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Granada On

About Granada, Spain: tips and tricks for the urban explorer, extended visitor or people simply living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

(This is a review I posted to Amazon Kindle about this book, I liked it enough that I thought it also belonged here – go buy the book)

A confession, I bought this particular book on Granada because I had visited the city previously and attended a conference hosted by the author to whom I struck up a relationship. Since I knew he had written a guide I purchased that when I returned here on a holiday. There is a natural bias towards someone we know as a friend which I feel is now mitigated by this confession.

Granada On is not a guidebook in the traditional sense of the word. There is no index of places to eat and no direct listing of places to visit with accompanying scaled down aged stock artwork. If you are looking for a book to tell you exactly what you should look at and where, then Lonely Planet et al. have a guidebook for you.

Granada On is so much more than that. It is a history, a passion, a conversation. Juan takes us on a journey flicking between the history of the city, region and country and his own experiences. We meet him as a child and share his early understandings and return with him as an adult to re-visit those memories.

We wander, we meander, we stroll around the city not as a tourist looking for the trappings of some common experience, but as friends, as lovers sharing a passion for this beautiful location.

In his fluid writing style Juan encourages us to meander as much through the book as we would the city. Jump in and around its sections as you prepare to visit and while you are here. This guidebook will help you appreciate the reasons for why the city is as we see it today.

Unlike other books Juan will also take you on a personal, and reflective, stroll along streets literally laced with art. He discusses the graffiti (of which he is a huge fan) and the mindset of the people who created the magnificent city you are in.

To an English ear the prose is clearly from someone whose first language is not English. In this book that is a genuine plus. The writing is clear and fluid, Juan is an accomplished writer in English, but its structure and word choices are not standard they come from a more musical tongue and the rhythm and metre of the sentences match a pseudo-romance tongue.

This lyrical use of English adds to the books genuine authenticity, its conversational tone from a local, you could be walking down a cobbled road awaiting the next reveal of architecture, or a personal anecdote, or a cultural trinket. Juan helped me to picture the places, to feel and experience them, without even being there.

But Granada On, it is a ridiculously low price, and read it, dip into it, and use it to guide you around Granada. It will prepare you for the attitude best taken on visiting this region, reveal trinkets and details only a local would know (and even some details that they are oblivious to). Then, when you return or move on, return to it again and relive being here.

(Visited Granada in 2015 and 2017)

Note Bene: While visiting Granada this year we had the luxury of spending some time with Juan and his wife (and if my memory wasn’t a sieve I would recall her name). It was then that we discovered the real source of Granada history as he was corrected about his local knowledge from a real expert :).*

  • He got one small fact about a fountain incorrect when talking to us and was swiftly corrected :).
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A little light reading

2007 was a full year for me and the one thing I never got around to doing much is reading. Well, that is reading the large backlog of books and magazines i have stored, so I decided this year would be different. (I did of course read a lot of chat on IRC, a lot of blogs, posts articles et al in the electronic form, just not a lot of printed material).

In that vein I have started the year by reading more and i thought that I would blog what I was readin as i progressed so that I would have a comparative chart as to how well I am doing and how much the rest of my life screws up this level of reading.

January so far is:

Making Money
Terry Pratchett

This was a gift for Christmas (actually a tradition a friend of mine has of buying me the latest Pratchett each year). It was good, almost all Pratchett is good, with an interesting story and great characters, my main complaint is that he didn't lay into the financial institutions and economics as firmly as he had treated other industries in previous books (Going Postal was far sharper and more allegorical). This seemed to be a flighty-stab as opposed to his usual precision cut. Highly reccommended for a fun read nevertheless and Pratchett never allows his societal statements to get in the way of a rattling good read.

Stardust
Neil Gaiman

Another Christmas present and from a much-loved author of mine. i have been a big fan of Gaimen's ever since i read Sandman issue 5 and he doesn't disappoint here. i am so glad i saw the film first as i think i would have enjoyed it less after reading the book. As always Gaimen manages to weave a rich tapestry of colours and shapes in a few sentences (bastard!) and also conveys great emotional depths without the need for protracted exposition. Excellent book and a good guide to authors who want to write fairy tales that are accessible to almost all ages (with very slight editing).

About halfway through this anthology and it is fun. Doesn't have some of the qualities of the TV series but i do like different slants on well established characters and the artists do a great job as is usual for these types of publication. Will fill in more once I have completed.

Just started to read this as i am going to be working on some large areas of linking o the company website, I also want to get a good grounding in the navigation techniques. Even with several years experience at site design it is always good to look at an examination of your field. Cannot post on the quality of this as yet as i have only just started.

Getaway World
E. E. Smith

Managed to find a couple of the books from this series in a second-hand bookshop in Wales last year. Was always a fan of E.E. Doc Smith as a boy and i thought it would be good to read some of this classic Sci-fi again. In all respects it is rather low-fi sci-fi with more element of fantasy and boys own adventure-ish nature. But it is good to offline to in the bath. Half-way through this particualr book and they seem to be exactly as i recall them, pulp sci-fi for the masses. Terrific 🙂

That's it for now. More as it happens 😉

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