Sunday, April 06, 2008
Bar Sport/City of Falling Angels
I wanted to offer two recommendations for books, in case you're on the hunt for a book in English about Italy, or a book in Italian. I cover both today.
First, "The City of Falling Angels," by John Berendt, the author of the best-seller about Savannah (and basis for the movie) "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
This time the city under Berendt's friendly but persistent microscope is Venice. He uses the burning of the Fenice opera house there in 1996 as a framework for a lively book on the history of Venice and the people, Venetian and non, who love the city.
I read it over the course of a few days in March. It's a quick read! You know me: I love Firenze. I am a Firenze gal, and I have never paid much attention to Venice. In fact, I've often thought praise for the city is overblown. This book has converted me. Venice is indeed very interesting!
I am a little late to the party on this one. It came out in 2005. But, hey, better late than ever, right?
Second recommendation: "Bar Sport", that classic by Stefano Benni.
Il libro è troppo forte, e infatti Stefano Benni è troppo forte!
The book begins:
"Al bar Sport non si mangia quasi mai. C'è una becheca con delle paste, ma è puramente coreografica. Sono paste ornamentali, spesso veri e propri pezzi d'artigianato. Sono lì da anni, tanto che i clienti abituali, ormai, le conoscono una per una. Entrando dicono, 'La meringa è un po' sciupata, oggi. Sarà il caldo.'"
I've been meaning to read this book for some time. Oddly enough, I read "Bar Sport 2000" first. You have to understand, I am still making my way through the canon of Italian classics, and am essentially behind all the time! Aiuto!