One of the great pleasures of staying in hostels and small guesthouses with a certain international clientele is access to their book exchange !
The best thing about it is the very limited and random selection available. Here's a list to remind me what I read and then passed on. All highly recommended:
Rouge Brésil Jean Christophe Ruffin
Saga of two children accompanying a 16th century attempt to found a French colony.
Plays vol. II Harold Pinter
Strange to plunge into that era again… in Bogota !
Learnt from it that an old school friend, Judy Buxton, starred in the Young Vic production of The Lover !
An artist of the floating world / A pale view of the hills Kazuo Ishiguro
Delicate portraits in post-war Japan.
Le voyant Jérôme Garcin
The incredible story of a blind young resistant and postwar intellectual.
The chase Alejo Carpentier
A harrowing evocative tale of torture in a Havana-like city (read twice !)
Most of these, you note, do not concern this part of the world. Anything local was in Portuguese or Spanish… or Dutch or German – no Anglophone tourists in South America. (Bernard managed to read Isabel Allende’s Paula in the original thanks to a dictionary … from a BE... !)
But this weird collection provided a very welcome change from guidebook overload. All of which of course, we also picked up in book exchanges !