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A Room with a View

Traveling the Tuscan countryside by armchair: My Italian reading list

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For a bibliophile, one of the challenges (and joys) of any vacation is deciding what reading material to take. Do you bring the most relevant books you can find—travel books about the area you’re visiting, novels set nearby, biographies of famous citizens? Or do you, almost perversely, read something that seems all wrong for the time and place? Despite a decade in the UK, my experience of Europe is woefully limited. My husband attending an ecology conference in Florence was a perfect excuse for some long-overdue Italian exploring. We started off with a whistle-stop tour of Tuscany, including a couple nights at a 200-year-old farmhouse, and then went on to Florence for a week. Here are some of the books…

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The star wore Prada: How great fashion can save a lackluster film

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Any book lover has had the unique experience of watching one of your favorite novels come to life on the big screen. It’s a moment filled with fear that the story will be butchered, forever tainting your view of the book, and awe that you’re finally seeing something you’ve only ever pictured in your mind. I’ve watched some truly awful adaptations of my favorite books (I’m looking at you, The Time Traveler’s Wife) and some truly amazing ones (hello, Princess Bride). But sometimes the beauty of a movie can triumph regardless of what’s happening in the story. A character will put on a certain dress or suit and make a scene pop in a way that didn’t seem possible in…

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