Books and Other Pleasures

“Bonjour les &nfants”

I was attracted by the plot: a mix of psychological thriller and romantic romance, and I must say that, unlike the birthplace, the author did not fail my expectations!

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

**https://youtu.be/CAMWdvo71ls?list=PLEuPJYtHKcIEfT0zUr8ceTxnr5by0zDdi

<< A little girl had died in terrible circumstances. Without anyone hearing her, she had walked several flights of stairs, she opened doors, a window…. The omission of control was obvious. >>[1]

When I was a child, I was incredibly fascinated by France, I don’t know why, but I was almost obsessed with it, I often dreamed of going for a walk in the vineyards, to walk through the Champs Elise’s, to paint on the river, and to taste the fine French cheeses.

When I finally flew to Paris at 13, I have to say I was a bit disappointed, maybe the expectations were too high, or I was unlucky, because I met a lot of rude people, I found bad food and very cold and rainy weather despite it being late July.

In any case, with the cheese and wines excluded, the passion and charm…

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A Dip in the Classics

Classics: “Dracula”

Dracula is a mysterious and fascinating figure, despite being presented as an old hoary, the collective imagination seems to have always focused on the part where thanks to the blood of the living he can return to taking on young and beautiful appearances.

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“Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late; the pain of the sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horror as it has for me! How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula

The term vampire derives from the lean “vampyr”, from the Lithuanian word “wempti”, which means “to drink”, from the Turkish “uber”, “to be diabolical”, and from the Slavic root “pi”, “sorcerer. The mythology of the undead who, by infernal concession, can continue to live by feeding on the blood of the living, plants its oldest roots in the religiosity of the Slavic peoples, strongly linked to the cult of the dead.

Vampire literature (“Interview with the vampire” – “Twilight” – “The nights…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Skipped Christmas with Cookies and Margarita”

“Skipping Christmas” is one of those novels that you read laughing and with absolute joviality, but which at the same time glees you with its harsh criticism, far from veiled, towards the hypocrisy and intransigence without limits of the middleclass, mostly conformist.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

When I watch the TV series set in warm places like Australia or California and I find the Christmas episode, I get a great envy. I can’t tolerate the cold, and as much as I like the snow, hot chocolate and the front of the fireplace, I would exchange all this immediately and without regret for a fine sand beach, a margarita[1], a good book and the salt water of the ocean on the suntanned skin.

“No, it’s wonderful. And it’s just for one year. Let’s take a break. Blair’s not here. she’ll be back next year and we can jump back into the Christmas chaos, if that’s what you want. Come on, Nora, please. We skip Christmas, save the money, and go splash in the Caribbean for ten days.”[2]

So far, however, the dream of going to celebrate Christmas by the sea is just a dream…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Keepers, Erebon, soup and beer”

the final book is coming….

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

When someone I know writes a book it’s a problem. Yes, because it could be the masterpiece of the Century, but more likely I might not like it, but knowing the author, I face the dilemma: “should I be ruthless and tell him/her? Or should I play along with it?

Working as a freelance editor, I have to capture every flaw before every merit (and there are a lot in a book! Both: flaws and merits), so I get always a bit confused  when someone I know tells me that he has written a book.

And if this person is my brother, and if, besides making me read  a preview he also asks me to check it then the question becomes epic.

My brother has always been a great little genius, so I never had doubts that the book was well written and the plot was fluid.

But would I…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Art, Men, Cream cake and Donuts”

<Wait. Before starting it, go buy some sweets, possibly donuts>, my mother suggests to me as she browse the pages of a book.

I glared a bit, if anything I would have expected she recommend an ice with that suffocating heat, but she smiles at me <trust me>.

And I trust her.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

“If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”[1]

Fresh, silky, fun, engaging and enveloping, passionate and fluent”, these were the adjectives associated with the novel by those who had already read it, and which prompted me to want to read it on a sunny and lazy June afternoon, while someone was already on vacation and I was struggling with the summer university exam session! Tired of studying on university books, I went to my parents’ library – which may seem they have a book store, but it’s not the case , they “only” have eight shelves full of novels of all kinds (still wondering how I became a bookaholic? Here is the answer!) – and I started looking for some titles that I hadn’t already read, a titanic but not impossible feat considering that 4 out of 4 family members read…

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A Dip in the Classics

Classics: “La Divina Commedia”

I loved this Opera so much that I took it at the Maturity exam[5], and even today on the gloomy days, I find myself leafing through it and re-reading a few passages, wondering how he managed to write such a powerful thing, as actual then as now, everlastingly contemporary!!!

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28_divina commedia’Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente. 

Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore;
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapïenza e ’l primo amore. 

Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterna duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate’. [1]

The Divine Comedy is the most famous Italian opera in the world, perhaps the one to which we are most linked, yet I know so many Italians who have never read it. Not really. Not with the necessary passion.

Most Italians studied it at school, and maybe even hated it a little, having to apply hours and hours and hours paraphrasing it, analysing it, copying its verses or having to memorise it.

And that’s why most people haven’t really read it.

(I hope that also in your country it is…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Words, Secrets and Purple Rain”

Two women, Vida and Margareth, a story, precisely the thirteenth, which brings them together and puts them against each other, one next to the other. How can I describe this novel in one word? Magnetic. Without understanding why, you find yourself drawn to the folds of history. The words, written in a “Bronte” style have the power to nail you to the pages, they are so stimulating that they seem like those of a spell.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

“Of course I loved books more than people.”[1]

I have to admit it; I made the typical mistake that I always recommend you not to do: I chose the book from the cover! But you have to understand me: a book with books on it! How could I resist? I.
The well-known bookaholic????

Shelves are full of books with covers of the kind, badly written, but I was lucky because in this used book market I found this really not bad volume.
Ok first of all let’s prepare a nice Naked Cake with the Caramello Salato’s recipe, let’s settle on the rocking chair in the patio (in the absence of which you can run around the city / town until you find one, … or you can look for a play area and equipped with antihistamines, mosquito repellent and Walkman … or for the more contemporary an ipod…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Six-hundred Seconds”

That’s how I found this little precious book. Fearing that I was wasting my time (and reason) behind a window wet with tears of Heaven. “Ten minutes long”, a title that immediately catched me. A title that was necessary for me.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

The rain falls slowly, almost bored of having to do so, on the window glass from which you can see at times and blurry the others’ lives. Is it for duty or pleasure that the neighbour is taking out the dog despite the cold? Is it because he loves his pet to the point of getting pneumonia? Or because his house is tight and maybe needs to run away, at least a little. Just for a while.
And the girl who cries at the bus stop, what is she thinking of? Had she lose a lover, a friendship? Or maybe she just got a bad score and does not want to admit it to her family for fear of ruining her Christmas holidays?

26_ Per dieci minutiThe music continues to do its duty and composes a perfect soundtrack to cover the thoughts. Or at least it tries to do so.

Did I buy…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“A Saturday afternoon with Bonita Faye”

I was about 11 years old; I was bored because I had already finished the new horror book in the series, I was crazy about; my father came to me and handed me a “grown-up” novel <read it, you’ll like it >.

If there is a person I trust in everything (especially when it comes to reading) it is my father, so I took this book, and without even asking him what it was about, I sat on the floor with my back against the radiator (habit that I still have today …) and I started it.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

“After all, I killed only once every forty years. I had time to die, before the urge returned.”[1]

Saturday afternoon in October, uncertain weather, neither hot enough to play outdoors, nor so cold as to want to take refuge inside, that weather that makes you go around dressed like a fool with snow boots and a tank top, so to speak.

romy-and-michele-nothing-to-wear-gifI was about 11 years old; I was bored because I had already finished the new horror book in the series, I was crazy about; my father came  to me and handed me a “grown-up” novel << Read this, you’ll like it >>.

If there is a person I trust in everything (especially when it comes to reading) it is my father, so I took this book, and without even asking him what it was about, I sat on the floor with my back against the radiator (habit…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Three writers: One story”

And having so many genres inside, it is a novel suitable for everyone, it can excite for the poignant love story, for the mystery, for the betrayed friendship, for the inspiration that does not arrive. In an interview the author stated that with this book he aimed to get on his readers the same effect that the TV series Homeland had on him (series I will talk about!):
“You watch one episode, then another, then you start doing stupid things like watching four in a row at night so you can’t work the next day … My ambition was to achieve the same result with a book”

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

” ‘In our society, Marcus, the most admired men are those who build bridges, skyscrapers, and empires. But in reality, the proudest and most admirable are those who manage to build love. Because there is no greater or more difficult undertaking.’”[1]


Perhaps 779 pages are too many, he could have cut here and there and a great thriller would have come out anyway, yes, maybe the writing is still a bit unripe and the twists and turns are abundant but too isolated towards the end.
All reproaches that are easily found around and that made Joel Dicker[2] the perfect alter ego of the protagonist of his novel: Marcus Goldman, a young and successful writer who finds himself trapped in the writer’s block after the first success. Reading this book was like reading several books at the same time.Not only because it is a combination of different…

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