Sunday, 24 August 2014

Happiness through Books

There are a lot of things that can make people happy - a hug from a loved one, listening to a favourite piece of music, getting the keys to a new house...the list is endless. But then there is those of us that can find happiness just as easily in the smell of a new book...or of an old favourite.

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy."

The perfect morning: The Great Gatsby and a cup of hot coffee

I can find happiness in reading The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald's classic story of the man who wants to relive the past, can be considered quite a sad read, but there is a beauty in those kind of books that cannot be conveyed in other types of literature. I am utterly in love with Jay Gatsby, I feel his longing for the past, and I want to go back in time and live in the roaring twenties. However, although this read always brings me some nostalgic feelings (and quite a lot of anger during the end of it), I also feel happy. And this is the kind of happiness that only a great book can bring you - for as sad as it may be, it still makes you read it again and again, and again.

“Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” 

Another American classic, The Catcher in the Rye, is one more book that makes me happy. The humour, Holden Caufield, the language - there is nothing not to make you smile. This, of course, does not mean that this is the most cheerful book - truth is, in the right hands, it could be quite thought-provoking. Salinger is an author with such a unique style, he makes Holden sound not only believable, but as if everything he thinks, comes from the reader himself. Definitely a book, every young person should read at least once. And then re-read when they are older, for suddenly, the book has a new meaning, that you did not quite grasp the first time round. And it is a different meaning to every one.

So, what about you? Which books make you happy?

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Friday, 1 August 2014

Italian Summer

While travelling across Italy and indulging into such traditional pleasures as drinking wine under the sun in Tuscany, or shopping on the streets of Florence, I couldn't help but remember all the various films set in that beautiful country. Films that make you wish you could immediately teleport yourself to the gorgeous scenery you see on the screen.

And what about books? I remember reading Astrid Lindgren's Katy in Italy years ago, when I was a young girl, wishing I could visit the same places, see the same things. Basically, wishing I could be Katy, freely enjoying my time in sunny Florence.

Fast forwards to a few months ago, when I first noticed Nicky Pellegrino's books in my local library, and this feeling was instantly revived. When in Rome and The Food of Love Cookery School turned into instant favourites. The way she describes life in Italy is warm and lively just like her stories. The characters are engaging, but it is the ancient city of Rome or the marvellous island of Sicily, that creates that gorgeous atmosphere - that feeling that you want to visit every little place mentioned.
I recall reading about the Italian wonders briefly in The Count of Monte Cristo -  a marvellous description of the mystery of Italian streets. 

What about you? What books situated in Italy would you recommend? 
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