The Little Virtues: Essays (Paperback)

The Little Virtues: Essays Cover Image
By Natalia Ginzburg, Dick Davis (Translated by), Belle Boggs (Foreword by)
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Description


In this collection of her finest and best-known short essays, Natalia Ginzburg explores both the mundane details and inescapable catastrophes of personal life with the grace and wit that have assured her rightful place in the pantheon of classic mid-century authors. Whether she writes of the loss of a friend, Cesare Pavese; or what is inexpugnable of World War II; or the Abruzzi, where she and her first husband lived in forced residence under Fascist rule; or the importance of silence in our society; or her vocation as a writer; or even a pair of worn-out shoes, Ginzburg brings to her reflections the wisdom of a survivor and the spare, wry, and poetically resonant style her readers have come to recognize.

"A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart.' — The New York Times Book Review

About the Author


Natalia Ginzburg was born in Palermo, Italy in 1916. She was an Italian author whose work explored family relationships, politics during and after the Fascist years and World War II, and philosophy. She wrote novels, short stories, and essays, for which she received the Strega Prize and Bagutta Prize. Modest and intensely reserved, Ginzburg never shied away from the traumas of history, whether writing about the Turin of her childhood, the Abruzzi countryside, or contemporary Rome—all the while approaching those traumas only indirectly, through the mundane details and catastrophes of personal life. Most of her works were also translated into English and published in the United Kingdom and United States. She wrote acclaimed translations of both Proust and Flaubert into Italian. She died in Rome in 1991.

Praise For…


Praise for The Little Virtues

"A stunning tour de force, The Little Virtues is a credo of undaunted idealism." —The New York Times Book Review

"So light is the touch of the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg in these eleven essays, written between 1944 and 1960 and translated by Dick Davis, that they might float through the reader’s mind unimpeded, if it weren’t for the ballast hidden within. . . . Ginzburg’s deceptively simple style has made fans of Zadie Smith and Maggie Nelson; it is hard to imagine anyone who reads The Little Virtues not wanting to join their gang."—Guardian

"There is one book . . .which has meant more to me than any other: The Little Virtues, by the Italian novelist, essayist, playwright, short-story writer, translator, and political activist Natalia Ginzburg." —The New Yorker, September 2016

"Now reading Natalia Ginzburg's The Little Virtues and my life is already better."—Rosanne Cash, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and New York Times bestselling author of Composed: A Memoir

“A book of beautiful short pieces.” —The New Yorker, July 2019

"The book that taught me what I want to teach my daughter." —Belle Boggs, author of Mattaponi Queen

"Considered among the best writers in contemporary Italy, Ginzburg should appeal to a wide American audience with this collection of essays." —Publishers Weekly

"These little virtues then, this little book, pack a tremendous punch. By loving life, Ginzburg suggests, by working with love and enthusiasm, by embracing the homeliest details of daily existence with astonishment and joy, we may legitimately hope to conquer—or at least break even against—the worldly and leaden forces of materialism and fear." —LA Times

"The essays are marvels of human decency and strength." —NW Book Lovers

Praise for Natalia Ginzburg's work

“One of the Great Italian Writers of the 20th Century.”—The New York Times

"Clarity, precision and wit mark the work of Natalia Ginzburg." — The New York Times Book Review

"I wish more people would read the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg." — Mary Gordon, Mother Jones

"Natalia Ginzburg must surely be one of literature's most provocative and moving writers." — Elle magazine

"Realistic, anchored by vivifying detail, crowded with wonderfully vibrant characters, luminous with deep feeling, responsiveness, and sympathy." — Publishers Weekly

"Ginzburg draws her readers into her deceptively charming essays with cascades of alluring, everyday detail, then stealthily broaches moral questions of great weight and complexity. Wryly witty, acutely observant, and unfailingly valiant, Ginzburg is a revelation, a spur, and a joy." — Booklist

"A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart." — The New York Times Book Review

"Ginzburg was famous for her ability to conjure up a mixed emotional atmosphere, poignant yet unsentimental." —The New Yorker

Praise for Natalia Ginzburg's work

"Now reading Natalia Ginzburg's The Little Virtues and my life is already better."—Rosanne Cash, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and New York Times bestselling author of Composed: A Memoir

"Clarity, precision and wit mark the work of Natalia Ginzburg." — The New York Times Book Review

"I wish more people would read the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg." — Mary Gordon, Mother Jones

"Natalia Ginzburg must surely be one of literature's most provocative and moving writers." — Elle magazine

"Realistic, anchored by vivifying detail, crowded with wonderfully vibrant characters, luminous with deep feeling, responsiveness, and sympathy." — Publishers Weekly

"Ginzburg draws her readers into her deceptively charming essays with cascades of alluring, everyday detail, then stealthily broaches moral questions of great weight and complexity. Wryly witty, acutely observant, and unfailingly valiant, Ginzburg is a revelation, a spur, and a joy." — Booklist

"A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart." — The New York Times Book Review

Praise for The Little Virtues:

"A stunning tour de force, The Little Virtues is a credo of undaunted idealism." — The New York Times Book Review

"There is one book . . .which has meant more to me than any other: The Little Virtues, by the Italian novelist, essayist, playwright, short-story writer, translator, and political activist Natalia Ginzburg." — The New Yorker Sept. 2016

"The book that taught me what I want to teach my daughter." — Belle Boggs, author of Mattaponi Queen

"Considered among the best writers in contemporary Italy, Ginzburg should appeal to a wide American audience with this collection of essays." — Publishers Weekly

"These little virtues then, this little book, pack a tremendous punch. By loving life, Ginzburg suggests, by working with love and enthusiasm, by embracing the homeliest details of daily existence with astonishment and joy, we may legitimately hope to conquer—or at least break even against—the worldly and leaden forces of materialism and fear." — LA Times

"The essays are marvels of human decency and strength—NW Book Lovers
Product Details
ISBN: 9781628728255
ISBN-10: 1628728256
Publisher: Arcade
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Pages: 184
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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