I like Elisabeth Gilbert style and her ironic attitude towards what happens in her life. She describes her staying in Italy as an all-you-can-eat adve...moreI like Elisabeth Gilbert style and her ironic attitude towards what happens in her life. She describes her staying in Italy as an all-you-can-eat adventure and I guess that if you come abroad you can get easily caught by the variety and quality of Italian food. I have to admit that I was very happy to read about her visit to my hometown Syracuse which she says "It's a place of such ancient civilization that it makes Rome look like Dallas". The Indian part was a bit too concentrated on her sense of frustration for not being able to sit still for more than 15 minutes in a yoga meditation position. Nevertheless I liked some of the observations and teaching that helped her in the spiritual search. The last part in Bali is where she tries to put together pleasure and spirituality dedicating to her meditation and falling gradually in love with a Brazilian guy. I found myself smiling at the book reading a few sections including the paragraph where she tries to explain the natural laws of intimacy and recalls one of her friend's question: "Do you want your belly pressed against this person's belly forever -or not?" (less)
After reading this book you would think that those you addressed Ian McEwan the nickname "Ian Macabre" were completely wrong!
This work of comic fictio...moreAfter reading this book you would think that those you addressed Ian McEwan the nickname "Ian Macabre" were completely wrong!
This work of comic fiction is absolutely enjoyable and valuable as its tones are always balanced so that the comic will never drop into a trivial laugh situation but it will be followed by the cynical and sardonic attitude of Prof Beard towards life resulting in a very well built ironic reading. The book alternates between the funniest episodes that happen in the life of Prof. Beard and his constant sense of solitude caused by his inability to fully love anybody, between the most tragic events like the murder of Tom Aldous and the hilarious confrontation of Prof. Beard with his wife's builder boyfriend Tarpin, between Beard's immense sense of satisfaction for his career and successes in the scientific community and the feeling of having been just lucky to bump in some important discovery which allowed him to rest on his laurels. The climate change topic is the background for the whole narration but it never distracts the reader form the personal life and considerations about life of a physicist who, although winner of the Nobel prize, confronts himself with his flaws and weaknesses in both domestic and work environment.
The book is divided in 4 sections each marking the main steps of Winoma's experience as a secretary at a big law firm as a non-filmmaking filmmaker. T...moreThe book is divided in 4 sections each marking the main steps of Winoma's experience as a secretary at a big law firm as a non-filmmaking filmmaker. The sections are: Sincerity, Art, Sex, Innocence. When I noticed the sharp division the author makes giving a title to each section I was not particularly happy, as it felt as the author was trying to suggest me what I would have found in the pages I was going to read or, even worst, the interpretation I should have given to the facts she was describing. But I have to say that my concerns were unfounded as actually the story flows and it can be read completely ignoring the division in sections as in Wimona's life all the four elements - sincerity, art, sex and innocence - are very well combined in her personality as a continuum with a dynamic alternation of the preponderance of one or the other.
Winoma is a film-maker and see her job as secretary as something temporary while waiting to shoot the film she has in mind "The Anxiety of Everyday Objects".
The office people are very well described and characterized, as it normally happens in every working environment, by their weaknesses and extravagant peculiarities. Winoma's descritption of her work is subtle and ironic, but at the same time very realistic (anyone who has been in a secretary position will find herself depicted while walking around the office)nevertheless adding an artistic twist: she looks at everyday tasks from the perceptive typical of an artistic mind.
I really liked the book because it is the story of a woman who is able to fight against her "Anxiety of Everyday Objects", which Wimona defines as "her internal sense of disaster", believing that sooner or later she will make her dream come true; no matter how many more years she will have to work at Grecko Mauster Crill, she will finally manage to produce her film!
Will Winoma ever shoot her film? Will her Anxiety change into something different?
Read the book and you will have the answer! (less)
Adoro Susan Vreeland per come scrive, per i temi che sceglie e per la grazia e attenzione con cui descrive gli ambienti e delinia i personaggi, soprat...moreAdoro Susan Vreeland per come scrive, per i temi che sceglie e per la grazia e attenzione con cui descrive gli ambienti e delinia i personaggi, soprattutto quelli femminili.
Le sue protagoniste vivono per l'arte e si scontrano con il tempo storico in cui vivono per realizzare la propria vocazione artistica, e nel caso di Clara Driscoll, l'oggetto della passione artistica sono i mosaici. Clara Driscoll è realmente esistita ed ha realmente lavorato per i Loius Comfort Tiffany e questo rende il romanzo ancora più entusiasmante specialmente se a ciò si aggiungono le dettagliate immagini che la Vreeland dipinge della New York dell'inizio '900 tutta ancora in fase di cambiamenti importanti a livello sociale (arrivo degli immigrati da tutto il mondo a Ellis Island), artistico (nascita del Liberty e dell'Art Nouveau che si manifesta anche nella creazione delle bellissime lampade Tiffany) e architettonico (riferimento alla costruzione del Flatiron building.
Alcune citazioni dal libro:
"Se la montagna fosse liscia non potremmo arrampicarci"
"Non conosciamo mai la nostra altezza finchè non siamo chiamati ad alzarci. E se siamo fedeli al nostro compito, arriva al cielo la nostra statura."(less)
If you have a walk on the street of Chicago you immediately realise how important architecture is for the city. Not to mention that the first skyscrap...moreIf you have a walk on the street of Chicago you immediately realise how important architecture is for the city. Not to mention that the first skyscrapers were fist built in the "Windy City" introducint new building techniques which are used up to these days.
If you like to read entertaining thriller books based on real life historic fact while getting a better understanding on architecture and buildings structures "The Devil in the White City" is just the perfect book for you.
Together with one of the main architects of the time, Daniel H. Burnham, we can assist to the building of one of the most spectacular complex of buildings, World's Columbian Exposition (1893), and at the same time follow the mysterious murders taking place at the time by Dr. H. H. Holmes. (less)
Hilarious! This book is great fun! The chapters I liked best were: "Keeping Up" - where Sedaris tells us about the main travel argument he always has w...moreHilarious! This book is great fun! The chapters I liked best were: "Keeping Up" - where Sedaris tells us about the main travel argument he always has with Hugh: pace. It seems he can never keep up with Hugh's pace getting lost in any country they visit. Let alone if the place Hugh has to visit is not of his interes, like Taroga Zoon in Australia looking for dingoes! "That's Amore" - Sedaris's neighbour Helen is quite rude and no matter what she is the one that has always had it worse or better, the important is to have the last word! "Town and Country" - A funny experience with a taxi driver who centrered the whole conversation on embarrassing extremely sex oriented talk. Crybaby" - Sedaris sits next to a grieving man in an airplane trying to get some distraction for the sorrow of the man watching a comic film to be the one who cries at the end of the flight. "The Smoking Section" - Sedaris tries to quit smoking in Japan.(less)
E' con questo romanzo che veniamo introdotti nel palazzo al numero 7 di Rue de Grenelle di cui conosceremo meglio i condomini nel romanzo successivo d...moreE' con questo romanzo che veniamo introdotti nel palazzo al numero 7 di Rue de Grenelle di cui conosceremo meglio i condomini nel romanzo successivo della Barbery, “L'elenganza del riccio”. In “Estasi culinarie” il protagonista è monsieur Arthens, il famoso critico gastronimico che si trova in punto di morte. Intorno a lui, che, rimestando tra i ricordi, ripercorre uno dietro l'altro gli episodi culinarie in cerca di quel sapore che prima di morire vorrebbe nuovamente gustare, si apre un coro di voci di persone e animali che esprimono il loro personale punto di vista su uomo la cui arroganza e alterigia non hanno mai dato spazio alla spontaneità dei sentimenti autentici e profondi.
Della Barbery mi piace molto la tecnica di far parlare in prima persona i vari personaggi. Essi si alternano nella narrazione in modo da avere diversi punti di vista su uno stesso episodio o persona rendendo vivace anche una trama semplice e quasi priva di azione e spostamenti – tutto il libro è in sostanza l'attesa della morte di monsieur Arthens nella sua camera da letto.
Non ho gradito particolarmente il finale. Non voglio rovinarvi la sorpresa....ma devo dire che sinceramente da monsieur Arthens mi aspettavo qualcosa di più ricercato...non posso dire altro!
Posologia: Non leggete il libro prima dei pasti non riuscirete a resistere all'acquolina che vi verrà alla rievocazione di piatti gustosi e semplici che vi verrebbe voglia di andare subito a preparare nella vostra cucina. (less)
Keep the book away from your children if you do not want them to became passionate naturalists for life!
Telling the reader about his period in Corfu,...moreKeep the book away from your children if you do not want them to became passionate naturalists for life!
Telling the reader about his period in Corfu, where he moved with his family when he was a young boy, Gerald Durrell introduces the members of his family and the animals, insects and creatures he used to take home in a funny and entertaining way. He depicts them all in their daily life, both human beings and animals, in great detail. His descriptions and the many funny and astonishing episodes occurring in his Corfu-days are very figurative and fully suggests the atmosphere of the place and of the adventures of a ten-year-old boy in love with nature. I particularly liked the the chapters (I quote them in Italian as I read it in Italian): # Il carosello delle lucciole; # Il lago dei gigli. (less)
We all know that we have treated our planet badly especially since the industrial and economic boom in the 80s. We all feel guilty for not having take...moreWe all know that we have treated our planet badly especially since the industrial and economic boom in the 80s. We all feel guilty for not having taken care of the environment and of the sustainability of the industrial processes which went on and on increasing their size and impact on the earth at great speed and we are aware that something has to be done. Looking for a solution to the problem, which has reached an enormous size and it is so eradicated that it is difficult to stem, Latouche explains his idea of a de-growth, which in a few words means “do not look for more, live minal” …this is how I got his message. I particularly liked the metaphor of the snail.(less)
First of all I want to thank Vanessa who sent me the book directly from Los Angeles, California.
The book is undoubtedly meant to be a satire of the Ne...moreFirst of all I want to thank Vanessa who sent me the book directly from Los Angeles, California.
The book is undoubtedly meant to be a satire of the New York upper-class society in the years before the Second World War.. The main characters are eight Vassar graduates, class of '33. The personalities and stories of these eight women introduces the reader to the big change the women faced to gain their independence in society. Some of them find their own collocation in society: Libby writes book reviews earing her living; Elinor travels around Europe (and comes back with a Baroness, introducing her as her lover, declaring herself a Lesbian); Dotty loses her virginity and discovers the pleasure of sex (she goes to the doctor to get a diaphragm pessary); Polly works as a nurse. The other four ladies instead struggle for finding their place in society and end up being frustrated and unhappy: Pokey, spoil by her rich family, acts snobbish but never gets any attention, Priss is forced by her pediatrician-husband to breastfeed her baby, even if she doesn't want to, as proof of his theories; Kay who seems he most independent of the entire 'group' ends up to be overwhelmed by the artistic "genius" of her egocentric husband who constantly betrays her. (less)
Four women, who know each other since they were young, tell the story of their friendship and relationship from their own personal point of view. They...moreFour women, who know each other since they were young, tell the story of their friendship and relationship from their own personal point of view. They are now in their forties and a lot has happend since the time they were children (Georgie and Maggie) and University students (Claire and Nora).
While I was reading I sometimes felt like the 5th friend who listens to the stories and problems of the other 4 women and sometimes I identified myself with one or the other depending on the situation.
What I appreciated most was the narration in first person and the fact that the same situation is described from different perspectives according to the narrotor's personality...(less)
Although 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' is a short story, many controversial themes are gathered in only few pages.
The highest point of t...moreAlthough 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' is a short story, many controversial themes are gathered in only few pages.
The highest point of the narration is the well-structured description of the mean and sad grounds of expediency according to which Mr. and Mrs. Macombers got married, the way the reader is presented with the nature of their relationship and the consequences of the lack of love and mutual esteem between the two(If she loved her husband she would have not disregarded him when he got scared in the lion hunting episode).
Hemingway's ability is to draw the personality of the characters as human beings with their complex psychology and many contradictions avoinding the stereotypes. There is not 'the good and the evil', 'the hero and the coward', 'the winner and the the looser' and it is for this reason that the reader does not take the part of any character in particular and sympatizes with them all.
Plot: Francis and Margot Macomber go on a safari guided by an attractive professional hunter, Robert Wilson. Francis is eager to impress his wife in the lion hunting but he gets scared to death and istead of playing the 'hero' he acts like a 'coward'. Disturbed by the cowardice of her husdand and fascinated by the courage of Robert Wilson she gives start to the competition between the two men which end in a men's solidarity sort of relationship. Finally Margot shoots her husdand and it is not clear if this is done on purpose or if it happened by accident, as Robert Wilson reports the fact.