Reading the Classics

Montage of “Overlooked Classics” from Christianity Today
One of the things I am doing as a retiree in Costa Rica is reading more than maybe ever before and adding the old classics to my list. To me this goes along with walking for my healthy lifestyle and sure beats anything I can find on TV! 
I am currently reading Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe which is a great adventure as well as an experience in history and geography. Of course it is a novel, but they sailed down the African coast right by The Gambia where I spent 3 years of my life, and after his time in Brazil where I’ve been on a mission trip, he was on a ship that crashed on a little island somewhere near Trinidad and Tobago in the south Caribbean, where my first tropical adventure outside Mexico took place as a Brotherhood Commission Consultant starting Royal Ambassador work on that tropical island with a missionary. 
Reading excites your imagination and helps you relive real life experiences while giving knowledge, adventure, entertainment and a vision for creativity. I love it! Already downloaded for more Kindle reading are Steinbeck, Plato, and another Agatha Christie! (Maybe I will eventually read all of her mysteries!) 
Living in a rainforest small town doesn’t have to be boring! (Unfortunately a few American expats find it so.) And reading is as much of an adventure as the trips I make! Which, by the way, my next trip is to the base of Volcano Turrialba for birding at Rancho Naturalista, the first week of July as my birthday trip!  ¡Pura Vida!      ~The happiest retiree in the world!  🙂

Don Quixote

I finally finished one of the more difficult books to read for me yet, but glad I did. Don Quixote by
Miguel de Cervantes. I read the Edith Grossman English translation which many reviewers say is the best translation ever for this Spanish classic. It is actually two books now published together at nearly 1,000 pages.

More than once I nearly put it down to not finish, especially in book 1, which is just too crazy to really like, yet the plot slowly develops and by book 2 Cervantes is actually making sense of the mixed up world in which he lived and the silly escapades of a crazy Don Quixote, as Knight Errant, and his simpleton helper, Sancho Panza. It has all the tricks and gimmicks of novels today with a little bit of history, probably some of Cervantes biography, and is a parody of the romance novels of the 1500’s which is of everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. It is in some ways many novels within one and for awhile a new story in nearly every chapter, that often had little, if anything, to do with the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Its a morality play, a political novel, a touch of history, and multiple takes on the religious, spiritual, power, class, and money controlling life in the 1500’s. Whew!

It was heavy at times, funny at times, and sometimes just plain boring. Do I recommend it? Only if you like a challenge! And no, I don’t think it represents my adventure in Costa Rica. (Though there might be some parallels!)   🙂

See also my Goodreads Review