Monday, May 1, 2017

Alyssa Palombo

Alyssa Palombo is a graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, as well as a trained classical musician. The Violinist of Venice, her debut novel, was released in late 2015.

Palombo's new novel is The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
What I’m currently reading:

Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister: This is a historical novel I was absolutely dying to read since I first heard of it, and it has not disappointed. It tells the story of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective, and the challenges, triumphs, and prejudices she faces throughout her career. This is a sharply written and well-researched historical novel that reads like a thriller.

The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George: Margaret George has long been a favorite author of mine and is one of my biggest inspirations in the world of historical fiction, and so of course I snapped up her newest novel as soon as it was available. The book completely brings the world of ancient Rome and its cutthroat (literally) politics to life, and I am interested to see how she continues to take on the infamous character of Nero throughout the novel.

A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon: This is one of the books in Donna Leon’s famous Venetian mystery series starring Guido Brunetti, and I am a big fan. I’ve been working my way through the series ever since I read the first book about a year ago now, and the books are just wonderful. Brunetti is a great hero, and I absolutely love the commentary on and exploration of modern Venetian society and customs, as well as of Italian attitudes, politics, and culture on the whole. And, of course, the fact that they’re set in my favorite city, Venice, really seals the deal for me. There are so many of these books now that it feels like I’ll never be out of new ones to read, and that’s just the way I like it!

What I’ve read recently:

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker: As a wine lover, as soon as I saw this book I grabbed it immediately. It very soon taught me how little I actually know about wine. It’s a fascinating look at wine industry and culture, told in a compulsively readable way. I absolutely loved this book, and it’s inspired me to be more thoughtful when tasting wines and to branch out more in what I drink.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis: I met Mindy at a writing conference about a year ago, and not only is she an awesome human being but she is a phenomenal writer. I just finished this book, her first fantasy novel, and it’s tough to put down. A large cast of characters is managed superbly well, and the story is imaginative and so well told.

The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb: I read this on a recent vacation and could not put it down. It’s a retelling/expansion of The Little Mermaid (the original story, not the Disney version) set in the world of music and opera. This is all completely up my alley, so I knew as soon as I picked it up that I would love it, and I did. The writing is absolutely gorgeous, and I know this is one I’ll be reading again.
Visit Alyssa Palombo's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Violinist of Venice.

The Page 69 Test: The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence.

--Marshal Zeringue