The Invention of Sicily: A Mediterranean History by Jamie Mackay

Americans likely associate Sicily, the island off the tip of Italy’s boot, with two things: Al Pacino’s wedding scene in The Godfather, and boatloads of refugees stumbling off rickety boats onto its beaches.

Jamie Mackay’s book fills in the lines with a history of Sicily as lush and vibrant as the mountainous little dot where ancient Greeks, Africans, Arabs, and Northern Europeans have clashed, coexisted, and interbred over millennia, leaving behind a land and people that are the essence of Mediterranean.