I’ve just finished reading the book “Hidden Madrid. A walking guide”, by Mark & Peter Besas, two Madrileños originally from New York. The book is terrific. It has hundreds of tales, anecdotes, curiosities, pictures, etc… of the city of Madrid:
- The origin of futbolin.
- The suicide mission of Eloy Gonzalo at Cascorro.
- The voices of Palacio de Linares (Casa de America).
- The origin of Atocha.
- The miracles of San Isidro.
- The priviledges of Paco the dog…
Last month I read a similar book about New York, written by another New Yorker (this one originally from Ohio), John Keatts, “Tales of New York: Some Will Surprise You”.
We met John at the Circle Line boat tour around the island of Manhattan last December. He was our guide. He not only had a very pleasant voice but kept telling more and more facts, stories and anecdotes about the city and the persons who marked the history of NY during the 3-hour journey.
He mentioned that he had written a book with these stories and when we were leaving the boat, my partner Luca saw him handing his book to someone, so we decided to stop and buy it. Another terrific book. As he puts it in his web:
- A poor farm boy who began a simple ferry boat service, and became a millionaire
- A renowned bridge-builder whose work on a statue would change his life
- A newspaper man who seized an opportunity
- A man whose building forced our skyline upward…
And yet a month before I read “How to survive Holland”, by Martijn de Rooi. Another wonderful book explaining many facts (traditions, food, history, sightseeing, sports…) about the Netherlands delivered with some self-deprecating humour and irony.
All three books are strongly recommended.