Book Recommendation: “Heart: A School-boy’s Journal” by Edmundo de Amicis

Heart

The first time I read this book I think I was about 7 or 8 years old, I remember the beautiful hardcover edition my parents bought me (that I re-read several times).
To this day this book keeps a special place in my heart.

Here’s the book description for the English version (as appears in Amazon):

Written following the Italian war for independence by a sub-lieutenant who had fought in the siege of Rome in 1870, Heart is the fictional diary of a boy’s third year in a Turin municipal school. It was written to foster juvenile appreciation of the new found Italian national unity, which the author had fought for in the recent war. The book is often highly emotional, even sentimental, but gives a vivid picture of urban Italian life at that time. A master, introducing a new pupil, tells the class, “Remember well what I am going to say. That this fact might come to pass–that a Calabrian boy might find himself at home in Turin, and that a boy of Turin might be in his own home in Calabria, our country has struggled for fifty years, and thirty thousand Italians have died.”
The novel became internationally popular, and has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. Edmundo de Amicis (1846-1908) established a reputation as a writer in various genres after his experience as a soldier.

This is a book I absolutely love (with amazing characters and beautifully written) that, if you haven’t read yet, I recommend adding to your Reading List.

Note: Is important to mention that the author’s name can be found also written as “Edmondo” (depending on the language).

Documentary in Amazon Prime: Nursery University, looking for the perfect school

 

Today I was looking at the available documentaries in Amazon Prime and I found “Nursery University”, this documentary follows some families while they’re searching for the perfect nursery school for their children, and gives us a look at how the application process works, here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

“In communities across the United States, competition to get into the best schools is starting early. New York City is at the center of this phenomenon, where nursery schools – homes of finger-painting, building blocks, and naptime – have become the arena where parents jostle for the privilege to place”.

After watching the documentary I was shocked by how hard it seems to find a spot for your kid if you live in New York, and how the process can be.
I’m married, but I don’t have any kids yet (and I don’t live in New York), but this documentary left me with a lot of questions: how many nursery schools are in the city I live? How many of them are private? How many are public? What is the average annual cost? How the application process works?

I end this post with a question for those who have kids: what was your experience when you had to look for a nursery school or a preschool for them?

DISCLAIMER:
The movies available for free to Amazon Prime members are subject to change, is important that you confirm the price of the movie before you start watching it.

Book Review: Between the Lines (Book 1) by Tammara Webber

Between the Lines

Official Book Description:

When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration.

Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

Book Review:

There are some books that catch your interest from the beginning and keep it until the end, for me “Between the lines” by Tammara Webber was one of those.

I read this book in one sitting and as soon as finish I knew this was a book I’ll be re-reading in the future, (and I’ll enjoy it just as the first time).

The book offers a glimpse to the life of a group of young celebrities (most of the time while they are working on a new movie), through the story we can see their lives inside and outside the set, how they manage work, fame, relationships and family issues (which is not always easy for them in that kind of circle).
This book is written from two POV, one from Reid’s, a famous young movie star, and the other one from Emma, a young actress who has mostly played small roles but is now having her first big opportunity.

For me this was an entertaining read, I liked the pace and how well written it was (this allowed me to be quickly immersed in the story), I also enjoy the characters created by Tammara Webber (from the main to the secondary ones).
My favorite character was Graham, he is just the perfect guy: romantic, warm and supportive, and I’m really excited about the continuation of the Series “Where you are”, which includes Graham’s POV.

This is the first book I read from this author and I really recommend it, also I look forward to reading the next books from the “Between the Lines” Series:
Where you are (Book 2)
Good for you (Book 3)

Books with romance and sports – Review for Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

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Book Description:

“Whoever said football and girls don’t mix hasn’t read Catching Jordan. I couldn’t put it down ” — Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

Book review:

“Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love” 
Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown in “Peanuts”

Jordan is a girl, but she’s also the quarterback of her High School Football team, she’s used to be focused 100% on the game, until Ty Green appears in the picture and suddenly things change…

This is a sweet story about dealing with your feelings while you are growing up and deciding what to do with your future. Is about love, friendship, dreams, and also about the importance of stand for what you really want and be open to different options in life.

Jordan is talented and strong and I liked her since the beginning. The rest of the characters were really fun to read and my favorites were Henry (Jordan’s best friend and one of her teammates) and Mike (Jordan’s brother, the older brother I would have loved to have).

One of the things that I liked about the story is the great relationship between Jordan and her teammates (all of them were very protective and supportive), also the evolution in the relationship between Jordan and her Dad.

This was an enjoyable book and I would love to see a continuation for Jordan’s story, but for now I look forward to reading the newer book from Miranda Kenneally, “Things I Can’t Forget” that takes place in a Summer Camp.

Book Review: More than a Shadow by Tony Rakestraw

More than a shadow

Book Description from Amazon:

Carrie Mitchell is the perfect size zero. Her life should be perfect, right? Not quite. Carrie has problems accepting her looks like so many others. Will she figure out a way to come out of the shadows and accept herself?

 

My review:

Have you ever found yourself looking at one of those size zero models or that girl super skinny in the mall thinking “I wish I had her body” “Her life must be so perfect” “She’s so lucky”, well Carrie is one of those skinny girls (one of those who are not models) and she doesn’t feel that lucky.

This short story gives us a glimpse into the life of Carrie, her perception of herself and how she deals with it.

From the first pages I felt sympathy for Carrie, and it hurt me as I realized how things were not easy for her,  I was really engaged to her story.

The only thing I would have preferred is that the story was longer, it would had been nice learn more about Carrie’s life (more depth in the “before” and “after”).

As this is a very short story I don’t want to give any spoilers, but overall I think it is worth reading it.

 

At the time this review was posted, More than a Shadow by Tony Rakestraw was free on the US Amazon Kindle Store, but as you may know prices in Amazon constantly change and may vary based on the territory, for that reason is important that you confirm the price before buy it.

For love to the game, my first time in the CenturyLink Field

Since I was in high school I love football (soccer), and I was really happy after find out that here in Seattle there’s a great team, the Sounders.

During this month I had the chance to visit for the first time the CenturyLink Field and I was really impressed and excited, the place is just amazing.

Here are some photos from that day:

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