Book picks similar to
Italian Life: A Modern Fable of Loyalty and Betrayal by Tim Parks
Me And Mine: A warm-hearted memoir of a London Irish Family
Anna May Mangan - 2011
It might have been the London of the 1950s where 'No Blacks, No Irish No Dogs' was the welcome put out for immigrants, but for the big family that was Anna May Mangan's, it was still better than the poverty they'd hailed from; 'Don't waste today worrying because tomorrow will be even worse' was their motto. But Ireland came with them in the dance halls, holy water and gossip and there was always the warmth of the Irish crowd, in and out of one another's houses 'as if there was no front door'.
Grazia Deledda - 1936
Based on Deledda's own life, the work describes a young woman's struggle against the dismay and disapproval of her family and friends at her creative ambitions. Yet it also reads like a charming fable with details of family life, rural traditions and wild bandits, and it is as much a novel of memory as of character or action. Deledda's characters are poor country folk driven by some predetermined force. Their loves are tragic, their lives as hard and as rigidly controlled as nature itself in the hills of Sardinia. Deledda creates memorable figures who play out their lives against this backdrop of mountains and bare plains, sheepfolds and vineyards. Shimmering in the distance is the sea and escape - for a few - to the Continent or America. In 1926 Grazia Deledda became the second woman and the second Italian to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. She wrote thirty-three novels, including "Reeds in the Wind," and many books of short stories, almost all set on Sardinia. Her work has become well known to English-speaking readers through Martha King's translations for Italica Press.
Zuzu's Petals: A True Story of Second Chances
Lauren Ward Larsen - 2010
Shortly after she entered the ninth month of what had been an easy pregnancy, her husband, Jeff, followed a sudden and inexplicable urge to bring her flowers in the middle of a busy workday. Within hours of his visit, their lives would change forever.The rapid onset of a pregnancy-related disorder nearly claimed the lives of both Lauren and her baby. After more than a month in intensive care, and with years of recovery work ahead of her, Lauren was left with the question: What now? Amidst the wreckage of her near-fatal illness, an opportunity emerged—the chance to rebuild a different life, one that was more personally meaningful and fulfilling. With absolute clarity about their limited time on earth, Lauren and Jeff changed their priorities, their careers, their lifestyle, and even where they lived.As her physical strength grew, so too did Lauren’s understanding of just how many people — nurses, doctors, friends, family, and anonymous blood donors — had contributed to giving her a second chance in life. An overwhelming sense of gratitude emerged and found expression through her fundraising campaigns and national speaking tour. And along the way, Lauren became a shamelessly proud mother, who sought to live as joyfully as possible no matter the circumstances.At times heartbreaking, at times laugh-out-loud funny, Zuzu’s Petals is a story about human resilience, living authentically, and the power of turning gratitude into action.
Dances with Luigi: A Grandson's Search for His Italian Roots
Paul Paolicelli - 2000
With the help of Luigi, his guide and companion, he travels through Italy--Rome, Gamberale, Matera, Miglionico, Alessandria, even Mussolini's hometown of Predappio--and discovers the tragic legacy of the Second World War that is still affecting the Old Country. He visits ancient castles and village churches, samples superb Italian cuisine, haggles at the open air market at Porta Portese, enjoys and Alessandria siesta, and frequents "coffee bars", where beggars discuss politics with affluent Italian locals. He finds lost-lost cousins during the day and performs with an amateur jazz group during the night. Along the way, he discovers deeply moving stories about his family's past and learns answers to question that have plagued him since childhood.More that just a spiritual account of one man's ancestral search, Dances With Luigi is also a stunning portrait of la bella Italia--both old and new--that is painted beautifully in all of its glamour, history, and contradiction.
George Greenfield - 1998
But who was the real Enid Blyton? Was it the driving force who wrote 600 books in her 40-year career and yet found time to be a devoted mother and a friend to countless young readers? Or the cold self-absorbed woman described by her younger daughter? Or perhaps a mixture of both? This biography describes her life and background, her two marriages, the development of her career and her writing methods - sitting hunched over a manual typewriter, supported by a plank on her knees, her inspiration, style and characterization. It also deals with the multi-million pound business that the Enid Blyton industry has become since her death in 1968.
Lilibet Snellings - 2014
One night each week, Lilibet would go to The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood, don a pair of white boy shorts with a matching tank, touch up her lip gloss, and crawl into a giant glass case behind the front desk. There, she could do whatever she wanted—check email, catch up on reading, even sleep—as long as she ignored the many hotel guests who would point and ask the staff, �Is she allowed to use the bathroom?” (Yes.)Dog-paddling through her twenties, Snellings resisted financial bailouts (for the most part) from her sweet Southern mother and business-oriented dad, while pondering her peculiar position as a human art installation. Was she a piece of art or a piece of ass? Was she allowed to read both Walt Whitman and US Weekly as she lounged in an oversized, waterless aquarium behind a hotel concierge desk? From misinterpreting a modeling agency interview as a talent audition, to avoiding Bond-girl-style deaths at New Year’s Eve parties, Snellings shares and laughs at her many mishaps while living in LA.
Finding Tipperary Mary: Two different lives, one heartbreaking secret
Phyllis Whitsell - 2015
It was as if I had made some kind of connection with her. Even at such a young age, I found it difficult to understand, but I always feared that she was in danger and needed my prayers. It was the only thing at the time that I could do for her. I feared that she might be coming to some harm and that she was not happy, but I was helpless and had nobody to talk to about my feelings. The only thing at that time was to pray that her guardian angel would take care of her and keep her from harm.’ Phyllis Whitsell began the search for her birth mother as a young woman ¨C and although it was many years before she finally met her, their lives had crossed on the journey without their knowledge. When they both eventually sat down together ¨C the circumstances were extraordinary, moving and ultimately life-changing. This is a daughter’s personal account of the remarkable relationship that grew from abandonment into love, understanding and selfless care.
Men-ipulation (The Men Wars, #1)
Monica Sarli - 2011
More can happen to Monica in one week than most people experience in a year, from facing down psychopathic drug dealers to the FBI threatening to put her in the Witness Protection Program or the SWAT team appearing to rescue her from a man she's done with, and every story is as true as it is strange. Get ready for an exciting ride that takes you from the depths of drug addiction to the pinnacle of high society only to end up six feet under.
An Italian Home - Settling by Lake Como (The Lake Como Trilogy Book 1)
Paul Wright - 2011
They soon found work; Paul as a mural painter and Nicola in an office in Milan, Paul was recruited by the local football team and they both took part in the fabulous summer and Christmas festivals and the mangialonge - the 'long eats' where groups of locals drive off into the country to feast on the best local food and wines, all day. They gain a new neighbour, George Clooney, who gained great popularity amongst the locals, and they lose an older, very near neighbour, fashion designer Gianni Versace who brought back to rest in his native Moltrasio after he was gunned down in the USA Paul's dry sense of humour and artistic observation brings the village of Moltrasio and its inhabitants to life, and he is guaranteed to make your mouth water with his wonderful descriptions of the local food
Me After You
Lucie Brownlee - 2014
I slapped His face and told Him to wake up. Our daughter, B, appeared in the doorway, woken up by the screaming - I must have been screaming but I don't remember - and she was crying and peering in. I told her the ultimate adult lie; that everything was all right.' Sudden death is rude. It just wanders in and takes your husband without any warning; it doesn't even have the decency to knock. At the impossibly young age of 37, as they were making love one night, Lucie Brownlee's beloved husband Mark dropped dead. As Lucie tried to make sense of her new life - the one she never thought she would be living - she turned to writing to express her grief. Me After You is the stunning, irreverent and heartbreakingly honest result.
Little Drifters: Kathleen's Story
Kathleen O'Shea - 2014
For all the children who suffered in this terrible place. For all those I consider my brothers and sisters; the ones who died, the ones who lost their minds, the ones who drown their memories everyday in a bottle of whisky, I tell this for you.Because in the end we are all brothers and sisters – and if we don’t feel that bond of love between each other, just as human beings, then we are nothing. We are no better than the monsters that ran the convents.”Based in Ireland in the 1960s and 70s, Kathleen’s story is a story of extreme hardship, suffering and abuse. It is the story of 11 siblings, abandoned by their mother and torn from their father, incarcerated in convents and then driven apart in the cruellest ways imaginable; it is the story of their ruined childhoods and their fight for recompense. But more than that, it is a story of courage, survival and the incredible strength of sibling bonds against overwhelming adversities.Out of terrible darkness comes a remarkable story. In the tradition of Irish storytelling, Kathleen offers a mesmerising account of her family’s experience.
And The Whippoorwill Sang
Micki Peluso - 2007
Around the dining room table of her 100 year old farmhouse Micki Peluso's six children along with three of their friends eagerly gulp down a chicken dinner. As soon as the last morsel is ravished, the lot of them is off in different directions. Except for the one whose turn it is to do the dishes. After offering her mother a buck if she’ll do them, with an impish grin, the child rushes out the front door, too excited for a hug, calling out, "Bye Mom," as the door slams shut. For the Peluso’s the nightmare begins. Micki and Butch face the horror every parent fears—awaiting the fate of one of their children. While sitting vigil in the ICU waiting room, Micki traverses the past, as a way of dealing with an inconceivable future. From the bizarre teenage elopement with her high school sweetheart, Butch, in a double wedding with her own mother, to comical family trips across country in an antiquated camper with six kids and a dog, they leave a path of chaos, antics and destruction in their wake. Micki relives the happy times of raising six children while living in a haunted house, as the young parents grow up with their kids. She bravely attempts to be the man of the house while her husband, Butch is working out of town. Hearing strange noises, which all the younger kids are sure is the ghosts, Micki tiptoes down to the cellar, shotgun in hand and nearly shoots an Idaho potato that has fallen from the pantry and thumped down the stairs. Of course her children feel obligated to tell the world. Just when their lives are nearly perfect, tragedy strikes—and the laughter dies. A terrible accident takes place in the placid valley nestled within the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On a country lane just blocks from the family’s hundred year old haunted farmhouse, lives are changed forever. In a state of shock, Micki muses through their delightful past to avoid confronting an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of her six children is fighting for life in Intensive Care. Both parents are pressured by doctors to disconnect Noelle, their fourteen-year-old daughter. Her beautiful girl, funny and bright, who breathes life into every moment, who does cartwheels in piles of Autumn leaves, who loves to sing and dance down country roads, and above all loves her family with all her soul. How can Micki let this child go? The family embarks upon yet another journey, to the other side of sorrow and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin. . .to weep. . .to laugh. . .to grieve. . .to dance—and forgive.
Begging (Invisible Child)
Mary Hayward - 2011
The book gives a rare insight into the home life I shared with my brother Les (James Phelge). Why he called himself Phelge I don’t know, but James is my father’s name: We shared a common mother. The story starts in Edmonton, London. It is the story of heartbreak and neglect in the relentless struggle for food amidst the filth of poverty. What is it like for a small girl to starve? When she needs help, she is abandoned and left to struggle alone.