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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Books and Other Pleasures

“A tree, a plaid and Battenberg cake’s smell”

Because when I read I’m in three places at the same time: the physical one, the one in the novel, and the one in my head.
It does not always happen, not with all the books, there must be a specific alchemy, a certain type of writing, the plot must be very memorable, able to take me away, to make me forget the here and now.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

“I like autumn. The drama of it; the golden lion roaring through the back door of the year, shaking its mane of leaves. A dangerous time; of violent rages and deceptive calm, of fireworks in the pockets and conkers in the fist.” [1]

Do you believe inmagic?

tumblr_o7qhgwlrcs1uxbjjso1_500I’m not talking about hand reading or cheap nonsense.
I mean magic, the real one, the one that makes you be in two places at once, for example.

I do.
Because when I read I’m in three places at the same time: the physical one, the one in the novel, and the one in my head.
It does not always happen, not with all the books, there must be a specific alchemy, a certain type of writing, the plot must be very memorable, able to take me away, to make me forget the here and now.

“Gentleman and Players”[1]it’s…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Sometimes the only way to stay Sane is to go a little Crazy”

The feeling that this book has left me is the desire to move on! To overcome the small and big difficulties of life, because making a small mistake is enough to interrupt it.

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“In a strange way we were free. We’d reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: all of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves” [1]

tumblr_mstgxp6uui1si0eu0o1_500I do not often see the film first – beautiful, exciting, attractive: I highly recommend it! –and then look for the book from which it is taken, but in this case it would have been difficult to find it, because “The girl interrupted” was for years in the psychology department, being more than a novel, a real diary of the author and of her broken up years. It is almost ironic that it has been misunderstood as a genre because it is precisely what happened to the protagonist. At seventeen Susanna Kaysen, after a short visit from a doctor she had never seen…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Castle, Pizza and Beer”

It’s not the classic TV crime series because the murder, it’s just a pretext to plunge into the life of Castle and Beckett, and for a fast pace, or for jokes and weird theories, which instill good humor in the spectator. Another very funny peculiarity is that in bookstores you can find the “real” novels[2] of Richard Castle, Nathan Fillion – the actor who plays the protagonist – said that the author of the novels appears in the episode in which the new book is presented, so it is rumored that it is Tom Straw, screenwriter and sit-com author, but there is no official confirmation

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castle Katerina Graphic

I know, conventionally, people on Saturday night go out, but – excluding the nights of the shows – when it becomes cold (so from October to March more or less) I prefer to dedicate Friday to social life and on Saturday to burrow myself under a blanket, with pizza *! I wait the all week to be able to enjoy pizza on Saturday, it is now a habit and when it is violated due to force majeure, I get a big sadness.

tumblr_mzetbo8qbk1s30a57o1_500For years I have been associating pizza with beer[1], and at the pizza and beer night, I associate Castle because in the Italian programming, it is always showed in the early evening that day.

liz-lemon-pizza

Richard Castle is a famous writer struggling with a writing block, whose life is upset when a killer begins to kill by taking inspiration from his novels. Therefore he  starts…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Who is the number 67?”

“Shutter Island”[1], by Dennis Lehane, edited in Italy with the ambiguous name of “The island of fear”, ambiguous because with this title, I would have expected a classic horror. Instead, it is a captivating psychological thriller, 345 pages of novel, set on Shutter Island as revelead by the title, a mysterious island reachable just by a ferryboat that doesn’t even have precise schedules. A former prison, now home to a criminal psychiatric sanatorium.

Actually, thinking about it, the island is quite frightening!

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

Today,

 surrounded by an autumn storm, I’ve decidedto talk about a book that could be the symbol of the psychological thriller, a novel that holds on its toes, confuses, puts anxiety and fear such as “and if it happened to me?” but at the same time reassures for the remote era in which it is set, for the distance with the reality “it would never happen to me”.

You must probably know the movie that was made out of it, but I promise that reading the book, while  sitting on the armchair, is much worth I’m talking about “Shutter Island”[1], by Dennis Lehane, edited in Italy with the ambiguous name of “The island of fear”, ambiguous because with this title, I would have expected a classic horror. Instead, it is a captivating psychological thriller, 345 pages of novel, set on Shutter Island as revelead by the…

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