Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin: a controversial novel about passion, love, shame and bisexuality

James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room Published 2007 by Penguin Books, 150p (first published 1956)   David, the main protagonist in Giovanni’s Room is one of the most irritating characters I have come across lately; it’s one of those so self-centered and so self-sufficient men that could easily make you put down the book with exasperation. But… Continue reading Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin: a controversial novel about passion, love, shame and bisexuality

Why everyone should read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, a parable about love, human nature and war

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince/ Micul Print Published 1998 by Penguin Books (First published 1943 by Reynal & Hitchcock), 82 p   Children easily find interests in whimsical pictures, texts that dare to awake their imagination or stories about bravery and kindness. I have no hesitation when saying that a boa constrictor swallowing an… Continue reading Why everyone should read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, a parable about love, human nature and war

How do you answer when children ask where babies come from? Sophie Blackall has the answer and it is both accurate and amusing

Sophie Blackall, The Baby Tree Published 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, 40p   Every family is slightly different, but every single baby begins with a sperm and an egg.   Sooner or later each adult has to give an answer to children’s famous question: Where do babies come from? My… Continue reading How do you answer when children ask where babies come from? Sophie Blackall has the answer and it is both accurate and amusing

Maira Kalman on life, identity and happiness in a magnificent book that praises joie de vivre

Maira Kalman, The Principles of Uncertainty Published 2007 by Penguin Books, 326p   I have discovered Maira Kalman when I read The Illustrated Elements of Style, a guide to writing style. As a non-native English speaker I often have the concern that I may make terrible mistakes when writing or speaking so I still have… Continue reading Maira Kalman on life, identity and happiness in a magnificent book that praises joie de vivre

A River by Marc Martin is a poetical invitation to escape the daily urban reality and rediscover primordial nature

Marc Martin, A River Printed 2015 by Viking Penguin, 36p   Marc Martin is an Australian illustrator and author of several books that celebrate the beauty of nature and life. His latest book, A River, is a visual delectation, a meticulously designed book that overlaps the flow of a river on the flow of existence,… Continue reading A River by Marc Martin is a poetical invitation to escape the daily urban reality and rediscover primordial nature

In an era of systematic environmental destruction, Jean Giono’s story praises human generosity and inspires the rediscovery of creativity and sustainability

Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees Published 2015 by Harvill Secker, a Penguin Random House Company (first published 1953), 56p   To see a human being reveal really exceptional qualities one must be able to observe his activities over many years. If these activities are completely unselfish; if the idea motivating them is unique… Continue reading In an era of systematic environmental destruction, Jean Giono’s story praises human generosity and inspires the rediscovery of creativity and sustainability

On loneliness in big cities in a parable with a fox and a donkey

Tohby Riddle, Nobody Owns the Moon Published 2008 by Penguin/ Viking, 32p Cities can be lonely places despite size and crowds. There is sometimes a deep feeling of estrangement and people experience isolation, lack of connectivity and companionship. No matter their address, people need the certification of belonging. Tohby Riddle’s Nobody Owns the Moon is… Continue reading On loneliness in big cities in a parable with a fox and a donkey