4,260 of 4,613 restaurants in Lisbon

We enjoyed our meal in Lisbon, having purposely chosen the restaurant because it offered Portuguese food. That was until I checked out the Tripadvisor entry and discovered that it was 4,260 of 4,613 restaurants in Lisbon, which somewhat took the shine off the evening. My son’s comment via WhatsApp was “Almost the worst one in Lisbon 😂 fingers crossed…”, which was amusing if not comforting, whilst my missus chipped in with “Not like dad not to have done his homework!!!”.

Restaurante Cervejaria Ruca, Lisbon

Six wasted book purchases

I’ve been unsuccessful with my recent book purchases…

  1. Back Trouble – Clare Chambers [Couldn’t get going]
  2. The Whites – Richard Price [American slang too hard to follow]
  3. Towards the End of the Morning – Michael Frayn [Couldn’t get going]
  4. In the Dark Room – Brian Dillon [Couldn’t get going]
  5. The First Bad Man – Miranda July [Half-way through I’d had enough]
  6. All My Friends are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman [Just 110 pages long. Puzzling]


A rant about an unnamed bookshop

Things I don’t like in an independent bookshop

  • Books squeezed in so tight that removal is difficult and replacement impossible.
  • Old, discoloured books mixed in with the new books, suggesting poor stock rotation.
  • Owners ranting on the phone to their suppliers. This is unprofessional. In addition, bookshops, like libraries, should be mainly quiet.
  • Books right at the back of the bottom shelf. I’m 6 feet tall with creaking knees.

I will always try to support a high-street bookshop and so, despite my gripes, I did manage to find two Christmas presents.

Legend of a Suicide – David Vann

legend-of-a-suicideI selected Legend of a Suicide by David Vann from my daughter’s bookshelf because it looked like a short, easy read after the 700 page biography I had just finished. Well it is a short, easy read – I read it in a day – and for a while it’s a good read. But then something happened which completely threw me and from then on nothing made sense.

On finishing the book I checked out some reviews including an interesting review in the Guardian. Well now I understand how I became confused but I’m not sure I’m any the wiser about the book. Some reviews have suggested that it’s worth an immediate re-read, but I don’t think I’ll bother.

Cold in July

imageCold in July is a rubbish film. Slow and plodding, disjointed and lacking in tension and with a poorly executed violent ending, it’s deeply unsatisfying. This sort of thing was done so much better in the magnificent Blood Simple and A History of Violence.

The Soho Curzon is undergoing refurbishment and is a mess. Fingers crossed it will be as good as it was.

The Special Prisoner – Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer’s The Special Prisoner is a stinker of a novel!

It’s a story about revenge for crimes committed in Japanese prisoner of war camps during World War II. Despite being mildly curious about how the story might develop, the stilted writing and preposterous plotting forced me to give up halfway through.

My first thought was to destroy the book, to prevent anyone else picking it up, but on reflection I’ve decided to give it to the Oxfam charity shop. I’m sure there will be many more purchases and returns of this book, generating a steady flow of income to the charity!

This does, however, contradict an earlier post I made on the subject or giving bad books to charity shops…