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review 2018-05-17 22:18
All the Way to Italy
All the Way to Italy - Flavia Brunetti

Little has grown up in San Francisco, but is a native of Italy. For a good portion of her childhood she was raised by her Aunt Sira in the States. Little and Sira packed up and left Italty after an incident happened concerning her mother and father that caused Little's mother to leave them. Now, Little's father has died and Sira has asked Little to come back to Italy. Little reluctantly returns to her home knowing that she must help sift through her father's things. Little's return also brings back partial memories, things she can't piece together from her time with her mother and father-a symbol, an argument. Little tries to piece together what secret her father was hiding and what made her mother leave; however, the one person who could tell her is no longer alive and Sira is keeping her mouth shut. Little embarks on a trip around Italy trying to figure out the secrets her family has kept, but may unlock more within herself.

A journey of self-discovery and family secrets, All The Way to Italy is a fascinating adventure. With poetic writing, some of the first lines drew me in: "She wanted to tap the man's shoulder and ask him if a place can ever shake off the people who had belonged to it, or if those tendrils would feed her nostalgia forever..." I was also immediately curious about Little; we never find out her real name and her situation is unique. Sira was an immediate favorite with her sage advice and marvelous attitude. Through Sira, there are glimpses of what Little's father was like along with amazing stories of the siblings during WWII. However, Sira is reluctant to give up her brother's secret, setting Little on a trip around Italy. With Little's adventures, we get a very intimate view of some wonderful places around the country that are usually left out of the travel guides. I loved Little's description of Rome as " a city that had adapted to modern times without losing its antiquity." Through Little's trip, Little does not figure out anything about her family, although she does discover more about herself and what she would like to do in life. I do wish the story line with Little's mother, Delila was fleshed out a little more as well as some of the historical sections. There are a few hops back through time to when Sira and Little's father were children during World War II and it seems like there was a lot of potential to build the context of the mystery with Little's father. Overall, a heartwarming and beautiful story of finding your way. 


This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2018-05-06 11:52
THE JULIET CLUB by Suzanne Harper
The Juliet Club - Suzanne Harper

Delightful read of a class of teens attending the Shakespeare Scholars summer class in Verona, Italy.  There are many false steps that lead to hurt feelings turning to love. 

 

I loved this book.  Some of the students are very into Romeo and Juliet.  Some are out of their league and world.  I enjoyed the characters.  I enjoyed the repartee between them as they argue about how to answer the letters sent to Juliet for answering, which is part of their class.  I also enjoyed how the tables get turned on them all when it comes to love. 

 

Just so much fun.  I was sorry it ended.

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review 2018-02-14 20:03
This isn't what I came here for
The Little Virtues - Dick Davis,Natalia Ginzburg

I had hoped to be absolutely knocked out of my socks by the essays in this volume but it fell quite a bit short of the mark. The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg was listed in a footnote of a book that I read last year (I think it was Wild Things but I'm honestly not sure) and it piqued my interest because it was listed as a resource for children's education. Ginzburg writes about her childhood in Italy (this is a translation) and the lessons which she learned from the ups and downs of her life there. It was a tumultuous life too. Organized in a series of short essays, different points in the author's life are described and used to illumine various life lessons. She covers just about everything from family dynamics, adolescent friendships, first love, and (what I was there for) the education of children. One of the major issues I had with this book was that education seemed almost like an afterthought even though the title was crafted from this section. I found the overall collection mediocre at best and not at all mindbogglingly profound as the footnote of the other book (and the online reviews) had led me to believe . In fact, only some of the points were even remotely accessible while the majority were nearly indecipherable. It read more as a series of diary entries than anything approaching academic. 5/10 from a severely disappointed nerd.

 

What's Up Next: The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

 

What I'm Currently Reading: I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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url 2017-10-06 00:22
InD'tale Book Review of Incognito

Bouquets and Brickbats for Incognito by InD'tale.

Source: www.indtale.com/reviews/suspense-thriller/incognito
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review 2017-10-01 20:07
The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici - Elizabeth Lev

"Se io potessi scrivere tutto, farei stupire il mondo" (If I could write everything, I would shock the world). -- Caterina Sforza to a monk during the last decade of her life.

A superbly researched biography of an extraordinary woman we don't hear enough about except her connection to the Borgias. Her story is a lot more interesting than Lucrieza's. At ten she was married to Sixtus IV's nephew, the archenemy of the Medicis Girolamo Riario. After Riarlo's assassination by the Orsi, she became the regent for her son Ottaviano and immediately hunted down her husband's killers as well as anyone remotely connected to the conspiracy, including the Orsi women and the Pope's governor. She trained her city's militia herself and personally oversaw all manner of public policy. Caught up in the Italian Wars and betrayed by Naples, she earned the enmity of Venice until their ally, Caesare Borgia, eventually captured her. It's a wonder Hollywood hasn't come along to do a bang-up job in her life, something better than the schematic portrayal she gets on The Borgias.

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