I was approved of an ARC copy of this novel through NetGalley. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net: http://www.caI was approved of an ARC copy of this novel through NetGalley. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net: http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2...
What’s really interesting about Laurie Lee’s account is how it provides readers with a glimpse of the region during the Franco era (the book was first published in 1955). There’s not a whole lot of emphasis on the presence of Franco’s regime on daily life, although the consequences of the Civil War can still be felt amongst its population, such as the case of some of the poets Lee comes across who were associated with Federico Garcia Lorca once. There’s a sort of lost romanticism to his account; I can’t imagine anyone doing some of the things he did when he was in Spain during his youth (i.e. horsing around with a thief and a blind man in Algeciras).
Having said that, the book does start off rather dryly; it only started picking up in the second chapter when the author headed over to Seville. Sometimes his narrative gives a sense of place, other times it doesn’t. His observations nonetheless provide an interesting take of daily life in the places that he visits, the poverty that was rampant in the cities, the customs and festivals that the people partake in. The reader also learns a lot about the author along the way–who he is, how he came to Spain years before this volume, his music–that it’s not necessary to read his previous autobiographies to understand this book.
Overall, I liked A Rose for Winter enough. It wasn’t wholly engrossing as I thought it would be, but it was nonetheless informative, especially his Christmas in Granada and the ebbs and flows of daily life in the region. There’s a certain level of melancholy to his experiences in Spain that’s hard not to miss, and as a classic travelogue I’m glad I had the chance to read it....more
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net: http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2...
Just like the author’s other book, The Return of the Mullet Hunter, his narrative was just as welcome and inviting as he recounts his experiences visiting all twenty-three stations between Inverness and Edinburgh. I enjoyed reading his descriptions of the landmarks, the atmosphere, and the history of the towns that he visited–some of his descriptions of situations he comes across over the course of his journey made me laugh at times.
As someone however who does not live in Scotland or never even visited the place, sometimes the descriptions and customs flew over my head or I just could not relate to some of the practices and references, but they were ultimately very informative. A lot of the places (well, all of the places, really) in between Inverness and Edinburgh are not well-known places to foreigners but I learned a lot about them; even in his accounts, the reader gains a sense of how different life is in these places.
The Next Stop was an interesting read with a great premise and mission so to speak. It’s always nice to explore places that are not commonly visited by tourists, you really get a feel for life in a particular area or country that way. I recommend this book for readers of everything Scotland, readers of travelogues for a different change of pace, and if you’re just interested in learning something new.
I received an eCopy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedliI received an eCopy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net: http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2...
The Return of the Mullet Hunter has a very open and welcoming narrative as the author recounts his adventures in England, Canada, New Zealand and the USA in search of places sharing the name “mullet”. He does a wonderful job in explanating the reasons behind his particular travel mission and recaps quite nicely some of his previous adventures that I’m guessing were covered in his first travelogue, Up the Creek Without a Mullet. I learned quite a bit from the places he visited, the contrasts between life in these different countries were interesting to read about. It was also interesting to read how his travel goals gained some attention in the respective local media, which was pretty cool.
While venturing out to these places, he also recounts a lot of the interesting people he meets along the way, the strange cultural differences he comes across (the word association between the UK and the US regarding chips, crisps, biscuits, and scones cracked me up because it’s so true!), and some of the theories and ideas he’s come up with based on his experiences and observations to these different locations.
Overall this book was a pretty unique read in terms of the author’s goals as a traveller and all of these small spots that he ends up visiting. The accounts did drag a little bit towards the end, probably because I’ve been to the US a few times (though not on the West Coast) and am familiar with much of their landscape and culture. Every elated moment and disappointing turn is felt with every page. If you enjoy reading travelogues and other travel-related books, I would recommend checking this title out. ...more
The title of this book caught my attention and the premise definitely solidified my interest. I've always wanted to go to the UK and after reading thiThe title of this book caught my attention and the premise definitely solidified my interest. I've always wanted to go to the UK and after reading this book, I wish I could just hop on a plane tomorrow and head over there!
I love the idea behind this book, featuring major cathedrals across the United Kingdom and highlighting coffee houses and tea rooms nearby that must be checked out while in the area. The book is very straightforward: the locations are presented alphabetically and covers a good number of cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
While the author mentioned at the foreward that this book would not be going into any great detail about the history behind the cathedrals, I kind of wished he did; it would have made this book a lot handier for people planning on going to to the United Kingdom for a trip, keeps everything in one volume. I do however appreciate that smaller cities not normally travelled were included in this collection and enjoyed the back stories behind the coffee houses and tea rooms he recommended throughout the novel.
I was fortunate to have been approved a galley copy of this book.
The focus of this book is very much the notion of old age and how to approach life atI was fortunate to have been approved a galley copy of this book.
The focus of this book is very much the notion of old age and how to approach life at that point. I enjoyed how the author used both philosophy and his experience living in that Greek community to exemplify his search and understanding of old age and how to live a fulfilling life at that age. He also touches on the subject of old age in our society, the attitude towards it, etc. as a contrast to what the philosophers say about it and his search for fulfillment.
While brief and perhaps a little simplistic–would’ve loved to have read more about the author’s time living in Greece–Travels with Epicurus is a pretty straightforward read in reflecting and ruminating about old age and how to approach life at that age.