Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warmth of Tuscany

I find the Tuscan area of Italy fascinating. Perhaps being born in Vicenza courtesy of the army created those ties. So I read all the memoirs of expats in Italy. Tuscan Holiday by Holly Chamberlin is my first Tuscan novel.

The holiday is taken by a mother and daughter after the daughter's graduation from college and before her marriage to control freak Jotham. The book explores the two's relationships with men. Elizabeth, the mother, was left pregnant by a college love who refused to acknowledge Marina, her daughter. She has avoided commiting to Rob, the longtime man in her life. Marina has reacted to this failing of passion by organizing her loves and future with precision. And then Marina meets Lucca in Florence and finds out what passion is.

This was a sweet read. I really liked Elizabeth, but wanted to like Marina more. Perhaps as a single mother, I had a harder time with her attitude toward her mom at the start. LOL

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am a huge fan of Judi Dench, the actress. Her memoir and furthermore not so much. The book focuses pretty closely on her work and all the people she acted with. I must admit that I didn't finish it. I wouldn't want all the dirty secrets of her life, but felt this was a bit too removed for me.

I will say that her insights on performance would be very interesting to someone studying theatre. I am going to try the biography Judi Dench: With a Crack in Her Voice, which several reviews said are complemented by this stage story.

Nerd do well

As something of a nerd myself, Simon Pegg and I have a lot in common. An obsession with the original three Star Wars films, etc. Pegg is best known in the states for his films like Shaun of the Dead.

Pegg didn't really want to write about his personal life and so this memoir looks at his career and a bit about his personal life. The memoir is interspersed with a comic Bond like story starring Pegg and his robot butler Canterbury.

I enjoyed this tremendously in spots and other chapters were good. One of my favourite chapters is about his favourite pub.