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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Book Bag from Toronto

Early Sunday morning, or as early as we could manage after a full day of driving on Saturday, the husband and I woke up to snow falling in Niagara. My phone's weather app had promised a day of sunshine and some clouds, but there wasn't any mention of any kind of precipitation. Somehow, we dragged ourselves out of the hotel into our car to see the Niagara falls from the Canadian side (photos coming later) and then cross over to the US.

Even though we woke up to 20 F degree weather, we reached home nine hours later to 62 F degree weather. The sun has been out ever since and I (someone who generally abhors summer) am super excited to see no more snow or fleece jackets. Two weeks in Canada was amazing but the weather wasn't the best. Toronto wasn't too cold, Quebec city could have easily left some frostbitten toes or fingers, while Niagara was more of a middle ground. I plan to post some highlights of my trip later this week (once I fully recover from the nasty cold I picked up at Quebec), and in the meantime, mention the books I purchased at Toronto's many amazing bookstores.

The entire stack

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to a total of 8 bookstores in Toronto, and bought books at 6 of them. The only reason I walked out empty-handed from the other two stores was because one was more of an art store than a bookstore while the second store had more strange or theory books plus the books cost way more than I was willing to spend. Once we reached home, the husband stacked all the books up for me and did a count as well to book-shame me. (He knows well that book-shaming doesn't work on me at all.) Honestly though, when I found that I had purchased 25 books, I did feel a bit sheepish. Who buys that many books in a week? At least, I am done for the next two years, as far as book shopping is considered.

Books I bought because "I've been meaning to read them forever" (or maybe not for that long)

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
The Walking Dead, Vol 21 by Robert Kirkman
The Accident by Ismail Kadare
The Walking Dead, Vol 22 by Robert Kirkman

Books I bought because I want to read this author but know nothing about his/her works

The Joke by Milan Kundera
The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi
July's People by Nadine Gordimer
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
I'll Steal You Away by  Niccolò Ammaniti

Books I bought because I had vaguely heard something good about these titles (though now remember nothing about them)

People Park by Pasha Malla
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Books for the husband

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Card
Gandhi by Kazuki Ebine
Phoenicia's Worlds by Ben Jeapes
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (not pictured)

Books I bought just because

NW by Zadie Smith
I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Yalo by Elias Khoury
A Woman in Jerusalem by Abraham B. Yehoshua
Happiness, like Water by Chinelo Okparanta


Jules se livre said…
It's still freezing in Québec City this morning: 14 degrees!!! :)
Kay said…
I think you should get a pass on the 25 book bought shaming. 5 of them were for the husband. So, really only 20. LOL

Nice haul! And hope you feel better soon.
Vasilly said…
It looks like you have some fantastic reading ahead of you! :-)
Ti Reed said…
You made out like a bandit at the book shop! TWD comics! I have such a hard time reading them as I have the TV actors stuck in my head and the way they are in the comic throws me off and doesn't seem to fit. Finale this weekend! Can't wait!
Nadia A said…
Wow! Look at all of those books! Awesome! I love Zadie Smith and have been wanting to read NW for quite some time, so I can't wait to hear what you think of it. And, I love The Walking Dead. I've never read the comics, but have been thinking about starting since I am HOOKED on the show. Enjoy all of your new reads!!
Daaaaaaamn, look at all those! You will be reading on those for a WHILE. Isn't it brilliant to be away from home and feel free to buy books wantonly? As soon as I go on a vacation, I find I lose all restraint about buying books. London airport professionals have given me the evil eye for how absurdly heavy my suitcases are on return trips. (Foyle's!)
Lisa Sheppard said…
Oh, that is a lovely, lovely pile of travel souvenirs!
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
Just looking at that stack of books makes me happy - enjoy! Can't wait to hear more about your trip.
Care said…
Fun! And you bought some books for the husband, very sweet. Shall we readalong Flowers for Algernon someday? It's on my classics 50 list. AND I sent you an email....
Belle Wong said…
Wow! I love seeing all the books you bought - and you've inspired me to really get serious about visiting more of Toronto's bookstores!
iliana said…
Now that's what I call a book haul! I love buying books when I'm on vacation too.
Athira / Aths said…
I sure hope it get warmer there soon! All that snow needs to melt as well.
Athira / Aths said…
Yes! Only 20 - that's right. Though I did buy 3 of the 5 books for the husband and he isn't going to take blame for them, lol.
Athira / Aths said…
Looks like it! I hope I don't ignore them like I ignore all books I own.
Athira / Aths said…
LOL! Bandit is right! The second store I went to - I spent 2 hours and came out with 8 books. The owner was like - are you sure you found what you want?

I try not to read the TWD comics when the show is running. But now that the finale is over, I can't wait to get back to the books. Some really nasty stuff had just happened - something I hope never comes to TV or maybe comes after many seasons.
Athira / Aths said…
I'm hooked to both the show and the books! They are pretty similar to each other - at least with the plots - but there are characters in each that aren't in the other and the show introduces events that aren't in the books.
Athira / Aths said…
Totally! What is a trip that doesn't involve buying books? I think being away from my crowded bookshelves enable this behavior too. I was struggling to put the books into my bookshelves. I still have some extra space but I have to move books around and rethink my cataloging system - grr!
Athira / Aths said…
Book-buying is certainly a must when it comes to vacations. I am sure that if I had flown, I would not have bought this many.
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! I cannot wait to get started on these books.
Athira / Aths said…
Certainly visit them! I enjoyed going to many of them, especially She Said Boom and BMV bookstores.
Sue said…
Wow, what a trip, and that's quite the book haul! Nadine Gordimer is a good choice. Another title by her to look for is "the Pickup", the writing style can take some getting used to but it's a great story.
Care said…
Later? I don't have it in the house yet, though I suppose the library might have a copy. Here's my lineup: finish Winesburg Ohio, read Good Lord Bird by James McBride, then Station Eleven because it won the Tourney of Books and then? I am hosting a readalong of King's Misery in June, fyi. But May is looking good? :D
Athira / Aths said…
Yes May is good! :-) Gawd, I don't know why I thought I already replied to you. I may have done it in my head, which I do a lot, or I actually did reply but Disqus or my office internet swallowed up my comment. But May is good - just let me know when you will be ready to start and I will plan to get started around the same time. :-)
Athira / Aths said…
Now that makes sense. That's probably what I did - comment on your
blog. Phew, so I am not going crazy, yet. I wonder too how the audio is.
Maybe too technical to listen to? Maybe not..
Athira / Aths said…
I saw quite a few books by her and had a tough time picking one. I finally picked July's People because it sounded most interesting but I will look at The Pickup too - thanks for the recommendation!