Friday, 17 July 2009


It is with no apology whatsoever that I post another blog on the subject of holiday reading. It was with a sense of quiet approval that my wife and I noticed, on arriving at the Tuscan villa (a short distance from Pian di Sco, pictured) which was to be our home for a week, that our fellow guests had already created a communal literature facility by placing piles of books they had brought with them on a table under one of the loggias (or loggie, for our Italian readers). This collection embraced a wide range of styles and genres, from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Confessions of a Shopaholic. As usual, I packed far more books than necessary, but they did betray a certain enigmatic eclecticness among the general collection, including as they did a facsimile reprint of a nineteenth-century treatise on the history of archery, The Book of Archery, and Labyrinths by Borges.

We were also intrigued to discover that there was a huge collection of English language books throughout the villa (although not entirely surprised, given that it's owned by an ex-pat). This included several books by Robert B. Parker, which pleased one member of our party no end, as she had brought one of his novels with her and was eager for more. Witnessing the enthusiasm and passion with which people describe the Crime genre, I often wish I could enjoy this type of writing, but every time I try again I'm diasapointed and irritated. This is probably a fault in me.

I did manage to finish Capuchin Classics' own Shirley's Guild and a fascinating biography of my cultural hero, Leonard Cohen, called Various Positions.

Tuscany itself was fabulous, very hot and full of Dante.


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