Actually, no. Though I have several teetering stacks of romances to be read (I tell myself this is a GOOD THING as anything blocking out the light from the windows is added insulation in our blistering Aussie summer!).
Here are the titles I’m currently curling up with. I tell myself it’s research, and it is, but the truth is I’m enjoying myself too much to call it all work!
‘Morocco, A Sense of Place’, photographs by Cecile Treal and Jean Michel Ruiz, text by Marie-Pascale Razier. The fact that the photographers are listed first tells you exactly why this book appeals. It’s the sort to sit and drool over.
My dear friend and crit partner Anna Campbell found it for me in Melbourne and now at last I’m taking time to savour slowly each page. The souk, the exquisite calligraphy carved into the walls of mosques, the man in a sea of rose petals awaiting distillation (the petals, that is!). This book is magic, from the raised, embossed cover that makes you want to slide your palm over it to the map at the back: Fes, Casablanca, Tangier, the names conjure so much. This volume is the perfect entry to a world of exotic daydreams and romantic ponderings. You may know that I’ve written the occasional sheikh book and though that’s not on my agenda just now, one day...
‘Insight Guide to Northern Italy’ A terrific way to get a quick glimpse of the area.
I love these travel guides, and the DK Eyewitness guides too as they give an outline of different regions with luscious colour pics. Call me shallow but that always works for me (see above!). As well as giving information on locations and attractions there are short sections on history, art, architecture, music, food etc. Beware, given the size of the book these sections are only short – enough to whet the appetite for more – but they’re great for a quick outline. There are the usual recommendations on where to stay eat plus Italian phrases at the back. The list of further reading is useful too.
I bought this purely for research. It’s been a while since I visited the area and as part of my current project is set there (the part I haven’t written – argh!) it’s a handy reference guide. Not by itself enough for thorough research, but a great start.
‘Australian Gourmet Traveller Special Italian Edition, May 2007’
May 2007? MAY? 2007?
Yes, I confess, I haven’t yet read it cover to cover. For me these glossy mags are a very occasional treat to be delved into and savoured. Besides, life seems to intervene between mouthwatering articles and I have trouble finding time to get back to them. However, given the location of the current wip (who mentioned work?) this seems the perfect time to revisit the culinary delights of Italy. And with instructions on how to make Mother-in-Laws’ Tongues and Virgins’ Breasts (both sweet treats) as well as terrific travel pics, how could I resist?
Is anyone else on a travel-reading binge at the moment? Can you recommend any books, maybe ones you’ve used yourself, perhaps even to plan a trip instead of a story? Or maybe one you’ve lusted after in the bookstore. I’m always eager to expand my list of possible resource books!
Annie’s current release is THE BILLIONAIRE’S BOUGHT MISTRESS (out now in Australia and New Zealand with a bonus novella by Melissa James). And yes, that’s a hint! She’d love it if you raced out right now and bought it. You can read an excerpt and some reviews on her website.