17 books to read in Italian
Even if you are a great supporter of modern technology, you shouldn't discard good old reading when learning Italian.
And here are the reasons why you should read:
- It broadens your vocabulary and improves your speaking. In any book you will encounter the same words multiple times and this way you can remember all new vocabulary. While reading memorizing new constructions, phrases and idioms will be effortless, and as a result, your speaking will get more beautiful;
- Grammar acquisition. While reading a book you will come across familiar grammar construction used in different speech situations. It is going to help to retain them. Moreover, a lot of graded readers come with revision exercises for grammar and vocabulary, which is quite beneficial for learners. We all know that it is far more interesting to remember new verbs with your favourite characters rather than just to pore over grammar books.
- Language immersion environment. Majority of books for Italian lovers contain information about regional geography, culture and customs in Italy. Interesting "one bite" facts from history of the country or its region aren't tiring and will help you broaden your horizons.
- Getting back "lost" time. You can read anywhere, can't you? How much time does your journey to work take? Imagine , you could spend some quality time on your way! All you have to do is to take a book in Italian with you. And you shouldn't worry if you don't have a dictionary at hand! You can guess what many new words mean from the context;
- Improving yout self esteem. Just imagine how cool you are going to feel knowing you have read an entire book in Italian. Realisation of this fact might be a great motivator to conquer new language peaks. And it's just the beginning! After you can discuss the stories you've read with friends, in language clubs and in classes with your teacher.
So where do you begin? How to choose a book to read in Italian?
Skype-language team took care of it and picked the most interesting stories! Here is a list of recommended books for different language levels:
Amore e cappuccino Valeria Blasi (level A1)
Karen comes to Rome, and in the Eternal city she meets Klaudio. In a few days the girl realises that Klaudio is not who he says he is. Together with the character of the book a reader will have an exciting adventure in a beautiful and mysterious capital of Italy. Book has an audio version and exercises for each chapter to check comprehension.
Fiamma in cucina Antonella Santini-Wolf (level A1)
Rosanna always has lunch at the same place. Recently she has started to get dishes served in a special manner along with some regards from the kitchen. The owner of a fashion boutique in Milan gets very curious who a new head chef is and why he knows her tastes?
The book has some national geography information about Milan. The author also included a nice bonus: a recipe of a real risotto alla milanese.
«Pasta per due» Giovanni Ducci (level A1)
A Thai girl comes for a visit to her Italian penal friend, but she barely speaks the languages and struggles to understand it. All the awkward situations she gets into can be a good motivation to study Italian , because anyone could be in Minni's shoes if they came to Italy and didn't know the language. At the end of the book you will find vocabulary exercises to memorize new words!
Traffico in centro Marco Dominici (level A1-A2)
One warm September morning at a crossroads in the city centre of Milan a law school student and a famous lawyer accidentally meet. For this young man Mario, a lawyer, is a role model . Mario is who Giorgio wants to be in the future. Whereas for Mario, Giorgio is a careless and funny guy, someone who he used to be like in the past. So can a car accident be a start for friendship?
La collana longobarda Maria Grazia Di Bernardo (level А2)
A student from Germany comes to Bergamo to improve her Italian. In a flat, which she rents with two Italian students, Anna finds a diary of a girl called Luisa who used to live in this place. And in the diary she finds a mysterious note and starts her investigation. At the end of each chapter you will find grammar and vocabulary exercises. The book also has an audio version.
Il manoscritto di Giotto Fulvia Oddo (level A2)
A sudden disappearance of a priceless treatise on paintings of a great artist Giotto disrupts characters' quiet lives. One of them is a thief. That's what police think because all the evidence points at this person. Only friendship and a thorough commissar's investigation help to solve this complicated case.
Giallo al Grand Hotel du Lac Maria Grazia di Bernando (level A2)
Karolina is studying hotel business and is dreaming of working in a big hotel. Her dreams come true thanks to uncle Giorgio. He helps his niece to get a job at a luxury hotel by lake Como where the rich and famous choose to enjoy their time. What Karilina doesn't know yet is that soon after starting her work she will find herself in the very centre of intrigues and mysteries hiding behind Grand Hotel’s walls.
L'ultimo Caravaggio Campanini Federica (level A2)
Sophia, an art historian, after a few years of research seems to be pretty close to solving a mystery of Caravaggio's last painting created before his death. Together with Lorenzo, her ex-boyfriend, she comes to Toskana looking for the picture. But the thing is that too many strange things happen there, too strange to be true. Art, love, culture and beauty of Toscana intertwine in this novel’s engaging plot.
Un giorno diverso Marco Dominici (level A2-B1)
One beautiful day an office worker makes a decision to change his life completely . After years of routine he quits his job to enjoy every day having breakfasts in bars and walking around Rome. But is he ready for the surprises which his new life has prepared for him?
Baci da Venezia Daniela Folco (level B1)
An architect Paolo Skalia keeps getting mysterious postcards from his missing sister. Eventually he goes to Venice to track down his sister with the the help of some journalists. It's a Venetian detective and romance. The book contains a lot of country-specific information on history and sights of Venice. Having read it, you will certainly want to visit this magic city on water. The novel also has an audio version and interesting tasks.
Il viaggio di Laurent Deon S., Pistoleri S., Romanelli N. (Level B1)
An unforgettable journey through the whole Italy. Together with the main character Loran you will visit Florence, Rome and Positano. You will enjoy incredible beauty of Italian towns and cities , get to know customs and traditions of the Italians. This book will fill your life with tastes and smells of Italy. Multiple exercises will allow you to assess your abilities to understand written and spoken Italian, as well as enlarge your vocabulary.
Il mistero di Veronica Cinzia Medaglia (level B1)
Veronica and Massimo are very different, she is a business woman , whereas he is an artist . And somehow they fall in love. But when Massimo proposes to Veronika , she breaks up with him. However the Italian refuses to put up with the rejection. He has a feeling that Veronica must be hiding something, and starts to dig into her past. This exciting and mysterious story will get you acquainted with the north of Italy and allow you to have a trip from Milan to Ligurian Riviera. An audio version and interesting exercises will make your experience even more engaging.
Tango Mauro Dei Rossi (level B1)
A few masterpieces mysteriously disappear from a major businessman's private collection. The owner suspects his wife, and decides to use a private detective agency which gives the case to Ettori Bonetti to solve. This young and charming detective with have to get to a picturesque sea resort not far from Venice, track down the woman and find out if she is really responsible for the theft. During his mission this friendly main character is going to experience nice encounters, funny moments and dangerous situations.
Il mistero del quadro di Porta Portese Raffaella Nencini (level B1-B2)
Sunday morning at a flea market in Porta-Portese is absolutely quiet. But a little painting bought here almost accidentally is hiding some secret. And it’s Silvia’s goal, who is a very curious journalist, to solve it to help her art restorer friend. But things get complicated pretty quickly...
La Fuga di Bach R.Assini, S.Longo (level B2)
The curtain goes up. The audience is shocked to see that prima-ballerina has suddenly disappeared. Someone finds her lifeless body and make an anonymous call to the police: she’s been murdered! Will commissar Bonardi be able to solve this mystery?
Manichini Merani Tiziana (level C1)
Beatricce Lindi, a talented artist, agrees to become her cousin's partner in running a mannequin factory and contribute to the manufacturing. Arcara department stores order a mannequin "family" for their shops, and in a we weeks they were delivered to the warehouse in Florence. But something really strange happens after three days and nights. What secrets are these inanimate objects hiding?
Il sosia Marco Dominici (level C1-C2)
Onofro Manegioni, an important businessman , one morning was kidnapped right in front of his villa. At least, that what they say on TV. There is the businessman's past hiding behind the abduction. This is the past knocking on Manegioni's door to make him pay off unpaid bills. It’s an engaging story with a lot of plot twists which keeps the reader in suspence until the last page.
The books has some political, law and economic vocabulary.
Picking a book to read in Italian, always consider what is interesting for you. Listen to an audio version to enhance the effect. And there are always teachers from Skype-language ready to discuss with you what you have read. And remember, reading is trendy!