Sure the food and buildings may be enough to get you into the Italian way of life, but don’t forget about some good books which, for the most part, relates to Italy. Whether you’re an avid reader or not, you should definitely consider reading some of the books below.
“Angels & Demons,” by Dan Brown
Of course, “Angels & Demons” has to be mentioned. Though it’s a rather large book, it’s an easy read and what better place to read it than Florence – OK, aside from Rome. In case you’ve never heard of this novel, you’ve probably heard of “The Da Vinci Code” which deals with the same protagonist you would know of from the movie as Tom Hanks. Both of these novels deal with Christianity, the Vatican, and, especially with “Angels & Demons,” Rome. Seeing as pretty much all of you have been to Rome, it’s easy to get into this book. If that’s not enough to catch your interest, the story might do it as the protagonist journeys through Rome to stop a secret society from destroying the Vatican. You can always watch the movie, too – both of them if you so desire.
“Death in Venice,” by Thomas Mann
Though this novella deals with death, it can be way more than that. It’s very short and not very confusing; thought-provoking, but not tedious. A literary classic, and one of my personal favorites, the story’s protagonist seeks a younger, more lively life than his own. This is an attitude we all should have, especially when you’re studying abroad…and when you’re in Venice. If you see me in Venice, it’s likely I’ll be clenching this book.
“Me Talk Pretty One Day,” by David Sedaris
You may know David Sedaris from his essay “SantaLand Diaries.” He’s a humor writer and though I recommend all of his work, I particularly recommend “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” The second part of the book is a collection of comedic essays about his living in Paris and learning to speak French. When in French class and asked who visits on Easter, he enthusiastically and confidently answered, “The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.” It’s subtleties like this that litter the cultural interactions and sometimes vulgar details of this book. Though it’s set in Paris, it applies to all of your foreign cities, language barriers, and adventures.
Categories: Life Abroad