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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

The shape of ideas by Grant Snider

— feeling amazing


The shape of ideas by Grant Snider, illustrator, is a book that will be published by Abrams on May 9th.
It is a comic self-help ;-)  book this one  about men, ideas and creativity.
It is the best self-help book I have ever read in my life because comically it has been in grade to give us an idea of creativity, problems connected with creativity and what can inspires us and what we should avoid. Plus I loved the wonderful illustrations, some of them just spectacular.

What is creativity? It's that process able to present to the world thanks to you something new.
It can be a new book, a new piece, a new invention.

I was impressed by the beautiful drawings, some funny, other ones meditative according to my point of view created by Mr.Snider.
In ten chapter, from inspiration, passing through improvisation, exploration and at the end pure elation, he photographed the creative process. It became always more vivid, real, not anymore a metaphor.
If necessary this book  will also clear your mind.

It's a comic book of course mainly but what comic can do, and that's why it is so powerful, is that will let you give a new motivation, a new key, it will let you think a lot because it's a pure immersion in the creative world, stimulating your ego, your passions, giving you new feedback for going on.
And it will define you, and your being creative, bautiful mind.You will recognize yourself in this book.

Many tips and advice I suggest the book to all the creative people. It can also be a great gift if you have a creative friend!

Many thanks to NetGalley and ABRAMS for this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Sara See

— feeling amazing

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Sara See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Sara See released this march 21 is like a very good cup of tea: intense, vibrant, low, delicate, calm, refreshing and precious.

When you drink tea you take your time for absorbing the moment, isn't it true?

Cuddled by a warm sensation and a moment suspended by the time.

You don't rush, you enjoy to taste the intensity of tea, its warm, its delicacy.
Drinking tea is a ritual in slow motion for loving yourself.
A moment dedicated only to you.
Tea is a philosophy of life.

I am a tea lover and I lived reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane like this­.
I can compare this book at the best cup of tea I have ever drunk.
The book has its own times, narration is quiet, meditative, sweet, peaceful, absorbing, wise, tender.

This wonderful book written by Sara See follows in the narration the times of tea and the times of a different philosophy and religion explaining to us the importance of tea for the East part of the world and what it means to them this commerce.

Lisa See is enchantingly poetic in describing the microcosm and little society of Akha like also all their traditions, most of them ancestral, old like the Time and the World and her writing-style is captivating from the first words.

The narration of the book is in first person and they're the words of Li-yan, the daughter of a-ma and a-ba to resonate.
Her mom very considerate in the tribe, a woman magical for many ways.
She knows the old traditions and sacred guidelines of her tribe.
Li-yan grows up more modern and rebel and in a society in evolution falling in love with a guy called San-pa that for magical reasons not at all good for her.

It was intriguing and captivating to learn which were the most profound  animistic traditions of Akha.
They believed in them keeping the society very united. Each person had his/her own place in that specific land and tribe.

Many rituals, from birth to departure passing through acts of purification described with great intensity and penetration giving to the reader the exact mirror of the mentality of that wonderful people and creating so a big impact to the narration of the book, dense and felt from the beginning to the end.

Nature, magic, work, descriptions are poetic and together create  a spectacular masterpiece.

The reader is transported in distant lands with great poetry and for some while our dimension will be forgotten, falling in a complete different atmosphere for mentality and spirituality.

You will stay relaxed while you will read this book because this book is a book of hope, a book of traditions, a book of strength and sacrifices of women. A book of past, present, memories, new beginnings. And a book with a different time. More absorbing.
You will notice a complete different writing-style only when the narration will involve the USA. Quick, modern.

The story of this society will change with the arrival of Mr Huang - the story starts in 1988 -  the new arrival in this closed society in search for great tea.

The protagonist is intelligent and she decide to study and to become someone but then it happens the unplanned...
She becomes pregnant and helped by her mom she decides to bring the baby in an orphanage to Menghai, China.
In opposite case according to a very old tradition the baby couldn't survive.

Her big love, San-pa is back but he has a frail character and happiness maybe is still distant for this girl, considering that she discover her husband brought her in a place insecure, with drug traffickers and a commerce of opium and heroin.
She run away. She run away from San-pa, her first love, she run away for being free. Back home she will discover that she can become who she wanted to become before the arrival of her baby, and before her wedding with San-pa.

At the same time the little baby adopted a Californian family living in Los Angeles. Although Dan and Constance are growing up Haley very well, Haley will search for her mom...

The end of this book is touching.

You will discover reading this book how precious is tea and how important it is to give great quality tea to tea drinkers. It is an ethical story.
You will learn everything about tea and its commerce, like also about humanity and changes caused by the arrival of the so-called progress in the remote village where  the protagonist of the book live, with, of course, modernity able to replace religion, old habits and rituals.

Another big thematic is the search for the past, because past unforgettable. A baby is too precious for not thinking of it.

Highly recommended! for sure.

I thank NetGalley and Scribner for this book.
Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Why I March Images from the Women's March around the world

— feeling amazing


I remembered I saw many pictures of the march of January 21st from my smartphone the day after. It was amazingly beauty.

My friend Meg, aunt Bobbie from Memphis, Marie-Louise from California, different part of the USA different personal histories of these three women, but all united, in their 20, 70s and 40s for fighting. Fighting for women's and people's rights and mainly against Donald Trump's ideas.

5 million of people in 82 countries of the world protested against the new course of the world wanted by the new President of the USA.

Why I March Images from the Women's March around the world is a book published last February 21 by ABRAMS Books just a month after  the most important and pacific demonstrations of women that the modern history remember.

The most colored one, the most pacific one, the biggest one, the most united one. Women of the entire world, of all the possible skin color, religion, faith, united for a pacific protest.
The movement of the Women's March involved all the Planet, Antarctica included! Did you imagine it?

All royalties of this book it's important to remark it, donated to nonprofits affiliated with the march.

Why marching? And why is it important to continue to protest?

First of all because we are women and only women can change the head and the mind of a man. In this case the president of the USA.
A too much ambitious project this one?
No, because we, women have  powers unthinkable for a man. We give  life at this world with new children, we educate them. We are culturally different and more strong than men under many aspects.

That's why if a miracle is possible it will pass through all of us and our determination.

In this stunning beautiful, colored book plenty of great  pictures by Getty Images, the souls of  many participants in every corner of the Globe.

As said by Tamika Malory in the book: "When you feel that we are not taking care of one another properly, put your feelings aside, put your pride aside, and stand up for the most marginalized people in this society. Because if you stand for them, you stand for all."

Clear also why the Women's march organized in the entire world the day after the Election Day with a massive success and a biggest participation than not during the Election Day for example in Washington: Donald Trump wants to create a world closed to immigration, closed to novelties, closed to a good sanitary system, closed to many rights conquered by various minorities after long fights during the Obama's administration.

Angela Davis in the book: "...The Women's March represent the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. An inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon  all of us to join the resistance to racism, islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation."

From the various pictures...

A smiling pic of a lady in a wheelchair holding this: "Not usually a protester, but Geez..."
Somewhere else a motto is changed: "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept." This new motto better than the old one I knew!

Someone suggests in colored posters to the President: "Think before you Tweet." We all know that the President loves to tweet a lot.

Other women launch an environmentalist message: "Love Mother Nature and all her creatures."

I loved this one so badly: "We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn."

While Washington's Women's March described Trump as narcissist Boston use the word: "Dicktator!"

A smiling young man with I guess his little daughter on his shoulder and a poster where written: "I count."

In Oregon like in Philadelphia women are more than sure that "The future is Female."

Someone is also worried for the future of press. In Los Angeles the picture of a lady: "No freedom without freedom of press."

Boston and dignity: "All Mother's Earth Creatures deserve a healthy home."

In Santa Fe a group of girls: "Fight Like a Girl."

In Miami, Florida a poster says: "I can not, I will not, I do not see a future without equality."

In the section South America, women particularly asked this: "Make America Kind Again."

South Africa: "No fascist USA" and Cape Town: "It's time for women to stop to be politely angry."

Europe thinks women should "Resist." Paris: "There is not a Planet B."
London: Rising Women, Rising World."
A suggestion for President Trump from London: "Make Love, not Walls." Barcelona, Spain: "My America welcome refugees!" London: "Make America Think Again."

In Asia: Tel Aviv: "Hate is not great."

Australia and New Zealand. From Sydney: "Feminism back by popular demand" and: "If you are not outraged you are not paying attention."

But maybe the most beautiful pictures, the one of Antarctica, because they arrive from one of the most remote part of the Planet, where women and men expressed feelings like: "Save the Planet" "Save the Whales" and "Penguins March for Peace."

What I loved the most of this march is that through these pictures I haven't seen apart I think two or three gestures I can consider rude, any impolite behavior, but the correct protest  for the future with a lot of smiles, determination and optimism.

At the end of the book you will find a lot of information, sites and resources for: free press and journalistic research, civil liberties and legal defense, education, arts, health and reproductive rights, immigration etc so that this book will start to be also an active instrument in your hands  and a powerful vehicle for continuing this march in your corner of the world for all the freedoms you think that you must fight for.

All united: Yes We Can!

I thank Abrams&Chronicle Books for the physical copy of Why I March Images from the Women's March Around the World.

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

Second Chances An Inspiring Collection of Do-Overs That Have Made People's Lives Brighter by Erin McHugh

Second Chances An Inspiring Collection of Do-Overs That Have Made People's Lives Brighter by Erin McHugh, published by ABRAMS on April 7th, is a self-help book for whoever wants to try again for something. A big or small dream.
Another chances...
Projects not anymore taken in consideration, or a dream that, for a certain reason at some point become reality.
It can be a big or a little dream.



In the book you will find wagons of people with their life and their direct evidence, that in this life our dreams must be cultivated. At first broken dreams. Each of these people, women, men, will tell you their second chances in their life and that, yes, second chances are possible.
They will let you show how, when and why to them a real second chance became reality.

So, what are you waiting for? Find your second chance, capture it and realize it thanks to this book very interesting, energetic and optimistic. 

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS for this book.


Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

The Diary of Miss Idilia

— feeling amazing

I went last Wednesday at the local second-hand charity bookstore Books for Dogs

to Umbertide.


I stayed there at long for trying to see which books I could bring and read at home.


I don't pick up anymore a lot of books because I have plenty of great reads, but every bookworm can understand the feeling ;-) of compulsion.


Here it's what I found last months.




Not bad ;-)


I noticed Stoner by Williams close to a book by Huxley, remarkable authors like Dickens and Thomas Hardy, in the section classics and the best literature for everyone and every taste.


Satisfied of my choices I was ready to go, when I though it would have been great to give another last look.


Sometimes we don't see the most important books, sometimes we rush and we abandon the most precious gems alone.


It was there, pretty shy, hidden, it didn't want to be found to me.


Or yes, who knows? Little, hardcover, new in the aspect and it is a genre I love a lot. The diary of Miss Idilia

edited by Genevieve Hill published by Short Books after 145 years.


An incredible story.


There is in the cover a girl, writing on her desk a diary.


I found it intriguing.


I read the back cover's first lines and then the first pages. I was shocked.




As a reporter I followed a case years ago of a missing elderly woman and I can tell you that when someone is missing the family falls in a terrible spiral and the world turn upside down.


They fall in a condition of unknown because any certainty is gone.


A homicide is different. There is a body, a cause of death and a reason why that man was killed. Soon or late the responsible will be found. There is logic in the illogical criminal act, but you can explain. You can bury the person killed. You can cry in a grave the departure of your beloved one. You can start to mourn, you can start to heal.


When a person disappear you don't have these "psychological supports", no.


The family understand something: that the missing person is like vanished.


The missing person become a phantom without anymore corporeality. The common compass of normality is gone for a long time (since the person is hopefully found dead or alive) and it starts a long process of nervous exhaustion.


When a person disappear it's a mental work of conjectures. All the time.


I brought the book home decided to read and review it. I read it yesterday.


It is touching, sad, unbelievable but believable at the same time because the obvious sometimes is never taken in consideration and I thought while I was reading The Diary of Miss Idilia at the potential destiny that this girl would have had in case her fate, her destiny not so cruel.


Idilia was in fact a bright, intelligent girl.


It's tender the beginning of this diary.


Idilia was sad and started this diary in fact dedicating it to her friend Gwendolyn emigrated in the USA.


"My dearest Gwendolyn..."


she starts to tell her.


Idilia wants to tell to Gwendolyn all her days and her life, sharing although it is no possible at the moment to discover where Gwendolyn is, all her thoughts with her.


The two girls promised to each other of not sending any letters but sharing a diary once per year for reading the adventures lived by each of them in a year but Gwendolyn didn't send her in 9 months any news, any address apart for a postcard sent from New York.


It was common in the past to sharing journals with family members, or diaries also in the immense land of the USA.


People shared thoughts but also pictures, recipes, articles and so on.


It wasn't an uncommon way to do. It wasn't an eccentricity of these two girls.


Although Idilia thought that the behavior of her friend irritating all her thoughts were with her, imagining that she was still close to her.


Gwendolyn, Genevieve and Idilia are all Scottish and very united.


They have their life to realize and each of them hope to be successful in some field.


Life is still in the dreaming phase of the existence.


The future, although didn't give to any of them great success in life brought a posterity success, because involuntarily Gwendolyn the protagonist of the diary of Idilia for example.


Who knows?


I love to think that maybe if Idilia wouldn't have had the purpose to write to her distant friend, she wouldn't never have written such a detailed diary; and her death although the remains of her body found, maybe would have remained still a mystery without bringing some peace to the family.


Thanks to this diary it was all clear.


The diary later passed at the closest friend of Idilia, Genevieve.


The main protagonist of this story: Idilia.


Unfortunately the diary couldn't be published by Genevieve because of the opposition of Idilia's parents.


Idilia at 17 years was in a rebel moment and yes the portrait of her parents not great at all but it's a classic between parents and teenagers.


The story of Idilia this one: the entire family, Idilia had other two siblings decided to afford to Rhineland in 1851 for a vacation.


Rhine located in Germany was in the past visited, explored and great inspiration for many writers and creative people including Lord Byron.


Nobles appreciated the stunning places, peace and possibility of developing new projects thanks to these wonderful peaceful, enchanting lands.


With the time Rhineland became also the favorite trips of the so-called new riches, merchants etc. The family of Idilia, the Dubb from Edinburgh part of these new rich.


The diary of Idilia is very beauty, very well written. Idilia had a real gift for describing, telling, giving out what she had in her mind and what she was observing around her, never forgetting a great class and research in writing. Idilia is impressive for profundity of analysis and research of particulars and like every 17 years old girls she had problems with her mother at first because she broke up with Henry, a boy her mom was seeing with pleasure close to her and later with her dad because of her rebellion.



Like all the 17 years daughters of this world Idilia was discovering life.


Idilia in this diary tells the story of the trip of her family to Rhineland and how she fell in love for this boy Christian Bach.


The romantic meeting in the ship, the discovery of passion later, the visit at a wonderful castle in ruin the Lahnec castle once in Rhine.


Maybe a premonition but after an afternoon Idilia spent with Christian and Christian told her a certain tremendous legend, Idilia wanted to return home as soon as possible.


But that one will be her end and no one, no one once the girl started to be missed searched for her in this castle.


Just several years after in 1860 years, when it was decided to renovate the castle some human rests found with rings and other personal objects and a diary: Idilia after all that time was found.


This journal, this diary wants to give a last voice, a last justice to Idilia and her horrible death and she wants to let you discover a beautiful soul.


Unheard, the poor girl tried all her best, but the old stairs connected with the tower collapsed and Idilia remained blocked in the castle's tower.


She couldn't abandon the tower anymore dying starved but first of all dehydrated.


Christian was serious in his intentions, reading the diary you will discover it.

Once he discovered what happened to Idilia, his presence will be constant during the mourning time.


Enjoy this book.


It's a real gem in the panorama of diaries and it's the best legacy left by Idilia Dubb at this world.


A life not lived in vain but read thanks to this diary by a lot of people in the world.

Her words will resonate forever and she can now smiles at this world, in peace,

wherever she is.




Anna Maria Polidori

Source: http://alfemminile.blogspot.it

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