Children's literature

Sunday Salon: A Week of Dilemmas

I seem to have spent most of the last week in one kind of dilemma or another.

Dilemma 1

First on the agenda was a question posed by Kathy at Forever Book Lover – “Which author (dead or alive) would you most like to meet and why?”. My brain ranged wide over the centuries – George Eliot (one of my favourite authors)? Maybe a bit too learned. Emile Zola – hmm, not sure I could cope with the intensity of that conversation. I ditched the ‘classical but dead’ category of authors and tried to think of some more current writers. Margaret Attwood came to mind but again, could be a bit too intellectual. Bill Bryson – certainly would make for a lively conversation. And so the debate went on. In the end I decided to look to the future instead of the past or the present and chose  an author whose name keeps popping up as ‘one to watch’. If you want to know who I picked, take a look at the In the Spotlight feature on Kathy’s blog. You’ll also see how I answered her other tough questions.

Dilemma 2

Having just finished – and thoroughly enjoyed the last three books I’ve read, deciding which to open next was a tough call. I’d decided earlier in the year that I’d rotate between one from my Booker prize winning list, one from my children’s literature course and one from my general TBR list. Since I’ve just read two Booker long listed books (Bring Up the Bodies and the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) in theory I should have gone for one from the other lists or from the Classics Club list that I’ve just created. But I kept changing my mind – flicking through  the first few pages of one after another novel. In the end I chose Arvind Adiga’s White Tiger, purely on the basis that it’s set in India which is a country that intrigues me more and more. It won the Booker Prize in 2008. I’m not far into it yet so too early to make any assessment about it. But I’m also going to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (from the children’s lit syllabus) alongside as  a little light relief.

Dilemma 3

And now comes the biggest challenge of all. What to take on holiday next weekend. I usually like to read something set in the country I am visiting. But I can’t find anything that is set in Spain (other than Don Quixote which doesn’t appeal). Anyone have any suggestions???

I’ve loaded up plenty of classics on the Kindle but I’m also looking for a modern day novel. Can’t make up my mind between A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan or Devil in the White City by Erik Larson which I bought purely on the strength of the assistant in Detroit airport bookstore when I was racing to get something before the last call and couldn’t find anything to appeal.

Still haven’t decided what to do but will have to make up my mind by Saturday when the case needs to be shut …


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: A Week of Dilemmas

  • The Shadow of the Wind is an amazing book! Great recommendation! Hemingway also set The Sun Also Rises at least partially in Spain (Pamplona, specifically).

    • will let you know what I think in a few weeks when I’m back home

  • here is for your dilemma 3, I repost my answer here, in case it helps some of your own readers:

    Last year Ben Lerner published a book set in Spain, that has been very well spoken about recently. here is my review:

    From bloggers who organize or participate also in my international reading challenges:
    -The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – or any of his trilogy
    -The Time in Between, by María Dueñas
    -The Queen’s Vow, by C.W. Gortner
    -Reign of Madness, by Lynn Cullen
    -Water-Blue Eyes, by Domingo Villar

    And if you search books set in Spain thru Goodreads, you get these:

    I hope this help


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