venerdì, settembre 22, 2017

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid

I do really appreciate the books published by Timber Press.

They are inspiring, botanically erudite, and they add something more to the knowledge of the environment.

With this sentiment and being a fan of Anne of Green Gables, I requested The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid.

I was waiting for sure a beautiful book but this one is not just beauty, this one is not just interesting, this one has been in grade to capture in a brilliantly, poetic, wonderful way the character of Anne and mrs Montgomery.
I guess that the writer is a fan of the writer and of Anne of Green Gables.

This book is simply amazing! Wonderful pictures, resonanting quotes from Anne of Green Gables or mrs Montgomery Journals, The Alpine Path or from poets she appreciated a lot like Robert Browning.

The book is a tribute and a compenetration of the essence of work of Montgomery that couldn't never be separated by her alter-ego Anne Shirley the character of Anne of Green Gables and her beloved island of Prince Edwards because an unicum.

Mrs Montgomery was a wonderful, optimistic lady in particular for other people presenting to them always a reason for going on, and as we will vividly see thorough this book she projected herself with all her best, in terms of encouragement, in terms of optimism in little Anne Shirley.
I was thinking that another modern actor with these extraordinary treats was Robin Williams.

There are many similarities with the personal life-story lived by Montgomery and little Anne. Yes: mrs Montgmery didn't have red hair and didn't suffer all the troubles suffered by Anne but she also remained orphan when she was 21 months old and although she developed a beautiful relationship with her dad she absolutely found the lady he re-married a very disgusting and horrible woman.

She continued to keep an intense correspondent with her dad 'till at the departure of her beloved father a terrible news this one for her.

Mrs Montgomery loved nature and in the nature of her beloved Prince Edwards Island she was in grade of going on and re-birth all the time from the various life-sufferences she was experiencing.

The island at the moment is more modern than the one Mrs. Maud knew but substantially it is possible to recognize very vividly the locations in part recreated of the places where Anne of Green Gables or also the author lived. The tourism  is one of the most important voices thanks to the books about Anne and Green Gables and the following notoriety brought to the island by mrs. Maud. Other important voices are agriculture and fishing. A land where it was possible to find peace, a beautiful land where nature was friend, and where to restore the soul.

The tourism is mainly a spring-summer tourism because later like for most other places in the world, fall and winter are pretty long and cold months. Population, if in the past diminuished became more interesting during these past decades.

Although Anne Shirley was a fictional character without doubt she also was the alter-ego of Montgomery, the person with which mrs Montgomery communicated her beautiful thoughts of encouragements, with the world, people and with generations of children and adults.

We will visit thanks to this book also the house of Anne of Green Gables, the bedroom where she lived in, the one of Marilla, the one of Matthew and we will see the kitchen and the most important spots re-created at the perfection. We will find Bonny the geranium Anne started to be so affectionted at immediately after her arrival at the farm of the siblings Cuthbert and all her world, for the joy of the estimators of the author and this legendary character.

The island is plenty of great resources regarding Anne and mrs.Montgomery.

Mrs Montgomery loved nature and she idealized it so badly. It was to her the best refugee where to escape  and to discover the harmony of this world. Spring, summer, fall and winter were beautiful for various different reasons, although we will find her discouraged in some part of her life for the arrival of winter. But all these personal state of her soul won't never filter outside if not in the pages of her journals or letters. She won't never ask for a help, she won't never ask for some joy. She will continue to tell to everyone how wonderful was the world to her.

Looking through the idealistic, dreaming eyes the world by Montgomery is an experience that you can't miss because this lady was in grade to capture like a radar mentally only the best sentiments, only the best part of the world, keeping out stress, sadness, unhappiness state that world can present to people, for de-stressing psychologically for example Anne when the situation was too ugly for going on.

In this book we will also discover the favorite gardens by Montgomery. The old-fashioned garden, where various plants and herbs planted in the remote past by the ancestors of the family; a wild garden, and a woodland garden. All these gardens for different reasons are important for the author, because they put her, and Anne of Green Gables in connection with nature.

Why Anne of Green Gables and L.M.Montgomery can be a very happy re-discover for the children but also for adults?

First of all because Montgomery speaks of universal themes like love, friendship, being happy with little things, appreciating life also when it becomes very hard, and at the same time finding harmony in a harmonic world where man has respect for this one and using and directing our mind at happy thoughts also when situations are difficult.

Second: because in a world always more confused there is not another voice more strong and secure, optimistic and certain than the one of Anne of Green Gables assuring ourselves that life will be good.

Third because Anne suffered a lot and for this reason her happiness is so important.
You can't discover real joy and happiness if before you won't have met the sufferance, although you must know that after a period of sufference happiness will return with prepotence. It's a life-lesson for everyone.

Anne didn't lose her smile because of her sufferances but she continued to stay positive, appreciating later all the joy life donated her and at the same time constructing into himself a parallel reality for surviving during the hardest moments.

So that's why she created invisible friends for chatting when too discouraged and why she re-named various locations with appropriate sunny names.
She wanted to feel that the places were part of her and they were also part of that Anne in search for approval in search for love, in search for friendship.

The beauty of Anne has always been the optimistic approach to life remaining open to the others and opening the door of her soul to everyone.
These people touched directly by Anne were lucky because they learned  how to cope much better with life thanks to the example presented them by Anne and her enthusiasm.


This book is a masterpiece because more than telling to you which plants and flowers there are in Prince Edwards, (of course it's explained by poetically) we will compenetrate the nature of L.M. Montgomery and her alter ego Anne and thanks to them we will see the world with different lenses, more beauty, more clean, more relaxing, more loving. I strongly encourage all parents to buying to their children Anne of Green Gables' books.

I surely thanks NetGalley and Timber Press for this wonderful book!



Anna Maria Polidori

Evergreen The Garrett Family, Collectors and Connoisseurs Evergreen Museum & Library

Welcome to Evergreen.
Located at 4545 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, this house has been for two generations the house of the Garretts one of the most influential families of the area.
Their story is wonderful because the real realization of the so-wanted and so-dreamed American Dream.
It was 1790 when from Ireland a man, John Garrett with his wife and his numerous family, six children! left Ireland for the USA in search of more luck.
John died during the trip but the family was numerous and in grade to find a farm where to work once in the USA.
One of their son Robert, the youngest one, at the age of 16 left with his oldest brother the family for going to Ohio trading manufactured goods for furs with Native Americans.
This one was their great luck and the following years Robert opened the Robert Garrett And Company.
With the time the Garretts became one of the biggest philantropists families of the areas, financing every sector of the existence of the State where they lived in: from health to education.
Johns Hopskins was a very close family friend of the Garretts. Before to dying, the old philantropist Johns Hopkins decided to leave most of his money for the creation of the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital.
Time passed by in the while and the Johns Hopkins reality needed some more money for opening the medical school. Family Garrett agreed to put his money in the adventure but at a condition: that also women students could be admitted and that this institution a graduate level one.

The Garretts are people in love for books, culture absolutely! art, coins, Japanese culture, and everything beauty!

When they left this stunning, absolutely wonderful mansion at the Johns Hopkins University in the will they asked to keep Evergreen House "Open to the lovers of music, art, beautiful things and to qualified and competent students and investigators, who could make use of its collections, and in additions, that might be made to them from time to time...Certain traditions and ideals have been created and preserved (by my father and mother, my brothers and my wife and myself... said the donor). I am greatly desirous that these traditions and ideals be perpetuated."

The Garretts are not just generous but they want to continue to perpetuate who they are and who they have been so that they can be identified and recognized. A family is this one. The perpetuity of the value transmitted and lived during the existence.


It's a magnificent, beautiful trip in a mansion, a house plenty of story, culture, art, memories and desire to be a real mecenate for whoever interested to whispering what these walls and objects can tell.

Well the Garretts have been massive collectors and from the entire world. Objects, from chairs to tables, from glasses, to chandelier from votive objects to plate, from France, Italy, the USA, Persia, India, Japan, with always an exquisite great taste.

It was mainly T.Harrison Garrett at first the great collector one and his successor, John Work Garrett tried to preserve this treat of his family member. It's thanks to Alice Warrett Garrett the wife of John W. Garrett a hostess if the collection grew up with the time. Alice intertained very often actors, painters, musicians, dancers, sculpturs. There is a picture in the book with our Arturo Toscanini, when the couple hosted an event at Villa Taverna, the American Ambassador residence in Rome. It was 1930.

Alice Warrett Garrett loved to being portrayed by her painters and friends. She was portrayed by Zuloaga, like also by Leon Baskt and other ones as well involving also her husband.
From Walter Berry she inherited five works by Picasso, Degas, Vuillard. Her collections, and her friendships didn't end here. Thanks to these painters and Alice's wonderful taste now Everygreen can shows to the visitors a great collection of paintings.

It is called the Main Library the place where you can find the most beautiful and distinguish books by the Garretts collections.
The best of American and mondial literature including the Decameron by Boccaccio, the Rime by Petrarca, Plutarch's Moralia.

Other books you will love ornithologists' ones, historic ones. The library includes many important documents and manuscripts.

Amazing. Amazing to think that a house is still so alive like Evergreen continues to be: a cultural laboratory where people, artists, book lovers, students, continue the family Garrett's legacy.

I haven't never been to the USA but I hope with all myself to visit Evergreen one day!

I thank Johns Hoekins University for this wonderful book!


Anna Maria Polidori

giovedì, settembre 21, 2017

The Anne of Green Gables Cookbooks Charming recipes from Anne and her friends in Avonlea by Kate MacDonald

I guess that we all remember Anne of Green Gables's books, cartoons, movies, TV series and her sad at first, unhappy life as a orphan and her new wonderful life with Marilla and Matthew. One of the best books, cartoons, movies that a kid can sees, because they're plenty of encouragement, positive vibe, great values.

But... What kind of food Anne ate at the Cuthbert's house?

In this book by QuartoKnows, and discovered thanks to NetGalley a new edition with more recipes of: The Anne of Green Gables Cookbooks Charming recipes from Anne and her friends in Avonlea written by Kate MacDonald the grandchild of mrs. L.M.Montgomery and L. M. Montgomery the creator and writer of the various books about Anne of Green Gables.

We will discover dozens of delicious old-fashioned recipes that you can try for the joy of your loved ones, your neighbors, your children.
Chocolate caramels, the recipe of Marilla's plum pudding, a sunshiny corn soufflé, little rapsberry tarts, the rapsberry cordial, but also a good cake with delicious chocolate inside and outside.

We will find an italian recipe in Miss Stacy's baked macaroni :-) but also some recipes of biscuits for tea, like also Matthew Cuthbert's Yummy Biscuit Sandwich.

If you want to try, during the warm summer time, there is also an old fashioned lemonade recipe for restoring your body and soul.

Do you want to refresh yourself with veggies? Why not to eat a delicious lettuce salad?
If you want to stay warm or you search for a healthy dish goes for the a thick and creamy vegetable soup.

Mrs. Irving's delicious shortbread is waiting for you like also Miss Ellen's Pound Cake or a yummy orange angel cake.

During this season don't forget one of the best Montgomerys favorite's recipes:  Fire and Dew Sweet Potatoes.

The book is divided in four sections. While the first three follow Anne's books the last one the kitchen by mrs. Montgomery.

Enjoy this book. Pity that the PDF is so poor and frustrating in the visualization through Adobe Digital Edition.


Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, settembre 17, 2017

Traces of Vermeer by Jane Jelley

It's a real love this one expressed Jane Jelley for the art and person of Johannes Vermeer in her latest book: Traces of Vermeer. The story public and private, artistic and human of the one of the Dutch painter who lived and produced 36 masterpiece in Delft,  in 1660s, and was part of the so called genre painters.

It was a  great joy to read her book: Traces of Vermeer published by Oxford Press is an extraordinary new book.

You can breath in every page Jane Jelley's passion, devotion and enthusiasm for this painter and I can tell you that, thanks to it this one has been the most beautiful, sunny art book I have ever read in all my life because it doesn't treat the topic with a cold analysis of the artist, but with a love and an intensity that it is pretty unusual. You can feel the warmth of that time, you can visualize thanks to the vivid, rich, loving description of the author the Delft of 1660s, you can imagine the painter while he works or he lives a day in his city.

There are also technical parts of course but the book is lovely and absolutely readable by everyone. In particular if you are a painter, or a passionate of painters and painting and art this book is for you! It's too beauty for not buying it!

Who was Vermeer?
A mysterious painter after all, but not too much distant from some painters I know, "bears" as Vermeer was after all.

He didn't leave a lot of traces of himself.

Van Gogh wrote wagons of letters, for example and we know a lot about him, his character, his thoughts, his feelings.

Vermeer didn't leave journals, letters, or anything else for the so-called posterity, nothing able to give us a real perception of the man and the artist.

The place where he worked in, a beautiful little city, was spectacular at that time and very cold let's add this, that's why there was an extreme richness of warm clothes and hats and other ornaments in Vermeer's paintings. The houses the one the painter described, and the heavy warm clothes because winters were long and rigid, very cold.

Vermeer's houses were also destroyed after his death and later re-built when local people discovered the genius he was.
Delft at the moment lives and breath Vermeer's atmosphere and the painter is lived like the greatest icon that they have had although the author remarks that there is not any painting in the city by Vermeer but just copies.

When Vermeer died abruptly and unexpectedly leaving a wife and so many children, a real soccer team! :-) he was poor and more important indebted, so the wife constricted to sell most of the items in the house.

Vermeer lived the second part of his married life in the house owned by the mother of his wife. It was a very large house with twelve rooms. It is not excluded that the lady helped financially Vermeer and his numerous family in the most critical economical moments of their existence.

Sure a man like him was busy in various directions: family first of all, work, business and the house was plenty of people most of the time.

Vermeer became painter after a long stage, we would use this word today with a master painter. It is unknown who was Vermeer's masterpainter.

The author describes also our way of living art now, in comparison to the historical moment in which Vermeer's lived in, the art of painting.
It's possible at the moment, it is still an expensive hobby, if there is sufficient money to buying canvas, colors and tools via internet for starting a career as painter without too many problems.

In 1600s this one for a Dutch boy or man was a serious profession and in general painters worked for rich people so that later they could have been paid for their work. An intelligent approach to life and art after all.

Vermeer's dad was a painter and maybe to him it was more simple to find a master painter. It is unknown if the same Vermeer has had a scholar and he was a master for some other painters.
There are not letters or anything written by any other contemporaries, painters in Delft in grade to reveal this particular so maybe Vermeer worked alone and in the "chaotic solitude" of his house.

As we will see also the famous painting: The Girl with a Pearl Earring although a movie traced a sort of romantic story between the painter and his muse can't give us a defined identity of this girl. It could have been also one of his numerous daughters. Yes we are in a sort of condition like Leonardo and his controversial Monna Lisa. A man, a woman and so on...

In this case without doubt we have a girl, very young, looking at the painter. The scenario is dark as loved by the genre painters for  giving big result at the main subject in a complete warm light.

The girl wears  an exotic clothe a turban and a pearl earring.
What it is more important to seeing is her facial expression.
There is tenderness, her eyes are vigil, the mouth is just open for giving at the expression more mobility.
In my personal interpretation of this painting maybe the painter wanted to portray an action as they always did in every paintings you will observe of the genre painters: there is never passivity, always mobility.

In this case to me the action of the girl was this one: she was called by someone and she was in the act of answering.

In fact the girl's mouth is open as if she would have wanted to saying something leaving the words suspended or not yet said, or like if she would have been called by someone and turning her back, she was in the act of answering and looking at the person at the same time.

Enjoy this book for discovering all Vermeer's world. From his techniques of painting, the colors he used and the differences between our colors and the colors of the past and the other tools used by Vermeer  for obtaining certain specific effects including maybe the use of lenses and a dark chamber. No, pictures were not yet invented...
Last but not least immerse yourself in the wonderful Delft of the 1660s. Magnificent book.

Highly suggested!


I thanks Oxford University Press for this wonderful book!




Anna Maria Polidori

Strange Glow The Story of Radiation by Timothy J. Jorgensen

Strange Glow The Story of Radiation by Timothy J. Jorgensen is a stunning book published by Princeton University Press. I waited it with trepidation.

You know, apart the daily base use and abuse of radiation we do everyday using PC and a cell phone, what moved me to read this book was the risk of a nuclear attack, so distant, an old phantom of the past unthinkable since at recent times, but now back to popularity (sic!)

I grew up with this horror, watching movies like The Day After Tomorrow and remembering very well what my teachers told us about Hiroshima and Nagasaki starting from the elementary school 'till the high school because it was necessary after that mess for the next generations to build a world of peace, nuclear-free.

No sure if teachers are still involved in telling to their students the risks of a nuclear war but I warmly suggest them to add this chapter, terrorism apart in their scholastic lessons because the senseless of a war like that one would mean the most horrible scenario that could be created by human beings and must be avoided.

Did we forget what it means radioactivity? Did we forget the risks for the humanity, for the environment, for fishes and plants, and every other human being? Did we forget what it meant for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the survivors? Did we forget what said Einstein?
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Right.
It's impossible to experience another World War because it would mean the end of the world.

Also for this reason I decided to read this book.

I can start to tell you that this reading is captivating and simple also for the most profane person like me without too many intense and profound notions of physics. The purpose of the author: the creation of a book in grade to reach everyone. The masses and not just professors or scholars.

It's a story, this book. The history of radiation. One of the most fascinating stories of our modern age and this approach payed a lot because the book remains colloquial, historical, very clear and the exposition of the various facts is all the time attractive, brutal and interesting. There are no boring times.

At first you know it was electricity. Electricity can be seen and we know risks of electricity everywhere and dangers that an improper use can produce in our body, killing us at the instant as well, bloody hell.

Problem is that the rest of the big family of radiation is invisible at the eyes and so we don't know what to do or how to act sometimes in our daily life.

The story of radiation started exactly with electricity. After it someone discovered waves, and Guglielmo Marconi tried thanks to them to transmit a message via radio waves in the USA. It was a success and a new instrument of communication was born. When Marconi died it was a terrible loss for Italy and was paid great respect for the scientist.

Roentgen discovered that rays could pass through solid objects and bodies as well. We will see in the book the first r-x pic of the story. The hand of his wife with a ring.

Francis H.Williams and William H.Rollins a physician and a dentist from Boston thought that this intuition was great and they started to use this invention for medical purposes. Williams and Rollins because of this intuition became the fathers of diagnostic radiology.

Becquerel was attracted by uranium dividing the Nobel with the Curies at the beginning of 1900s. The couple was  working on the radium sadly famous for what happened in various factories in the USA at many girls.

But what is radioactivity exactly?

The definition given by the author:

"The ability of an atom to spontaneously release radiation without any stimulation from light, electricity or any other form of energy. It is a property intrinsic to the nucleus of an atom and resistant to modification by any outside forces."

When we will discover what can "neutralize" the radioactivity, thanks to an outside force in grade to giving us back the old state of things then we will be free from the most scaring experience that a massive radiation can bring with it.

Ernest Rutherford was the founder of the nuclear physics with his discovery about the atom. It is analyzed not just the composition of the atom but also the scission and fission.

After this first knowledge, mainly historical but also with some technical and physical notions, the second part of the book treats the health effects of radiation.

Yes: you will largely find  the story of the so-called radium girls.

I also reviewed months ago a wonderful and truly sad book published by Sourcebooks called The radium Girls. The link is this one if you are curious to discover more

https://alfemminile.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-radium-girls-dark-story-of-americas.html

These happy girls, plenty of life, expectations and with a great good pay  worked per years in several factories in the USA where they massively stayed at close contact, in particular their mouth, with radium.


Later most of them became very sick and died. The autoptic exam revealed that their bodies were radioactive. What an irony: radium was considered a magic "ingredient."

Some men experienced similar problems in particular the ones working in Schneeberg's mines. Doctors through autoptic exams discovered that twenty of these men died for the same exact reason: lung cancer.

The most scaring and of course massive and terrible example of an exposure with deadly results at radioactivity was the one of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where two bombs where launched by the Americans last second world war after the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor.

Sasaki one of the doctors still healthy immediately after the explosion of the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima tried to help all the people arrived to the hospital immediately after the explosion of the bomb.

The atomic bomb is the most horrible possible scenario for the humanity and no one should never think of using this bomb for a second according to my modest point of view because after it there is no return and the land can't be lived anymore.

What saw Sasaki with his eyes immediately after at the hospital ?

There were people with strange symptoms never seen before and although treated they died pretty abruptly and for horrible reasons.

Apart the ones disappeared immediately, there was the case of a family who discovered just the bones of their dear one, still yet sat where they had left him just few minutes before. Just he was disintegrated. His tissues, muscles, hair, gone.
Just the skeleton could tell that the man sat there, was the one of the dear one of that two ladies.

The wristwatch was not destroyed by the atomic bomb.

The survivors, in general would have been dead in a few days experiencing horrible pains and sufferance at various levels.

Some of them knew the destruction, disintegration of brain cells. These cells have a massive destruction when exposed so massively at radioactivity with the implosion of all the body.

There are people who vomited although no one knew at first the reason, other ones were treated because of horrible burns.
There was a man in company of a friend.
The friend apparently untouched by the bomb, the other man burned. But later, the burned friend the one who will carry the other one to the hospital because his friend developed much more profound problems.

Other patients suffered before to dying of severe diarrhea, hair loss, high fever, dehydration before to dying.

All the bodies accumulated in the hospital were burned.

We leave Hiroshima alone for a while.

If radiation kill outside they cure cancer as discovered the Curies inside.

Is it possibility to develop a new cancer because of the assimilation of radiations during chemotherapy and radiation from a person in cure? Yes it's possible and the author says that the period should be taken in consideration is ten years.
The author suggests everyone with this problem of continuing these cures because it's just a probability and anyway in an old person the possibility of re-develop a cancer diminish a lot.

Fukushima. The tsunami of various years ago provoked as we all know also a big environmentalist problem similar to the one Chernobyl lived in Europe in 1986.
A site like that one won't never be back at the normality, not for the people still alive and not in a very close future, because once a place is attacked by radioactivity can't be cultivated anymore, can't be secure anymore.
It's dead, dead. Fruits, veggies, milk, meat, tea, everything is radioactive. Nothing is anymore normal but altered and extremely dangerous for the health of people.
If people survive, the only answer is to going away forever and for good as it happened for the people living close to Fukushima.

The book later will also treat new technologies like cell phones and radiation in our daily life.

In conclusion Timothy J. Jorgensen is more than sure of something: that after we have read his book we will be more conscious of our daily life, of the radioactive instruments close to us in a daily base from the microwave to the smart phone and how we can use them. We will be in grade to make wisest choices for us, the community and maybe the world.
I agree.
He closes his foreword wishing to all of us: good luck!


I thanks Princeton University Press for this wonderful book!



Anna Maria Polidori

venerdì, settembre 15, 2017

The Obesity Epidemic Why diets and exercise don't work and what does by Robyn Toomath

The Obesity Epidemic by Robyn Toomath, analyzes the actual historical moment where, more than experiencing problems because we are starved, we have problems for an excess of food and most of people suffer of obesity.

What can we do?

Many the hypotheses taken in consideration by the author, from diets, most of them a real failure to pills able to reduce weight and drastic operations.
Unfortunately, in big obesity exercise is not a great answer. But sedentariety can conducts at the grave we must  remember this.

Food means a lot and what we eat today can also saying where we live, what we do, and what we decide to introduce in our body. Plus of course the quantity of food we introduce.

Big questions the one of the author like: urbanization reduced physical exercise?
It is in fact commonly known that when there weren't yet cars and it was necessary to afford to a city walking for 20-30 km  health was better for sure.

There was poverty but what it was cultivated was genuine, because there weren't yet tractors, there weren't pesticides and it says a lot again.

Then new life-style started to make the difference. The arrival of  TV for example. It absorbed people and people became and are still becoming fat watching the TV, adds the author. Lack of sleeping time but also food consumed without any kind of exercise doesn't help.

The author writes at some point: "The emergence of the processed food industry has resulted in our eating things which are no longer identifiable as foods."

But where it started this trend of eating too much food?
Global diet or, a new way of eating started, history, like a trend thanks to the appearance of supermarkets everywhere.
Supermarkets are the main sources where people buy the so-called junk food and all that beverages plenty of sugar and calories and so on.
It is estimated that an American ate everyday 3200 calories in the 1980s and 3900 by the year 2000.

The question will ask then Robyn Toomath is: are we free when we buy food?

Then the very interesting story of food rationing during the last Second World War and what happened later when peace was back to the normality.

Toomath flew from San Francisco to Boston once and she noticed in the city of Boston is banned the sale of sweetened drink and in general Bostonians don't tend to eat too much junk food.

The author will tell us what happened in Australia when Coca-Cola decided to start a war against obesity thinking that maybe she has a role in all of it.

Who is obese or better: who eat unhealthy food? Because everything starts from there.

All that women, people in general, children, of course who tend to stay outside (or too much inside without control from their parents for example if children) for work during the day and once returned home don't tend to prepare a good dish but just a hamburger and some french fries. Pretty quick and fried the second ones, if you have children close to you or a husband maybe something else would be better.

Food can be considered for the poorest like a reward for the work well done considering that this one is the only gratification that there is around. 
Maybe eating is also a sort of "revenge" for poor people against that  poverty they knew in the past.
There wasn't a lot of abundance of food decades ago just we must try to see if the food we ingest now is healthy like the one we ate 40-50 years ago.

It's a story of poor people but I would add also that sometimes people are not educated to eating well because it's also this one the problem.
These people tend to  eat cheaper and higher in calories.

For fighting the problem of obesity and the social costs that there is, governments are trying to provide answers in various directions.

In the while what to do for changing bad habits? The author is a doctor and she knows very well that a diabetic won't never want to lose weight, but of course she can tells him/her of eating more properly adding fibers, muesli during the breakfast, fresh fruits, veggies but mainly this doctor wants to encourage everyone to cook and eat all together home cooked-food.
Plus, again and again: if you have some land, plant! Plant veggies, plant tomatoes, some potatoes, zucchini, plant herbs you will need for your cooking because you won't add pesticides to them and you will eat healthily. Nothing is more good than eating your own food.

I want to add a poster the author keeps in her office.
It says:

1- Buy with thought
2- Cook it with care
3- Use less wheat and meat
4- Buy local food
5- Serve just enough
6- Use what is left
7- Don't waste it.

This poster the author remarks was printed by the US Food Administration in 1917. What did we become in the while?

Toomath suggests of walking per a hour everyday, asking us to influence our environment speaking about this immense problematic that food is.

Our area wants to return at the biologic and one of our priests wants to restore the old water mill. Maybe our little community has traced a good project.

Robyn Toomath encourages pregnant girls to eat healthily and later breast feed. Not only: it's better don't park our babies close to the TV, or PCS or smart phones, but it's better to read them fairy-tales, a book, baking something delicious with them, spending our time with them in a park.

The end of the book a great. I loved it. A motto that says a lot: good luck!

Highly highly recommended.

I thank Johns Hopkins University Press for this beautiful and informative book!



Anna Maria Polidori


Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala is the perfect synthesis between perfection and destruction, beauty and horror, happiness and devastation, joy and sadness, life and death, sanity and insanity, re-birth and new starts.

It was Dec 26th 2004, in Sri Lanka when a violent Tsunami destroyed the life of thousand people, citizens and tourists enjoying their vacations in sunny tropical locations.

Sonali, her origins from that distant land discovers soon the strange activity of the Ocean thanks to the worries of a friend and she decides to leave with a jeep the hotel with all her family. Sonali was married with a British man, Steve, and they had two kids, Vikram and Malli still little. Her parents joined them for the vacation as well.

The arrival of this wave doesn't give any chance to  Sonali's children and partner, and also her parents will die as well in the hotel.

What will follow will be the mental and physical reconstruction of an identity passing through the most horrible shock existing in this world: the massive departure of most of family members and the lack of important roots, in particular the one created with the partner: children.

The thematic of the survivors and feelings survivors have in their mind are explained with great lucidity and passion in Wave.
Sonali's ideas are clear at first: giving up,killing herself, and then the perception of being lonely, and not helped at all by Steve who left alone her with all of this devastation...
The sweet memories of her two children, pieces of her heart, their habits, voices, favorite food and games, sports, and school activities, the most moving part of the book.

What I found terrible and magnificent at the same time is the description of the normality Sonali lived with Steve and their two sons, their tender moments all together and then all the time in the book again: Splash! the reader is back to the most brutal reality, the disappearance of normality,  joy,  happiness, tenderness, life for re-discovering again horror, death, disappearance, destruction.
Because the horror is this one: the disappearance of dear ones in this way create a dark hole in the soul, and a deprivation of reality. Our reality is made by normality and reassurance moments.

In the case of Sonali and Steve their family was the perfect one you can find in the most romantic book: the couple in love from the years of university, happily married with two children, a beautiful life, the possibility thanks to the double citizenship of Sonali of spending time both in Europe than in Asia, permitting to Vickram and Malli to grow up breathing an international citizenship in this world.

When all of it ends for the devastation of an event like a tsunami in this case or a quake or any other natural devastation, of course the survivor must fight against a lot of demons.

Sonali describes the first phases of shock, the terrible moments when she drunk too much assuming too many pills, and when she started slowly slowly to return to life, re-visiting the places once she loved so badly, re-discovering in the London's house and in the garden her children, her husband thanks to their drawings, writing, clothes, normality, habits, webs.
I loved a lot the chapter when she tried all the best for creating mess to the people who lived after the tsunami in the house of her parents, a powerful place rich of memories, of her old life.

The book of Sonali wants to be also a celebration of life. Her life spent with her family in a relaxing normality able to comfort the soul and body because close to the perfection, in a family where there was a lot of love and joy and harmony and where possibilities endless.

This books speaks also of delicious Asian food, traditions, exotic animals, and what can keeps calm your soul.

But remember that there is a wave and this wave will transform all of it. The book is like a wave: violent and calm, destructive and incredibly harmonic, it depends what you will read, if the after or the before, but this mixture creates where possible a less stressing impact to the soul of the reader according to my point of view, because there is also a past, there was happiness, there was joy. There are plenty of great memories to remember for Sonali and this is incredibly important.

So let's speak of transformation. Now Sonali lives in NYC because London to her is still too painful and rich of memories.
Her London-house is still speaking too much of her kids, of her husband of that past that was her life, her daily life, people she loved the most, of her creatures she brought in her belly. A chapter forever closed to her.
That one was her life. At long she thought she was born cursed, she was born with some lack and this one had to happen to her because maybe in another life a horrible person.
At the moment Sonali doesn't think anymore that this horrible Tsunami destroyed her life because of her past lives but she tries thanks to her work at the Columbia University of going on.
I guess Sonali will always feel the voices of her beloved ones because they have been part of her life-project, part of herself, but I want to hope for her that with the time these voices will become great guidance for a re-born and new joy and happiness because our dead ones want the best for us. May Sonali's sufferance be like the one of a big tree able to give with its big shadow some rest to everyone tired of sufferance or too sad for going on. With this book she started to do that wonderfully well.

Highly recommended.

Edizioni Mondolibri.

Anna Maria Polidori