Thursday, March 31, 2011

March reading

I finished Sylvia - nothing too demanding there (as expected), but it was interesting to follow it up with a bit of online reading about the so-called Children's Crusade. In the book, it did involve children, but many historians now think that the word interpreted as 'children' might actually refer to in a somewhat derogatory way to bands of men who wandered the countryside around that time. But I do love historical fiction, and the way it prompts me to find out the facts about the times.

When in Rome [Penelope Green] - bought from Angus & Robertson in the city (a few days before they went into liquidation), while wandering in the hour and a half that Miss Tizz is doing her drama class. I must stop heading for the shops ... This is the first of three books by this author, detailing her life from when she left Sydney at the age of 29 to live in Italy - and maybe I'm just a wee bit envious. Penelope is a journalist and writer, and now lives back in Australia with her Italian partner.

Italian Joy [Carla Coulson] - another Australian woman who headed to Italy (can you see a theme here?). Carla is a photographer - a career she developed in Italy, while learning the language.

Hannibal [Thomas Harris] - bought secondhand from our school fete. Sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.

Frommer's 24 Great Walks in Rome

Frommer's 24 Great Walks in London
Frommer's 24 Great Walks in Venice
We found a copy of 24 Great Walks in Rome in the apartment we rented in Rome last year, and found it a fabulous way to see parts of the city. I'm planning to go back to Rome, and to also Venice, so when Book Depository had a 10% off sale at the beginning of March I bought these three books to keep as a reference.

Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome [Lesley Adkins] - bought from The Book Depository. I reading soon after Christmas, and have read most of it now. Not the sort of thing you need to read cover to cover, it's divided into sections so you can look up what you're interested in. Will definitely keep as a reference.

Merde Actually [Stephen Clarke] - the continuing adventures of an Englishman in France. While I didn't think it was as good as A Year in the Merde, it's still a fun read.

Imperium [Robert Harris] - bought secondhand from our school fete last year. A novel of the political career of the Roman Senator and philosopher Cicero, as told by his slave secretary Tiro. The novel covers the period from Cicero's early career as a lawyer through to his election as consul at the age of 46, and all the political manouveurings along the way. I found it fascinating to see how he balanced his sense of morality and his amibition to beat the corruption and bribery that was an endemic part of the late Republic, and how he wavered towards compromise at times but generally seemed to avoid being 'bought' by any faction.

Currently reading:

Jude the Obscure [Thomas Hardy] - free ebook on my Android phone.

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