Sicilian Summer Reads

Lose yourself with Cassandra's favourite books and follow her journey through Sicily.

Pippa reading Reading in the gardens of Villa Tasca, Palermo

If you can get your hands on a copy of Vincent Cronin's ' The Golden Honeycomb' this is is the most beautifully written book on Sicily I have read.

The other book I loved on Sicily is Mary Taylor Simeti's book: 'On Persephone's island ' which is her journal of a year in Sicily - the land she fell in love with, then stayed  and married a Sicilian. She tells of oranges and almonds, of conquerors and ancient festivals, and of wild flowers and harvests. It tells of her love affair with the island that so many fall in love with too!

And if you have read the Leopard, then tuck it again into your luggage, and if not be sure to read it this summer. It tells of a Sicilian world that has moved on yet its countryside has changed very little.

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For history there is no better than the books of John Julius Norwich. His love affair with the island began decades ago and has never left him.  He brings together the conquering peoples of this Mediterranean isle and in so doing explains its uniqueness on the world stage: centuries of these conquerors each leaving arts, designs skills and cuisine that the wise Sicilians added successively to their repertoire. So that now it is the dream destination for a holiday!

As a good reliable guidebook for a fun summer holiday then the Dorking Kindersley book on Sicily has all you need to conquer the island.

If you fancy something quite different to what you might consider taking on holiday I urge you to delve into Adam Nicolson's new book: 'The Seabird's Cry'. This book IS about birds but it is the way that it is written that is so enchanting: "Why do you love birds? I asked Emily. Because they fly, she said. That act of release is what is marvellous about them, not as a single done thing but as something that happens again and again, every year, every day, every new life."

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