Hello friends and followers!
So here’s the deal: I’ve gone kind of off track. Reading list books in the
places they’re set seemed like a really good idea! Until I ran out of books that weren’t really old and long. I had a go at The Dictionary of the Khazars (more on that later) and got really bogged down in it. Every time I pulled it out I was thinking about when I could stop and before I knew it I was playing phone games in all the spare seconds I used to spend reading.
So then we travelled around Bulgaria which is charming and delightfully small, making for short train trips between cities that are easy to get around on foot. It’s full of lovely architecture and Roman ruins and parks and really cheap food. We spent the last few days in a resort on the coast, taking a holiday from our holiday, so to speak. It was very relaxing to do nothing for a while after two months of frantically cramming sightseeing activities into the day. But that Khazars, it sure wasn’t getting any easier. So I said to myself, ‘Self, why don’t you really relax? Take a break from these tricky list books and you’ll feel better going back to them later!’ And so I did. I read some really cool books! Books I’ve wanted to read for a while. Books by authors who will be at the Edinburgh festival. Books you should read!
I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Díaz, a tragic yet funny story with a compelling sense of both past and present. It’s full of history, fantasy and comic book references, slang and dialect, and makes for a great piece of storytelling in a unique voice. I read Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan which was eerie and evocative, conjuring up magic and sea and old folk tales and weaving them into a story of yearning, revenge, desire and belonging. I read Things we Didn’t See Coming by Steven Amsterdam, a series of interlinking stories set in a dystopian future that looks at family, paranoia, survival the possibilities of society.
So then that was over and we were on a flight (on a stupid small plane – I
hate small planes) to Spain. Seville is crazy hot but beautiful all drenched in sun. Last time I was here it was wintery and I didn’t feel the same colour and life. But I’m really loving the aesthetic this time around. It’s lively and colourful and full of wonderful, clashing, intricate details and REALLY HOT did I mention that? It’s freaking 38 degrees and neither the sun nor the temperature go down until 10pm.
That really sounds like an excellent atmosphere to be reading Don Quixote, right? NO IT IS NOT. But that’s long enough for now so I will leave you hanging until next time!