The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles is not a book I have ever read, although I might have seen the film.
This month I kick off with one of my favourites, France: A History: from Gaul to de Gaulle written by John Julius Norwich. This is not a particularly academic book, but a plotted history of France. I love the way this author writes and it was in fact the next book I show here that prompted me to purchase this one.
That book is Sicily by the same author. Anyone who has been reading this site for a period of time will known that I am half Sicilian. Something that I am very proud of. Sicily has had a variety of occupations, Arabs, Romans, Greeks and French, to name a few.
I am very process driven; so for me the best way to understand any country or to begin to research in that Country is to read about the general history, essentially setting the scene for that research, and this book does that.
Another book that I absolutely love is Seeking Sicily by John Keahey, this has a different approach to the Norwich book. It looks to contemporary Sicilians who have maintained the cultural changes of the Island and the legacy the earlier invaders left behind.
My final book on the Sicily theme is this one, Sicilian Genealogy and Heraldry. A must for anyone with Sicilian heritage written by Louis Mendola.
This is a very comprehensive book. It focuses on the Jewish in Sicily, Early history of the island as well as earlier settlers. There is a chapter on DNA and a variety of fascinating resources that can be accessed when researching Sicilian ancestry.
Having been a genealogist for a long time, I took rather a long while to have a DNA test. I eventually did and was fascinated with the break down on my ethnicity. Now, a number of DNA genealogists, those whose expertise exceeds my own do not set a huge amount by this, but for me there was a degree of accuracy that reflected the early foundations of occupiers of Sicily and I was drawn in to those discoveries. Having taken a test I needed to be able to understand the results, or at least a fighting chance of understanding them and for that I purchased my next book.
The Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger. I love this book. Not written in a patronising way, nor complicated manner. It is easy to see what you need to do in order to understand DNA results and what questions could, and perhaps should be asked.
When I am not researching, sometimes you just need a gentle genealogical fix whilst reading for non-research or academic purposes and of course there are books that enable that. Originally they were mainly by US author’s but over the last few years, some UK author’s have put in an appearance. I shall therefore end this month’s chain with this next book.
This is the first in a US based genealogical series involving character, Tori O’Shea. Anyone who is partial to these types of books should consider this one and a few others. In fact I might even put a list of them together!
Thanks Kate for hosting another of these. I have enjoyed participating and now await for February’s instalment!