Mamma Mia!

A McDonald’s opened last week just outside Vatican City, within eyeshot of St. Peter’s Square and amidst protestations from Catholic officials. On the upside the Vatican will get about 30,000 euros, or about $31,375.50, per month in rent, La Repubblica reported.



Baba Ghanouj to you, too!

Cotolette di Melanzane

Cotolette di Melanzane

Avoiding all the earth-shaking breaking news today I’m focusing instead on a vegetable. New York Times writer Mark Bittman sings praises of the eggplant, which I learned to love during my first visit to Rome. I prepare it at home in several incarnations, my favorite being Mario Batali’s Cotolette di Melanzane (eggplant cutlets).

No one in my family likes eggplant, so I get it all to myself!!

Duchess of Nothing

Heather McGowan’s novel, the Duchess of Nothing, despite its appealing title, was a disappointment, and once again, as with many current bestsellers, I fail to understand why it’s getting rave reviews.

McGowan eschews quote marks so the book is terribly hard to read; paragraphs run on for a full page; thoughts are screwy and fragmented, and the topic (child abandonment) is ugly.

Even Rome, a city of endless possibilities for literary exposition, gets short changed–Duchess might as well have been set in Cincinnati.

This is the new trend in literature? Someone please explain it to me.