Saturday, May 25, 2019

Dear Great Book Guru, Sea Cliff is special all seasons of the year, but late Spring is particularly wondrous. This Monday is Memorial Day with its early breakfast on the front lawn of the Children’s Library, followed by a spirited parade through the streets of Sea Cliff and ending with a bittersweet, poignantly beautiful ceremony at Clifton Park. Over this long weekend, I am sure there will be time for a good book. Any thoughts? Memorial Day Observer

Dear Memorial Day Observer, I recently reread a very compelling book: CITY OF FALLING ANGELS by John Berendt.  Berendt is best known for his book about Savannah, Georgia - MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL. Using a similar format, he writes about Venice, Italy.  Arriving three days after a massive fire that destroyed La Fenice - Venice’s iconic opera house - Berendt delves into the many forces that contribute to the beauty, magic, and mystery of this city.  In alternating chapters, we meet a master glassblower whose people have lived in Venice for over five hundred years and we learn of a feud that has been consuming his children for decades. Later we meet a poet who is being blackmailed and is found dead. Was he murdered? An internationally renowned Rat Poisoner is another character we meet and come to love. Somehow the twenty or so characters come together, but ultimately the most colorful character is Venice – such a strange and beautiful city.  Highly recommended!  

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