My Venice and Other EssaysPosted: January 7, 2014
My Venice and Other Essays
Atlantic Monthly Press (December 3, 2013)
Kindle Edition: $9.10, Amazon Hardcover: $19.90
When I download a book sample to my iPad Kindle app or add a book to my to-read shelf on Goodreads there is no place to note where I learned about the book. I can’t tell you, therefore, where I first found this book. But there it was in my Kindle samples. Chances are that I saw it in the Sunday book review section of the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle.
In any case, it was an enjoyable small find. I’m not familiar with Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery novels, but such knowledge certainly isn’t necessary to enjoy this book. The book offers insights into Leon’s perspective of her world, and she does not hesitate to make clear what she considers important. The essays seem to be a collection of previously published pieces, many of them from the first decade of the twenty-first century, but there is no reference to the source or date of any of the essays. I wish the publisher had provided both.
Leon is an expatriate American who spends most of her time in Venice. Interestingly, she first found herself in Venice when she was evacuated from Iran at the time of the Iranian Revolution. Seems she found home, and many of the essays show her love of the city, even while admitting poor judgment in matters such as buying the Venetian equivalent of a condo.
The territory covered by the book is not limited to Venice. She writes about her time in the Italian countryside, offering classes at a nearby U.S. military base, and her visits to New York City.
There is nothing of substance here, but it is a quick, diverting, enjoyable read.