Matthew Sullivan – Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – Thoughts

‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ by Matthew Sullivan is a captivating and smart novel.
Lydia, the protagonist, works as a bookseller at the Bright Ideas bookstore, which is not only her place of work but also her refuge. This is a place where many different kinds of people find comfort in the soothing presence of books. Among them, Joey. At a certain point, though, the books and Lydia’s friendship are not enough anymore. Joey kills himself, inside the bookstore. Lydia finds his body, along with something else. A photo of Lydia herself, blowing the candles of her birthday cake when she turned ten years old. How is it possible that Joey had it? Who gave it to him? And why he killed himself? How is Lydia connected to Joey? From that photo, and from the few possessions the young man has left to Lydia, our protagonist will unravel a mystery that involves her directly, and very personally. There’s something in Lydia’s past she doesn’t want to recall anymore, but she will have to.
I read this books in a few days, and I couldn’t really put it down. The characters are so very well written, all of them. As a reader, you become part of Lydia’s investigation in a way I have never experienced in any mystery book I have ever read before.
The plus side of this book, coming from my first PageHabit subscription, is that it contained notes from the author explaining certain choices and details of the story.

Tim Parks – Calm – Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed “Calm”, a book part of the Vintage Minis collection with selections from Tim Park’s “Teach Us to Sit Still”.
Park, in these selections, explains how he’s an absolute skeptic about spirituality. Until he finds himself immersed in the alien world of a Buddhist meditation retreat and, slowly, he really finds that inner peace.
How to find that peace? How to stay calm, how to not be submerged by problems, by pain?
“Calm” is a very fast read and a very enjoyable one. I myself am very skeptic about spirituality. I’ve tried once, one session of yoga and I still can’t understand how you’re supposed to free your mind from the everyday’s problems and stress. All I could think of was exactly what I was supposed to avoid. Free your mind! I know one session is not enough, but I started reading this book fully sharing Park’s point of view: skepticism.
I loved reading his journey towards finding what he was (probably not) looking for. His writing is captivating, funny, and honest.

David Baldacci – Split Second – Thoughts

I discovered David Baldacci’s series dedicated to King & Maxwell watching the tv series inspired by the books.
Split Second is the first of six books that focus on former Secret Service agent Sean King, and Michelle Maxwell, a Secret Service agent as well who is under investigation after she fails to protect a politician who is a candidate for the presidency.
The two team up to solve what initially seem two separate cases, only to discover there might be more lying under the surface.
The book is a fast read, the story is captivating even if it seems a little far fetched towards the end.
The two characters are very well built, and they go along perfectly together; they are definitely the most interesting and fun part of the story.
Split Second is an enjoyable read with two promising characters who seem equipped to solve any kind of mystery.

Orhan Pamuk – My Name is Red – Thoughts


My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk is one of the most strange yet interesting books I’ve ever read. I would describe it as sumptuous. It wasn’t an easy read, it requires a lot of attention and focus. I admit sometimes I got lost into it.
The story centers around the murder of a miniaturist, who was working along with others on a book celebrating the life of the Sultan in Istanbul. Who is the murderer? Someone who didn’t want the book to be completed? Another miniaturist?
The aspect I’ve found the most interesting is the way this story is told. Every chapter narrates the events from the point of view of different characters, with the first chapter introducing us the victim. The corpse talks to us. And as the story unfolds, we can read a chapter in which a drawing talks to us, even a color.
As I said, it’s a difficult read, but definitely a satisfying one.

Unboxing PageHabit – #mypagehabit

IMG_20170710_142018 (1)Finally, after a month from my order, my first PageHabit box arrived safely home!
Here I am unboxing it for the first time!

The lovely box – mystery – contains the debut novel “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew J. Sullivan:
“When a bookshop patron commits suicide, it’s his favorite store clerk who must unravel the puzzle he left behind.”
I’m very excited to start reading this one, it definitely looks promising. Moreover, inside the book, you will find notes from the author regarding details about the book.

Inside the box, along with the book, a letter by the author, some books-related goods such as a bookmark, a case (inside which my kindle fits just perfectly!), a lovely pin, and a card explaining how PageHabit, thanks to our purchases, can make donations to support children’s literacy.
Following, two more photos from the unboxing:

If you want to purchase a PageHabit box, just head over to: and select your favorite box among mystery, literary fiction, fantasy, historical fiction and much more.

Lawrence Block – Ombre. Racconti ispirati ai dipinti di Edward Hopper – Riflessioni


“Ombre” è una raccolta di racconti ispirati ad alcuni tra i numerosi dipinti di Edward Hopper.
I dipinti di Hopper sono particolarmente affascinanti, proprio perché soffermandosi ad osservarli si possono immaginare tante storie diverse. Ho avuto la fortuna di poter visitare una mostra a lui dedicata, ed é incredibile quanto ci si senta attratti dalle sue tele, quanto sia impossibile non immaginare che storia possa nascondersi all’interno delle sue opere.
Questa raccolta cerca proprio questo. Fornire una trama, un tessuto ai colori e ai silenzi delle opere di Hopper.
I miei racconti preferiti sono “La stanza sul mare” di Nicholas Christopher, “Nighthawks” di Michael Connelly, “La sala della musica” di Stephen King, e “Autunno, tavola calda” di Lawrence Block (che è anche il curatore di questa raccolta). Proprio quest’ultimo racconto è basato sul mio dipinto preferito di Hopper, “Automat”, ed è una storia che cattura, sembra essere l’unica possibile per descrivere ciò che accade nel dipinto. Alcune storie mi sono piaciute meno, ma in fin dei conti si tratta di gusti, e di diverse interpretazioni.
Trovo meraviglioso che tanti autori diversi si siano cimentati nel creare una storia attorno ad una serie di dipinti ricchi di profondità, di silenzi, di enigmi.
Block ci racconta nell’introduzione che per uno dei dipinti un autore non è riuscito a consegnare in tempo il proprio racconto. Ci invita quindi a finire noi la raccolta, creando una storia per il dipinto “Cape Cod Morning”. Io ci ho provato, scrivendo un breve racconto in inglese, qui

Vintage Minis


Image Source: @penguinukbooks (IG)

Vintage Minis is a new series of twenty books, with selected works from some of the most important Writers around the world (Virginia Woolf, Louisa May Alcott, Marcel Proust, Salman Rushdie just to name a few).
These books are about twenty different subjects such as sisters, home, death, calm, depression. Subjects that we have all encountered in our life, most of them at least.
The concepts of the books’ covers are all very beautiful, which surely helps a lot in attracting the curiosity.


Find out more about these twenty books, and have a look at the animated books’ covers at: – You can also take a quiz and find out which of the twenty books you should start reading first (In my case, I should start with “Calm”!), and if you live in the United Kingdom, you can enter a competition to try and win all of the twenty Vintage Minis!

Affinity Konar – Mischling – Thoughts

Mischling by Affinity Konar is one of the toughest reads I ever encountered in my life.
This novel tells the story of 12 years old twin sisters Pearl and Stasha, who are introduced to the horrors of the Second World War in the most horrific way possible. They become part of “doctor” Mengele’s Zoo in Auschwitz, in 1944. This zoo is populated with children who bear a special interest to him. Pearl and Stasha go through horrors that go beyond human grasp. Because even though this is a novel, Mengele’s horrors are not. It’s difficult to imagine that he was a human being, who put children through the most horrible sufferings to satisfy his needs. He made the most abominable experiments on young children, twins especially.
Even though their childhood is being taken away from them, Pearl and Stasha find comfort in one another, in that particular connection only twins possess.
Until, one day, Pearl disappears. And Stasha ‘s last ray of hope seems to shatter.
From now on, we follow two different paths: Pearl and Stasha’s, and when the camp is finally liberated by the Red Army we begin a new journey, we go through what they go through, both of them using the power of hope to keep going, to keep fighting.
Until the very end, that will make you cry, and cry.
An amazing writing, powerful and soft at the same time.
These are two quotes that I will not forget:

“This is how I walk, I told myself. One step, then another. This is how I walk in memory of Pearl, the girl whose every step could have been musical, and for all time.”

“In my forgiveness, their failure to obliterate me was made clear.”

Page Habit – New Book Subscription

18485647_1040679542730688_4256749525427958796_nToday I want to share this new beautiful book subscription called Page Habit.
The monthly boxes are divided into categories, you simply have to choose the one the suits best your interest (mystery, literary fiction, fantasy and so on).
Moreover,  with every box purchased, a donation is made to support children’s literacy.
I joined Page Habit today, and I can’t wait to receive my first box!

<< Check out Page >>

Paula Hawkins – Into The Water – Thoughts

I always try not to have too high expectations after reading another book by an author I enjoyed reading the first time.
It is, I think, useless to compare The Girl On The Train with Into The Water, as they are completely different stories, completely different atmospheres.
I enjoyed reading Into The Water, but I wasn’t fascinated by the story as it happened with The Girl On The Train. I have several issues with it.
The first one being the massive presence of characters. There are just too many. Sometimes, it’s a bit confusing, remembering that A is the wife of B, who’s a friend of C, who is connected with D, who’s the mother of E. Moreover, none of these characters is fully explored. We just get a glimpse into their life, but not enough, in my opinion. I think it would have been nice to get a deeper focus on Jules and her relationship with her sister. There were traces of it, but merely hints, not enough to really care about the sisters. Same problem with the other characters, you can’t really care about them, because you’re not given material enough to actually care.
There’s not a pivotal moment of revelation, and the end felt quite toned-down, it didn’t leave me satisfied.