Three weeks after an amazing weekend in Rome, and I’m still playing catch up with my reading! To start, I’ve been finishing off the books I borrowed prior to our Roman Holiday. I’ve only Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge to go, but I’m still on page fifty-one and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to continue. I’ve been feeling a sort of restlessness lately when it comes to these slow-paced, genteel-like English novels, and so I need to step back from all this cozy reading and throw myself into something more fast-paced or dangerous. I did devour all 760 plus pages of Joe Hill’s monster The Fireman and it was GLORIOUS. I probably needed a book like that to realize how bored I had become from overindulging in sedate comfort reads that should be reserved for serious rainy days. I won’t write off Illyrian Spring completely; it has been on my To-Read list for the longest time and I have every intention of completing it.
Funny enough, I think the onset of this type of reading fatigue happened on the first day of our weekend in Rome. While I was trying to enjoy The Hotel by Elizabeth Bowen (lovely imagery, but exhaustingly word and in the end, not very fun), my husband Will read Doubting Thomas by Atle Naess, a fictional account based on Italian Baroque artist/bad boy, Caravaggio. While not the last word on Caravaggio’s life (I highly recommend Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane for that) it does paint him in a more human light without taking away from his allure or mystery. For Will, having only read about Caravaggio’s trio of St. Matthew paintings in Naess’s book, seeing the works in person and for reals in San Luigi dei Francesi was a surreal, moment he wouldn’t soon forget. That was the kind of experience in Italy I wanted to have, and Bowen’s novel about wealthy English people in the 1920s dithering their holiday away in a resort hotel on the Italian Riviera was not offering it. I ended up borrowing Doubting Thomas after Will had finished, and loved it. It’s a fantastic, haunting book that left me intrigued to the very end.
No babe, you do not look fat in the picture.