Very short essays, which must have been published elsewhere, many of them years ago. Dates and places of publications would have improved the book a lot. Not many are really about Venice itself, though some of those are the best. One, for instance, is why Venice's lack of cars is among its primary virtues for residents. She shows her rage over a number of issues, including how Italian and New York men treat women. I loved some of her essays on life in her house in the Italian mountains, and how she and her brother coped with their mother's funeral. My favorite was a hilarious, understated conversation with an unnamed woman who also writes crime fiction, about their favorite ways of killing people. She has, in general, made Brunetti more compassionate than she comes off in some of these essays.
"Mystery fans will recognize Donna Leon's name -- she's the author of the critically acclaimed Guido Brunetti series set in Venice. Having lived in Italy for three decades, Leon knows the floating city well. Here, in a series of short essays, she shares her opinions about the onslaught of masses of tourists to her adopted home (she's not a fan), as well as a wide variety of other subjects (she's also not keen about the American obesity epidemic or the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia). Even if you've never read her eloquent, atmospheric novels, anyone interested in an intimate look at Venice will find Leon to be a no-nonsense guide who writes in "sharply revealing and precisely vivid sentences" (Library Journal)." Armchair Travel February 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/65a45623-29d8-4930-a050-7045f18b95cf?postId=fbfe1dbc-f888-4b7d-a453-8350c366f628
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