domenica, dicembre 29, 2019

Viral Modernism The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature by Elizabeth Outka

"...The domestic space became as deadly as the front lines. The enemy was no longer visible or from a particular nation, but a silent, nonhuman killer, loyal to no country or creed and able to corrupt the body from within."

Beautiful book for sure, interesting, written with love, passion, intense and for everyone is Viral
Modernism The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature by Elizabeth Outka published by Columbia University Press.

The pandemic flu the so-called Spagnola of 1918 is remembered also in our rural area. My dad told me that an entire family except for a son of this couple died because of this flu. "Everyday there was a funeral of a member of the family; five people passed away." 

 This flu caused 100 million of departures: literature was also touched by it, with the abrupt departure of Apollinaire who once returned home once said: "I am not fine. I will go to bed" and there he died, prostrating all the Paris community of poets and writers.

This flu has had three waves and they were all devastating for the people of all the world.

The first wave caused a lot of departures, but people were absorbed by war, there were many other problems and living with the shadows of disgraces became a sort of habit. People didn't pay at first, attention to it. 

Just doctors sounded worried because this flu attacked young people killing them in high numbers, causing a weird pneumonia. 

On 1918 the Spagnola killed million of people and piles of bodies could be seen everywhere; the 5% of population died and the 8% were young men and women.

In general flu is dangerous for older people and newborn children but it keep safe the young adults. In this case was the opposite. 


For symptoms, modality, this pandemic flu was a real pestilence. Nothing was normal with and in that flu.

You will read. Not only: this flu attacked the brain as well and also once recovered, people continued to suffering of serious mental illness like depression or schizofrenia. 


Not only: survivors experienced problems at lungs, they had vascular problems, cardiac irregularities, and many more physical problems. "It was a phantom and we didn't know where it was" added survivors. 

And it was true, because at the beginning of 1900s it was clear that this virus was spread by air and contact with sick people; a pretty scaring situation this one. Who was sick? 

People died abruptly everywhere, along the streets, in public transportation.

Under many ways it was the 'best death' people could ask for than not the one "met and known" by many other people; a long, devastating, scaring, sufferance. 

Churches, public locals of every sorta as schools, theaters, were all shut down. 

And not just for fear. Simply, people were all sick, or dead or they tried to help their beloved ones affected by this terrible flu. 

Church bells rang all the times for announcing new departures. Without interruption. It was psychologically devastating. Another imagine strong and firm remembered by survivors were funerals, coffins, cemeteries. In some places tells the author, there were communal graves because preparing coffins implied a certain time, but this plague caused wagons of dead and also the workers of funeral homes were not prepared:  after a while corpses were buried all together.


If some families disappered because of this virus, other ones more lucky were anyway heavily damaged by the disappearance of important members of their families. If it didn't arrive with war, poverty afflicted people thanks to the Spagnola.

Mary McCarthy, a writer added that "The chain of recollection - the collective memory of a family - had been broken." It happens when there are big disgraces.

Soldiers lost family members and when they returned home they did find different domestic environment and saddest families. 


But it was also a different tragedy this one, for another reason: soldiers didn't lose their existence killed in war, but killed by flu and this fact was considered incredibly frustrating, because this enemy couldn't be fought, couldn't be killed, could not be seen or recognized.

People who, apparently were incredibly healthy, became suddenly devastatingly sick; problems was that they spread the virus wherever they went.

That ones were years in which information, also thanks to the war, was different from the one that there is today. 

If doctors lived with frustration this failure, population appeared scared to death by war and a flu. A flu that had to be innocuous, but that revealed with its passage all its micidiality.

The fact that no one talked of this problem, and also the horrible, horrible symptoms of this illness (the one close to this pandemic flu is the Ebola for a quick comparison) created and affirmed with the time in literature and movies creatures like zombies.

Dead people: their shadows not only did not disappeared, but continued to torment the existence of the living ones because of the atrocities they saw with their own eyes. And because they were survivors.

It wasn't just a world war that plagued the existence of people but also a pandemic illness; a silent, invisible snake in grade of destroying families, microcosms and a harmony that was previously broken by war and now completely devastated and destroyed by the arrival of this phantom.

Who wrote after the pandemic flu took in consideration several factors: illness, death, mourning, the corpse and violence.

Why zombies? Maybe because psychologically these dead people had to return, because they were the forgotten ones, the ones no one indulged a lot at speaking about.

It was as if the pandemic flu was forgotten, removed, but thanks to the first world war and the wild wind in Europe the dead ones asked to be taken in consideration; as if horror seen and lived before to dying had to be written down; as if these dead people wouldn't find peace. 

The pandemic readings starts to approach the problem creating what it is called an "anticipatory anxiety" or the so-called and known "pre-traumatic stress disorder" writes Outka. The word stress invented that years for classifying the conditions of people.

In particular intellectuals understood that this one was not the end of the problems because of the wild winds in Europe; people wrote about a past war waiting for a new one.

The author decided of focusing on that people of letters alive in the countries affected by flu and war so that she gives to the reader a first-hand approach. 

The pandemic flu was the biggest and saddest surprise of a world broken by a war; an arrival not just unwanted but invisible. 

An enemy no one could fight and defeat. That's why no one talked with pleausure of the horrible visit of the Spagnola; because it was the horror in a horror.

That war could have a sense. An army has an enemy and so a confrontation with someone else, sorted out with arms. 

The pandemic flu didn't respect this role: it was a story of fortune if you survived, but what your eyes  saw was real horror and horror needed to be removed by brain as quickly as possible for going on happily. 
Doing so, unfortunately many more specters survived; there was a lack of elaboration; rational elaboration was too scaring. 

In the first part the author takes in consideration the works by Willa Carther, One of Ours written in 1922, Katherine Ann Porter Pale Hore, Pale Rider, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe and They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell. These authors are all Americans and they read the pandemic flu in a more absorbing way than not most of Europeans countries did, because Americans were not heavily affected by the First World War, but seriously one by Pandemic Flu.

While Carther offers a portrait of a soldier in war and the outbreak in the troops, a flu seen and read by everyone like just another devastation in the horror that they daily saw, (descriptions are strong) Ann Porter will tell the pandemic flu as the most relevant problem and not just incorporating it with war. it was an incredible big mess. If these first two authors focused mainly in the sensations presented by the arrival of the pandemic flu, Wolfe and Maxwell defined private spaces, domesticity, what it meant for people the arrival of flu, with his luggage of illness, mourning, death.

In Europe Virginia Woolf with Mrs.Dalloway takes in consideration flu like also T.S.Eliot's The Waste Land and Yeats The Second Coming.
Virgina Woolf will investigate the interaction in her book of war and pandemic flu mixed together, and what left in people with the time; the Waste Land won't touch directly the virus's problem; Yeats will portray the pandemic flu vibrantly having experienced in first hand and in family the tragedy.

Doyle the father of Sherlock Holmes had lost his son thanks to the pandemic flu and although he had lost many relatives thanks to the war, developed a marked spiritual approach to both these thematic, speaking of ectoplasms, photographic perceptions.
Other directors like Gance's in J'Accuse portrayed the arrival of pandemic flu in all its violence and virulence. Dead ones, forgotten will return because upset by the behavior kept by the living ones of the village who had completely forgotten them.

Munch will create two portraits : the one of him sick and the one of him healed. No sure why, the second one to me is more scaring. Maybe because Munch survived at the horror of the spanish flu but he entered in its essence and the essence of the illness was still in his soul.

What appear more than clear is that somewhere someone was forgotten but the shadows of dead of the pandemic flu continued to torment the existence of people per generations.

It's a wonderful book this one; engaging, informative, unputtable down 'till the end; oh, you will discover it!
I lived with the scaring tales of my dad, and when I can find books about this pandemic flu I always love to reading them. This one is special because Pandemic flu, the so-called Spagnola is read with the eyes of many creatives, people who experienced this flu and who remarked the horror, the impotence, the dead bells ringing every second, the streets plenty of corpes, hospitals without anymore capacities for more men, an alarming situation and an altered daily existence.

Let's play this game: 
Try to imagine the impossibility of a normal life; simply because people met everyday were dying, were sick or because your friends assisted people pretty sick.

Imagine what it wanted to say not seeing anymore friends, relatives; imagine not going anymore in a church, in a store, in a library, in a cafe place where people needed to go for some shopping, for pleasure.

Everyone could infected but.. Simply it wasn't possible because people were dead or sick.

Imagine: it happened in a few months. Imagine that a world of people disappeared; now imagine the mental stress, imagine the psychological situation.

Include that that people assisted at some direct cases of pandemic flu.

For going on they had just to remove from their brain the experience: just for not becoming crazy.
It was, realistically was, a scaring moment for the humanity; a war meant a terrible pain for families in general, but the pandemic flu was the real horror.  

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

Ps: I could not imagine that just two weeks after the publication of this review a new pandemic flu was starting in the world. May God Bless and Protect Us All!

venerdì, dicembre 27, 2019

Mag Men Fifty Years of Making Magazines by Walter Bernard & Milton Glaser Foreword by Gloria Steinem

Beautiful, wonderful. No other words for describing a book, Mag Men
Fifty Years of Making Magazines by Walter Bernard & Milton Glaser Foreword by Gloria Steinem. I adored the idea of reading this book from months and I have been more than satisfied.

Why a magazine, a good magazine, let me remark it, become so special for its readers? It's a miscellaneous of things. Of course the magazine is picked up because the reader feels that it is like staying at home when he reads it, but also because the cover is attractive, thematic are intriguing and nice, and it's designed for not being forgotten the day after.

The importance of big magazines is this ones: staying with readers forever. As for books, magazines remain a central part for a reader because they are physicals. They can be touched, they can be brought everywhere thanks to tote bags, and they remain also at long in the existence of a family or person because of the intelligence of written pieces.

There are special people who, working in the "backstage" of journalism create magazines with intuition, thinking at the readers that they will reach, and at the times they are currently living. Bernard and Glaser did it for more than 50 years starting with New York and evolving that reality, a supplement of a newspaper, in a stand-alone magazine. Glaser is one of the most important graphic designer, while Bernard the designer and art director of many prestigious magazines. 

These two creatives worked with many other amazing people who made the difference for and in these magazines. I want to remember Nora Ephron a contributor of New York, avid writer, and creator of beautiful movies, like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail. 

In New York you will find an interesting article by Pileggi about Little Italy, caricatures of Richard Nixon,  pictures and articles of a society that was frantically changing; there are stories of mafia in New York, like also a shocking article on an hypothetical fire taking as example the Twin Towers. Prophetic; Sex, violence, the meaning of the new rites of the Saturday Night with portraits of eminent people like Andy Wharol who changed the idea and meaning of art. 

After this experience, and after Murdoch's acquisition of New York Milton Glazer, devastated like also all the rest of creatives, decided of leaving. 

There is to add something else in all this drama: that magazines without the support of advertisements can't continue a joyful and long existence. That's why it is important to mixing the paper edition with the online edition of a magazine. Advertising sometimes are more often a story of the online edition of a magazine or newsmagazine because people are constantly connected.

A magazine with a short life because unsupported by advertsing was Audience, where important people expressed their opinions about the state of America, passing through tales, poetry. Contributors of this magazine were names like Kerouac, Faulkner, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, Borges and many others.

Other projects where Bernard worked in the while werr Paris Match, because it needed a redesign, plus Time, Atlantic.

The two creatives will work again together for redesigning The Washington Post. 
"Designing a magazine is like building a bridge, is a collective work" writes Glaser, adding: "If the building of a bridge does not enrich the awareness of those who work on it, then that bridge ought not to be built."

I confess I fall in love for this book because I am a reporter. It's wonderful to see how a magazine is created, because it is thanks to the passion, hard work of many talented people that a reality is put in condition of being appreciated by its readers.
Geniality, intelligence, humor, capacity of capturing the most important news for discussing them, these ones the tricks for giving the best.

The book is superbly beauty, richly illustrated, it is a hardback that can be also a good gift! 

Highly recommended. 

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

The Outside Thing by Hannah Roche

It's a book this one, The Outside Thing by Hannah Roch
e that in the intention of the author wants to be an invitation at paying "closer attention to experimental modernism's popular heritage" of a fiction the lesbian one that marked the first part of the century.
Roche takes in consideration three writers of the genre: Gertrude Stein, Radclyff Hall and Djuna Barnes.
If love stories have always been a central thematic of writing, these authors will direct the attention to the lesbism love-stories sometimes starting from an apparent heterosexual love-story although what these writers did the most was mixing elements of modernism, letting us see a different view of life.
If Gertrude Stein was lucky with his books, different story was the one experienced by Hall. Hall was pretty well introduced in the upper class of London. Her house was populated by eminent people and her parties still remembered and appreciated. Her most famous book The Well of Loneliness didn't pass good times although it was a big succes and it became one of the most important books for lesbians. This book has also known a trial and Virgina Virgina Woolf participated at the first one as witness.


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

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, dicembre 24, 2019

Laura Clark the courage of a warrior


I always enjoy to sending during the Christmas Season Greetings Cards to my numerous friends in the USA.  Laura Clark is a lady I had known when Constance
Grayson, our beloved painter lived in Caifiordi and was surrounded by a lot of artists. Laura stayed in my heart because I met her and other friends during a superb luncheon
a sunday morning at Connie's
house and it was the perfect day: beautiful sun, great food, more than staying in Umbria, it sounded that I was transported for some moments in the profound South of the USA.
Something magical. I really miss that years. I learnt a lot from all my American friends. There is a profoundity, there is knowledge of reality and a filter of feelings and reality that it is absolutely unique.

Laura stayed in front of me during all the luncheon. She talked spanish having taught it at the Poplar Bluff Junior School and she knew some italian words as well. After lunch
she created two beautiful portrait
s of me and I was absolutely enchanted
by them. I understood during that meeting that she was a lovely and wise lady.
Not only: once returned in the USA she loved to staying in touch; her Christmas's cards the most creative ones because created by her, painting, drawing, she loves to add many stamps, a tripude of colors and joy and happiness. They are in the perfect Christmas's spirit. 
When I received this year her Christmas Card, Laura included also an article written by Barbara Ann Horton of the Daily American Republic.The newsmagazine interview people affected by breast cancer. Speaking of it, means prevention as well.
What I read was shocking. 
Last year Laura for Christmas  told me that her husband was seriously sick with Parkinson and Alzheimer; her son Dean is not well and under dialysis. 
It sounded more than sufficient for a family in terms of sufferance, but...No. Evidently no. Laura fell sick of a triple breast cancer in her 80s.
She confesses in the piece by Horton that she wouldn't never have thought at this possibility, because in her family people suffer in general of heart issues, but no one experienced an illness like that one. Chemotherapy, at the moment oral therapy, an aggressive cancer, Laura  says that they removed both her breasts and that she doesn't plan any reconstruction surgery. 
What touches profoundly in Laura's personal experience with sufferance is her good mood, and...wisdom. "I am thankful my cancer has been a gracious learning experience. I met wonderful professional people on this path and all kinds of interesting people in the waiting rooms. Everyone we meet is a teacher as their experiences are as unique as fingerprints." Laura admits that: "Transportation, cards and food were much appreciated, but the prayers were the most dear to me."
Words that are life's lesson and a balm for the soul. 

Anna Maria Polidori


lunedì, dicembre 23, 2019

A year in Books and Cosmetics

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the publishing houses, authors, with which I collaborated this year but also to the ones of the new year. 

I want to share with you the intensity of a year that has been pretty different from all the other ones. 

On February, I lost my dial-up connection: the work of editing speaking about reviews and articles became pretty stressing. At first, I needed to pass the pieces on a flash drive, after written, then on the netbook connected with the smartphone; then the real editing. A long process. I still edit and send and check messages via smart phone with a window open and during the winter-time is not a joke. 

I found this phase at first stressing then like for all the rest of things, I started to be conscious that this one was my new reality.
I haven't  been yet in grade of sorting  out the problem of the dial-up connection so I am still working with my smart phone (using a lot of vitamins for de-stressing eyes.)

So, if you don't hear from me often as in the past, if you received weird e-mails  where I attached pictures of books preferring this way of communication instead of writing titles and so on, you know the reason. Some publishing houses understood the human case and they accept this modality. With the rest I try to download book covers pics of the titles I want to review via smartphone, preparing e-mails using my pc and then putting them in the smartphone for being sent.

My writings didn't put food on the table and I was tired of it; I love my sector, writing is great just it doesn't pay, and so I started to selling Yves Rocher Cosmetics with great success. 

I am proud of working for Yves Rocher. It's french, and I adore it. 

It's thank to the bookshop of Shakespeare and Company, 100 years this year, let's celebrate! That I rediscovered French language: reviewing various books published by several authors I re-started to be curious of french language. I thought that once and for many years, seven in total I studied french; I had also a private teacher because at the high school I didn't sound great in french. So I learnt more than a common student. It was time to see what was going on in this sense. Was french  forgotten and buried? 
Of course I decided that for re-starting nothing could be more good than a book. 

I thank in this case Laurent Allen-Caron journalist of France 2. I told him I was a reporter interested in re-learning his language. He gave me trust, and voilà! I received a copy of Le Mystere Lagerfeld, a wonderful, stunning biography of the mysterious, fascinating Lagerfeld; Laurent wrote the book last year after the departure of the beloved creative. I read it so quickly that I was scared of myself, because I was understanding the most. Laurent is so intense, so vivid in the description of Lagerfeld; at a certain point you "feel" the same soul of Lagerfeld staying close to you, while his story is told magnificiently well.

Why did I put this language in a corner?
Substantially because I started to learn english, and second because I experienced a nasty crrespondence when I was 14. Traumatized, as I do often, an entire world, became the incarnation of that boy and I didn't want to meet again that kind of people; people who put me down.
I was more than wrong, of course, but you know, I was little, I didn't travel a lot, life went on and I didn't think anymore at the intensity that the knowledge of a language can means for the existence of a person. Reading in a foreign language and not through translated books, maybe one day returning to speak something (I am blocked in the writing,  and speaking is a long process of elaboration of thoughts) is terribly important.

Then thinking that it was more than good what I was doing, reviewing also french books I contacted the publishing house Tallandier, specialized in history books. It was wonderful reviewing books with them. Thank you a lot.

If I will find time I would want to add spanish at this bunch of languages. 

This latest period has been incredibly stressing with a lot of problems, that's why I didn't add any entry: mamma mia... 
Christmas is just around the corner and I know that all the messes will fly away with it.

To everyone, thanks and Happy Holidays from the bottom of my Heart.  

Anna Maria Polidori 










lunedì, dicembre 16, 2019

Crowley The White Labrador Saga by Shirley Reeves

Crowley The White Labrador Saga
by Shirley Reeves is a moving short tale about the misadvantures experienced by a labrador puppy adopted by a terrible, horrible family.
Crowley lived in a loving family with wonderful siblings, in an harmonic environment; everything changed with the arrival of this new family and their desire of adopting a puppy. No one of course when give in adoption a puppy knows in which hands end up the puppy. Sometimes in adoring families in need of a new puppy for the most diversified reasons; sometimes in a nightmare-family as it happened for Crowley. 
 Without any kind of compassion for the little puppy he was left alone, starved and lived in poor conditions. Crowley's main strenght the arrival of a lot of animal friends, in grade of giving him the best advice. Once he discovered that the new horrible family had decided of selling him to another guy the idea of escaping away for good was his main resolution.

Beautiful, I loved this tale because of the happy end and because thanks to friendship Crowley will reach his oldest family. Help and friendship are a message extremely important in this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

The Personals The Human stories behind the small ads by Brian O'Connell

The Personals The Human stories behind the small ads by Brian
O'Connell a book I downloaded on wishforbooks.com time ago.
I have always been fascinated by ads and sometimes I also called or sent ads to various magazines. It's normal and the author, as we will see, at the beginning will introduce us the various changes in the ads's publication thanks to the advent of the net and new online realities in grade of making the difference.
Personally I remember I loved to reading the ads of Porta Portese a magazine published in Rome where you find this world and the other.
O'Connell, an irish reporter will transport the reader in a pretty diversified world: the ones of ads, requests, is a colorful world. Some weird example? An armoured car sold at a cheap price, eavesdropping bug for hidden voice recording; there is also who decided of selling her wedding dress; a pretty complicated story as you will read and fascinating as well.
A man differently asked for a dog, because without his old dog he couldn't walk anymore with pleasure.
Someone else wanted to sell graves because accidentally bought 6 graves! not just two; Mary will tell to the reporter her history as a homeless for all her existence.
They're just few examples of what you will find in this book. Divided in several sections, you can read all the book or you can jump here and there. It's all up to you, but I can tell you that all these stories are amazing.
What in fact O'Connell did everytime after that ads captured his attention was to calling the "adsers" interviewing them. Magically that ads as you will read became real, important, giving shape to a pretty diversified humanity; ads sometimes are crucials, for the existence of people in search of relief, happiness, new re-start, or for dreamers still following the past thanks to the present.
Ads are histories; human histories and they're never aseptic tools. They give out the best or the worst of the human being but they won't never leave us indifferent.

Beautiful book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Non è un mestiere per Uomini I Primi Tre Casi di Violet Strange by Anna Katharine Green

Non è un mestiere per Uomini I Primi Tre Casi di Violet Strange
by Anna Katharine Green is a delightful reading; this book published by Marsilio will be a great reading in particular if you are a fan of Agatha Christie. These three short stories, will introduce to you in fact a character pretty singular and at the same time functional: the one of a beautiful young girl of the New York's upper class in love for crime and in grande of being helpful at the police men when necessary. She is apparently just an innocuous girl in grade of capturing that imperceptible shades not discovered, seen, or noticed by the police men.
In these three stories, you will discover not just a great intensity, but also in a wonderful and researched phrose that I appreciated a lot.
These books are born with the desire of sharing "crime" notions in a logical modality with the reader, strong of the fact that criminality and crime has always a sense, and it is never senseless.
Not only: sorting out a thief, a murder is like to "building" piece after piece a puzzle combined with a stroke of luck of course and with a good investigative nose. Pity that these stories are so short. 

Violet is in part a capricious intelligent, sly girl; someone who wouldn't want to investigate at all any kind of crime, but tempted by her same nature and in part forced by her friends at the police office. They know her potentialities; again the so-called intruder become crucial for sorting out a crime that differently wouldn't maybe know the responsible. We meet often this scheme: Agatha Christie created Miss Marple the character of a stranger, an intruder, someone apparently peaceful but that later will be in grade of sorting out terrible murders.

The book is translated in italian leaving at the readers the pleasure of reading the english version as well.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book. 

Anna Maria Polidori

The Dairyman's Daughter A True Account of Amazing Faith by Legh Richmond

Epistolary genre is absolutely interesting and recently I downloaded an ebook called The Dairyman's Daughter
A True Account of Amazing Faith by Legh Richmond  that it is a real gem of the genre.
This book is a vivid portrait of Elizabeth Wallbridge, thanks to a lot of letters sent by Elizabeth Wallbridge at the same author Reverend Legh Richmond at first for arranging thw funeral of her sister and then continuing to keeping alive the exchange of opinions regarding religion and other life's aspect of the existence.  
Elizabeth lived in the stunning Isle of Wight and was the daughter of pretty elderly parents. She was a girl in love for religion; she constantly read the Bible and the rest of books she read were religious ones. The letters at the reverend are brilliant, written with the enthusiasm of youth. Unfortunately the existence of Elizabeth was absurptly interrupted because of consumption. What anyway she did in this existence is still remembered thanks to this book and the memory kept alive.
In this book you won't just find the letters exchanged with mr. Richmond, but many pictures and an extensive appendix with more informations about the various characters involved in the history.

The book is published by www.whitetreepublishing.com 

Anna Maria Polidori 

The Reflection of Time by Sarah Alyssa McCown

The Reflection of Time by S
arah Alyssa McCown is a short story published by Smashwords Edition and it is about love, and, the end, of an important personal choice with the consequent acceptance of the first boyfriend.
We are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Diana discovered during her young age the attention of two men: Liam and Graham. As you will notice feelings change growing up and at the end Diana, although the first boy devastated will clearly affirm which one has been her choice once and for all.
This tale is pretty brief, just few pages; written with intensity, I suggest it to you.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Danger! Pope Francis Day by Avril O'Reilly

Danger! Pope Francis Day by
Avril O'Reilly is a short tale about a Pope, Francis the Bishop of Rome not just very famous in the world, but truly beloved. So this teacher, Mis Cronin, decided of spending with her classroom a Pope Francis Day, for let understand to all her students the Country where Francis was born in, Argentina, but also the rest of 25 South American countries. That children didn't know the story of these countries or their peculiarities. Not only: children didn't seem prepared in the history of USA as well, and so the teacher will ask them of studying reporting facts but what will happen during the Pope Francis Day will be for sure more than an unforgettable day, plenty of chaos, surprises, agitated and hilarious moments.

Sunny tale! from Smashwords Edition.

Anna Maria Polidori

How Long Does It Take to Get to Mars? by Lucy Ann Carroll

Adorable this children's book: How Long Does It Take to Get to Mars?
by Lucy Ann Carroll. Not only it is captivating, but completely illustrated will stimulate your children in the understanding of the so-called Red Planet. Substantially one of the littlest ones of our Solar System with two unregular Moons, Mars is distant from us, if we would want to reach it travelling something like 200-300 days and remain one of the most studied Planets and new adventures, astronomical ones will take shape these next years. Maybe, it is just a supposition but who knows it? Life was born in Mars. Some theories appreciate this theory: later life would have been "transplanted" on Earth via asteroid, although the atmosphere of the Mars wouldn't  never permitted to any man of surviving without a proper spacesuit.
Brilliant children's book, I found also that illustrations are clear, colored, interesting and brilliant.
I just know that your children will love this book.

I thank the author and LibraryThing for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Life Lessons from the Pennsylvania Dutch Make the Light Out by Susan Kissinger

Life Lessons from the Pennsylvania Dutch Make the Light O
  • ut by Susan Kissinger is a book that, for extension is an act of love for a wife, and for his mother. Mark Crimaudo was the husband of Susan Kissinger. She disappeared for a terrible illness, but at the same time during the years she wrote journals, blog entries and much more, so that, when close to her life's experience Mark promised her he would have shared with others her ideas and her life-story and the one of his mother releasing a book. This one is a book reporting the existence Susan shared with the Pennsylvanian Dutch community, learning a lot. This life-lessons continue to be precious, realistically important in a society where values are a bit lost.

Also when we don't have a lot we should live with dignity, could be one of the mottos of Susan Kissinger. 

As tells Susan, her mother has been an example 'till at the end of her existence. What she left was immensely beauty. A compassionate, good, strong lady. The abruptly departure of her husband, so Susan's dad meant to her a difficult existential moment, but Susan's mother was in grade to going on and with dignity continuing to live an existence, sometimes difficult, but always with a pretty cheerful and happy attitude and optimism. 
She lived so well, she was such a splendid person that to Susan it was indispensible to transmit what her mother thought of this world to everyone else. When times are hard, people shuld never feel discouraged, but should try to fight, and to discovering various solutions using as largely as possible the various channels at disposition.
This ebook tell of home chores, reading, the beauty of being a mother, frugality, keeping a clean home. Whatever you search, this ebook will be like a balm, and although both the protagonists of this book are over, their words and their world will resonate to you clearly giving you strenght for going on well in the esixtence.

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, dicembre 11, 2019

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

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

Interesting, informative, the cover is magnificent as well.

Highly recommended.

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

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, dicembre 10, 2019

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

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

Higly recommended book.

Anna Maria Polidori