Every saturday starting on the 7th January between 3,30pm - 4.30pm our shop will be taking books to Hotel Garbe in Armação de Pêra. We are also quite happy to bring orders in or to deliver to your door if you live in area.
New year...new web site! We have decided to use the journal mainly for updates and reviews about books and the web site is now focused mainly on providing information on our shop, its location and contacts.
We welcome book reviews, information about events, jokes, recipes, ANYTHING, that might be of interest to our clients that visit our web site regularly!
I would like to recommend this blog to anyone interested in controversial views on life in the Algarve and the interaction between different cultures. It's very well written, funny, and of course honest! Click here
As you all know it's bank holiday in Portugal on the 1st and 8th of December. However we'd like to inform our dear clients and friends that our shop will be open normal hours (9am - 6pm with a short break for lunch between 1pm and 2pm).
There’s only one particular Christmas that stands out for me! I spent it with my parents, grandparents, and my cousins and their parents that had come from France to spend this time with us. They brought lots of food I had never tried or even heard of like pâté, oysters, cheese and perhaps a lot more I cannot recall. I must have been about 7, my cousin Maria 6 and Filipe around 9 or 10. It was by far the biggest Christmas gathering, as we are a small family. It was also the first time I saw a Barbie doll! My cousin got one that night called “Crystal Barbie” and it had a beautiful glittery dress. The Barbie craze wouldn’t reach Portugal for another year or two. My cousin Filipe got a small electronic game and again this device was new to me. But that night my request to Santa also came true! Books…lots of books neatly piled up all around the pine tree! When my cousins moved to the Algarve the following year their Christmas’ were mainly spent with my uncles’ side of the family, so I found Christmas very boring after that as I have no brothers or sisters, or any more close family. Funnily enough the great majority of my close friends had no siblings either so we did divide our time between each other’s house whenever possible. So as years went by the best memories that remained from Christmas were new books with new stories. Books have the ability to fill spaces, transform us and help us grow.
And Christmas is almost here again and if you’re like me you’ll do anything to avoid the last minute Christmas rush. At Magna Carta Bookshop we already have a variety of Christmas cards, beautiful diaries for 2006, calendars, address books, and of course all sort of books, that will certainly make great gifts this Christmas. Our “Books for Christmas” catalogue is also available if you prefer to choose your gifts and order from the comfort of your home. There’s something for every one!
I’m sending a big hug for my cousin Maria in Andorra, who is spending Christmas away from home this year.
I met Ellie almost one year ago...We met over the Internet on a discussion forum at www.carvoeiro.com. I noticed that she was living in Lincolnshire in the UK but was quite passionate about the Algarve. That prompted me to drop her a line!
Well, I don't know much about loving the Algarve but I'm totally besotted by Lincolnshire's countryside so I decided to drop Ellie a line and ask if she'd like to swap places with me!
From that we began to exchange e-mails regularly until we had the chance to meet in person at the beautiful village of Carvoeiro.
I was nervous to meet Ellie (as you do when you meet someone new) but I was looking forward to it! Nowadays my best friends seem to be people over 40's or their abouts so I wasn't worried about the "age gap" ...Nothing agaisnt my own generation of course, but inevitably those who have lived longer have more stories to tell. And I love listening and learning!
Ellie told me about her life in this country. What went well and not so well. I listened with great interest and was very happy to hear that Ellie's memories were being compiled into a book!
One year on and that book is out! Of course you will think I'm biased when recommending this book and I cannot possibly blame anyone for thinking that. After all Ellie is a dear friend...I would recommend her book regardless...But the fact is that this book is unputdownable!
I confess (with great embarrassement) that I fall asleep while reading most books, even if they are good books. Then there are small exceptions that keep me awake. "Algarve Shorts" by Ellie Bowdery is one of those exceptions!
Ellie's memories are full of life, the action maintains a good pace throughout and keeps you hooked to the events. Inevitably you will be turning page after page until you reach the end.
More than just a book "Algarve Shorts" is a journey! Packed with humour, some sadness and mysterious events this book is going to be the new sensation in the Algarve.
Life at the shop has been very hectic! Tourism is finally picking up even though everyone swears that numbers are going down every year...some blame it on the prices, the excess of cement, lack of entertainment, economical crisis in Europe, etc...Personally I think it's a bit of everything and it's a shame that the Algarve is still relying on the golden sandy beaches alone to attract tourism!
I certainly would like to see more green spaces, large sidewalks (or any sidewalks at all in some places) and above everything else a REAL sustainable tourism policy!
As far as books are concerned unsurprisingly sales have shot up with the new J. K. Rowling's book- Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince! I confess I haven't read any of these books but I promised a friend of mine that I'd catch up on Harry Potter and so I will...
For now I'm still hooked on Dan Brown's books... and reading slower than usual as the Algarve wakes up for the tourism season. So please do write to me and let me know what you've been reading and what you recommend.
Every day I'm surprised at the increasing interest in Dan Brown's books - well over year after the "Da Vinci Code" release curiosity on his books' controversial contents has not diminished. I loved the "Da Vinci Code" but the Holy Grail "theory" wasn't new to me. No surprises there; so despite finding the book incredibly entertaining, and perhaps accurate in many points, I have a strong preference for "Angels & Demons". Against "Da Vinci Code" it introduced new facts to me, had incredible dialogues about the eternal conflict "religion vs science" and had enough twists to keep me awake at night wondering what would happen next...and things did keep happening at every page's turn. I find it fascinating how Dan Brown puts all these stories together and I never found any other thriller as gripping as his books. When the moon is out, the mosquitoes buzz in your ear and the heat prevents you from sleep this is the book to read throughout the night... (not recommended if you are easily scared as some scenes described in this book are extremely violent).
Our web site has just been re-designed. I wasn't feeling very well today so I had to stay home while hubby took charge of the shop. Unfortunately as much as my body was begging for some rest my mind was still racing...Ideas for a new web site kept popping into my mind and without offering too much resistance I sat at the computer and I've been here for the past 10 hours or so! I'm pleased with the results even though there is still a lot I can improve and even more things that I can add (and will do in the future). I sincerely hope you like the new looks of Magna Carta. Meanwhile, the heat seems to be here to stay. Many people ask how can a Portuguese woman not "stand" the hot weather...Well, many of us don't! Ask me if I'd prefer a golden sandy beach on a hot July afternoon or being in Alaska and I'd choose the latter without a second thought! As for books, I'm currently reading "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown. Now that I have hundreds of books to choose from I'm finding it incredibly hard to choose what to read next, so I decided to work my way down the best sellers lists. Having read "Da Vinci Code" some time ago, the next one on the list was "Angels & Demons". My expectations on it were low as some people said 'you know, it's just like "Da Vinci Code"', but the truth is that this book is just as entertaining (if not more so) than Dan Brown's most known bestseller! I'm not going to tell you about the book itself tonight in this journal but if anyone has read the book I'd like to invite you to share your opinion on what you read (please avoid spoilers). You can post your comments on this blog. And this is it for today. I must go back to my book now...Goodnight!