Baseball Italian Style: Great Stories Told by Italian American Major Leaguers from Crosetti to Piazza

by Lawrence Baldassaro

Baseball Italian Style brings together the memories of major leaguers of Italian heritage whose collective careers span almost a century, from the 1930s up to today. In these first-person accounts, baseball fans will meet at an intimate level the players they cheered as heroes or jeered as adversaries, as well as coaches, managers, front-office executives, and umpires. The men who speak in this collection, which includes eight Hall of Famers (Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Ron Santo, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Tom Lasorda, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre) go beyond facts and figures to provide an inside look at life in the big leagues. Their stories provide a time capsule that documents not only the evolution of Italian American participation in the national pastime, but also the continuity of the game and the many changes that have taken place, on and off the field. At a time when statistical analysis plays an increasingly prominent role in the sport, the monologues in this book are a reminder that the history of baseball is passed on to future generations more eloquently, and with much greater passion, through the words of those who lived it than it is by numerical data.

The Tuscan Child

by Rhys Bowen

From New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…

In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal. Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter Joanna has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation. Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…

The House at the Edge of Night

by Catherine Banner

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy—combining the romance of Beautiful Ruins with the magical tapestry of works by Isabel Allende.

Castellamare is an island far enough away from the mainland to be forgotten, but not far enough to escape from the world’s troubles. At the center of the island’s life is a café draped with bougainvillea called The House at the Edge of Night, where the community gathers to gossip and talk. Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, finds his destiny on the island with his beautiful wife, Pina, whose fierce intelligence, grace, and unwavering love guide her every move. An indiscretion tests their marriage, and their children—three sons and an inquisitive daughter—grow up and struggle with both humanity’s cruelty and its capacity for love and mercy. Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare: a cruel count and his bewitching wife, a priest who loves scandal, a prisoner of war turned poet, an outcast girl who becomes a pillar of strength, a wounded English soldier who emerges from the sea. The people of Castellamare are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and their deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness.

The Master of Verona

by David Blixt

Shakespeare and Dante collide in this sweeping novel of Renaissance Italy. The feud between the Capulets and Montagues starts here! Pietro Alighieri, son of the poet Dante, falls under the sway of Verona’s daring, charismatic, and warlike ruler, Cangrande della Scala. Risking battles, duels, and intrigue to impress his new lord, Pietro uncovers an infernal plot against Cangrande’s infant heir. Emerging from the shadow of his famous father, Pietro must protect the dangerous child while navigating a rivalry that severs a friendship, divides a city, and sparks a feud that will someday produce Shakespeare’s famous star-cross’d lovers, Romeo & Juliet. Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, The Master of Verona is a novel of brutal warfare, lost friendship, and dire conspiracy. An epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Kay Penman, and Dorothy Dunnett.

Prince of Fire (Gabriel Allon Series Book 5)

by Daniel Silva

After an explosion in Rome destroys the Israeli embassy, Gabriel Allon makes a disturbing discovery: the existence of a dossier in terrorist hands that strips away his secrets, and lays bare his history. Drawn into the heart of a service he’d once forsaken, Allon finds himself stalking a master terrorist across a bloody landscape generations in the making. But soon, Allon will wonder who is stalking whom. When the final showdown comes, it won’t be Allon alone who is threatened with destruction. For it is not his history alone that has been exposed.

Books by Steven Saylor

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Steven Saylor is the author of the ROMA SUB ROSA series of historical mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, set in the ancient Rome of Cicero, Caesar, and Cleopatra. The latest book is Throne of Caesar, in which Gordianus confronts the Ides of March, 44 B.C., and the most famous murder case in history.

There have also been three prequels—The Seven Wonders, which follows the 18-year-old Gordianus on his journey to the Seven Wonders of the World; Raiders of the Nile, in which young Gordianus, living in Egypt, finds himself drawn into a plot to steal the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great; and Wrath of the Furies, in which young Gordianus finds himself in Ephesus on the eve of King Mithridates’ mass slaughter of every Roman man, woman, and child.

Steven is also the author of the international bestseller Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome and its follow-up, Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome. These two epic novels comprise a multi-generational saga that spans the first 1200 years of the city, from Iron Age trading post to the height of the empire under Hadrian. A third volume (making this series a trilogy) is on the way.

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Books by Lindsey Davis

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Lindsey Davis’ Roman novels begin chronologically with The Course of Honour, the love story of the Emperor Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy; there is a reader handboook, Falco: the Official Companion. A new series, featuring Flavia Albia, began in 2013. Master and God, set in the time of the Emperor Domitian, was published in 2012. She has also written an epic novel of the English Civil War and Commonwealth, Rebels and Traitors. She has won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Dagger in the Library, and a Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective. She has also been awarded the Premio Colosseo for enhancing the image of Rome, and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement as a mystery writer.

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Books by Ruth Downie

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Ruth (RS) Downie left university with an English degree and a plan to get married and live happily ever after. She is still working on it. In the meantime she is also the New York Times bestselling author of a mystery series featuring Roman legionary doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso and his British partner, the enigmatic and independent-minded Tilla. Much of what Ruso has been told about Britannia isn’t true. Unfortunately much of what he’s told by Tilla may not be true either. And when it comes to murder, somebody is lying to both of them.

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The Law: A Novel Set in Apulia, Southern Italy

by Roger Vailland

“Makes Mario Puzo’s works look rather tame.”- Antonia Fraser

“The Law is an experience I will not easily forget.” – V.S. Naipaul

Now back in print, Roger Vailland’s atmospheric 1957 novel won the Prix Goncourt, and the Knopf edition was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. The grotesque game of the Law, played in the taverns of southern Italy, is but a shadow of an even fiercer attitude to life-a potent metaphor for a vigorously hierarchical view of existence which rules over the mezzogiorno, the noonday culture of southern Italy. In this novel we are not asked to pardon or condemn the passion of Donna Lucrezia, the assured self-centeredness of the learned aristocrat Don Cesare or even the sinister desires of Matteo Brigante, the controlling godfather.

Books by Michael Dibdin

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Michael Dibdin is best known for his Aurelio Zen mysteries, set in Italy. The first of these, Ratking, won the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award  of 1988. This series of detective novels provide a penetrating insight into the less visible aspects of Italian society over the last 20 years. The earlier books have a lightness of touch that gradually becomes much darker. The character of Zen himself is anti-heroic, which adds much to the books’ irony and black humour.

Click here to purchase books about Inspector Aurelio Zen, by Michael Dibdin.