Recommendations April 2021


– Works by mystery writer Maurizio DiGiovanni – Notes from Marisa: Italian author, very popular in his country and translated into several languages. Two of his series were made into TV shows in Italy.  He writes mainly literary mysteries. The novels are character-driven, there is psychological depth. The plots are complex, and the writing is lyrical. There is enough intrigue to make the books absorbing, but what makes them memorable is the portrait of a city, its history and culture, and ultimately his approach to the human condition, its strengths and weaknesses, its passions and fears. I would recommend to begin with the first book of the Ricciardi series, I Will Have Vengeance. The novels are set in Naples in 1931, in Fascist times, which makes them even more interesting.  Here is more information on the author, and a list of his books translated into English:

– “A Pillar of Iron: A Novel of Ancient Rome” by Taylor Caldwell (Judy)

– “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse (Daniela)

– “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse (Marisa)

– “The Island of the Sea Women” by Lisa See (Starr)


-“Frederick Douglass:  Prophet of Freedom” by David Blight (Cathy)

-“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson (Meiko, Cathy and others)

-“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” edited by by Ibram X. Kendi (Editor), Keisha N. Blain (Editor) (Mieko)

-“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (Mieko)

-“The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits”
by Les Standiford (Daniela)


-“The Man Who Invented Christmas” 2017 film (Daniela)

– Ken Burns series on Ernest Hemingway – starting this week on PBS (Judy)


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