122. Books Bought & Read, July 2014…

03 Sep
122. Books Bought & Read, July 2014…

Books Bought, July 2014…

Non-Fiction,’ Chuck Palahniuk

A Casa Velha,’ (‘The Old House’), Machado de Assis

Coisas Frágeis 2,’ (‘Fragile Things’), Neil Gaiman

Matteo Perdeu O Emprego,’ Gonçalo M Tavares

A Little Larger Than The Entire Universe: selected poems,’ Fernando Pessoa

50 Contos,’ (‘Fifty stories’), Machado de Assis

O Gato Malhado E A Andorinha Sinhá,’  Jorge Amado


Fantoches,’ (Puppets), Erico Verissimo

Diálogos Impossíveis’, (‘Impossible Dialogues’),  Luís Fernando Veríssimo

Os Lusíades,’ Luís Vaz de Camões (10-volume illustrated edition)

A Bagagem do Viagante,’ (‘The Traveller’s Baggage), José Saramago

Manual de Pintura y Caligrafía,‘ (‘Manual Of Painting And Calligraphy), José Saramago

Compêndio para uso dos pássaros – poesia reunida, 1937-2004,’ (‘Compendium For The Use Of Birds – poetry compilation, 1937-2004’), Manuel de Barros


Books Read, July 2014…

Non-Fiction,’ Chuck Palahniuk

Diálogos Impossíveis,’ (‘Impossible Dialogues), Luis Fernando Verissimo

O País Do Carnival,’ (‘The Country Of Carnival’), Jorge Amado

Nocturno Hindu,’  (‘Indian Nocturne’), Antonio Tabucchi

The Cuckoo’s Calling,’ RobertGalbraith, aka J.K.Rowling

Matteo Perdeu O Emprego,’ Gonçalo M Tavares

A Casa Velha,’ (‘The Old House’), Machado de Assis

Coisas Frágeis 2,’ (‘Fragile Things’), Neil Gaiman

Pensageiro Frequente,’ (excellent but untranslatable pun on ‘frequent flyer’  which would be ‘Passageiro Fequente,’ but here using the word ‘thinker in place of ‘passenger’ as the two words are very similar in Portuguese, making it something like ‘Frequent Thinker.’ Only funnier in Portuguese), Mia Couto

O Mandarim,’ Eça de Queirós


A dozen new books bought, and one short of that read: THAT’S more like it!

With the World Cup ending on July 11th, (in case you were either living under a rock, uninterested in football, or Brazilian and trying desperately to pretend that the tournament had ended after the Quarter Finals), I was left with two weeks to enjoy the sun, sand, coconuts and caipirinhas of an east coast Brazilian beach.


I delved into Brazilian literature, plowing through some excellent short stories by 19th century master Machado de Assis, (quite enjoyable), and some short essays by modern journalist Luis Fernando Verissimo, (ditto: to give you an idea of the vibe of this short story compilation, the first tale featured Batman and Dracula both trying to get euthanised at a Swiss clinic: one because he’s old and too weak to be a bat fighting crime, the other because he’s bored of being an ageless bat killing people…)

The highlight, though, was finally finding something by Gonçalo M Tavares, a young Portuguese author beloved by my beloved José Saramago, (the latter’s ‘He will win the Nobel Prize for Literature before too long’ quote is all over most of the former’s books).


It was marvellous.

Matteo Lost His Job‘ was experimental and playful, linking a series of very short but beautifully crafted pictures of everyday yet strange people, in everyday yet outrageous situations, in a similar way to David Mitchell does in his masterful ‘Cloud Atlas.’ I can’t wait to find, buy, and devour some more by him to see if he can live up to the hype that I (and Saramago) have created for him.


I was excited to find an unbelievably beautiful collection of ten illustrated volumes of the Portuguese epic poem ‘The Lusiads‘ in my favourite market, as well as the complete works of Brazilian poet Manuel de Barros who had been recommended to me by a new Brazilian friend.

However, since I don’t have several thousand spare €uros to spend on excess baggage allowance, my entire Portuguese-language book collection is currently being housed by my fantastic Czech-Argentina co-worker in an Alfama apartment in Lisbon.


I will be back soon to reclaim it, to read it, and to let you know what’s good…


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1 Comment

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in BOOKS


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One response to “122. Books Bought & Read, July 2014…

  1. nycavri

    September 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Smoker – Greg Rucka
    Summer Of Fear – Lois Duncan
    They Never Came Home – Lois Duncan
    Shooting At Midnight – Greg Rucka
    Equal Rites – Terry Pratchett

    July saw me still kneedeep in my summer escape from eReader into dead tree, and taking the opportunity to reread the early Greg Rucka books (which are still unavailable on nook). The character development over 4 novels is truly remarkable, not least when he switches his narrator / protagonist in the 4th book, “Shooting At Midnight”.

    And knowing where these characters are headed in future books, it is heartbreaking to remember where they came from.

    If you haven’t caught on by now, I recommend everyone check out at least the first book in the series (“Keeper”). If you like that amazing debut, Rucka only gets better . . .

    At some point in the last year, Lois Duncan’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was free on the nook and I read it in a single sitting. It was a decent and very quick read, except for the fact that it had been “updated” from its 60s/70s setting to the modern day. I found moments extraordinarily clunky, and it wasn’t until the Afterword – spelling out that the text had been edited – that I figured out why.

    So when I saw the entire Lois Duncan collection in the Camp Library, I grabbed a couple. There are sweet, simple, vaguely supernatural YA novels – dated and occasionally preachy but nonetheless fun palate cleansers. I read two in a day.

    I ended the month by returning to the early Terry Pratchett novels – I have the entire collection and can’t bring myself to repurchase them for my nook. Having recently read a later book (“Wee Free Men”) I was struck again at how much of a slog the first half dozen titles can be to get through, but they still remain laugh out loud funny and contain seminal lines that are the gags I think of when I think of Pratchett. (Like the bit about someone very famous being born, against all gynecological probability, halfway up a wall . . .)

    One more month to plow through some more Pratchett and Rucka (as well as my very favorite, Ken Grimwood) before I return to my nook and it’s dozens of queued up titles in September.


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