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books

cooking

Why do we love cooking (or watching people cooking)?

2017-04-02 • By

A fascinating theory on why we love cooking (and watching people cooking).

 It’s been a long time I’m asking myself the reason why we love cooking shows and food photographs so much. We are cooking less and less while watching food more and more.
Every time you switch the TV on you’re probably find someone cooking. There are countless cooking shows and photographs of food on every social network, countless food blogs.
Why are we only looking to something that you should above all taste and smell? Has the sense of sight won on all the other senses and it’s enough for us to satisfy our eyes? Or the TV chefs intrigue us because they dominate an art we have forgotten?love cooking
Whatever the answer, someone cutting vegetables and mixing ingredients on TV or Youtube literally hypnotizes me.
I discovered reading the book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” the the author, the journalist Michael Pollan, asked himself the same question.
books, people

Italian books: the almond picker

2016-09-11 • By

Italian books. My review of the “the almond picker” by British-Sicilian novelist Simonetta Agnello Hornby.

After Elena Ferrante and Andrea Camilleri are you still searching in the Italian books shelf? Today I’m reccomending The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello Hornby. Actually I wouldn’t put it among the Italian books. Its place is in the Sicilian books shelf, if there was one. “La Mennulara” is not an Italian word, is the Sicilian way to call female workers who picked almonds from ground after men had beaten the trees.

La Mennulara, The Almond Picker, is the nickname of the main character of this book.

The story begins the day of her death, on September 23th 1963 in the village Roccacolomba.(Roccacolomba is fictional, don’t try to book a hotel there).

Italian books

The woman, “Mennù”, started working as almond picker at the age of six to help the poor family. Mennù had come a long way from the almond field. As a teenager she became servant of rich family Alfallipe.  Later she started to manage the family estates on behalf of the lazy Orazio, saving them from bankruptcy. At Orazio’s death, she took care of his wife. She obliged the three selfish and spoiled children to visit the mother by passing them a monthly wage. Yes, because La Mennulara, an illiterate waitress, died surprisingly rich.

books, people

Why you should read Elena Ferrante books

2016-04-30 • By

Five reasons why you should read the whole series of Elena Ferrante books (My Brilliant Friendthe Story of a New Namethose Who Leave and Those Who Staythe Story of the Lost Child) and why you will enjoy it.

Elena Ferrante books

My brilliant friend, “L’amica geniale” in the Italian version

Elena Ferrante books are probably the most explosive Italian literature phenomenon of the last years.

The four books of the so called Neapolitan novels fascinated people worldwide. Here’s five reasons why you should read it (if you have not done it yet).

I guess it’s unnecessary to spend too many words about the plot of these four books, which actually form one story of nearly 1.700 pages (or an infinite soap-opera, from detractors’ point of view). I will only say it’s about two main female characters, Elena and Lila, born postwar in a poor neighbourhood of Naples. The books are about their life from childhood to elderly years and about their precarious friendship.

I will also say that I agree with the most widespread readers’ opinion I’ve seen on the web : “My brilliant friend” is incredible. Not that the sequels are disappointing, but they are not as strong as the first one.

So why should you read the whole saga? In my opinion to read the four books you must want to read them. I did it and I’m not disappointed.

Here’s five reasons why you should dive without hesitation into Elena and Lila’s lives.

books, language, people

An unexpected reason to learn Italian

2016-01-06 • By

Are you looking for another reason to learn Italian? Check the experience of these two famous writers.

There’s more than a reason to learn Italian. You might want to read Italian literature, to watch Italian movies, to read recepies or to understand lyrics in operas. It’s also the most similar to Latin than any other romance language as French, Spanish and Portuguese. Moreover about 60 % of English words derive from Latin. Do you need another reason?

Reason to learn Italian

Learn Italian – cover of Italian version of the Lowland

I have recently read two books by two brilliant female writers: Ghana must go by Taiye Selasi and The Lowland by Jumpa Lahiri.

There are many similarities between these two amazing women. They both grew up on the border between of two cultures. They both write about how to manage this difficult balance.

And they have another thing in common: they both speak Italian.

What’s their reason to learn Italian?