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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 Jan 8th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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I read somewhere that the author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (can`t think of his name right now)had written or was writing a book on Venice. Anybody know anything about it?
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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John Berendt wrote "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Here's a brief story about his forthcoming book on Venice, due in October 2005:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/...;oneclick=true

Dog_Mother, thanks from me, too, for that wonderful compilation of all the recommendations in this thread.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 08:45 PM
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Nonnafelice, I will check out the link for John Berendt`s book on Venice. I`m sure he put a lot of research into it.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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I checked out Amazon for John Berendt's book since I really liked "Midnight.." and it is already available to pre-order even though it doesn't come out until October. I'm glad to have found out about it, because if it is as good as "Midnight.." it should be great and I love to read about Venice, any little way to feel that I am back there!
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Thanks, Dog Mother. Ripe for the Picking by Annie Dawes IS the correct title. The book is a sequel to her earlier one, Extra Virgin. The setting is Liguria. Apparently, it is not available in the US. But, you can find it at amazonUK.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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This morning as I sipped my café au lait I read the review of a new book by
Johm Grisham, "The Broker." A character is whisked out of jail, sent to italy with a nw I.D. and is told to follow strict orders on how not to resemble an American. "No shorts, no black socks and white sneakers, no poyester slacks, no golf shirts...and Plase don't start getting fat."
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Janet Maslin's NYT review of "The Broker" did not compel me to want to read it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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A beautiful book is "Castles in Italy - The Medieval Life of Noble Families" (ISBN 382901578X), Text by Clemente Manenti and photos by Markus Bollen.

The photographs are both exterior and interior and include paintings, frescoes, statuary.

It also includes a map of the castles so you could plan a trip to your favorites.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:19 PM
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Another book to add to this great list:

I've just finished Jeff Shapiro's new book "Secrets of Sant'Angelo." If you enjoyed his first one, "Renato's Luck," you'll be glad to know that he continues in the same wonderful vein with a magical, moving, tender, yet funny and down-to-earth tale of life in the Tuscan village of Sant'Angelo. This story centers on Renato's daughter and a mysterious mother-son combo who arrive in town just before Christmas to set many changes in motion.

I was almost as sad to finish this book as I am when ending a real trip to Italy, because I didn't want to leave Sant'Angelo and all the people there whose lives I had loved sharing for a few days. I hope Jeff Shapiro is already working on the next in the Sant'Angelo series!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:31 PM
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" White Smoke Over the Vatican" by Don Sharkey.
With the Holy Father being sick, fragile and old, this is a very interesting book about the Vatican.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 03:59 AM
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Carlo Levi "Christ Stopped at Eboli"

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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:15 AM
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And related to the Levi book, a recent one: "Seasons in Basilicata : A Year in a Southern Italian Hill Village" by David Yeadon. Yeadon more or less followed Levi's trail, and spent a year in the village Levi had written about 60 years earlier. A lovely book, sprinkled with the author's own drawings.

My problem is that every time I read about a part of Italy I didn't know much about before, I want to go there, too!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:34 AM
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I enjoyed Yeadon's Basilicata book, as well. Thanks for mentioning it.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Reading "Boticelli Blue Skies" by Gerber. Non-fiction about a couple who live in Florence for 3 months while the husband is teaching there. Easy read and gives a good flavor on Florence.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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A friend gave me a book called Rosemary & Bitter Oranges before I went to Italy in 2003. I loved it! It is a coming of age story set in an Italian kitchen...it even has a few recipes woven into the text.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Hi, Dog Mother!

Others have already mentioned Thomas Mann's novella, "Death in Venice" (a downer, yes, but worth reading), and "The Wings of the Dove," by Henry James (I do better if I start with film adaptations before tackling James's dense prose).

Tom Holland's "Rubicon" is a gossipy account of the schemings of Rome's leading citizens as the republic gave way to empire.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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Bernini vs Borromini...

"The Genius in the Design - The Rivalry that Transformed Rome" a new book by Jake Morrisey

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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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Nino Ricci Trilogy beginning with Lives of the Saints.

Happy reading
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Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 01:35 PM
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ttt
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Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 02:06 PM
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One that I neglected to mention previously (though maybe someone else did): I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni.
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