Thursday, 17 April 2014

If you follow a bit thig blog you'd know how hard is for me to share this news: Gabriel García Márquez is no more.
I grew up with him, I started to truly love books thank to him. There is a deep bond with me, his books, my family and lots of people I love.

Thanks Márquez, for all you gave us...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Green Parrots-Gino Strada

Did you know that there were land mine created specifically to target kids? They have a shape of a parrots, they are green and they look like toys. They don't explode when you take them from the ground, they have a mechanism that starts loading after they are collected and release after a little while. Now, imagine a kid in a poor part of the world seeing a "cute" thing on the ground, taking it and bringing it home, or maybe showing it proudly to his friends with joy. And now imagine what happen when the "bomb" explode. There is a chapter in the book when all of this is described step by step and you seriously cannot believe you are not reading a novel!
'Cause behind all this, there are some minds designing these things: they are drawing the best shape to be attracting and appealing, they are studying the best mechanism of explosion, probably the one that can make more damage.
It is insane!!!!! INSANE!!! Every war is insane, every war kills innocent people and bring to more violence and to more tragedies.

This book is from Gino Strada, co-founder of the organization Emergency, that provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, land mines and poverty. He has been in first line in most of the war of our ages, with courage and dedication. In this book he talks about random stories from different part of the world where he has been working, of the people he has been curing and of the people he couldn't cure.
The book is touching and it seriously make you angry, and Gino Strada is inspiring! Every body should have at least 10% of his courage and dedication.

Here you could listen to an interview where Gino Strada explain better his project.
And here you could support his work if you wish.

The entire author rights on the book goes to Emergency, so by buying this book you can already contribute.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Too Loud a Solitude- Bohumil Hrabal

I won this book in a reading challenge. I like to read books I never heard about, and this was surely the case.

Hanta is a man working in a dusty, dirty, full-of-mice, paper crusher in Prague, he loves books in an almost obsessed way and try to save the most beautiful and intense one from the crusher. This results in the fact that books invade his mental and physical space, by filling every single free spot in his house and every single thought in his mind. Everything goes in a big routine, till an episode will change forever Hanta's life...
The book is very short, is more a short novel, but every line is quite intense. If I have to find something "wrong" with this book is that it is written (or maybe translated) in a quite complex way, I had to go back many times to read again the same line and this made the reading not very fluent, and probably it would have been quite annoying in a long book, but this was not the case here.

Surfing the internet I found out the did also a movie about it, might be worth seeing it.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Graziella- Alphone de Lamartine

Graziella is the daughter of a fisherman, she lives in a simple and poor way with her family. The story is set between Naples and one of its island, Procida. Lamartine, in a trip to discover himself and get new inspirations, meets Graziella and among the two start an utopian relationship made of whispered words and sweet gazes.  A love story of other times, written with a classic and old language.
The book is nice also 'cause it describes quite well the atmospheres in Naples and the views of Procida, both places worth a visit. If you go to Procida you will find a nice reconstruction of Graziella's house, where you would be brought through the rooms that she lived while reading extracts from the book. A very nice experience. You can also buy the book from the place itself, which is what I did.

I read most of this book while listening to this classical Neapolitan song, a melancholic song about a fisherman. I thought it was a perfect soundtrack for the book.

“To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.”

Friday, 4 April 2014

The corrections- Jonathan Franzen

It had been a while I wanted to read this book, it had everything to be liked: the story, the cover, the smell, the print. Then, why I didn't like it???

Let's start with the fact that the book is 653 pages. Now, I surely don't mind reading big books, I actually love them if the story is intriguing and not ending that fast, but in this case after 200 pages I was still trying to understand where the writer wanted to go. At page 300 I was still trying.
The story itself is clear at page 10 I think, it is just that after 300  pages has just not yet developed in an interesting way. So I felt cheated! The other thing is that he uses a weird trick to bring the attention back: while you are almost falling asleep in the story he bring some wild sex inside, at times I was actually so uninterested that I took a couple of lines to understand it was actually sex what he was describing.
Sorry Franzen, I know most people think this book is a masterpiece of psychology, that analyse the modern family, but did you really need all these pages to analyse the personality of characters that was almost clear after 100 pages??
So since the book cheated me, I decided to cheat it back and apply Pennac's rule number 2 (if you don't know the Pennac's rules of reading go here). So I skipped to the last chapter hoping it would be so interesting to make me read the 200 pages in between. It was not, so without regrets: Goodbye Franzen!! I would like to say it was a pleasure but it really wasn't. But don't worry it is not your fault, I am sure I was not in the correct mental stage to understand fully the story behind the book and in between the lines.

To better books and better revoir!!!