That was the month that was July 2020

  1. The treasure of Spanish civil war by Serge Pey
  2. Montano by Enrique Vila-Matas
  3. A glass eye by Miren Agur Meabe
  4. Fracture by Andres Neuman
  5. Vicious by Xurxo Borrazas
  6. Hunter School by Sakinu Ahronglong
  7. Rolling Fields by David Trueba
  8. A beautiful young woman by Julián López
  9. The day my Grandfather was a hero by Paulus Hochgatterer

It was the first of two months of Spanish lit month last month so we had a Spanish feel to the books reviewed last month. We started with a French novel set in Spain from a writer descended from a Spanish civil war refugee that grew up in a camp. THen a man is plagued by people creeping in as he tries to Write. Then we Had a Basque novel about a woman with a glass eye and a sort of history of the Glass eye in with it. Argentina is next stop a book set in Japan written by the wonderful Andre Neuman. THen a man on the run a story with a number of timelines intertwined and a baroque feel to the work. Then off to Taiwan and a young man learn his hunting techniques and the shrinking world around him. Then another son takes his father home and evaluates his life as a singer-songwriter as he does. Then back to Argentina and a son remembering his mother in fragments. I finish in the Austrian hills and a young girl and a Russian on the run in the last days of world war two.

Books of the month

First is Andre Neuman his story of one man that saw the bombs dropped on Japan and destroyed his home town then in the present the destruction of the nuclear power in the present,  as he is asked about these events and times by an Argentinan journalist. This is my Spanish lit month choice.

I had to chose this as it is such a touching book a son on his father a hard man to like but one that had taught him to hunt and he sees the world of his tribe shrinking around him over the passage of time. Also the environmental damage of these changes over his lifetime.

NOn-book matters

Well life is slowly freeing up we have a few more things to do one of those is swimming which I have enjoyed doing this last week or so getting up to pre lockdown levels of swimming which hurt but after a day or two I noticed my muscles hurt less. Another treat has been a coffee  the first in a few months still being very careful but this isn’t over yet. I also brought the 40th-anniversary edition in the vinyl of Joy Divison second albm unknown pleasures a haunting Album it also had three singles  in 12 include that came out from them around the same time including the towering Love will tear us apart

Next month

Well, a few more books from Spanish world. I m nor sure yet  100% yet I also have a couple of books the Balkans and Quebec to read. I  also hope to get near to ten books to try and get back near 100 books for the year, What are your plans for August. What was your highlight for July book wise ?

Polish Literature Month June 2013

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I ve been planning this for last six months since reading Witold Gombrowicz Diaries and deciding that A. I needed to read more Polish literature B. we all need to maybe know a bit more about this hidden gem of European literature and C. There has been some great books from Poland published in the last year or two .

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So what is coming up ,well next week I have a give-away for ten books that has been kindly offered by Joanne at Stork press 5 of Madame Mephisto by Am Bakalar ,which was the first book written by a female writer from Poland in English and 5 of their novel Illegal Liaisons by Grazyna Piebanek ,Also Joanne has written me a piece on publishing Polish literature in English .I’ve also a piece from Magda who is the head of Polish Literature at the Polish Cultural Institution . I’m also contacting a number of translators for suggestions of books and Translations they have made from Polish .I hope to have a great list of books for every one to read between now and June .Here is my fist suggestion on I will be reading as well –

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Stone Upon Stone by Wieslaw Mysliwski 

 A badge – I have been working on a badge for Polish literature month but haven’t quite done one I’m happy with so hope to have one in a couple of weeks when I ve work a bit more on it .So every one can have one for post and sidebars in time .

Twitter – I will be using a hashtag for the month and all posts it will be #plm13 ,so if everyone could use it before and during the month it will make finding post much easier .

polish-food from Love warsaw,co,uk

Cooking – I will during the month be cooking a traditional Polish dish ,I will post a the start of the month A list of ingredients then in the last week be doing a cook along via twitter and posting the results here on the blog .

Film – I will be choosing a film to watch during the month ,I ve not quite decide which but will be doing a post on Polish cinema and the choice of Film for everyone to watch .

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Drink – I will also be trying some polish Beers and spirits to do a post on what to drink .

As you see I want June to be a month we all get Polish .Its important I feel as a recent report showed Polish is now the UK’s second Language .But if you ask the average reader to name a Polish writer they may just mention one but not many more so lets all get to know Polish literature better .

Italian food

I thought I do a small post on the Italian food ,I  Love Italian food ,I grew up going every sunday to an Italian coffee and ice cream shop ,choose different mixes of ice cream the coffee and nut ones were nu favourites every weekend and when I got a bit older a espresso or a real lemonade .I then discover fresh pasta ,I have a pasta maker that my wife got me but have yet to try my making my own pasta ,I hope too at some point this year .I do make ragu sauce of sorts ,I was going to make it and photo it ,but this week there is just me here and it would be a waste of food but I ll give you my recipe of sorts –

  1. chop an onion in to small pieces ,place a large sauce pan on hob to middle heat add olive oil add onions and a glove of garlic in there crushed or finely chopped and a pack of minced lamb .fry til mince brown and onions nice and soft .at this point add some very finely chopped carrot .
  2. add 500 ml of lamb stock ,a jar of pulped tomatoes and a glass of very good red wine (as you can drink the rest as you cook )
  3. at this point you can add dried Italian herbs or leave it and add fresh herb a little later .now turn  heat right down or as I do place in slow cooker and leave for a good hour till the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce .
  4. serve with lingue pasta .very tasty .

Hope you enjoy it is fairly simple and tastes great,part of Italian reading week .

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