The Little Prince

Le Petit Prince
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Harcourt, Inc.
April 6, 1943
Richard Howard
April 1, 2023 April 1, 2023
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A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see, standing before him, the most extraordinary little fellow. "Please," asks the stranger, "draw me a sheep." And the pilot realizes that when life's events are too difficult to understand, there is no choice but to succumb to their mysteries. He pulls out pencil and paper... And thus begins this wise and enchanting fable that, in teaching the secret of what is really important in life, has changed forever the world for its readers.

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince, presented here in a stunning new translation with carefully restored artwork. The definitive edition of a worldwide classic, it will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.

About the book

An alien arrives on earth.

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Le bugie del mare


April 9, 2014
Gianluca Coci
March 28, 2023 March 31, 2023
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1930s, Southern Japan. Akino, a young scholar of anthropic geography from Kyosho university, travels to the small island of Osojima to carry out field research. Soon his study trip turns into a pilgrimage in search of himself and in a deep existential reflection, in the aftermath of a serious and triple loss (girlfriend, parents and professor / mentor). The pristine nature of the island, its subtropical flora, sea lions, Japanese capricorns, numerous species of birds form the backdrop to the "pilgrimage" of the protagonist, flanked by some emblematic local inhabitants and the local historical past linked to shamanism , esoteric Buddhism and Shintoism. In the finale, set about fifty years later and full of surprises, Akino will draw conclusions about his life, once again thanks to Osojima and his magic. The lies of the sea is a rare pearl in today's Japanese literary scene: an intense and complex story, with important references to local history and religion and their mysteries; but at the same time it is a novel about the meaning of life and the rediscovery of its fundamental values, in our increasingly adrift age.

About the book

This book at this date doesn’t have an English translation. The title could be translated with “The Lies of the Sea”. The protagonist, Akino, visits a Japanese island and is fascinated by it. He returns 50 years later to find that the island has changed due to modernism. The book explores themes such as nature, spirituality and cultural change.

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The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto
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March 18, 2023 March 22, 2023
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On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. Fearing the end of his dynasty, his father, Manfred, determines to marry Conrad's betrothed, Isabella, until a series of supernatural events stands in his way. . . .

Set in the time of the crusades, The Castle of Otranto established the Gothic as a literary form in England. With its compelling blend of psychological realism and supernatural terror, guilty secrets and unlawful desires, it has influenced a literary tradition stretching from Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker to Daphne Du Maurier and Stephen King.

This Penguin Classics edition includes a full selection of early responses to the novel, as well as a critical introduction, chronology of Walpole's life and works, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes.

What I think

The story is cute, but nothing special. The version I read is a bit difficult to read, as they adopt an old-fashioned style and don’t use the right direct speech signs. And there are some typos.

The story is obviously dated and it is noted that at the time women were subjected to the will of their father first and then their husband, but I’m happy with how the book ended.


The Last Train to London : A Novel

The Last Train to London : A Novel
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HarperCollins Publishers
September 10, 2019
January 28, 2023 February 2, 2023
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In 1936, the Nazi are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna’s streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan’s best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents’ carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis’ take control.

There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, risks her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous after the Anschluss—Hitler’s annexation of Austria—as, across Europe, countries close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape.

Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in at-risk child refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” in a race against time to bring children like Stephan, his young brother Walter, and Žofie-Helene on a perilous journey to an uncertain future abroad.

About the book

The book is about a true story even if a little fictionalised, in the sense that the author, as she says in the final part, added her own, especially where it is not known exactly how the story went.

What I think

The book is very beautiful, the hope that you read is very heartfelt and knowing this part of the history made me happy. I knew the rough outlines of the help England gave to Jewish children, but I didn’t know the story that deep.

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The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World

Quel che affidiamo al vento
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Harry N. Abrams
January 2020
Lucy Rand
August 1, 2022 August 5, 2022

The international bestselling novel sold in 21 countries, about grief, mourning, and the joy of survival, inspired by a real phone booth in Japan with its disconnected “wind” phone, a place of pilgrimage and solace since the 2011 tsunami

When Yui loses both her mother and her daughter in the tsunami, she begins to mark the passage of time from that date onward: Everything is relative to March 11, 2011, the day the tsunami tore Japan apart, and when grief took hold of her life. Yui struggles to continue on, alone with her pain.
Then, one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone booth in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone booth spreads, people travel to it from miles around.
Soon Yui makes her own pilgrimage to the phone booth, too. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Instead she finds Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of her mother’s death.
Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World is the signpost pointing to the healing that can come after.

About the book

I’ve read a few things about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and would like to read more, but I didn’t know anything about this phone booth. The book is about mourning, about people who can’t get over the death of a loved one. The phone mentioned is not connected with the afterlife, of course, but it gives a sense of completeness to whoever picks it up. Not everyone talks to their loved ones lost in the tsunami, as the writer herself tells us, she herself didn’t lose anyone in the Great East Japan Earthquake, so the cabin has become a destination for those people who have unfinished business and I find a good thing that it stays that way and doesn’t become a tourist destination.

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