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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

New Americans by Geoffrey C. Harrison and Thomas F. Scott

— feeling amazing
New Americans by Geoffrey C. Harrison and Thomas F. Scott published by Norwood House Press is a very powerful interesting book for students and their teacher about a controversial thematic, that as we will see hasn't been a real novelty for America: the immigrants. At first they were the 13 colonies. These people, British, constituted the first and most important community for the modern USA. There weren't other people in the USA until the arrival of Cristoforo Colombo and the discovery of America. Thanks to this, new people slowly slowly afforded to the USA. Native Americans destroyed by the white man, we shouldn't never forget this dark page of history, and a new face started to take place. Problems started to come when many ships arrived in the USA plenty of immigrants during 1800. The main concept at that time was the Nativitism and so the idea that people arrived before in the USA had to have best treatment than not the new ones, in terms of freedom and rights although as we have seen rights and freedom built slowly slowly by the various Americans. Please check out this book and my review: The Fight for Freedom . https://alfemminile.blogspot.it/2017/02/the-fight-for-freedom-by-geoffrey.html The northern part of the world was considered from the first immigrants the best one, so Swedish, Germans people appreciated, while the South part of Europe read and seen as more "dangerous." Irish, Italians, Russian seen with suspect like also their religion: the catholic one. The book asks if some Nativism is back today but maybe we should ask what it means for immigrants to afford to the USA and what it is today the American Dream. In 1850 the discovery of gold and the Gold Rush and talking of immigration the arrival of people from Asia. At the beginning of XX century government tried to reduce immigration. Other errors from the USA committed during the First but also Second World War? Dauring the latest mondial conflict the USA rejected a ship of Jewish immigrants. Half of them died tragically once returned home because of course captured. It was clear for the government that the arrival of new forces and new brains meant also the arrival of new opportunity of growth. The USA is a land built by immigrants. I personally know immigrants who left our land and made fortune in USA and later Canada. If they would have remained here they would have spent a tranquil life but nothing more. The book offers various point of debating and the story of immigration is surely articulated, at treats very sad, and a policy that changes periodically the cards on table. Very beauty book! Suggested to everyone not only students and teachers for trying to understand our actuality and the past as well. I thank NetGalley and Norwood House Press for this book. Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

— feeling amazing

The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler will be released this Febr 20th by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Stunning, beautiful, dreaming paintings of all the nature of the Globe.


Passing through the Artic's nature, frogs, birds, wolves, this one is a book dedicated to children but I would want to enlarge the public/readers at adult ones, nature-lovers because too beauty for not being on the shelf of the house of everyone.


The book with its spectacular, relaxing painting of nature portrayed during the blue hour a special moment, when day and night are fused and in unison they speak an only voice and language that it still is not the one of the night and can't be anymore the one, bright and colored of the day.


Colors are beautiful, from cobalt to blue, white/ice, but never sad or cold for a fascinating and suggestive natural trip. Magical and impressive.


I loved tremendously, loved the painting of bluebirds, like also the one of the serpent and the landscape with a hill, sweet trees, a owl in the tree and an eagle flying somewhere.


I thank NetGalley and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.


Anna Maria Polidori

The Forbidden Chocolate Guide: Tasty Chocolate, Desserts, Cakes and Cookies for Celebrations, Birthdays and special events by Chris Cooper

— feeling amazing

If you want to touch Heaven thanks to an overdose of chocolate you can't lose to opportunity of buying The Forbidden Chocolate Guide: Tasty Chocolate, Desserts, Cakes and Cookies for Celebrations, Birthdays and special events by Chris Cooper.


If you love the chocolate world and I guess each of us love it, you will find wagons of recipes for making happy your children, your friends, your family with great and delicious, warm warm recipes.


Chris will let us discover the world of chocolate cakes, I think that dessert clay a mixture of chocolate, strawberry and golden syrup that must be surely very interesting, like also little cookies for every occasion.


If you want to surprise during a Sunday morning all your loved ones, voilà! also a choco pancakes recipe.


There are recipes to be tasted with coffee, as the chocolate ginger treats is, while if you are a tea lover why not to try the rusty loaf? Golden crust, light and creamy inside for a great and energetic start and...breakfast!


If you love cinnamon, there are the chocolate cinnamon crumbs waiting for you! But do you know what? It's not important which chocolate dessert you'll choose, because what I can tell you is that this book has been written and baked with great love and passion.


You will find for very recipe the picture and the instructions for a perfect dessert, and so, don't wait another second! and start to be a chocoholic! for the joy of all your dear ones.


I thank Library Thing and the author for this advanced copy of the book.



Anna Maria Polidori




Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The World's Greatest Collection of Dad Jokes More Than 500 of the Punniest Jokes Dads Love to Tell

— feeling baby
Wonderful book this edition of The World's Greatest Collection of Dad Jokes More Than 500 of the Punniest Jokes Dads Love to Tell by Barbour Publishing.

This book will be released on April First, and you will find truly truly hilarious jokes, for all tastes and ages. 

Some of them pretty known but all of them remarkably funny, there will be a good laugh for all the family. 

Jokes are organized in sections so that you can find them with great simplicity discovering for every occasion the best joke to tell to your friends or to the rest of your family, for building memories with a laugh or a good smile or for enjoying a special moment of relaxation all together. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Barbour for this book.
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The New Irish Table Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola

— feeling amazing


Many the ingredients offered by a land magical like the Emerald Island is to its people.

From meat - beef, lamb, pork -  to fish, in particular salmon (lucky Irish!) passing through cheese, and butter, and milk and every sorta of veggies and fruits.

Ten stellar chefs, most of them with a great curriculum in this new cookbook The New Irish Table Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola, will propose us new recipes with fresh and seasonal ingredients.

This beautiful cookbook will be published on February 7th, so you mustn't wait a lot of time. for grab your copy!

Passing through sea recipes to pear puree, every possible person will be satisfied by this myriad of wonderful recipes.

Pictures of Ireland published in this book are spectacular and dreaming like only this land is able to be like also the ones of the various dishes created by the ten chefs involved in this new introduction of the various dishes of the areas of the country taken in consideration.

Go for it with the certainty of buying a great and spectacular product and a very good Irish cookbook!

Thanks to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Candy Is Magic by Jami Curl

— feeling excited
When we open the door of candy world we enter in a magical land of seasonal fruits, chocolate, aromas, sugar, colors, in a world, able to conquer everyone forever and ever. Candy represents our childhood. They're sweet, tasty, surely unforgettable.

Candy world is magic. Magic because candies represents joy, happiness, a moment of absolutely pleasure for toddlers and sometimes also for their parents. It's also a world made by precision, because the creation of a lollipop so thin, so delicious, colored, is just apparently simple.

Jami Curl is an enthusiastic. The owner of Quin, a company of candy based in Oregon in this book will introduce us at more than 200 recipes of candies, lollipops and other sweet delicious treats. At the beginning of the book a very good and technical explanation and introduction of all the various roles  ingredients and tools indispensable in a house for making a real good candy.

What is candy-world if not imagination, creation, fantasy? Each of us potentially could create a candy tells Jami using the perfect ingredients and giving  thanks to our imagination shape to a candy-dream. Color, shape, taste, everything is important in a candy, in a lollipop, in every candy-world creation.

Jami loves to prepare candies, lollipops with tasty seasonal fruits and ingredients and it's remarked the importance of using good and seasonal ingredients in the book.

Beautiful! sweet, an indispensable cookbook that also Willy Wonka would want to buy! :-)

I thank NetGalley and the publishing house for this book

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

The Best We Could Do An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

— feeling amazing

The Best We Could Do An Illustrated Memoir is the first book by Thi Bui, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants.


Abrams Book will publish this wonderful, touching and very sad at treats graphic novel next March 7th.


Of course this book will let us reflect.


Thi Bui writes: "Our family is a boat family", because exactly as it happens now in various parts of the world, her family afforded to the USA with a boat and exactly as it happens now with immigration, the family of Thi left Vietnam because of very difficult social conditions.


Social conditions that couldn't permit anymore to live in the country in which her family was born.


I admit that I didn't know all the political story of Vietnam and the book is also in this sense very interesting and sad because this graphic novel through the personal stories of the various members of Thi Bui will live parallelally also the political story of the country with all its wars and divisions during the decades .


Emigration: what is this word? And why a person or a family decides to leave his/her country for searching for something better in another place? Surely it is not a choice that it is done with light heart, I can tell you that.


Our land has been a land of emigration during the 1950s and it still is. It means to re-start from the beginning in a place where maybe you need to learn everything, including a new language.


There will be other people and these people maybe will live you with hostility or with at first with a certain diffidence. You will bring new customs and traditions and at the same time you must respect the laws of the country where you decide to go for a new living. It's a sufferance.


A sufferance and an adventure. Plenty of optimism, but surely if you leave a world devastated by war as it happened at the family of Thi Bui, your problems will be many, your heart will be hardest and heaviest than not the one of an individual who just wanted to try to better the life, without having experienced the tribulations and horrors seen and lived by the family of Thi Bui.


The separation of a person from his own land a sufferance that will remain for the first generations of emigrated as explain also Thi Bui in a passage that we will see later because you decide to break your root and to re-start, but you know for sure that your country, the life-style, the lessons you have learned and who you are and why you are as you are will follow you. There is a moment in the book I love a lot.


Thi explains many family tends to accumulate objects while they tend to live in a minimalism way. Once, while she was still little, the family was arrived from a while in the USA, close to their house there was a fire and Thi Bui run upstairs for saving an envelope. Just in case...In this envelope the most important and precious documents of her family:the green cards, social security cards.


Their being Americans.


In 2005 Thi Bui has had a son and she asks in the book: "Do we live on in what we leave to our children?"


I think so. Children are our extensions once we won't be anymore alive.


Our mirror, our reflection.


Thi Bui asks in another passage at the end of the book: "How much of ME is my own, and how much is stamped into my blood and bone, predestined?"


The author thinks that being the children of parents who have seen the horror of war will always mean to feel in part the "weight of their past" although surely Thi Bui knows that she won't search anymore for another homeland because she is American and that Vietnam will always be genetically a part of her, but in a little little measure.


In the USA she has found the stability her parents were searching for them and their family.


Thi Bui is also worried for her son because she thinks maybe she can transmits him her sometimes pains and sufferance but when she looks at her son she sees a boy that is free.


Free to claim his future, free to become who wants to become, in a land of peace and in a land marked by that American Dream wanted so badly because real by all the immigrants who, for a reasons or another escaped from their lands, searching and dreaming for a better future and for peace and stability in the Land of Freedom and Opportunity.


Beautiful, truly moving, plenty of flashback, memories and intense. Highly recommended for understand and never forget the profound connection existing between past and present.



I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS Books for this book.




Anna Maria Polidori




Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Always by Sarah Jio

I checked my e-mail yesterday night and I received a message from Random House. The manager of the publishing house asked me to post as soon as possible a review for the launch of Always by Sarah Jio. Eeeek...Bloody Hell, not yet read, I thought in complete panic  without thinking that the launch was yesterday.

I decided to change my schedule and I started to read the eBook yesterday night. I finished it today.

You'll need to keep close to you a box of Kleenex because Always is moving and one of th most interesting love-stories I read since now.

I picked up this book by Sarah Jio time ago for various reasons.

I love her books, I had read previously other novels she wrote.
Seattle is in my heart.
One of my best pen-pals - yes you know paper and pen, envelopes and stamps, that dinosaurs thing of the 1990's - with which I am still in contact with is from Seattle.
One of my favorite movies Sleepless in Seattle set in that city.
Being a friendly reality I have also other connections as well.
I feel the thematic of homeless a lot and I thought while I read the synopsis of this book in NetGalley that this one could have been potentially a very good love-story. As always, my instinct didn't fail. I was approved and joyous for it.

Always by Sara Jio is impressive because it's not just a love-story.

It's something else. It's a love between a man and a woman stolen by destiny and then re-donated at the protagonists.
It's the book of second chances.

It treats of loss and return, of waiting, love and defeat, and at the same time of crucial choices in our life and understanding. Of real love able to set free the partner for love, of gratitude and dignity and sentiments respected.

The book is never superficial but profoundly explores the sentimental dynamics of a lady who thought she had found a stability in every sense and that maybe she must re-think all her life again.
Because the past better than the present, because simply, the love of the 20s for Cade too strong for being thrown away again not giving to it another possibility.

It's a book that will speak at the heart, at the conscience, at the life and at the dignity of people and their lives trying to have respect for every point of view.

The story starts with Kailey and Ryan, a happy couple at the italian restaurant Le Marche of Seattle.

Kailey is a reporter of the Herald and she reached the success she  desires. Ryan a very successful man. A happy couple who intend to start a life together, celebrating the joy of staying together with a wedding pretty soon.

Kayle is a reporter very involved in social problems and she treats the topic of homeless very often. That night while leaving the restaurant Le Marche while she was waiting for her fiancee and their car she notices this homeless pretty starved close to the restaurant. She presents him something to eat and when she looks at his eyes she recognizes him. Impossible to fail: this one was her boyfriend Cade McCallister, never forgotten.

Cade had a label and was very famous in the music industry of Seattle during the mythical 1990s. Why now Cade is here, in this state, homeless and what happened to him during these past 10 years? She asks a desperate Kayle to herself.

Kayle is shocked, and she starts to live in a life of flashbacks.

Oh: the power of the twenties and the magical idea that everything is possible and that life is in your hands. You can imagine to find Mr.Right,   and building a good existence with him, having some children, working and being a satisfied girl.

In general it goes in this way, but not for Kayle.
To Kayle the dream of marrying the man she loved so badly broken. Broken because she knew something: that Cade was her Mr. Right and the man with which she would have wanted to spend the rest of her existence. And he just disappeared like a ghost from her, without to tell her why, without an explanation.

Once this dream over she didn't think at love anymore with the intensity of the past.

Two years spent together, from 1996 to 1998 one day Cade simply evaporated from her life.

Her dream of a family, of a love, some children, replaced by a successful work and other gratifications. Her heart locked until later she would have met Ryan. Other age, a more mature love, her sentimental life back.

Kayle accepted this second chance with enthusiasm thinking that life must be lived and truly loving deeply Ryan. Cade McAllister buried in some corner of her heart but now inoffensive.

But...What happen if the past returns, and which can be the reaction of a person at the return of someone so beloved?

It's what the book wants to analyze, and it does it with great maturity and class according to my point of view.

Memories of the moments  Kailey spent with Cade are back in all their intensity. They had lived a real, beautiful love-story. Walks discovering secret corners of Seattle, trips as the one they did at Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, where Kailey's grand-dad knew his future wife, unforgettable moments for both of them, moments spent together enjoying the company of each other and thinking that yet, they were made for spent the rest of their life together.

Few characters all very well centered, the book doesn't know any kind of dispersion but focus in the relationship created by the two protagonists at first in 1996. The book is divided in two part: a first part is set in 2008 the crucial year of the return of Cade and a part from 1996 to 1998 the years of the first relationship between Cade and Kailey.

Not only.

Always is also a book that wants to speak at the heart of people revealing the social conditions of American hospitals, sometimes too cold with people marginalized by the society for many reasons.
It wants to speak at the heart of people reclaiming that we are all human being, and it is not important if we are rich or poor, each of us has dignity and should be cured very well.

But in which state Kailey finds Cade? In a miserable one. This man must suffer of some mental retard, she thinks desperate. Maybe he remembers her, maybe not. At the beginning the reporter can't interact with him because the man is absent, starved.

Kailey once saved by him decides that now it's arrived the moment of helping her biggest love of her life, but at what price?

Ryan will understand her feelings? And mostly: is she still loving Ryan as much as she should love him considering that very soon they will be married?

Always is a book that tells of changes. The changes that can occur during our life, the differences that we can find in a person we love so badly and we thought we had lost forever and the acceptance of this person transformed by life but also of the immutability of love when the feeling has been real and sincere with all the crosses that can bring with it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is another example of a great love for a wonderful, conflictual man. At the end of the book the protagonist will discover that her love, unforgotten, Edward Rochester had lost the vision from both his eyes because of a terrible incident but she won't go away from him because real love is able to resist everything.

The title Always created because of a tattoo the protagonists once will decide to do while in vacation, in french, Toujours, while the cover of the book speaks of true love. There is the tradition of put a red wrap in a branch of cherries tree everytime you think you have found your true love.

I highly suggest you this book for the maturity I found while I was reading it. It is written by a writer who gives dignity to each protagonists and at the end of the book in the happiness and unhappiness that some protagonists will live, no one will be completely defeated by life because love will always win in every case.

I thank NetGalley and Random House for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The String of Pearls by Thomas Preskett Prest

— feeling amazing

The String of Pearls by Thomas Preskett Prest is a dark book you'll love so badly.


It is in fact the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.


Strange street Fleet Street.


Once, as also written in the London's biography by Peter Ackroyd Fleet Street was an insane little river, but because of sanitary problems and illness that the river brought to the people, during the time the administration transformed it in a street, although a touch if insanity it is still going on.


No one knows if this one is a legend or not.


Surely London is not just the capital of UK but also a city avid for blood and so it seems that once upon a time there was a weird weird strange barber called Sweeney Todd in Fleet Street.


This book, The String of Pearls inspired the legendary musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler created and launched in 1979 and winners of eight Tony Awards.



Later Johnny Depp would have created, based on the musical by Sondheim with Tim Burton as director Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street . It was 2007. The story of Sweeney Todd told in this book, is pretty different from the musical and the movie.


The horror, I wouldn't never read it differently, in different ways is left to the imagination of us, readers, but the book is written with great linguistic property and class.


The writing style of 1800 is adorable because punctual, precise, can I add: perfect?


Anyway the lovely partner of Sweeney Todd, a barber of Fleet Street has a store with mr Jarvis Williams and there they sell wonderful delicious sweet meat pies and trests.


They are loved by everyone. They're the sweetest ones you can find around and who knows if attracted by mrs. Lovett or simply because the meat is so delicious, the store is always plenty of people.


Mrs. Lovett in love with Sweeney Todd, a good criminal pair this one.


Sweeney Todd has a good work as barber, although strangely not all the men who enter in his shop for making their beard go out after the work.


Who knows why. A dog is still waiting for his owner...


Through a trap door Sweeney after the service, in general he cut the throat at his victims, would send them to Mrs Lovett for being "prepared" to becoming delicious meat for the customers of her delicious reality... Sure something starts to go bad for Sweeney Todd. Killing means also someone who start to search for some missing people. Johanna is searching for her fiance, and at the same time also Colonel Jeffrey is searching for his friend Thornhill strangely missing. Where are them all?


Maybe in the stomach of some very satisfied people, who knows? but no one still know this horrific reality.


Surely all of them spotted the last time close to Sweeney Todd's barber's shop.


So later, where did they go? Great relevance in the story also at the poor boy Tobias Ragg, one of the most interesting characters of the book, the young apprentice of Sweeney Todd...


Go for this book if you search for pure horror but also a horror told with great respect and without to go into details that could scare people.


It's a classic, It says all the word: classics.The String of Pearls like all the classics has the characteristic of eternity and immortality.


I thank Endeavour Press for this book.




Anna Maria Polidori

The New Irish Table Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola

— feeling amazing

The New Irish Table Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola

Many the ingredients offered by a land magical like the Emerald Island is to its people.

From meat - beef, lamb, pork -  to fish, in particular salmon (lucky Irish!) passing through cheese, and butter, and milk and every sorta of veggies and fruits.

Ten stellar chefs, most of them with a great curriculum in this new cookbook The New Irish Table Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola, will propose us new recipes with fresh and seasonal ingredients.

This beautiful cookbook will be published on February 7th, so you mustn't wait a lot of time. for grab your copy!

Passing through sea recipes to pear puree, every possible person will be satisfied by this myriad of wonderful recipes.

Pictures of Ireland published in this book are spectacular and dreaming like only this land is able to be like also the ones of the various dishes created by the ten chefs involved in this new introduction of the various dishes of the areas of the country taken in consideration.

Go for it with the certainty of buying a great and spectacular product and a very good Irish cookbook!

Thanks to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living by Manjula Martin

— feeling shocked


Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living by Manjula Martin was published these days by Simon & Schuster.

So: what a messy world the one of writing. I am a freelance reporter and so I feel the problem so badly.

While I was reading the preface of the author, Manjula Martin I was also thinking at my condition.
I don't remember anymore when it was the last time I have been paid for my work.

Yes it is sadly true what written by the author: if we write for love and passion why other people should pay us? It's scaring more than sadly true, thinking better.


It's what it is happening with some contracts in fact in which it is specified that people are in love for writing (and so there is not the necessity to paying them for intellectual work - implied -)


And I ask to myself: but if I pay my mechanistic, if I pay the baker for the bread, if I pay the hydraulic, electrician, all people who read newsmagazines after all,  in too many cases they will read our words for free? Why no one should pay all of us for our daily, weekly, monthly articles?

What the hell is wrong?

But I know: of course these thoughts won't bring us too far.

In part because of the net, a real devastation for communication and common media.

If you think that some newsmagazine are thinking of using Facebook as their main resources cutting out collaborators, it gives to you the idea of the real danger of the power of the net and the problems connected with it. Collaborators are the salt of a newsmagazines. We know how to work; a news posted by someone else can be wrong and anyway should always be verified by a reporter in the place before to be printed.

Of course maybe at a certain point the profession of reporter opened at too many people when places for giving dignity to everyone there weren't at all. 
Simple but true.
And now we are in the sh...
Ahem: I meant, in miserable conditions.

Luck is another important factor in this profession. If you meet people of quality along your way, who believe in you, you will obtain a great guidance and of course you can develop your ambitions much better arriving at destination. Realities where you are treated with dignity, where your work is recognized. It says a lot to a person. It says all because she/he will be feel he/she is treated as every human being should be treated.

I found beautiful stories in this book  and I cried a lot as well. I loved the one of the first author's essay who said she was a book addicted because in her family she was the only one who read.

In our family my dad, my dad's aunts read a lot.
My granny Marietta in fact was the only lady in our rural community to have completed all elementary studies because she lived previously in another rural area when still a girl where there was a great dignity: there were all elementary classes.
In our rural community all elementary classes arrived later.
She read, she wrote and during the Second World War when people received letters of their dear beloved dear ones from the various wars' places the person who replied to all these letters was granny Marietta. Our house for what they told me was very crowded during the last Second World War Conflict..

Dad loved to read my articles. He was so proud of me. Aunt Dina read 'til the day she died. They all transmitted me this great passion and desire for knowledge. Reading is a passion that, thanks also to my British and American friends I enlarged with a lot of books and author in most recent decades.

A friend of mine, American, Connie presented me wagons of books when she returned to the USA and before as well! She knows I love reading and she knew I would have loved to read that books :-)
Anyway she helped me to create a good library not just of italian books and to start to read in English in a daily base. It's important.

Other British ladies founded a dog association in a close city, Umbertide where they sell Books for Dogs (the name of the charity) and so I could discover every week new authors still unknown to me or known but still unread. In general I return home with 15-20 books per time. At the end I had some little problem of...space.
I buy used books online, I didn't want to forget to tell this. 

I thought I wouldn't never have read a fresh printed book in all my life but then I discovered NetGalley and I consider a privilege to read books with anticipation. It's stimulating, wonderful, seriously funny.

What it is remarked in this book is that not all of us have had a wonderful rich life plenty of books from the beginning and so we suffered more.

Let's also say that you can be the son or the daughter of the richest man of this world and you don't love to read and write or you do that pretty painfully.

Reading and writing are at first beautiful hobbies and passions.Sure, in a house in which everyone read it's more simple and less complicated to transmit this passion. You will read the newsmagazine at the beginning of the day and then various books during the day, but it's not said.
Money can be very very helpful for buying new books and magazines and newsmagazines. This is true.

Not everyone at 10 years read this world and the others thanks to the big libraries of their parents, very acculturated  but really: it's not a fault to be born rich and it's not a fault to be born less rich and sometimes poor and to climb the mountain and to do the hard work on the road. Maybe at the end it will be more satisfying.

In my case every magazine bought and every book bought has meant a sacrifice in terms of costs. They still are a sacrifice!
Culture cost money and renounces and sometimes I prefer to buying culture than not a clothe, or a pair of jeans.
Something mom can't understand (she is a tailor)  but I understand what I am doing. In the first case I give oxygen to my brain in the second case I would feed my vanity. Oh: I would also want to feed my vanity so badly of course, but...

Please read this book because in the diversified situations you will meet, in the different authors' essays and their different approach with the written words maybe you will find the best inspiration for going on in this sector.

I started to cry when I read the story of a writer who said: although no one paid me I wrote for free for a long time. Book reviews etc.
Her boyfriend said her that of course this behavior wouldn't have brought her bread to their table and she was very offended but you can't never know, she add. Writing mean also to keep our brain working and focused and active. If we should wait always for a paid occasion...

Now she is a published author.
You can't never know.

The net is not negative, it can also give the possibility to come out.

Very interesting book! The various essays include also Cheryl Strayed Roxane Gay, Jennifer Weiner, Alexander Chee, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Franzen.

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster.



Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor by The Harvard Lampoon

— feeling cool



The first volume of the Harvard Lampoon was published in February 1876 written by seven undergraduates.

The idea? Re-create Punch, a British magazine all dedicated to humor.
Twelve hundreds copies all sold out.

Since there what characterizes the Harvard Lampoon is satire and great humor.

The Golden period from 1926 to 1945. In that case students were influenced by the The New Yorker following more or less the same guidelines of the prestigious New Yorker's magazine.

With the decades the students considering also the weight that their reality was assuming decided to start a good tradition: the ones of the honorary members.

It was simple to include Winston Churchill. Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, Jay Leno, Kurt Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace
In this book the first one of the series: The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor published last Nov 15t an introduction at  the humor, characteristics, modus vivendi and thoughts of the Harvard students through the time and and thanks to the reality that they created long time ago with many sketches, little short stories, historical covers. My favorite short story remains the one of the finger. So funny!

With the time Hollywood interested at The Harvard Lampoon. The students became collaborators with the creators of the Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and other countless prestigious shows.

I fall in love for the funny introduction by Simon Rich, and the cover is absolutely wonderful!

Contributors: B.J. Novak, Henry Beard, Andy Borowitz, George Plimpton, Conan O’Brien, John Updike, Patricia Marx, and many others.

Many thanks to NetGalley for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Power of Breath The Art of Breathing Well for Harmony, Happiness and Health by Swami Saradananda

— feeling amazing

Power of Breath The Art of Breathing Well for Harmony, Happiness and Health by Swami Saradananda is a new book released by Watkins this January 17th.


We all know the power of Yoga and the importance of taking some time for ourselves for loving ourselves and for some exercises able to let us connect with the most profound part of ourselves.

The joy, happiness and mental stability able to give Yoga thanks to exercises able to work at a different level if compared to common gym is substantially important.


Breathing and harmonic movements of the body: the most important treat of Yoga is this one.


Every gesture is a synchronization with our breathing and a general knowledge of our self for a general harmonization and wellness of our body, soul and mind. We don't pay attention at our breathing but it's not just fundamental. Breathing is vital. Without breathing we die.


Good breathing means a good oxygenation for brain and other organs as well. The book is divided into various sections dear at Yoga: Prana, Samana, vyana, apana, udana. At the end of the book the author doesn't forget the various illness can affect people suggesting them various exercises for a best breathing without forgetting tips and exercises for all that people involved in music and sport.


Highly recommended.


I thank NetGalley and Watkins for this book.



Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

— feeling what?!?


Nothing wrong with Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes. Just, wow, it's too rich in many senses. Nothing wrong with Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes. Just, wow, it's too rich in many senses.
There are too many brands and too many rich places in this book that at the end you think: let me breath a bit, I can't go on.

I tried to check out if the author had also included the restaurant where Hemingway loved to eat but, no. Hoooray: that one is not a place where snob people go and so I will stop by there when I will visit Paris.

So, more than the capital of love this one is the capital of richness and rich people and of a profound richness able to let you develop a profound nausea. I found the book pretty snob although there is to add that the characters are portrayed well in the system where they live in.

The story the one of a girl Isabel who split up from the boyfriend just few days before their wedding because of futile reasons.


And I found also this fact pretty irritating.
I found all of it pretty pretty irritating because if we live in a society like this one let's say that it's a senseless society.

The couple if married had chosen to go to Paris for spending their happy honeymoon. Wedding gone, Isabel will afford to Paris where later she will meet Alex...

Sexy scenes, sophisticated atmospheres, rich menus, Christmas in Paris is a well-structured book, but just it's...empty.

Empty of human touch, empty of humanity, empty of that real love-story able to let you say: WOW, what a book. The story unable to communicate with the reader.

I would have wanted to see much more not the rich part of the city or just the rich part of the city, constantly under the lenses of the protagonists but the human part of this capital, the atmosphere, the warm that exists in Paris. Let's say that the gypsy has been the most human part of the capital.

It's for a certain unique particular, peculiar atmosphere, magical and plenty of atmosphere because of books, culture, paintings, art that you want to afford to Paris for visiting the capital of France. Many people in the cinema portrayed a wonderful Paris: Woody Allen in movies like Midnight in Paris and Everyone says I love you (and Woody Allen is not poor, and a man plenty of culture), Billy Crystal in Forget Paris, Disney with Ratatouille: Meg Ryan explored the french capital but also the South of France in French Kiss, without forgetting all the books written by Joanne Harris and Hugo Cabret by Selznick and the movie produced by Johnny Depp. It's for that reasons that you want to afford to Paris one day: because a city that deserves to be visited.

A city able, being the capital of France to speak much more loudly than what can do Louis Vuitton or the Charles V! That ones are brands and places for a niche of people and with this crisis and poverty I would give a different portrait of cities where possible and people as well also when the protagonists of these stories are rich, because if rich people are like these ones, do you know what?
They're pretty boring.

I would save for obvious reasons the mention at Shakespeare&Co.

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

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition The secret that will revolutionize your relationship by Gary D.Chapman

— feeling amazing

There are more singles in America than married couples and the numbers of these people all alone for personal choice, because scared of the times and too pressed for building a career and investing in themselves than not also at the same time in love and devotion for a partner destined maybe to increase.



Plus divorced, separated people are other singles of return.



In The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition The secret that will revolutionize your relationship by Gary D.Chapman all the answers and methods if you want to interrupt your spiral of "singletude."


Why sometimes, when the egoistical approach with life is not involved, when career is more than OK, people are not able to build a good relationship with the other sex?


Sometimes the fault must be searched in the childhood and the education given by the parents of these children. In many cases if a man has had a mom with which he lived a strange maternal relationship, plenty of conflicts with great difficulty will be in grade to build a happy marriage and same is if problems the one with his dad.



The story of Brian I think will help most of the readers in this sense. Brian is a successful player. He is wonderful in his genre, he is as beautiful boy so surely he could have a lot of women and he could pick up the one he wants the most with great simplicity. He tried to do that but all these stories a real failure. Why this? The main surprise to Brian himself: his parents and his childhood! Yes, he told to Mr. Chapman, when he was little he lived some conflicts with his parents. His dad drunk too much and his mom depressed for reasons we can understand. The toddler and then the teenager never received a compliment from his parents but a lot of criticism and complaints.


Growing up with these bases it means that the man he became is still insecure: how to develop a good relationship also with the other sex? The fear of saying something wrong, the fear of failing, the fear of not being accepted can become real obstacles for the realization of a happy marriage/relationship and of course for the creation of a harmonic family. But, of course the therapist insisted with Brian: he had to start, and he had to start from...the beginning. "Tell to your parents that you love them. Tell them: I love you when you end your conversation with them by phone. Brian did it and not only his relationship with the parents bettered everytime they talked, but the positive approach suggested by Mr Chapman passed of course also through a new and more profound vision of his relationship and understanding with his dad and mom. This behavior after several months brought him at the next step: going out successfully with a girl. Brian's main problem was that he wasn't able to make any kind of compliment. No one had told him that he was a good boy, no one in his family remarked some skills he had and so of course he didn't know what to tell and how to tell how special that girl was to him. Thanks to Mr. Gary Chapman he learned that after all yes, love means dedication and hard work but that after all it's a mountain that can be climbed. In the book you will learn the five languages of love for singles. You will learn that love passes through two important stages and that if you arrive at the second one safely probably your relationship will continue without too many problems. You will understand how precious can be to give to a person your love, time, dedications, gifts in every sense, exploring the wrong behavior of some parents with their children, their lack of attention and for being forgiving the attitude of buying too many material gratifications. We will understand how much important is to be kind with other people. The examples brought by Mr Chapman many but the one I love a lot the one of a girl. She tells to a friend: I want to start a diet. It's important not to put down the person but saying: If you will start a diet I am sure not only that you will lose weight but that you will succeed for sure because I know your strong character.


Suggestions, tips able to create a more loving attitude with people close to us, life and a best environment that will be in grade to change also the course of your destiny! The book will treat also the relationship with co-workers for a good and positive work-environment.


Try this book and I am sure that in a few months you won't be single anymore and your approach with life bettered!



Many thanks to NetGalley for this book.



Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

— feeling amazing

What a wonderful book is The Motion of Puppets written by Keith Donohue!

While I was reading this book I tried to guess the books this author had previously read for writing such a touching book. Profound, plenty of meanings The Motion of Puppets can be "read" and you will see by yourself at many levels.

First of all: let's ask to ourselves who a puppet is, apart of course to be a beautiful toy. It's an inanimate toy in general maneuvered by someone else who will give him life.

A puppet is driven by someone else to do and to be exactly what he wants and what he desires that this puppet must be: the owner of the puppet can changes his/her clothes, he can changes hair, he can changes everything of this puppet. Read it in metaphorical sense and you will obtain also what it can happens to a weak person.

The puppet couldn't never say anything, because he/she wouldn't have force to do that, no mouth, or to be someone listened by the society.
The force of a puppet raises only in this: who there is behind him/her.

There is someone more strong than the same puppet able to give him/her dignity, strength, value, and all the sentiments she/he will perform that night during the show.

The puppeteer.

This book can also be read socially. A society of many puppets, driven  by the desire of gratification, driven by the desire of being all similar to our neighbors, without to search for our own differences. We should all have similar thoughts and we should all stay calm and quiet. The book according to my point of view can be also read like it. And trust me when I tell you that I am not wrong.

The part of the book in which for example a puppet, Noe, the most intolerant one to be and live like a puppet needs a certain "operation" to its head for removing some bees entered for case while they were re-building the puppet during the reconstruction read by me like a sort of "revolution".

She couldn't hear anymore all that noise and she needed to open her brain, but opening her brain what does it mean? Thinking with our own head and saying what we think.

The puppet, as told by the other puppets should have kept all her/his thoughts in her/his head because in opposite case what can happens to the world and to the society if these thoughts go out? Well, I found the passage pretty interesting.

Surely Donohue has read the Metamorphosis by Kafka and while I read that the puppets loved to performed The Trial by Franz Kafka I smiled thinking that in this case we were anyway in a Metamorphosis and change. A sort of Wizard of Oz by Baum but without to find characters as happens in Baum's book that asks for specific treats of their characters, but differently people transformed for the purpose of re-creating the reality and plasticity that can be found just by the old remembrance of people realistically alive once. 

Are, these puppets sad? As said before: no. Most of them don't love to remember who they were and they don't remember who they were in some cases. In other cases they remembered but they don't mind anymore. Just few puppets would want to go away, refusing to be, as in the society, many sheep or many puppets.

For Kay Harper new, happy married girl with her wonderful husband Theo it happened while she was staying with her husband to Quebec for performing with a circus. Kay is an acrobat and this occasion succulent.

She loves the magical atmosphere of a circus and she loves mainly to spend her free time with her beloved husband. Theo is a translator and he is spending his time at the moment with a translation from a book written by Muybridge, This man dead more than a century ago interested at the motion of human and not only, bodies.

Their life is happy like can be the life of a romantic new couple. Theo in love for Kay so badly although of course he still needs to discover some aspect of her character, and vice-versa. Their love very powerful and quick, they became groom and bride without to think too much.

Kay is powerfully attracted by a toy shop located at rue Saint-Paul. In particular she is attracted by an ancient puppet. Oh: she loves to look at that one with the desire of buying it, and she confess all to her husband. But...What to do?

This shop is systematically closed. Possible that no one can be seen or spotted somewhere close to it? Upsetting.

One night Kay enters in the shop and starts Theo's story and at the same time Kay's sweet and terrible own metamorphosis.

Can be considered a death the departure by a dimension in this case of a person, so with a human body to a puppet? Of course it is. It's a transformation, a metamorphosis. There is an end and a new beginning.
Death and re-born under another semblance that just the ones loved that person a lot can recognize in a new shape.

There is life also in a puppet after all. In a common puppet. A puppet can be considered alive. They're appreciated, loved, treated well. Just this give them a reason for being "alive" for us all.
In this case you will discover how happy are the puppets of this book when no one can see them.

Again we find a big devotion and love: the one of Theo for her Kay! that I loved so much for the wonderful expressions and phrases of love expressed in the book. Such tenderness from a man is terribly moving.

Theo is destroyed when he understand that Kay can't be found anywhere and she is missing. No one knows where she went after with some colleagues  left the restaurant after a good evening spent all together. No one knows if she knew anyone in the city. Theo excludes every possible other men, other stories, friends where she could have stayed in the city or the return to their city. No, impossible.

Kay becomes a phantom and Theo, destroyed, returns to NYC where he re-starts to work as a professor. But he is strained, absent, he talks with the guys of the publishing house. He can't complete the translation so soon as hoped because with the mind is somewhere else. At the publishing house they understand and give more time to him.
His colleague are distant. No one wants to talk to him. His tragedy mustn't effect other people. Students joke with it: "Sure that he didn't kill her?" "Who knows..."

Prof.Mitchell a devoted man and teacher of Greek and Latin, a man of few words, starts to be his friend and later Egon another member of the cast of the circus, reaches his friend telling him that he slept in the bedroom upside the toy shop where Kay disappeared and he bring him very good news. That shop wasn't normal, that shop was weird. A cursed place, animated. The return to Quebec, the discovery of some new puppets in Vermont, (the second departure for Kay...) the call with the mom of Kay. "I recognized my daughter Theo...On TV. Please, that one is Kay I am sure of it. Please help me..."

The three men all motivated will leave for this farm where are now located these puppets, but what will happen will be poetically sad but also powerful.

Meeting someone you thought you had lost forever, discovering the great simplicity of getting lost and transformed by the circumstances. It's simple to lose your self and at the same time to be transformed or killed metaphorically.

I won't reveal you the end of the book but I can tell you something: what Theo knows for sure is that a man won't never stop to love the woman he loved so baldy although someone changed him in many ways, because love can reach her under many aspects and shapes.
The end is impressively beauty. And it teaches us the strength of love, able to fight also when the impossible become possible, the surreal become only the language you can speak and recognize.

I was to my favorite city bar when I picked up this title months ago. It was my idea to read this book and write my review for the book launch but the illness and death of my dad changed the cards on the table of Life.

What I thought for sure when I requested this book was this: if it is written well it is a masterpiece.
I wasn't wrong!

This one is a masterpiece.

The cover is powerful. There is Kay, transformed in a puppet and waiting to be moved by someone else more big than her. There is behind her a big farm with a light. The light of the night, able to give life to lifeless puppets during the day and new hopes and some hours of freedom from their immobility. Most people can find attracting that light but that attractive light would mean also danger if a human wants to stop by in a wrong moment?

What can I add more?

That I hope someone will create a movie from this book as beautiful as this book is.

You can be sure: The Motion of Puppets has a great story and great message. I love this book so badly and I want to thank NetGalley and the publishing house for this dream.

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it