DD TV The Reader – June 2015


“La biblioteca perduta dell’alchimista” by Marcello Simoni

It is an amazing read. It is a history novel: the facts take place in the 13th century in Spain and in France: the Catholic Church is using its army to fight and to kill the non- believers (the Temple knights and other related sectarians.). The King of Spain has his wife the Queen Bianca of Castilian kidnapped and kept hidden somewhere in a castle in a region in South France and His Majesty call for help the protagonist/hero of this book, Ignacio from Toledo. The venture to find and save the Queen is just amazing.

I read again of the horrors in the treatment reserved for the prisoners of the Church’s army; I learnt a little on alchemy, I read more on the Latin and Greek mythology.

The writing style recalls a bit the one of Dan Brown’s book and the two authors share the same passion: history and religion, symbols, codes. The pages of the book are plenty of suspense, mystery. The tale of the real historical facts is precise and detailed, though much is left to the reader’s imagination.


“THE GIOVINE ITALY” by Joseph Mazzini

Joseph Mazzini is one of the main protagonists of the Italian Risorgimento, which is the early 19th century in Italy. During those years a deep cultural and political rise crossed the territory and lead to the creation of the Italian State, unified as we know it and where I live in today.

Mazzini was the leader of the progressist movement, inspired by the French one named “La jeune France (the young France)”: he prompted the young Italian guys to rebel and to contrast the opposite left-wing groups, who in his opinion were delaying the rise of Italy.  Mazzini was one of the leaders of a sort of “Italian Spring”, the wave that lead to the instauration of democracy, which we have similarly seen bursting in North Africa. He was attacked by the oppositions, arrested for his ideas of freedom and rights.

The book is not a biography of the author, but it’s a collection of manuscripts, quotes and letters taken from his magazine “La Giovine Italia” (The Young Italy). It’s written in 19th century – style Italian, so few verbs and nouns were new to me.

I simply find it a shame that the Italian Risorgimento (“The Rise”) is underestimated at school: it deserves a better, deeper treatment. Some of the most beautiful monuments in Italy were built in that period. I know a little of the creation of the country where I was born and where I live and that’s another shame.

I’M CURRENTLY READING: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

I’m at around 10% of the book, but the foreword and the author’s biography both occupy a good number of pages of my edition and the first chapter dedicated to “Moby Dick” is no. 41!

I have to say it’s an amazing read, it just didn’t disappoint me.

I’ve never seen the cinema version with actor Gregory Peck, which I heard is a cinema classic.

BOOKS ON MY WISHLIST: (*New: I have decided to change the final part of this blog)

“La Piuma” by Giorgio Faletti It actually is the post-death novel of the late Giorgio Faletti, one of the Italian major artists, who passed away one year ago. He was a comedian, an actor, a singer and a writer.

“L’Europa è finita?” by Enrico Letta. The former Italian Premier is a prolific awesome writer. This is an essay on his vision of the European Union: is it different and in the way the Maastricht Treaty wanted it? What are the mistakes made so far?

Next update September 2015.

DD TV xx


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