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Books to read if you're planning a vacation in "italy", sorted by average review score:

Classic Pasta Cookbook (Classic Cookbook)
Published in Paperback by Penguin Books Ltd (10 June, 1999)
Author: Giuliano Hazan
Average review score:

from someone who lived in Italy
This is a fantastic book, with recipes that even first-time users will be able to do better than most Italian restaurants in the US. An Italian friend gave me the Italian version of this book, and to my surprise and delight I bumped into the English version in a bookstore. Italian cooking is really simple, and healthy too, and pasta is of course a big thing. Go for it.

You Will Dream About this Bolognese
I had a roommate who had this book and two years ago, we moved away and she took the greatest sauce recipes with her. The bolognese in this book is the kind you eat half of before you get to serving your guests. The recipes are simple but classic, using ingredients that are fresh and flavorful yet affordable and easy to find at any grocery store. What's more, the author has some wonderful stories about how he learned to cook and educates the reader on all there is to know about pasta dishes without being condescending. Now that I am getting this book, I will keep it forever.

A Must for Pasta Lovers
I've had this cookbook for several years, and it is stained and dogeared from all the use I've given it. "Classic Pasta" possesses everything I look for in a cookbook: both classic and creative recipes, manageable ingredients and techniques, informal but professional tone (with nice anecdotes by the author), and great pictures. The pasta dishes actually end up looking like the cookbook's pictures! I'm a pasta lover, and I turn to this book at least once a week. If you only want to show off your culinary skills, don't buy this book. If you want easy, affordable, delicious, and inspiring, you really should have this cookbook in your collection. Mangia!


Cosmicomics
Published in Paperback by Harvest Books (October, 1976)
Author: Italo Calvino
Average review score:

Voyages without end
I have never read a book quite like this one. It is definitely not a novel, in as much as there is not a set beginning, middle, climax and denouement, nor one or more characters that we follow throughout the book in a series of adventures and incidents. While the book contains a dozen short stories with a common link that may be described as science fiction, I would not call it strictly a book of this genre.

"Cosmicomics" may instead be described as a series of beautifully and imaginatively written poetic fables that defy time and space. They take place prior to, during and after the galaxies and the universe were formed, throughout myriad evolutionary cycles, prior to the birth of mankind, and even ante-dating the beginning of what is commonly called life. These tales concern atoms, molecules and other worldly beings interacting, almost interacting, and even repelling one another while travelling between gravitational and anti-gravitational forces. They may be floating around in space, chasing each other or being chased at one and the same time. There is a story of betting on the chance occurrances of historical, pre-historical, and pre-planetary incidents, and of lovers living in a time before colors, when black, white and shades of gray were the natural order of things. There is a wondrous tale of a time during the formation of the universe, when the earth and the moon abutted one another and people utilized a ladder to climb from the earth to the moon to spoon out milk. One of the most beautiful of these parables concerns the last dinosaur to survive on earth and his relationship and near love affair with one of the new ones. This is truly a book to cherish.

Mind-blowing...
Prepare to read something you are not prepared for. This book will send you into realms of storytelling that seem impossible even as you read them. Cavort with "beings" who are present at the beginning of the universe and the big bang; be present at the moment someone (or something) plays with "a thing" for the first time. A review cannot do this book justice. It is utterly mind-blowing, beautiful, funny, and profound all at the same time. The writing is crystal clear (even in translation), which adds to the book's mystique. One of the best things about this book is the sheer impossibility of making a movie out of it. It exploits the best of what written stories can give us: imagination and the freedom to evoke our own mental imagery. The images floating through my head while I read this defy description. The stories themselves defy description (as I found out when trying to convince others to read it). Why can't more books be like this?

Essential Reading For All SciFi, Fantasy, & Literature Fans
I resisted this book at first. Calvino wrote a series of 12 related short stories that work as a novel (but each story stands on its own), each playing with visual images. In his book, The Uses Of Literature, Calvino writes about Cosmicomics, saying, "My aim was to show that writing using images typical of myth can grow from any soil, even from language farthest away from any visual image." He does this with incredible agility, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity.

The first tale, for me, was the most mind- boggling. "The Distance Of The Moon" is surreal, absurd, fantastical, and utterly engaging. It is worth the price of the book itself. Four characters cavort on the earth and the moon--this was back in primordial days when the two planetary bodies were fighting to be separate--where they collect moon milk and throw it back to the earth with spoons. It is at once a tale of unrequited love, of absurd fantasy, of visual imagery, and humor that is from one of the best writers of this century.

Read it as a study of narrative; Calvino crafts his tales using symbolism, multiple meanings, all with precise, gifted language, it is worth the price of admission.

I think that any and all Sci Fi Lit classes should include "The Distance Of The Moon," or the entire book itself. I've dog-eared and scratched my copy already, and you're going to have to pry it from me. Now, I swear by it.


The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
Published in Paperback by Vintage Books (June, 1999)
Author: David I. Kertzer
Average review score:

Putting the case Elian Gonzalez into perspective
Bravo! If you are tired of the superficial coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case, and would like to enter a realm where it is possible to examine what seems like a sensational personal story of another era in light of history, religion, global politics, 19th century journalistic excesses, and family rights, read this book. The other customer and editorial reviews explain quite well what the facts of the book are. So I'll just add my voice to the others here and say that it is an amazing book, one that combines incredible historic detail with literary interest. It's uncanny how, in the midst of the Gonzalez drama, I accidentally discovered this book about an Italian Jewish boy, kidnapped by the Catholic Church in 1858 at the age of six. Read it for itself, or for the opportunity it provides to think deeply about current events. A page turner.

Wonderful Research, Exciting Story, Horrifying Incident
David I. Kertzer has written a wonderful account of a pivotal event in Italian, Jewish and Catholic history. The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara tells the story of the 1858 kidnapping of a six year old Jewish boy secretly baptized while a baby by a Catholic servant in the home. From this horrifying personal incident for this Jewish family the panorama of the story grows very large indeed, taking into account the Pope, the governments of Europe, and the forces for the unification of Italy. The author does a superb job of making all of this understandable to the reader. He also never allows the epic scope of the book to overwhelm the family as the centre of all of this controversy. The Mortaras hold a special place in this tragedy as they deserve and the lives lived by Jewish families, such as theirs, in Italy is vividly presented. It is a shocking book, yet very illuminating and well written. Highly recommended.

Insightful, Balanced Account of Event in Italian History
David Keretz is an American historian of Italy, who also happens to be Jewish and the son of an American army chaplain who helped liberate Italy during World War II. He presents one of the most sensationalistically portrayed events of the mid-19th century in Italy--the kidnapping of a 6-year-old Jewish boy from his parents by agents of the then temporal as well as spiritual leader of much of Italy, Pope Pius IX--an event which divided Catholics, Protestants, and Jews around the world as well traditionalists and nationalist-liberals in Italy. He recounts and analyzes the story in a remarkably balanced fashion, helping the reader appreciate each side of the controversy. Yet he also presents the Mortara family, whose suffering was not limited to the kidnapping and the failure to ever retrieve their son and sibling Edgardo from the Catholic Church, in a way that is evocative of the book of Job. The book uses the Mortara incident as a prism through which to view the Italian Risorgiomento, the ultra-conservative philosophy of Pius IX, and the emerging forces of liberalism in Western Europe. One of the author's central theses is that the Mortara kidnapping was a major factor in the demise of the Pope's political power and the unification of Italy. One of the many fascinating aspects of the book is how Italian anti-Semitism contrasted with that in France and Germany; the Italians seem to have preferred that the Jews convert and be assimilated, and had no belief in the racist and Volkisch ideologies that best the French and the Germans.


Little World of Don Camillo
Published in Hardcover by Farrar Straus & Giroux (June, 1951)
Author: Giovanni Guareschi
Average review score:

Humorous lessons in tolerance
I first read Don Camilo when I was 13. The thing that I have always liked the most about this book is its central lesson: it is possible to fight about ideologies, but when the community is in danger, we must forget the fight and help our neighbors. We'll continue the fuss later. Episode after episode, Don Camilo, the local priest, and Peppone, the communist mayor, confront each other, sometimes in a serious and violent way. But every time, both men negotiate their way out of trouble. That is a related lesson: public enemies / private friends. When you finish the book, indeed, you get a feeling that these two enemies and rivals have developed, over the years and innumerable shared experiences, a friendship that is deeper than most people's relationships. I like very much the parts when, in the midst of a crisis, Peppone and Don Camilo run secret negotiations in the middle of the night. But if you think this is a "rosy" book, full of childish situations, you are wrong. The problems that both characters have to solve are often deep and painful. This is the best kind of educational book, because it does not really have a "moral". The intelligent reader -and most children are- gets his own conclusions in a funny and humorous way. Those are the lessons likely to stay for life. A lovely book.

An excellent read
I have never read a Don Camillo novel that I didn't like. Comprising short, humourous, often heartwarming, tales about a parish priest in a small Italian village and his battles against the local communist mayor, his conscience, and other local crises. It has a charm, warmth and local flavour that take the reader on a journey through time to a different world. These stories are simply excellent! If you only read one book this year, make it this one.

Excellent heartwarming realistic and lovable characters
The book is the first in a series that introduces, in a series of vignettes, the characters that populate a small village in the Poe Valley of Italy after WWII. The parish priest is the arch-enemy of the communist population, the mayor is his best friend and a staunch communist (so also his constant foil), and for advice, Don Camillo talks to and is answered by Christ on the Cross. The stories are memorable, and applicable to any time or place. The simplicity and yet subtleties of the relationships are profound. One of the best books I have ever read, and re-read.


Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (December, 2003)
Author: Ross King
Average review score:

His pain is our gain - The sacrifices of a Master
"Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King tells the story of four years (1508-1512) in the lives of three great figures in history: Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael.

The author's latest nonfiction historical "thriller" is, however, more than a story of the four years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the twelve thousand square feet of the vast ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In King's skilled hands it becomes an early 16th century soap opera, starring Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael, and featuring all the intrigue, passion, violence, and pettiness of a General Hospital episode. Amzingly none of the action is fiction, but an accurate re-telling of historical facts.

This is how the author sees the three heroes of his book:

"Pope Julius II was not a man one wished to offend.... A sturdily built sixty-three-year old with snow-white hair and a ruddy face, he was known as il papa terrible , the 'dreadful' or 'terrifying' pope.... His violent rages, in which he punched underlings or thrashed them with his stick were legendary.... In body and soul he had the nature of a giant. Everything about him is on a magnified scale, both his undertakings and passions."

"Almost as renowned for his moody temper and aloof, suspicious nature as he was for his amazing skill with the hammer and chisel, Michelangelo could be arrogant, insolent, and impulsive....If Michelangelo was slovenly and, at times, melancholy and antisocial, Raphael was, by contrast, the perfect gentleman. Contemporaries fell over themselves to praise his polite manner, his gentle disposition, his generosity toward others....Raphael's appealing personality were accompanied by his good looks: a long neck, oval face, large eyes, and olive skin -- handsome, delicate features that further made him the antithesis of the flat-nosed, jug-eared Michelangelo."

For the millions out there who are fascinated by the mere existence of the unparalleled genius responsible for the creation of Michelangelo's commissioned work for Pope Julius II, and for those with a knack for detailed historical accounts, this book certainly delivers! With less interest in the fine arts, yet great interest in history, I deeply appreciate "Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling".*****

A Sixteenth Century Soap Opera
Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King tells the story of four years, 1508-1512, in the life of three larger than life personalities: Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael. Mr. King's latest nonfiction historical "thriller" is, however, more than a story of the four years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the twelve thousand square feet of the vast ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In Mr. King's able hands it becomes an early 16th century soap opera, starring Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael, and featuring all the intrigue, passion, violence, and pettiness of a Sopranos' episode. What's so astonishing is that all that is told actually happened -- it's history.
Ross King's gift is his ability to bring us, his readers, back through the maze of time and lead us to an understanding of all that coalesced -- politically, socially, and artistically -- to create great art, great history and, for us, great reading.
According to King:
"Pope Julius II was not a man one wished to offend.... A sturdily built sixty-three-year old with snow-white hair and a ruddy face, he was known as il papa terrible , the 'dreadful' or 'terrifying' pope.... His violent rages, in which he punched underlings or thrashed them with his stick were legendary.... In body and soul he had the nature of a giant. Everything about him is on a magnified scale, both his undertakings and passions."
Michelangelo and Raphael as portrayed by King:
"Almost as renowned for his moody temper and aloof, suspicious nature as he was for his amazing skill with the hammer and chisel, Michelangelo could be arrogant, insolent, and impulsive....If Michelangelo was slovenly and, at times, melancholy and antisocial, Raphael was, by contrast, the perfect gentleman. Contemporaries fell over themselves to praise his polite manner, his gentle disposition, his generosity toward others....Raphael's appealing personality were accompanied by his good looks: a long neck, oval face, large eyes, and olive skin -- handsome, delicate features that further made him the antithesis of the flat-nosed, jug-eared Michelangelo."
The stories of these three men during this extraordinary four year period and the art they produced is the story embodied in Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling. The confrontations between Julius II and Michelangelo are legendary. "The major problem seems to have been that Michelangelo and Julius were remarkably alike in temperament. Michelangelo was one of the few people in Rome who refused to cringe before Julius."
For almost the entire four years Michelangelo was shadowed by the brilliant young painter Raphael, who was working in fresco on the neighboring Papal apartments. This rivalry the Pope seemed to enjoy and encourage. To help us better understand the friction between these two great artists King introduces us to Edmund Burke's treatise on the sublime and the beautiful:
"For Burke, those things we call beautiful have the properties of smoothness, delicacy, softness of color, and elegance of movement. The sublime, on the other hand, comprehends the vast, the obscure, the powerful, the rugged, the difficult -- attributes which produce in the spectator a kind of astonished wonder and even terror. For the people of Rome in 1511, Raphael was beautiful but Michelangelo sublime."
For me, reading a book like Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling is the way to read history. Mr. King transported me back to those four years during which Michelangelo and Raphael created art both beautiful and sublime. I was there with and among the players, engrossed in the anecdotes King skillfully wove into his narrative. This is history -- up close and personal -- and yet far, far away from the pain, anguish, anger and turmoil that pervaded so much of the lives of Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael. As I read, I learned, I felt, and I understood. Isn't that what reading is all about? I certainly could not ask for anything more.

Master and Mastery
MICHELANGELO AND THE POPE'S CEILING is an engaging book about the completion of one of the world's most splendid work(s) of art. The Sistine Chapel contains many artistic masterpieces, yet its history is as fascinating. The artist's frescoes reveal as much about his character as they do the subject matter. A major challenge (Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor, before a painter), the ceiling represents not only the artist's work, but his development as an artist. The drama of his own development unfolds in the tapestry of his relationship with the powerful Pope Julius II, a worldly, mercurial, "Il Papa Terrible."

Ross King is the author of several other fine books including as BRUNELLESCHI'S DOME: HOW A RENAISSANCE GENIUS REINVENTED ARCHITECTURE, an esoteric, yet engaging account of the design for the dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (considered one of the great achievements of the Renaissance). He blends a craftsmanlike approach to research with a narrative as engaging as any first-rate novel. He paints a vivid picture of two major world personalities: that of the temperamental artist as well as the worldly, militaristic pontiff. The book provides a splendid historical account of the project, yet also offers a detailed perspective upon the Catholic Church of the time as well as Italian culture and society as well.

The only shortcoming of the book (in my opinion) is that there were too few photographs of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. One needs a magnifying glass to examine and admire the ceiling pictures. However, this is a minor shortcoming and it spurred me to delve further into the artwork of the chapel. One notable publication is MICHELANGELO: THE FRESCOES OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL by Marcia Hall and Takashi Okamura (photographer) which provides more than 150 full color photographs, including specific close-up detail. Another fine work is MICHELANGELO: THE VATICAN FRESCOES by Pierluigi De Vecchi, Gianluigi Colalucci (Contributor). This particular volume, while rather pricy, thoroughly documents the restoration efforts, offering 250+ photographs of the frescoes before and after the restoration.

That being said, this particular text is a fine example historical writing from an author who can tell a compelling story.


The Rommel Papers (Da Capo Paperback)
Published in Paperback by DaCapo Press (April, 1988)
Authors: Erwin Rommel, B. H. Liddell-Hart, Basil Henry Liddell Hart, and Liddell Basil Henry Hart
Average review score:

The Fox writes with humility and grace - Gentlemen soldier
Even those with little knowledge of the Second World War know the names "Dessert Fox" and Rommel. For those more familiar with WWII history and the great generals, they know a lot of what is general knowledge is hype more than fact. For example, while Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was certainly a brilliant tactician and strategist, he was not - contrary to popular belief - the originator of the Blitz style of armored warfare. Certainly he was one of its most successful practitioners, but not the originator. That credit belongs to English military minds and was put into practice by General Heinz Gurderian (see Panzer Leader by Gurderian). Rommel was a brilliant self-promoter - with humility though. And he was a favored son of Hitler in the beginning, although the "father" forced him to commit suicide in the end. Rommel did have some amazing victories and equally appalling defeats. All are chronicled in this stirring, well-written pseudo-autobiography. The Rommel Papers was written from Rommels own personal diaries made during his numerous campaigns. He was a voracious writer who sat down on a near daily to preserve the events of the day. Thus we are treated to a wonderful story of the Blitz through western Europe in 1939-40, the swift victories in northern Africa and slow arduous defeats that followed, and finally to Rommel's attempts to stem the Allied tide that was threatening to rush the Western shores of France in 1944. This is a fun and insightful read for anyone who wants to see war from the perspective of the German public's most favored Marshall. Certainly worth the time spent reading it! Highly recommended.

Great review of the events of WWII by a Great Armor Officer
This book takes you through the events of World War II using the unedited writing of General Rommel. Hart does a great job of insuring the thoughts of Rommel are preserved. The hard bound version of this book, has chalk drawing of Rommels battle plans.

Fantastik!
If you want to read about Nazi's than this is not the book for you, but if you want to read about a true german soldier and honorable man, than I highly recommend this. What an incredible account of war! War without hate, that was the phrase in one of the commentary lines. It's hard to imagine, but Rommel's book shows how it was his job as a soldier. It also gives accounts of how prisoners of war were treated by Rommel and gives you a real sense of the honor of being a soldier no matter which side you were on.

I especially liked the added notes and commentary by Gen. Bayerlein and Rommel's son Manfred. I predict as you read this book you will feel the development of a relationship with Rommel, a friendship and consern for his well being. Feel his heartfelt consern for his troops and desire to save them from destruction. Feel the anger towards the "High Command" as they tell Rommel to fight to the death. It's a book that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotion that closes in the inevitable and tragic end of your new found friend. The book was finished by Manfred Rommel who gave a truly tragic and heart breaking view of the final moments between him and his father.


The Sicilian: A Novel
Published in Hardcover by Random House Value Pub (November, 1984)
Author: Mario Puzo
Average review score:

Much more than a mob story
If you thought Mario Puzo was just about American-Italian goodfellas who kill people, drive around and eat good pasta in New York City, you will be pleasantly surprised. The plot is set in Sicily, and the author's love and understanding of the long-suffering land shines through.

Mario Puzo presents a captivating, page-turning story about the life of a post-war Sicilian outlaw, his climb to the top of criminal hierarchy and associated betrayals, cunning treacheries and loyalty that never should be taken for granted. At the same time, you get a deep insight into the mindset and culture of Sicily and its people who, through centuries of suffering at the crossroads of occupation and oppression, have learnt to trust no one. Historical and cultural background is presented so subtly, inobtrusively and with such writing skill that you will not realize that you, in fact, read a brilliant history book. Never before have I seen a crime thriller that would also be so educational.

And, as an added bonus, Puzo is a true master when painting the scenery - dusky mornings, lush Sicilian gardens with fragrant lemon trees, ancient ruins and heat of the Meditteranean night.

Read this book and you will see that you have got much, much more than you have bargained for.

An Admirable Component to the Godfather
Not Many have heard of this prequel/sequel to the Godfather. Set after Michael Corleone's two year stay in Sicily, he is sent on a final task which explains changes his character change in the Godfather. From the Italian American focus of The Godfather, the novel reaches into the very heart of Sicily, the island that bore so many of the characters in American Crime literature. Rich and almost lyrical, Puzo describes the life of one Salvatore Guilliano, a Sicilian Robin Hood but with greater purpose and less fantasy. He seeks to reform the underground world that has sprung on him after he is shot and left for dead on account of stealing cheese for his family. This gem of a book is gifted with great storytelling and greater understanding of a world we don't know and Puzo beautifully explains. Even if you have never read the Godfather, you will love this book for its truthfulness and wisdom.

Mario Puzo- The Sicilian
Mario Puzos fifth work "The Sicilian" (1984) is a masterpiece in its genre, a powerful epic about Sicily, the Mafia and one mans stand. The many characters from the story: hero Turi Guiliano, to Don Croce, Aspanu Piscoitta, Hector Adonis, and Michael Corleone and many more, make this book a very entertaining read. Turi Guilano never wanted to hurt anyone, but fate and his promise to himself to maintain his honour led to his decision to fight all those who came for him after he was gunned down for minor smuggling. We watch Turi and Aspanu grow from two young peasant men into the leaders of Sicilys most powerful bandit gang, one which challenges the police,the army, the government, and ultimately the Mafia while gaining the hate of some, and the love of many. Danger lurks around every corner, and treachery is never far away in this story, but there is also alot of love in the story, such as: Sicilians love for there country, a mothers love for her son, and the friendship of two young men. Puzo's storytelling and imagery keep the reader addicted, and make this book a hard one to put down. "The Sicilian" is an excellent read, recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good read.


A Bell for Adano
Published in Paperback by Random House Trade Paperbacks (April, 1988)
Author: John Hersey
Average review score:

Great Story, Thought Provoking
Back in high school, I made a vow to myself that I would eventually read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning novels. A Bell for Adano was one of the first that I read. Now, a few years later, I have read around 30 of those novels, and while many have been wonderful, few have matched the experience of reading A Bell for Adano, and I continue to return to it.

The splendid novel is set during World War II, though it isn't really a war novel. The novel is about how very different people can, and should treat one another, especially when in a difficult situation. A Bell for Adano primarily concerns Major Joppolo. He is an American officer placed in charge of the city of Adano after the invasion. Joppolo is a wonderful, though flawed man. He's always practical but remains sentimental. He sets out to make the lives of the people of Adano the best he possibly can. He does so by not treating them as the enemy but as People. The "bell" of Adano refers his attempt to restore an historic bell to the city that it had lost during the war.

I can never do justice to my favorite novels when I review them, and this is one of them. I can't say enough good about it. The characterizations are strong and the interactions between the characters are touching and thought-provoking. Joppolo's relationship to the city's people is truly remarkable. It makes one think about America's relationship with foreign countries. The story is heart-tugging and humorous. There are few novels written this century that can touch a reader as much as this one does, and this one can make you think a little, too. A Bell for Adano certainly deserved its prize, and it definitely deserves to not be forgotten.

Excellent!
I loved this book. I will admit that I'm a fan of the 1940s, both movies and books. However, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel transcends all that -- it's simply a fine story. Even though the theme is World War II, this is not a story of battle. Instead, it's about a compassionate major and his attempts to bring humanity to a war-torn town in Italy. The books is funny, charming and moving. It's a quick read and a worthwhile one. I highly recommend it.

A Great Read!
This book is wonderful in its clear language and soft touch. You will instantly feel a part of the town and its inhabitants. The book tells the story of a small town in Italy occupied by the Americans at the end of WW2. It relates how the occupied village interacts with its human, caring "occupier", an American army officer. Much like Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres, this book puts a massive event in world history into focus. I highly recommend the book.


The Golden Milestone: Over 2500 Years of Italian Contributions to Civilization (2nd Edition)
Published in Paperback by The New York Learning Library (March, 2002)
Author: Russell R. Esposito
Average review score:

A Really Great Book !!
I decided to buy this book after reading the many great editorial reviews, for example, Anthony Parente (author and columnist) calls The Golden Milestone the "bible of Italian culture and heritage." I have to say that he is right !!! But the books offer much more than facts about Italian achievements. Mr. Esposito's writing style borders on creative non-fiction. His introduction is well written, but by the time I got to the end of his first chapter I found humor in his writing style, as well. The book is gently peppered with some humorous points and short personal comments that pleasantly surprise the reader periodically. I can't say enough good things about the book, you have to read it to discover the lost heritage of Italians. Italians and Italian-Americans can re-discover their heritage in Mr. Esposito's book. Read and enjoy !!!!

Fantastic Book !
I decided to buy this book after reading the many great editorial reviews, for example, Anthony Parente (author and columnist) calls The Golden Milestone the "bible of Italian culture and heritage." I have to say that he is right !... But the books offer much more than facts about Italian achievements. Mr. Esposito's writing style borders on creative non-fiction. His introduction is well written, but by the time I got to the end of his first chapter I found humor in his writing style, as well. The book is gently peppered with some humorous points and short personal comments that pleasantly surprise the reader periodically. I can't say enough good things about the book, you have to read it to discover the lost heritage of Italians. Italians and Italian-Americans can re-discover their heritage in Mr. Esposito's book. Read and enjoy !...

Riveting and Delightful
This book has a wealth of information on Italian Heritiage. The author conveys this info in a way which is not only informative but fun to read and explore. This is a must read for students who are either taking Italian as a language elective or would like to understand more about Italian culture than would ever be discovered in a traditional history book. It gets my highest endorsement!!


Related Vacation Book Subjects: VacationBookReview israel jamaica Basilicata Calabria Campania Emilia-Romagna Friuli-Venezia_Giulia Lazio Liguria Lombardy Marche Molise Piedmont Puglia Sardinia Trentino-Alto_Adige Trentino_Alto-Adige Tuscany Umbria Valle_d'Aosta Veneto
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