Northumberland trip book haul

We spent a few days last week in Northumberland anyone been around the blog for any time will know I lived there in my early twenties and since I ve been driving a few years ago have been visiting regularly for the last three years . We choose to spend time near Newbiggin a small town by the sea we had stayed near last year it has a nice long promenade to walk a couple small shops and a couple of coffee shops and the couple in the middle of the bay. This is a great base we had a day in Lindisfarne and Seahouse as last year when we went it a wet day and this time we saw the island in the sun.

We walked towards the castle and then around the harbour and abbey there is a small shop sell gin made on the Island and we finished at the Pilgrims coffee shop which is outside wonderful cakes and coffee they roast there own which I brought some beans home with me to grind(well I did and it was very nice). We sat and watched some sparrows help clean the tables by us. In Seahouse we finally got to look at the lifeboat which we want to see last time. The next day we went to Alnwick to Brater books of course , but wait there is also a wonderful new shop that is hundred. yards from where I lived on Narrowgate in Alnwick the accidental bookshop has a really high self of books and a great selection of books I will know so my haul from each shop.

 

First up was this by the South African writer Bryten Brytenbach I thought I had reviewed a book by him I had read one many years ago and think I have another on my shelf I was swayed by the cover plus I did like the book I read so I will have to review him soon as I know have three books to read from him.

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Now we have a book that I know is published by NYRB Memoirs of Anti semite is a book I had hope to read at some point (I don’t know about you there is the list of books you just know you want to read this is one) This is an old picador copy.

Then a book from Javier Cercas I have read a number of books by him over the years so this was a great find as it is a crime series a move from the other books I have read by him that tend to use historical events.

This one appeals as I just love books about travel and I had just read Goethes Journey to Italy set. So a novel from the same time period. Also Mozart someone whom Goethe had seen the  young Mozart play and also Goethe had tried to write a sequel to to the Magic flute.

 

Another writer I have read in the past is Marguerite Duras so when I saw this one I just had to get it a woman watches a murder in a cafe and keeps returning to the scene of the crime.

Yet another writer that has been on the blog in fact Amos Oz has been reviewed four times. He is one of those writers I want to read all of his novels over time.

And lastly a master of the short story whom I have read but never reviewed on the blog that is the Polish writer Pawel Huelle . That is the last of the books from Barter books I didn’t find a nature writing book that jumped out at me. But as I was away and relaxed the passion for books in translation has come back I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was back to normal. So I put them in the car and we then head to the new bookshop which is so near my old flat it would be dangerous if I was still there me so close to a book shop.her is my books from the accidental bookshop.

Firstly two books from Latin America Space invaders I reviewed yesterday and Mona I will be reviewing this coming week at some point both had been on my radar I had read an earlier book by Polo Oloixarao.These struck me as perfect for this month’s Spanish lit month and also maybe for next month’s women in translation.

Then the other two are a piece of travel  writing about walking to the island Lindisfarne I love books that I will know the locations but also that are about pilgrimages I have alway been interesting in pilfgrims and pilgrimages what make people do them but also what it gives you doing them I have fancied doing something similar at some point.Then scattered all over the world by the German/japanese writer Yoko Tawana images the diaspora of Japanese descent when Japan it disappears and they are scattered all over the world what makes there identity ? I would highly recommend a visit to the accidental bookshop also a few doors up is a great deli with a cafe in its cellar that does great cakes.A nice few days we may be going back in a few months as we love it there and also are looking for the perfect place for when we retire up there which is what we plan to do. Have you been to Northumberland ?

 

 

Holiday books a Mexican death and some great new books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I failed in reading Middlemarch, I didn’t actually read much on this holiday as I wanted to spend time with Amanda my in-laws and their foster baby who bless her she is only nine months old. It was a joy to see her experience, so much for the first time. It was also the first time since our Honeymoon eleven years ago. Amanda and I had returned to Torquay. Unfortunately, the restaurant where we had our meal on honeymoon in. We had hoped to return but it had gone in the years in between Which was a shame. But we did manage to take a steam train ride and a tour of a replica of the golden hind.Lots of nice meals and I couldn’t resist a few books along the way. When I decide after fifty pages of Middlemarch this maybe wasn’t the holiday read for me.But here are my book buys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterstones in Torquay was the first bookshop. I found these two from not a great selection of translation. Well for someone that read as much as me there is not many that I hadn’t read but there was a few Georges Simenon and this the latest Maigret was one that was most interesting as the great man is looking back on a case he may have got wrong. The I have read nearly all my current Modiano books. This is the one I next wanted as I know Frank the translator really wanted to translate this book. It is his first three novels all link by being set during the occupation of France or the effects of that on people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then We visited Totnes and they have a great independent bookshop. In which I found these three gems. The day before happiness by Erri de Luca an orphan boy coming of age and his relationship with the guardian. It is also an ode the city of Naples where the book is set.Then I am really keen on this one Death in spring another coming of age novel of a teenage boy in the Catalan mountains. It reminded me of the great book Stones in the landslide which is also a coming of age tale. But a young woman in the Catalan mountains. Then A book by Arto Paasilinna, I loved his year of the Hare so hope this one is as interesting.It follows a man called Gunnar restoring a MIll in a small village but  Gunnar isn’t all he seems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I find an Oxfam shop hard to resist when I see one like the one in Totnes and here I found two old Penguin modern classic. Boris Pasternak’s Last summer came out long before Doctor Zhivago and heralds the last summer before world war on and the Russian revolution. Then a lesser know Faulkner work he is a writer I loved when younger but haven’t read for years and have been adding to my copies of his lesser known books. The Tove jansson this is her only novel and seems to have similar themes to her other adult books. The Noght wood a classic modernist novel that I have heard is quite a challenge to read. 

Then there was the sad news of the passing of Sergio Pitol. A writer who I have on my kindle after kindly been sent it by his Publisher Deep Vellum had passed so I felt as I had never got to this great man’s books. This trilogy is about his life and those writers he meets and what inspired him as a writer.I ordered these and they were here at home when I arrived home today off holiday.Also, I had three other books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I had these books at home Scenes from a childhood is a selection of Short stories from Jon Fosse the Norweigan writer is often cited as a future Nobel winner I reviewed him a few years ago Then Romain Gary last novel one of the great French writer and also a twice Goncourt winner the only one as he used an Alias to writer his other winner. Then last is The blind spot essay of fiction by Javier Cercas and the line between fact and fiction which is one his own books walk like a tightrope at times.

Happy New Year -this is a new year that was the old year

winston taken last new years day

Well it’s that time of year again New years day the time to make resolutions and plans for the coming year and also a chance  to look back and digest  how the last twelve months have gone  on the blog and reading wise for myself .

Last year was a strange one it felt for me  , I drifted in my blogging. But when I got my year-end report from wordpress I was surprised what I had done  and after reading Sue’s post .I thought well it was a busy year really and maybe I just relaxed as a blogger and gone with my natural flow .So highlights of last year was doing the two shadow juries the first was the man Asian one last January with Lisa in charge ,with matt ,sue ,mark and Fay .Then I took a leaf out Lisa’s book to start a shadow IFFP jury with Rob Lisa Mark Simon Tony and Gary .I loved doing both these and am at moment stuck in the middle of this years Shadow Man Asian jury .I also started Spanish Lit month with Richard to highlight Spanish language fiction from all round the world .That’s not to mention Henry Green week .I also loved joining Lizzie and Caroline in German lit month ,once again and the fact it brought a chance to  enjoyed a new chunk of Germanic literature .So in looking back on my year I did a lot really, made lots of new blogging friends and help promote fiction in translation which is the main aim of the blog these days.

So 2013 another year resolutions reading and blog wise ,I have debated doing a post a day and I know it be hard to keep up my job and life just isn’t able to support a post a day so my resolutions is to try to post a little more and maybe do 50 more post than last year which equates to a post every other day or so which seems achievable .I have previously tried to set reading totals but I m leaving them behind I feel my reading is at a constant level and pushing it to read more will a. spoil my enjoyment of books as I rush trough rather than saviour them ,b..do I really need to add load more books to the unreviewed pile (close to 60 books already on it ) .Another blog resolution is to try over next twelve months to clear pile of books I ve read but not covered on the blog so far ,hopefully doing a few more posts will even this out and cut the pile down .challenges I will be doing some more challenge of my own next year and joining in a few along the way I m sure I prefer month or week long  challenges to year-long ones hence I ve not signed up for any this time again .So my first challenge is Tony’s January in Japan I ve one book read and currently on my second book .

So a very happy new year to you one and all and may the year be a very bookish one for you .

What holiday reader are you ?

This weekend in the Guardian ,they had a number of writers picking their favourite holiday reads ,so on a damp day here in Derbyshire ,I decide to talk about memorable holiday reads for me and what type of books I like on a holiday .My favourite read was in the late nineties on a glorious british summer when I travelled from Alnwick to Elie home of my late gran for a short break .I took Don Dellio’s underworld .this 900 page book with its history of post war america made a great companion on a long train journey and sitting on the beach or the beachfront pub .A book tied to fond memories of a lovely summer ,that in my opinion what makes a good summer read ,for me it is an epic doorstep book and family ,oh and of course good weather is a plus .This means when thinking back on the book I remember the train Journey a brief stop and wander round Edinburgh on the way there and back ,A cool pint of Deuchars IPA reminds me of the book as well sitting on the beachfront as I followed a famous baseball passing hands trough modern america .

So that is me I like modern classic or classic books of over 400 pages length ,over books I ve read over summers have been Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier in spain , Ulysses during a German summer . That’s me I know other people like Lighter reads over the summer the sort of Richard and Judy books or as I call them supermarket books ,Some people like Novellas like the fine ones published by Peirene ,thus meaning you can notch of a few books over the space of a holiday .Then another group likes books about or set where they are like Moveable feast if your in Paris ,shadow of the wind if your in Barceleona ?

My next holiday read is USA by John Dos Passos ,this epic book has sat for a couple of years on my shelves so is needing a read this summer at some point I ve yet to book a holiday so it may be a staycation book .

So what type of Holiday reader are you ?

Do books remind you of good holidays ?

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