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9 Books to Read When You're Daydreaming of Italy

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These tantalizing books capture the sights, sounds, and flavors of Italy.

One Italian Summer

One Italian Summer

Books

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “[A] magical trip worth taking.” —Associated Press “Rebecca Serle is a maestro of love in all its forms.” —Gabrielle Zevin, New York Times bestselling author The New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years returns with a powerful novel about the transformational love between mothers and daughters set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: to Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone. But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life. And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue. Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature “heartbreaking, redemptive, and authentic” (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun

Books

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The beloved memoir of self-discovery set against the spectacular Tuscan countryside that inspired the major motion picture starring Diane Lane—now in a twentieth-anniversary edition featuring a new afterword “This beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, loving a house and, always, the pleasures of food, would make a perfect gift for a loved one. But it’s so delicious, read it first yourself.”—USA Today For more Frances Mayes, including a tour of her now iconic Cortona home, Bramasole, watch PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!   More than twenty years ago, Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned Tuscan villa called Bramasole. Under the Tuscan Sun inspired generations to embark on their own journeys—whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, savoring one of the book’s dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply being transported by Mayes’s signature evocative, sensory language. Now with a new afterword from Frances Mayes, the twentieth-anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun revisits the book’s most popular characters.

A Room with a View

A Room with a View

Books

In common with much of his other writing, this work by the eminent English novelist and essayist E. M. Forster (1879-1970) displays an unusually perceptive view of British society in the early 20th century. Written in 1908, A Room with a View is a social comedy set in Florence, Italy, and Surrey, England. Its heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, struggling against straitlaced Victorian attitudes of arrogance, narrow-mindedness and snobbery, falls in love-while on holiday in Italy-with the socially unsuitable George Emerson. Caught up in a claustrophobic world of pretentiousness and rigidity, Lucy ultimately rejects her fiancé, Cecil Vyse, and chooses, instead, to wed her true love, the young man whose sense of freedom and lack of artificiality became apparent to her in the Italian pensione where they first met. This classic exploration of passion, human nature and social convention is reprinted here complete and unabridged.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Books

The #1 New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback—Jess Walter’s “absolute masterpiece” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author): the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.

Still Life

Still Life

Books

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF DYMOCKS BOOK OF THE YEAR A GUARDIAN BEST BOOK OF 2021 A BBC BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK WINNER OF THE INWORDS LITERARY AWARD ‘Sheer joy' Graham Norton ‘Utterly beautiful ... filled with hope’ Joanna Cannon, author of Three Things About Elsie ‘A bear-hug of a book’ Rachel Joyce, author of Miss Benson’s Beetle From the author of When God was a Rabbit and Tin Man, Still Life is a big-hearted story of people brought together by love, war, art and the ghost of E.M. Forster. 1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view. Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’ mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades. Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London’s East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate. ‘Four course nourishment for all Winman fans’ Patrick Gale, author of Take Nothing With You ‘Extraordinary . . . my book of the year’ Liz Nugent, author of Our Little Cruelties ‘The kind of story that bolsters the heart and soul’ Donal Ryan, author of Strange Flowers Sunday Times bestseller 09/06/2021

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