‘My Two Italies’ captures the conflicts of life in contemporary Italy

How Joseph Luzzi escaped the heartbreak of inheriting his parents’ Italy forms the core of “My Two Italies,” a brilliant tour de force that is part memoir, part cultural criticism and part paean to the magical city of Florence. A narrative at once elegant and elegiac, the book encapsulates the essence of contemporary Italy – sordid politics, organized crime, the bella figura – in a fast-paced prose that rushes by much too quickly.


Novel in letters skewers and admires academics

Can a satire also be an homage? Apparently so. It’s tricky to pull off, but Julie Schumacher does it in “Dear Committee Members,” the story of a beleaguered English professor toiling away at a nameless liberal-arts college.


This week's best-sellers from Publishers Weekly

Here are the best-sellers for the week that ended Sunday, Aug. 17, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by Nielsen BookScan (c) 2014, The Nielsen Co.

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