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The Magical Land of Books

I love reading since I was very little. I love most genres, from romance to non-fiction, fiction, poetry, romance, historical, children's book, cookbook, craft books, creative books, self-help, psychology, sociology. I am eclectic because I love to learn everyday something new.

Currently reading

Mornings on Horseback
David McCullough
She's Come Undone
Wally Lamb
The Grass Widow
Teri Holbrook

A Girl Walks Into a Book What the Brontës Taught Me about Life, Love, and Women's Work by Miranda Pennington


It is beautiful everytime.

When you fall into a book that speak of past and literature with the ability of bringing us somewhere else. In a world where there was a different education, different manners, different customs a life less frenetic, but, attention where problems existed.

A Girl Walks Into a Book What the Brontës Taught Me about Life, Love, and Women's Work by Miranda Pennington will be published this May 16 by Perseus.

It it not only very well written but this memoir tell like the  Brontë with Jane Eyre followed step-by-step  the existence of Miranda Peddington.

Miranda took inspiration by these sisters, their example, their re-start, their lessons, their life, their being eclectic and genial in a com-penetration of expectations and feelings and knowledge of herself, her world and her feelings.

Jane Eyre is a masterpiece because it's a unique tale of love, dedication, responsibility.
Someone at the end was chosen also in his disability: Mr.Rochester.
This one a universal message of real love.

Jane was young.
When she discovered that Mr.Rochester became blind at the end of the book she could have escaped away from a future of responsibility, but she didn't.
She did not go away because she loved him and she stayed, because she simply knew that that man was her man and she didn't want anyone else, whatever it would have meant, because she would have been happy with him.
It's a strong message, one of the most powerful message: real love exists.
It's not just a wonderful work of fiction, love, for let us cry when we read a romantic book or we watch a movie on TV with the happy end: no. these stories exist in real life. And Jane Eyre is a strong book. Not only: Jane Eyre is a masterpiece written in a wonderful stylistic way.

The words, lines contained in Jane Eyre are beautiful, lyrical, elevated, real expression of great soul and heart and these words resonate after centuries with the same strength and power of its time, remaining intact in the emotive impact that they generate in people's soul.

The story of Mr. Rochester, the complex, sometimes rude character, created in Jane Eyre deluded and hard because of a heavy past and some hidden secrets (a wife kept hidden for obvious reasons) with the desire to re-start a new life is very interesting to me.

He knew that he had found with Jane the right girl but what to do?

Telling or not telling the truth?

More adult than her, he preferred to keep this secret in his soul losing her, and losing her meant only disgraces and ruin for both these characters, because no one clarified, no one explained and the unsaid created a catastrophic result.

Jane went away without to trying to understand, thinking that after all there was another woman, a wife kept secret! and betrayed by the man she was trusting and with which she was ready to spend the rest of her existence with.

At the same time maybe Jane thought: "How can I love a man with under his roof also his legal wife? Why wasn't he clear after all?" A lot of turmoil.  Other people knew but no one told her the truth and this one wasn't a little particular but a fundamental aspect of Rochester's life. Where was trust? Clarity? Just silence. It was too much.

Months ago I read and reviewed a novel I love so badly written by Sarah Jio, Always, that to me, different times, modern tale, was very similar in the message contained in Jane Eyre: to re-embrace again the first love although changed, and with problems.

The book by Miranda Pennington is plenty of informations about all the sisters Bronte, with the scheme of all the family Bronte and the detailed history of all of them. You will find many pictures of their books/manuscripts thanks to her numerous visit at museums where Miranda found a lot of material,  informations, letters exchanged with editors, other writers and last but not least there is this dialogue, constant with this superlative work: Jane Eyre and what it means to her.

It's a trip into literature, it's a trip into psychology as well.

Miranda Pennington talked of Elizabeth Gaskell because she add according to her the sisters' Bronte portrayed under a "negative light." I read and discovered Elizabeth Gaskell for case, picking up North and South at the library two years ago. What a wonderful and relaxing book it was that one as well.
The splendid and positive words contained in North and South, the good feelings expressed, the contrast between the British dreaming countryside and the city, the complexities of problematic that the protagonists will  sort out with irony and good sentiments let me think she was another exceptional writer.

Miranda grew up with the powerful influence of Jane Eyre, much more than all the other books by the other sisters Bronte or other authors for teenager.

She tells she received  the book when she was 10 years old. This book Jane Eyre in grade read and reread a lot of times, at different ages to give to her the most important answers to her questions that she was/is searching for, still guiding her along her life.

That answers that we must add only a classics can give to a reader.

Highly recommended book!

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky by Bryan Karetnyk


Russian Émigré Short Stories  from Bunin to Yanovsky by Bryan Karetnyk is a superlative book. Many writers after 1917 left Russia living in various European capitals.
This collection includes stories by Vladimir Nabokov and Ivan Bunin

These short stories are the most diversified ones and include many situations.
We find the story of the improbable two writers in search of fame and fortune with a great bestseller but without any idea, the suicidal man Mr Ortiz because he lost everything at a casino, the astrologer in connection with Hitler. At first he wanted just to cheat some money at an ingenuous girl.
Each of these story has a main characteristic: the great narration and the wonderful writing-style. Reading this book is like to breath fresh air.

Highly recommended for sure!

I thank NetGalley and Penguin UK for this book!

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Your 3 Best Super Powers Meditation, Imagination & Intuition by Sonia Choquette

— feeling amazing


Meditation, Imagination and Intuition the three best super Powers of this world according to Sonia Choquette in her book: Your 3 Best Super Powers Meditation, Imagination & Intuition by Hay House.
Why meditation is important?
For our mind, our emotions, our reactions.
Imagination differently can let us dream, flying away, imagining a good life.
But it's intuition that it's the cement of all these first two powerful words, because thanks to it, it's possible to create who we are, and to give a real direction at our life and at the entire potentiality existing in ourselves.

When these three characteristics work well we are in a good, creative existential phase.

This book by Sonia Choquette will help you to develop these three characteristics.
Just one or two of them "active" in your soul can't be good for a harmonic and creative life.

Meditation for example is important because it let us control our emotions breaking our stress and open our soul at a different level.
It's important sometimes a break, a moment in which we remind to ourselves to breathe, to stay relaxed to "wash" our mind from all the stress accumulated during the day.
Sonia Choquette will help us to meditate efficiently, explaining us why when and how, what to expect by meditation.

Imagination is a great positive energy. It's the inner engine of creation of our life and our self.
It's also important to keep a good and clean mind because imagination is this: if you imagine something with enough feeling and belief it will always show up, and it can be a bad or good news.

Picasso said: "Everything you can imagine is real."

George Bernard Shaw: "Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."

And Albert Einstein (the first two quotes from the book) added: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Why Einstein said this?
Because without imagination and so without a creative mind, also with all the knowledge of this world you can't go too far.
Use a notebook and start to write down what it would mean to live without any limits.
Create a list of your environment, things you like.
Create. Create your positive world.

Once created this list put it in a place where you can see it very often.

And imagine, always imagine, the best.
If you imagine good things they will show up!
Other questions and exercises will keep you busy imagining all the best! for your life.

The author will analyze our main ghosts, and how we can defeat them.

Intuition is the third Best SuperPower.
A radar, the voice of our Higher Self writes the author telling her personal story. It's "the intelligence of our knowing heart" add Sonia Choquette and sometimes the manifestation of intuition appears in strange ways.

Many exercises for develop intuition for the creation of a winning person.

Beautiful and inspiring self-help book.

I highly suggest it to everyone.

I thank NetGalley and Hay House for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Becoming Bonnie The crash of the century: when Bonnie met Clyde written by Jenni L.Walsh

— feeling amazing


Contacted weeks ago by Tor&Forge Books, they asked me if I was interested to read Becoming Bonnie  The crash of the century: when Bonnie met Clyde written by Jenni L.Walsh.

The book will be launched the day of the death of Bonnie&Clyde in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.

What I noticed was an immediate welcomed atmosphere from the publishing house and it helped a lot. I love enthusiasm. It's contagious.

At first I was skeptical. I didn't know a lot these two gangsters and the only phrase I use to say is: "They're like Bonnie&Clyde" but substantially without to know a lot of this couple apart that they were two very famous American criminals.

My latest experience with a real gangster, "Whitey" Bulger, because Johnny Depp filmed Black Mass at Boston very positive.

I thought: why not?

It's a quick reading book Becoming Bonnie and the "narrative voice" the one of Bonnelyn Parker, Bonnie.
Remember just this dear reader that this book is not an "easy" book, because it will let you think about choices, growth at different levels, poverty and richness.

I would suggest it for high school students and their teachers for the thematic contained, most of them pretty actual.

Bonnelyn, great ideas, a good boyfriend, Roy, she was still going at school in 1927 when the story start.
She didn't want to continue to become poor.
She wanted to become rich, someone in this life for giving all the best to her dear ones avoiding the life of sacrifices that they were doing because of lack of money.

When she lost her job as waitress, his biggest brother in the same condition, she starts to take in consideration the option: "Blanche."

Blanche was her best friend. A hurricane, very different from her. Bonnelyn went to the mass, still virgin because there was time for herself and Roy "to do that," devoted to her family, sacrificed to her family for the good of everyone.

Bonnelyn was searching for solidity also in her relationship with Roy. She wanted close to her an adult tooth as she told later, not a baby tooth, while Blanche devoted for adventures with men more adult than her for money.

Blanche didn't believe at family because her family just didn't exist and so when Bonnelyn talked to her of family, Blanche irritated.
If you haven't never had a family you can't understand the meaning of family.

Blanche met one day this guy, Buck.
Buck asked her and Bonnie to start to work for him at Doc's.
Well it was a place pretty illegal, you know with girls, men in search for sex or gambling. Bonnie once said it was possible to feel the perfume of sex. A place like that.

At first Bonnelyn says no, but then: "If I obtain the money for going on, Blanche in one night receives the money I receive in a month, why not?"

And she starts.

She starts this life as the other "Bonnie" or Saint Bonnelyn as they call her.

They needed someone virginal for keeping curiosity in this sort of illegal club and Bonnie was the best choice for everyone.

She was loved.
Loved and appreciated and money started to make the difference. New hair cut, colored lips, shortest dresses, while Roy, still unaware of what was going on worked hardly for creating with Bonnie the house of their dreams that in the while he bought for Bonnie and himself and their future marriage.

Bonnie starts at the same time to feel something for Henry a charismatic man she met often at the club. It was a delusion to discover he was married and the wife was waiting a baby.

She asked to Roy to marrying her and Roy, considering that in the while she introduced him in the new environment where she was working for, accept.

It's symbolical what happened to this couple: Bonnie changed of course her vision of the world enlarging her horizons.
The introduction in a different environment change everyone and surely a place populated by gangsters is a place where you grow up fastly. You don't never know what will happen. It's not a joke.

Bonnie grew up, but never-changing what she wanted to do in her life: marrying Roy, becoming a teacher, while Roy would have studied for becoming a great reporter.
But, this choice, this personal choice she made once searching for big money would have changed the life and destinies of all the people surrounding her.

I loved for example Roy Thornton's character. He was a devoted boy. Someone solid, very in love for her Bonnie. He was touching and I felt a great freshness while this couple projected their future together.

But, at least Roy will be the one who will lose the balance, his personal interior compass, devastating himself, becoming someone else, drinking too much and acting as a fool.
It's him who acts as a deficient, gambling, searching for other women, giving up with school and his work as a reporter. And what for?
Separation necessary.

And then in the final pages the fatal encounter with Clyde.
The magnetic, big love of Bonnie.
The adult tooth.

I looked at an identification picture of Clyde Champion Barrow. WANTED for 250.000 dollar.
Very young, sticking-out ears, apparently just an insolent boy with a touch of goodness in his face. And a hard face.
If you search for the couple you find a beautiful, smiling couple. You wouldn't say Bonnie was a moll of a gangster.

The book is written using a colloquial "dialect", the one we guess talked by Bonnie.

But what this book wants to remind us is the power of our choices in our life.
Choices that we make everyday will affect our dear ones as well.

A wrong or right choice means the end of a life and the start of a complete new one.

Highly recommended.

I thank Forge for this book review copy!

And here a test for you: Which Member of Bonnie and Clyde's Gang Are You?


Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Gina Welb


Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Gina Welborn is a new book that will be released by Barbour this June first.

I choose to read this book because I heard of the custom of  newspaper ads for husbands and I didn't understand the reason why at a certain point in the USA it was indispensible to start this custom.

Well it was simple and for a very serious reason: after the war of Secession we are in 1865 a lot of women remained widows and alone and it was necessary with the courage typical of the Americans, after a bit of mourning and tears, to re-start their life. 
To ask for other husbands.

I loved the first chapter of this story, the story of Abigail, her mom and the ladies and girls of Turtle Spring, Kansas where all the stories are set in.

For avoiding problems and for keeping the community numerous, with new children, new life, more hands, the mayor, Abigail asks the permission during a reunion to posting an ad in a newspaper for requesting husbands for them all.

At first women and girls scared: "And if we fall in love for the same man?" "If we don't like these men?" the most common questions, but something was more than sure: Abigail buried her husband and her dad. They needed someone else in their lives and she couldn't permit, firstly that the town would be abandoned by lack of men.

In the while in the town arrives a new man Josiah. Abigail thinks he would be great as sheriff and something starts to grow up between them although Josiah is allergic to relationships and Abigail is not sure of her feelings yet.

At the same time the sheriff is requested by a lot of women for silly reasons and just for knowing him better.

At the end love will triumph and what I love the most in these stories are positive ends, positive characters and life.

This life that also a terrible war didn't kill with the death of so many men  but continued with more enthusiasm and joy for building this beautiful country that are the USA.

I thank NetGalley and Barbour for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Liturgy of the Ordinary Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren


Liturgy of the Ordinary Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren is a book that you can buy online or in stores. Published by InterVarsity Press, it's a book of great religious reflections starting from about our ordinary day.

It's impressive for profundity of feelings, thoughts, perception of religion, daily life, each chapter start innocently from a common action. And example?  "Sleeping" and the author from this innocent word starts a digression about the meaning of sleeping time, the importance of it, the lack of sleeping time and why we lack sleeping time, how we can better our quality sleeping-time, sleeping seen as a sort od "death door".

What it is more beautiful of this book are the elevation of thoughts.
It's not just a self-help book but this book wants to be a moment for re-thinking our daily life.
The book is written in fact by a campus minister, an Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother and you feel all her theological erudition when you read each word of each page.

At the end of the book, a special chapter called: "Discussion, questions and practices" suggestions and reflections for the readers.

Many thanks to NetGalley and  InterVarsity Press for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Well by Marie Sexton


Obscurity, water, confusion, profundity, perdition.
A well is this one.
When I picked up this book I did it because there were all these elements.
I haven't been deluded.
The Well by Marie Sexton is a very interesting quick, dynamic thriller.
The story starts twelve years before, when a group of teenagers decides to spend a night, séance included in the notorious abandoned Gustafson's house, where in the past died tragically two people: Cassie Kennedy and later, because of suicide Joseph Gustanfson the oldest son of the Gustafsons.

No one lives in the house anymore but the house is known for being haunted.

The atmosphere is different close to this house, there is a lack of peace, there is a lack of harmony, there is a lack of life and this group of teenagers, with their own troubles and problematic can feel and taste it.

It was an adventure. An adrenalinic experience, but nothing more to them.

Elise the cousin of Haven one of the protagonists of the book now a writer of paranormal fiction the most exciting one for this unusual experience.

She was the one attracted by Gothic, the one who was searching for these kind of experiences.

She also seemed to know a lot of things about this house, (a lot of lies) and a lot of secrets, but it's when the séance is going on that there is a big change of all the events that will follow.

During the trance, asking for the ghosts of the house, Cassie in Elise's body (completely transformed) will talk to them of a well close to the house with bodies buried there...

Elise, Jordan Craig, Pierce, Haven, Linsey will search for this well, but at the end of this adventure what happened? Elise and two of the other boys missing.

Thinking that, it was night, they were somewhere and they would have returned later everyone decided for some rest.

Pity that no one found Elise anymore.
Not the day after, and not the day after tomorrow.
Exactly as the ghosts she loved so badly.

Police, alerted when the girl the day after didn't return for dinner. It was a crucifixion of searches, interrogatories, suspects.

The body of the girl never found, Haven thinks she is dead and buried who knows where.

Twelve years after this terrible and sad fact, Pierce and Jordan the authors and producers of Paranormal Hunters, are back in their town. They learned that some children playing in the haunted house of the Gustafsons spotted two female ghosts. Cassie and Elise maybe?

They could be skeptical but the purpose more than clear: to close this circle, to give at least a name and last name at the killer of Elise, hoping also to find Elise's body; to write the word end at this story for finding their own peace.

Pierce has been the great love of Haven and he contacts him as he does for the rest of the ex teenagers involved in the evening of terror at the haunted house.

What these three "investigators", will discover will be shocking.

This book is quick but intense. Penetrating although altruistic, very sweet and fresh, tender and genuine.

Thematics treated are the most diversified ones, and the typical ones of teenagers. Discovery of sexuality, the book will also treat very freshly the discovery of homosexuality, trouble of various genre. We will discover what happened to Elise sentimentally but also many other sad and happy realities for the other protagonists.

I absolutely loved the end of the book! I don't know why but I would have done the same. Bravo Haven!

A house able to change also in better the destiny of so many people, because at the end these men lived thanks to these professions "inspired" by the facts of that night of twelve years before, is blessed.

Blessed by the sunny, positive character of a special guardian angel: Elise.

I thank NetGalley and Marie Sexton for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori 
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Gracious A practical primer on charm, tact, and unsinkable strength by Kelly William Brown


Do you want to live a happy, relaxing, satisfying, honorable internet life, avoiding all the stress that trolls can bring to you, being also able to cope with all the nasty and frustrating people who wait just to go online for exploding there all their frustrations, if they of course disconnect sometimes? And are you interested also to spend a great, good, peaceful quality life in a daily base, in your environment, home, work?

Great: so, Gracious  A practical primer on charm, tact, and unsinkable strength by Kelly William Brown published by Rodale Books is the answers to all your torments.

This book will explain you how to be gracious in all these occasions and more.
William Brown searched for the Best part of the Society asking to the most diversified people how they do it. How they can be gracious in a society so ungracious like this one is.

A person with grace, someone gracious is a complete person because this word pretty old from the pre-sanskrit involve charm, social, physical and emotional world.
Being a good person, someone kind, makes the difference.

But in our society remark William Brown being gracious seems like to be "less" because we can lose freedom and progress we have developed.

Thinking better being gracious is extremely good. People would want to see you around. Someone normal, someone with ethic, someone you can trust. Priceless.

In Virtually Gracious a chapter of this book you will discover how to navigate through the net without falsity, arrogance and there are tips and suggestions for every case, also when you write an e-mail.

The third chapter is Grace Under Fire.
It's simple to be gracious in normal conditions, but what happen when there are stressing conditions close to us that can let us change the cards on the table?
Can we continue to be gracious and how?
Don't worry: it will be possible thanks to the great suggestions William Brown the author of this bubbling book will give us all.
From work to relationship with your dear ones tips and suggestions for sorting out your life successfully and with extreme...grace.

It's also important to be Gracious to Ourselves and in chapter four of the book many exercises to being gracious with ourselves.

The fifth chapter involves our most direct environment: the house where we live in.
Gracious in, around and generally regarding the home.

A warm house should have always these characteristics writes the author: welcoming, cared for, tidy, comfortable, lived in and full of interesting things, avoiding: spotless, minimalist, sterile, intimidating, hoardery, sticky, oppressively pinterest-y. Advice for your house and yourself and for discovering a wonderful environment, gracious, where to live in, in perfect...grace.

Chapter six: The gracious host and hosted.

It's great to invite all the world at our home but how to do that?

The author says that the two main things substantially important when hosting people are two: our joy and happiness that they come over and less romantic, a functioning toilet.

Try to avoid any conflicts, choosing people who you know can have great conversation together and that can let you also feel comfy.

And avoid certain topics: policy, religion, body, no one wants to talk of his/her body.

Ask interesting questions and be curious of hearing the answers.

Try to avoid to enter too much in details if you are not interested in certain topics. If they tell you that someone died just reply: "I am so sorry, how awful to hear that" but don't ask: "What happened?"

It's important to serve people quickly.

If you host a lover  William Brown suggests a great and "light" dish eheheh like carbonara.

Chapter seven: let's make this day gracious, as heck!

Let's try to be elegant inside and outside, in our proposals, like also in our appearance to the world so that everyone can say: how gracious is that girl or that lady. We can also be gracious while driving.
We can be gracious everywhere and we can be good everytime.

What at first I loved so badly of this book was the cover, but I can tell you, when I saw the electronic copy of the book, I also fell in love for the inside. It's a beautiful book, researched with a touch of past that you will love so badly.
The structure and the language are pretty modern and bubbling.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Seeing the Getty Center Buildings & Gardens


Seeing the Getty Center     Buildings & Gardens are two little booklets published by Getty Publishing House as souvenir books.

These booklets explain the philosophy of the Getty Center and its expansion.

At first the Getty was a little museum wanted so badly by philanthropist J. Paul Getty.

There were just three collections of old antiquities in the first museum, while later after the transformation the Getty became a beautiful environment of serenity, harmony with the surrounding city of Los Angeles.

In the project, before the construction started, were involved scholars, scientists and educators for trying to understand the "how to do this."

The Getty wanted to become the center for international research in visual arts and humanities in a fusion between architecture, environment, art, nature, speaking all the same harmonic language of beauty and posterity.

At first the Getty Trust bought 700 acres of land in the Santa Monica mountains.

Richard Meier, the architect created and thought at a space of inclusion where the main structure harmonically set like a gem in the surrounding area made by courtyards, gardens, terraces.
This land preserved intact in its magnificence and beauty.

The Getty was created in 14 years.

Modern forms, it is structured in this way: J.Paul Getty Museums, the Getty Research Institute of Art and Humanities, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Information Institute, the Getty Information Institute for the Arts, the Getty Grant Program, and last the Getty Trust's administration offices.

There is a restaurant and a café and an auditorium with 450 seats.

The Getty gives hospitality at lectures, films, concerts, and many other events and it's one of the main choices for families in search for some peace, when, in particular they want to spend relaxing time a bit distant from a crowded city like Los Angeles is.

More than 16.000 tons of travertine from Bagni di Tivoli a locality close to Rome, Italia, chosen for created stunning facades but also pavements.

The beauty of the Getty looking also at the pics of these booklets is this: you don't miss air.
You can breath. It's like to enter in an immense peaceful place where you can feel the soul fresher and restored by the sometimes small problems of the daily routine.

There are no claustrophobic places, there is air, a lightness that will enter in the heart of visitors of the Getty Center.

You have the impressions, looking at the pics in these booklets that you leave in the city all the problems and you are invigorated by a visit at the Getty.

And now the gardens of the Getty: I just hope to return to the topic with other books, but in the while I can tell you that the gardens of the Getty are the pride of this structure.

Harmony, beauty, art, color what it was searched and researched by the creatives inside the gardens of the Getty was this.

Many oak trees, but also fruit trees, abundantly, and plazas, fountains, now a paradise for birds, butterflies and other animals.

In the Getty it's possible to admire the change of seasons.

Many plants adapted at warm seasons (I love to compare California at our South Italy) like cactus with its diversified shapes. You can also find aloe, and many culinary herbs, let's mention rosemary planted in the Getty Gardens. In the rock garden as I love to call the Central Garden, typical flowers from South Dakota.

These booklets are a joy for the eyes.

The concept of museum is lived not anymore as a space in grade to restore a stressed spirit passing just through statues, and painting that the visitors will see and that surely will help him/her spiritually but in a symbiotic condition with the environment created for enlightening and elevate the spirit: spaces in grade to offer spiritual answers also thanks to a land very friendly and close to the human being.

I thank Getty Publishing for these booklets.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Enjoy Your Journey Find the treasure hidden in every day by Joyce Meyer


Enjoy your journey Find the treasure hidden in every day is the latest book by Joyce Meyer. It will be published by Faithwords on June 6.

We should always enjoy our journey on this Earth affirms clearly the writer. But how to do that? Sometimes it's not simple and the same Meyer experienced a big crisis, although later she decided for changing something in her life, putting behind her delusions and looking forward to the best of life.

The Bible speaks a lot of joy as a great sentiment that must be cultivated and communicated to the other ones.
And first of all we must stay positive, enjoying life, accepting Jesus in our life, and keeping our mind plenty of beautiful, grateful thoughts.

Living with simplicity, de-stressing our mind by the complications of life.

Meyer tells her history of abuse as synonime of insecurity in her life because "people insecure must impress others because they feel they are not very impressive just being who they are" writes in the book.

So growing up she worked a lot for trying to impress everyone but that one could be a problem. A problem to her. Because that one wasn't the best answer for all her anxieties but an extra-anxiety.

Praying is the answer like also discovering the Way of Lord. 

Talking of children Meyer affirms for sure that they believe what an adult tell them because they trust. The authority, the adult person.
It will be important once we grow up to preserve the child that it's in our own.

The abuses suffered by Meyer were mental, verbal, sexual and emotional. She grew up in a house where incest, alcoholism and violence the most common word pronounced.

But Meyer tried to escape this hell creating a workaholic girl avoiding the stress of meeting someone else.
But then God had other plans more relaxing and satisfying to her.

Meyer affirms that if people hurt us in the past we mustn't never put in discussion our relationship with God.

Meyer in the book speaks also of religion and the meaning of religion in our times.

And back to joy, she thinks we should use joy as a weapon against Satan and against negativity.

A lack of joy means give up, less enthusiasm for what we could do, for our projects.

And smile. Smile a lot. Laugh, because a happy heart is the best answer and  sunrays; let's also fight at the same time for preserving our joy. Abraham preserved a light heart.

Let's try to stay balanced, and let's give God time, without to want everything immediately, without to be too much suffocating regarding your relationship with your loved ones but mainly the first and most important message by Joyce Meyer: be happy and enjoy the journey!

I thank NetGalley and FaithWords for this e-book.

Anna MariaPolidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance by Haim Shapira


What is happiness?

Big thinkers of the past tried, very clearly and powerfully to described it, giving an illuminating vision of it that maybe there is not anymore in our times.
I was thinking while I was reading this book that all the best inspirations are derived from the past and that the past remains much more vivid and a happy place where to fall for meditate than not what the present sometimes can offer us.

Starting from quotations and wise words of great thinkers, Haim Shapira in his book: Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance published by Watkins will try to define for himself and for the reader the concept of happiness, giving at the same time according to me thanks to the numerous quotations in the book the chance for the  reader to find his/her own happiness. Yes, because happiness is very different from person to person. I am happy when I write a piece because I am a reporter, when I read a book, when I write a review and I spend good time with friends, when I go somewhere for a walk, or I listen to music or I take a picture etc but for another person it can be all the opposite.
This one doesn't want to be exactly a self-help book in the real sense of the word, but it is more a long talk about happiness, love, human condition, feelings, love, memory, the meaning of life passing through the erudition of the past and the great thinkers this Earth presented to us during the past centuries.

For the author as well, it was a meditative state in which he expressed his considerations about his feelings.

The first chapter analyzes the best attitude for being happy.

I appreciated a lot the density of the argumentations.

I loved in particular the Winnie the Pooh's philosophy of living called wu wei: without effort.
Living after all happily is a condition we can search for with simplicity because  it's not so difficult!

Just: try to find good friends, force yourself to live a lot of wonderful adventures and the rest it's up to the destiny.
Choosing to live sadly is a choice like searching for happiness.

I loved a lot the anecdotes of the man who drove with his truck for 6 days for talking again with his sick brother recuperating so the lost time as would say Marcel Proust.

Powerful the fable of the ant and the grasshopper seeing under four different perspectives.
You will be opened to a lot of reflections.

Stoicists with their philosophy believed that a fact, an event, a situation can't be controlled but what it is important to discover will be our reaction at that peculiar situation.

"The ability to characterize small things as moments of joy is an art form" assures the author.

Of course I really enjoyed Walt Whitman and his philosophy of life.
What a positive and refreshing poet he was!

The words by Walt Whitman are powerful and they resonate through the centuries in the heart of people fresh, pure and felt as when he wrote them. In a poem called Miracles Whitman said that it's happiness "Walk the streets of Manhattan, stand under the trees in the woods, talk by day with any one...Look at strangers...riding in the car...Honey-bees busy around the hive...My own eyes and figure in the glass..."

Here the entire poem from the website: www.poets.org

Walt Whitman

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
        with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
        quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
        ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

Mentioned also our Saint Francis of Assisi with the legend of the Wolf of Gubbio, like also the story of his trip with the donkey and the moving words the saints said him. The donkey hearing these words started to crying. Saint Francis was famous for being very connected with nature. Rich, son of merchants, he abandoned his beautiful life for becoming poor and help the others.

I found pretty interesting the tale by Tolstoy regarding a man who wanted to buy some lands. A sad but meditative short tale.

In the section dedicated to love a definition of love starting from The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery, examining the love between the little prince for and with the rose and then the dispersion of love.
What is love if not a moment in our existence that we can perpetuate 'til the end of our days?

The author later will arrive at the Symposium by Plato and the purest meaning of love, passing through the sad and damned love of Paolo and Francesca and the spiritual one lived by Dante Alighieri for her Beatrice in La Divina Commedia.

The final section is dedicated to time and memory with lines from the book Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and the dialogue between Alice and the Mad Hatter regarding Time and the Waste of Time.

Is time wasted? No, according to mr.Shapira.

At the end a sum of happiness. For finding our own happy world.

I want to thank the author for loving and appreciate our culture and Italy so badly. It's touching. Grazie mille.

I thank NetGalley and Watkins for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Tech-Wise Family Everyday steps for putting technology in its proper place by Andy Crouch


How much the net has changed our lives? A lot and in a very short time Twenty, twenty-four years of revolution and a past of centuries gone. Completely. Apparently.

In the past, distances were real, (still are), communications apart telephone, via letter, postcard, it took some time, not a lot but surely different days.

Our trips via plane, train, car, but focused in the trip, we were plenty of joy, we left all our problems behind or also good news behind.
We were living an adventure with new occasional friends met in a train, with new experience and a world to be explored.

Traveling a moment of learning without distractions.

Old phones were nice, we found them in some corners for a quick call or we used (I still use it) the old-fashioned phones at home.

At the moment we are constantly connected.
Wherever we go.
If we want.

There was in the past time for many more activities and the brain was less stressed because less stimulated and people more calm and relaxed.

There wasn't the idea of: everything and immediately.
There was a real notion of time and joy to spending time together.

I was interested to read and I did it very rapidly the book written by Andy Crouch, The Tech-Wise Family Everyday steps for putting technology in its proper place by Baker Books, because for what I can see and read this one starts to be a problem.

Not maybe for us because we also experienced what it meant to live before the technologic revolution: a good conversation with our parents or friends, communication, less stress, old-fashioned games to do outdoor (I experienced it living in a countryside), reading, writing, picnics, all activities that took time and were a real pleasure.

The net as also says Mr Crouch simplified for sure our life, and there is no doubt about it. E-mails, if you want to find someone you do that in a few clicks. It's all quickest, and it's a blessing because it permits a different productivity. But...
What is it happening to our children?

Parents think that being parents now is much more difficult than not in the past because there is less control in the life of their children and the perception that the life of their children is not just in their hands but in the hands of many other...devices and they can be sometimes dangerous.

The family of Mr.Crouch is wonderful.
They light candles when they have dinner,  they love to eat a lot of veggies because it's healthy, they sometimes decide to switch off all their devices for staying in peace and for trying to recuperate some conversation and quality-time together.

These devices create our own perfect world where it's more than simple to get lost per hours, on social medias and other beloved applications.

Of course some of these applications are very good.
Skype for example connect us with people very distant.
Internet simplified connections but created a different solitude.
In ten chapters, all flexible for the various exigencies of families Mr Crouch will explain how to stop the device-life for some time for helping teenagers and families.

Families in fact are not born for staying "isolated."
Or better: for creating members all isolated in their own world not anymore connected as it was before the advent of the internet but for living and experiencing all together this life's experience.
Of course, with all the various difference of characters, life-style, but all together.
Each of us in a family bring a different color to life and we can't see it if communication is killed because the teenager is absorbed to playing a game in a smart phone.

For doing so, it's important to create the perfect humus, the perfect condition, dialogue.
It's impossible to cut out modernity says Crouch, but it's indispensable to balance it.
In opposite case the risk is to seeing evaporated years that won't never return without to have enjoyed any kind of quality-time with children because our children "sold" without to know it to the various smart phones, PCs, notebooks; Americans think that family is very important in their lives and that's why I think that they start to interrogate themselves about the role of technology in their life after a moment of first, great enthusiasm.

In the past there was the TV and it was a great magnet for children. Smart phones and PCS are much more dangerous in terms of "killing-dialogue, isolation and solitude." Colored, structured for all their exigencies, flexible, attractive.
Children and teenagers have what they can desire and what everyone can desire.

So, from the suggestion of Mr. Crouch of not giving to the TV a lot of importance putting it in a hidden corner of the living room, to the one of sharing passwords with the spouse and children, you will find great advice for a less stressing life and a best quality-time, devices....free!

I suggest to everyone to read this great little Christian book because it is very informative, and complete.

I thank Baker Books for the physical book review copy. It's a beautiful book and a wonderful cover.

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

White Fur by Jardine Libaire

— feeling angry


White Fur by Jardine Libaire is out today.
There is to say that, as for the rest of the books of the group Penguin Random House, this one is a Crown publishing book, it is wonderfully written.
There is a lightness in writing-style, a sophisticated touch that I can just tell it's simply enchanting.

The story is pretty sad.
It's an encounter.
The fatal encounter able to change the existence and the destiny of two young people.
For worse.

Elise and James or Jamey are people of two completely different worlds, with different expectations and destinies, expectations "chosen" from life because of their birth.

Elise Perez  is great in love-making and it's what James Hyde find fascinating at first although there is another girl Millie in his life, but no comparison with this wild creature she met one day.

Elise lived a frustrating childhood. Can you believe it? Her first orgasm was on a bus when she was 11 years old.
She grew up in foster houses, her family pretty disconnected, she discovered sex at just 7 years and she understood it pretty soon.
No high school, very different background from the one of James.

James will become someone.
He is a junior at Yale, his family is very good, he didn't live a strained life and he is also extremely rich.

You know: I am not skeptical: sometimes it happens like when Cinderella met Prince Charming and well it was good, no?
It happens in real life as well without to disturb a classic fairy-tale but in this novel the story is pretty hard, very disturbing.

The two can't stop to love each other of a sick love and this consumption, this union, will bring devastating conclusions while James' family, obviously will try all his best for trying to interrupt this relationship and this perdition. But no, James can't stop it because Elise slowly became his only reason of life. His obsession.

Problem with love in this book is that the two protagonists are good for each other because of James's insecurities first of all. He thinks that with Elise he found his answers. You can have everything without to have nothing in your hands although your family is very good.
James thought he discovered a Paradise with Elise while he precipitated in a hell.

At the same time Elise found someone in love for her after such a nasty life and this is priceless although she is not as enchanted as Jamey is  about life. Both of them have profound wounds to cure, both of them are dysfunctional. Both of them are perfect to each other for this reason.

Their love is so immense that at a certain point they will escape away together, from everyone and everything but Jamey is in the hospital...
Elise is addicted to James and Jamey can't live without her, without to feeling that she is close to him.

The book is set in 1986-1987.

The book in its genre can be considered a jewel because these stories happen, just at the end of them invariably you feel sadness.

I didn't love the cover at all. Considering the topic pretty stressing I would have picked up something more relaxing to look at, for then falling in the reading, but dividing the moments ;-) just for giving some relaxation to the mind.

I thank NetGalley and Crown Publishing for this ebook

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Very Loving Caterpillar by by Sean Browne Illustrated by Doan Trang

— feeling amazing


The very loving Caterpillar is such a tender, wonderful, cute, sweet and melancholic story according to my point of view of a special caterpillar.
This one is a children's book written by Sean Browne and illustrated wonderfully well by Doan Trang.

We all know butterflies, but they become such wonderful creatures after a process called metamorphosis.
It takes time, and a radical change of look from the state of caterpillar to the one of butterfly. Yes, my dear little child it's something that you can just describe as magic. Pure magic.

Th story of our caterpillar starts peacefully in a branch of a tree where, with other friends he loved to eat the leaves of the tree for growing up, becoming strong and later for enjoying another special trip closed in a chrysalis for becoming a wonderful butterfly, but....

What happens? A change of weather alters the life of all the caterpillars and no one is anymore happy or their life.

What to do so?
The poor little caterpillar is not anymore happy or joyous like in the past. He was missing his old life, he was missing what he has been before.

He knows that a change is indispensable for helping all the others.

Closed in the chrysalis he slowly becomes a beautiful butterfly. In the while he receives a vision: the vision of his next passage: the vision of his new life. The vision of his future.

Once transformed he will help all the other to become their real self but not only: to enjoy their real life.

I found the end very melancholic because the life of a butterfly is very short and I imagined the end of the book as the passage to the other world after a short visit in this shape on Earth.

I don't know why but I read it under this aspect.

I suggest to every parents of buying this book to their children.

I can tell you I grew up in a countryside and there wasn't anything else more interesting and fascinating to me than the passage from the state of caterpillar to the one of chrysalis and later butterfly of this animal.

It will be a good start for a conversation about life, transformation, climate changes, seasons, nature, and about the life of animals.
It's spring: you can read this book to your children, bringing later them somewhere for enjoying an outdoor special event all dedicated to them where they can admire butterflies, caterpillars and other animals.

Enjoy the season!

I thank OnlineBookClub for this ebook!

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Eternity's Sunrise The imaginative World of William Blake by Leo Damrosch

— feeling amazing


With this word I can describe Leo Damrosch's book: Eternity's Sunrise The imaginative World of William Blake by Yale University Press.

My research and interest about William Blake  started when I read and reviewed just few months ago A Web of Friendship, the correspondence kept by Christina Steady published by Melbourne University Publishing.
I learned with surprise that Mrs. Stead was William Blake's wife.

I read something of Blake but I could consider my interest superficial.
So, when I noticed this publication by Yale with joy I thought: "I want to read it!"


It's a full immersion in a beautiful book with more than a touch of divine.  It's a very erudite book, and that was why I love it so badly.
You space from philosophy to psychology passing through history, art, poetry.

Blake didn't never become famous or appreciated while he was still alive because of his controversial vision of art, illustrations ad poetry.

He choose of not staying aligned with art and works produced during his time by his contemporaries, finding his own voice, his own mystery, his own original message for the posterity. He did it in solitude and not always understood.

This choice meant isolation, a sure poverty in comparison to his other colleagues and artists, but Blake didn't mind because he wanted to give a personal and unique contribution to poetry, illustrations.
Some people thought he was mad, other too eccentric.
He suffered for it.

In a poem he wrote:

"Why was I not born like the rest of my race?"

There is an actuality in the message and language used by Blake to me pretty shocking.
He should be more studied,  more appreciated by a largest public because he was a revolutionary man mainly into himself with the perennial necessity of "throwing up" what his soul was producing, while he was changing, mutating, but continuing to be always at the perennial research of God, Life, Eternity, Death, Evil, contrasts, light, sun and darkness, these ones his main intellectual attractions.

At first, very young he worked per years as engraver and fought for obtaining that this work would be recognized as an artistic work.
It took a lot of time.

Seeing his works as illustrators, reading his words, I can also add that to me he spent his entire life exorcising death, imagining death, and searching for that touch of Eternity that each man possess and that can "defeat" death although not physically because our conditions are mortals.

In the illustration of Albion of 1780, Albion poses his left foot on an earthworm, between his open legs a bat. It is possible to seeing portrayed the virility and immortality of a man, a man killing death (the earthworm, dominating it) with his own creativity, and at the same time the bat remembers the obscurity of thinking.
This one is my own personal interpretation, considering also that maybe Blake could have seen somewhere the holy imagine of Saint Mary portrayed while she poses her foot on the serpent, to represent symbolically the victory against the evil part of the world.

Blake at the same time has always thought that these two forces, God and Evil are indispensable. The one nurtures the other one and vice versa.
The imperfection of this world donated these two forces and these two forces run the world.

Blake was a rebel, a fighter, a thinker and a voice against the government but also against revolution seen as the bad answer taking in consideration the French Revolution of July 14th 1789 but also the American Revolution.

Back to the French Revolution and Robespierre the end of monarchy meant for France a long and absurd period of Terror much more worse than not the precedent government french folks experienced.

William Blake was someone who didn't know the meaning of hypocrisy. He said what he wanted to saying without too many compliments to his colleagues, to politicians, to the church. His flame was real.
Yes, he was religious, but his religiosity didn't pass through the common channels that we know of and his admiration became Jesus later in his life.

His idea of church without too many dogmatic ideas.
A religion seen without the filters created by human men of church too blind metaphorically for helping other people practically.
An example the condition of little children, workers at a very tender age as portrayed in The Chimney Sweeper.

William and Catherine Blake didn't have any kids unfortunately but they were once kids and it's simple to imagine that they also portrayed in their mind also how they would have grown up their own children.

What upset a lot Blake was that the church didn't help at all the little children who were asking for help.
They were working and it was unfair, they were asking for something to an institution that could have been in grade to give them answers without to receive them.
What Blake considered hypocrite from church was also sexual repression.

Interesting the poem of  The Sick Rose.

A worm, the most terrestrial part of Earth, one day enters in the rose, symbol of perfection. This one is an obscure, corrosive love, able to destroy the rose's life and beauty. We can't know if it is because the mortality of the worm is able to corrupt, to open, to modify the precedent state of the rose.
This mixture of feelings brings the worm and the rose in a spiral of perdition, corrosion, lost and at last death.

Blake in his life has known a phase of political activity close to the radicals but when the group started to develop problems preferred to change his mind, abandoning political activism.

It meant also that his works, in the past a connection between religion, society, policy, but never, never disconnected by these thematics and plus by life and death and religion, social protest, will change radically embracing for a while new concepts developed by Isaac Newton: atoms and prisms.

If in the while Blake developed his personal homage to Newton, depression started to put him down and so with his wife decided to move from London to a lovely cottage in Felpham searching for some resting and peace.

William Blake lived his entire life surrounded by hallucinations, voices and episodes he could clearly see and that he would later reported in poems and illustrations.

At the same time as all the most important thinkers suffered of depression and maybe of bipolarity.

His altered state of consciousness gave him the possibility of creating stunning poems while he fought against a lot of demons not excluded sexuality. In general there was shyness  from the poets contemporaries of Blake talking of sex. No one talked a lot in their composition of sex as Blake did.

Who knows if it was a cathartic experience or just, as for the other sectors of life he examined, analyzed, also this existential part couldn't be hypocritically avoided, giving space and air also to something relegated in a corner in opposite case?

The life of William Blake and his personal visions resonate with force also during our time keeping this poet and illustrator not only alive, but actual and one of the most appreciated ones.

I thank Yale University Press for the physical copy of this divine book remarking again that  I am without words for the beauty of the book, for the beauty of the thoughts expressed by the author, for the stunning illustrations and for the elevate cultural level of this product.

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

— feeling amazing


The Book of Summer  by Michelle Gable published by St. Martin's Press is called in this way because the owners of the house kept at Cliff House a book where the various guests could write their impressions during their staying.
So this one will be a story where past will be strongly connected with  present.
The story starts when Bess who lives in San Francisco, she is a doctor, returns to Nantucket with a special sad mission: convincing her mother to leave Nantucket and their beloved Cliff House, the family house forever. The house is very old and built by Bess's grandparents.
The risks too many because of an erosion that in Nantucket, realistically destroyed various houses of the exclusive locality.

Bess thought that her staying would have been relatively short but her mom Cissy doesn't want to go away from her past, her memories, her land, her people, and her past.

Slowly Bess understand that their Cliff House has always been a special place with a lot of secrets as well.
She understands it discovering and reading the famous Book of Summer of their Cliff House: a house of women and a house where a lot of destinies and facts as it happen with old houses converged there for  creating a special place populated by iconic characters.
The book spaces between present and past giving the portrait of three generation of women and as theater of  these stories a locality, Nantucket that it is simply enchanting.

I love so badly the sunny cover of this book!

Highly recommended for sure!

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

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it