South & Central American authorsSunday Salonworld literature

Sunday Salon catch up

sundaysalon I had good intentions of writing this update yesterday but candidly I was too tired by my day at the Mondrian exhibition in the Tate in Liverpool.

I do enjoy going to art exhibitions but still find them exhausting. Sometimes it’s because of the crowds which the big events always attract so you have to jostle to get anything like a decent view of the works. Sometimes though it’s just that there are too many items and it gets overwhelming. But, as was the case yesterday, my brain just gets overwhelmed trying to grasp the concepts behind the artist’s work. I read the explanation of Mondrian’s theory of neo plasticism three times but still have only a vague idea what he meant.

Aside from this short break, I’ve not had much time tor anything else recently including visiting blogs I follow and enjoy. The stack of books I have yet to review keeps creeping up too.

The good news however is that I’ve made some more progress with my world literature project. At the Hay Festival a few Atef Abu Saif at Hay Fest 1weeks ago I listened to a fabulous discussion with Atef Abu Saif, the editor of the first anthology of short stories by Palestinian authors. He spoke so movingly about the difficulties these authors face in getting their work published that I immediately went out and bought The Book of Gaza. Unusually for me I also read it over the next few days.

I’ve also been participatin in Spanish literature month which is co hosted by Stu at Winston’s Dad blog and Richard at Caravana de Recuerdos.


It’s given me the nudge I needed to dust off a copy of Isabel Allende’s The Infinite Plan which has lingered on my shelves for three years. I don’t dislike it and can see why so many other people love her work but it hasn’t wowed me.

As for my next read, I’m still trying to make my mind. I have a long trip to Asia starting at the end of this monotheism which will mean lots of flying hours so I need to chose a few good bookish companions. Robert Graves Goodbye to all That will be one since it’s the next book club choice but I keep changing my mind on what else to take. Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters is one option. Anyone read it and if so would you recommend it?



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

5 thoughts on “Sunday Salon catch up

  • Coincidentally my copy of The Glass Palace was returned to me by a Burmese friend this afternoon! We both disagree re it being too long. I felt as though I’d travelled Malaya and, enjoyably, learnt so much. That novel lives in me and I think of details often. The Aung San Suu Kyi part was very special and important. The novel left me with hope (she hadn’t been released from house arrest when I read it) and affirmed in my pacifism.
    His Sea of Poppies is a challenging and important again, read, the first of three.
    When he wrote about Palestine and Israel he learnt a minority language to enrich its authenticity. He deserves the Nobel I think or at least the Man Booker….

    • Thus a good example of how a book brings different reactions. I felt the Suu Kyi part felt forced..

      • Heck, yes indeed. I’m moved just at the thought of it, was surprised when that moment happened in the novel. I don’t think I’m particularly sentimental but love hope in a troubled world. Getting older too!

  • Wives and Daughters is a rich read.
    Amitav Ghosh is a fabulous writer, his novels cover areas others’ don’t and his research is second to none, deep, extensive and non-intrusive. Google him and see.

    • Thanks for that insight Carol. I recently read The Glass Palace by Ghosh and enjoyed about three quarters of it then wished it had stopped at that point. I remember someone leaving a comment on here to the effect that there was another, and better one about the opium war he had written so I will give that a go at some point.


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