This category contains 14 posts

‘Walking and trekking in the Sierra Nevada’ – book

While perusing a local shop aimed at healthy people – hikers, trekkers, climbers etc – we came across a cute book all about our local mountain range – mainland Spain’s highest, second only to the Alps in western Europe: the Sierra Nevada. We never cease to marvel at its beauty as we drive to Granada, … Continue reading

Last Days of the Bus Club – by Chris Stewart (book review)

Chris Stewart loves Spain as much as ever and his latest book – the ‘fourth in the trilogy’ – brims with stories about his life in Las Alpujarras. Famous for Driving over Lemons (1999) we thought, by the third book – 2006’s The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society – things had petered out a bit. This is a return to form … Continue reading

Granada and Eastern Andalucia by David Hewson (book review)

Like many writers in their early days, David Hewson wasn’t exactly rolling in it. But years later – having turned a popular TV series, The Killing, into a hugely-successful series of novels – he’s perhaps made, well, a killing. He’s been a journalist (having helped launch The Independent newspaper) and writer for years. In 1987 David, by … Continue reading

Flowers of the Mediterranean – by Polunin and Huxley (book)

Browsing in a secondhand bookshop is second only to eating a curry or seeing Tottenham Hotspur lose. We’ve found an original copy of Flowers of the Mediterranean by Oleg Polunin and Anthony Huxley. It’s not a rare book but a delightful one with over 300 colour pictures, 128 line drawings and 700 species described. It … Continue reading

History of the Moors of Spain – Florian (book)

Living in Las Alpujarras we’re reminded of its Moorish past on a daily basis in the architecture, fruit trees and acequias.  We’ve read a few modern books about Spain’s past but the History of the Moors of Spain was written in the 18th century – around the time of the French revolution and the United … Continue reading

Read all about it

Spending a whole day reading is one of life’s pleasures and three months without TV or internet has meant perfect conditions for S to indulge in a book-reading extravaganza. A shady fig tree has been a time-travelling machine taking us from pre-revolutionary Russia (Crime and Punishment), Escoffier’s kitchens in France (White Truffles in Winter), contemporary … Continue reading

Pasodoble – by Martin Cross (book)

This delightful whodunnit had us salivating as Comisario Moreno, from a fictitious town on the coast called Molinos, eats his way through the villages of Las Alpujarras to solve a murder in Juviles (this town, and others mentioned, are real). Moreno, who reminds us of a corpulent Inspector Montalbano (a popular TV series), enlists the help of Rick … Continue reading

Don Quixote – alive and kicking in Órgiva

Tucked away in a locked room in Órgiva is a collection of books that have one thing in common: they are all versions of Cervantes’s Don Quixote – or, to give it its full Spanish title: ‘El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha‘. A framed newspaper clipping states that the public library, where the books … Continue reading

Spanish Civil War – by George Levrier-Jones (book)

Concentrating in history class – or any other class for that matter – was something neither of us particularly excelled at. The topics covered were the 1500s, the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars and, in S’s case, Irish history. Even though the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) led to World World II, the … Continue reading

The Return – by Victoria Hislop (book)

Victoria Hislop uses fiction to tell us about the horrifying reality of an era of Spanish history that, until very recently, even the Spanish have collectively preferred to forget (Pacto del Olvido). Even after the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, it’s hard to believe that sunny Spain was under a dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. … Continue reading

Spain – by Jan Morris (book)

Ten years ago we read a book by Jan Morris – Venice – a love letter to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. It’s all you need to know about the place. At the time of reading it seemed to be a contemporary book but was, in fact, written in 1960 – which shows how … Continue reading

A Late Dinner – by Paul Richardson (book)

This 2007 book – A Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain – was written as a travelogue by journalist Paul Richardson. He travels all over Spain detailing the regional food and ingredients he finds, taking the reader past the clichés of paella and gazpacho (delicious as they are) to other food – dishes that … Continue reading

South from Granada – by Gerald Brenan (book)

South from Granada was written by Gerald Brenan, an Anglo-Irish writer on the fringes of the Bloomsbury set. After fighting in the First World War he looked for somewhere he could live cheaply on his army pension and found Yegen, a tiny remote village in the Alpujarras. The book is about his experience of living … Continue reading

Driving over Lemons – by Chris Stewart (book)

This book inspired our first trip to Órgiva. It’s about an English sheep shearer (and Genesis’ original drummer) who moved to a rundown farmhouse in Las Alpujarras in the 1980s. He makes his living farming sheep – and wrote about adventures with new  friends and neighbours. It’s a lovely book, highly-recommended. It’s the first in a … Continue reading