Posts Tagged ‘Italy’


I love to read for pleasure. Nowadays, I think that alone makes me a bit of a freak in some circles (predominantly the middle school one I run in 5 days a week). And at the risk of sounding like the Luddite that I am not, I love to actually still hold an old-fashioned book or magazine in my hands. Much as I have cottoned to technology and New Media in many ways, I don’t curl up with my laptop under the covers. On the other hand, I even know my library card number by heart as I am a big fan of getting it all for free at the public library through the CLAMS (Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing)network on line.

CB068378Not surprisingly, I especially love to read novels that are about art, artists and the art world. Historical fiction is a biggie but contemporary works are great too. If the setting is Italy it’s my own personal triple threat of literary indulgence! (I also love novels set here on my beloved Cape Cod and have read as many as are available at Brooks Free Library through the aforementioned CLAMS . network. But most fiction written on,by and set on Cape Cod tends to be mysteries. This isn’t a bad thing but not an art thing. Two notable exceptions here:

1 Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman set in Truro in the middle of winter and as quirky a read as you can find.

2. Bound and The Widow’s War both by Sally Gunning, a local author who writes compelling historical fiction about women’s lives set in the colonial period in the town of Brewster on Cape Cod.

I have a list culled from my personal reading history on my account at CLAMS. Now that I have gone through it, I can see it’s lengthy and eclectic, even within my parameters described above.

How about I give you a short list of 5 of my favorites from the past few years for now? In no particular order and with others to follow if there is anyone out there would like more, I’ll start with some contemporary settings:

1. Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him by Danielle Ganek
gallery, art scene in NYC, I found it intriguing.

2. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
he also wrote Empire Falls, this is one of my triple threats : artist, Italy and a great read.

3. Past Secrets by Cathy Kelly
an Irish author (if you know Marion Keyes you would probably find her writing enjoyable though not exactly the same style) This is kind of chicklit type of easy reading but I enjoyed her enough to go get and read all the rest of her novels, even though there weren’t any artist characters in the others.

4. The Handyman by Carolyn See
set in California, neat story about the talented artist who gives it all up….or tries to

5. Forest of the Heart by Charles de Lint
this is magical realism in the setting of an artist retreat. Slightly scary and a thrilling read.


If you enjoyed this winter reading list , leave a comment and let me know. I have quite a few more to share .


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