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Essential Reading List - Great Books About or Set in Italy

Essential Reading List - Great Books About or Set in Italy

Old Apr 26th, 2003, 09:12 PM
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You definitely need to add Deeply Rooted by Ginda Simpson. A personal memoir by artist/writer living in Umbria. It was published in Italy but can be ordered through her website www.gindasimpson.com One of the most entertaining and moving stories that I have read.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 09:37 PM
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Just finished an oldie (1964) but a goodie- 'A Traveller in Italy' by H.V.Morton. Really brings the history of northern and central Italy to life through his discovery of it's characters. I believe it has just been reissued in paperback after 20 odd years out of print...
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 02:36 AM
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Please keep them coming. I am almost through That Fine Italian Hand by Paul Hofmann. Another good book that should be added to the list!
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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i love busterla's suggestions (okay, i admit that i was a classics major). i would add one other by e.m. forster: "where angels fear to tread"

also "the wings of the dove" by henry james
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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This is a good one for Rome "City of the Soul: A Walk in Rome" by William Murray.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:50 AM
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I highly recommend a new book called "The Dark Heart of Italy" by Tobias Jones. It is an amazing eyeopener about the very real political and cultural malaise that exists in modern Italy. As the book cover describes, the author moved to Italy "expecting to discover the pastoral bliss described by centuries of foreign visitors. Instead he found a very different country: one besieged by unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia." I know it sounds depressing, but really it just balances the mythical Italy created by so many sycophantic books and movies. And ultimately helps you understand and still love this fascinating country.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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First of all: blessings to DogMother for taking the time to pull it all together.

Second, for mystery lovers and all who find Florence fascinating, I offer Magdalen Nabb's fine series featuring The Marshall. Cunningly crafted mystery stories, very well written and available through Amazon.com.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Two by Hemingway:

A Farewell to Arms

Across the River and into the Trees
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Old May 14th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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For US readers of the Donna Leon Venice mystery series featuring Commissario Brunetti, I noticed two newer books from the series are now available on amazon: A Sea of Troubles and Wilful Behaviour. WHY is it so difficult to get these books in the US?!
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Dog Mother (I'm a dog mother too)--thanks for putting the list together.

Another to add that I haven't read yet but just got for my book group is Renalto's Luck by Jeff Shapiro.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:45 PM
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ne of my favorites ids Thomas Mann's "Deathi Venice"now to see the visually beautiful film that was adapted , you can see how they can change the essance. Mann said "it seemed"
Visconti, being gay, said, "ït was"
Now this is done by direction with a look. That is why when you see a play, whoever stars in it on a given day, can change the story by personality alone...i..e..body language. Books give you the original intent.
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Old Jun 15th, 2003, 03:31 AM
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ttt
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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I've just discovered Sarah Dunant's 'Mapping the Edge' which partly takes place in Florence and in the Italian countryside. Not only does the character's love of Italy come across but it's the kind of book you'd open up as your flight takes off and you won't be able to put it down until you land. It's considered a thriller, although that always makes me think of spy stories which it isn't at all. It's about responsibility, lust, love, children, the meaning of friendship, motherhood and what happens when something frightening happens in our lives. Dunant is an award-winning mystery writer, so her sense of timing and suspense is impeccable.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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This is an oldie, too. "The Story of San Michele" by Axel Munthe. Read it when I was 7 yrs old and fell in love with Capri. I did find the Phoenician steps from Capri to Anacapri and walked all the way to Munthe's villa.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 04:07 PM
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A great book on the history of Florence that reads like a novel is "The Stones of Florence" by Mary McCarthy. I have recommended this book to several friends and they all agree, it's great.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 08:11 PM
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ttt, because summertime is what reading is made for!
 
Old Jul 4th, 2003, 03:43 AM
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Really surprised that no one has mentioned Jacqueline Park's excellent "The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi," set in several Italian cities during the Renaissance, about the plight of a young Jewish woman and her family as they are kicked out of one town after another.
Very well researched.
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Old Jul 6th, 2003, 04:57 AM
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The Scala Reale website provides an extensive recommended reading list.
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Old Jul 6th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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I just returned from Italy and read a couple of books by Andrea Camilleri -- part of a contemporary mystery series called the "Inspector Montalbano" mysteries. I think that they have also been serialized for Italian TV. The protagonist is a Sicilian police detective. They were really great. The first is titled "The Shape of Water" and the next is "The Terra-cotta Dog" -- I enjoyed them both & if you like mysteries, you should check them out.
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 03:26 PM
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The following is my offering to your magnificent collection of books.
A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. An elderly gentlemen relates the story of his life from growing up in a wealthy family in Rome through the horrors of World War 1. Survival, and love of family comes through; humorous at times, but very moving.


The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. A gentle sweet novel about life, love and the changes natural beauty of the land bring to four English women. Movie was based on this book.

After Hanibal by Barry Unsworth. A wonderful character study of Italians/English with Perugia as the background.

Love and War in the Appennines and A Small Place in Italy by Eric Newby. Biography or war and love and then the reconstruction of a "rustico" after WW 11 in an area near La Spezia.

Jamsandjelly
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