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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

An American Princess The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl

— feeling amazing

 An American Princess The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl is an amazing and engaging portrait of an American lady and the upper society where she lived in. Born in Jamestown at the end of 1800s this city was famous mainly for woodworking, textile industry and for exporting large ice blocks for keeping at a cool temperature various foods. It was this one a little, big revolution. Charles and Jenette were the parents of Allene. Allene was born on July 7 1872 in Janesville, Rock County. She was the only child of this couple. The destiny of Allene a girl ready to conquer the world thanks to her rebel character was at first Tod Hostetter. We speak of the upper class of New York City. The one who monopolized the mundane life of New York, if I can use this expression was the powerful family of the Astors, in grade to saying who was in and who was out in their list (400 names) of absolutely acceptable rich and powerful, aristocrat people with which sharing feasts, business, or vice-versa the ones out, unwanted because in the past that families experienced problems: so unwelcomed. The family of Vanderbilt was in the black list, for example, although incredibly rich. The family Hostetter made fortune selling a special potion, an herbal potion in grade of curing a lot of illness and pains. It was a big and lucrative success for the family. They mainly became rich because of this potion. In 1870s David, the dad of Tod sold a million bottles a year. Every year a free almanac of their society was available for everyone in every grocery store. Close to the Bible this one was the most important book that you could see in the American houses at that times. David left, when he died, a fortune of 18 million. Tod was young, in love for Allene and it happened: Allene became pregnant and Tod married her. It was a secret marriage for let know to the family that he had choosen his wife. The powerful family of Tod didn't appreciate this love-story and absolutely they didn't like at all the idea of this gold digger, who, according to their point of view, became pregnant for causing all this trouble at their family. Unaccepted as couple, banned by the Astors, Allene and Tod re-created alternative clubs, alternative places where spend their vacations. We speak of people with an immense fortune and a lot of privileges. Ted and Greta were their children; once Allene lost a baby, Verna. It was the day of the fourth birthday of Greta and Tod was devastated by this loss. It was pretty common at that times to lose children also for a common flu but Tod didn't never recuperate, starting to adopt a dissolute life-style, losing a lot of money thanks to gambling and bad habits. Vanderbilt after all said of inherited wealth: "It's a real handicap to happiness. It is a certain death to ambition as cocaine is to morality." At the same time the elite of New York continued to celebrate with great and luxurious feasts. A democrat President was rejected for later choosing a republican one in grade to continue to keep things good for the elite and bad for the poorest ones. But it was a big ball organized in 1897 that created a lot of polemics, although riches not touched by the protests. Legend wants that the Astors opened the ball with this ditty: "When you Ain't Go No Money, You need Not to Come Around." The terrible behavior of her husband Todd, brought Allene at a sad decision: she divorced from him. Tod anyway died pretty abruptly leaving her in profound costernation and sadness. The second husband of Allene was Morton Nichols. He was 34 years when he met Allene. It was a beautiful marriage at first. They traveled a lot but the union at the end was a fiasco and they divorced. It's 1912: the Titanic hit an iceberg in the inaugural trip and sunk bringing with it the creme of New York. There were Benjamin Guggenheim, John Jacob Astor in that ship. This one was read by the elite of New York as a sign: a sign of new approaching disasters, a clear punishment for modern man's arrogance and presumption. Anson Wood Burchard was the third and surely most beloved husband of Allene. He loved her children (the second one detested them) he did all that he could for helping the family following also the children of Allene.When the first worldwwar started, Ted, a troublemaker at school decided to join the Aviation, as a pilot with great success. Once, hit by the enemy, returned home. Allene, oZijlnce understood that Ted wanted to return in the areas of war did all her best like also her husband for avoiding any danger. But it was impossible... Ted died, and that same days, while they were still waiting for Ted's news, Greta died because of the Spanish flu. Allene was devastated. It was more than a trauma for her. Greta married a good man and they were ready for children. Now, everything, a future like a granny, a future surrounded by nieces and nephews, gone. Like also her role as a mother. In the future Allene did her best for hiding the fact that she had had two children and once she was a mother. She tried all her best for being a mother for other children; helping the ones of her friends. Abruptly, and because of a bad indigestion after a lunch attended at some common friends's house, Burchard died. To Allen this one was a horrible shock, because this man represented to her the solidity she hadn't still known in the precedent unions. While Henry Reuss started to become her fourth husband, the big crisis of New York City was approaching. The one of 1929. Most people didn't have a roof anymore above their heads, and writes the author, "As Francis Scott Fitzgerald described the crisis-hit New York, stood the new Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world, empty- as thought to mock the megalomania and greed that had brought the city to its knees." The symbol of this crisis became the Empire, writes the author. Allene decided of selling most of her estates. She divorced by Ruess and her final husband was Armgard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld. Allene died on 1955. Wonderful book, written with joy, interest, enthusiasm and desire of sharing, it is a wonderful reading for everyone. Highly recommended. I thank NetGalley for this ebook. Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.com

MAKE ART NOT WAR Political protest posters from the Twentieth Century edited by Ralph Young


MAKE ART NOT WAR Political protest posters from the Twentieth Century edited by Ralph Young published by New York University Press is a fascinating, thrilling, wonderful, aggressive, colored trip in the American protests along the decades of the past century.
American History is very complicated and the country just apparently "young" because substantially people arrived from Europe are part of the Old Continents, so they brought with them their own old problems, that they thought they had left behind.

Americans are in fact people who left as said, their European lands for precise reasons, mainly religious in search for a new land, and a new life.

They didn't know that peace was just apparent and that new fights for their rights were waiting for them.
The creators of the Constitution wisely inserted this point, the freedom of dissent just in case, in the First Amendment.

Americans did all their best, rising their voices, using all medias and strategies for protesting against for what they cared the most.

The 1900s offered a myriad of reasons for protesting leaving alone here the other centuries. At the beginning of the century we can find women's rights movement.
Sorted out this problem, the 1960s will pass at the history as the decade of idealism, new hopes, dreams and expectations. A new wild wind of great ideas, human rights, peace, freedom was borning.

Let's see: John Fitzgerald Kennedy from Boston because the first Catholic American President.
He was assassinated in Dallas on Nov 22 1963 but his voice and his speech if you read them are still in grade to warm souls all around the world. He was a great visionary man.

New People fighting for the right of black citizens: Reverend Martin Luther King, Malcom X, the Black Panther movement.
Both these first two leaders would have been killed.
Martin Luther King in 1968 in a motel in Memphis, TN just some days before the assassination of the candidate of left Bobbie Kennedy, running for the Oval Office, and brother of the unforgettable John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was after the assassination of JFK that people organized Selma and the central government started to take very seriously the cause of black people.

The USA are real fighters for  their rights and their ideas.

Later the opposition at the Vietnam War with anti-war movements and the creations of the hippies-season, and then gay rights, without to count the protests citizens clearly expressed for some Presidents seen like imperialists, during the first Gulf War, while the USA should have been a peaceful land in grade of helping other Nations in difficulty and not a place where wars started with great facility.

Cinema, theaters, photography, puppets, mural art, graffiti, art in general helped to spread the discontent of people. Andy Warhol publishing serially pictures of the same topic during the 1960s remarked in this way the obsessive consumerism and standardization of the Americans and their way of living.

The author has taken inspiration from the Tamiment Library located at New York University where there is a big collection of posters you will find in this book. All stunning, all created for a specific strong reason because Americans when decide to protest don't joke. They do that with great intensity.

The fights that they intended to win against the central government in a precise historical moment are lived strongly.
Women's rights, labor, civil protests, black conditions, feminism, Vietnam War, anti-war movements, these ones are citizens and real crusaders of ideas, human rights and mainly: fighters for their research of happiness. It passes also through the proper rights for everyone, for having peace and for staying in peace.

Great book! Highly suggested to everyone. If your child doesn't understand history, it's very common, goes for this book, because it's very stimulating and because I want to hope that the revolutionary side ;-) in children and teenagers pretty developed. No one is insensitive at human rights and so following these decades and thanks to these posters, it will be very simple to create historical connections, and to discover how, facts, people, Presidents, associations tried their best for bettering this world or the opposite.

I thanks NYU Press for the physical copy of this stunning book!

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Happy Days of the Grump Everyone Knows a Grump by Tuomas Kyro


Happy Days of the Grump Everyone Knows a Grump by Tuomas Kyro is a book released this month by Bonnier Zaffre and it is, trust me, spectacularly beauty!
Funny, ironic,dense of considerations about death, life, existence as every book written by a Nordic - Finnish in this case - author is.

The book is written following the thoughts in first person of The Grump. An R-x of this society without too much compassion from the Grump born in the 1930s and unable to understand the abrupt changes of the society and its new rules and "guidelines."
The modern society read and seen through the eyes of The Grump.

I knew more than a grump. My dad was born in 1926 and he was a grump exactly like the protagonist of this book. The people of this generation more or less Kyro considers the ones born in 1930s are all part of one of the most enchanting generations to me.
They experienced Mondial War, they have been starved, they worked hard for re-building the country where they lived or live in, but although the hard life they suffered, misery, poverty, God I don't think I will meet anymore special people like these ones.
Generous, altruists, they donate themselves to the others genuinely, people in grade to share good feelings and sentiments with other ones. Real friendship, real connections, real character, without masks, they are people of peace because they experienced the sufferance of war and they knew what it meant to live in time of wars and in time of peace and appreciated and enjoyed peace so badly.
It's a contradiction in terms but although we were born in a best time, with more modernity, peace, with good houses where to staying we are different.
Our generations to me has lost the humanity of that people.
Well, not everyone.

Reading this book will mean also to understand the point of view of someone who had known a different system where the navigator was the mind, where Instagram meant a good walk enjoying the beauty of nature, where Facebook a real house with real friends and real chats.

Mr. Grump is 80 years, and he lives alone. Sure he has a wife. Unfortunately because of her mental illness she was brought in a home and everyday The Grump loves to visit her, cooking for her some good meals so that she can eat with good appetite. Dear old times where he also discussed with his wife, where not all the moments were plain but love existed and was strong enough for arriving 'till here.
The Grump feels that he is like a fish out of the water when he is in company of his son, because the new generations changed this world completely.

And he complains. Please read this extract about the youth  and how frenetic is lived the perception of life from The Grump. It's because of the use of these devices. There is more velocity than not in the past in every sense.

His son tries to let him understand that after all this society is not so bad. The Grump wants to build two coffins for himself and his wife, in his spare time. There is a dissertation at this point about the burial traditions in the world.

The son of the Grump tried to let him appreciate during a trip the navigator, but the Grump doesn't understand why it's necessary a navigator. According to him this society creates lazy people because most of the intellectual work is done by PCS and other devices. Another guy will ask him to take a picture for posting it on Instagram.

Yes, another dimension for someone who enjoyed long walks, real talks with friends, good company.

I admit that some of the written words in this book are also the ones said by our priest every Sunday. Who became God for people with the time?

Please, read this passage of the book as well, and if you can please buy Happy Days of the Grump.
Maybe you have some grumpy relatives close to you, and so it will be a pleasure to discover the similarities that there are in these minds.

The experience of this Grump Old Man, will portray a picture of our society without too many compliments saying what there is to be said frankly.  It's better to understand where we are going.

I thank surely Bonnier Zaffre for the physical copy of this wonderful book. It reminded me every page at my dad! Another grump man I will always miss a lot.

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

Death Makes the News How the Media Censor and Display the Dead by Jessica M. Fishman


Death Makes the News How the Media Censor and Display the Dead by Jessica M. Fishman is a very interesting book in particular if you are in the media, because it explains the profound meaning of death and how death and dead people are daily treated in the news.

Death  is everywhere today. Cinema, video games, TV.

We mustn't forget the reality. Terrorist attacks, yesterday an episode in London disconnected by ISIS and terrorist attacks in grade to case a lot of mess, with some people injured. Devastation, quakes, floods.
We are bombarded by death and so by a lot of sadness don't you think so?

But...There is a segment of this society, the one of mass media uninterested to let us see, talking of photojournalism, death or dead people.

Let's say in general that American newsmagazines won't never tend to publish any corpse of an American citizen dead, (and the life of an American citizen is more important than the one of any other person in the globe) but sometimes media can indulge in pictures of foreigners dead somewhere for some specific reasons and the news relevant in the American territory as well.

Mostly, corpses, and postmortem pictures are more seen in tabloids newsmagazines than not in newsmagazines like the NYT, the Washington Post or the Boston Globe (treated in the book the Boston Marathon Bombing) where the corpse and what happened to it in the while, - reasons of death etc - is left to the imagination of the reader.

Not all the time: true. Once it was published, interesting story, the execution of a lady at the beginning of 1900 through the electric chair on the first page of a newsmagazine. 

We will see that the same treatment is reserved for public people. When Lady Diana died 20 years ago there were pictures of the Princess in the car after the car incident thanks to the presence of a lot of paparazzi around but newsmagazines refused to launch that final imagines of the princess, preferring to present, and to continue to give to the readers an imagine of a healthy, positive lady, passed away too soon.

Many example from the world, from the US territory, the book offers a complete coverage of the meaning of death and dead people and events covered by the media during these past recent years.

Being a reporter I can tell you I go proud of our field where decency is respected in most cases, people and children not too scared by a vision too hard in a newsmagazine and where a condition of normality is, anyway always searched for not falling into a morbidity never wanted by respectable, big mass media.

The book will be released on Nov 21.

I thank NetGalley and NYUPress for this ebook.

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

21st-century Oxford Authors John Keats Edited by John Barnard

— feeling amazing


Oh, there is not another poet more passionate, noble, inspired, and absorbing than John  Keats. In every poem, in every composition he donated all himself to the Muse and to his potential readers.
He expressed his thoughts and feelings "transmitting" his beautiful soul and mind completely to compositions and without any kind of reticence.
There is no doubt that this one is a poet very loved and appreciated in particular by youngsters and romantic people, because his words penetrates with great intensity, simplicity and strength the souls of everyone he reaches. He is pure light, he is real and while you read his poems you can't stop to falling in love for his compositions and his soul.

He was an enthusiastic soul John Keats, and in this new prestigious book by Oxford Press 21st-century Oxford Authors John Keats Edited by John Barnard, the poet is revealed in all his beautiful essence thanks to a special "fusion" of letters written to his friends, his family, and other people he knew and poems, romances. The portrait of Keats thanks to his works and private life seen through the mirror of his letter complete and beautiful.

Thanks to it, we will discover at the same time the young man, Keats died in Rome at the age of 25 in 1821, and the wonderful poet he was, understanding that in his case there hasn't been any kind of construction or division between the two spheres of his character (his private life and his being a poet)  but a fusion of the poet and the letter-writer. We will discover that there is not division between the poet and the person and the magical aspect of Keats is this one: he was real, emphatic, sincere, and donated his soul to poetry and people he knew entirely with the same force, with the same enthusiasm and passion he put in poetry.
That's why we are still writing and celebrating him: because he has been big, because he was a beautiful, special human being and because he was a sincere soul, although we lost him too soon. Still in his spring he would adds Keats. The same passions, genuine touch, love, John put in writing a poem was the same one he put when he wrote a letter to his beloved only sister, or other relatives. We find in the letter-writer the same passionate man we discover reading his poems most of them plenty of beauty, humanity, joy and also the sad ones don't fall in desperation. He was a joyous soul, Keats, although he had his own problems. His health, and then constant money-problems and at the end he suffered a lot before to dying.

Keats is bucolic seeing in nature a reason for dreaming and staying happy and joyous and a reason for falling in love for life, for a girl, for a moment, for an instant, appreciating this world and the beauty that there is in it.

At the same time John Keats loves to add often precious details with introduction of gold, mythological creatures like nymphs, muses,  for donating a touch of divinity to his poems. 
He also loved to present to his friends letter-poems. What a joy!
Inspired by Milton, there is to say that Keats added in a letter he studied Shakespeare all the time.

Absolutely the most beautiful, fascinating Romantic poet of this important movement.

I highly suggest John Keats to everyone: young and adult, because he will bring peace to your soul, a big joy and refreshment.

I thank Oxford University for the physical copy of this stunning book I will always bring with me!

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

Silent Sparks The Wondrous World of Fireflies by Sara Lewis


This past summer we were walking with some friends when we heard some horrible crying somewhere. We thought that maybe someone  needed help. A disgrace? I am a person with a vivid imagination and also when we discovered that everything was OK my brain was still in the "disgrace mood," tired and under shock. 

When we returned home from this walk (we stopped by at the house of some friends) was night and I was still disturbed.

It was a beautiful night illuminated by hundreds of wonderful and dreaming fireflies. In the straight road close to our house, we were surrounded by trees in both sides of the road and by all those living lights in the middle. The scenario? A wonderful illuminated tunnel guiding us I thought in a magical land or another dimension and I felt peace, harmony and a complete restoration.

When I was little I loved to walk in our country roads during the summer-time with my friends, sharing thoughts and dreams and fireflies, stars and moon were there listening to us, and keeping us out from the terrible obscurity of the night.

Fireflies are the most magical creatures we know but...
How much we know them? I decided to explore their world reading the wonderful, magical book written with great love by Sara Lewis: Silent Sparks The Wondrous World of Fireflies published by Princeton Press.

When I read that fireflies are also associated at dead people I wasn't surprised.

There is a special aura in these creatures, a dimension of dream, magic, mystery that other animals don't have.

They follow us, our destinies, our pains, our expectations all along the summer-time, in our region very brief, like a dream and they are part of our thoughts, part of our chats, part of our projects still in motion, part of our hidden desires.
They're there, silent, but luminous like our unexpressed sensations, for  reminding us of the short time we spend on this Earth and the importance of being a light in this world. A beautiful light. For giving us some restoration if we are too stressed and we search for a dimension distant from reality, because these creatures capture our imagination and escapism is more than possible.
These little animals are studied by a lot of scientists. I read a lot about them when I was 8-9 years thanks to a  science book. It was one of the most passionate reading I did about an animal.

These scientists, starting from the author are passionate ones, who spend their time, their days and summer weeks following fireflies during their life and involving in most cases all their families in this passionate adventure.

Let's start to saying that a good environment will see fireflies joyous and abundant around and that of course pesticides alter their habitat. These animals in fact love to staying in the same place where they are born forever. Year after year. Generation after generation. Following the destiny of the people of the area, if we want to think at this poetically.

Their life is absolutely interesting. Do you know the story of the caterpillar and the butterfly?

There is a magical transformation. The ugly caterpillar will become a stunning butterfly thanks to a process called metamorphoses. A real magic.
A process like this one, although different will interest fireflies.

At first they born as larva and for 18 months what they will do is eating voraciously little animals. They kill victims paralyzing them and then they will do all the rest. Eating and eating and eating. Yes well, the comparison made by the author with Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde is great. Let's say that before the redemption, these little insects will kill avidly for obtaining food. In great quantity, because they have a great and good appetite. Once they end this phase of their existence for two weeks they are pupa for becoming then fireflies. Fireflies, the final stage, the one we see and observe and we love so badly, like all the  insects don't have a long life. More or less 3 weeks of life but during this period they will search obsessively only for one thing: sex and reproduction with the best mate they find completely uninterested to food anymore.

So, when during the night you observe these beautiful lights, these ones are messages of love of males contacting females. When these females answer to them they create with these "light-messages" a beautiful light-song. When the intensity of feelings and lights are great, you can see it clearly because the two fireflies will live a deeply light-connection.

A sex session of a couple of fireflies after this long court is very long if compared to the one of mammals in general much more brief. It can takes and entire night, but also longest time.
You will also discover the complexity of the trip of sperm of the male firefly for reaching the female one and also the copulative phase of a little male with a wingless female very different from the fireflies we know.

You will discover that substantially the world of fireflies is very selective. Do you know that just few of them will copulate with their mate? Most of them will end up in enthusiastically hands of children, put in glasses for being observed closely, but when oxygen will be over the poor creatures will die. The worst case the one of spider webs because the light of firefly remains active and will attract other fireflies in the same spider web.
It's a karma-law or a law of nature if you prefer. If as a larva they ate voraciously other creature paralyzing their victims and eating them later, now other animals like spiders will do exactly the same job with them and their bodies.  This book is amazing, because will capture you from the beginning to the end in a trip that it is sensual and sanguinary, beautiful and tremendous, enchanting and at the same time shocking.

It's the trip of a dream: the dream of light during the obscurity of the world. What does this mean? A firefly, before to appear in all its beauty and romanticism has been tremendous, because has known the obscurity and the devastation of death caused by the larva, the first of its stadium, eating and predating, killing without compassion other creatures for its own nutrition.
Just in this little final, romantic phase firefly sees the beauty of the world, what it means to be free, what it means to be alive and what it means to love, be loved and remaining thanks to the copulative act and the deposition of eggs and perpetuity of life. Most important: to bring after all the obscurity it brought, light and dream to the world.

Metaphorically fireflies live the opposite life of a human being or any other animal: they lives the most ugliest moments of the existence developing cruelty in the first part of their life , enjoying peace, happiness, light, in chemical sense, of course but also metaphorically and sex only in the latest part. They donate to people the best of them: serenity, enchantment, dreams, expectations, peace and let's hope that these creatures will remain with us forever.

Enjoy this book, as I did. It is plenty of a lot of other informations! For everyone children and adults and for all the dreamers and romantic people of this world.

Another great book from Princeton Press that you must read!

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

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

Success and Luck Good fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H.Frank


Meritocracy exists in American culture or is it a mixture of a good moment, good luck, great encounters, able to make the difference in the existence of a person?

Success and Luck Good fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H.Frank by Princeton University Press is to me a very courageous book because it speaks of a delicate theme: the one of luck not always accepted by Americans, in particular when they are rich and famous.

Don't tell to someone rich and famous he became rich and famous thanks to the good moment, good business, good connections because you will see that he/she will start to be upset. Try and then let me know.

The myth of the self-made man, hard worker, intelligent man, able to make the difference,  is a priority.

But are we completely sure that luck is not involved in this process?

Once Bert my American neighbor said me: "Anna it's not important where you live, but who you know in that place."

And he was completely right because people you know can make the difference, in better and in worse and the social tissue of a place says all for the future development of a person and the career of this one.
If a person with abilities meet people in grade of helping him/her to coming out he/she is lucky. If he/she meets people who wants to cause troubles without being helpful it's a story of bad luck and impossibility of express the potentialities that there are. 

The author tells that it was a struck of good luck being hired by the Cornwell University. A professor would have wanted to hire someone else, but another professor thought that Mr Frank was the best person and so he was hired and started to work in that prestigious university.

At first, because of a nasty divorce and his sons to growing up, Frank, a professor of Economics, didn't find the time the first three years at Cornwell to publishing anything because of these familiar problems.

During this period he met along his way Mr. Gramlich,  policy economist professor, and thanks to their chats about economy and thanks to the encouragements received by him Mr. Frank started to publish without to being fired.
As also remarks Mr. Frank if he wouldn't have received this help, who knows what would have happened to him and his future? He continued to work in this university mainly because Mr.Gramlich's help and support. It was a good stroke of luck having met this man along his way.

A person born wealthy can theoretically and practically have much more success thanks to this first stroke of luck (being born rich and let's remember that no one chooses parents, environment and potential friends) than a common person. A good house plenty of books can help culture, and a best instruction and best schools although of course it's not said. But whatever that kid will want to do once adult, his/her options will be endless in comparison to the ones of a common person. It's a great luck that one as well.

The same author tells that he was adopted by a very wealthy family and only later when he was 35 years old,  ready and helped by some friends for starting to search for his real mother and possible siblings. It is moving. Of course the situation of the adopted family permitted to the author of studying in good schools and having a great life.
Considering the first bad luck of being abandoned it was a great luck to being so loved and wanted by this new family don't you think so?

Once Mr. Frank talks of an interview with a famous reporter. The reporter wanted to clarify with him that the American dream is just hard work. Luck doesn't count. It was a big polemic. Later the author thought that maybe during the TV program he stayed too much "passive" because that reporter complained saying he left UK for affording in another very different country, and who knows what would have happened to him, and plus with his British accent!

Mr. Frank seeing the records of this reporter tells with tranquillity that he studied in prestigious schools, what a privilege! and so affording to the USA not like for the emigration of  the beginning of 1900s. It was simple to find a great work place with that past and schools and plus British Accent is accepted and loved by Americans.

There are, insists Mr.Frank people with the same intelligence than other ones, the same abilities, but unfortunately they don't become successful as their similar ones.

A mystery? No, a story of luck. And good encounters.
We will also see the existing gap between the CEO of a big society and the pay received by the workers, and how a CEO is elected.

This book wants to share with you many economic facts with a lot of example that will let you think about what it can means a good struck of luck.

I want to share with you an example as well.
The one of our most important emigrant: Ivo Martinelli.

He lived in our little countryside, Morena, Umbria, Italia and left for good in 1948. Our countryside was very poor in that moment.
At school you could study just 'till the third elementary, there wasn't electricity, no bathrooms, no warm water in the houses.
He went at first in Venezuela. After a while he thought his dream the USA. He arrived to NYC. He told me that the first time he sat in a restaurant he just signed with a finger on the menu what he wanted to eat, without to have any pale idea of what he ordered. It was a hot dog. Ivo didn't know english at all.
After it, he did various works, in the American radar-spy in Alaska for more than 3 years and half and later opened a movie theater in Montreal.
There were some problems in Montreal with some people, not a great luck at all and he decided to move on and to change again, going to Vancouver.

Let's say that in that city Ivo has been very lucky because he met very good conditions and people (Ivo first on the right in the picture) as he told me who helped him to realize all his dreams without the problems experienced in the past.
There he owned six movie theaters, including a drive-in! Ivo invited in his theaters people like Mina, Rita Pavone, Claudio Villa our most important italian singers, because he told me that Italians felt melancholy for Italy and music the best cement. He shared a dinner with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Luck, and lucky encounters are realistically important and a great part of our life.

Enjoy this very interesting book. It's for everyone and I wish to all: GOOD LUCK!

Thanks a lot Princeton Press for the physical copy of this amazing lucky book.

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

Goat Castle A True Story of Murder, Race and Gothic South by Karen L.Cox


I admit that from the beginning to the end you are captured by Goat Castle A True Story of Murder, Race and Gothic South by Karen L.Cox published by North Carolina University Press.

First of all it has been written with great love, accuracy and passion. It pays a lot.
The author says that it was just for case that she "met" one day this story along her way, but she immediately understood that this one would have been her next book.
Second because the tale is vivid, characters centered very well, and it seems to stay there, it seems that this murder took place just last night and not in 1932, 85 years ago.
Third because of the location: the profound South of the USA, with all its magic, mystery.
Fourth: it's written with great participation.

You must know that Natchez, Mississippi tried to stimulate tourism thanks to  big mansions of planters at the beginning of 1900s and tourism intrigued by this spot of the world.
No one would have thought that the criminal case we will treat in a few seconds would have brought extra-publicity thanks also at the people involved in this story.

Protagonists are in fact not common.
They were all very rich people once and introduced in the best local and international society.
In 1932 when the facts took place, not anymore young, they lived weird, eccentric existences and all the glamour, richness, joy, happiness only a distant memory of the past.

Jennie Miller lived at Glenwood at the times of the facts baptized by  media and for decades Goat Castle because goats as you will see will play their role in this crime-story.

When young her reputation was beautiful because she was part of that great wealthy society able to make the difference, then with the time and when various facts signed her life everything changed and when she decided of buying this last house where she would have found her end, she became a secluded person.

The story of their friends Octavia and Richard, you will see is  fascinating and interesting as well.
After a close friendship when young now they where Jennie's closest neighbors.

It was a night like another one in Natchez. Duncan would have stopped by at the house of Jennie as he did all nights that Aug 4 1932, but when Duncan once arrived at Goat Castle, found the crime-scene and a missing Jennie, later discovered by the police men outside. Killed.

At first Richard and Octavia were the first ones to be suspected and they ended up in jail, but maybe the story will be different and more complicated as you will see.

What I can add is that of course we are in the the profound South of the USA and racism will play a big role as well.

Unbelievable but true, some of these protagonists, because the author will also let us know what happened to them in their life after jail, will take advantage from this crime for a long long time creating a sort of business with this story.

I thank NetGalley and North Carolina University Press for this stunning ebook!

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

A Very Vintage Christmas - A Heart Warming Christmas Romance by Tilly Tennant


Tilly Tennant knows how to keep warm the heart of her readers.

What I loved the most from the first lines of A Very Vintage Christmas - A Heart Warming Christmas Romance is the warm, joyous atmosphere and this mix of old and modern, old-fashioned and present, old times and new frenetic life.
You know I love vintage and I love old stories and I love letters and I love past connected with them. It's not a surprise if you read my reviews.

This romance will be a trip: a trip in the past staying in the present in an unforgettable beautiful warm tale able to bring goodness to all the protagonists and readers as well.

Dodie is the main protagonist of this story and the owner of a vintage second hand store where she sells old clothes. You know very well second hand stores. They have a particular smell, they have a particular atmosphere.
Dodie is connected with the past just for the fact she sells old things.
Every time new items arrive Dodie controls that they are OK, but once, magic, she finds a letter in a coat. The letter is pretty old, written during last Second World War and important.
Dodie had never read a more beauty love-letter than this one and thinking better at her relationships at the moment with the other sex, she thinks that she hasn't never seen all that romanticism portrayed in the letter she just finished to read like an intruder, from the other sex. But you know in modern times is just a story of texts, chats, video calling. It's this.
Dodie thinks that it's better to start to search for the characters of this letter. She knows that the last second world war gone from a long while, and sure that girl won't live anymore in that house where that young soldier wanted to send the letter at, but she must tries because maybe that letter for someone means a lot...

Beautifully written, I enjoy the Christmas' atmosphere and that sensation of warm and friendship, love, good values that from the beginning to the end surrounds the book like in a special aura.
I hope to continue to read all the books written by Tennant!
The cover is wonderful!

I thank NetGalley for this ebook!

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement by Philip Ackerman-Leist, foreword by Vandana Shiva


A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement by Philip Ackerman-Leist, foreword by Vandana Shiva is a shocking tale about a little italian South Tirol town called Mals and some citizens like Gunter the first believer in this dream, helped by a new young mayor, and a lady called Annemarie. They created a town pesticide-free and a movement against the use of pesticides. A strong battle, as you will read.

The area where they live in, Val Venosta, in fact is shockingly productive regarding a fruit everyday we all eat on our tables: apples.
Only Val Venosta produces the author tells the 10-12% of all European apples available in a year.
Apple producers wanted to create a cohesive brand giving quality and origin adds the author. The product created in less than 50 years with this expansion. Orchards tells the author are sprayed also 20 times per season.

For this reason and many other ones Mals, this little town started a crusade for staying out from all of it, preserving its food traditions and they do it with success.

At the end of the book useful informations and what to do if also your community lives a situation like the one of Mals.

The book doesn't forget legislative informations regarding the use of pesticides in the USA.

I thank NetGalley for this  ebook.

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

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen


Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen is a funny, intelligent, and entertaining book by Workman about the past methods used for curing the most important or little illness.
Historical, precious, great old-fashioned illustrations, you will fall in love for Quackery because it will make you smile, laugh, it will entertain you and at the same time will inform you about various chemical elements adopted in the past for the cure of various illness. We will discover the collateral effects for the body with historical important examples.

The book is divided in: Elements, Plants and Soil, Tools, Animals, Mysterious Powers.

Some example?

We will learn that President Lincoln started to suffer of bad headaches and they became more horribly important at some point because doctors insisted to curing them with mercury pills and so with devastating consequences for his body. A man was buried because a mercury addicted; he thought he discovered the fountain of youth; surely a luminous fountain of death.

Arsenic is another important poison. In the past a perfect and elegant "gun" for killing someone. Tasteless, it could be added in food or drinks. Medici and Borgia fans of this poison.

Someone else tried to cure alcoholism with a potion including gold! symbol of immortality as well.

I could continue with long descriptions of other various chemical elements (and not only) used in the past for trying to heal people from the most diversified illness, imagination has no boundaries in this sense, but I just can tell you something: I have a digital copy of this eBook and it's stunning. I guess that the physical copy is incredible and trust me when I tell you that if you will buy this book your money very well spent. There is great quality, it's an old-fashioned book, with a lot of medical history treated with lightness and a lot of fun, and plenty of funny medical stories.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this beautiful eBook!

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

Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion by Alan Sepinwall


Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion is a book by ABRAMS written by Alan Sepinwall.
Created by Vince Gilligan, I admit I didn't know this TV series but the book is written divinely well,  giving to  the fans all the best  they want to know and appreciate of the various series.
It will be for sure a wonderful gift or a great present for yourself if you are a fan!

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS for this eBook.

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

The 9/11 Generation Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror by Sunaina Marr Maira


It is a theme I love to treat this one.
I had three correspondents in NYC and the day of 9/11 I lived a real nightmare because I didn't still know if they were all safe.

That terrorist attack was for all of us a sort of before and after.

We understood someone launched an unclear war with hidden soldiers: phantom ones ready to sacrifice their lives for destroying our Western civilization and many poor innocent human beings. A dirty war.
It was more than clear that our old world would have changed forever. Like also our destiny.

This one is a book that wants to let us discover the other face of that post-terrorist attack; the most hidden part of it, the one no one speak about too much: what happened in the immediate in the Muslim communities located in the USA and interacting with the rest of people mainly white ones.
We speak of South Asians, Arabs and Afghan Americans.
The discrimination they lived because of this terrorist attack and diffidence they experienced but also their fight for being considered well and not included in the spiral of diffidence created and wanted by terrorists.
What did they start to be? Activists, rising their voices against discrimination, fighting for human rights of every sorta.

The 9/11 Generation Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror  by Sunaina Marr Maira published recently by New York University Press starts the trip in the democratic California in a place like the Silicon Valley for brains arriving from every part of the world.

The Silicon Valley and San Jose are places populated by open minded minds but where, young people from the ethnic groups said before experienced psychological violence, verbal violence, after 9/11 in particular if they were undocumented citizens just for the fact of being of the same ethnic group or religion of the terrorists. And sometimes not just verbal.

The answer the creation of an activist movement in grade to speak internally and externally at the USA.
Why this?

Because young people understood first of all that it was necessary  sharing a best knowledge of their communities, their religion and their customs in the USA and with the other Americans, although they were ready to fight and promote their activism outside as well.

It's a very interesting book. It speaks at the mind and heart of everyone and again this one another book reporting of communities and ethnic groups fighting in the USA for their Rights and the rights of an entire, wounded humanity devastated by hate, diffidence, racism and persecution.

Highly recommended.

I thank NYU Press for the physical copy of this book.

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

The Happiness Hack: How to Take Charge of Your Brain and Program More Happiness into Your Life by Ellen Petry Leanse


The Happiness Hack: How to Take Charge of Your Brain and Program More Happiness into Your Life by Ellen Petry Leanse by Simple Truths will be released at the beginning of November.

Like other self-book this one is born for a necessity: to describe to readers how to be happy, once the author discovered this process thanks to a personal intimate research.

The author tells that she spent very heavy moments and she didn't know what to do of her life. Apparently everyone close to her were happy and cheerful, while her existence didn't have any sense anymore.

She asked for help but this help too quick and she said no. She started to read. A lot but only when she met a crucial organ for our body, she thought she had discovered everything: we speak of our brain.

It's substantially our brain the boss, CEO of everything for our body. Heart included.

It's our brain that permits us the simplest and more articulated actions  during the day although of course we can't notice it too often and we don't think of it at all most of the time.

Ellen Petry Leanse started to read how our brain works and later, how we can control ourselves re-educating our behavior, our habits, trying to diminish the time we spend close to devices like PCS or smart phones and giving more importance to our life.

A very excellent self-help book brief but intense.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

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