Reileen van Kaile (reileen) wrote in bookish,
Reileen van Kaile

Hello, fellow bibliophiles of bookish! I'm looking for non-fiction recs centering on the culture of Italy. I'm not sure how to describe what I'm looking for, since I'm not much of a non-fiction reader normally and I don't read a lot of travel accounts...but I guess I'm looking for something that's very evocative of a certain aspect of the setting, the culture, and the people? Along similar lines, I'm also looking for some good places to start with in reading about the culture and history of ancient Mesopotamia (it can focus on just one empire, like Sumerian or Babylonian, or be a survey of that entire time, or whatever). A book that contains photographs of the art and architecture along with a good text would be great, although obviously if need be I can just poke around on Google Images for those.

If this helps in clarifying what I'm looking for and why: Basically, I'm working on a fantasy (science fantasy?) novel of mine set in a non-Earth dimension/world/whatever, and I've been stuck for the longest time in trying to figure out some sort of aesthetic or culture for the main setting. So my current desperate plan of attack is to take various aspects of different Earth cultures, merge it into something mostly unrecognizable as such, and add my own personal touch. In this case, I chose Italy because I'm finishing up on an art history class about works from the Italian Renaissance, and ancient Mesopotamia because that's a subject that's interested me for a while but which I haven't done a lot of reading on.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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