobby by other children, for a reason or another.
The story is the one of three little birds, called Red, Yellow and Blue. Blue is not invited by Red at going finding some worms with Yellow. Why this? Blue is absolutely upset and when he meets two other little birds, he communicates a fake news: that Red said Yellow was the worst at finding worms.
Gossip increased immediately because when there is a news still not known by the most, there is the opportunity of speaking, adding color or imaginery details.
Absolutely an enchanting activity for most, ruining the kid in this case taken in consideration.
When the news arrives at the hears of Red and Yellow, they are both surprised and at the same time puzzled: they didn't know anything about this story, and no one said that Yellow was terrible finding worms. Of course will follow a clarification with Blue.

The moral of the story is to try to stay friends with loyalty, searching for a clarification when you think that someone committed an action that upset you a lot, and never, never trying to put down other children with fake news, gossip, or any possible news in grade of damaging them. Only a constructive, happy and harmonic environment creates beautiful future personalities. Little envies, jealousies are toxics and if not fixed are in grade of damaging future productive relationships.

This children's book is wonderfully illustrated; I found illustrations cute, tender and they reach the heart of children. At the end an helpful guide for operators, parents regarding the best behavior to keep when a kid is upset with other ones, for sorting out the problem with a smile and a simple, honest, and direct, clarification.

I thank Eurospan and Magination Press for the physical copy of Three Little Birds.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, giugno 09, 2019

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is
Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman speaks to the heart of people. I decided of buying this book at the second-hand store of the ladies of Books for Dogs in Umbertide because it was trendy. Per months wherever I went on Instagram there was the cover of Eleanor Oliphant. I was curious. The lady of the bookstore said me that it was fun and that I would have smiled a lot reading it.
Maybe, of course it's a story of tastes and perceptions but this story didn't make me smile at all.

I add that yesteday I went at a meeting organized by our regional order of the Journalists. They explained us how to treat news involving children. This topic is delicate and needs attention. We, journalists, followed with great attention various relators. One of them, a lady, talked to us of what it means for a kid, pretty little, being abused and in what way these silences could be broken, also from us, and these stories told.

Abusers, ogres, are first of all in the familiar circuit and it means a word: silence, and then shame; it means incredubility and most of the time the kid affected by violence is not heard, understood or protected, because the honor of the family must be protected in a spiral of secrets and mysteries pretty senseless.
That lady made us a precise request: the one of writing about this thematic.

I thought that, I was reading Eleanor Oliphant, there wasn't best book for starting.

This book speaks to the heart of people as said before but mainly focuces the attention on a problem, the one of toxic families that it is big like a house and that leaves for the children abused, treated bad a sad, weird, not completely negative, but different future from the one that could have had, if grown up in an harmonic family.

Eleanor Oliphant works in an office, she idealizes a love with a musician she doesn't know, she lives alone, she talks once per week with her dead mother and she drinks too vodka during her spare time.

The fact were these ones: at the age of 29 years the motherpf Eleanor  decided of killing her, the sister and herself in a fire. She intoxicated the children so that they could sleep and then she started the fire. Eleanor tried all her best for saving the sister but it was impossible.

That one who wanted the end of her and her sister was her mother. How could she cope with this horror? Her mother didn't dream for her a good future, just her end.
How could a kid so shocked breaking the relationship with her mother? So, although dead, Eleanor feels her voice, and answers back. Imagining what her mother would have asked her; what would have waited for her. That mother is resentful, that mother admonishes her: after all she has her same blood in the veins; what does she want her daughter from life?

Eleanor doesn't know what a normal family means because the rest of her time spent with foster families and problems are not yet over.
One day, she knows Raymond for casualty; they hang out together and they both, literally save an old man, calling the ambulance.
It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and not only: once Eleanor will visit the house of Raymond's mother; she will discover what it means the maternal experience; children, the essence of a family; the mother of Raymond will insist for letting her see the pictures of the various children she had had and in some way, the history of her family. To Eleanor this perception of reality was absolutely unknown and abstract. Too strong for not starting to crying violently. In the many terrors of Eleanor also the one of having children for later killing them as did her mother with her sister.

Being a complicated story the one of Eleanor it is also perfect for something dangerous, but absolutely understandable. Not only: I think that, psychologically these episodes can save the existences of people abused: fantasy, day-dreaming, the creation of a best imaginery world, considering all the horror experienced becomes indispensible for going on although Eleanor maybe doesn't know the world as it is, but as she lived it, and it means a big distortion in every sense; the one of the musician she starts to imagining as her perfect match; the other side of the coin, the other half of the apple, is just one of the happy bubbles where she loves to staying for not coping often with a past too brutal to her.

Later, of course she understood her hallucination and her idealization.

In an extreme, to my point of view passage of the book, when Eleanor is partially healing, abused children won't never heal completely but they can cope with the unusual life they experienced, she will say: "The voice in my own head - my own voice - was quiet rational and sensible, I'd begun to realize. It was Mummy's voice that had done all the judging, and encouraged me to do so too. I was getting to quite like my own voice, my own thoughts. I wanted more of them. They made me feel good, calm even. They made me feel like me."

The final phrase is shocking and a revelation for Eleanor. She understands that all these years she thoughts with the toxic thoughts maybe, generated by her mother if alive, searching for her mother, distorting what she would have said her, in a manipulation first of all wanted and created by herself because unable of breaking the most important relationship existing in the world: the one with the mother.

Eleanor's mother was dead years ago, but, as she says in another passage of this book, that one was the only mother she had had and good or bad that she had been, she could just use her as a term of comparison because she couldn't never have other examples and no other ones would have been in this life her mother.

But then Eleanor understands: understands that her own thoughts, her own self is wonderful and that she musn't never have fear of being who she is, because the past, this time will be buried forever thanks to Raymond and nothing if not a possible happiness will follow in the heavy existence of this 30 years old girl, trapped by her past and the phantom of her mother.

Superbly written, Gail Honeyman puts the reader in that ecstatic condition of not being in grade of putting down the book 'til the end; wonderful storyteller, she narrated the experienced lived by Eleanor with the voice of the protagonist.
I warmly suggest to everyone this book. I insist: you can search for irony, and humor and I am sure you will find it, but I didn't smile at all because when an existence, in this case imagined, is ruined, it's for the entire life.

Anna Maria Polidori