In November I wrote this post about 10 favorite books on Italy. Whether it was Four Seasons in Rome for the love of Caput Mundi or Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words for the love of Italian language, each one was different. Today I’m adding a few more to the list of books based in Italy for your never ending to be read pile:
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster:
I think this is a novel loved by many with a setup of two differently cultured countries – Italy and England. The book is written in early 20th century and explores the issues of caste, wealth, war and society with a fun Edwardian backdrop in the charming town of Florence. I don’t like the end as much but I still love it for everything related to Italy that has been described.
Buy the book here:
Venice by Jan Morris:
I love Jan Morris and her style of writing. In this book Venice, she goes very deeply in the history of the city and there is a certain melancholy as she takes the reader to different calle or streets of Venice. Even though it is not nearly a travel book, it is not boring and it also makes you feel you are traveling with her in the piazze and campi. It is a little bit of a chaotic trip through the city’s past but one that ends in delight and a great book based in Italy.
The Stone Boudoir by Theresa Maggio:
Anyone who is fascinated with Sicily and it’s small towns will enjoy this book. I was quite surprised by my lack of knowledge of small provinces and towns of this part of Italy. The Stone Boudoir is a biographical account of the author’s travels to her ancestors’ village in Sicily. Maggio takes you to her Sicilian family in the backdrop of the Mafia, food and men. This book will make you yearn to visit Sicily.!! Her descriptions of the Sicilian people are on spot. What a fantastic book on Italy.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes:
Don’t judge this book by the glossier version movie of the same name. Under the Tuscan Sun is an account of Mayes’ experience with life in Tuscany. I have a soft corner for it. Once you pick it up, you will find yourself longing to visit the Tuscan region lined with perfectl cypress trees and long stretches of vineyards. The descriptions of local life coupled with sumptuous plates of pasta, make it a great read for books based in Italy. It will remind you of summer and wine and Tuscany……!
When I pre-ordered this book, I assumed from the title that the author would take me to various places of literary importance in Italy. From the South to the North maybe??However, it turned out to be quite different. This book includes 23 essays written by Parks for the New York Review of Books. These essays are written on Italian intellects from Collodi to Dante to Bassani to Tabucchi. Parks gives his insights on them and it is an interesting approach to include his own essays. But I was expecting one on Italo Calvino, a pity he missed him! All in all, a great collection and bravo to Parks on all the research gone for the book.
Buy the book here:
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Books on Italy: Contemporary and Travel
5 Books on Italy to Read this Spring
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