Read Around the World

As a Literature Graduate, I am obviously very passionate about books and reading. During my school years and my degree I was always reading some book or other, whether for pleasure or for educational purposes. At school I was fascinated by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, whilst at college I loved studying Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Then at University I particularly enjoyed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and fell in love with the works of Charles Dickens, who is now my favourite author. I have every one of his books, as well as many texts on his life and works. I love how very descriptive his works are and how he creates these fantastic, often slightly mad characters.  I also have always loved learning about the Victorian period, as I find it a particularly interesting era.  Dickens’ Victorian England fascinates me.

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Inside an old school house, now transformed into a quirky second hand book shop in Whistleton, Suffolk! I visited this week for a browse!

I graduated with a joint Literature and Italian degree and whilst studying, often opted for the literature modules in Italian too. We studied Dante’s Divine Comedy and on my Erasmus year in Italy I also completed an Italian Literature module.  Furthermore, for my Literature dissertation I combined my love for Charles Dickens and my passion for Italy, by writing about his relationship with the country and support for the Italian Unification.

Unfortunately, since leaving University and moving to Milan, the amount of time I spend reading has definitely declined and it shamefully took me over a year to read Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit! However…through work I have read countless children’s books – The Gruffalo anyone?!  But this year I am determined to start reading more again and have already made my way through quite a few books!

I tend to read a lot of Classics, but my Dad has just given me My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.  Ferrante is an Italian novelist (under pseudonym) who was born in Naples and is the author of The Neopolitan Novels. I hadn’t heard of her before, until recently when my Dad mentioned an article he had read in The Guardian newspaper, listing authors and novels from ‘Around The World’ and this idea that we can read our way around the world! Anything he reads about Italy he usually tends to pass on to me and unbeknown to me, he had ordered me her fist Neopolitan Novel, My Brilliant Friend.

The World

With the arrival of the book, I decided to do a little research about this ‘Read Around the World’ idea and have found that it is quite a popular concept and some people even base their blogs around it!

So, I have decided to do my own version of reading around the world, starting with Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, which is the story of two best friends growing up in 1950’s Naples. Where better to start my reading journey than Italy?? The book and author have received a lot of acclaim and I am excited to start reading it and then eventually to review it on here!

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My question to you all then is, can you recommend any books to me, for any country in the world? They must be written by a native to that country, but apart from that I am open to any suggestions! Then I will make a list and hopefully over time make my way through it, reviewing and keeping you up-to-date on here!

Is anyone completing this challenge at the moment? Do you have any recommendations? What do you all like to read? I would love to hear!

Happy weekend to you all!

Anna

10 Random facts about myself!

Hello everyone! I am writing this post from England as I am finally back home for the Summer with my family and friends! I left the sweltering heat in Milan and hopped on a plane to Stansted, to be pleasantly surprised by the weather here.  Not at all as cold and rainy as I was expecting!

I thought I would write a slightly more personal post as being home surrounded by lots of pictures and memories makes you a little sentimental. So I am going to tell you all 10 random facts about myself, so you can get to know me a little better!

Me

  1. Whilst at University, I joined the polo club and played (or at least tried to learn to play) polo. I don’t think I am a natural, but I absolutely love riding and have ridden since I was young.
  2. I have taken and passed Grade 6 in both piano and flute.
  3. In 2001 I performed in a variety show at the London Palladium, with my old Dance School. We performed two modern dance numbers, one to Geri Halliwell’s ‘It’s raining men’ and one to Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’! For which, we wore amazing 50’s style dance skirts! They were great for twirling around in!
  4. I have a rescue dog – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Robbie!  My Dad, brother and I chose him from about ten staffies we met at a Kennels in Essex. He was originally called Diesel until the Kennel staff renamed him.10570208_887293894643325_1281618656_n
  5. My favourite food is Jacket Potato! Or to be honest any type of potato! I just love them!
  6. Whilst at college, I was an extra in a film about the notorious Witch Hunter Matthew Hopkins. I was in three scenes, including the hanging of three witches, where I had to throw handfuls of mud at the women convicted of witchcraft!
  7. I can speak Italian and am re-learning German. (Unfortunately since I started learning Italian I lost a lot of my German).
  8. My favourite author is Charles Dickens! I have every book he wrote and countless books on his writings and his life. I even combined my love for Dickens and Italy for my dissertation in my final year at University, writing about his relationship with Italy, through his travel writing and the novel ‘Little Dorrit’.  He was also, interestingly, a great supporter of the Italian Unification.
  9. Although I live in a city and love city life, I am a true country girl at heart and find that the smells, sights and sounds of the Essex countryside are so relaxing and beautiful. It is where I feel most at home.
  10. My favourite film (or at least one very high on my list) is Shawshank Redemption. I love the way the film is narrated and the beautiful sentiment in the most memorable quotes from the film.

 – I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend. – 

These are just a few random musings about myself, which I hope you have enjoyed! If you feel like it leave me a random fact about yourself below! I would love to know something about you!

I have lots of posts planned for the next month and am looking forward to a busy summer or fun and writing!

Anna