Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop: A Memoir (Paperback)
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Under the Tuscan Sun meets Diary of a Bookseller in this charming memoir by an Italian poet recounting her experience opening a bookshop in a village in Tuscany.
Alba Donati was used to her hectic life working as a book publicist in Italy—a life that made her happy and allowed her to meet prominent international authors—but she was ready to make a change. One day she decided to return to Lucignana, the small village in the Tuscan hills where she was born. There she opened a tiny but enchanting bookshop in a lovely little cottage on a hill, surrounded by gardens filled with roses and peonies.
With fewer than 200 year-round residents, Alba’s shop seemed unlikely to succeed, but it soon sparked the enthusiasm of book lovers both nearby and across Italy. After surviving a fire and pandemic restrictions, the “Bookshop on the Hill” soon became a refuge and destination for an ever-growing community. The locals took pride in the bookshop—from Alba’s centenarian mother to her childhood friends and the many volunteers who help in the day-to-day running of the shop. And in short time it has become a literary destination, with many devoted readers coming from afar to browse, enjoy a cup of tea, and find comfort in the knowledge that Alba will find the perfect read for them.
Alba’s lifelong love of literature shines on every page of this unique and uplifting book. Formatted as diary entries with delightful lists of the books sold at the shop each day, this inspirational story celebrates reading as well as book lovers and booksellers, the unsung heroes of the literary world.
About the Author
Alba Donati worked in Italian publishing for years—often in close contact with some of the most prominent international authors—before moving home to Lucignana to open a tiny bookshop. She is also an award-winning poet and advocate for literature. Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop is her first work of nonfiction.
“Charming... Readers beware: will cause the irresistible desire to open a small bookstore." —Kirkus Reviews
“This memoir is about the creation of the bookshop but also about so much more. This is a love letter to the town of Lucignana and the Italian literary scene as well as a meditation on Donati's sometimes difficult relationships with family. Her prose is poetic, even melodic at times, and her insights into both books and readers are delightful.” —Booklist
“Alba Donati’s Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop is not only a work of significant beauty, it’s inspiring about the continuing life of books, and about the ways in which our lives can change and our dreams can come true, if only we insist on believing in changes and dreams.” —Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours