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Four unlikely books to read now

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Four unlikely books to read now

An ode to Italy

Italy is fashion and style, it’s culture and religion, it’s gastronomy and lifestyle. Italy is life. Today, more than ever, it makes perfect sense to celebrate dolce vita and that’s what this book addresses. Ciao (Taschen) is a personal and professional diary filled with magical moments, through which the photographer Mario Testino not only does he pay homage to the country, but also reveals the many facets that have taken him over his four decades of career. Organized in different chapters, it contemplates moments of travel (In Giro), fashion (Alla Moda) and maritime landscape (Al Mare), tracing the essence of a country whose beauty has not faded with time or with the tragic recent events. “I love the way Italians can transform the last look into something even newer, without ever compromising their identity,” he says, stressing the ability of that people to create and reinvent.

Born in Peru but passionate about Italy, the photographer – considered one of the most influential in the fashion world – reveals here his influences and inspirations, with the collaboration of the New York journalist Alain Elkann who, since 1989, signs a weekly column in La Stampa. Together they challenge us to embark on a sensory journey that proves to be even more precious in times of pandemic. At a time when travel continues to stand by and the publishing market slowly resumes its activity, the coffee tables dedicated to lifestyle gain a new symbolic dimension, transforming into open windows to the world that, from our sofas, transport us to the much that continues to wait outside.

Books & podcasts

When time is running out, you have to monetize it. In addition to audiobooks, podcasts also offer valuable clues for those who like to explore the world of books. It’s worth taking a look at podcasts associated with reference publications where resident editors invite writers and discuss creative works and processes – such as The New York Times’ The Book Review, The New Yorker Fiction, The Guardian Books Podcast, or Freedom, Books, Flowers & the Moon from The Times’ literary supplement. But there’s a lot more on the other side of the line.

Blacklisted is a podcast that gives new voice to old (and forgotten) books; Black Chick Lit specializes in books written by and for black women; Mostly Lit adopts a relaxed record, addressing topics closer to millennials; Hey Ya focuses on youth literature. A special word for Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books, well conducted by Zibby Owens, writer and mother of four, regarded as the most powerful literary influencer in New York. Here, the offer is more scarce, but meritorious: Bolso Library, by Inês Bernardo and José Mário Silva, and Around the Books, a conversation conducted by journalist Ana Daniela Soares, in Antena 1 (to listen on RTP Play), are two good examples to follow.

*These podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts and/or Google Podcasts

To read, now

After the storm, the bonanza. After the success of Em Tudo Havia Beleza, a book that moved and snatched readers around the world, The Spanish Manuel Vilas returns with And suddenly the Joy (Alfaguara), a book where it re-merges fiction with self-experience. If in his previous work, the writer exorcised the pains and losses of the past, now brings a cry of hope and a capacity for solar reconstruction and contagious, defying the pessimistic moment we go through. And at a time when many can’t resist comparing reality with an unlikely fictional setting, the books again prove that sometimes the two are closer than we might suppose.

This is the case of Samanta Schweblin’s new novel, which The New York Times it ranks as the most unsettling, but also the most realistic of the Argentine writer. Already included in the first list of the Man Booker International Prize for 2020, Little Eyes, New imagine a reality, where gadgets with animal shapes turn into small beings, the kentuki, inhabited by users who remotely but realized enter the life of a resident who – at random – receives kentuki at home. The strangeness quickly leads into a surreal world, where loneliness and connection are verses of the same coin and which quickly leaves us wondering if what seemed like a dystopian scenario will not only be the preamble of online life, whose possibilities in times of confinement prove surprising.

The world, through the eyes of children

We marked World Children’s Day with one of the latest editions of The Logical Duck with a story that, in times of confinement, gains an even more special reading. First Law, a text by Ricardo Henriques illustrated by Nicolau, tells us the story of Graça, a girl who, in good Hitchcockian style, likes to observe people and invent scenarios from the window of her home. Warm colors and police contours blend into a kind of very free remake of a film classic (Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Indiscreet Window), stimulating the spirit of observation, but above all, the imagination of the little ones.

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