But first you must scroll past my own reviews for the week. Or read them if you're stuck in a waiting room or airport terminal.
I read the edition with the older cover on the left.
Shadow of the Bull won the Newbery in 1965, and if you read my WWRW post last week, you may recall another novel set in Spain won the same award in 1966. As book settings go, Spain was muy popular back in the Sixities.
Shadow of the Bull is about Manolo, son of the greatest matador that the small town of Arcangel has ever seen. His father was gored to death at the young age of 22, spawning statues and museums dedicated to his heroic memory.
Manolo knows just one thing, that he, himself is a coward. He believes that he will never be as great as his father. His father's most ardent supporters begin Manolo's education in all bullfighter-y things when he is just nine years old, taking him to see correras (bullfights) and explaining everything to him. But do they get him lessons? Or let him practice with a cape or muleta (the small square cloth)? No. Everything must be as it was for his father. Manolo will face his first bull when he is 12, having never held a cape or muleta before.
Manolo is terrified of his own cowardice, and begins to teach himself and practice the various moves at night, with his grandfather's cape and muleta.
Susan started reading this book before she left, but she complained, "The first few chapters are all about bulls." Well, not exactly. But this book is heavy on bullfighting technique.
Manolo discovers a true bullfighting aficionado and learns what he is really meant to do, which is SPOILER: to be a doctor and bandage the gored. Does he find the courage to stand up to the Count de la Casa and his father's supporters who have been waiting his entire life (and financially supporting him and his mother) to see him pick up where his father left off? C'mon. I can't give away everything.
I found this novel a little tedious, not just because of the terminology, but because it's written in a weird introspective, practically-first-person-but-not-quite point of view. It's as though the whole book was written as a sixties-ish filmstrip voice-over about Manolo.
I asked Susan if she was going to see a bullfight. She didn't seem care one way or the other about seeing one, but seeing as how she's in Seville, which has the oldest bullfighting venue in the world, I thought it was something she should see, especially after reading how much training goes into bullfighting. She's going to one tomorrow.
Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music, whilst critics hold that it is a blood sport perpetrated as a cowardly act resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses. -Wikipedia
I imagine that both parts of that statement are somewhat true. I simply want her to experience as much of Spain as she possibly can.
In an effort to meet Jill's insatiable princess obsession, I pulled this book off the shelf at naptime yesterday. Jan Brett's beautifully illustrated (as always) version of Beauty and the Beast is way too wordy for a two-year old, so I paraphrased.
I also called Jill, "Beauty" as we were settling into our pillows, to which she retorted, "I NOT BOOTY. I, Seeping Booty." and later, "I, Baby Tangled."
Poetic with just enough repetition, Yonder tells the story of "the farmer on a jet black horse,"as he marries, raises many children, then grandchildren, and finally rests in peace.
Interwoven in the story are pictures and references to the plum tree he planted. The plum tree flowers, bears fruit, and loses leaves with the seasons of the farmer's life. Lloyd Bloom illustrated this story with wonderful textured oil paintings. The text is practically secondary to the huge pictures, rich with details.
I'd love to hear the late Andy Griffith read Yonder.
As it stands, I'm pretty happy with reading this Mental_Floss gem this morning, as well as torturing Patrick with my whistling and singing on this cloudy morning.
Betcha didn't know that ditty had lyrics!
I'll spend the next several days adding the WWRW tag to my older posts. FYI, if you're looking for a specific book review I find that googling "Housewifespice and
" is the easiest method.
Now, making Cari's dream come true, I give you the What We're Reading Wednesday Link Up!