Read 21/02/2021-26/02/2021

Rating 5 stars

Permafrost is the first novel by Catalan poet Eva Baltasar. It’s a thing of beauty, visceral and uncompromising. It’s about depression, and being cared about but not loved; it’s the story of someone who tries not to let others in because being self-contained is safer. It’s also deeply, dryly funny.

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Never Any End to Paris


Read 17/07/2017-20/07/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read for the Reader’s Room Read Around the World Challenge: Spain

The Enrique Vila-Matas of Never Any End to Paris, who both is and isn’t the novelist Enrique Vila-Matas, is convinced that he grows to resemble Ernest Hemingway more every day. Nobody else agrees with him, least of all his wife, most of all the organisers of a Hemingway Lookalike contest in Key West. Like the novelist, the book’s Vila-Matas has been obsessed with Hemingway since he read A Moveable Feast as a teenager. In his 20s, he moved to Paris to try to absorb some of what inspired Hemingway. Never Any End to Paris is Vila-Matas looking back on those youthful days. Continue reading

Don Quixote


Read 04/01/2015-30/01/2015

Rating: 4 stars

Don Quixote was another literary bête noir that I decided to finally tackle in 2015. At that point, it had been on my bookcase for 22 years. I’d flirted with it, but always put it back on the shelf the instant I opened it and saw again the tiny print on the page.

Books I read in 2014 (I’m mainly looking at you, Tristram Shandy)  were doing a call and response with it, though, so I decided I’d start my 2015 reading year by facing down the Don who tilted at windmills. Continue reading