gift guide for italy-lovers 2019
from simple to spectacular
This has been my year of the book. Not just because I published both a novel and a family travel guide, but because I have fallen in love with reading all over again. I walk out of the library with armloads of books that I race home to read. I treat my middle-schooler to books to read together at a nearby coffee house. I slowly flip through my collection of cookbooks, loving the photographs and the feel of the pages. I’m not sure what’s prompted my reading Renaissance, but I do love supporting arts in a world that can sometimes feel too harried and digitally-focused. I’m discovering that reading actual books is a pleasure, a quiet celebration.
SO THIS YEAR’S ITALY GIFT GUIDE IS BOOK-CENTERED.
The advantages of giving the gift of reading are innumerable. They are delightful to shop for if you have time to linger in a local bookshop, but they can be instantly ordered and shipped if you’d rather spend your time singing carols or lighting candles or making cookies to give to neighbors. Plus—bonus! They are easy to wrap! They can even become a cherished part of your holiday celebration. Why not adopt Iceland’s tradition of giving books every Christmas Eve?
(this is what I’ve been working up to)
Books are marvelous given on their own, but can be gussied up with an extra bauble to create a gift that feels downright indulgent.
So think about the Italophiles on your shopping list—those that love art, food, history, language, wine, escape, or family travel. I know you’ll find something on this year’s gift guide to please even the trickiest person to shop for. Opt for a simple book or two, or dress it up with a thematic addition. Come see what I mean…
Santa Lucia, the Serialized Novel
Last year, I wrote my first novel, Santa Lucia. I posted a chapter here on my website three times a week, which propelled me through some unusually dramatic storylines. The story revolves around the people of Santa Lucia, a fictionalized town on the border between Umbria and Le Marche. With short, punchy chapters, I conceptualized this book as the literary love-child of espresso and a telenovela—full of suspense, mystery, betrayal, and seduction, and told in dialogue-filled narration. Readers tell me that it is a page-turner firmly spun with the magic of Italy. That was exactly what I'd been striving for, so I am beyond thrilled with the reception thus far. The paperback is taking awhile to transition platforms in the US (but it is available on Amazon UK). As I've just launched the book, Santa Lucia the electronic version is promotionally priced at $2.99. So you can get a copy for yourself and a friend! Then you and your buddy can get together and swap suspicions about Massimo just like the villagers of Santa Lucia.
Il Bel Centro: The Book
Leaping into an unknown is never easy, but it's made all the more extraordinary when that leaping involves three children, two cats, a lack of ability to communicate, and a town unchanged by time.
More than you ever wanted to know about any writer, ever.
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