Back at the start of the year, Mayri at Bookforager set up a Book Bingo challenge complete with bingo card. I decided that I would give it a go.Continue reading
Rating 4 stars
Over the border from France to Spain in my European literary tour and a recent subscription book from And Other Stories. Oldladyvoice is the debut novel by Elisa Victoria, and follows nine-year-old Marina’s adventures one summer. Her mother is ill in hospital and Marina is looked after by her grandmother.
Set in Seville and Marbella, the story balances Marina’s anxiety about her mother’s health and its impact on her own future with the sweetness and hilarity of a girl on the cusp of double figures in age, who is still a child but not quite a child, too. Continue reading
It’s been a busy first weekend in November, which is why I’m a couple of days late for this month’s Six Degrees of Separation. This bookish meme, in which readers link together a chain of books, is hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
November’s starting point is Sigrid Nunez’s novel What Are You Going Through.
I haven’t read this novel yet, but I have read Kate’s review of it, so I know what it’s about.Continue reading
I’ve been perusing my stack of books that I have yet to read, and have decided that I’m going on another book trip. I enjoyed “holidaying” over the summer via the books I’d bought on recent holidays. As it’s unlikely that I’ll get to Europe for a while (thanks pandemic, thanks Brexit), I thought I’d knock a few titles off the stack that are by European authors and head off on a virtual tour of the continent.Continue reading
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.
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
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