Of Blog Posts and Books, 2017

Of Blog Posts

I was thrilled to count readers from 86 different countries here on the blog in 2017– grazie di cuore! Thank you from the heart, I’m truly honored! Here’s what got the most attention:

Say Your Prayers

Short and sweet from the archives, posted at a time when I thought readers, especially in the US, could use a virtual hug.

prayersandpiazzas.com (6)

Cheers to all: Cin Cin a Tutti!

A tiny history of “toasting” and how to say cheers in Italian.


How I (plan to) Study Italian, 2017

The “how I study…” posts are always a favorite — 2018’s version coming soon!


Five Romantic Italian Phrases

Romantic words to say in a most romantic language.

12 Things You May Not Know About The Last Supper

We are still captivated by this 500+-year-old work of art. I was overwhelmed at seeing this capolavoro (masterpiece) for the first time, and I thoroughly enjoyed putting together this list.


Photo Journal Sydney: Day One

Spending time in Sydney this summer was a most grateful travel experience!



And the posts I most enjoyed writing this year featured churches, the reason Florence has so many treasures, a comprehensive review of books for Renaissance lovers, and a glimpse inside the Medici home in Florence. (hmmm, there seems to be a common thread here…)

Of Books

As for my book list from 2017, I had quite a few stops and starts this year, due to my personal policy of putting a book down if I’m not hooked by page 100. I also didn’t have many superstar reads. So, instead of a list, here’s what I most enjoyed reading:

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr: A must read for those who love Rome, and if you are a parent, you will especially appreciate that angle. Doerr’s twins had just been born when he received a grant to live and write in Rome for a year. So, he and his wife packed up their newborn boys and set off! This book is a touching and humorous recap of that experience. (The book he was working on during that year turned out to be his Pulitzer prize winner, All The Light We Cannot See, an incredible work.)

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: a light and sweet modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Honest disclosure — this one’s probably more for the ladies. 🙂 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: a very heartwarming story about a grouchy old, widowed man to whom I became very attached by the end. His other books are definitely going on my list this year.

At the beginning of 2017 I set a goal of reading 10 Pulitzer Prize for fiction books, and while I didn’t get that far, here’s the ones I read (and enjoyed)…

  • Tinkers by Paul Harding (Pulitzer 2010),
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Pulitzer 2017)

and the ones I got through, mostly…

  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer 2011)
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (Pulitzer 2013)

On the reading list for Pulitzers for this year: Olive Kitteridge (2009) by Elizabeth Stout, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao (2008) by Junot Diaz, The Road (2007) by Cormack McCarthy, March (2006) by Geraldine Brooks, and whatever is named as the 2018 winner.


As 2018 gets underway, I hope you have something(s) wonderful in the works! May the coming year bring you health, happiness, and whatever inspires you and brings you joy! ❤





8 Comments Add yours

  1. Buon anno Stracy🎉. I like your policy of putting a book down if you are not feeling the love in 100 pages. Life is too short for boring books. I will have to start doing that too. I think my fav post was the last supper. I still haven’t managed to see it in person. Ciao, Cristina


  2. Felice anno nuovo Stacy! May your 2018 be filled with wonderful adventures and lots of lovely reading.

    I enjoyed “A Man Called Ove” as well. You’ve probably already read Elena Ferrante, right? I came late to her last year, but enjoyed her first book in the Neapolitan series very much.

    So excited about what you will share about travels, reading, and Italian vocabulary in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grazie mille! I have not yet read Ferrante, can you believe that? I keep meaning to…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly says:

    Ciao Stacy! I just discovered your blog and I feel like we have so much in common with our love for Italy, the language & books! I can’t wait to browse through some of your other posts, especially the language ones to help keep me motivated on my journey to learn Italian! I also host a monthly link up for bloggers who love Italy, and I just wanted to extend an invitation if you are interested! Every month we choose a different Italy related topic to write about and it gives us a chance to connect with other Italy lovers (kind of like a virtual aperitivo chat!) Hope you can join us one month! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ciao Kelly and welcome! So happy to have you here! I have been on your site and I’m enjoying it as well. It’s the DolceVita link up that you are hosting, correct? I look forward to participating, and I really appreciate the personal invitation. Cheers to a fantastic 2018!


  4. Brad Nixon says:

    Stacy, congrats on your international scope. I have a lot of catching up to do with your posts, and look forward to it. I have not YET read “All the Light We Cannot See,” and now you’re another Doerr book ahead of me. Oh, man! prepare yourself for “The Road.” It is gripping, but tough, tough sledding if, like me, you tend to put yourself IN the story. Happy reading! And, what’s the Italian equivalent of “Oh, man!”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the moral support for “The Road”, I will remember that when I dive in! Please let me know what you think of “All the Light..” when you get through it. You could get thru “Four Seasons…”very quickly if you want to start there. And I think the right word for oh man would definitely be “magari!” –a word which has multiple uses and one which I’m not entirely sure how to use correctly, but I think works in this context! 🙂 Cin cin to 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brad Nixon says:

        Mille grazie!


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