Those Holiday books and a few gifts

I promised you a tour of the books and I will also show you a couple of gifts I got or Amanda gifted me.

First is the three books I brought at the accidental bookshop the new well think it has been there a year or so in Alnwick. Firstly was a book I was on the hunt for which I had seemed mentioned on Twitter a couple of times over the few days before we went away. It follows the time the art historian Felix Hartlaub his notebooks of when he was assigned to war time Paris. I have read this and am going to reread it next week for a review.

Then I choose this I have only read the first part of Tove Dilevsen Copenhagen trilogy that is enough to know I would love anything by her another of these writers in the last few years we have rediscovered or have just reached us in English this is a collection of her short stories.

The last book I brought was this I always like to buy just three books per book shop do you have a quota per shop? I saw a few titles that I Like on their shelves but I finally went for this book by Alejandro Zambra another writer I have read before and have reviewed three books by him this had been on my list of books to read a poet wanders around a city of poets and then meets up with his childhood sweetheart who now has a child !!!. I may save this for next year’s Spanish lit month.

Then in North Berwick, I had a look around Oxfam (Am I the only one that always thinks in the Charity shop world Oxfam always seems to have the best books in them ?) it was a small shop busy but I managed to find three books again the first is this Turkish writer Yashar Kemal he was best known for Memed, My Hawk which I have somewhere and yet to get to but I have a number of Turkish books on my shelves which I am yet to get too so I have a project in mind around those books which include the new Orhan Pamuk.

Then another old Harvil this book is described as a fast-paced gripping greek tragedy set in a small French village by an Italian writer that is one that seems to tick all the boxes I like as a reader and it feels like a Christopher Maclehose book (from his time at Harvil )

 

Then a third book to read from last years Nobel winner I have yet to read Gurney but when he won everyone seemed to be reading him so I ll wait to get to this next year. It was also a reminder that this years Nobel is just around the corner and we will all see who wins this year.

I am a keyring fan and I brought this small Concorde model the bigger models were either to much or just to basic so I picked this and hope one day there may be a nice large model I can fin or maybe a lego model at some point.

I was torn between this and a print for the Concorde this is for my new library when I move I got this just because not had such a connection to my childhood of seeing this plane, in fact, looking like this passing overhead as I was a small child.

The last gift was one Amanda brought me is a new mug which I loved I am a fan of funky mugs and this is one and as Amanda says I am always telling the tale of when I took someone away many years ago and we visited the Coldstream guard’s museum (which wasn’t that far from where we stayed) they had let the person we had taken away try on a bearskin they had so yet again a connection to memories. But isn’t that what life is as we move forward we also have glimpses and flickers of past times every day. A little haul from a long weekend away.

 

 

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Our weekend away

Last weekend Amanda and I had decide well I had decided we maybe need a weekend break a few weeks before so I had a quick look round I feel comfortable driving to Northumberland now so I decided we choose there after some looking around I found a caravan for a good prize and for 3 nights it would be a great base. It is was a bit further north near the border with Scotland so I looked at places where Amanda and I could visit we  popped into Alnwick were I Used live on the way up after an early start managed a few hours there before we got in our caravan . I brought a few books in the new bookshop there the accidental bookshop. which had a great book shelf which reminds me of the one in Ryan Holiday ( daily stoic love his podcast etc)

I will be doing a post soon on the books I got I love this new shop I missed out Barter books as we had to get to the caravan and have  something to eat so we arrived and the site was nice had a lake our caravan was basic but clean and roomy for just the pair of use. I had a few places in mind for the next day we eventually decided on North Berwick which I  had never visited. It has a large hill that shelters it Ihad research most places I wanted to go watch a few you tube videos and read up on what was there. Our first stop was the steampunk coffee shop

Edited in Prisma app with Glaze

That had this great bike just by where we sat and I also got some coffee here and a funky sticker for my MacBook. We walked along the beach then went to the Harbour saw Bass rock which has the largest colony of gannets in the world

Bass rock there was boat rides there it was also there we could see across to Fife where my Aunt lives in a fishing village so near yet so far. We then had a walk around the lobster hatchery that is helping get Lobster back in the local waters. Then to the Scottish sea bird centre

They had a wonderful spair of statues one of Penguins and this of an arctic tern we went in read about Bass rock and the Gannets there was a cafe we had another coffee and some Cake looked out at the harbour and the birds. We then head back into the centre of North Berwick

As we head out of the seabird centre that had this further statue called the watch it remind me a little of TinTin something in the hair and stance maybe that is just me. we then passed this as it was the weekend before the Queens funeral.

I love crochet bombs like this they always make me smile as it is great people take time to make them and put them there for all to see we had an gelato well I did mmm blood orange and Belgian chocolate (yes I  love to eat whilst away ). I brought a couple of books in the Oxfam which I Weill show at a later date we had scene a nice print but it was a little to much when we saw the price shame but we are find another print for our house. we had a   nice lunch then returned to the caravan. We had already decided on the Sunday to go the Scottish museum of flight which we both like when we saw it was near as it had Concorde there

Which I had never seen when flying so it was great to go and look on board it is really small in side. There was a lot about the crash and the devolpment of the plane there was also a red arrow in the same hanger the museum had a number of commercial planes you could go on and exhibits of other planes Both civil and ,military but the one plane I had want to see was the Vulcan.

I grew up in Cheshire where this plane was made and serviced at British aerospace as it was then but Avro when the plane was made this used pass over me as a little boy at school so close it made you shake as we were a couple of miles from the runway so this was a flashback to that see this giant plane pass over me as a kid. (I also had nimrod and other military planes pass over me as a kid but the Vulcan is so iconic) . IT took us most of the day we had drinks and lunch there and ten head home to the caravan packed as it was the queens funeral next day so we want to get off earl we head off after a wonderful few days in a part of the country I want go back to the East Lothian and borders of Scotland is a hidden gem.

Have you a place in you think is a hidden gem maybe off the beaten track not as popular to visit ?

 

Chester and Chest infections

Well I said last week I had a cough well it turns out it was a chest infection and I have to ride it out as it is viral  ,I’ve been off work this week on holiday which is lucky as I hadn’t felt up to work last couple of days I worked the last week. I had no real plans this week other than meeting my mum in Chester for the day as it is halfway between us. Which was a lovely day even if I cough too much.I enjoyed seeing my mum and showing Amanda a new place.

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There is one of the most famous sites of Chester the clock , it was strange going there as it was more than twenty years since last time I had been and on that occasion we had seen the band the Damned wandering around the city. This event strangely echo when a punk with a full pink Mohican passed us as we had a coffee. Anyway like all book bloggers a new city is a chance to visit a book shop but I am a fan of Oxfam so I choose there and found this three books

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I have long wanted to find a few Saul Bellow books to read having read herzog and the dangling man years ago and this set of two from the same Penguin series was a great find , especially as Bellow described the character in Henderson and the rain king the nearest to him as an actual person . Then I found this gem from Ukraine

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The Odessians follows three families through the 20th century described as a beautiful and evocative story and a timeless message of hope . Well I hope as I’m now taken lots tablets to help clear my chest infection I may in the next day or two be able to catch up on some reviews and reading . How are you all what you been up to recently ?

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Sheffield day with Amanda some books

This past weekend saw Amanda and I both off for the weekend for the first time in a long while so we decided to have a day in sheffield. We started the day with a trip around the large indoor shopping centre Meadow hall , it has two small waterstones bookshops but I was waiting for later in the day and the chance to go too the large main city centre branch of waterstones but one treat I did have in Meadowhall was a Donut .This was a Biscoff donut anyone that knows me is I love my Bicoff lotus biscuits the perfect coffee biscuit I say and this donut went great with my espresso.

biscoff donut

I have a rule of three in bookshops never buy more than three books in one shop these days so my three choices weren’t so easy but in the end I settle for an old favourite writer and two new names ,

Laszlo krasznahorkai

 

I brought war and war earlier in the year but had wanted to read The melancholy of resistance more , so brought it to complete my Laszlo Krasznahorkai collection. THe book rather like Satantango follows a small town as it reacts to an incomer , this time it ia s mystery show with the worlds largest Whale and just that the locals are wary of these new circus folk. I’m in a circus mode as we are busy watching the fourth series of american horror story the freak show series. The book has also been made into a film by Bela Tarr who also did the film for Satantango.

Schlump Grimm

I had this on my list of books to buy since its Translate Jamie first mentioned this book  Schlump is the story of a 17-year-old on the German front at world war two a story that is brutal and funny at the same time the writer wasn’t truly known to 2013 many years after Grimm had died he later was in the nazi party even thou this book was burned he bricked up his original manuscript in his house, he later was called in 1950 to talk about his war-time record and two days later he committed suicide .I hope have this read for end of German lit month .

Ippolito Nievo

The confessions of an Italian is the story of Carlo altoviti an old man looking back at his life in Italy this happens to be in the period called the Risorgimento, which saw the small states that had made Italy at the time join together to make it a bigger country. An epic novel Italo Calvino called it the one 19th century Italian novel which has that charm and fascination so abundant in foreign literature . What better recommendation could you have .

What books have you brought recently ?

 

 

A few days in York

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We have just  returned yesterday after three days in York .I managed to write up  the last three post ,before I went away .We missed a holiday earlier in the year so choose to have a couple of nights in York to make up for it .We decide to do a ghost walk on the first night around the minster and shambles in York .This was from the doors of the minster and I would recommend this walk to one and all the chap doing it fitted the part to a tee , he was old in black and a top hat and had lived in york most of his life .He told us about the cat trail a series of cats place around York .

20150915_104053 .So we managed to sleep after tales of dead Roman soldiers marching in front of you  and children being sealed in a plague house (two of the stories from the tour ) .

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We passed this every day on our way into York the birthplace of Auden .The second day we visited a few shops and then we had booked to do a tour of the Chocolate story a history of the chocolate making in York the quaker families that started Terry’s Rowntrees and Craven , how they started to make chocolate the iconic bars like Kitkat and chocolate oranges (and lemons once upon a time ) .The tour end with a trip around the gift shop and a very nice hot chocolate .

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We then took a bus tour where we saw Cliffords tower at the top of this post a number of the gates and the castle and wall of York .

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We then took a walk by the river and then through the park where A chap said you could feed the squirrels , Amanda tried this and got very close to this squirrel but screamed as it got to near .

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Now back to what the blog is about , yes I can confirm there is a number of bookshops in York and I visited a number of them and this is what I came back with .

 

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These are the books , the first for  my Moomin readings .Books from writers I know already Amos Oz ,Andre Malraux  , Heinrich Boil  all three have featured on the blog . Another is one mentioned years ago Franz Werfel who Peter Stefan Jungk mention in an interview a number of years ago as he had written the biography of him . Baiha blues is a prize-winning French novel set in Brazil .A second book by Alain Robbe Grillet to the one I read earlier this month . Then there is The brothers Karamzov a book I should have read but haven’t .Then the huge epic Red Horse by Eugenio Corti a highly regard novel in Italy it was their book of the decade .So We are planning a return trip next year to go to all the places we haven’t seen this time .

 

 

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