lunes, 16 de diciembre de 2013

Alice Munro, Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 was awarded to 82 year-old Canadian Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story." Earlier this year she had announced her intention to retire. Munro, however, did not attend the ceremony, which took place earlier this month (Dec 10), due to health reasons. Her acceptance speech was substituted with the video interview below. Watch the first five minutes to learn about the significance of The Little Mermaid in her career.

For basic information about the writer, read the top 10 things you need to know about her, according to The Guardian. You can also see this New York Times slide show. If you want more, read this profile.

To get a taste of Munro's writing, here's a link to one of her stories published online:

Amundsen (The New Yorker, August 27, 2012)

These collections are available at our library:

  • Lives of Girls and Women (1971)
  • Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001)

jueves, 12 de diciembre de 2013

Best books of 2013

We're nearing the end of the year and lists of best everything are popping up like mushrooms. As for books, I'll refer to a couple.

The Guardian publishes different lists according to genre or subject matter (the best books about the English language, for example). Check out their choice for best fiction.

The New York Times publishes keeps track of the best-selling books all through the year, the reference list for the industry. Their list of best books of the year is shorter, as it combines fiction and non-fiction. You can read it here, complete with a video.

There are a few coincidences: Rachel Kushner's The FlamethrowersChimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. 

Finally, I'll also mention NPR's list because of its originality. It also includes The Goldfinch and Americanah, so these two are sure bets. Take a look here.

PS.-  (22 December) Americanah and The Flame Throwers are also at the top of the BBC list

viernes, 6 de diciembre de 2013


Der Nikolaus, der am 6. Dezember Geschenke verteilt, erinnert uns an den Bischof Nikolaus. Er lebte im 4. Jahrhundert in Myra in Kleinasien (heute Türkei).

Einmal, so erzählt die Legende, hatten die Menschen in Myra nichts zu essen. Als die Schiffe mit dem Getreide endlich ankamen, wurden sie von Piraten angegriffen. Die Seeräuber sagten den Leuten aus Myra: „Gebt uns ein Schiff voll mit Gold. Dann werdet ihr eure Schiffe mit dem Getreide bekommen." Die Leute gaben allen Schmuck. Es reichte nicht, um das Boot zu füllen. Jetzt wollte der Kapitän der Piraten für das fehlende Gold die Kinder als Sklaven mitnehmen. Da gab der Bischof Nikolaus den Piraten den ganzen Schatz der Kirche. Die Piraten waren zufrieden und segelten mit ihren Schiffen weg. Die Schiffe mit dem Getreide konnten in den Hafen fahren. Die Leute von Myra waren gerettet.

Deshalb gilt der Heilige Nikolaus als Freund der Kinder. Der Nikolaustag wird am 6. Dezember gefeiert. 

sábado, 30 de noviembre de 2013


It's not very often that a film is made on the life of a poet, but here's one: 'Tar', based on poems by C K Williams, opens in the US on Dec 1. The movie is an independent production directed by 12 film students with an impressive lineup of stars: James Franco, Mila Kunis and Jessica Chastain, among them. Williams is considered one of the most distinguished poets of his generation. Born in 1936, he has won a long list of awards and honors, including the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

'Tar', the poem, gave title to the book published in 1983. These are the first lines:
The first morning of Three Mile Island: those first disquieting, uncertain, mystifying hours.
All morning a crew of workmen have been tearing the old decrepit roof off our building,
and all morning, trying to distract myself, I’ve been wandering out to watch them
as they hack away the leaden layers of asbestos paper and disassemble the disintegrating drains.
Read the whole poem at the Poetry Foundation.

Click here to learn more about C K Williams.

Click here to learn more about the movie in the Los Angeles Times.

viernes, 29 de noviembre de 2013

The most expensive book ever

Last Tuesday 26 November a book became the most expensive ever sold at auction. The Bay Psalm Book, published in 1640, went for $14,165,000. Why is it so special? It was the first book to be printed in the US, and there are only 11 known copies. The book contains psalms translated by the Puritans directly from Hebrew, as they weren't satisfied with the existing edition at the time.

Watch this video by Sotheby's about the Bay Psalm Book.

Click here to read more at the New York Times.

You can see what The Whole Book of Psalmes looks like at the Word Digital Library.


domingo, 17 de noviembre de 2013

Doris Lessing dies at 94

Nobel-prize winning author Doris Lessing died today at the age of 94. Lessing had an impressive collection of literary awards. At 87, she was the oldest winner of the Nobel prize. She welcomed the news with a simple "Oh, Christ", as seen below. "I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I'm delighted to win them all. It's a royal flush." 

Best known for 'The Golden Notebook' (1962), she said this about what is considered her masterpiece:

(Visit Web of Stories for the transcript and more videos)

For an interesting video on her life and work, visit this BBC page.

jueves, 7 de noviembre de 2013

30 great one-liners

Who said this?
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.
Or this?
Life is full of mysery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.
Click on the Remembrance Day poppy to check out other pearls of wisdom from The Telegraph.

(More on Remembrance Day: click here)

viernes, 1 de noviembre de 2013

The Luminaries, Man Booker Prize 2013

New Zealander Eleanor Catton, 28, is the youngest writer to win the Man Booker Prize, with the longest novel too (832 pages).

The Luminaries, set in 1866 during the New Zealand gold rush, contains a group of 12 men gathered for a meeting in a hotel and a traveller who stumbles upon their midst; the story involves a missing rich man, a dead hermit, a huge sum in gold, and a beaten-up whore. There are sex and seances, opium and lawsuits in the mystery too. The multiple voices take turns to tell their own stories and gradually what happened in the small town of Hotikita on New Zealand's South Island is revealed. 

The Guardian ran a series of videos explaining why each shortlisted contender should win. Here's what they had to say about The Luminaries.

domingo, 27 de octubre de 2013

Hardcore librarians

If you have a stereotype of a librarian, it probably doesn't include tatooes. Some have even appeared in calendars to raise money in support of good causes. No, they weren't naked, but they bared parts of their anatomy to flaunt their tats, as you can learn in this short article.

Click on the picture to see a slideshow of 11 amazing librarian tattoos.

domingo, 13 de octubre de 2013

A Bookless Library?

Welcome back after the summer. How would a bookless library work? This is a trick question: there are books, but they're not "real". Or are they?
To find out more, follow the link.

domingo, 9 de junio de 2013

¡Feliz verano!

Llegadas estas fechas y con el curso prácticamente acabado nos despedimos hasta dentro de unos meses. No olvidéis leer para mantener el contacto con el idioma. ¡Feliz verano!

Hommage à Georges Moustaki

Agustín Felices Sa

Francés Nivel Intermedio Grupo 208 

EOI Huesca

Georges Moustaki est mort  à Nice, à l'âge de 79 ans. De Piaf aux influences brésiliennes, sa chanson éminemment délicate témoignait de son profond humanisme.

Révélé en 1969 par sa chanson "le Métèque", Georges Moustaki est évidemment plus qu'un interprète. Commencé bien avant, son métier d'auteur compositeur lui permit de rencontrer les plus grands de la chanson française, et peut-être en devenir un lui-même ...

A la fois auteur et compositeur, il a écrit quelque 300 chansons pour les plus grands interprètes, Piaf, Montand, Barbara, Gréco, Reggiani, avant de les chanter lui-même avec succès. Dans son panthéon, trônaient un « Milord », un « Métèque » et une « Dame brune »

Yussef Mustacchi naît en Egypte à Alexandrie le 3 mai 1934. Ses parents Nessim et Sarah sont grecs et originaires de l'île de Corfou. Ils tiennent une librairie dans la cité cosmopolite où de nombreuses communautés se côtoient. A la maison, chacun parle italien à cause d'une tante qui refuse catégoriquement de parler grec. Dans la rue, les enfants parlent arabe. A l'école, le jeune Joseph, puisqu'on l'appelle ainsi, apprend et parle le français. Ses parents qui sont très attachés à la culture française l'ont inscrit dans une institution scolaire française. Il en va de même pour ses deux sœurs. Le jeune garçon s'intéresse beaucoup à la littérature et à la chanson française. Il écoute Charles Trenet,Tino Rossi ou Edith Piaf. Comme il joue un peu de piano, il s'amuse à reprendre leur répertoire.
Le baccalauréat en poche, il va donc naturellement venir séjourner à Paris. Nous sommes en 1951. Après un aller-retour à Alexandrie pour demander l'autorisation à son père de vivre dans la capitale française, il s'installe chez sa sœur et son beau-frère, lui aussi libraire. Il essaie de gagner sa vie en faisant du porte-à-porte pour vendre des livres de poésie.
Dans ses moments de loisir, il gratte un peu la guitare que sa mère lui a envoyée. Il se rend aussi dans les cabarets, aux Trois Baudets par exemple, où un soir, il entend Georges Brassens alors débutant. C'est le choc. Par un heureux concours de circonstances, il le rencontre quelques temps plus tard dans la boutique de son beau-frère. Il lui montre les quelques chansons qu'il a écrites et Brassens l'encourage à continuer.

Sources: RFI Musique et L'humanité

domingo, 19 de mayo de 2013

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby – review

Baz Luhrmann's hyperactive adaptation tramples over the subtleties of the F Scott Fitzgerald classic

F Scott Fitzgerald did more for Hollywood than it has done for him. After his first stint in California he wrote the pitiless story, "Crazy Sunday", about an alcoholic screenwriter. In the late 30s came the series of insightful comic tales about the ageing movie hack Pat Hobby, and finally The Last Tycoon, the best, least patronising of novels about the movie industry, all the more intriguing for being unfinished. In return, Hollywood paid him handsomely for a while but treated him without respect and made mediocre movies of his books.
  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. Production year: 2013
  3. Country: Rest of the world
  4. Cert (UK): 12A
  5. Runtime: 143 mins
  6. Directors: Baz Luhrmann
  7. Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Callan McAuliffe, Carey Mulligan, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire
  8. More on this film
So what of this 3D fourth screen version of The Great Gatsby? It is, you might say, a story of three eggs. The mysterious central character is the self-made Jay Gatsby, a millionaire bootlegger who in the summer of 1922 lives at West Egg, the township outside Manhattan on Long Island Sound where the nouveaux riches have built their mansions. Across the bay at East Egg are the grand houses of the old-money people, among them the rich, brutal, Ivy League philistine Tom Buchanan, husband of the southern belle Daisy, whom Gatsby courted as an officer and temporary gentleman in the first world war. After losing her to Buchanan because he was penniless, he now seeks to recapture her. The third egg is Baz Luhrmann's curate's egg of a film, good and bad in parts, but mainly a misconceived venture. Luhrmann is a cheerful vulgarian and his movie suggestive of Proust directed by Michael Winner.
The film's principal figure is not Gatsby but Nick Carraway, a classic unreliable narrator, aged 30 in that summer of 1922, a midwesterner educated at Yale alongside Tom Buchanan and Daisy's second cousin. Nick has taken a cottage next door to Gatsby's mansion while he attempts to establish himself as a stockbroker, and Gatsby uses him as a way of re-engaging with Daisy. Everything we know is mediated by Carraway, and Luhrmann and his co-writer Craig Pearce have had the dubious idea of having Carraway tell the story from a sanatorium as a form of therapy on the advice of a psychiatrist.
He's being treated for alcoholism as Fitzgerald was to be, and significantly the date is 29 December 1929. The roaring 20s and the jazz age are over, Wall Street has crashed, and the story is being presented not as the social diagnosis and prophecy that TS Eliot took it to be in 1925 but as history and judgment. (The 1949 film did something similar by having Carraway and the cynically amoral socialite Jordan Baker look back to the 20s from beside Gatsby's grave.) Words float in the air around the befuddled Nick as he works on his book, and lines from the novel are actually written on the camera lens.
If this wasn't bad enough, Tobey Maguire is miscast or misdirected, playing Nick as gauche, uncomfortable, unsophisticated, childlike – less an involved observer than an intruder. This is a film that tramples on Fitzgerald's exquisite prose, turning the oblique into the crude, the suggestively symbolic into the declaratively monumental, the abstract into the flatly real. It's a pared-down novel where the use of "unrestfully" instead of "restlessly" is important, and where Carraway can speak of Jordan "changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete".
Luhrmann has more success with Gatsby, who lurks around the edges the way Harry Lime does in The Third Man, before making his sudden appearance at one of his parties. And Leonardo DiCaprio has some of the fresh, furtive charm of the trainee confidence man trying on suave man-of-the-world roles but regularly revealing the inner decency that, despite his criminal activities, transcends this squalid world of the destructive, thoughtless rich. This is what makes Nick recognise Gatsby as the true upholder of the elusive American Dream and worthy of the final and only tribute he addresses to him: "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." Carey Mulligan's sad, weak, characterless Daisy is also fairly successful, more affecting I think (and with a subtler touch of the south) than Mia Farrow in Jack Clayton's otherwise better-judged 1974 Gatsby.
But if Clayton's film was a little too restrained and sensitive, it is the sheer size, overstatement and noise, both visually and aurally, that sinks Luhrmann's picture. An unpleasant drunken gathering in New York at the cramped flat of Tom Buchanan's mistress becomes a lurid orgy, while the principal party at Gatsby's mansion (which seems inspired by the fairytale palace that is Disney's current logo) is, as Nick tells us, a conflation of several such bootleg bacchanals. But it's less something Coppola (who scripted Clayton's film) or Visconti would have contrived than a demented, ludicrously over-choreographed version of the "Beautiful Girls" montage from Stanley Donen's Singin' in the Rain. Equally absurd is the cabaret provided by a chorus of black dancers in a speakeasy behind a corner drugstore, a show worthy of Josephine Baker at the Folies Bergère in 1920s Paris. It's where Nick meets Wolfsheim, Gatsby's middle-aged partner in crime. Wolfsheim, incidentally, has been turned from a Jew into an Indian (played by Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan), a foolish change made presumably to fend off the charge of antisemitism.
Beside these larger blunders of taste and scale, such matters as Nick reading Ulysses while apparently still at Yale and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue being performed at a Gatsby gathering two years before it was written seem unimportant. But there is one scene that works well, and that's the crucial confrontation between Tom Buchanan and Gatsby in front of Nick, Daisy and Jordan in a suite at the Plaza hotel one hot afternoon. There is tension and depth here. Would that Luhrmann had included the funeral and the meeting between Nick and Gatsby's elderly, working-class father from the book's final chapter.

miércoles, 8 de mayo de 2013


Ecco il nostro lavoro, sviluppatosi durante le mezze ore facoltative settimanali. Abbiamo letto insieme e separatamente un libro, abbiamo ascoltato l’autrice, parlato e dato i nostri pareri sull’opera e sui diversi discorsi tratti da essa.
Finalmente, abbiamo messo in comune idee nostre ed altrui…

LA LETTURA (Mapi Cisneros)
Nonostante le difficoltà trovate, la ricchezza del lessico usato dalla Fenoglio è servito ad sviluppare lo studio dell’italiano e susseguentemente, a capire meglio l’accurata atmosfera delle pagine di questo meraviglioso romanzo autobiografico.
Quindi, dizionario in mano, ci abbiamo messo l’anima nel leggere e decifrare ogni singola parola.
LO STILE, LA STORIA (Adriana Scaglione)
Con uno stile che riccorda moltissimo quello di Natalia Ginzburg, viccino, intimo, introspettivo, a volte malinconico per quello che si è perduto per sempre e non ritornerà mai, ma a volte anche umoristico, Marisa Fenoglio racconta in Vivere altrove (Sellerio, 1999) la sua propria storia. Nata a Alba (Cuneo) nel 1933, sorella dello scrittore Beppe Fenoglio, laureata in Scienze Naturali all'Università di Torino, nel 1957, subito dopo il matrimonio, parte da giovane come sposa di un alto dirigente di una ditta privata per la Germania del dopoguerra.
Abita i primi anni a Niederhausen, “la quintaessenza di tutti i problemi e tutte le speranze della Germania di quegli anni”, dove nascono i suoi tre figli e construisce i primi legami affettivi coi tedeschi e una cara amica emigrata italiana di cui parlerà durante tutto il romanzo. Poi si trasferisce a Marburg dove vive ancora. Insomma, in Germania si svolgerà il resto della sua vita. Sebbene sia colta e ricca, lei soffre anche di grandi difficoltà di inserimento e di accettazione della nuova realtà, e contemporaneamente, una profonda nostalgia per il mondo che ha lasciato indietro. Però allo stesso tempo, grazie a questa esperienza di libertà che permette l’extraterritorialità, lei creerà il suo propio percorso personale, diventerà scrittrice.
Questo libro è un romanzo autobiografico, una cronaca dei suoi primi anni di vita all’estero, dove comincia a trovare nella scrittura l’istrumento migliore per sopravvivere allo sconosciuto. In questo senso, dimostra una capacità speciale per convertire le cose quotidiane in fatti strordinari. È un libro di memorie, e perciò frammentario, fatto in base ad aneddoti domestici, con molti personaggi secondari, da suo marito, suo suocero, oppure la maestra di scuola dei bambini alla prima domestica tedesca che diventa un po’ sua madre. Non manca nemmeno una rifflessione sul suo processo d’ apprendimento di un’altra lingua, in questo caso, la tedesca: “quanto tempo occorre affinché una lingua diventi patria, e in essa esprimirsi come si vuole, non più tradurre, ma finalmente, parlare?”.

Casa Fenoglio, Sellerio, 1995
Vivere altrove, Sellerio, 1997
Mai senza una donna, Sellerio, 2002
Viaggio privato, Araba Fenice, 2004
Il ritorno impossibile, Nutrimenti, 2012

NIEDERHAUSEN (Esther Benedé)

Niederhausen è un comune di 520 abitanti della Renania-Palatinato, in Germania.
Appartiene al
circondario rurale (Landkreis) di Bad Kreuznach (targa KH) ed è parte della comunità amministrativa (Verbandsgemeinde) di Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg.
L'asse principale dello stato è il fiume Reno, che forma il confine con Baden-Württemberg ed Assia a sud-est, prima di scorrere lungo la parte settentrionale della Renania-Palatinato.

Sia la valle del Reno sia quella della Mosella formano dei paesaggi affascinanti, che comprendono alcuni dei luoghi più significativi della Germania, dal punto di vista storico.
I terreni collinari nel sud dello stato sono detti Foresta del Palatinato (Pfälzerwald).
Il lago principale dello stato è il Laacher See, nella zona della Eifel si trovano numerosi Maar (laghi formatisi in caldere vulcaniche).

Buona lettura a tutti!

miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2013

The most complained about books of 2012

Every year the American Library Association  (ALA) publishes a list of the most challenged books, that is, those that have received formal, written complaints to a library or school requesting that they be restricted or removed due to their content (offensive language, explicit sex, etc.). As it could be expected, Fifty Shades of Grey is in the 2012 list, but perhaps surprisingly at number 4. So, what's the top offender? Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series of children's books, because of their toilet humour and irreverent attitude. It's a repeat offender, too, as it made the list in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Other highly regarded books in the top ten are Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's Beloved, winner of the Pulitzer prize (sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence) and Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner (homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit).

Read the list here.
Read this article in The Guardian.

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. In 2012, OIF received 464 reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. This is an increase from 2011 totals, which stood at 326 attempts.

2012 was the 30th anniversary of ALA's Banned Books Week, an annual event to celebrate the right of the freedom to read. The following timeline of significant banned and challenged books was part of the commemoration.

Timeline: 30 years of liberating literature

Werden Sie Deutscher...

Werden Sie Deutscher ...

... ist ein Film, der am 25. April in den deutschen Kinos startete.

Im Film geht es um den Weg, den jeden Ausländer gehen muss, wenn er legal in Deutschland leben möchte. 
Er wurde mit dem "new film award" für die bese Dokumentation ausgezeichnet.

martes, 23 de abril de 2013

Saint George's Day is World Book Day

23rd April is special: it's a holiday, we're well into the spring, many people have a picnic at Saint George's Knoll in Huesca. As in the rest of Spain, libraries have stalls in the street and it is customary to buy a book. UNESCO chose this date to celebrate World Book (and Copyright) Day, as it is the date when both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died. This coincidence is not strictly correct, though. Accoding to the Wikipedia,
Cervantes died on 22 April and was buried on 23 April according the Gregorian calendar; however, at this time England still used the Julian calendar. Whilst Shakespeare died on 23 April by the Julian calendar in use in his own country at the time, he actually died eleven days after Cervantes because of the discrepancy between the two date systems.
Visit UNESCO' webpage to read an institutional message on the occasion.

In the UK, World Book Day is celebrated on the first Thrusday in March, with a focus on schoolchildren. Their colourful webpage includes videos of different authors giving tips on creating brilliant stories.

Saint George is a very popular saint in the world, patron of Aragón, Catalonia, England and Georgia, also venerated in many other countries including Ethiopia, India and Iraq. George was a soldier in the Roman imperial guard. When Diocletian issued an edict that all christian soldiers should be arrested, George didn't want to renounce his faith and was finally executed.

Saint George is most popular due to the legend of he and the dragon. Here's a cute version of the story:

Happy Saint George's Day!

domingo, 14 de abril de 2013

Books Podcast


As you know, podcasts are an excellent way to improve your English. You can subscribe free to a weekly podcast for author interviews, readings and discussions - plus a full recording of a monthly book club. The newspaper 'The Guardian', makes it easy for you.

Remember 'The more you read the more you learn!'  

viernes, 12 de abril de 2013


John le Carré is back to what he does best in his 23rd novel: portraying troubled MI6 officers as they wrestle with their uniquely British consciences and dodgy foreign policies often forged in Washington. 
Many of his novels have been made into films to great acclaim, the latest of which "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" came out in 2011. You can also listen to his novels on audiobooks and "Our Kind Of Traitor" from 2010 can be borrowed from our library.

Ahead of its publication on April 25, John le Carré reads from his new novel.

Extract from the audiobook

jueves, 11 de abril de 2013


As you all possibly know by now, Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, has passed away .
No other politician has provoked such polarised opinions of hatred and devotion as Margaret Thatcher, whose legacy will continue to divide opinion for generations.
The Iron Lady’s death this week has prompted yet more reflection on a premiership spanning eleven years which stimulated economic and social reforms which continue to be felt today.
The neo-conservatism policies of the Thatcher regime secured three election victories as the woman dubbed ‘TINA’ – there is no alternative – remained a Downing Street resident for eleven years.
Lost of books have been written about her life, I would like to share with you an interview held about  one of them, The Downing Street Years. Enjoy it!

martes, 9 de abril de 2013

SUSANNA TAMARO, un’amante della natura e della letteratura...

Ho già letto tanti libri suoi, ma fa lo stesso, leggerò anche quello appena uscito “Ogni angelo è tremendo”.
Mi piace andare alla scoperta di questioni riguardanti l’anima umana e al suo rapporto con la madre natura. Risuonano ancora gli uccelli dei libri della Tamaro nella mia mente. E sento le peccore velare. Ciò nonostante questo sfondo serva a descrivere  la natura umana.
Infatti, c’è sempre qualcosa di metaforico che collega noi uomini con le meraviglie della natura.
Fra i suoi personaggi, c’è sempre qualcuno che soffre, uno come tanti noi a cui capita spesso di venirsi a  trovare  a un punto morto, di una cupezza scoraggiante e dalla quale non si sa come fare per venirne fuori.
Ma dopo un po’ accade.
Il contatto con la natura e con quello che fummo una volta, la lingua delle piante o degli animali dei boschi, tutto ciò è sempre stato ma poche volte l’abbiamo capito. È sono loro a rincuorare i suoi  personaggi disperati.
Il ritmo lento e implacabile della vita naturale li fa rinascere in un mondo ne così cupo ne così dolce come credevano. In prattica, li  riporta nel mondo stesso, nel solito posto che, inteso im profondità, mantiene il segreto per farli guarire dai suoi malesseri.
Ecco il mondo della Tamaro, storie che ci trascinano nell’unica parte vera che c’è, quella che sottostà alle regole di tutti gli altri esseri vivi,  ma non la vediamo con chiarezza finché non ci vengono incontro le amarezze della vita.
Il suo racconto è così dolce, ma certo allo stesso momento, che convince e innamora contemporáneamente.
Ecco il video per il suo ultimo libro, uscito da poco,  ma che rispecchia il suo percorso come scrittrice.
Buon divertimento a tutti!

martes, 2 de abril de 2013

William Shakespeare, money lender and tax evader

It's all over the media in Britain and across the world: Shakespeare was not only a brilliant writer, but also a cunning businessman with a talent to make money by playing dirty. According to Dr Jayne Archer, a lecturer in medieval and renaissance literature at Aberystwyth University, over a 15-year period, Shakespeare bought and stored grain, malt and barley for resale at inflated prices to his neighbours and local tradesmen. He was pursued by authorities for tax evasion, and in 1598 he was prosecuted for hoarding grain during a time of shortage.

Shakespeare "pursued those who could not (or would not) pay him in full for these staples and used the profits to further his own money-lending activities.'' “By combining both illegal and legal activities, Shakespeare was able to retire in 1613 as the largest property owner in his hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. His profits — minus a few fines for illegal hoarding and tax evasion — meant he had a working life of just 24 years.”

Read the news as covered by the BBC and the Los Angeles Times.

lunes, 1 de abril de 2013



In welcher Sprache kann man am schönsten „Ich liebe Dich“ sagen? Wer ist der bedeutendste europäische Künstler? Polen, Malta oder etwa Deutschland: In welchem Land Europas würden Sie gerne mehr Zeit verbringen als nur einen All-Inclusive Urlaub?
Die EUROPA-LISTE. Eine Bestenliste unseres kulturellen und gelebten Europas.
Die EUROPA-LISTE beschäftigt sich mit den Fragen: Was hält uns zusammen? Welche sind die bedeutendsten kulturellen Errungenschaften? Besonders interessiert uns dabei, welchen Blick unsere Nachbarn von Casablanca bis Beirut auf Europa haben.
Die Ergebnisse werden nach Abschluss der Befragung veröffentlicht und können ab Juni von jedem Europa-Interessierten kommentiert werden. Mehr ...

domingo, 24 de marzo de 2013

25th March: Tolkien Reading Day

Tolkien's work is so appealing that there is a Tolkien Society and an annual Tolkien Reading Day, celebrated on 25th March.

"Launched in 2003 Tolkien Reading Day event has sparked interest in reading and reading groups across several nations and ages, from primary schoolchildren to university students and library users of all ages. 25th March has significance to Tolkien's readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the 'War of the Ring' in The Lord of the Rings."
I'd like to contribute to the event with a video from Air New Zealand. Enjoy!

viernes, 15 de marzo de 2013

The Four Agreements

Some years ago I came across this book by Miguel Ruiz and my life started to change in a very positive way.
This is why I would like to recommend it once again to all those who are interested in leading a better life by making the most of it for themselves and for the others.
Enjoy your reading!

Don Miguel moved to the United States to share his wisdom, and spent the next 15 years exploring ways to heal and change the human mind. He witnessed his students struggling to quiet their minds and sought to create tools to assist them. The result of this quest was The Four Agreements®. That book contains a specific series of practical steps, that when used by anyone, can result in consistent and long-term personal transformation.

domingo, 10 de marzo de 2013

Bookshelf porn

Warning: this entry is suitable for all ages.

We all know libraries are hot places where you can find steamy stories, but we're not dealing with explicit intercourse today. Bookshelf Porn is a photoblog "created to allow people to indulge their love of books, libraries, bookstores and bookcases by showcasing the best bookshelf photos from around the world." If you're redecorating or you need ideas to accommodate your books, this is the place to go. They have a good plan for next Sunday, too.

viernes, 8 de marzo de 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Directed by Sam Raimi, Oz The Great and Powerful opens today in cinemas worldwide. Disney's latest production invents a story for the famous wizard. There is little in common with the lovely 1939 film, or with the original novel.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum, was first published in 1900. It tells the story of a young girl named Dorothy who is carried away from home by a tornado. She turns up in the Land of Oz, where she must look for the Wizard if she wants to return home. On her way she meets a scarecrow who wants a brain, a tin man who wants a heart, and a cowardly lion who wants courage. They all go together to the Emerald City, hoping that the Wizard will solve their problems.

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most popular stories in American culture. It was so successful that Baum wrote 13 sequels in his lifetime, followed by 21 more after his death. You will probably be familiar with Oscar-winning song Over the Rainbow, from the1939 film. I include this other cheerful one, though: We're Off to See the Wizard.

You're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
You're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

You can borrow the novel from us or download the text and audio.

PS.- It is Sunday now and Oz had a strong debut, according to the Los Angeles Times, grossing a combined  $150 million worldwide on Friday and Saturday (the movie cost $235).

jueves, 14 de febrero de 2013

Vivamus mea Lesbia atque amemus...

PER SAN VALENTINO, UNO DEI PIÙ BEI POEMI D’AMORE DI TUTTI I TEMPI…                    (ITALIANO) Viviamo, mia Lesbia, e amiamo e ogni mormorio perfido dei vecchi valga per noi la più vile moneta. Il giorno può morire e poi risorgere, ma quando muore il nostro breve giorno, una notte infinita dormiremo. Tu dammi mille baci, e quindi cento, poi dammene altri mille, e quindi cento, quindi mille continui, e quindi cento. E quando poi saranno mille e mille nasconderemo il loro vero numero, che non getti il malocchio l’invidioso per un numero di baci così alto.

Love: Heads & Tails



In Love, His Grammar Grew


In love, his grammar grew
rich with intensifiers, and adverbs fell
madly from the sky like pheasants
for the peasantry, and he, as sated
as they were, lolled under shade trees
until roused by moonlight
and the beautiful fraternal twins

Hymne à l'amour (Edith Piaf)

Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer 

Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler 
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes 
Je me fous du monde entier 
Tant que l'amour inondra mes matins 
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains 
Peu m'importe les problèmes 
Mon amour puisque tu m'aimes