I open Adriana Trigiani's books with trembling hands--not because I can't wait to read, though that's true--but because her work is so familiar and terrific and I wish I'd written it myself. Her city settings and Italian-American characters resonate so deeply with me that I wish I could just call her up and chat. (Also, her book covers are to die for.)
This month, appropriately enough, I'm reading the first two books of her Valentine trilogy. I started with Very Valentine, which introduces us to Valentine and her hilarious family, all of whom are instantly recognizable to me. There's a crazy family wedding, a sexy Italian chef, and even sexier Italian shoes.
Now I'm on to Brava, Valentine, in which Valentine takes over the family shoe business and takes up with a hunky Italian tanner. (Not the Jersey Shore variety. He works with leather.)
So brava, Adriana. You're an inspiration to the rest of us.