The Italian Effect

3 books to read this summer

3 books to read this summer

Listen to the podcast and improve your Italian in 10 minutes

Cerchi un libro adatto al tuo livello dell’italiano? In questo episodio parlo di 3 libri per gli studenti al livello intermedio. Ti do anche dei consiglio su come leggere in italiano.




In July in the Italian Speaking Club – my group course – we read a book. I chose a book of Jhuampa Lahiri’s Racconti romani. The Club participants found this book enjoyable and accessible to those learning Italian. That made me think about sharing also with the podcast listeners some quite easy and pleasant Italian books.


Before I share three enjoyable books to read in Italian, I want to give you some advice about reading in Italian. There are two basic principles that you should consider when it comes to choosing a book to read in Italian. Firstly, it should be enjoyable, secondly, it should be suitable to your level of Italian. In fact, if the plot is boring or full of long descriptions, or when language is too difficult to you, you’ll quit reading. The Italian language has a past tense used basically in literature which is passato remoto. It can be challenging when you read a book but it’s actually not as complicated as you think. The advice I would like to give you is this: print the table with the conjugation of verbs in the past tense and familiarize yourself with them. You don’t have to memorize them, you just have to know how to recognize them when you read. Maybe at first reading will seem a little tortuous but as you read you will get used to this verb tense and reading will become fluent. Another thing you should consider is not to check words you don’t know. Firstly, try to understand from the context, or simply skip some words if that doesn’t disturb your reading. Try to write a reading journal instead! Writing your thoughts about the book involves your emotions, and so it helps you learn Italian better.


3 Italian books that I recommend you to read

Let’s move on to 3 Italian books that I recommend you to read. The first one is Racconti romani by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s a collection of nine stories in which the protagonists are foreigners and live in Rome. Here the similarities between the protagonists end. Each story is different but always accompanied by anguish, nostalgia and restlessness. They are therefore not love stories between Rome and the foreign protagonists who live there but are stories that tell of everyday life and the difficulty of feeling at home. The language is clear and straightforward which makes the book quite accessible to non-native speakers.


The second one is Io non ho paura by Niccolò Ammaniti. The book tells the story of a 9-year-old boy set in the countryside of southern Italy. Michele becomes involved in adult things without his knowledge, making a discovery and saving the life of another boy. The novel is narrated in the first person by the child protagonist, therefore the reading is enthralling and smooth.


The last one is Il mare dove non si tocca by Fabio Genovesi, it’s also a story of a boy, but with a totally different tone. It is a delicate and ironic story of the boy’s life and his bizarre family. It is a book that makes you think without weighing you down. Ideal for summer.


I won’t say anything else about the books, I recommend you discover them on your own.



free workbook: how to learn italian with podcast

Related articles

About me

I’m an Italian language teacher and an author of guides about Puglia where I live. I help you speak Italian confidently through my 1:1 programs and group speaking classes so you can get more from your travels to Italy and feel in Italy like at home. You can live Italian and experience the southern Italy life on my language retreats in Puglia.