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Sons and Daughters of Italy Book Club

The World to Come

  • By Angelo Deiana and Carmelo Cutuli
  • Capitolo di Roma #3002 (Rome, Italy)

The World to Come,” by Angelo Deiana and Carmelo Cutuli for Giacovelli Editore with preface, edited by Roberto Menotti, Senior Advisor – International Activities of Aspen Institute Italia, takes a rigorous yet engaging look at the globalization issue by studying its impact on our daily lives. The authors take us on a journey from the origins of the phenomenon to its possible future developments, highlighting its most significant aspects and implications on society and the individual.

Through a detailed analysis, the book highlights the phenomena that have characterized the “globalized” world in recent decades, making explicit the risks and opportunities facing humanity today, through a reflection on crucial issues (technological development, continuous change, economic resilience) and possible future scenarios.

In this sense, Deiana and Cutuli’s work, is proposed as a tool to stimulate individuals and organizations to prepare for the future and manage change responsibly. A guide for governing, and not suffering, the innovations that are transforming the world so rapidly and inexorably, structured in a clear, coherent and accessible way, even for those who do not have an in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Where You End, I Begin

  • By Rossana Weitekamp
  • At-Large Member (Malverne, NY)

Spurned by his true love as a young man in Procida, Italy, Nico Dioguardi decides to abandon his life there and enter the U.S. through unknown relatives residing in Brooklyn, New York. His past, however, haunts him in unexpected ways, forcing several returns to his native village as he attempts to start anew in America.

Nico’s reappearances in Procida prompt new choices and emotional complications, greatly impacting his wife and two children in America, who fall victim to his struggles. The family’s grief, hope, and survival are narrated through the voice and perspective of Nico’s young daughter, Ana, who soon learns that a well-kept family secret is waiting to be discovered.

Where You End, I Begin is a sweeping multi-generational saga detailing the challenges of several Italian immigrant families and how their choices affected the lives of those who loved them.

Find "Where You End, I Begin" in Amazon!

A Brooklyn Saga: Stories from the Stoop

  • By Carolyn Angiolillo
  • At-Large Member (Winter Garden, FL)

Author Carolyn Angiolillo grew up on the friendly, albeit at times mean streets of the Italian section of Brooklyn known as Williamsburg. The atmosphere there in the 1950s-60s-70s steeped in the aroma of home-cooked meals, fresh foods from neighborhood shops which included garlic for the palate, and listening to Caruso and other opera singers for the hearts and minds of the locals. A Brooklyn Saga: Stories from the Stoop traces the steps of Angie Carpello as she sits on her stoop and navigates her life amongst the Italian Mafia, the dichotomies of the Roman Catholic Church, and Old World Italian culture. Little does Angie know, that as she grows up playing stickball and games like Ringolevio and Johnny-on- the-Pony with neighborhood friends, that her life will dramatically change when she meets Wengchan Liang, a hitman from mainland China.

Angiolillo and her co-author, biographer/novelist Ronald Joseph Kule, create not only a deliciously accurate portrayal of the diversities of the Williamsburg Brooklyn of her early years but also with their wild imagination and devilish and cleverly intermingled characters, a tale of international intrigue and redemption that appeals to Brooklynites, big-city dwellers, and history buffs. Italian-Americans and their elders from the Old Country lend to this read may be as much as the rich heritage they inherited.

Find “A Brooklyn Saga” on Amazon!

#MINDSET: A Research-Based Approach to Understanding Motivation

  • By Mary Kovach, Ph.D.
  • Cincinnatus #1191 (Cincinnati, OH)

In #MINDSET, the #1 international best-selling author, Dr. Mary Kovach, reveals the scholarly perspective behind the human mindset, specifically, whether motivation is inherently internally or externally driven. She explores theories and concepts from decades of research and applies them to everyday life. These concepts include Julian Rotter’s locus of control and Carol Dweck’s mindset. The latter expands upon growth mindset and fixed mindset, while the former introduces historical elements and provides examples that relate to every generation. Moreover, Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory provides deeper insight into what is motivating – inherent excitement or an external stimulus.

Find “#MINDSET” on Amazon!

Heaven, Hell & Hoboken

  • By Elizabeth Vallone
  • Rockland #2176 (Blauvelt, NY)

Heaven, Hell and Hoboken is a novel filled with intrigue, ethnic tensions, espionage, romance and war, set in 1916 Hoboken, New Jersey, a city known before World War I as ‘Little Bremen.’ Martin Taupmann and Kurt Schneider epitomize all that is good about its residents: honesty, integrity, intelligence, courage. Yet, with the onset of the war, Martin and Kurt make choices that irrevocably change forever their lives and the lives of their loved ones. At the same time, the demographics and power structure of Hoboken is transformed: the Germans of Hoboken are the most severely impacted and lose their dominance in education, business and employment…

Find “Heaven, Hell & Hoboken” on Amazon!

Canada Storie, visioni e sfide di un Laboratorio del futuro

  • By Paolo Quattrocchi
  • Capitolo di Roma #3002 (Rome, Italy)

In this book, currently available only in Italian, Paolo Quattrocchi tells his personal story between Italy and Canada. A journey through the emotions, stories, and culture of Canada, a country whose citizens have created living conditions for all, based on trust and mutual respect, which have become a model for many European nations and a hope for the whole world. From his first trip to Canada to the long stays that followed, Quattrocchi alternates autobiographical notes with historical and cultural stories that go back to the origins of Canada, beginning with Giovanni Caboto’s first landing at Cape Bonavista in 1497. In between the pages are the main themes related to Canada: bilingualism, aboriginal rights, Quebec identity, and multiculturalism. The book is completed with portraits of well-known and lesser-known personalities who have contributed to the history of the country

Find “Canada Storie, visioni e sfide di un Laboratorio del futuro” on Amazon!

The Self-Esteem Regime: An Action Plan for Becoming the Confident Person You Were Meant to Be

  • By Clarissa Burt
  • Capitolo di Roma #3002 (Rome, Italy)

Empowers women of all ages and backgrounds to improve their self-esteem for a lifetime of awareness, poise, and confidence.

Despite years of progress, many women today continue to suffer from low self-esteem. In her revelatory and prescriptive work THE SELF-ESTEEM REGIME: An Action Plan for Becoming the Confident Person You Were Meant to Be, internationally renowned multimedia producer, supermodel, award-winning actress, and public speaker Clarissa Burt offers down-to-earth advice for women to help them manifest self-confidence in all aspects of their lives: relationships, family, friendships, careers, and everyday engagement. The book helps readers find worthiness through a concrete, step-by-step program for women of all ages and backgrounds. Sharing her unique mix of knowledge, attitude, and humor, Clarissa walks readers through her unique process that instills a lifetime of self-awareness, poise, and assurance.

Clarissa empowers readers to accept mistakes as valuable learning experiences and steppingstones. Her regime—which features a wealth of tips, case studies, and affirmations—is neither complicated nor demanding, although it builds mental strength, toughness, and resilience –qualities necessary for higher self-esteem and overall wellness.

Find “The Self-Esteem Regime” on Amazon!

The Visitor

  • By C. D’Angelo
  • At-Large Member (Winter Garden, FL)

Fiercely independent Mary Pontrelli is blindsided when the New Orleans building housing her New Age store and upstairs apartment is listed for sale. Worse yet, a developer wants to destroy it and her high school ex-boyfriend—ahem, nemesis—is leading their charge. But this budding sweet spot for that weasel from the past can’t happen since traitors never change.

The best chance Mary has to save her cherished French Quarter building is to join forces with the other business owners whose livelihoods are also at risk. Too bad she avoids teamwork at all costs. Thankfully, a mystical new customer who shares Mary’s lost Italian heritage may be able to help alter her stubborn patterns. And, learning about the city’s history and her own Sicilian roots from the shopper may prove beyond merely engaging.

Even so, acquiring trust in strangers and accepting assistance requires more bravery than any societal expectation she’s challenged in her life. But if she doesn’t depend on her community and learn forgiveness, she may lose her career, home, and deeper relationships. No eccentric spirituality or heritage lessons can fix this…right?

Find “The Visitor” on Amazon!

Bella Vista

  • By Edward Bonett
  • St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Lodge #2787 (Philadelphia, PA)

This book is my reflection on my wonderful childhood neighborhood, with descriptions of its flavor — the Italian Market, the local Catholic Church, the iconic restaurants, and the playground where all the kids came together. From that playground came a magical baseball season.

Find “Bella Vista” on Amazon!

Once Upon a Hill

  • By Carmine Vittoria
  • Italian Heritage Lodge #2517 (Fairfax, VA)

The book, Once Upon a Hill, may be categorized as a historical fiction. It combines a sentimental story with tales of corruption in Boston politics, Whitey Bulger, the background of the mafia’s arrival in the USA and its integration with the general public, intimate details of the lives of two Italian immigrant buddies – one of whom turns to academia and the other to crime……… and eye-opening historical facts that should entice readers to want to flip from page to page.  The story is true but a few names are fictional, for obvious reasons.  Names of government officials and some of the mafia members are actual. In reading the book, one may notice a slight tint of the following books: A Tale of Two Cities, Don Camillo, Christ Stopped at Eboli, Cicero, The Italians, Pizza Connection, etc

Find “Once Upon a Hill ” on Amazon!

Franco and Anna Gennusa- Their Journey

  • By Mary B. Patterson
  • Annapolis Lodge #2225 (Annapolis, MD)

In a time of war, family is everything…

From their arranged marriage through the births of their six beautiful daughters, Franco and Anna Gennusa’s love carried them all through the struggles of World War II. German soldiers, hiding a fleeing family, aiding the Italian Resistance in Sicily, and protecting their older daughters from the dangers and devastation of war, could not shake their love and devotion.

Then Franco discovers that another child would threaten Anna’s life, and his actions and rage change their family’s lives forever…

Find “Franco and Anna Gennusa – Their Journey ” on Amazon!

The Time Left Between Us

  • By Alicia DeFonzo
  • At-Large Member (Norfolk, VA)

A blend of memoir, history, and oral storytelling, The Time Left between Us bridges the gap between the generation who fought and the generation who has forgotten. Alicia DeFonzo takes an unplanned visit to the Normandy beaches while staying in Paris. Her grandfather “Del” had fought in World War II, and she becomes distraught after realizing how little she knows about the war and his experiences, which until then had remained largely unspoken.

Across landscapes and lifetimes DeFonzo retraces her beloved grandfather’s tour through World War II Europe. The eighty-four-year-old DelRossi recounts stories as an army combat engineer surviving major campaigns, including Normandy, St. Lo, the Bulge, Hürtgenwald, and Remagen, then liberating concentration camps. In this braided narrative, we see DeFonzo’s childhood in a traditional Italian American family and a beloved grandfather. Spanning ten years, DeFonzo’s travels and research take an unexpected detour after she inherits a Nazi Waffen-SS diary from her grandfather, and, in her final trip, returns to Germany to confront the diary owner’s family. DeFonzo’s and her grandfather’s stories merge when Del undergoes open-heart surgery and Alicia must be the one to safeguard the past.

Both nostalgic and gripping, The Time Left between Us is a meditation on how deeply connected the past is to the present and how the truth—and what we remember —are often fragmented.

Find “The Time Left Between Us” on Amazon!

How To Manage Business Relations with Italy: A Reasoned Overview of Italian Institutional Players Supporting International Business

  • By Carmelo Cutuli
  • Capitolo di Roma #3002 (Rome, Italy)

With its strategic position between Europe and the Mediterranean Sea and its modern and competitive economy, Italy is seen as an ideal country to expand a business from abroad. However, foreign companies wishing to capitalize on these advantages must be prepared to deal with a complicated regulatory environment that can lack the transparency, clarity, and efficiency offered by other advanced world economies.

This handbook, in short, represents a reference guide for the entrepreneur interested in getting an idea of the Italian business environment and for those who already operate in Italy from abroad to better understand the role of the main stakeholders.

Find “How To Manage Business Relations with Italy” on Amazon!

Life’s Journey: A Young Italian Peasant in 1899 Travels to South Philadelphia Searching for a Better Life and Love

  • By Josephine B. Pasquarello
  • At-Large Member (Kennett Square, PA)

Based on the real-life experiences of the author’s paternal grandmother, Life’s Journey: A Young Italian Immigrant Peasant in 1899 Travels to South Philadelphia Searching for a Better Life and Love explores the emigration of a young woman, Geltrude Carmela DiLullo, from Italy to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century as part of an arranged marriage.

Along the way, with a lot of hard work and dedication, Geltrude—or Carmela, as she prefers to be called—overcomes enormous obstacles, from her solo journey across the seas to overcoming illness and betrayal; finds love in the life arranged for her; and begins a legacy for her family, which is flourishing still today.

Find “Life’s Journey” on Amazon!

Letters from Italy: A Transatlantic Love Story

  • By Mario Dell’Olio
  • At-Large Member (White Plains, NY)

Letters from Italy is a story of true love that spans an ocean. Against all odds, an orphaned girl and a young dreamer find solace in a romance sparked by a single photo and years of transatlantic letters. From a tiny Italian town in pre-WWII to New York City in her golden age, hopeful immigrants take a chance at living the American dream. Set on the Puglian coast, a world comes alive with images of a fishing village, families from different socio-economic classes, and a love born out of chance.

When they finally meet, Nicoletta and Orazio know they are destined to be together. Framed by the letters they wrote to each other, Letters from Italy takes us on a passage back through time with a romantic young couple whose devotion to one another prompted a bold journey in a foreign land.

Find “Letters from Italy” on Amazon!

After Love: The Life of Anna Gennusa

  • By Mary B. Patterson
  • Annapolis Lodge #2225 (Annapolis, MD)

Alone, her husband buried in a pauper’s grave, Anna Gennusa must save her six daughters from their new, hostile home – New York City. Far from her Sicilian homeland, Anna discovers an inner strength she never realized she possessed. Anna is determined to make this new life in a strange new world a success. From sleeping on her friends’ Angie and Angelo’s floor, working in a garment factory, to running a bustling business in a brownstone mansion, Anna faces her future with courage. She endures any hardship to ensure her daughters’ lives are happy and secure.

Find “After Love” on Amazon!

Antoinette’s Sister

  • By Diana Giovinazzo
  • Hacienda Lodge #2168 (Whittier, CA)

As Marie Antoinette took her last breath as Queen of France in Paris, another formidable monarch—Antoinette’s dearly beloved sister, Charlotte—was hundreds of miles away, in Naples, fighting desperately to secure her release from the revolutionaries who would take her life. Little did Charlotte know, however, that her sister’s execution would change the course of history—and bring about the end of her own empire.

Find “Antoinette’s Sister” on Amazon!

Fake Italian: An 83% True Autobiography with Pseudonyms and Some Tall Tales

  • By Marc DiPaolo
  • At-Large Member (Weatherford, OK)

In a city torn apart by racial tension, Damien Cavalieri is an adolescent without a tribe. His mother –who pines for the 1950s Brooklyn Italian community she grew up in –fears he lacks commitment to his heritage. Damien’s fellow Staten Islanders agree, dubbing him a “fake Italian” and bullying him for being artistic. Complicating matters, his efforts to make friends and date girls outside of the Italian community are thwarted time and again by circumstances beyond his control. When a tragic accident shakes Damien to his core, he begins a journey of self-discovery that will lead him to Italy, where he will learn, once and for all, who he really is.

Find “Fake Italian” on Amazon!

Jojo’s Tiny Ear

  • By Stefania Munzi-Logus
  • At-Large Member (Wallingford, CT)

Author and illustrator, Stefania Munzi-Logus has written an inspiring book about her son Joseph, who was born with a hearing disability called microtia. Listen as Jojo teaches you about his tiny ear that just didn’t grow, his hearing aid, and most importantly how being disabled doesn’t mean he can’t play, travel, enjoy the ocean’s roar, and do all the things kids around the world do!

This touching personal story helps build empathy and understanding and teaches us that the world is full of diversity and that you don’t have to be defined by a disability!

Find “Jojo’s Tiny Ear” on Amazon!

The Difference: A culturally inspiring genealogy and immigration women’s fiction novel

  • By C. D’Angelo
  • At-Large Member (Winter Garden, FL)

When anxiety-prone Rachel Granza learns that her growing sense of emptiness is affecting her relationship with her almost perfect boyfriend and that she’s jeopardizing any possibility of a marriage proposal, she knows she must pull herself out of her funk. Trying to find happiness and meaning again—in more than her beloved Italian food—she stumbles into a genealogy mission to discover childhood information about her idol, aka her grandpa, who died years ago. He never spoke about his Italian immigrant past and now she’s determined to find out the reason for his unusual secretiveness.

Rachel’s ancestral roller coaster has roadblocks galore, but she needs the answers to her family’s hidden history. They’re her only hope to know more about her hero, salvage her relationship, and most importantly to save herself.

Find “The Difference” on Amazon!


  • By Mary Kovach, Ph.D.
  • Cincinnatus Lodge #1191 (Cincinnati, OH)

ROCKSTAR Manager: From Theory to Practice is the ultimate guide to elevate your management skills! In this book, Dr. K – The Management Professor examines more than 20 different managerial topics derived from both theory and experience. Her expertise unveils applicable methods for managers to execute at any level within an organization. ROCKSTAR Manager couples Dr. K’s research from her double-blind peer reviewed scholarly publications and 15 successful years managing hundreds of direct reports at Fortune 500 companies. The various topics elucidated within this book include basic guidelines for managing others, leadership styles, motivation, conflict, understanding a P&L, and termination. Recognizing and applying what it means to be a rockstar manager will have associates waiting in line to work for you!

Find “ROCKSTAR Manager” on Barnes & Noble!

Club Morocco

  • By John Michele
  • At-Large Member (Bedford, NH)

These events took place during prohibition, World War II, and the time after the war was won, during the ’40s and ’50s. The immigrants and first- and second-generation Americans were closely loved family members who always had one another’s back while striving to reach their dreams of security and wealth.

It’s a story of a young family member who experienced most of what happened, good and bad, in life at a young age.

Find “Club Morocco” on Barnes & Noble!

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

  • By Joe Cirillo
  • Columbus Lodge #2143 (S. Farmingdale/Massapequa, NY)

You are about to read stories about the following celebrities I either worked with, did security for, or befriended. I had known many people of interest, quite a few of them Hollywood’s biggest stars. Many are still by-words: Telly Savalas, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Frank Sinatra, Katherine Hepburn, to name just a few. So, I decided stories about them might be of interest to movie fans and the public.

Find “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse” on Amazon!

Cucina Romana

  • By Andrew Cotto
  • At-Large Member (Brooklyn, NY)

With his dream of becoming an expat in Italy realized, Jacoby Pines travels on holiday from Tuscany to Rome where another Italian adventure awaits.

While exploring the Eternal City, Jacoby learns of the possible existence of a long-lost relative. A food-filled, wine-soaked quest for ancestry ensues that takes Jacoby to the landmarks of Rome and through its quiet corners on his way to discovering something beyond his wildest imagination.

Find “Cucina Romana” on Amazon!

Let’s Eat Snails!

  • By Barbara Barcellona Smith
  • At-Large Member (Enterprise, AL)

Let’s Eat Snails celebrates Italian-American culture through a story that introduces kids to its familial and culinary traditions. When Margie visits the Barcellona family home, she isn’t ready for what the Sicilian family is bringing to the table: snails! Margie embarks on a culinary adventure in harvesting, purifying, and cooking snails to find that they are, in fact, delizioso! Savor this heartwarming tale from author Barbara Barcellona-Smith’s childhood, delightfully illustrated by the prolific Karen Lewis. Let’s Eat Snails recognizes our differences and shows that what sets us apart also brings us together.

Find “Let’s Eat Snails” on the author’s website!

The Routledge History of Italian Americans

  • By William J. Connell and Stanislao G. Pugliese
  • At-Large Member (Rockville Center, NY)

The Routledge History of Italian Americans weaves a narrative of the trials and triumphs of one of the nation’s largest ethnic groups. This history, comprising original essays by leading scholars and critics, addresses themes that include the Columbian legacy, immigration, the labor movement, discrimination, anarchism, Fascism, World War II patriotism, assimilation, gender identity and popular culture. This landmark volume offers a clear and accessible overview of work in the growing academic field of Italian American Studies. Rich illustrations bring the story to life, drawing out the aspects of Italian American history and culture that make this ethnic group essential to the American experience. 20% Discount Available – enter the code FLR40 at checkout.

Find “The Routledge History of Italian Americans” on Routledge & CRC Press!

Path of the Paladeni Family: From Gorfigliano to Yacolt and Back

  • By Beverly Paladeni Riter
  • At-Large Member (Everett, WA)

During hard times in Italy, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Paladini family, like millions of other Italians, immigrated to the USA. In 1906, they left their remote mountain village of Gorfigliano, north of Lucca, Tuscany, and eventually settled in the countryside near Yacolt, Washington. Hard work, illness, and threat of internment during WWII were challenges they faced as their family grew. But most of all, they longed for their family in Italy. Like many others, they returned to Italy, and then went back to the US. Yet, their longing to return to Italy never left them. The author has carried on where they left off, becoming acquainted with family in the villages of Gorfigliano and Roggio on her many trips there, and walking the paths where they walked so many years before.This edition contains black and white photos inside.

Find “Path of the Paladeni Family” on Amazon!

Finding Love in the Midst of War: The Untold Story of the Abandoned Soldier

  • By Teresa V. La Greca
  • At-Large Member (Yonkers, NY)

The bombing lasted seven months. Then came one of the coldest winters on record. Inflation was rampant. Mom’s family was forced to cut back and live on whatever they could grow themselves. Finally, Greece surrendered and German troops advanced into the country. Italian soldiers came too, and fraternized with the Greeks. My father was one of them, and he spent his days pursuing my mom. After Italy’s surrender in 1943, my mother’s family hid my father, and my parents married later that year.

Finding Love in the Midst of War is a memoir of love in the midst of unspeakable chaos, change, and tribulation. It is also an immigrant story, about a young family’s struggles to adapt to a new country, customs, and language.

Find “Finding Love in the Midst of War” on Amazon!

Italians in Baltimore

  • By Suzanna Rosa Molino
  • Little Italy Lodge #2286 (Baltimore, MD)

Almost 200 captivating vintage photos with captions of Italian immigrants and their descendants in the Baltimore area, both in and out of Little Italy. Photos were submitted by Baltimore Italian Americans and share some marvelous anecdotes!

Find “Italians in Baltimore” on Promotion Center for Little Italy!

Nonno, Tell Us a Story: The Story of an Italian Family, from the Old world to the New

  • By Pietrantonio Lombardi
  • Denver Lodge #2075 (Denver, CO)

Nonno, Tell us a Story by Pietrantonio Lombardi is a delightful memoir of a young boy’s life begun in the postwar Molise region of Italy and transformed when he immigrates to the United States just as he reaches adolescence. Real life episodes, from the town of Pagliarone/Villa San Michele to the city of Denver, are set against a backdrop of Italy’s history, art, folklore, and sports world. Often poignant and more often humorous, this portrait of family love throughout its struggles and successes in two worlds is as different from other books of this type as are the people who live and write about them. If you love Italian as well as Italian- American culture, this is a must read that will be hard to put down.

Find “Nonno, Tell Us a Story” on Amazon!

Lost in Translation: Stories of Growing Up First Generation Italian American

  • By Susan Nanfeldt
  • At-Large Member (Wrightstown, NJ)

As a first generation Italian-American Susan Nanfeldt’s bi-cultural upbringing enabled her to seamlessly navigate between the old world, southern Italian customs, habits, and language of her father, her maternal grandparents, and countless paesani, and the new mid-twentieth century American culture into which they were determined to assimilate. Her series of twenty-two evocative vignettes conveys cherished and poignant memories that will resonate with readers of all ethnic backgrounds who treasure the legacy of culture and heritage with which they have been blessed.

Find “Lost in Translation” on Blurb!

With Tears and Laughter: An Immigrant Voyage

  • By John C. Alessio
  • At-Large Member (Steilacoom, WA)

As eighteen-year-old Lorenzo Adamani works his way down the Aspromonte mountainside toward the coastal town of Gioia Taura, he is carrying a small hemp sack over his shoulder – a sack containing everything he owns. He is on his way to America, escaping the extreme hardship and poverty of the oppressed Italian South. Responding to American corporate labor recruiters, he does not know what to expect, but is hopeful of a better life — a life that will enable him to support his mother and siblings left behind in Calabria.

Find “With Tears and Laughter” on Barnes & Noble!

It Happened in Tuscany

  • By Gail Mencini
  • At-Large Member (Greenwood Village, CO)

In 1945, Will Mills and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division scaled Italy’s treacherous Riva Ridge in the frigid night to break through the nearly impenetrable German line of defense. Severely wounded, Will was rescued by Italian partisans and one, a beautiful girl, tended his injuries until he had the strength to rejoin the U.S. troops. Seventy-five years later, Will’s spunky thirty-two-year-old neighbor, Sophie Sparke, faces disaster in her life. Will finagles Sophie into traveling with him to Tuscany to find the partisan who saved his life. He also secretly hopes to confront the demons his wartime actions created.

Find “It Happened in Tuscany” on Amazon!

Gilda, Promise Me

  • By Gilda Battaglia Rorro Baldassari
  • At-Large Member (Trenton, NJ)

Trenton Cav. Dr. Gilda Battaglia Rorro Baldassari’s Memoir is a three-dimensional journey of a universal woman. Rendezvous as her companion from the silver screen to academe; from an Italian mountain town to the Italian consulate; from Saint Joachim’s Church in to the Vatican; from treasured family memories to the world stage; laced with compassion, humor, and challenges overcome through deep spirituality.

Find “Gilda, Promise Me” on Amazon!

Sunny Days & Sleepless Nights

  • By Tiziano Thomas Dossena
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi Lodge #2583 (Eastchester, NY)

Tiziano Thomas Dossena’s collection of award-winning selected poetry is titled “Sunny Days and Sleepless Night,” a phrase that any poet past life’s midpoint (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita) and glancing backwards might ruefully utter, surprised to find a foundation of work indisputably present on the page as robust, poignant, and hard-earned as any “real” life he lived. Dossena’s verse sets a bar for openness, frankness, and vulnerability few lives could ever match. In his work, the surprise of his “confessional life” is the one lived off the page, refracted through decades of his sorrowful, pensive, but vivid lines.

Find “Sunny Days & Sleepless Nights” on Amazon!

Given Away: The Rest of the Story

  • By Marianna Biazzo Randazzo
  • Fr. Vincent R. Capodano Lodge #212 (Staten Island, NY)

Marianna Randazzo reintroduces readers to Tina, a four-year-old child in Sicily, 1935 and her sister Lena. Tina reluctantly walks away from her loving family, with a great-aunt for a vacation and spends the next eight years of her life absent from their lives. It was neither abduction nor an adoption. Tina lives in a one-room house in one of the poorest regions of Sicily. She sleeps between a loving aunt and a deranged uncle. She shares her breakfast with goats and chickens while living in the shadows of cruelty. Both sisters quickly learn that in wartime Europe, childhood does not exist.

Given Away, the Rest of the Story follows Tina and Lena from a scarred youth into their mature lives. Their relationship evolves through powerful decisions made about love, their professional successes and failures and the different circumstances of their lives.

Find “Given Away” on Amazon!

Celibate: A Memoir

  • By Maria Giura
  • Fr. Vincent R. Capodano Lodge #212 (Staten Island, NY)

When twenty-eight-year-old Maria Giura fell in love with Catholic priest Father James Infanzi, she had no idea how needy and angry they both were nor how complicated their attraction would become.

His attention seemed to fill the void left by her fractured family, but he also seemed to be a sign for her to finally face the celibate vocation she’d been running from ever since she first felt God’s call. Celibate focuses on her ten-year struggle to let go of this priest, to heal from her childhood, and to finally embrace her true calling. Fiercely honest and tender, this memoir is ultimately a story about surrender, forgiveness, and facing one’s deepest needs.

Find “Celibate” on Amazon!

Letters From Inside: The Best of Mike Maggio

  • By Mike Maggio
  • Italian Heritage Lodge #2517 (Fairfax, VA)

Letters from Inside is a collection of stories that defy logic and yet tap into unrecognized truths about modern society: a twenty-first century vision of existential dysphoria. Heavily influenced by Kafka and Gogol, Mike Maggio confronts realities that stare us daily in the face, realities we blithely ignore as we blindly go about our daily lives.

Written over a period of 30 years, this collection of stories gathers the best of Maggio’s work, including the critically acclaimed Suddenly, There Was Harold, which has been called his masterpiece.

Find “Letters From Inside” on Amazon!

I Cannoli Imagine: My Italian Life

  • By James Divine
  • Pikes Peak Lodge #2870 (Colorado Springs, CO)

I love everything about being Italian…the food, the music, the beautiful people, the scenery. This book will give you a glimpse into what life as an Italian is like. My father was American, and my mom is directly from Napoli, so I’m half Italian. You take the best part of being Italian, the best part of being American, put them together and you get ME. Anyone who is even part Italian will recognize some of these stories. I hope you will laugh, cry, and eat more delicious pasta.

Find “I Cannoli Imagine” on Amazon!

The Mithras Conspiracy

  • By M.J. Polelle
  • At-Large Member (Sarasota, FL)

Detective Marco Leone is about to take a sabbatical when his estranged friend—charged with organizing the Vatican’s secret archives—is murdered. Leone stays to investigate, but the killing is just the first in a series of ritual assassinations and attacks on specific churches—all of which were built over ancient chapels of the Roman god Mithras.

Leone’s research leads him to two American scholars who have uncovered a pair of scrolls that, if authentic, could rewrite history. While attempting to unravel the parchments’ mysteries, they are drawn into a bitter feud between a scheming cardinal and a charismatic tycoon, Lucio Piso, himself bewitched by the cult of Mithras. As the deaths pile up, Leone begins to wonder if Piso is involved, and if his obsession feeds larger personal and political goals. Could the cult of a long-forgotten god topple the Italian government and bring the Church to its knees?

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How Fires End

  • By Marco Rafalà
  • At-Large Member (Brooklyn, NY)

After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another. Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

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Southampton Summers: Stories of Three Italian Families, Their Beach Houses, and the Five Generations that Enjoyed Them

  • By Albert Marra
  • Roma Lodge #254 (Virginia Beach, VA)
    Little Italy Lodge #2286 (Baltimore, MD)

Southampton Summers shares a collection of heartwarming stories with the reader about five generations of an Italian American family who have vacationed near a little beach in eastern Long Island, New York for sixty years. The stories, as told by 14 different family members and one family friend, chronicle the family’s summer vacations beginning with their earliest forays into Southampton from the years following World War II and continuing to the present day.

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Some Grief Some Joy

  • By Leo Vadalà
  • Giuseppe Verdi Lodge #2457 (Wilmington, DE)

Immigration to America is a dream fulfilled for a young Italian teenager and the beginning of a saga that will challenge the reader with its many surprising developments. This novel, drafted as a memoir, will make you root for the protagonist, cry for him and wish for his success while keeping you completely absorbed by the twists and turns of his life path. A masterpiece of narrative exploits that combines all the emotional conflicts of the immigrant`s life with the joys of love and an unexpected tragedy to create a perfect novel.

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  • By Joseph M. Orazi
  • At-Large Member (Vineland, NJ)

In the decades preceding WWII, hundreds of thousands of Italians flocked to our shores in hopes of starting new lives in a land that promised freedom and opportunity. They immigrated through the Great Hall of Ellis Island, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and spilled out into the streets of New York City and beyond in anticipation of a kind of renaissance. L’America follows the journey of three families who board the Santa Ana in 1915 through the ports of Palermo and Naples. For thirteen days, they share brutal passage in steerage. But the voyage is only the beginning of their trials. Eventually, they settle in New York City, Cleveland, and Monterey, California. Immigration in the early twentieth century was difficult at best. But assimilation proved an even greater challenge. The confused and frightened Italian in America is embodied in the lives of Giuseppe Mosca, Aldo Grimaldi, and Paolo LaChimia, as they make their way in a world in conflict with their heritage.

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Leonardo’s Knots

  • By Caroline Cocciardi
  • Giuseppe Mazzini Lodge #2011 (Fremont, CA)

For the first time, Leonardo’s Knots will introduce you to a facet of Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci overlooked for centuries yet present in his artworks: his passion for intertwining knots. Original in every way, Leonardo’s masterpieces features a knot included in such iconic paintings as Mona Lisa to The Last Supper. For a man like Leonardo, who is primarily a writer of his observations found in his Codices, the nonverbal language of drawing knots in a variety of designs and themes appealed to him so much so that Leonardo devoted a lifetime to their exploration. The coffee table book highlights the artist’s evolution, from traditional knots to mathematical knots, with revealing new discoveries. Leonardo’s Knots celebrates Leonardo’s 500th anniversary showcasing the genius’s ability to combine his expertise in the arts and mathematics, and translate minuscule interlaced wonderment’s into glorious visual beauty.

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Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People

  • By Dina Di Maio
  • Triangle Sons of Italy Lodge #2817 (Raleigh, NC)

Pizza. Spaghetti and meatballs. Are these beloved foods Italian or American? Italy declares pizza from Naples the only true pizza, but what about New York, New Haven, and Chicago pizza? The media says spaghetti and meatballs isn’t found in Italy, but it exists around the globe. Worldwide, people regard pizza and spaghetti and meatballs as Italian. Why? Because the Italian immigrants to the United States brought their foodways with them 100 years ago and created successful food-related businesses. But a new message is emerging–that the only real Italian food comes from the contemporary Italian mainland. However, this ideology negatively affects Italian Americans, who still face discrimination that pervades the culture–from movies and TV to religion, academia, the workplace, and every aspect of their existence. In Authentic Italian, Italian-American food writer Dina M. Di Maio explores the history and food contributions of Italian immigrants in the United States and beyond. With thorough research and evidence, Di Maio proves the classic dishes like pizza and spaghetti and meatballs so beloved by the world are, indeed, Italian. Much more than a food history, Authentic Italian packs a sociopolitical punch and shows that the Italian-American people made Italian food what it is today. They and their food are real, true, and authentic Italian.

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Un Momento: A Taste of Italian-American Pastimes

  • By Gina Fava
  • At-Large Member (Plymouth, MA)

Isn’t it funny how old-fashioned notions make their way into the present? This collection of short essays about author Gina Fava’s Italian-American life is a personal reflection on old-fashioned pastimes that have found their way into today. Whatever your own cultural heritage, you might find that you can relate to many of them. Some stories might invoke nostalgia, others may incite a desire to learn, share, and experience more about the Italian culture. Also included are never-before-published, traditional family recipes, expertly paired with the perfect wine. Take a moment to linger over stories of tradition, family, food, wine, art, travel, and other morsels rich with heritage.

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The Other Side of Rock and War: One Man’s Battle to Save His Life, His Career, His Country, and the Orphans He Left Behind

  • By Billy Terrell with Rich Podolsky
  • Enrico Fermi Lodge #2229 (Medford, NJ)

The Other Side of Rock and War is Billy Terrell’s struggle to save his life, his career, his country and the Vietnamese orphans he left behind.

Imagine being penniless, and nearly homeless at the age of 16, forced to quit school and try to find a job with your four front teeth missing. This is Billy Terrell’s inspiring story of how he overcame poverty, bullying and the horrors of Vietnam, before his near impossible climb to success as a songwriter, producer and later as a top stand-up comedian. It also reveals Terrell’s deeply personal experiences at Mang Lang Orphanage near the village of Tuy Hoa in 1966 which as a soldier, he helped rebuild, and his determination to return to Vietnam and reunite with the nuns and former children of the orphanage.

Along the way he has a juicy tale of traveling with Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Cream in the summer of ’68. As a writer/producer he has placed 63 records on the national and international charts. As a producer he rebooted Frankie Avalon’s career and produced albums for Helen Reddy, Bobby Rydell and great jazz guitarist Larry Carlton, among many others. As a stand-up comedian he worked with several up and coming stars such as, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Drew Carey and Chris Rock during their early days on the circuit.

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Ward of the State: Larry Giordano’s Life as a Foster Kid

  • By Jeff Ives with Larry Giordano
  • Methuen Lodge #902 (Methuen, MA)

In the early morning of May 8, 1945, a baby boy was abandoned in a hotel room and discovered by a shocked manager. The authorities were called and the child became a ward of the state, labeled #32590A (a.k.a Larry Gagnon). Larry grew up as a foster child on the raucous streets of Everett, Massachusetts.

He and his friends ran their local park like a rogue nation, lighting kerosene fires, goading police officers, and refusing to back down from a fight. Larry’s foster mother, Helen Giordano, was his steadfast guardian angel during those turbulent early years. While he lived in Helen’s house, she and her family did everything they could to help the boy feel safe and secure despite scarce financial resources and some disapproving neighbors who were quick to label Larry as the “state ward” and an outsider.

Follow Larry’s story as his struggle for identity culminates in outbursts of violence, an early enlistment in the military, and a passion for martial arts tournament fighting that would help define his life. This is the story of how the foster child, Larry Gagnon, became the man, Larry Giordano.

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Holy Fool, Holy Father

  • By Rev. Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr.
  • St. Augustine Lodge #2780 (St. Augustine, FL)

In this present day Christian fiction novel, the Roman Curia may be the only hope for the world to survive after a cataclysmic event. But, that success hinges on the participation of the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Holy Women of the world, all led by a modern-day Holy Fool and the woman who gave up all to serve at his side. Is there REALLY any hope?

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An American Family in Italy: Living La Dolce Vita without Permission

  • By Paul Spadoni
  • Tacoma Lodge #1175 (Tacoma, WA)

Imagine suddenly leaving a comfortable and successful job in exchange for a year of living and working in Italy. You book a flight with no definite idea of where you’ll live or work, no visa and no work permit. Further imagine taking your wife and two distinctly unenthusiastic teen daughters with you. Your colleagues begin to doubt your mental balance, and you can’t blame them. Yet somehow this family learned to work, study, speak, shop and survive in a foreign land while stumbling their way through the delicious process of learning to live like Italians—all ‟without papers.” Along the way, the author impersonates an Italian cousin, gets his family lost innumerable times and meets his own personal version of the godfather—the man who hired him and gave him an apartment. The teen daughters struggle to find themselves while attending school by day and exploring young adult nightclubs into the early morning hours—while family members fight to work out their differences. In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and Italian Neighbors, the travel memoir An American Family in Italy will appeal to families of all ages seeking adventure, challenge, a fresh start or a chance to embrace their inner Italian.

Find “An American Family in Italy” on Amazon!

Dust from the Attic: A Collection of Humorous Personal Memories … and a Few Idiosyncrasies

  • By Bill Carpentier
  • Gold Country Lodge #2705 (El Dorado Hills, CA)

If someone asked you what you did to get where you are today, what would you tell them? Author Bill Carpentier gives us his take as he looks back over his life with a critical eye-and great comic timing. He tells tales of growing up in an Italian family in Brooklyn in the 1950s (even including a recipe for egg creams), training for the Navy (during one winter on the Great Lakes), and trying to be “present” for his kids (while having to handle emergencies long distance). Don’t worry, though, his wife was always there to help him-or at least to tell him what she had already done on his behalf.
The tales of soccer “coaching” will resonate with anyone who has played (or watched) a little league sport, while the stories from the road (both his stories, and those of his staff) are sure to connect to everyone in business. With a little something for everyone-not to mention a keen look at some foibles we all share-this Dust from the Attic won’t soon be getting swept under the rug.”

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Not for Self: A Sicilian Life and Death in Marion

  • By Joseph L. Cacibauda
  • At-Large Member (Reno, NV)

This is a novel that details the life and death of a Sicilian immigrant, Jake Valenti, who came to the United States and became involved in the social upheavals of the 1920s in Illinois, encountering prohibition, the Ku Klux Klan, corrupt politicians and law enforcement officers, bootleggers and finally meeting his death in what became known as “bloody Williamson”.

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No Distance Between Us: Italian American Poets of Long Island

  • By Robert Savino and James P. Wagner
  • Constantino Brumidi Lodge #2211 (Deer Park, NY)

This volume contains a diverse representation of 47 Long Island Italian American poets, including 4 poets laureate. Between the covers of this treasure you will discover poems of beginners to professional poets. The poems, in English, are complimented by Italian translation and demonstrate an outpouring of Italian traits . . . gentleness, generosity, good humor and love of family and food. No Distance Between Us is a family treasure and a value for students and teachers, as well. Published by Local Gems Press

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