Getting ahead of myself

Posted on May 29, 2012

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In case any of you are reading the world with me, you may want to know what the next couple of books are going to be.  First, I should let you know that I have already finished What the Day Owes the Night but my thoughts will have to wait, as I’m still digesting it – a slow process as it left me with a knot in my throat. Those who know me, know that I’m an unsentimental old cow. It takes a lot to move my pebbly heart.  The surprise in What the Day Owes the Night is that its emotion comes so late and so softly.  I felt as if I’d been strangled with a chiffon scarf by a nun.    So while I catch my breath, a look at what’s next.

Andorra

There’s a German proverb which states that ‘a country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs,’ or words to the effect.  Andorra doesn’t have any.

Luckily for us, it does have a handful (if you’ve had a phalangectomy or two) of authors.   A friend drew my attention to a crime novel which has recently been translated into Spanish, Azul de Prusia by Albert Villaró. I was happy. Very happy. I love reading crime novels and I suspect there will be few opportunities on this journey to feed this addiction. Sadly, I had to give myself a stern talking to. Not because I’m against reading popular fiction, besides, crime novels can often be ‘literary’ if you want to use that term to describe the opposite of trashy, no, I took myself in hand because I don’t want to give up so soon on trying to read novels in their original language.  I could, of course, read Azul de Prusia in Catalan, but while I may be strict with myself, I’m also lazy. Juli Minoves Triquell, Segles de Memoria is only 119 pages long, which makes Juli the winner.  And not that it matters, but it was cheaper too.

Angola

It is the voyage not the ship that matters – Angolan proverb

A fair few of Angola’s proverbs deal with journeys, which seems like a good sign.

For this part of our journey I’ve chosen The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa. First, he’s one of the few Angolan authors whose books I could find in translation or even available to buy online. Second, this book won a joint international prize for author and translator. Third, I like the look of Agualusa. Not the best reason, I grant you, but I did already warn you that I judge books by their covers.

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