Spanish Lit Month, Paris in July: Something Old and Something New To Read

One of the great joys of blogging about books are the reading events of the summer. I speak particularly of Spanish Lit Month, hosted by Richard and Stu, as well as Paris In July hosted by Tamara.

I have begun La Regenta with Tom of Wuthering Expectations, but alas, my expectations lessen the further I read. I had high hopes of it resembling more of Madame Bovary and less of Spain’s boring theologians and their hierarchy. Perhaps I will continue, but if not, I am looking at these:


Albina and the Dog-Men by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated from Spanish by Alfred Macadam. Restless Books site says:

From the psychomagical guru who brought you The Holy Mountain and Where the Bird Sings Best comes a supernatural love-and-horror story in which a beautiful albino giantess unleashes the slavering animal lurking inside the men of a small village.


I am one third of the way into Cathedral by the Sea by Idefonso Falcones, translated by Nick Caistor, which is set in 14th century at the height of the Inquisiton and describes the building of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona. It reminds me of Ken Follett’s Pillars of The Earth, which I think is a good thing.


For Paris in July I plan on reading this slim volume, Ripening Seed, by Collette. It is described here as thus:

The author captures that precious, painful moment when childhood retreats at the onslaught of dawning knowledge and desire. Philippe and Venca are childhood friends. In the days and nights of late summer on the Brittany coast, their deep-rooted love for each other loses its childhood simplicity.


Finally, there is a new release from Eleanor Brown, The Light of Paris. Popsugar says it’s:

“A charming novel about living life on your own terms that will make you long for the streets of Paris.”

Although, it doesn’t take much for me to long for the streets of Paris. A walk in Chicago has much the same effect, to tell you the truth. At any rate, these are a few titles I’m thinking of for July, before the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow reading begins with Frances and others. So glad for time off to enjoy my bookish passion.

20 thoughts on “Spanish Lit Month, Paris in July: Something Old and Something New To Read”

    1. I think Paris in July is in its sixth or seventh year; it’s been an annual event in July much as Spanish lit month. I’m glad you’re reading Spanish lit, too, it’s ones of my least read countries, somehow, and I’m always looking for good books which have been translated from Spanish. I do have a certain partiality to books by Spanish speaking women such as Allende and Cisneros, though. The House of Spirits is one of my favorites, as well as The House on Mango Street.

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  1. I always enjoy participating (unofficially) in the Paris in July event. I still have a couple of nonfiction culinary books that I had planned to read a couple of years ago, so I’ll move them back to my nightstand. Maybe this will be the year I actually read them! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


    1. I love how Paris in July lends itself to much more than books: cooking, traveling, films and perfume! Even bicycles…my mother and I rented Cycling With Moliere today, but the translated captions only caught every four words or so. It was impossible to follow so we had to abandon it, but it was worth the try. I hold higher hopes for your cooking endeavors! 🙂


  2. Oh, the books aren’t cookbooks, but rather culinary memoirs. My Life in France by Julia Child and The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones. I can’t wait to dive in!


    1. Oops! My misunderstanding…I would love a book that has anything to do with Julia Child. How well I remember her cooking show which my mother watched while she was ironing. Her cooking, her life, is fascinating. As for Judith Jones, I have no idea who she is! 😦


    1. So I was hoping! I haven’t met anyone vaguely like Charles, nor the dude whose shop caused her such debt; I haven’t met anyone beyond de Pas who is even remotely interesting. Oh, I did like Bismarck, the postilion/bell ringer…and Obdulia in her hoochie red dress so close fitting it resembled trousers. Maybe Ana will grow on me, I just became so weary of all the church’s canons et al.


        1. Oh. Still, I fell in love with Flaubert far more easily than I am with Alas. I don’t know what it is with me and Spanish authors…they always lag behind the French and Russian, somehow.

          And, style was not Madame Bovary’s most important attribute to me.


          1. Yes, you did dispel any thoughts of “easy”, which is not a sticking point with me. I like challenging books.

            You and I differ, though, in our approach. I think you are more analytical, and rational, while I tend to be emotional in my reading. The characters matter so much to me, what they feel and do and learn. I think I have heard you say before that characters are not so important to you, but to me they almost become real when they are well drawn. Such as Emma. Or, Anna Karenina. Their lives have become lessons in mine, when I read them in my early 20’s. That’s why “falling in love” with a writer matters to me.


          2. But presumably we all read lots of great and valuable books with which we do not particularly fall in love.
            The discovery of a beautiful image or line or lifelike character or sublime effect in literature is among the greatest pleasures I know. It is an emotional experience.
            The analytical part begins with the subsequent question – “Ooh, how did the author do that?” Before that, though, it is not the brain but the spine and nerves that are at work. Great literature for me is a sensory experience. That’s how our approach differs.
            La Regenta gives me a lot of stuff, including lots of pungent characters, to roll around in, like a wriggly dog.


            1. “The discovery of a beautiful image or line or lifelike character or sublime effect in literature is among the greatest pleasures I know.” Absolutely!! Perfectly put. Somehow, La Regenta has not grabbed me yet, although I’m roughly 80 pages in; I will try to carry on though, because I so enjoy reading with you/your insights.


  3. I’m so excited for Paris in July this year. So many good books to choose from. I received a copy of The Light of Paris, too 🙂 I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to figure out which books I want to read this weekend. I’m also looking forward to reading some Murakami and Yoshimoto for JLC 🙂 Enjoy Spanish Lit Month and Paris in July!!


  4. I’ll be in for Spanish lt month, if I have time to read the Daniel Chavaria I have on the shelf.

    I’ve participated to Paris in July but I always feel like I’m cheating when I do.


  5. Considering what have been happening in Europe these past years and just yesterday, all the more I cling to the romantic and beautiful side of Paris for memory. The Light of Paris sounds like a fun book to read. I’ll have to think about the Paris in July event. And oh, btw, Bellezza, sorry about the long, long delay on the Proust. Not sure when I’ll get back to that one.


  6. Welcome to Paris in July 2016. Looks like there’s a few good reads on the list – and the Light in Paris seems to have a strong following at the moment. I’m looking forward to some of the other french diversions – the Tour, french food – dining out and cooking, celebrating Quartorze Juliet, and maybe some movies…it’s all fun.


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