Books and Other Pleasures

“Year of the Lord 1553_ Three Women, One Destiny”

Wish lists should be mandatory, especially for those with complicated tastes.
In my 2007 wish list there was “The Queen’s fool”, written by Philippa Gregory.

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In Rome the name-days are not very popular, except for the major saints; but having both parents from the South of Italy, this anniversary was celebrated for years. Now, I have always been convinced that my mother created the date so as not to make me feel different from my cousins, with their traditional names well imprinted on the calendar, while I, Gioia, never had my Saint. Not that I ever cared, but considering that it is an extra gift during the year … why not?

“I have seen sights and travelled in countries you cannot imagine. I have been afraid and I have been in danger, and I have never for one moment thought that I would throw myself at at a man for his help.”
Philippa Gregory,The Queen’s Fool

The presumed date is March 13, Saint Euphrasia (which seems to mean joy in some languages).
Technically…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“To write is a dangerous job”

When the winter storm subsided at 4 in the morning, I was only a few pages away from the conclusion. <> I wondered. I remember collapsing with the book in my hands, having had troubled dreams and that when I woke-up I had decided never to read such books again.

I finished it the next night, and didn’t keep my promise, I read about it, thriller, noir, horror; but still today Anne Walkes remains one of the most chilling women who come to visit my nights from time to time.

Thr0ugh The Mirr0r

It’s Winter, full night, the sky has decided to come down in buckets while lightning and thunder are breaking down. A sudden drop in current almost makes me scream, I can barely keep from running into my parents’ bed as I did as a child. But it is certainly not the storm that terrifies me, it is the book that I am reading in one breath in the weak light of the lightshade in the grandparents’ house that creaks and rasps and already makes me anxious. I started the book a few hours earlier, but I can’t get away from it, despite the cold, the sleep, the anguish that is rising up page after page.

I had already read Stephen King’s novels, but usually given the eternal description of every detail, even the most useless, I never found myself anxious  Not even when I read IT, except in a couple…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Holi, Spices and Magic”

It was Spring – Spring is especially felt in India, the traditional Holi festival, known as the “Festival of Colours”, is held. Hundreds of people overflow into the streets and throw coloured powders at each other until they cover everything with bright colours made from flower petals.

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A few years ago, with my friend Ilaria, we used to exchange books – a practice that you can only do with whom you really trust a lot, and which I no longer use today. –
Usually every two weeks. They cost so much and we only had pocket money available, so lend us the books was the only way to be able to read more.

In one of these exchanges, I gave her “The Mists of Avalon” to read, and she lent me Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s “Mistress of Spices” a novel with an exotic and mysterious air.

Magic was the common denominator.

But while the novel of Zimmer Bradley had a classical mythology, this is the tradition of Indian mythology.

The story of Tilo, the protagonist, is not obvious. From a heavy childhood and a somewhat proud character since childhood, she arrives on an island hidden from…

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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.

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“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

“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”

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” ‘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

“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

“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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Books and Other Pleasures · English Version

“If on a Summer’s morning ‘He & She’…”

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giphy10<<It will be Summer — eventually.
Ladies — with parasols —
Sauntering Gentlemen — with Canes —
And little Girls — with Dolls —
Will tint the pallid landscape —
As ‘twere a bright Bouquet —
Thro’ drifted deep, in Parian —
The Village lies — today —
The Lilacs — bending many a year —
Will sway with purple load —
The Bees — will not despise the tune —
Their Forefathers — have hummed —
The Wild Rose — redden in the Bog —
The Aster — on the Hill
Her everlasting fashion — set —
And Covenant Gentians — frill —
Till Summer folds her miracle —
As Women — do — their Gown —
Of Priests — adjust the Symbols —
When Sacrament — is done >>
– Emily Dickinson –

Apparently, from accurate market research , inSummer the readers multiply compared to all…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Haru And Cherry Blossoms”

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Hanami (lit. “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional habit of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, flowers (“hana”) in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry (“sakura”) or, less frequently, plum (“ume”) trees. From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. [1]

Have you ever attended theflowering of the cherry trees?

nev2bpeUnfortunately, I did.tumblr_n53rkxfkyu1sat0smo1_250 In Rome, at the EUR’s lake, a couple ofsprings ago . Do not get me wrong, it is one of the best spectacles in the world , but as I mentioned in another place, for me Spring is a real challenge to survival !
And a “pollen waterfall” that runs direct into my respiratory system is not exactly the romantic image that you would expect when you think of the cherry trees in bloom .
If you are…

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