Too many TV shows

Following my blog I’m sure you know by now that from time to time I have to talk about a new TV series I follow.

I also have to admit, as I’m preparing a couple of heavy and not so nice posts for the next week, I’m going to work on a lighter topic today and Thursday!

No need to tell you also that when I write about a series means that it has become quickly, very quickly, an obsession, otherwise I don’t see the point in sharing it with my readers.

And you have three winners today! Lucky you!

 

First of all I have “Hell on Wheels”.

I don’t own any of the images of this post.

I’ve never watched westerns, simply because I didn’t really like them, but as my dad was very obsessed with them I learned a few things despite myself. Now, a part from a very weird turn in my personal taste I’ll tell you about in one of the following posts, Hell on Wheels is very well done and the setting is historically speaking perfect. As I said I’m not expert, but as far as I know, it’s very well done. The plot is complicated enough and with a series of twists that made me, and most importantly my everything-was-predictable partner, jump on the sofa!

This is a series that shows extreme situations and likewise the feelings of the watchers are extreme as well. I don’t recall when is the last time that I hated so much a character or I loved so much another one or I pitied another one yet.

You are forced to take a side and there is no way that some action could be justified in way or the other. It’s basically the pure, rude, savage western!

I just have one question: is this handsome guy here

The same you have here?

I really find it difficult to get how a person can change his features just with a different style in the appearance. If you really want to know, I prefer him in the first picture. Most of all I think he has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen!

 

Second in the list: “Teen Wolf”!

To be honest with you I didn’t like this series at the very beginning, I thought it was stupid and most of all one of the hundreds teen/very light/stupid series I cannot possible fall for. Despite it was about werewolves, so basically an urban fantasy, so something I really do love, I didn’t want to watch it and my partner reached the thirds series finale without me.

But, because there is a but of course! He decided to watch the third season finale when we were both on annual leave and my little cousin was here for the summer. As we were waiting for Maya to wake up from her nap and with not much to do, we started to chat in the living room. Chat died away in no time because we were intrigued by the story.

Being humble enough to admit when I make a mistake and not bothered at all from any kind of spoiler I can read or watch, I decided to watch the whole thing from episode one of first season.

Let me tell you, the first part of the first season is very misleading! Teen wolf is something amazing! The plot isn’t that complicated, but it’s twisted enough to keep you entertained and the feelings are the main attraction here. The variety and depth of any kind of feeling any human being can experience is displayed with mature tones and great empathy. I discovered myself crying a couple of times. Hard to get these days! Well done!

And let’s tell the truth, finally the werewolf are shown not like beasts but also as men or women fighting the feral part of them and not only victims of the wolf! And as a nice plus they’re portrayed sexy and hot enough, something that was a prerogative of vampires up till when the series started!

My favourite character is Stiles played by Dylan O’Brien, basically the only one who’s not a werewolf or some strange creature. The character himself is marvellous and the actor is very good in my opinion. So good that I’m thinking to go to the cinema and watch him in “The maze runner”!

Don’t want to make fun of him, but I think this catches the spirit!

 

Last but not least we have “Grimm”.

Grimm is born to be a dark fairy tale. Of course.

There is nothing I can criticise in this TV show. The setting is full of woods other than the city and the quality of the image makes them fairy tale like! There is even a castle!

Also, each and every single character is well realized, with a proper background, motivation, and feelings. Every one of them behaves according to those without turning into something very heavy or predictable. It’s amazing.

The plot is something in between the first two series I mentioned before, but the very nice thing is the perfect balance of the elements in every single episode. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who want to watch it, just let me tell you this: you’ll never have a comedy full episode; although there are so many funny moments or gags you lose the count easily. At the same time there isn’t a single episode where the drama is the only main theme. The heavy drama is always balanced by the comedy side story and vice versa in superbly harmonic way!

Although is difficult to pick one, my favourite character above all is Monroe, the “Bad wolf”. He’s very simple and good natured despite his race, as testimonial of the fact that everybody can change if he or she wants to. But digging deep into his character I have to say there is much, much more.

A question that I asked myself is: when they chose the actors for the cast, did they do language test as well? I’ve never seen a film or TV show with so many languages fluently spoken by actors!

Have you seen any of them?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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Primo Levi and “The truce”

Once again my feelings took over and I’m at the keyboard writing something I didn’t mean to write today on my blog.

As I showed you a few posts before, in my reading pile I had “La tregua” by Primo Levi. You know the book in its English translation “The truce”. I’ve just finished the book and to be honest I feel my head full of thoughts and at the same time empty with a huge incapability of put them black on white.

I’ll write a few words anyway, and I’ll do my best to make you understand how I feel. If you love reading and at the same time you’re curious enough about first-hand experience, you should read both “If this is a man” (American version “Survival in Auschwitz”) and “The truce”.

I was given the book to read when I was 13 from my Italian and Latin teacher. I didn’t read it, but I can say now that I wouldn’t have understood it if I did.

Primo Levi with an astonishing simplicity, dotted by words that belong now to an old version of Italian language, describes what happened to him and the rest of the survivals from the camps after the said camps were destroyed by the Russian army in 1945.

He describes how hard it is to realize that they were free when they weren’t even sure to be still alive, when they didn’t understand the language, when they were told to be free and asked to work in demi-slave condition. How confusing was to be brought back and forward in a rotten and decaying train, now closer home and now far away in the midst of the Russian countryside.  

Journey from the camp to Torino, his hometown.

Again he finishes telling how his return home isn’t just happiness of being back after over two years but it’s more fear of the unknown and of the poison that Auschwitz injected into his veins never to leave. Towards the end of the book he says that his nights were spoiled by the nightmare of being still there in the camp dreaming of being at home and yet again seeing the dream in the dream dissolving to leave room only for the order issued in German every morning: “wstawać” (Get up).

I might be too sensitive and I might be one of those people who live in the book they’ve just finished for a while until the spell is broken. But the real problem is that for me “The truce” is just a book, terribly beautiful book, but just a book; for many people this was real life, real experience, and who knows exactly how many people didn’t come back to tell us the story. There is this sentence in the book a few pages before the end in which he says that from 650 people who left Italy when he was taken, only three managed to go back home. The thought of it created a knot in my throat and the urge to cry. I have to tell , this is not even the strongest sentence or the only one to give you this reaction.

I think this a book everybody should read sooner or later, like it happened to me, in their lives. We should remember but most of all we should do something that apparently the world population refuses to do: learn from the previous mistakes.

I’ll leave you with three quotes that I think sum up the whole point of this post:

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”

“I am constantly amazed by man’s inhumanity to man.”

― If This Is a Man

 

 “Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.”

― If This Is a Man

Dreaming of wedding and nail polish

Tell me the truth, you were wondering about what is happening to my dreams. After a few months of close and strict update I haven’t told you anything anymore.

I still cannot figure out exactly when I dream more often, either when I’m stressed or when I’m tired or I’m more relaxed and rested, but whatever happens inside my brain the truth is that it’s apparently impossible to have a normal dream for me. Mine have to be always weird or scary or nonsense. Otherwise it wouldn’t be me, just to quote a friend of mine.

I can’t be hundred per cent sure I remember properly the dreams of the past two nights but as they were very particular I have to tell you about them.

They’re not weirder than usual, actually they’re below the average, but they share a particularity. They were happening in a setting I’d already visited in another dreams I had who knows when.

I’m aware of the so called recurring dreams and I have a couple of them myself. I’m also aware of serialized dreams, but I wasn’t aware of shared location dream, or whatever you want to call them.

And here you have them in chronological order:

The first one was set in very dark and dusty old place, something half way in between an old museum and a station build around the first years of 1900. The colours were dark on the shades of green, orange and yellow and the majority of the elements like stairs, floors and walls were of light brown marble. I remember that in this setting I had another dream maybe a few nights before, but the colours were in a very brighter scale. It seemed like the place was abandoned after the first dream.

I was there to marry and only after the ceremony had started I realized that the groom wasn’t my partner but one colleague of mine, nice guy and all but still a part of my brain (for some reason wide awake)  was complaining about the fact that the men wasn’t my partner.

The other problem were the guests, there weren’t that many, like they decided they couldn’t come over for a reason or the other.

It was scary because it really looked like a ghost wedding in an abandoned place.

 

The second one was even weirder. I think I was working in a kind of zoo, I’m still unsure if in the role of animal attendant or waitress. (Not that it would make much difference sometimes!)

There were two tables in some kind of wooden construction and I was cleaning the big metallic bowls off the tables. It was very confusing because the tables looked like normal wooden pic-nic stalls but the bowls were shaped like the one you use for your own dog, but they were huge instead.

Outside the window there was a lion walking by and looking lazily at me.

Abruptly the scene changes, I was in a room I already seen in another dream of mine, but this time I cannot recall the previous one. I just know that I’ve been there already in a different situation!

This time the room was very dark and I was with someone, although I cannot remember who the man with me was.  What I remember is that he was urging me to put on some transparent nail polish.

“Fast or they’re control you!” he said more than once. But the nail polish was stinging my fingers and it was so painful. I didn’t want to do that anymore and I stop spreading it, but when I raised my chin I saw the ceiling changing and turning into a stained glass window. It was more or less what you can see in the picture I borrowed from the website.

I do not own the image!

The whole ceiling was changing and I heard weird noises. So I hurried with the nail polish again until I saw the window disappearing and I fainted for the pain and I woke up…

 

Here you go! What do you think?

Have you ever dreamed two different dreams happening in the same setting?

Tell me in the comments below!

Most of all, tell me I’m not the only one!

Confession of a book lover.

 

 

My three fictitious lovers!

My three fictitious lovers!

I was tagged on Facebook in a post asking you to list 10 books you loved most.

Being a reader and book lover, I don’t see books like some stupid rectangular objects. Yes, I’m talking about books in general, even the math text book from high school that I used to hate. I hated it like it was a living being.

So in first place I’d fulfill the original list, which is telling 10 books you liked /changed your life:

Genji Monogatari by Murasaki Shikibu

The name of the rose by Umberto Eco

 Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn

Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Se questo è un uomo by Primo Levi

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Moon over the Mountain by Atsushi Nakajima

Il barone rampante by Italo Calvino

 

It’s not the end of it thought. You didn’t think to be so lucky!? Following I’m going to list, not ten for each but the most important:

Book I reread:

 Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling

The name of the rose by Umberto Eco

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni

Senilità by Italo Svevo

 

Books whose characters I felt in love with:

 Genji Monogatari by Murasaki Shikibu (Genji was my first fictional love!)

Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Second fictional love of my university time. I find almost disturbing that I collected fictional love experiences rather than actual ones. I was already with my partner so I wasn’t really interested…yes, let’s use this excuse!!!)

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I think I said that already, it was Peeta and not Gale! Just to make it clear!)

 

Books I hated and/or stopped reading:

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Mastro don Gesualdo by Giovanni Verga

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Ulysses by James Joyce

 

Books that gave me a lesson or helped me in doing something:

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling

Se questo è un uomo by Primo Levi

Ancient Appetites by Oisín McGann

Everything written by Roald Dahl

 

I’m afraid I think I’ve left some books or some categories out but don’t hate me, I can still bother you with a second listing post!

You may notice that the books in the secondary lists seldom show you different books from the main one. But since I was writing this piece, I thought it was better to be clear!

Talk to you soon!

Judging a person from his book!

I don’t own this image, but it was genius!

I had another idea for today’s post but waiting for Maya to fall asleep last night I came across this article and something inside me stirred uncomfortably. I mostly agree with the answer this lady received, still I feel personally targeted reading the idiotic request of this mother (I copy it here in case you aren’t convinced yet to have a look at the article, I’m mean I know!):

My son is 15 years old and has always loved reading. But he always reads the same books! He’s always rereading books like the Hunger Games and the Lord of the Rings and never tries anything new. I wish he would read something else than science fiction because those books aren’t good for him – he should be trying literature and classics by now, not the same books again and again. I buy him books, but he just puts them on the shelf and ignores them. What can I do?

What’s wrong with this lady? I am an aspiring fantasy writer and I think that the genre is something that gives the freedom to the reader and to the writer to go everywhere with their mind and to create whatever images and places and spaces he or she wants. Thus, it gives you the chance to grow as individual.

Actually although this can be true more or less for every genre, I’d say that the speculative fiction in general is one of the most flexible.

Plus, I’d add that hers is a very personal opinion, but she should have put it out with some more respect.

I’m not a big fan of chick lit literature, but I wouldn’t dare to underestimate someone reading from that genre. If they like it, so what?

Of course there are bad books, and I’m the first one to criticise some writers, but still it is a personal opinion and I wouldn’t judge a person from the book she or he is reading. All right, maybe I feel closer to whomever shows interest in speculative fiction but again it’s just something personal.

Said that, I guess that she should consider herself lucky in having a son who reads instead of melting his brain down doing nothing from when he gets up till he goes to bed.

I wish Maya would read so eagerly.

So the following question is: where is the problem in rereading books? As you might have noticed I’m a re-reader and although I’m aware that doing this can take some time from new potential books and worlds to explore, I believe that I have to go back “home” from time to time.

I mean when I reread a book it’s because that book says something to me, teaches me a lesson or simply reading the pages is like having a conversation with an old friend.

This is the reason why it’s the seventh time, I think, I’m rereading the Harry Potter saga, that’s why I’ve read more than once every single book I loved in my life.

Also, like my professor in comparative literatures said once, if you cannot read a book, it means it’s just not the right time. Wait and you’ll see. This is what happened to me with Primo Levi’s book.

When they were suggested to me I was definitely too young to understand the sufferings of the second world war. But now I’m appreciating them fully.

Maybe her son needs the right books, like the journalist answered to her. Despite the importance of the classics (I totally agree on this) he still have time to enjoy them!

I’d also add that some of the classics, even taken from our favourite genre, can be very heavy or we can dislike them for any kind of reason. For example, to me Tolkien was a genius and out of respect I’m reading The Lord of the Rings, but still I don’t like it. I’ve been reading that book for the past three years I think. Again, this is a personal opinion.

I’d add that she needs to open her mind a tiny bit more. I was so surprized when my mum, 63, asked me to lend her the first Harry Potter book in Italian. Ok, she changed her mind triggered by my toddler but she at least made an effort I highly appreciated.

If she can, everybody can!

I had to vent, sorry!

Talk to you soon!

My reading pile

If you had a look at reading list! page on this blog, I don’t read too much. I love reading and I’d kill to manage to read some more, but for some reason I don’t manage and/ or I’m not able to create time in order to do so.

To be completely honest with you, I’m ashamed to read such a  scarce amount of books, in particular because I’m an aspiring writer and as consequence I don’t know many of the works published in the genre I’m trying to write in.

Although I despair on the situation, this doesn’t change the truth of it and for a while it won’t as I have a toddler and a part time job and many other things to do. Also it doesn’t help much reading blogs of some aspiring writer or of reviewers or watching vlogs showing people TBR lists for each month.

My reading pile!

My reading pile!

So one of the nice ideas I had during my holiday is showing not my TBR list but my Reading Pile, which is basically the pile of books I’ve started reading and I haven’t finished yet. You might notice the two towers is still in there!!! Shame on me! I introduced a couple of books written in Italian, one fiction and the other one non-fiction.

But what’s my problem?!

The problem is I can’t just stop and read one book per time, because I get bored very easily, I need to read according to my mood among the other things, and say, for example, considering this list if I want to enter in the dystopian reality of Divergent I just open Veronica Roth’s book, or if I want something nice, easy where I feel like at home I open Harry Potter, or if I want to empathise a bit, although it will be painful, I open La tregua (For those who don’t know primo Levi read here. His story is truly amazing).

I’m not entirely sure this is a nice and neat way of reading but I decided I’m going to keep you posted on the Reading Pile. I’ll update you whenever I’ll finish a book or two or I’ll add something new (something I’m trying to avoid at the moment as I have far too many books in there even for my taste!)

As this won’t be a very fast process I won’t bother you too much, no worries!

Till the next time!

Back to work!

Visit at the Zoo!

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Night out as birthday present from my brother and my sister in law!

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My little cousin and me!

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At home is good as well!

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A summary!

Hi everyone, I’m back!
Since I have posts already titled I’m back  (by mistake, not on purpose!) I decided to vary a little bit!
The point doesn’t really change. I’m back from my holidays. I’m not more rested or more relaxed but it was a nice experience.
We didn’t go anywhere in particular, we just enjoyed the company of some of our family members.
Maya is back after two months in Italy and I still cannot believe it. So happy and equally stressed I am. Now with my mum and my cousin gone, let’s see how long I’ll last before I’ll go nuts!
My cousin is actually my cousin’s daughter and she’s 15 but sometimes (well the most of the times) seems much wiser than me. I still don’t know whether to be proud of her or ashamed of myself, but still…I love her!
My mum is my mum. Keeps complaining all the times, keeps make me feel like I’m doing everything wrong but at the same time it’s my mum. It seems I said something with no sense at all but it has its own logic, I promise…it’s just complicated!

I’m going to include some pictures because I was so happy to have them here and I guess you prefer to have something to see more than having something long and boring to read.

So I’ll leave you with pictures and I’ll see you soon on these pages with a couple of ideas I thought of during the last few days.

Yes, as usual, my body tried to rest and my brain fought bravely and actually won!