Escape artists and Travelogues Spain Books

The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society – Chris Stewart

Almond Blossom Appreciation SocietyDuring my first three years in Spain I read every book on the country that I could get my hands on. The travelogues that I most enjoyed came from a bygone era – Orwell’s outstanding Homage to Catalonia, the brilliant Voices of the Old Sea by Norman Lewis, to name two of my favourites. Apart from Duende (another great book, but is it all true?), the only contemporary book of this genre that I really enjoyed was Driving Over Lemons, by Chris Stewart, with its quiet and pleasant tales of setting up home and farm in Andalusia’s Alpujarra mountains.

Well, Chris Stewart is back, with part three, The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society. It’s much the same as the first two instalments, lots of amusing encounters with the locals, and local animals (in the first few chapters we cover dung-beetles, an escapee parrot, and the usual errant sheep), but if Chris Stewart is living your particular dream, then this book will be just as enthralling as the first two.

Personally, having been in Spain for a while, I now tend to judge contemporary Spain books on how much I can still learn from them about Spain, and on that count ABAS is doing pretty well. So far I have discovered that a Carmen (leafy enclosed patio in Granada) is only a Carmen if it has a view of the Alhambra, that the Moors would verbally threaten olive trees that produced no fruit, and that I must read more Michael Jacobs… Thanks Chris!

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