It's funny how one thought leads to another! I have discovered Cornflower Books this week and it feels as though I have unearthed a treasure chest of literary possibilities. I have already purchased Crusoe's
Daughter by Jane Gardam in order to participate in the September Book Club and I have added several titles to my reading wish list.

Another interesting connection I made was with the Inspector Montalban series by Andrea Camilleri. There was a very interesting BBC 4 interview with Camilleri who was in his his sixties when he created the Sicilian detective. I read the first five books when I spent a summer in the town of Oaxaca de Juarez. They have an impressive  lending library stocked by donations from the many expats who live there for all or part of the year.

I love the richness of Oaxaca which is the biologically and ethnically most diverse state in Mexico. Sixteen indigenous groups, the influence of the Spanish conquistadores and a lively artistic and literary expat community make this community high on my list of places to explore. There is an Ethnobotanical Garden that provides specimens of indigenous plants used by the people of Oaxaca over the centuries.
Oaxaca was renowned for the cochineal dye.
This July, the girl that my sister and I have sponsored for the last 4 years graduated from the indigenous teacher's programme. Maria will teach in a pueblo in the Sierra Madre mountains in the fall. Maria has worked very hard and was chosen to visit a university in Spain this spring. A great adventure for a girl from a mountain pueblo!

Pueblo home with turkeys

If you visit Oaxaca, you must spend a day at the archeological sites of Monte Albán and Mitla which are even more accessible  than Chichén Itza.
It is funny how one thought leads to another! It does bear repeating. Can you guess how I originally chose the Inspector Montalban books in Oaxaca? It's because I had just visited Monte Albán. Isn't it wonderful how I can travel from Cornflower Books in Edinburgh to Oaxaca in Southern Mexico without leaving my desk? The mind is a wonderful thing!


  1. It's fun to trace the mind's skips from one topic to another. . . I remember long conversations with girlfriends over lunch, back when I used to manage time for that . . . at the end of an hour or two, trying to remember all the astounding variety of topics we'd covered. . .

  2. I will be reading the Inspector Montalban series. I love mysteries. Thanks for the review.


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