Tag: Books: Spanish Literature

Review: The Invisible City

Posted 7 November, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Invisible City
By: Emili Rosales

Emili Rosell, the young owner of one of Barcelona’s top galleries, receives an old manuscript written by an Italian architect about the ‘Invisible City’ – an ambitious project dreamt up by King Charles III to build an alternative capital city in the Ebro delta. The manuscript tells of a lost masterpiece by the Venetian painter Tiepolo, and the site of the Invisible City is where Emili used to play as a child; drawn in by these factors, he is plunged into a fascinating extinct world. Juxtaposing the eighteenth-century royal court life and the contemporary art world – both with a similar share of intrigue, politics and romance – “The Invisible City” is a gripping historical mystery and a compelling examination of the forces of power and love.

I picked this book up on a whim as I was browsing through the bookstore a while ago. Three things caught my attention that led me to picking it up: 1) the title and the subject; my knowledge of this Charles III’s period from Western Europe is not so great compared to Imperial Russia around the same time period. Plus, I’ve always been interested in architecture, 2) that it was written by a Catalan author; I have a soft spot for Catalonia after studying them from an ethnic/national identity point of view and 3) Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the author of The Shadow of the Wind, gave a stellar review of the book. So I read it. Some spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Time In Between

Posted 15 October, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Time In Between
By: Maria Duenas

Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel from GoodReads, which is pretty exciting considering this book has been on my want-to-read pile since I first heard of it back in April thanks to the Guardian‘s New Europe series. It’s always cool to find out about what’s new and generating buzz in different countries. Spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Flanders Panel

Posted 23 June, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Flanders Panel
By: Arturo Perez-Reverte

While restoring a 15th-century painting which depicts a chess game between the Duke of Flanders and his knight, Julia, a young art expert, discovers a hidden inscription in the corner: Quis Necavit Equitem. Translation: Who killed the knight? Breaking the silence of five centuries, Julia’s hunt for a Renaissance murderer leads her into a modern-day game of sin, betrayal, and death.

This is the third book I’ve read by Perez-Reverte and I have to say, this has to be my favourite from him. Some spoilers ahead!

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Books: European Literature Podcasts

Posted 27 March, 2011 by Lianne in Books, Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


My shot inside the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, France (August 2010)


I’m in the midst of writing my political science paper on the Basques in Spain but I’m also multi-tasking with skimming through the Guardian. The Guardian is doing a series at the moment, focusing on one European country each week. One of spheres they covered are books and so far they’ve covered the following places:

These podcasts are fantastic to listen to because you learn a lot about the literary and bestselling trends in these countries. I’m still listening to the Germany podcast but they’ve also discussed German identity and culture, which is totally up my alley xD Their trends are actually pretty close to North America (vampires are big, international bestsellers are also big but then you have massive tomes on history and the current state of Germany and a lot of health-related books), which is interesting. The podcast on French literature was also fantastic because their literary culture is so different; in a sense, the sort of culture of Voltaire and Rousseau has continued to the present day with the French public’s love of essays. Prices and sales of books are also quite different from the UK or North America (they have a fixed rate) and just the volume and types of books that people read are also very different. So if you’re into European literature and book trends, these podcasts are worth checking out.

This week the Guardian is focusing on Spain, which is exciting because a) I’m writing a paper on them at the moment, b) Spain fascinates me in general and c) I love Spanish literature and poetry (Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Federico Garcia Lorca, etc.) <3

Review: The Club Dumas

Posted 31 May, 2010 by Lianne in Books / 3 Comments

The Club Dumas
By: Arturo Perez-Reverte

Lucas Corso, middle-aged, tired, and cynical, is a book detective, a mercenary hired to hunt down rare editions for wealthy and unscrupulous clients. When a well-known bibliophile is found hanged, leaving behind part of the original manuscript of Alexandre Dumas”s The Three Musketeers, Corso is brought in to authenticate the fragment.

The task seems straightforward, but the unsuspecting Corso is soon drawn into a swirling plot involving devil worship, occult practices, and swashbuckling derring-do among a cast of characters bearing a suspicious resemblance to those of Dumas”s masterpiece. Aided by a mysterious beauty named for a Conan Doyle heroine, Corso travels from Madrid to Toledo to Paris in pursuit of a sinister and seemingly omniscient killer.

I picked this book up as a result of my search for books with similar themes to Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind: love of books, a mystery, focus on a particular classic—what’s not to draw me in? Spoilers ahead!

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