Details for 'Diary of a Tuscan bookshop' by Alba Donati

Diary of a Tuscan bookshop

by Alba Donati
A beautifully packaged, beautifully told story of the beginnings of a bookshop in Tuscany.
Diary of a Tuscan bookshop
by Alba Donati
My review:

This is a wonderful book in which to lose yourself for a few blissful hours.

Alba Donati left a life in publishing in Milan and returned to her family home in Tuscany where she opened a tiny bookshop. This is her account of those first six months.

There are only 180 residents in the tiny village of Lucignano yet still Alba Donati decides to open a bookshop.

It is incredibly small (when I did a search on the internet, it seems to be no bigger than a large summer house in the garden), but Alba's vision and passion for books leads to a loyal following. 

People come from all over Tuscany and beyond to visit the bookshop and browse her recommended reads. She also selects treats for booklovers (marmalade and tea with flavours suited to famous authors or book titles, for example).

Running the shop hasn't been without its challenges though. There was a fire soon after opening and then the lockdown in the pandemic. But Alba has persevered and delights in serving her customers in the local community or by mail all over the world.

After each day's diary entry, Alba lists the books she has ordered for customers that day which is a lovely touch. These are a mix of popular and lesser known books in Italian and English.

I didn't want to stop reading this book. It was wonderful to picture the Italian sunshine and the hilltop view, to imagine sipping tea and eating cake before browsing the pages of a title handpicked for me by the bookshop owner. I hope to return there again and again! 

Review date November 2022
Publication date: 3rd November 2022