I decided to go down the full L’Engle Murray/O’Keefe rabbit hole. It may take a while to finish with other books burning holes in my kindle/on my shelf, but I will finish them!
I wasn’t as sold on this book as quickly as I was with A Wrinkle in Time, but it grew on me. The final quarter of the book was really strong! (And she didn’t rush the ending, or perhaps she did and I’m just used to it now.)
It’s a bit confusing, but I think I have it sorted out as The Arm of the Starfish is the second book written in the Kairos super-series, the first book of the second generation O’Keefe Family series, and the fourth book chronologically in plot line. Looking at the publication dates, it looks like L’Engle bounced back and forth between the two series (and another one) while she was writing in the ’60s and ’70s.
I did it! I finally finished! After almost exactly a month to the day that I started the infamous Don Quixote I finished it. I recapped Part 1 last week because I knew I would struggle to remember everything in it due to how long it took to just read that part but now I’m ready to recap Part 2!
I thoroughly enjoyed Part 2 of Don Quixote. I didn’t enjoy it for the same reasons as I enjoyed Part 1, but it was as great. I think the biggest difference is Cervantes, if possible, was even MORE aware of his works impact on culture and literature. He took the jibes and teasing in Part 1 and turned them into full-blown sarcasm and satire in Part 2. I think a lot of this is in direct response to the “fake Don Quixote,” published before he could release Part 2 and I talk about that in my Reading Spain, AKA an Homage to Miguel de Cervantes post (about half way through under the Biblioteca Nacional Museo section).
I planned to upload more photos but when I saw how many photos I took (roughly 1,100) I realized that was never going to happen. I did finally upload them to Picasa. I’ve always uploaded them to Picasa ever since my first trip to Europe. So why change now? I have realized I need to get a new external hard drive to put all my photos on, but until then they’re “safe” (or as safe as they can be) in the cloud. So that this post isn’t empty of photos here’s our vacation in selfies, one a day every day! I’ve included where we were so you get an idea of what you’re looking at (or not in the bad ones :-D):
In case you missed it, I went to Spain last month (scroll to the end for some GREAT panoramas). I was there for two weeks and it was wonderful. I’m still working on a “recap” post which will probably just be a link to my photos and a list of everything we did. The plus side is that you, my lovely book lover friends, get to have a special post made just for you!
To kick off, here’s a photo of the Monument al llibre statue by Joan Brossa (Wikipedia link) we stumbled across in Barcelona. Here’s a different angle. Overwhelmingly our bookish adventures were in Madrid. I’m sure this is because I planned Madrid and Tim planned Barcelona, but that’s just how it fell.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you might be aware I can read Spanish, or at least eek my way through it. I’ve wanted to improve on my speaking and reading of Spanish ever since I realized I was starting to lose it, but haven’t had much opportunity (aka I’m lazy). What I didn’t know was how all-pervading Cervantes’ was to the city of Madrid and the country of Spain. Seriously, I mean sure I knew going to Madrid I wanted to visit the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the Plaza de España, but I didn’t know I would see Cervantes or Don Quixote (Part 1 & Part 2) EVERYWHERE.
After slogging my way through the first half of this infamous book I decided to break my response into two parts. (Click here for Part 2.) This wasn’t planned, obviously, but coming in at 982 pages it may as well be two books, so I figured why not. (I’m still only going to count it as one book though.) I’ve split this for two reasons: I doubt I’ll remember the first half by time I finish the second and I have so much to talk about related to Miguel Cervantes and Spain, Madrid in particular, it just makes sense.
I first read portions of Don Quixote in my high school Spanish class. It was one of the only works that we read in English and in Spanish. I don’t remember the overwhelming majority of it. The only part I do remember is what has become so much a part of the modern psyche, “tilting at windmills” (Wikipedia link) that I can’t even say for sure it’s from reading the book or just from hearing it so often. It’s sad, but that’s all I remember. What’s interesting is how much more of an analytical reader I’ve become and how I took so much more appreciation from the novel’s absurdity and Cervantes’ critiques on novels and literature in general.
In case you didn’t know, June was an incredibly busy month from being an international jet setter to participating in the marriage of two of my good friends, to one of the busiest times of the year at work, I have good reason to be.
First, I’ll start you off with a photo of Caroline and Nick’s first dance. It’s probably what they were most worried about, but it was excellent! We all had an amazing time and it’s hard to believe they’re FINALLY married. YAY! Here is a shot of the water as the sun went down. This was the view of all the guests during the ceremony:
Now on to the bookish. Don’t worry, I will talk about Spain, but you’re only going to get a VERY brief preview (AKA a lot of panoramas at the VERY end of this very long post).
When this posts, I will be in the air on my way to Spain! Needless to say I am very excited and cannot wait to explore a new country. It has been almost six years since I was last out of the country, living there so not really traveling, and it’s been too long!
For the first week, we will be in Madrid. We have SO much planned from the national library and a bus tour on the first day, to eating at one of the oldest continually run restaurants in the world, a rooftop walking tour and visiting the many museums and bull fighting ring! I’m also VERY VERY excited about visiting the Don Quixote* and Sancho Panza statue on the postcard my sister sent me last summer and getting my picture taken there too!! I plan to start Don Quixote (Part 1 & Part 2) while I’m there to make it even more festive!
I’ve scheduled a few posts for when I’m gone, including an update on Monday (June 15) of where we go for our second week! So don’t worry if you don’t get an immediate response from me.
*I’m going to stick with the “x” version of Quixote as that is the way it is spelled in the title of the version I am reading. The postcard, and many other places have the “j” version, Quijote.