books that make you love europe!!

Old Oct 20th, 2000, 08:29 PM
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books that make you love europe!!

Can anyone suggest some good books on Europe? I prefer fiction- historical, travel, whatever (light literature kinda thing). Just books that wax lyrical about Europe! A story would be nice too, of course

Books that I've liked are:
-An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
-Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
-Scherzo by Jim Williams
-Sophie's World and Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 08:34 PM
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Hi Tina, have you read Long Ago in France, by M F K Fisher?
Because we are going shortly to Dijon I recently read it again. I found it very interesting
+ very well written by this good
American author .
Bon voyaage. Graziella
Old Oct 21st, 2000, 02:16 AM
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Tina, for a book about Britain and the British try "Notes from a small island" by the American author Bill Bryson. It is based on his extended stay in Britain. He actually commentates on the British our eccentricities and mannerisms and our country really well. An example to whet the appetite:
"Suddenly in the space of a moment I realised what it was that I loved about Britain...which is to say all of it....marmite, village fetes, country lanes, people saying "musn't grumble" and "I'm terrlbly sorry but" .People apologizing to ME when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast....crumpets, hot water bottles as a necessity, drizzly sundays - every bit of it. What a wondrous place this was - crazy as ****, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads...or take pride in a naval hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy?....How easily we lose sight of this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the 20th century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most post a letter, go for a walk, but a book, watch television, go to a museum, use a bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view...All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment...I like it here..I like it more than I can tell you. And then I turned from the gate and got in the car and knew without doubt that I would be back..
The end of my spiel (you will be glad to know!)
Angela (...feeling a little patriotic for a change)
Old Oct 21st, 2000, 05:16 AM
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For Italy I recommend "Italy In Mind" edited by Alice Leccese Powers. It's a collection of essays, stories, etc. by people like Lord Byron, Edith Wharton, Elizabeth Barrett Btrownihng and Mary McCarthy on Italy. It's lovely.
For a good old fashioned 800-page, historical novel on Scotland - you haven't LIVED till you've read "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. It's colorful, entertaining, and gives you a lot of insight into Scotland's past.
Old Oct 21st, 2000, 09:17 AM
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At the risk of being branded an iconoclast, I would recommend you avoid books by James Michener, possibly America's most successful and most over-rated novelist of our times. His stuff on Europe made me gag. I have always suspected that he was paid by the word...or the pound.
Old Oct 21st, 2000, 10:13 AM
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I had to see Scotland after reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

I ended up looking for 'Jamie' one of the lead characters in the book in every place I went. I know he was just a character in a book but I couldn't help myself!

He was described as tall ruggedly good looking with long red hair. Believe it or not, I saw a 20 something guy at the Edinbourgh Castle who fit the discription, dressed in a kilt!

Outlander is an historical romance that describes a time journey back to 1745, just prior to Cullodon, from 1945 England.

Outlander is a very good read! Gabaldon has done a series of these books, but I found none of them matched the addition of reading Outlander. Be advised, you won't want to put this one down!
Old Oct 21st, 2000, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions, everyone
How bout books about the cold countries(sorry, I dunno what to call them! ) Russia, Finland, Norway?

Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 02:06 AM
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If you need any incentive to go to Provence, which is hardly likely, read Peter Mayle's books titled 'A Year in Provence' and 'Toujours Provence'.
Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 02:18 AM
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"Midnight in Sicily" is a very good account of the Mafia, food and lifestyle in Sicily. I also find books like Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice" and Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" very evocative of a place and time ie: Venice and Prague. For what it's worth regarding the above recommendation of Bill Bryson, I think his writing stinks and his humor is very cliche, although he does offer some insight into the U.K. His books about the English language might be more interesting.
Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 02:38 AM
Mikek Miller
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Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes always takes me there. I can't wait to get back and visit some of the wonderful hill towns described in these wonderful books.
Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 08:28 PM
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Harzer: Peter Mayle has a new book "Encour Provence" now in paperback. You'll want to book a flight when you finish reading it!
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 01:04 AM
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Bookworm & Tina
Agree that Bryson is not the best writer around, especially when compared to the writers you have put forward and those of Tina herself!). But Bryson is perceptive regarding the British and their strange and wonderful ways, and is fun to read for this reason alone...for me anyway.
Tim Cahill is another option, he is a good (compared with Bryson) contemporary and at times a very funny travel writer.
Michael Palin is also worth a read. He has made his living from travel writing and presenting TV travel journals in recent years. Some of his books cover Europe. All the above are light literature
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 04:11 AM
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Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a wonderful book by Louis de Bernier. It's set on the Greek island of Kefalonia, during the second world war. It's a novel, but very well researched, and the characters are absorbing - one of the main plotlines is a love affair between an Italian Captain (there with the occupying army) and a young Greek girl. The film should be released in a few months, starring Nicolas Cage in the Corelli role.

Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 06:56 AM
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The Sun also Rises- Ernest Hemingway
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 07:32 AM
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"A Room with a View" (the book, not the movie!) is always a fun way to get in the mood before visiting Florence. Also, it is hard not to chuckle at the uptight tourists who dare not waver from their social norms to enjoy those of their host country!
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 09:00 AM
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Al, you iconoclast you!!! (good word!)
Actually James Michener is one of my favorite authors. Yeah, he does get a bit wordy and sometimes his books start off a bit slowly, but I just love the way he entwines history with story-telling! The Covenant, for instance, taught me alot regarding the history of Africa by his creation of characters and a story line.

He still has my vote!
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 09:14 AM
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Hi Tina;
Before my first trip to Ireland a friend had given my a book written by Nora Roberts "Born in Fire". It was followed by two others "Born in Ice" and "Born in Shame" She brought Ireland to life for me! Her scenery and life in the pubs was on the mark. She writes alot of Irish Romance novels. All historically accurate and gives great explanations about folklore, family traditions,etc. She usually writes trilogies and she has me hooked! Right now her latest is "Jewels of the Sun" "Tears of the Moon" and "Heart of the Sea". Enjoy!
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 01:22 AM
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Thanks everyone, just upping this cos I'm too lazy to search for it every time
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 03:08 PM
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Or maybe this one?
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 05:29 PM
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I don't think another book captures the glory of Venice quite as completely and as beautifully as Jan Morris' "The World of Venice." If you haven't been, you'll find yourself longing to go; if you're already a lover of Venice, this book will take you back there (figuratively for sure, and quite possibly literally in the sense of spurring you to book the next flight out).

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