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- Posted:Thursday, August 6, 2009
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The best books to take on a Europe-bound backpacking holiday
For trips to Spain, Mr Steed recommends several novels from the Navarro family's tale of action and adventure in Dave Boling's Guernica to the prize-winning classic Nada by Carmen Laforet, a prime example of 20th century Spanish writing - and penned by a 23-year-old no less.
If Italy's a-calling and you're into architecture there can be no better book - as Mr Steed says, "ideal for the liquid city" - than Sally Vickers' Miss Garnet's Angel, set in modern-day Venice. He also suggests Steal You Away by Niccolo Ammaniti, which sees a somewhat older Casanova doing his worst in a sleepy little town.
Or perhaps you're off to Portugal, in which case Mr Steed has offered up Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago - one of the most important texts in Portuguese literature - and The Tragedy of the Street of Flowers by Eca de Queiros who, apparently, has been compared to Balzac, Dickens and Tolstoy.
Phew! Quite a lot of reading to be getting on with there. It should do you for the next few holidays at any rate. Enjoy.
On a completely unrelated, yet nonetheless important, topic - I had a quick perusal of the Stanfords website and found something all backpackers should like. The unisex pocket toilet - bought for relatively little money - will be your friend for life.