Ernest and Celestine by Daniel Pennac

When I can I try to read the books that are proposed to my son.

A two weeks trip to the USA was a good opportunity to do so.
Ernest et Celestine is a good reading for an age between 8 and 10 years: the subject may appear light at a first glimpse (the story of a mouse and a bear) but the message about against using prejudices as the guiding criteria of relations is very strong and clear.

While the construction of the phrases is simple a few words will likely be missing in the vocabulary of a kid: be prepared to answer questions or have a dictionary for kids readily available.


Reading list of December 2012

A couple of weeks of travel and one week of vacation helped in making december a fairly rich month from the point of view of reading.

I’ve read the following books:

Nessuno genera se non e’ generato by Fraternita’ San Carlo
It’s a small booklet that collects a few thoughts around the role of the father with the support of excerpts from classical books:
Homer’s Iliad: Achilles meets Priam asking for Hector’s body
Homer’s Odyssey: Ulisses meets Telemachus
Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia: the relation of Dante and Virgilio
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The lord of the ring: the relation of Gandalf with the hobbits

Alone together by Sherry Turkle
I’ve made two posts about this book so far here and here.
Given the amount of content at least one more post is to come.
Reccomended reading.

The Necromancers by Robert H. Benson

Jesus of Nazareth (vol. 2) by Joseph Ratzinger
Way better commentary on Jesus’ life than I’ve heard in the preaches of many priests. Worth reading.

Favola di Natale by Giovanni Guareschi
As it’s often the case with Guareschi the booklet presents a sad subject (being prisoner in a German lager during the second WW) in a way that doesn’t hide the hard part but yet is with hope and lighthearted.

Finally completed to move the content of my reading list by amazon from Linkedin (part 9 of 9)

With this post I’ve finally completed the move from the amazon-linkedin application

You can read why I’ve done this and can also find the first secondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventh and eighth part of the list that I’ve already published.

Saturday, Oct 22 2011
Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, Oct 22 2011
The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Alan Lee
I like better the original works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Thursday, Sep 22 2011
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley

Saturday, Sep 17 2011
Wise Blood: A Novel by Flannery O’Connor
Having read all the stories I felt at home with this book.
It was like chatting with the writer about people we both knew.

Tuesday, Sep 6 2011
George Washington’s False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century by Robert Darnton
The book was interesting and entertaining.
One of the things that impressed me is finding out that we (the moderns) invented very little in the manipulation of the stock markets lately: most elements were already present in the pre-revolutionary french market.

Tuesday, Aug 30 2011
Marketing reloaded. Leve e strumenti per la co-creazione di esperienze multicanale by Giuliano Noci, Fabrizio M. Pini Andrea Boaretto
I recomed this book both to marketers and to customers.
To customers because is good to know how the companies are sending messages to you.
To marketers to check the degree of evolution of their marketing activity in comparison to recent practices.

Monday, Aug 22 2011
Open Prison by James White

Monday, Aug 22 2011
Second ending by James White

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 7 of 9)

After a long pause with the incoming weekend hopefully I’ll be done moving my reading list out of the linkedin-amazon application.
Below you’ll find the seventh part.

You can read why I’m doing this and can also the first secondthirdfourthfifth and sixth part of the list that I’ve already published.

Monday, Jan 10 2011
The Scapegoat by René Girard
Girard interpretation of the dynamics of the human behavior is very interesting and supported well by the author.
Book recommended without any doubt.
I’ve read the italian translation.

Sunday, Dec 19 2010
Transactional Manager by Abe Wagner
I found the book a bit boring. Maybe I’ve had enough readings related to TA
OR the book is not a big deal in itself.
My wife is reading it I’ll post her feedback in the future.

Friday, Dec 3 2010
Games people plays by Eric Berne
I did not like the introduction to the italian edition, but the book is interesting without any doubt.
My mother found it interesting too as an interpretation key for the behavior of a friend of her.

Friday, Nov 26 2010
Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership by Ken Blanchard
Recommended: the time I used to read this book was invested well.
I suggest it not only to managers but to individual contributors too.
As an old Harvard Business review article stated everyone needs (at least) to manage his manager

Tuesday, Nov 23 2010
Lettera a un Bambino Mai Nato by Oriana Fallaci
Without any doubt a book that is valid now as it was 35 years ago. Maybe even more now.
Absolutely recommended.

Saturday, Nov 20 2010
Renaissance by Raymond F. Jones
Relaxing book, but nothing to write home about.
I’ve read the Italian translation.

Saturday, Nov 6 2010
On War by Carl Von Clausewitz
The Italian edition that I’ve read is actually a selection of the most philosophical chapters from ” uber die Natur des Krieges” and “uber die Theorie des Krieges”.
I’ve found the reading extremely interesting and useful.
I’d suggest the reading to anyone that’s not afraid of a theoretical and systematic approach to the subject.
The author thinking goes way deeper that the (only) one liner most people know.

Thursday, Oct 28 2010
The Art of Warfare by Sun Pin

Sunday, Oct 24 2010
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
I’m unsure whether or not having read this book will change the way I act, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen the actions of people who changed after having read it.

Wednesday, Oct 20 2010
Attracting Investors: A Marketing Approach to Finding Funds for Your Business by Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, S. David Young
I’ve found the reading extremely interesting.
I’d suggest this book to anyone thinking about starting a new company.

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 6 of 9)

A bit of acceleration today: two slices of my reading list in one day.
Below you’ll find the sixth part.

You can read why I’m doing this and can also the first , the second, the third,the fourth and the fifth part of the list that I’ve already published.

Saturday, Oct 2 2010
Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause by Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee
Very specific, may be of interest to a relatively small audience.

Saturday, Sep 25 2010
The Eternal Husband by Fyodor DOSTOEVSKY
I’ve read other works of Dostoevsky, but having read the analysis of Renè Girard about this one I was able to enjoy it more than I enjoyed the others.
Being relatively short and restricted to a limited environment and a small number of people it’s easy and quick to read.
The image of Pavel Pavlovich depicted is so real that at the end I felt sorry for him.

Friday, Aug 27 2010
Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement
Not bad but in my opinion there are better alternatives in hte SF to invest the reading time. I’ve read the italian translation.

Monday, Aug 16 2010
Nova Swing by M. John Harrison, Jim Frangione
I’ve found the book unbeliveably boring and hoped until the last few pages to get some surprising conclusion providing a meaning to the text but did not happen.
Looked like the chronicle of what was passing trough the mind of a LSD addicted: no real beginning, no real end, no real story.
I strongly discourage my friends to read it.

L’arte di persuadere: Come impararla, come esercitarla, come difendersene by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
Great reading, strongly suggested.
It’s not a manual or an how-to guide, but provides an interesting perspective on the subject of persuasion

Friday, Aug 6 2010
I’m OK–You’re OK Thomas Harris

Saturday, Jul 31 2010
Escolios a un texto implicito by Nicolas Gomez Davila
Great reading, strongly suggested.
I’ll keep it in reach to give a quick read to a couple of pages from time to time.
I don’t like writing on books, but this one is really taking notes with impression.
I’ve read the italian translation.

Friday, Jul 16 2010
Kotler on Marketing by Philip Kotler

Thursday, Jul 15 2010
Ritrattino di Kant a uso di mio figlio by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
unbelievably easy introduction to Kant. Strongly recommended.

Friday, Jul 9 2010
Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith
I had a long travel to do and decided to take this book (the italian translation)with me.
It turned out to be an entertaining read

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 5 of 9)

Below you’ll find the fifth part of my reading list and, when available, the related comments I made at the time.

I did a small mistake and got 4 and 5 reversed 🙂

You can read why I’m doing this and can also the first , the second, the third and the fourth part of the list that I’ve already published on this blog.

Sunday, Mar 7 2010
The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman

Kinds of Power by James Hillman

Thursday, Mar 4 2010
Human Factors in Safety-Critical Systems by Felix Redmill, Jane Rajan
While the title suggests this book as with a limited audience I think that every worker should read it.
The analysis of how people interacts with systems and organization can be applied to non-safety-critical scenarios too.
This knowledge will help both individual contributors and managers.

Saturday, Feb 13 2010
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr., Mary Doria Russell

Thursday, Jan 7 2010
Oscar and the Lady in Pink by ERIC-EMMANUEL SCHMITT
At the first reading, several months ago, I enjoyed this little book but recently I discovered that I almost forgot all the content, so i decided to read it again.
I’m really happy with that decision: while the book is small and written with a very easy and light style the content of those few pages is extremely dense.
It’s uncommon to read in less than 80 pages so much about the meaning of the life and of the death.”

Wednesday, Jan 6 2010
Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque by René Girard
I think that the book requires a fresh reading of the analyzed novels in order to provide the full benefit of the offered analysis, but at least 75% of the content can be appreciated in any case.
The value offered is not limited to a greater understanding of the literature but, as it continuously relates back to the real world, it can be at least partially applied in daily experience.
I’ve actually read the italian translation.

La vittima e la folla by Renè Girard
The perspective that the author offers on the myth is extraordinary ad helps to see in a different light most of the recent theological thinking that describes the gospel as mostly mythical and fictions.
It’s a book easy enough for people w/o a background on philosophy or theology , but a minimum of classical greek culture would help for sure.

Friday, Oct 23 2009
Milano Calibro 9 by G. Scerbanenco
I liked a lot these short stories.
Dark as is usually Scerbanenco but with a twist of irony that is not very common in the novels

Saturday, Oct 17 2009
Traditori di tutti by Giorgio Scerbanenco

Tuesday, Oct 13 2009
Ladro contro assassino by Giorgio Scerbanenco

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 3 of 9)

Below you’ll find the third part of my reading list and, when available, the related comments I made at the time.
Most of the books, with only a notable exception, are novels this time and cover two main authors: Agatha Christie and Giorgio Scerbanenco.
As you can see from the dates both writers got me heavily engaged.
I recommend their novels with one caveat: I’m not sure of how good the english translations (if any) of Scerbanenco are.

I continue to move from the older readings to the most recent.

You can read why I’m doing this and can also the first part and the second part of the list
In some cases I had inserted in the list also books that I had read earlier when I found them interesting.

Friday, Oct 2 2009
The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Tuesday, Sep 29 2009
Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, Sep 23 2009
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, Sep 16 2009
Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Tuesday, Sep 8 2009

Spingendo la notte più in là by Mario Calabresi
I was a baby in Milan nearly of the age of Mario when italian terrorism was rampage.
Mario’s book helped me understand the feelings that were all around me and then I was unable to grasp.
His book is not about politics, is about men, womans and babies that were hit by the violence.
The book helps understand that it doesn’t exist a right reason for killing people.

Monday, Aug 17 2009
La ragazza dell’addio by Giorgio Scerbanenco
Scerbanenco writes love novels with the same dry style he uses for police stories: you may find it unsuitable for the subject.

Aug 2009
The man who knew too much by G. K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton

Thursday, Aug 6 2009
La Sabbia Non Ricorda by Giorgio Scerbanenco

Wednesday, Aug 5 2009
Venere privata by Giorgio Scerbanenco

Tuesday, Aug 4 2009
I ragazzi del massacro by Giorgio Scerbanenco
I love police books that are located in my home town. I find Scerbanenco’s writing in this book quite addicting.

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 2 of 9)

Below you’ll find the second part of my reading list and, when available, the related comments I made at the time.
I continue to move from the older readings to the most recent.
Here you can read why I’m doing this while you can find the first part of the list here
In some cases I had inserted in the list also books that I had read earlier when I found them interesting.

Monday, Jul 27 2009
Il destino si chiama Clotilde: Romanzo damore by Giovanni Guareschi
Fun, entertaining and easy to read.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone.

Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
I bought it upon suggestion of the librarian at the same time I bought “The master and Margarita” but I’ve found Celine’s book unbelievably boring.
It is one of the few book that I did not finish and I don’t feel guilty about it.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov
The book is not one of those that you can read before going to sleep to relax.
I loved it, but I don’t expect this to be the common reaction.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
I loved the book and found it quite easy for a russian author.
My wife could not make it to the end: likely something needs to trigger in the reader make the story flow.
Recommended only if previous exposure to russian writers was successful 🙂

Heart Of A Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
Recommended with the same caveat of The Master and Margarita: only if previous exposure to russian writers was successful 🙂

Democracy In America by Alexis de Toqueville
The reading is paused for a long time now, but hopefully I’ll go back to it with renewed passion in the future.

Il padre: l’assente inaccettabile by Claudio Rise
The subject should be part of a wider public discussion.
The writing is clear and pleasantly easy for a non trivial subject; strongly recommended.
At the time of reading the book was not available in english.
You can find Claudio Risè site here; it’s only in italian.

Friday, Mar 20 2009
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The writing style is unusual but I found it addicting. I’ve read the book in a couple of days.

Wednesday, Jan 28 2009
Persuasion Engineering by Richard Bandler, John LA Valle, John La Valle
I’ve found it an interesting read.
As long as the contained concepts are used a an interpretation key for human behaviors, and not as the only right one, the book is worth the time to read.

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
I don’t dare to say that Aristotle covered every possible relevant ethic subject, but he covered a lot more than most modern people realizes.
Reading this book requires quit a bit of focus.

Content of my reading list by amazon (part 1 of 9)

I’m starting to copy here the reading list from the older readings and moving to the most recent.
Here you can read why I’m doing this.
In some cases I had inserted in the list also books that I had read earlier when I found them interesting.
Below is the first batch of books and, when available, the related comments.

Wednesday, Jan 28 2009
Vita Activa Oder Vom Tatigen Leben by Hannah Arendt

The more I progressed in the reading the more I appreciated the genius of Hannah Arendt and her ability to foresee the dinamics that currently dominate people in the west world.
Not a book for casual reading, but worth all the effort.

Thursday, Nov 20 2008
War, progress, and the end of history, including a short story of the Anti-Christ. Three discussions by Vladimir Soloviev

I’m always fascinated by the writings of authors that were able to predict the society evolution way head of theyr time.
Even when the prediction is not about a better situation.

1994 (and again in 1996)
Conceptual Database Design: An Entity-Relationship Approach by Carol Batini, Stefano Ceri, Shamkant B. Navathe

I’ve read this book as part of my master degree, but I think that it’s a good introductory reading also for people that need to approach the subject for work-related reasons”

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Great book. Suggested without doubt to anyone interested in the field of computer science and philosophy.
I expected a lot from the author’s other books, but this one was not matched by other titles.
Not ok for a casual reading in my opinion.

Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science by D. Mandrioli; C. Ghezzi
Great book on the subject. Very technical, but with linear progression.

Friday, Nov 7 2008
Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty by Zygmunt Bauman
Comment: “A very interesting view of the status of our society.”

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
Comment: “After reading an interesting book (L’individuo senza passioni. Individualismo oderno e perdita del legame sociale, available only in italian) I become fascinated and started to read some of the sources.
While for some aspects Weber’s book may be considered dated and it doesn’t fit for casual readers it’s a very interesting reading that I reccomend.”

Aldous Huxley: Point counter point

A couple of days ago I’ve completed the reading of the Italian version from Adelphi and I’m quite disappointed.

It took me about one month (with other books in parallel) to reach the end: the story did not really picked up at any time and this slowed down my pace a lot.

I’m ok with novels that make a philosophical or political point and I’ve found stimulating a number of points made by Huxley in the book, but in my opinion a novel must first entertain  and only later send an higher message.

From the same author I’ve read  “Brave new world” and  “After Many a Summer Dies the Swan” with satisfaction.

I suggest skipping this book and invest time in better readings.