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Pump up the Wikia: Challenge Recs

  Tags: Italian | Book
 Language Learning Forum : Books, Literature & Reading Post Reply
10 messages over 2 pages: 1
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4109 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 9 of 10
17 May 2014 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
Iguanamon and Crush both shared some great Spanish books on this page of my log.

Books I have read this year : El palacio de la medianoche ,
La sombra del viento,

and El juego de angel by
Carlos Ruis Zafon

(Really great author)

La isla de los amores infinitos by Daina Chaviano

El judio de Shanghai by Emilio Calderon

El asesino de la Via Lactea by Gabriel Martinez

Espia de Dios by Juan Gomez-Jurado

I am currently reading contrato con dios by the same author.

For watching, I can recommend the deliciously ridiculous   El Capo, and at the other end of the spectrum, I am always singing the praises of filosofia aqui y ahora, and in the same vein mentira la verdad.

I hope that helps for now, I have loads more stuff to add when I get the chance.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4294 days ago

1468 posts - 2413 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 Message 10 of 10
22 May 2014 at 12:06pm | IP Logged 
Great idea! I don't plan on doing any super challenges but it's nice to have big lists of books and films. I'll contribute some of my Italian favourites.

Modern fiction:

Niccolò Amminiti - Ti prendo e ti porto via, Io non ho paura.
They're the two I've read so far. Good stories that keep you reading, lots of modern conversational language; they get a bit dark and violent so might not be for everybody.

Italo Calvino - Le città invisibili
Short and very interesting, although a lot of unusual vocabulary; I found it very difficult so I'd recommend it to advanced learners.

I've not read any Fabio Volo yet, but he's on my list as he seems to be a popular modern author, although reviews are quite mixed.

Classic fiction:

Italo Svevo - La coscienza di Zeno
Despite being a hundred years old it's not too difficult to read when you get used to the writing style. It's entertaining although it's quite long and I found that it dragged on a bit towards the end.


La meglio gioventù: a wonderful six-hour long story about a family set over several decades, and you learn a lot about Italian post-war history and culture from it.

Romanzo criminale: about a gang in Rome. Again, based around history in the last few decades, and very well done. There's also a TV series based on it which I've not watched yet but I've heard good things.

Mio fratello è figlio unico: another great film about modern history and politics, about two brothers who get involved in opposing political movements.

Buongiorno, notte: and one more, this time about the kidnapping of Aldo Moro.

L'ultimo bacio: Modern drama about relationships. Not exactly high-class cinema but it's well done and it really helped my understanding and usage of conversational Italian: it has fairly accurate subtitles and it's very dialogue-heavy with lots of family and relationship situations and arguments. Gabriele Muccino's other films are also worth a watch.

Notte prima degli esami: very enjoyable teen comedy, and another great one for colloquial language.

Ieri, oggi, domani: 1960s comedy, divided into three stories about couples. It's fun and you get to hear Italian from Naples, Rome, and Milan.

Fantozzi series: classic comedy about a middle-class Italian man who keeps getting into unfortunate and comical situations.

La grande bellezza: recent film about the high life in Rome that's obviously inspired by Fellini's classics. A bit strange but enjoyable.

Benvenuti al Sud and Benvenuti al Nord: comedies about the stereotypes of Northern and Southern Italians.

Nuovo cinema Paradiso: great story with great music.

Gomorrah: intertwined stories about the Neapolitan mafia. Very good, but a lot of it is in dialect rather than Italian.

Le conseguenze dell'amore: very interesting and emotional story.

I could add many more, and I probably will, but these are the ones that stand out!

Edited by garyb on 26 May 2014 at 11:20am

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