So, the trip to the city wasn’t supposed to involve a book haul – especially when I was hardly looking for an extensive English section in Madrid – but as it sometimes (alright, always) happens with me, I find a way. Turns out that the basement of the Casa del Libro in Gran Via has a huge languages section and a wide range in English. For only about two walls worth it’s really very good!! I limited myself to four. These are the spoils.
- “The Complete Robot” by Isaac Asimov. Sci-Fi isn’t usually my province, but Asimov is one of the exceptions. Long ago I read “I, Robot”, after watching the film, and his work has stuck with me ever since. Glad to finally have a complete set of the robot stories!
- “The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun” by J.R.R. Tolkien. After learning that it had just recently come out, I regretted not looking for it while back home in Singapore, so that I could get a copy and keep it safe on my Tolkien shelf. Behold – that little basement English section in Casa del Libro has a solid collection of Tolkien’s work, both legendarium and non-legendarium. This was a surprise and exciting find!
- “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher. My mum first read this book many years ago and it has been a favourite of hers ever since. She’s begun rereading it, so when I saw the volume in thee shop, I decided to get myself a copy and read along too.
- “The Travels of Ibn Battutah” edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. This was a chance find and semi-impulsive purchase. It seems to be an ancient travelogue written by a scholar, native to Tangier, at the height of the Islamic Empire. It should prove to be very interesting, as he travels around Africa, the Levant, Central, Eastern, and Southeast Asia – and from the introduction, it seems his travels are far grittier and wittier than those recorded by Marco Polo, who died shortly before Ibn Battutah began his journey. I love this particular editions of pocket classics, once done by an independent publishing house, though their cover adesign and cloth has changed somewhat.
I will certainly update on how these books are!