Even the best-laid plans, in my expertise, usually don’t survive contact with holidays. Not like some previous journeys that shall stay anonymous however know what they did, fortunately this time round there have been no hurricanes, passport thefts, norovirus outbreaks or different crises. Nevertheless it turned out my studying listing was method off base: the very last thing I needed, whereas baking in beach-town warmth, was to learn novels about others doing the identical. So “The Guest” stays firmly in my to-read pile.
As a substitute I learn “Lee Miller: A Life,” by Carolyn Burke, which I tossed into my carry-on on the final minute. Miller, a pioneering artist and photojournalist, had a Forrest Gump-like potential to cross paths with historical past, and the biography had me marking each fifth web page or so to notice her perspective on a well-known Twentieth-century determine or occasion.
For causes I can not clarify however didn’t resist (holidays transfer in mysterious methods, finest to not struggle it), I then felt compelled to reread “The Firm,” by John Grisham, which I don’t suppose I’d picked up since faculty. In our post-Panama Papers period, the 1991 ebook appears nearly healthful: how naïvely loyal for such a agency to restrict its soiled dealings to only one institutional consumer! And the way extraordinary that the attorneys concerned could be keen to danger jail and work 90-hour weeks for the prospect at a wage within the mid-six figures.
However I used to be in Spain, and nonetheless myself, so it wasn’t too lengthy earlier than I began to consider the Franco dictatorship and its unresolved legacy. “Ghosts of Spain,” by Giles Tremlett, does a superb job of capturing not simply the historical past however the feeling of a rustic that has charged into the longer term with out totally acknowledging the previous.