Fun Facts Friday: Pío Baroja
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / December 28, 2018

Pío Baroja (28 December, 1872 – 30 October, 1956) was a Spanish writer, biographer and physician. Portrait by Joaquin Sorolla (1914) Books by Pio Baroja* Born as Pío Baroja y Nessi in San Sebastián , his father was Serafin Baroja, a noted writer at the time. Baroja started writing seriously at the age of 13. Even though he was a licensed physician, he only practiced for a short time in Cestona. His time as a student, however, was not wasted as it was material for his novel The Tree of Knowledge (El árbol de la ciencia – 1911). Other jobs the writer had were managing bakery of his aunt Juana Nessi ,and running for the Spanish parliament as a radical Republican. In 1899 the author met the Oscar Wilde and Jacques Élisée Reclus. In 1903 Mr. Baroja visited Tangier as a war correspondent for the newspaper El Globo. Ernest Hemingway was a fan of Mr. Baroja. When they met in October 1956 Mr. Hemingway said: “Allow me to pay this small tribute to you who taught so much to those of us who wanted to be writers when we were young. I deplore the fact that you have not yet…

Book Review: Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / January 10, 2018

About: Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a novel from this award winning author. This is the author’s second novel. 304 pages Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Language: English ISBN-10: 0544944607 My rating for Call Me Zebra – 4 Buy Call Me Zebra from Amazon.com* More Books by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi Thoughts: I have no idea why I chose to read this novel, I don’t like stream of consciousness narrative mode, and I have very little interest in the troubled minds of 22 year old women. That being said, I found Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi difficult to put down. Almost like watching a train wreck happening and you can’t look away. This is a sharp, yet bizarre and demented story. The protagonist is so self-absorbed in her own journey, literature and ancestors that it’s almost laughable. She expects that any moment the rest of the world would embrace her vision of reality and the “truth”. I did enjoy the homages to some of my favorite writers, and some which I appreciate but will probably never read. The dead writers are very real to Zebra, real as any other person who spews wisdom and advice at you….

Book Review: Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
5 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / November 28, 2017

About: Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones is a fictional book taking place in 1300s Spain, Barcelona to be more accurate. The book was published in 2006 and has been translated by Nick Caistor. 611 pages Publisher: Penguin Group Language: English ISBN-10: 0525950486 My rating for Cathedral of the Sea– 5 Buy Cathedral of the Sea from Amazon.com* More Books by Ildefonso Falcones Thoughts: When I started reading Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones the book that immediately came to mind was Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, the general themes and times seemed to be very similar, but the storytelling is, of course, very different. The author does an excellent job moving the story along, even for such a large book. The descriptions of living a life, challenges, and classes of old Barcelona, as it is about to become a world center, are fascinating, engaging, and interesting. The author doesn’t paint Spain with rose colored glasses, he talks about bigotry, the horrible Inquisition (whose main job was the steal the money of the rich, not necessarily conversion), commerce, and economic inequality. On top of all those there are the issues people struggle with to this day, religion, morality, the everyday problems life throws at you and…

Book Review: The Talmud: A Biography by Harry Freedman
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / October 30, 2014

t’s amazing to read about the history of the Talmud paralleled that of the Jewish people. During the pogroms and ages which anti-Semitism was a societal and politically accepted, those who seek to destroy the Jews tried also to destroy the Talmud, mainly because they didn’t understand what it was about (ridiculously bringing about the blood-libel scenarios over and over).

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