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May 2012 Blog Archive

It's Time

Posted by Ellie, on 29 May 2012. Comments: 0

'It's Time' by Pavel Kostin

"Everything is unique, every moment in the Universe exists in one copy only and cannot be repeated."

"You can be an artist even if you've never finished a single painting in your whole life."

'It's Time' is a book about all the magical new things that you can discover if you’re brave enough to break out of your boring routine and take a fresh look at the world around you. But this is also a story about love. Passionate, selfless love. That may seem ridiculously naive in today’s world… So be it. It’s a book about how, whatever trials life may have in store for you, if at heart you are a romantic, if you know how to love, then everything will work out.

An artist's novel, a journey of life, street art and magic, a story written by the city itself and by the street-artists living there. Our heroes are both ordinary and extraordinary young romantics, they use their life and art to express new ideas. The story follows a group of street artists, not unlike Banksy, Ben Eine, Cityzen Kane, C215, Roa. These characters are secretive. They live in their own world with their own philosophy and outlook on life. But how does one become such urban romantic? We see a freedom seeking artist in Pavel's new novel, we see his journey, his adventures, his dilemmas and his choices. What would you choose? The comfort of daily routine or the free spirit of art? For Pavel's characters this becomes a question of life and death.

"I love this book because, although it is the story of certain unusual individuals living unusual lives, it illuminates all the existence of all of us. Thanks to Kostin's gift for characterisation, we really believe the conversations and musings of this cast of outsiders. They, like Pavel, and like me, are fascinated by the city, and the way we all interact with it. Kostin hymns the urban landscape and the young people that refuse to just exist in it, but live in it, by it, and through it. We see them, and their lives, and their art (which accompanies the text) and we see the way their art elevates their lives. From up on the rooftop, we can see everything, and it is beautiful." -- James Rann, The Translator.


Cookery with a bite

Posted by Amélie, on 20 May 2012. Comments: 0

A Twilight salad, a Van Helsing soup, a Buffy purée or eggs à la Vlad...

Whether you are a Bram Stoker fan or more of the Anne Rice type, you will surely find a recipe for you in this cookery book with an extra bite.

From bloody starters to hematic desserts, the tasty vampire cuisine recipes in this book come from the mountains of Romania to the slums of New Orleans. They are all fully illustrated and are accompanied with trivia about legends of the supernatural from all sorts of countries, and references to vampires in popular culture, from classic Bram Stoker to modern Stephenie Meyer, through Richard Matheson, Francis Ford Coppola and Joss Whedon.

And since wine is off the menu (n'est-ce pas, Mr Lugosi) whet your appetite (along with your wooden stake) with a Dracula Cocktail:

- In a shaker mix 1/3 tomato juice with 2/3 Vodka (or, for purists and if you can find some, Stuica, a very strong Romanian plum alcohol);
- Add cloves, one clove of garlic and a pinch of Cayenne pepper (or a few drops of Tabasco);
- Shake well and serve ice cold.

Enjoy with moderation and, above all, with precaution...


An Evening with Hinrich von Haaren

Posted by Ruth, on 19 May 2012. Comments: 0

We are pleased to invite you to The European Bookshop at 7 pm on Thursday 24th May for an evening with Hinrich von Haaren who will read and answer questions about his books Brandhagen (Panorama of a Small Society) and Die Überlebten (The Outlived).

Hinrich von Haaren was born in 1964 in Bremerhaven and studied German literature in Berlin. His radio plays have been broadcast on Radio Bremen and Ostdeutscher Rundfunk, which also awarded him the Radio Play Prize. Von Haaren currently lives in London.

To reserve a space please contact: or Tel: 020 7734 5259

Find von Haaren's books in our online bookshop.


Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes dies, aged 83

Posted by Ana, on 16 May 2012. Comments: 0

Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's most celebrated novelist and a leading figure in Latin America's 20th century literary boom of the 1960s and 70s, has died in hospital in Mexico City. He was 83 and reportedly suffered a sudden internal haemorrhage.

Always prolific, Fuentes wrote plays, essays, and political commentary, but he was best known for his novels.

The first to gain much international attention was the The Death of Artemio Cruz that dissected the disappointments associated with Mexico after the 1910 revolution and the failure of its promises to bring social justice. It was published in 1962.

His novel The Old Gringo, about an American journalist who disappeared during the Mexican Revolution, was turned into a film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.

Fuentes other best known novels include Terra Nostra, The Good Conscience and Aura, a mystery that contains an amorous encounter under a crucifix with a black christ. The book caused a furore in 2001 when a conservative religious interior minister attempted to have it dropped from his daughter's school reading list.

Fuentes was always identified with the left but usually with qualifications.

The writer maintained a particularly complex relationship with the one party regime of the Institutional Revolutionary Party that governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000. He resigned as ambassador to Britain in 1968 in protest at a massacre of students in Mexico City. He nevertheless accepted the job of ambassador to France in 1975, resigning again two years later.

In the run up to this year's presidential election he described Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI's candidate and favourite to win, as "small for the size of the challenges facing the country."

Fuentes, who in later life divided his time between Mexico City and London, had three children in two separate marriages. Two died tragically, one from complications due to haemophilia and the other from a heart attack.

Classically elegant as well as cosmopolitan and erudite, the moustachioed author admitted affairs with actresses Jeanne Moreau and Jean Seberg.

Fuentes was often mentioned as a possible winner of the Nobel Prize that was awarded to his regional contemporaries Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

He did receive the Cervantes Prize and the Prince of Asturias Prize, the biggest awards in the Spanish-speaking world, in 1987 and 1994.

(The Guardian, 2012)

Find Carlos Fuentes' works in our online bookshop.


Respiro Corto

Posted by Renata, on 15 May 2012. Comments: 0

Il crimine si trasforma molto velocemente, si sposta a perdifiato di cittá in cittá, a ritmo serrato senza lasciare il tempo di capirne i movimenti e chi ne é realmente coinvolto. Lascia scie di morte e sconfitte permettendo a pochi di avanzare e crescere a molti di prendervi parte con troppa superficialitá e saccenza di saper fare affari! Delinquenza spicciola al fianco di organizzazioni e famiglie criminali organizzate e molto esperte, tanti nomi, volti, situazioni che si rincorrono tra le grandi cittá europee e extraeuropee e via alla volta di Marsiglia, punto d'arrivo.

Russia, India, Paraguay, Italia, Francia, Cina, famiglie storiche e nuove leve, poliziotti corrotti o spietati o totalmente inesperti, giornalisti troppo curiosi e ingenui, intrighi internazionali gestiti da troppe teste o troppo poche?

A ritmo di kalashnikov e coordinate geografiche e una miriade di nomi, ci si ritrova catapultati ovunque sino dalle prime pagine e lo si legge col respiro davvero corto.

La Dromos Gang, quattro compagni universitari alla facoltá di economia di Leeds, risultano essere il filo conduttore alla rincorsa del colpaccio che sistema tutta una vita, attraverso un viaggio tra le trame del crimine mondiale.

Un altro bel regalo dalla penna di Massimo Carlotto!


The Pirates! in an adventure in French

Posted by Amélie, on 8 May 2012. Comments: 0

Gideon Defoe's hilariously witty pirate books are also available in French!

Follow the Pirate Captain (le capitaine pirate), the albino pirate (le pirate albinos), the pirate with a scarf (le pirate avec une écharpe) and all their pirates friends and pirate enemies, in their adventures with scientists, manpanzees, whales and the like...

Les Pirates! dans une aventure avec les savants

It is 1837, and for the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain and his rag-tag pirate crew, life on the high seas has gotten a little dull. With nothing to do but twiddle their hooks and lounge aimlessly on tropical beaches, the Captain decides it's time they had an adventure. A surprisingly successful boat raid leads them to the young Charles Darwin, in desperate need of their help.

And so the pirates set forth for London in a bid to save the scientist from the evil machinations of a diabolical Bishop. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, the Elephant Man - and have an exciting trip to the zoo.

Les Pirates! dans une aventure avec les baleines

The Pirate Captain is in trouble. Eager to appease his crew with a boat that has a functioning mast, fewer holes and cannons that actually fire, he splashes out on the fancy new Lovely Emma, spending six thousand doubloons he doesn't have.

Finding themselves in debt to the beautiful but deadly Cutlass Liz - or the Butcher of Barbados, as she's otherwise known - the pirates need to raise some money fast. In a desperate race against time, our heroes embark on an adventure that will take them from the shores of Nantucket to the bright lights of Las Vegas, to the ends of the earth in search of a mythical white whale, and even, perhaps, into the dark depths of madness. But hopefully they'll be home in time for tea.


Jean Gabin season at the BFI 2-31 May

Posted by Amélie, on 4 May 2012. Comments: 0

The BFI are holding a retrospective from 2 to 31 May to celebrate the career of classic French movie star Jean Gabin, including classic gems such as La Grande Illusion, Le Quai des Brumes and Maigret tend un piège!

We are teaming up with the BFI to offer you the chance to enjoy the Jean Gabin season with either a pair of tickets for any film of the retrospective or a copy of Julian Jackson's essay on La Grande Illusion!

Just send us an email at indicating your preferred prize and two lucky winners will be selected at random to win one of either prize. The winners will be notified by email.

Between 1930 and 1976, magnetic French star Jean Gabin built an unparalleled screen image that encompassed both tragic working-class hero and underworld godfather. Highlights include the extended run of Le Quai des brumes a marvellously moody thriller bittersweet whose atmosphere of fatalistic romanticism is brilliantly sustained by Carné and his cast. Seldom has the seedy side of life seemed so utterly seductive...


Presentation for teachers of Spanish (16+/adults) in our bookshop - 17th May 2012

Posted by Sylvia, on 4 May 2012. Comments: 0

If you are a teacher of Spanish and you teach 16+/adults, come along to our lovely bookshop to meet the author of our best-selling course "Nuevo Ele", who will talk about ways teachers can help students to discover and apply positive learning strategies. Virgilio Borobio will also be giving out a free copy of our new course ELE ACTUAL, which is the "evolution" of Nuevo Ele. So join us for a glass of wine and meet other teachers too at The European Booskshop on Thursday the 17th of May 2012 from 18:30.

RSVP before the 13th May:

or telephone 01242 245252

We look forward to seeing you there!


View our April 2012 blog archive »

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