Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Recommendations for Spain Readings

Reading blogs can be a very dangerous things.

The Literate Kitten is off to Spain and Morocco soon. I am envious of her because a while back, I was actually researching Spain as a possible travel destination. It's okay - I will get there eventually.

Anyhow, like all good bookfiends, LK knows the importance of good books to pack on a trip. She has asked her readers for suggestions. I threw in a few titles for her picking.

My list of Spain Reading (with the help of my colleagues):

  1. On Bullfighting by A.L. Kennedy
    - Well, A.L. Kennedy does discuss bullfighting in the book, but there's a lot more. At one point she was in so much pain from a displaced disk that she found herself on the verge of jumping out of a window, literally. But at that moment the phone rang: someone had an assignment for her to write about bullfighting. Perhaps it was a sign, but she took the assignment and began to explore the seduction and dance of death in the bullpits. On the way, she wrote about Federico Garcia Lorca, and his concept of the duende - the "dark notes" in poetry, in the dance of flamenco, and in bullfighting.

  2. Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart
    - Remember the music group, Genesis? Chris Stewart was their drummer. This is about his travels to Andalucia all naively optimistic - with his straight-talking wife, Ada, as his comic foil.

  3. Jason Webster's books: Duende, Guerra, Andalus
    - Jason Webster first travelled to Spain to learn about flamenco. Somewhere along the way he stayed long enough to write 3 books about Spain.

  4. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
    - Orwell went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, full of youthful naivety that he was helping the fight against Fascism. Instead, he struggled with lice, rats and boredom - and came to the realisation that war is more complicated than he had imagined.

  5. Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett
    - I have read a few good reviews on this book, and while researching it for LK's Spain reading, I find myself intrigued by the book. Now I want to read it.

    I'm a little hazy on Spanish history, so the book is supposed to explain the bad blood between Madrid and Barcelona - and on Chapter 4, it explains "How the Bikini Saved Spain." Now, that really caught my attention!

Like I said: Reading blogs can be dangerous, because I have just returned from the library with a copy of Ghosts of Spain. Hah! Here I am, trying not to start any new books.

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