A collection of short stories reflecting on humor, hijinks, and love connections, based on those who’ve attended creative retreats and workshops in Italy.
Stories of life-changing experiences, difficult guests, crazy parties, and great food—all set in the Italian countryside—come alive in the new book from Annette Joseph, author of Italy Is My Boyfriend. In this collection of short stories, Annette paints a hilarious picture of what it’s like to host people from all walks of life. Based on true stories, this book explores love affairs, stories of personal growth, and incredible characters who leave the host incredibly touched, and at times, reeling in the aftermath. A tale of hosting strangers in the Italian countryside, you won’t be able to put this book down.
Annette Joseph is an expert on entertaining, cooking, and styling. She regularly appears on the Today show and Martha Stewart Living Radio. Her recipes and party ideas have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Epicurious, Design Sponge, MSN, The Huffington Post, Southern Living, and Woman’s World, among others.
She now enjoys sharing the many ideas, tips, and tricks she has gained as a nationally recognized photo stylist/producer specializing in lifestyle editorial images for magazines. With over twenty years of experience, her expertise includes photo styling for interiors, food propping, and special production projects. She conducts styling, photography, and cooking retreats in northern Tuscany.
She is the author of many books, including Picture Perfect Parties, Cocktail Italiano, Italy Is My Boyfriend, and La Fortezza Cookbook.
"My Italian Guestbook is an upbeat collection of stories about Annette Joseph's revival of a twelfth-century fortress in the Lunigiana countryside. From the unexpected challenges of La Fortezza's first photo-styling workshop to a romantic liaison between a local butcher and an American vegetarian, the colorful characters and entertaining anecdotes in this galloping read are bound to make you crave a Tuscan adventure or three."
– Helen Farrell, Editor-in-Chief, The Florentine
"Cross Martha Stewart with Sophia Loren, then add a dollop of Lucille Ball, and you'll get Annette Joseph, the irrepressible author of the wildly entertaining My Italian Guestbook. In the hills of northern Tuscany, Joseph invites guests to the 12th century fortress she restored with style and the force of her own will. From her cooking and serving prowess to her lust for life, Joseph's laugh-out-loud book shows why anyone who enters her orbit is a very lucky guest indeed."
– Ingrid Abramovitch, Executive Editor, Elle Decor Magazine
"The consummate hostess, Annette's lively descriptions and deep love for Lunigiana make every sentence shine. I laughed my way through the book—beyond entertaining!"
"There are many who dream about life in Italy and Annette Joseph has long been the gospel of tackling real-life situations in il bel paese with her witty way of telling stories. In My Italian Guestbook, she shares her personal experience of setting up creative workshops in her renovated fortress in Tuscany's Lunigiana and all of the trials and tribulations that come with it. From 'breadgate' to unexpected romantic liaisons and a wild boar cornering a guest, anyone would delight in Annette's adventures and likely want to become a guest themselves."
– Georgette Jupe, Creator of the wildly popular blog, Girl in Florence, Editor at Italy Magazine
"This book is NOT Under the Tuscan Sun. Annette Joseph takes us on a nonstop adventure in real time. What is it like in the Italian countryside when one buys an old fortress, renovates it little by little, then turns it into artistic retreats? It becomes a place of wild fun stories, and crazy interesting guests, divine food, and lots of laughs. Sign me up!"