Monday, June 27, 2011

Ten Good Things on a Monday... all about Italy

I've just finished reading The Villa Girls, by Nicky Pellegrino. In fact, if I'm honest, I finished it in on day over the weekend, stopping only to devour an ice cream sundae, topped with hot caramel sauce - delicious! Rather fitting really when a main theme running through The Villa Girls was food - and Italian food at that!

So in honour of a book so good I couldn't put down, and a book with such a strong Italian link to it, this Monday's 10 good things looks at 10 books sitting on my bookshelf, under the category "Italy" - most of which I've read, and loved, and a few of which I've yet to read!

1. The Italian Wedding, by Nicky Pellegrino
Having just read The Villa Girls, another of Pellegrino's tops my list. The story of a wonderfully vibrant Italian family running the 'Little Italy' restaurant in London. However, if you've yet to read one of Nicky Pellegrino's books, start with The Villa Girls (even though this is her latest) and then go on to read The Italian Wedding.

2. Summer at the Villa Rosa, by Nicky Pellegrino
Yes, she's fast become a favourite author of mine and this one is a goodie too. It's the story of Raffaella Moretti who is the new housekeeper at the Villa Rosa in Triento, but as the new housekeeper she's also the new person in town and quickly becomes at the centre of a conflict - and you can imagine what an Italian conflict is like! (NB: This book also goes under the name The Gypsy Tearoom)

3. The Food of Love, by Anthony Capella
This is one of my absolute favourites. Two Italian men out to impress a girl - one can cook, the other cannot! Check out my review here

4. Silk, by Alessandro Baricco
This is a beautiful book that I can only describe as being rather sensuous. It's been translated from the Italian and is the story of Herve Joncour, a silk trader who travels to Japan to smuggle out silkworms, and embarks on a secret affair along the way. It is beautifully written and only 100 pages so won't take you long! Perfect to read while sipping a glass of delicious Italian red!

5. The Glassblower f Murano, by Marina Fiorato
I was absolutely captivated by this book, but then it was set in Venice so the setting is romantic to begin with! It's the story of Nora Manin who escapes London to go soul searching in Venice and traces her family history of glassblowing back to the time of the Renaissance, when the greatest glassblower of Italy, Corradino Manin, sells his method - and his soul - to the French King Louis XIV.

6. The Snack Thief, by Andrea Camilleri
This is a great little mystery - one of the Inspector Montalbano series. I think it's the Italian equivalent of The Number One Ladies Detective Agency and is just as much fun. I've also got The Scent of the Night, sitting on my bookshelf to be read too!

7. Miss Garnet's Angel, by Salley Vickers
I bought this when we were heading on holiday to Venice but have yet to get around to reading it. I've been told it's really good but it's yet to make it onto my TBR pile. Any more info on it would be gratefully received!!

8. The Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo
In fact, I bought this one too and have yet to read it. Ditto number 9

9. The Floating Book, by Michelle Lovric
Although, one of the great things about writing a list like this for such a meme is that you rediscover books long since forgotten on your bookshelf! This is another one set in Venice, 1468. Sosia Simeon, a free-spirited sensualist, is the love or many men in the fabled city, though married to one she despises.... oh this is sounding good already!

10. Eat, Love, Pray, by Elizabeth Gilbert
And yes I do have this one sitting on my "Italy" shelf as well, but I haven't managed to get past page 6. She came across as too self-centered for me and I've failed to watch and enjoy the movie either, despite Julia Roberts being a favourite actress. Not sure why I have this aversion to this bestseller!

Ten Good Things on a Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Nina and Argh


  1. I'm going to read Nicky Pellegrino, I'll start with the latest, hope it too has Italian food in it (I'm sure it does).
    I only saw the film "Eat,Love,Pray" but I enjoyed it. Perhaps the character is self-centered but it was a good story, at least the movie.

  2. You always have the coolest books! Great 10 things this week :)

    Lah @ Lazy Girl Reads

  3. Jumped over from ten Good Things on a Monday. Love your book list. I will look for books by Nicky Pellegrino, when I go by the library. Your reviews, for sure make me want to read them. Love to have you stop by my blog at

  4. Looks awesome! I love how you were able to make a theme for these books. Unfortunately, I also did not like Eat Pray Love at all - although it did get me really hungry while reading.

    I might try looking at the back cover to go get a book sometime, although that would be a bit difficult since all books are displayed with their front sides sticking out :D

    Thank you so much for sharing your Good Things this week, Ann!

  5. Great picks! I am definitely checking those out, more things to add to my TBR list! :)

  6. I love the cover of The Floating Book. And it does sound interesting too!