A few weeks ago I was talking to my Mom about Under the Tuscan Sun. She was just finishing the book and was shocked that it wasn't at all like the movie. In fact, one of the main reasons she avoided the book was because of her dislike of Diane Lane who plays the main character in the movie. (Which is kinda weird, but ok.)
If you haven't read it, there are very few similarities from the book to the movie. Southerner Frances Meyers moves to Italy with her beloved husband Ed! (A Minnesotan, by the way.) And they work on the house together! And it's more of a beautiful travel diary than a story about a depressed single women who just broke up with James Franco! Seriously, it's like someone skimmed the book and created a new main character.
Anyway, it got me thinking that I haven't read a good travel book in a long time. I love those travelogue that are so well-written, they just take you someplace and you feel like you've been there. You finish the book and you want to turn to your husband and say, remember that time we drove around Florence looking for that cafe? ("Um, no Jessica, we've never been to Florence." "yet.")
So when looking for audiobooks to eat up my 40 minute commutes to work at the library this week, I found Frances' third Tuscan memoir Every Day in Tuscany, which so far is more of the same. Long descriptions of gardens and the way the light hits the green hills, the oh-so-Italian neighbors, chores around the house that just sound better when you're caring for an ancient house, etc. It's a little European vacation two times a day. And it calms my wanderlust just a bit.