Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

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Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by Admin on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:25 pm

I thought as it is the season of gift giving, it might be interesting what Italian books or books about or set in Italy we have enjoyed.

I would recommend The Italians as an excellent overview of what has shaped Italy and the Italians throughout history. Best enjoyed if you have lived here or spent some time here though.

Venezia is a lovely cook book with wonderful photos and just beautifully put together overall.

For an insight into the corruption in the olive oil industry look no further than Extra Virginity and for a enjoyably readbale more in depth study of olives and oil take a look at Olives.

I found the Tim Parks books fun when I first got here. Maybe I should read them again now I've been here for a while. The same goes for Annie Hawes.

I am currently reading Last train from Liguria which I am enjoying but I've not finished yet. A thoughtful book is Thin Paths.

I few others I have enjoyed were Love and War in the Appennines and Naples 44. Also Vroom with a view and one by a tour guide telling tales on the mad tourists he had as clients, whose name escapes me at the moment.

I enjoy Made In Italy by Girogio Locatelli both for the recipes and the anecdotes.

If I think of more I will add them but what are you reading / have you enjoyed reading?
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Re: Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:53 pm

I have said it numerous times, but my fayvourite Italian book is Tomassi di Lampedusa's "Il Gattopardo". I have read it in it's original Italian version, in English, in Spanish and I keep on reading it.
I also love my collection of Italian Cooking books, too numerous to mention.
Also Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".
And I found last year a collection of short biographies of the Popes "I Papi". Excellent reading!
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Re: Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by la alma on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:24 pm

I have just finished reading "The Glass Room" by Simon Mawer, which took me a little while to get into, but then I couldn't put it down.I saw that one of his early books was" A Place In Italy", which I tried to get hold of but it seems to only be available as a kindle version as it is now out of print. Does anyone know where I might find a second-hand copy of this? (There are one or two on Amazon at an exorbitant price). Maybe someone even knows the author as I think he still lives in Italy.

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Re: Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by modicasa on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:08 am

lord, where do you start... 

David Gilmours - The pursuit of Italy is an excellent book on the unification of Italy even though its a bit north-centric.

Peter Robbs  - Street Fight in Naples is a delightful if a bit strange canter through Neapolitan history by way of anecdotes about artists mainly.  Evocative though. 

Harold Acton - The Bourbons of Naples - the definitive history of the Bourbons and south of Italy

Naples 44 - life in Naples after the Americans arrived -  in fact anything by Norman Lewis

The Gallery - cant remember the author - collection of vignettes about life in Naples under the occupation. 

Anything by Dennis Mack smith or Christopher Hibbert - the two best hitorical writers on Italy and Sicily and the best biographers.  Particularly  Hibberts biographies of cities - Venice, Florence, Rome and his books on the Medici, and MAck Smith's  history of Sicily, and biogs of Mussolini, Cavour and Mazzini.  

It seems to me that anything downloaded from Google Books is worth a look, its free and out of copyright.   I avoid the newer books written by people who have had a holiday in Italy and decide they are  entitled to write unfounded pap.

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Re: Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by Lisa C. on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:05 pm

I recommend "A Thread of Grace" by Maria Dora Russell, which is a historical novel set towards the end of World War 11.  It is a very moving and well-written novel depicting the plight of the Italian Jews and the resistance fighters, nuns, priests and neighbors who tried to protect them.


Also, "Christ Stopped at Eboli" by Carlo Levi.  Levi was a doctor, artist and writer who was banished to Aliano because of his anti-fascist activities.  The book is a memoir about the time he spent in exile in the Lucania.  It is a beautifully written account of the lives of the local peasants and life in the village in which they lived.
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Re: Some books on Italy I have enjoyed

Post by la alma on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:11 pm

Brilliant to hear about books I didn't know about. Thankyou for the suggestions. Just wish I had more reading time.

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