Ickabog derives from Ichabod which means without glory, or rather, more precisely, it means “the glory is gone.”

This story goes back to the glorious years of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling told her children, but never came to a conclusion.

Ickabog later ended up in the attic following the decision not to write another children’s book after the prolific universally known saga, and remained there for a long time.

In fact, the days of the lockdown, and the desire to do something, inspired the idea of publishing it for free online to make it available to all children, asking them to draw the illustrations.

In fact, a real competition was born for young artists between seven and twelve years old, after which a jury selected 34 drawings

In the Italian publication edited by Salani, the illustrations are different but just as beautiful.

Each winner received a copy of the book signed by the author, and had the right to indicate a school or a library for a donation of books with an indicative value of 500 euros from the publisher.

The story can be read in one breath, and personally I have found many adaptable connections to current events, perhaps because the glory unfortunately does not stop going away, or perhaps because the characters without glory continue to poison the nations just as it happens in the kingdom of Cornucopia

Obviously, my favorite character is Margherita.



To intertwine two different strands: Monica’s books and ideas for gifts, I propose The Children’s Train that I received as a gift from Monica last Christmas, because this book took my heart, giving me a thousand food for thought.

Viola Ardone opens a door on the Neapolitan homes, but once you cross the threshold you are inside the world of a child, who absorbs, who learns, who knows people and things within the limits he can reach, and who at the same goes further, bringing the reader with him.

The flow of thoughts that are unleashed is inexhaustible.
Childhood is a topic that is particularly dear to me for many reasons, not least the fact that children teach us, but too often we forget it.

The dilemma is inexorable.
Personally I was not aware of the existence of these trains, or rather of these transfers in the specific narrated context, even if the children of Chernobyl who after the disaster were hosted by many families even in my country of origin immediately came to mind.

Inevitable the wave of cascading considerations, from the general sphere to the depth of the personal level, on the subject of incommunicability and barriers.

The admiration for strength is essential. Intrinsic, light yet disruptive.

The ensuing analysis and the face to face with the reactions and personal emotions about death are relentless.

I cried.

I was also catapulted on that train but not only that, in short, I don’t know if it’s clear: I liked this book and I recommend it.



When I happened to ask “do you prefer the traditional book or the e-book?” so far I have always received the same answer.

But after all, time passes, habits change, and conditions evolve, so I would like to expand the survey by adding audiobooks as well.

I have already told about my initiation into books and also as regards the e-books the origin is linked to love: I received the e-reader as a Christmas gift from my brother and it contained a very special creation of his that accompanied me every single day of that year.

Subsequently the first book read on Kindle was an exclusive of Gabriella, therefore the type of reading in both cases meant that I overlooked the inevitable sensations encountered in handling something completely different from the pages we are used to leafing through.

If, on the other hand, I associate the idea of listening, my instinctive thought turns to fairy tales, even if now it is possible to listen to any kind of book.

Before podcasts spread, I was particularly taken by the narration broadcast on Radio 24: Crossed Destinies, which curiously became a book only at a later time.

Gradually, the podcasts have given us the opportunity to listen at the moments and times we prefer and therefore now books keep me company even while I do the houseworks or cook, alternating with music which is obviously essential.

I recently got to know the Black Ink stories with their decadent Black Mississippi atmospheres.
What do you listen to?

In addition to imagination, Samantha Bonanno, with her works that I find enchanting, shows us how books can also come to life in another way.

What if I told you blook instead?



The sensation that is perceived is perhaps comparable to when you are in the last cone of light before entering the tunnel.

The lighting inside is annoying because there are no lights but intermittent glare.

The main feature is in fact these regular intervals, with almost telegraphic interruptions, at the end of which the monotone litany of any type of communication or information on the TV resumes.

I don’t know about you, but I have begun to hate some words that are adopted as mantras.

And instead of rainbows now only dividing colors remain: the colors of zones.

Personally I feel the need for my refuge: music and therefore I would say that the perfect song for today is The Resistance by Muse.

Starting from the cover, which to stay on the subject of colors, represents them in a psychedelic vision.
It is no coincidence that it was judged the best of the year 2009.

To continue with the multiple meanings contained in words, texts, metaphors, such as the fact that The Resistance represents a reference to 1984 by George Orwell, which Matthew Bellamy was inspired by.


The passage that directly quotes Eurasia is another, but in reality The Resistance itself evokes a lot of Winston and Julia forced into hiding so as not to be discovered by the Party.

Returning to United States of Eurasia instead, for many it represents plagiarism rather than a quote from Bohemian Rapsody, what do you think?

Also according to the detractors, who do not even like the ghost track Collateral Damage with the sonata Notturno n. 9 by Chopin, the influences that are heard are many and referable to a sort of musical pot pourri.

Did you notice them on first listen?
What impressions does this Muse work leave you?
Do you find the atmosphere of 1984?

Although it is a classic, I, as usual, have read it very late, that is “ahead in the years” and therefore it may be that my way of perceiving it has been influenced.

1984, as is known, is obtained by inverting the digits of the year in which it was written: 1948.

A curious coincidence: 1984 was an important year in my life, a year of change, a year of which I remember much more than other particular memories and I keep memories.

On the other hand, I am not as inclined to identify the current context with as much affection.
The downward curve towards the points where Orwell’s dystopian vision aligns with reality is accentuated more and more evidently.

A bit like the famous ball on the inclined plane, although I would like to continue to hope for a decline, albeit sadly obvious, at least not as accelerated and irreversible because, to return to The Resistance:
If we live our life in fear” …



“Welcome to the most beautiful bookshop in the world”
It is Luciana who gives us this visit!

If you know what it means to breathe the bohemian air by browsing the stalls along the Seine, for example, you have the perception of what the magic of a specific place is unique in the world, as in this case.

The human owner of the Acqua Alta bookshop, who for some was a marketing strategist and for others a dreamer, is Luigi Frizzo, but the real owners are cats.

I have already talked about Venice cats and about Luciana, but I haven’t told you yet that we met at school: even then she was doing her utmost to bring milk for the kittens that had been abandoned in the school yard we attended together. Also this picture is hers

So THANK YOU Luciana!

And you? Do you have any photos of the Venetian felines? Or cats and books?

I love the attitude of cats and I find that in Venice their living appropriating beauty naturally, ignoring anyone and anything with a seraphic attitude, becomes even more representative.

A sort of estrangement that recalls the moments of reading, the satisfying one, the one you wish it would never end.
The reading that has already captured you at the first sentence and that provokes the curiosity to know what is going to happen on the next page, the reading that literally transports you into the story, into its world, which also becomes yours.

What is the first book you would look for at the Acqua Alta bookshop?



Fresh water for flowers, almost a reminder.

Which has turned into a word of mouth extended to the point of conquering the ranking with advice from reader to reader. In fact, I read it thanks to Monica.

Only later I found the list of awards won: Prix Maison de la presse, the Prix Jules-Renard and the Prix des lecteurs du Livre de poche.

I opened it in the dark, not knowing what flowers to take care of, and I found that the cure was for myself.

The immediacy with which I thought how congenial could be the work that the narrator does, was as simple as when we finally realize something that had always been before our eyes but that until now we had never really looked at.

Wearing such a fitting idea of serenity, however, cannot be a foregone conclusion, as much as it is not certain that the starting point is comparable to lightness.

On the other hand, flowers are symbols of delicacy par excellence.
Flowers are beauty, but also fragility.
Flowers need light.
Flowers need heat.

I loved the backbone of this story, and perhaps for this reason, coming to the ramifications I felt a strong sense of annoyance. But that has done nothing but make it even more of a perfect metaphor.

If we think about it, changing the water is an action of renewal that aims, however, to perpetuate the same goal, and in fact in this book the changes have the characteristic of bringing back to the origin as in the most classic of closed circles, such as the seasons , which complete their cycle.

But flowers can also be born between concrete.

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