DeMy review of the novel Suburra, a noir set in Rome, by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini of 2013, the book that inspired the TV series on Netflix.
Italian books. My review of the “the almond picker” by British-Sicilian novelist Simonetta Agnello Hornby.
After Elena Ferrante and Andrea Camilleri are you still searching in the Italian books shelf? Today I’m reccomending The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello Hornby. Actually I wouldn’t put it among the Italian books. Its place is in the Sicilian books shelf, if there was one. “La Mennulara” is not an Italian word, is the Sicilian way to call female workers who picked almonds from ground after men had beaten the trees.
La Mennulara, The Almond Picker, is the nickname of the main character of this book.
The story begins the day of her death, on September 23th 1963 in the village Roccacolomba.(Roccacolomba is fictional, don’t try to book a hotel there).
The woman, “Mennù”, started working as almond picker at the age of six to help the poor family. Mennù had come a long way from the almond field. As a teenager she became servant of rich family Alfallipe. Later she started to manage the family estates on behalf of the lazy Orazio, saving them from bankruptcy. At Orazio’s death, she took care of his wife. She obliged the three selfish and spoiled children to visit the mother by passing them a monthly wage. Yes, because La Mennulara, an illiterate waitress, died surprisingly rich.
Five reasons why you should read the whole series of Elena Ferrante books (My Brilliant Friend, the Story of a New Name, those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the Story of the Lost Child) and why you will enjoy it.
Elena Ferrante books are probably the most explosive Italian literature phenomenon of the last years.
The four books of the so called Neapolitan novels fascinated people worldwide. Here’s five reasons why you should read it (if you have not done it yet).
I guess it’s unnecessary to spend too many words about the plot of these four books, which actually form one story of nearly 1.700 pages (or an infinite soap-opera, from detractors’ point of view). I will only say it’s about two main female characters, Elena and Lila, born postwar in a poor neighbourhood of Naples. The books are about their life from childhood to elderly years and about their precarious friendship.
I will also say that I agree with the most widespread readers’ opinion I’ve seen on the web : “My brilliant friend” is incredible. Not that the sequels are disappointing, but they are not as strong as the first one.
So why should you read the whole saga? In my opinion to read the four books you must want to read them. I did it and I’m not disappointed.
Here’s five reasons why you should dive without hesitation into Elena and Lila’s lives.
Two unconventional guides and a novel to find hidden things to do in Venice.
You’re trying to find the essential things to do in Venice and you bought a city guide. So you will easily discover the origins of this amazing place, its raise as a world commercial superpower, its important churches and museums. You plan your tour: a visit to St. Mark’s cathedral, a walk across Rialto bridge, maybe a ride in gondola on the Grand Canal.
Than you arrive there and you find yourself running around with other thousand tourists, all queuing in front of the same places. But there’s no escape: if you are a tourist in Venice, no matter where you come from, you are meant to go through this.
But you know Venice is magic. Writers and poets spent thousand of words about this unique city and this charm must be somewhere. Only, you can’t find it, overwhelmed by the crowd.
The only thing you can do is: change plans.
If you have enough time in Venice, there’s much more to discover.
You can even skip the things you “have” to do in Venice and you will anyway find great places. I’m not recommending another Venice travel guide, maybe called “the unconventional Venice”. To help you to find your unconventional path in Venice, have a look to these books.