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Book 17

  1. Amis, Martin — London Fields (471 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — War Horse (182 pages)
  3. Winterson, Jeanette — Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (177 pages)
  4. Robinson, Bruce — Paranoia in the Launderette (43 pages)
  5. Carter, Angela — Heroes and Villains (152 pages)
  6. Burroughs, Edgar Rice — A Princess of Mars (209 pages)
  7. Hill, Susan — The Woman in Black (152 pages)
  8. Fowler, Karen Joy — Sarah Canary (293 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Prize Winning Novels (174 pages)
  10. Beresford, David — Ten Men Dead (426 pages)
  11. Freedland, Jonathan — Bring Home the Revolution: The Case for a British Republic (245 pages)
  12. Kierkegaard, Søren — Fear and Trembling (150 pages)
  13. Nothomb, Amélie — Fear and Trembling (132 pages)
  14. Delany, Samuel R. — Babel-17 (194 pages)
  15. Raine, Craig — History: The Home Movie (335 pages)
  16. du Maurier, Daphne — Jamaica Inn (312 pages)
  17. Kurlansky, Mark — The Basque History of the World (361 pages)
Page count
4008

My girlfriend wanted to take advantage of the two bank holidays during the Queen's Jubilee celebration the first week of June. We thought of going to Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia — somewhere close and sunny that wouldn't cost too much. But then I remembered that my voice teacher owns a couple of flats in French Basqueland. He offered to let us stay there, and then I saw The Basque History of the World in a charity shop and our holiday was set.

This book proved indispensable. While the writing may be clunky at times, the material is so fascinating the stylistic deficiencies are easily overlooked. I knew nothing about the Basque before reading this book, and I now feel I have had my eyes opened. I learned so much about the history of the land, the culture, even bits about the language. At least a couple of locals were visibly pleased that I was showing interest in Euskera. As we drove from town to town, across the border into Spain, inland into the mountains, I kept quoting bits about everything Basque: whaling, pelota, chocolate, peppers, architecture, family traditions, language, religion, singing, etc., etc. More than any tourist guide could have done, this book inspired trips to Bayonne, St. Jean Pied-de-Port, and various little towns in between.

I cannot say enough about how fascinating the information in this book is. Reading this book you'll learn so much about perhaps the oldest European people and the land they inhabit and pick up a few recipes along the way, as well.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
am0
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Basque
You are basking in the memories of your trip.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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