Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BOOK: No Vulgar Hotel by Judith Martin

No Vulgar Hotel by Judith Martin, 312 pages

Venice in February

This is the perfect book for Venice in February as it was written by a self-described Venotophiliac. Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners and for writing her etiquette books, fell in love with Venice, and now her life seems to revolve around Venice. When she is going, where she will stay, and the history of the place. Venice is known for its tourists, and it has a love/hate relationship, even while most of its residents have moved there because they were bewitched by her. But they aren't the tourists!

Martin writes a little tongue in cheek, and pokes fun at her obsession, but her passion for the place comes through. I guess it's one of those - 'no one can pick on my sister except me' situations. Venice is full of history, and famous visitors, and innovations, and if there is some famous fact about Venice that she missed, I'd be surprised. It's easy to read, full of information, and references just about everything you can imagine about Venice. At times I had to skim some of the facts, and historic events, but if you are a fan of Venice, or would like to visit vicariously, this is the book for you.

Thus ends my grand literary tour of Venice for 2012. I think I read nearly every book I wanted to. I read from a variety of genres and eras, and enjoyed them all. Thanks to Bellezza for hosting.

1. The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich (historic fiction)
2. The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan (Booker shortlist, literary/thriller)
3. Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers (contemporary, spiritual awakening)
4. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon (mystery)
5. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (thriller, classic)
6. No Vulgar Hotel by Judith Martin (nonfiction)
7. Don't Look Back by Daphne duMaurier (short story)