Saturday, 21 January 2017

Let's start with A

A is for .....?

I've always loved travel and have enjoyed reading since a young age, so combining the two seems the perfect fit. My favourite kind of book is one in which you are transported to another place Sometimes it can be a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting places from my past; other times a book can take me on an adventure to pastures new. In this blog I aim to read my way around the world alphabetically so we'll start with a book set in a country or city beginning with A and so on.

With a huge backlog of books to read, they can sometimes be overlooked by new releases. What I thought I'd do is ask people for recommendations and hopefully take you with me on my travels.
We kick the blog off today with a book set in Andalusia. This region has long been on my 'to visit' list and after reading it, I want to explore the area even more.

Covering a huge surface area in the South of Spain, Andalusia is predominantly an agricultural area and much of what we deem to be typically Spanish hails from this region. Its Moorish history is reflected in its architecture, most notably in its well known cities of Seville and Granada, two places that I have long wanted to visit. For now though I will have to make do with an account of buying a derelict farm on a piece of Andalusian soil.

If you haven't already guessed then the book I'm talking about is 'Driving over lemons' by Chris Stewart.

The title is intriguing for a start and immediately conjures up pictures of hot summer days and sleepy Spanish villages set against a backdrop of lemon groves.  No doubt the author had the same romantic picture of a life in the sun when he and his wife moved to Spain. However, his account of farming during a harsh winter, of no running water or electricity paint an entirely different picture. I think it's the struggle of daily life and the interaction with the locals that make this book so endearing.
Surrounded by a menagerie of animals, eccentric villagers, unpredictable nature, this book really captures the essence of Andalusia.

If you've read this book and enjoyed it, there are two others in the series;

A parrot in the pepper tree

and The almond blossom appreciation society

Next stop I'm looking for a book set in an area or country beginning with 'B'. Please feel free to leave a suggestion with the book title in the comments. Hopefully I'll manage to read myself around the world in 2017.

Julie Ryan is the author of the Greek Island mystery series, Jenna's Journey, Sophia's Secret and Pandora's Prophecy. You can find out more about her here

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