Three Spanish volumes
More time for reading, more time for getting back to a much neglected source of reading: Spanish literature. None of these are demanding in terms of attention and time, so all of them are rapid reads, with some interesting lexical challenges in colloquialisms and slang specific to a country, time, generation etc.
Manos en la nuca: Angel Parra
Angel Parra suffered for his left-wing political beliefs in the Chilean revolution of 1973, when a right-wing dictatorship unseated the socialist government, imprisoned and summarily executed thousands of opponents, and encouraged a whole generation of Chileans to opt for exile as the only route of escape. This is an insider’s view of what it was like to be imprisoned during this period.
Escuela y prisiones de Vicentito González: Juan Eslava Galán
A seemingly autobiographical novel, we follow the early life of Vicentito as he grows from being a small child, through the various phases of his schooling in the south of Spain, to adulthood. It provides a vivid portrayal of the impoverished levels of education on offer in Spain in the post-civil war years, of corruption, of child abuse amongst religious orders, of authoritarianism and a general tendency to use physical violence in the education of children. Vicentito is portrayed as a victim of abuse in every school he attended, but happily accepted his own responsibility for the destiny he was served with.
Cazar al cazador: Francisco Nunez Roldán
Not my genre of choice, but an easy read to fill a handful of hours. A murder mystery which is surprisingly un-mysterious, because the author chooses to tell you who the murderer is early on in the story. But there are some interesting twists and turns, some insights into rural life in Andalucía and, if nothing else, you can brush up on your knowledge of Spanish words related to the natural world, especially birds.