In November I wrote a 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 (more here). Today I am adding a few more to the list for your acquired Italian reading:
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.
Venice by Jan Morris:
I love Jan Morris and her style of writing. In her book Venice, she goes very deeply in the history of a city but doesn’t make it boring. One can feel her melancholy of the city as she takes the reader to different calle or streets of one of the greatest cities of the world. Even though it is not nearly a travel book, it falls under that category and I somehow like that. The reader travels with her in that maze of a city and gets lost in the piazze and campi. It is a chaotic trip through the city’s past but one that ends with a delight.
The Stone Boudoir by Theresa Maggio:
Anyone who is fascinated with little villages of Italy will enjoy this book. I was quite surprised by my lack of knowledge of small provinces and towns of Sicily that I had never known to exist. 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, her roots in the backdrop of the Mafia, food and men. This book will make you yearn to visit Sicily. Her descriptions of the Sicilian villages and people are brilliant and very to the point.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes:
Don’t judge this book by the glossier 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 Italy’s Tuscan region of perfectly lined Cypress trees, long stretches of vineyards and sumptuous plates of local pasta. A great read after a long day at work which will remind you of summer and wine and Tuscany!
A Literary Tour of Italy by Tim Parks:
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 him and by great Italian intellects from Collodi to Dante to Bassani and Tabucchi. Tim Parks gives his insights on them as he did when he first published these essays in the New York Review of Books. I was expecting an Italo Calvino in this book but a pity that he missed him. But bravo to him on the research gone for the book.
Have you read any of these?? I’d love to know your Italy specific recommendations for future posts and reading.
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