Popular Italy Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Italy

Discover the list of some best books written on Italy by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Italy highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.5/5

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours. Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours. Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.Fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and Unbroken will enjoy this riveting saga of history, suspense, and love.

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5/5

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

A novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets… In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betraya A novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets… In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal. Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation. Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…

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3.1/5

The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero

For some people in post–World War II Germany, the battle is not over. August 1945. As Stefano, an Italian POW, heads toward home across war-ravaged Germany, he encounters a young child beside his dead mother. Unable to leave him to an unknown fate, Stefano takes the boy with him, finding refuge in a seemingly abandoned house in a secluded woodland. But the house is far from For some people in post–World War II Germany, the battle is not over. August 1945. As Stefano, an Italian POW, heads toward home across war-ravaged Germany, he encounters a young child beside his dead mother. Unable to leave him to an unknown fate, Stefano takes the boy with him, finding refuge in a seemingly abandoned house in a secluded woodland. But the house is far from vacant. Stefano wakes at the arrival of its owner, Erich, a former German soldier, who invites the travelers to stay until they can find safe passage home. Stefano cautiously agrees, intrigued by the disarming German, his reclusive neighbor Rosalind, and her traumatized husband, Georg. Stefano is also drawn to Monique, the girl in a photograph on Rosalind’s wall, who went missing during the war. But when he discovers letters written by Monique, a darker truth emerges. This place of refuge could be one of reckoning, and the secrets of the past might prevent the travelers from ever getting home.

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3.2/5

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II. As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II. As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.

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4.7/5

That Month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper

That Month in Tuscany . . . Ren Sawyer and Lizzy Harper live completely different lives. He’s a rock star with a secret he can no longer live with. She’s a regular person whose husband stood her up for a long planned anniversary trip. On a flight across the Atlantic headed for Italy, a drunken pity party and untimely turbulence literally drop Lizzy into Ren’s lap. It is the That Month in Tuscany . . . Ren Sawyer and Lizzy Harper live completely different lives. He’s a rock star with a secret he can no longer live with. She’s a regular person whose husband stood her up for a long planned anniversary trip. On a flight across the Atlantic headed for Italy, a drunken pity party and untimely turbulence literally drop Lizzy into Ren’s lap. It is the last thing she can imagine ever happening to someone like her. But despite their surface differences, they discover an undeniable pull between them. A pull that leads them both to remember who they had once been before letting themselves be changed by a life they had each chosen. Exploring the streets of Florence and the hills of Tuscany together - two people with seemingly nothing in common - changes them both forever. And what they find in each other is something that might just heal them both. *** Previously titled Rock Her.

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4/5

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante , Ann Goldstein (Translator)

Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up— Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. In this final book, she has returned to Naples. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from the city of her birth. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable! Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, the story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and every return will bring with it new revelations.

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3.4/5

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

“I made the wrong choice.” Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then she is given a journal that her mom h “I made the wrong choice.” Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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3.7/5

Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger

In this fairy tale with a sexy twist, she’s a penniless San Francisco seamstress. He’s the king of Italian couture. Who’s got designs on whom? Boutique owner Kimber DiSanto has seen better days. She’s been dumped at the altar by Prince Charmless, her business went up in flames (literally), and now she’s stuck in Florence, Italy, with an ice-queen stepmother, to try to sav In this fairy tale with a sexy twist, she’s a penniless San Francisco seamstress. He’s the king of Italian couture. Who’s got designs on whom? Boutique owner Kimber DiSanto has seen better days. She’s been dumped at the altar by Prince Charmless, her business went up in flames (literally), and now she’s stuck in Florence, Italy, with an ice-queen stepmother, to try to save her late father’s failing dress shop. Only one thing could make it worse: another man in her life. The arrogant Italian fashion tycoon offering to buy her father’s shop is as rich as he is sexy, and their attraction is off the charts. But Kimber’s not about to get burned again.Women don’t say no to Matteo Moretti—and certainly not with Kimber’s stinging precision. With all the heat and fury sparking between them, Matteo can’t resist baiting the gorgeous American. His plan? Win her over one scorching kiss at a time.Kimber tells herself it’s all just a game. That her broken heart isn’t in danger, and that Matteo’s touch does not make her Lady Land dance with joy. But sometimes it takes the fieriest of enemies to turn a fantasy into a real-life romance.

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4.2/5

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris

Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant in Goodbye, Paris, an utterly charming novel that proves that sometimes you have to break your heart to make it whole. Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn't been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she's built a quiet life for herself in her sm Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant in Goodbye, Paris, an utterly charming novel that proves that sometimes you have to break your heart to make it whole. Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn't been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she's built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long- distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage. But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life. Shattered, Grace hits rock bottom and abandons everything that has been important to her, including her dream of entering and winning the world's most important violin-making competition. Her closest friends--a charming elderly violinist with a secret love affair of his own, and her store clerk, a gifted but angst-ridden teenage girl--step in to help, but will their friendship be enough to help her pick up the pieces? Filled with lovable, quirky characters, this poignant novel explores the realities of relationships and heartbreak and shows that when it comes to love, there's more than one way to find happiness.

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3.4/5

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales AND the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding. What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy is (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.

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3.5/5

Le otto montagne by Paolo Cognetti

Pietro è un ragazzino di città, solitario e un po' scontroso. La madre lavora in un consultorio di periferia, e farsi carico degli altri è il suo talento. Il padre è un chimico, un uomo ombroso e affascinante, che torna a casa ogni sera dal lavoro carico di rabbia. I genitori di Pietro sono uniti da una passione comune, fondativa: in montagna si sono conosciuti, innamorati Pietro è un ragazzino di città, solitario e un po' scontroso. La madre lavora in un consultorio di periferia, e farsi carico degli altri è il suo talento. Il padre è un chimico, un uomo ombroso e affascinante, che torna a casa ogni sera dal lavoro carico di rabbia. I genitori di Pietro sono uniti da una passione comune, fondativa: in montagna si sono conosciuti, innamorati, si sono addirittura sposati ai piedi delle Tre Cime di Lavaredo. La montagna li ha uniti da sempre, anche nella tragedia, e l'orizzonte lineare di Milano li riempie ora di rimpianto e nostalgia. Quando scoprono il paesino di Grana, ai piedi del Monte Rosa, sentono di aver trovato il posto giusto: Pietro trascorrerà tutte le estati in quel luogo «chiuso a monte da creste grigio ferro e a valle da una rupe che ne ostacola l'accesso» ma attraversato da un torrente che lo incanta dal primo momento. E lì, ad aspettarlo, c'è Bruno, capelli biondo canapa e collo bruciato dal sole: ha la sua stessa età ma invece di essere in vacanza si occupa del pascolo delle vacche. Iniziano così estati di esplorazioni e scoperte, tra le case abbandonate, il mulino e i sentieri più aspri. Sono anche gli anni in cui Pietro inizia a camminare con suo padre, «la cosa più simile a un'educazione che abbia ricevuto da lui». Perché la montagna è un sapere, un vero e proprio modo di respirare, e sarà il suo lascito più vero: «Eccola lì, la mia eredità: una parete di roccia, neve, un mucchio di sassi squadrati, un pino». Un'eredità che dopo tanti anni lo riavvicinerà a Bruno. Paolo Cognetti, uno degli scrittori più apprezzati dalla critica e amati dai lettori, entra nel catalogo Einaudi con un libro magnetico e adulto, che esplora i rapporti accidentati ma granitici, la possibilità di imparare e la ricerca del nostro posto nel mondo.

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3.2/5

La Tresse by Laetitia Colombani

Smita, Julia, Sarah. Trois femmes, trois vies, trois continents. Trois chemins que rien ne destine à se croiser. Trois histoires pourtant liées. Inde. Smita est une intouchable. Mariée à un chasseur de rats, elle nettoie a mains nues les latrines de son village, comme le faisait sa mère. Son rêve: voir sa fille échapper à la tradition et apprendre à lire. Lorsque cet espoir Smita, Julia, Sarah. Trois femmes, trois vies, trois continents. Trois chemins que rien ne destine à se croiser. Trois histoires pourtant liées. Inde. Smita est une intouchable. Mariée à un chasseur de rats, elle nettoie a mains nues les latrines de son village, comme le faisait sa mère. Son rêve: voir sa fille échapper à la tradition et apprendre à lire. Lorsque cet espoir est anéanti, elle décide de fuir avec l'enfant, malgré les mises en garde de son mari. Sicile. Julia est ouvrière dans l'atelier de traitement de cheveux de son père, le dernier du genre a Palerme. Elle trie, lave, décolore et teint des mèches fournies par les coiffeurs de la ville. Lorsque son père est victime d'un grave accident, elle découvre que l'atelier familial est ruiné. Canada. Sarah est une avocate réputée. Mère de trois enfants, deux fois divorcée, elle enchaine les dossiers à un rythme effréné. En passe d'être promue associée, elle apprend qu'elle est atteinte d'un cancer du sein. Sa vie en apparence parfaite commence à se fissurer. On dit parfois que la vie ne tient qu'à un fil... Et si la leur tenait à leur chevelure ? Trois destins de femmes que tout éloigne sauf l'essentiel: leur exigence de liberté.

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3/5

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!So Ruth travels to Fontana Liri, accompanied by her daughter Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!So Ruth travels to Fontana Liri, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a medieval shrine and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also finds Harry Nelson, who is enduring a terrible holiday at a resort nearby. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock - the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Fontana Liri that someone would kill to protect

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4.1/5

At the Wolf's Table by Rosella Postorino , Leah Janeczko (Translator)

The internationally bestselling novel based on the untold true story of the women conscripted to be Hitler's food tasters. "They called it the Wolfsschanze, the Wolf's Lair. 'Wolf' was his nickname. As hapless as Little Red Riding Hood, I had ended up in his belly. A legion of hunters was out looking for him, and to get him in their grips they would gladly slay me as well." The internationally bestselling novel based on the untold true story of the women conscripted to be Hitler's food tasters. "They called it the Wolfsschanze, the Wolf's Lair. 'Wolf' was his nickname. As hapless as Little Red Riding Hood, I had ended up in his belly. A legion of hunters was out looking for him, and to get him in their grips they would gladly slay me as well." Germany, 1943: Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Sauer's parents are gone, and her husband Gregor is far away, fighting on the front lines of WWII. Impoverished and alone, she makes the fateful decision to leave war-torn Berlin to live with her in-laws in the countryside, thinking she'll find refuge there. But one morning, the SS come to tell her she has been conscripted to be one of Hitler's tasters: three times a day, she and nine other women go to his secret headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, to eat his meals before he does. Forced to eat what might kill them, the tasters begin to divide into The Fanatics, those loyal to Hitler, and the women like Rosa who insist they aren't Nazis, even as they risk their lives every day for Hitler's. As secrets and resentments grow, this unlikely sisterhood reaches its own dramatic climax. What's more, one of Rosa's SS guards has become dangerously familiar, and the war is worsening outside. As the months pass, it becomes increasingly clear that Rosa and everyone she knows are on the wrong side of history.

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4.3/5

L'Arminuta by Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Ci sono romanzi che toccano corde così profonde, originarie, che sembrano chiamarci per nome. È quello che accade con L'Arminuta fin dalla prima pagina, quando la protagonista, con una valigia in mano e una sacca di scarpe nell'altra, suona a una porta sconosciuta. Ad aprirle, sua sorella Adriana, gli occhi stropicciati, le trecce sfatte: non si sono mai viste prima. Inizi Ci sono romanzi che toccano corde così profonde, originarie, che sembrano chiamarci per nome. È quello che accade con L'Arminuta fin dalla prima pagina, quando la protagonista, con una valigia in mano e una sacca di scarpe nell'altra, suona a una porta sconosciuta. Ad aprirle, sua sorella Adriana, gli occhi stropicciati, le trecce sfatte: non si sono mai viste prima. Inizia così questa storia dirompente e ammaliatrice: con una ragazzina che da un giorno all'altro perde tutto – una casa confortevole, le amiche più care, l'affetto incondizionato dei genitori. O meglio, di quelli che credeva i suoi genitori. Per «l'Arminuta» (la ritornata), come la chiamano i compagni, comincia una nuova e diversissima vita. La casa è piccola, buia, ci sono fratelli dappertutto e poco cibo sul tavolo. Ma c'è Adriana, che condivide il letto con lei. E c'è Vincenzo, che la guarda come fosse già una donna. E in quello sguardo irrequieto, smaliziato, lei può forse perdersi per cominciare a ritrovarsi. L'accettazione di un doppio abbandono è possibile solo tornando alla fonte a se stessi. Donatella Di Pietrantonio conosce le parole per dirlo, e affronta il tema della maternità, della responsabilità e della cura, da una prospettiva originale e con una rara intensità espressiva. Le basta dare ascolto alla sua terra, a quell'Abruzzo poco conosciuto, ruvido e aspro, che improvvisamente si accende col riflesso del mare.

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3/5

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante , Ann Goldstein (Translator)

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of the A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.

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4.1/5

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco , William Weaver (Translator) , Seán Barrett (Reading)

The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glis The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

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4.9/5

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier. What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

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3/5

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante , Ann Goldstein (Translator)

In 2012, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series. With these books, which the New Yorker's James Wood described as "large, captivating, amiably peopled ... a beautiful and delicate tale of In 2012, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series. With these books, which the New Yorker's James Wood described as "large, captivating, amiably peopled ... a beautiful and delicate tale of confluence and reversal," Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy's most accomplished storytellers. She writes vividly about a specific neighborhood of Naples from the late-1950s through to the current day and about two remarkable young women who are very much the products of that place and time. Yet in doing so she has created a world in which readers will recognize themselves and has drawn a marvelously nuanced portrait of friendship. In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her entrée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Love, jealousy, family, freedom, commitment, and above all friendship: these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment, gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.

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4.6/5

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a viney An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.

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3.2/5

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante , Ann Goldstein (Translator)

Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors has grown enormously. She has gained admirers among authors--Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Strout, Claire Messud, to name a few--and critics--James Wood, John Freeman, Eugenia Williamson, for example. Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors has grown enormously. She has gained admirers among authors--Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Strout, Claire Messud, to name a few--and critics--James Wood, John Freeman, Eugenia Williamson, for example. But her most resounding success has undoubtedly been with readers, who have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship. In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her abusive husband and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which have opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have pushed against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance, and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.

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4.1/5

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life. Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful ca A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life. Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best way—unexpectedly. An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.

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4/5

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

"But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..." Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her, until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconvent "But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..." Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her, until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

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3.5/5

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa , Archibald Colquhoun (Translator)

The Leopard is a story of a decadent and dying aristocracy threatened by the forces of revolution and democracy. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860s, it focuses on Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters: a Bourbon king, libe The Leopard is a story of a decadent and dying aristocracy threatened by the forces of revolution and democracy. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860s, it focuses on Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters: a Bourbon king, liberals and pseudo liberals, peasants and millionaires.

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4.6/5

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante , Ann Goldstein (Translator)

Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up— Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. In this final book, she has returned to Naples. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from the city of her birth. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable! Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, the story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and every return will bring with it new revelations.

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3.4/5

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities. But their burgeoning relationship is interrupt Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities. But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art. The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

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3.6/5

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino , William Weaver (Translator)

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration—"when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded." Italo Calvino's novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished I If on a Winter's Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration—"when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded." Italo Calvino's novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. In another, it is a tragedy, a reflection on the difficulties of writing and the solitary nature of reading. The Reader buys a fashionable new book, which opens with an exhortation: "Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade." Alas, after 30 or so pages, he discovers that his copy is corrupted, and consists of nothing but the first section, over and over. Returning to the bookshop, he discovers the volume, which he thought was by Calvino, is actually by the Polish writer Bazakbal. Given the choice between the two, he goes for the Pole, as does the Other Reader, Ludmilla. But this copy turns out to be by yet another writer, as does the next, and the next. The real Calvino intersperses 10 different pastiches—stories of menace, spies, mystery, premonition—with explorations of how and why we choose to read, make meanings, and get our bearings or fail to. Meanwhile the Reader and Ludmilla try to reach, and read, each other. If on a Winter's Night is dazzling, vertiginous, and deeply romantic. "What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space."

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3.7/5

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli , Rufus Goodwin (Translator) , Benjamin Martinez (Illustrator)

Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was. Hence: Can Machiavelli, who makes the following observations, be Machiavellian as we understand the disparaging term? 1. So it is that to know the nature of a people, one need be a Prince; to know the nature of a Prince, one need to be of the people. 2. If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was. Hence: Can Machiavelli, who makes the following observations, be Machiavellian as we understand the disparaging term? 1. So it is that to know the nature of a people, one need be a Prince; to know the nature of a Prince, one need to be of the people. 2. If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal for his subjects to show their affection for him. 3. Opportunity made Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and others; their virtue domi-nated the opportunity, making their homelands noble and happy. Armed prophets win; the disarmed lose. 4. Without faith and religion, man achieves power but not glory. 5. Prominent citizens want to command and oppress; the populace only wants to be free of oppression. 6. A Prince needs a friendly populace; otherwise in diversity there is no hope. 7. A Prince, who rules as a man of valor, avoids disasters, 8. Nations based on mercenary forces will never be solid or secure. 9. Mercenaries are dangerous because of their cowardice 10. There are two ways to fight: one with laws, the other with force. The first is rightly man’s way; the second, the way of beasts.

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3.9/5

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon

There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wel There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice. But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape--a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . .

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3/5

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino , William Weaver (Translator)

"Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So begins Italo Calvino's compilation of fragmentary urban images. As Marco tell "Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So begins Italo Calvino's compilation of fragmentary urban images. As Marco tells the khan about Armilla, which "has nothing that makes it seem a city, except the water pipes that rise vertically where the houses should be and spread out horizontally where the floors should be," the spider-web city of Octavia, and other marvelous burgs, it may be that he is creating them all out of his imagination, or perhaps he is recreating fine details of his native Venice over and over again, or perhaps he is simply recounting some of the myriad possible forms a city might take.

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