A New Vice

As a kid, growing up, I always swapped books with my grandma. Together, we devoured Agatha Christie, especially her books with Miss Marple as the clever leading lady. Then, I fell for Perry Mason. With more than ninety published cases, I still haven’t managed to read all of him.The same goes for J.B. Fletcher and the murders she stumbled into in Cabot Cove. Now, a new character has won my heart: Guido Brunetti, the refined and sightly Commissario. Venice, his daily companion, is the distinctive home for his family, his friends and cases. A place more than an attraction swarmed by millions of tourists each year, pestered by oversized cruise ships and aqua alta. A town as unique as Brunetti himself, used by his creator as a main character. Venice, La Serenissima, the trading town crossed by canals and surrounded by water. A decaying beauty built on logs and land. A lagoon and setting donna-leon_bwthat has inspired many authors, from Shakespeare to Thomas Mann. And, for twenty-two years now, also Donna Leon.

It was a streak of luck that brought Brunetti on paper and into our lives as readers. Donna Leon, once an English professor, has lived in Venice for more than a quarter century. Her passion for literature, opera and Venezia jumps out on every page of her bestselling novels now available in many languages but Italian (upon the author’s insistence). She never expected to write more than one, a crime novel set in Venice with a character she genuinely liked. Twenty-three books later, she’s now a grande dame of mystery and crime. A writer whose protagonists are erudite, sophisticated and often angry at the world and its crimes. It is an intoxicating mix for anyone who enjoys authenticity and reliable characters, for anyone who has a heart for history and critical thinking. Brunetti’s cases are never as grim and gloomy as many Scandinavian novels, but neither are they la dolce vita and cotton candy. For anyone who likes a descriptive style, Italian food and a dash of philosophy, Leon’s books are the perfect pastime told in a pleasant pace. But be warned, once you’ve picked up the first volume, you may never want spend another day without Brunetti and his Venetian life.

Hungry now for more on Donna Leon?! Follow the links below to dive into her world.

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Fetch Your Reading Glasses

It’s summer time, so I’m outside reading. My favorite season always affects the amounts of books I’m enjoying, for pleasure or research, doesn’t matter – in the end, I always enjoy even the most tiring topic. So, call me a book worm, but here are ten  recommendations for those of you who share my favorite summer pastime on the beach, in your garden, on the front porch or your balcony. I could list a ton more but I’m trying to practice moderation. So here they are, my ten picks – I hope you’ll find something to enjoy:

Fiction:

Non-Fiction:

Art, Fashion and Pin-Ups

For the past few days, I’ve been all covered in paint and charcoal, I’ll thus make it short and just throw a couple of book recommendations your way. I’m still in the middle of exploring these gems and don’t really know which one to pick first I’m so taken with them. If you’re like me and all giddy about vintage fashion, pin-ups and art, you may find these books just as helpful and amazing. What a lovely way to spend a “moody-weather weekend”, reading and sketching. See for yourselves if you agree:

When Women Call the Shots

Friday is miscellaneous day and today I’ve decided to bring you a recommendation for a book.

The book is called When Women Call the Shots – The Developing Power and Influence of Women in Television and Film and was written by Linda Seger.

This book is an excellent source of information and a real treat for everyone who is interested in the roots of Hollywood, the golden age of the studio system and the development thereafter. It’s a book that goes beyond movie stardom and lime light fairy tales. When Women Call the Shots is about the actual filmmakers – women behind the camera, in the studios, in management and storytelling.

Furthermore, the book addresses women who work in film these days – their responsibility, impact and perspective.

How did Hollywood present female characters, and how has that changed? What’s the perception of female filmmakers? How have female voices influenced success?

When Women Call the Shots is a smooth read, a witty book that touches all of these questions in times when more and more women are emerging in fields that are still dominated by male filmmakers.

Have a look inside the book on amazon and judge for yourselves.