A Day of Anger

Let the Scene Write Itself

I was at work – and I was angry. Somebody else c**ked up hugely, I was left to cope with the fallout and it was just all getting too much.

We all have days like that of course. Some people get so angry on such days that they end sticking the kitchen knife into the person responsible for their misery. (If you ever feel this way inclined, you’d better avoid taking a job in a kitchen – you’ll do much better in life.) I do stop short of knifing incompetent idiots at work but I was very angry so to take my mind of it I went to fetch a glass of water and sneaked a look at the next Everyday Inspiration prompt on my phone. It was, “Let the Scene Write Itself”.

How opportune when I’ve just read a book titled A Day of Anger.

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Adventures in Spanish (Captain Alatriste)

When I travel anywhere I like to take a book that relates to the place I’m visiting. It’s usually a novel set there or a book on the history of the place – or more likely, one of each. Walking down Milsom Street in Bath after you read Persuasion becomes that just a little bit more special. The Torre de Oro in Sevilla seems far more impressive when you know its history. And so, planning to visit Venice soon, I recently embarked on re-reading the Alatriste series of Arturo Pérez-Reverte because Book VII, The Bridge of Assassins, is set in Venice. Those famous churches, bridges and canals will acquire a certain sinister significance when viewed through the eyes of the would be assassins of the Doge.

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Books That Transport You

Following links from one blog to another, as you sometimes do, I came across a book list that immediately took my fancy: The Books That Transport You.

Talk about being bitten by the listmania bug. I immediately decided that I have to make my own list… only to conclude a hundred titles later that I have to rethink my approach. So ten books that – quite literally – transported me to another time, into somebody else’s life or to a place far away…

In no way is this an exhaustive list of books that transport you – to begin with the postman has just delivered a book for me that I am one hundred percent sure would belong on this list, and I’ve only flipped through the pages so far! – but I can always write another list later! 🙂

Enjoy.

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Taking the Prado to Atocha Station

Today I read an interview with Arturo Pérez-Reverte, a Spanish writer whose books I’m quite fond of. The writer, whom I once quoted because he was very convincing upon the subject of why Homer matters. The writer I’d like to write a book for me.

In Spain Pérez-Reverte is known for not being afraid to speak his mind, and is perhaps even regarded as a little bit controversial. If he is controversial, he was true to form in this interview, floating some ‘politically incorrect’ ideas.

Like that culture is for an élite only…

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Hector’s Farewell (Why Homer Matters)

Not so long ago I read a book titled The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson. It is 250 pages long, followed by some fifty pages of notes. Today I read Hector’s Farewell, an article of 809 words (I had the computer to count it, I’m not mad!) by Arturo Pérez-Reverte – and it accomplished, without fail, what 250 pages couldn’t: viz. to convince me that Homer matters.

Not that I particularly needed convincing.

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Save the Trinidad (The Unwritten Biography of Cayetano Valdés)

Rescate_del_navío_de_línea_Santisima_Trinidad_por_el_navío_Infante_don_Pelayo_en_el_combate_del_cabo_de_San_Vicente_en_1797.jpg
The Pelayo saves the Trinidad in the battle of Cape St Vincent, 1797. Antonio de Brugada’s painting. Source: Wikipedia

Somebody ought to write a biography about Cayetano Valdés in the manner of Stephen Taylor’s Commander. Meaning a good one; a page turner. And I know exactly who this somebody should be: Mr Pérez-Reverte, are you listening?

This sudden desire to read a biography surprised even me; clearly all this reading of history books is having unexpected side-effects. I mean yesterday I sat down in front of the computer and scoured the online bookshops for a biography of Cayetano Valdés. Me! The person who only read two biographies in the last thirty years: The Life of Nelson by Robert Southey a long time ago and Commander by Stephen Taylor very recently indeed. Worse, there seems to be a certain theme developing here: I can’t help noticing that Nelson, Edward Pellew and Cayetano Valdés share one thing in common: they were naval heroes. More or less of the same era too.

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