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About this book
Books for the Grounded Traveller
A Florence Diary
In August 1947, Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her cousin Pen. In this playful diary of that trip, delightfully illustrated with photographs of the period, Athill recorded her observations and adventures — eating with (and paid for by) the hopeful men they meet on their travels, admiring architectural sights, sampling delicious pastries, eking out their budget, and getting into scrapes.
Written with an arresting immediacy and infused with an exhilarating joie de vivre, A Florence Diary is a bright, colourful evocation of a time long lost and a vibrant portrait of a city that will be deliciously familiar to any contemporary traveller.
The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi
A sweeping saga of intrigue and romance set during the Italian Renaissance and told through the eyes of Grazia dei Rossi, a young Jewish woman torn between duty and forbidden romance, who wins our hearts with her recorded secrets of love.
Grazia dei Rossi, private secretary to the world-renowned Isabella d’Este, is the daughter of an eminent Jewish banker, the wife of the pope’s Jewish physician, and the lover of a Christian prince. In a “secret book,” written as a legacy for her son, she records her struggles to choose between the seductions of the Christian world and a return to the family, traditions, and duties to her Jewish roots. As she re-creates Renaissance Italy in captivating detail, Jacqueline Park gives us a timeless portrait of a brave and brilliant woman trapped in an unforgiving, inflexible society.
A Whole Life
Robert Seethaler • Charlotte CollinsReader's Guide ↓
Shortlisted for The 2017 National Translation Award
Shortlisted for The 2017 International Dublin Literary Award
Shortlisted for The 2016 Man Booker International Prize
Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas' heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII — where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus — and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven . . .
Like John Williams' Stoner or Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, A Whole Life is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. An exquisite novel about a simple life, it has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of solace and truth. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.