Saturday, June 13, 2009

Books, books and more delicious books.

Last night, after brain-storming a photography exhibition for August in Brussels, I wandered over and caught up with Paola, Simon and the girls. Paola cooked a favourite dinner that involved pesto and I managed to drink enough red wine to relax me to the point where falling asleep on the Amsterdam train home to Antwerpen was a terrifying possibility. Dank u wel, Simon, for pouring those glasses that I never said no to because the wine was far too nice to say no to. I had been rushing all week, stopping to chat and relax was almost unwise :)

And books!!
I've almost finished Ryszard Kapuscinksi's - The Other devouring it as the trams here in the city failed me completely this morning. Thank you for passing that on to me!

This morning, when I had to be at the exhibition by 10am ... afterwards Gert and I wandered into the city for lunch at Rubens Inn, next to Ruben's House , where a person can enjoy a lovely affordable lunch while looking out over the old Ruben's garden.

It's hot here, so we had to take shelter often... really.
Next shady place was de Slegte, my favourite secondhand bookshop and it was there that I accidentally bought Mirrors of the Unseen - Journeys in Iran for just 9euros.

This is terrible and I should be ashamed because I am presently surrounded by excellent books, reading more than a couple, depending on my mood. Tonya gifted me Pompeii by Robert Harris while I was in Naples, just to give me a taste of how it was when Mount Vesuvius exploded, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum ... assuring me that we weren't in the red zone in their house on the hill.

In the parcel she sent the other day I found my black jersey, as promised but there at the bottom I found a box of the deliciously terrible Twinkies covered by a stack of books.

My favourite books were The Towers of Trebizond which has had its first paragraphs checked and is here on my desk, and The Book Thief , the book I've been curling up with before bed and read yesterday as I travelled too and from Brussels because it is excellent an a fiction read.

I'm in and out of On Foot to the Golden Horn - A Walk to Istanbul, dependent on mood and mode of travel. And then I have Iyer Pico's Sun After Dark - Flights into Foreign which another series of essay-type writings like 'The Other', perfect for dipping in and out of at will. I found Pico for sale at the 'Intellectuals Market' in Istanbul, an old book buried in the stacks of secondhand books there.

My cup runneth over but for the 'to-do' list ... come back Shanti, I need you :)


The Antiques Diva™ said...

I'm adding Pompeii to my reading list... I'm also just back from Italy (Florence) and am reading The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone (about the life of Michelangelo). We're off to the Amalfi Coast later this summer.... Pompeii will make perfect trip preparation reading!

Inge said...

This makes me want to curl up in bed and read books for a week! My list of books/magazines/articles to read is ever-growing but life seems to get in the way all the time. I guess I'd better perfect the art of dipping in & out of pages rather than want to read hours at a time. I've now added a few of your suggestions to my list as well; oh dear...

Di Mackey said...

I loved The Agony and the Ecstasy, in fact I read it years ago and thank you for reminding me. It's a book I wouldn't mind rereading now that I've wandered in Italy.

I'm in Genova in July and so looking forward to returning. Berlin in late October.

Inge, me too. In fact I did this afternoon - I was too tired not too. I finished The Book Thief tonight, and absolutely loved the quiet beauty of it.

The trams, trains and planes in my life these days make perfect reading rooms but I need to dip in and out too ... it's a luxury in one way, simply having the option to do it. I was a voracious reader who took some time off and is returning to those other worlds in these days of busy-ness somehow.

Good luck!

Simon said...

There's always plenty of wine and books here whenever you need them.

Di Mackey said...

Thanks, Simon, that's so very kind. Sahara is devastated she wasn't included on the outing but is making plans for her birthday party, plotting your girls into the day.