Tuesday, December 03, 2013

My Venice and Other Essays

Leon, Donna. My Venice and Other Essays. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.

Donna Leon, author of the Commissario Brunetti series, has assembled some of her short non-fiction "essays" into a volume. They are grouped into themes such as Venice, animals, America, and books with a few to many essays of varying lengths under each topic. In most volumes of this nature, there are a few stellar essays and several that are less spectacular and fail to maintain one's interest. This holds true for this volume as well. Overall, I probably enjoyed the essays on Venice and the ones on books the most of all. I loved her musings on canal and foot transportation as being preferable to automobile traffic. I enjoyed reading about her search for the perfect place to live and the problems encountered once she'd found it. My favorite essay, however, was one which detailed a conversation she had with Barbara Vines in a cafe. I'm glad I read the volume for that essay alone! There were many essays which did not hold my attention as well. My biggest problem with the book, however, was the writing. There were sentence fragments in the essays. There were many sentences that began with the word "and." This was an advance e-galley, so I'm hopeful that an editor will take care of these grammatical errors before it is sold in stores. In spite of its problems, I still found many of the essays enjoyable. This review was based on advance e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes over 6 months in advance of the publication date.

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