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4 camino related books

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I don't think so.

In fact, her book was the first I read about the Camino. But I knew perfectly well that it was her unique "spin", so I skipped various parts and did not let it deter me. I still knew I wanted to walk the Camino.
C clearly,
I agree.
2004 my knees ached so much that I decided to spend extra time in Puente la Reina. Truly KO I dragged myself across the bridge and checked into the Santiago Apostol private refuge; by 9am I was fast asleep!
Later while literally crawling to the loo I found in the common room Shirley MacLaine’s account of her trek. I laughed at her description of 'typical ' pilgrims; the woman applying mascara (!!) while hoarding the mirror was particularly memorable.
...The idea of any pilgrim applying/wearing mascara still makes me laugh.
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars



Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

I am a woman and I really dislike this book.

Plus living in this century it would be nice that we finally would get rid of the idiotic idea that there are books that would appeal more to specific genders...:(
 
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F

Former member 99290

Guest
Before I read Shirley Mclaine’s book more than twenty years ago, I’d never heard of ‘the Camino’. I didn’t like the book - as it went on I found it just plain irritating. But … I was left with this thought.

Imagine walking 800 kms across a country. That’s incredible.’

The thought soon left me but then retuned intermittently … and other reminders of this thing called ‘the Camino’ came along in the intervening years and I began to learn more.

So, although I was not a fan of the book, when I set out alone on the Camino Frances for the first time in 2011, I gave a small ‘nod’ to Shirley for planting a seed and to other writers including Paulo Coelho - whose book Pilgrimage I found interesting but didn't 'love' - for nudging me towards this idea. 🙏
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Before I read Shirley Mclaine’s book more than twenty years ago, I’d never heard of ‘the camino’. I didn’t like the book - as it went on I found it just plain irritating. But … I was left with this thought.

Imagine walking 800 kms across a country. That’s incredible.’

The thought soon left me but then retuned intermittently … and other reminders of this thing called ‘the Camino’ came along in the intervening years.

So, although I was not a fan of the book, when I set out alone on the Camino Frances for the first time in 2011, I gave a small ‘nod’ to Shirley for planting a seed and to other writers including Paulo Coelho for nudging me towards this idea. 🙏
anamcara,
For other varied posts re nudges or seeds see this earlier thread.

Happy reading!
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
In fairness, while some of her account and particularly her tendency to meander into the mystical were irritating for many - me included - the author walked the Camino Frances in 1994, at age 60, long before the majority on this forum - me included - had ever heard of it, I suspect. So, an early pilgrim by this forum’s standards and one who, in her unique way, was significantly touched by her experience.
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
MacLaine's book was also the first book I read about walking the Camino. I almost instantly regretted that I had bought it. So I put it down.

As a book club friend once quipped, "Life is too short to read a book you don't like".

Of course we all have different tastes. But count me out for this one.
 

nilesite

Tumbleweed Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2021)
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
I liked her book simply because I'm a girl.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Jack Hitt’s book is what first planted the idea for me of walking the Camino. By the time I got there (2017), it was a much different experience than the one he had.
 
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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Having read The Sun Also Rises a number of times, it inspired us to stay in Burguete instead of Roncesvalles on our second trek over the Pyrenees. Staying at the Hostel Burguete in the Hemingway room (#23) didn’t disappoint. In fact the Trout á la Hemingway in their restaurant was a perfect way to finish off our first day on the Camino.
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
Having read The Sun Also Rises a number of times, it inspired us to stay in Burguete instead of Roncesvalles on our second trek over the Pyrenees. Staying at the Hostel Burguete in the Hemingway room (#23) didn’t disappoint. In fact the Trout á la Hemingway in their restaurant was a perfect way to finish off our first day on the Camino.
You did all the way to Burgette on the first day. Lots of people are saying to stop at Orisson for the night or you will kill yourself. How was you feeling the next day?
 

PNeer

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019, Portuguese 2022
I don't think so.

In fact, her book was the first I read about the Camino. But I knew perfectly well that it was her unique "spin", so I skipped various parts and did not let it deter me. I still knew I wanted to walk the Camino.
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
I don't know what I would think of Maclaine's book if I read it now - but am grateful that she planted the seed in my mind. At 78, I do always recognize a sexist remark from some guy purporting to guess what "women" think.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
You did all the way to Burgette on the first day. Lots of people are saying to stop at Orisson for the night or you will kill yourself. How was you feeling the next day?
There is no doubt that the first day on the CF is perhaps the most challenging. I’ve taken both routes across the Pyrenees from SJPP and found them equally demanding. As it was only a few kilometers on to Burguete from Roncesvalles,
it was not difficult. However, stopping for a celebratory beer at Casa Sabina in Roncesvalles was most welcomed. I know some stay in Orisson the first night, but far more make the trip from SJPP to Roncesvalles as a single stage. Being well into our 60s on both Caminos, it is very doable. My one suggestion to people is to get in the best physical shape you can. Not only does it pay off on the first day, but it will benefit you for your entire walk. We head off for Camino number 6 in April. Can’t wait!
 
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Glenshiro

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - A Rua, Frances, Invierno (2012 - 2022)
You did all the way to Burgette on the first day. Lots of people are saying to stop at Orisson for the night or you will kill yourself. How was you feeling the next day?
I did this in 2017 when I was 64. The last 40 minutes from Roncesvalles to Burguete was the perfect wind-down and I felt absolutely fine the next day. (Walked to Larrasoaña.)
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I did this in 2017 when I was 64. The last 40 minutes from Roncesvalles to Burguete was the perfect wind-down and I felt absolutely fine the next day. (Walked to Larrasoaña.)
I did the very same thing on my 2016 Camino (at 65). The advice that I was given at the Pilgrim’s Office in SJPP was to stay on the road down to Roncesvalles instead of taking the path through the woods. It was great advice particularly since fatigue can be a factor by the time you reach the top. The next day into Larrasoaña was another lovely walk even in light rain. Do keep your pack as light as possible. Whether you’re in the mountains or on the flats, a lighter backpack will benefit you.
 

catperson

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Thanks for this list
I seem to never have enough of books read about the camino
your number five is now on my kindle
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I am a woman and I really dislike this book.

Plus living in this century it would be nice that we finally would get rid of the idiotic idea that there are books that would appeal more to specific genders...:(
I don't think it's an idiotic idea that women have different likes and dislikes than men. In fact
I think everybody should accept the notion that we are different and may have different tastes.
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I don't know what I would think of Maclaine's book if I read it now - but am grateful that she planted the seed in my mind. At 78, I do always recognize a sexist remark from some guy purporting to guess what "women" think.
Now, all of a sudden I am making a sexist remark. You need to get off your high horse. And would never purport to know what women think. I wrote "Women may like it more than I did" which seems to be the indication if you read the comments on Amazon for the book. Stop making wild assumptions about men
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I don't think it's an idiotic idea that women have different likes and dislikes than men. In fact
I think everybody should accept the notion that we are different and may have different tastes.

Yes! We humans have different tastes and luckily ( !! ) we are very different to each other. But the criteria are background, general interest, preferences and education but not gender!

Buen ( openminded ) Camino to you!
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
Yes! We humans have different tastes and luckily ( !! ) we are very different to each other. But the criteria are background, general interest, preferences and education but not gender!

Buen ( openminded ) Camino to you!
I disagree with you. Our "background, general interest, preferences" are influenced by what gender we are. I have found that the most sexist people are the ones that think men and women are the same. We are not and it's time those people accept our differences.
 

Greg Wilson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ingles Sept. 18? or Easter 19
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
Hi Todd,
Thanks for your post, I always enjoy people’s reviews of books they have read. Don Thomas’s FindingSantiago’ sounds good to me. On my reading list now. Many thanks.
Greg
 

CMMCKEON

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Camino Portuguese
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago (German: Ich bin dann mal weg) is a book by German writer Hape Kerkeling. The best book I have read about the Camino de Santiago. Engaging and funny, also informative. I plan to bring it with me on Camino Frances to read again as I follow in his footsteps.
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I am a woman and I really dislike this book.

Plus living in this century it would be nice that we finally would get rid of the idiotic idea that there are books that would appeal more to specific genders...:(
The second most overrated book about the Camino.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival (Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars
This book entered the public domain in the US at the start of this month. It is already free to read in various formats at the Project Gutenberg website.

 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022 / CP Spring 2024
I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago (German: Ich bin dann mal weg) is a book by German writer Hape Kerkeling.

This has been recommended to me several times and I finally got around to downloading it to my Kindle after reading this post. Look forward to diving in this week.

And am I the only one who doesn't hate the Shirley Maclaine book? I found the loopy woo-woo aspect to be highly entertaining (if maybe unintentionally so on her part), and thought the fact that she walked the Camino when there was much less infrastructure and resources than there are now to be quite inspiring.

* P.S.: I'm a guy. :)
 
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nordmark

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Del norte
Of all the books I have read about the camino, I found Shirley Maclaine's book the least interesting and even the most irritating. It is about the camino, but while reading it I found that she herself had lost the way. My favourites are: Jean-Christophe Rufin: Compostela and Hans Annink: A late pilgrim on the Milky Way
 

Reija

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016, CP 2017, Jakobsweg Ulm-Constance 2017-2018, Via Jacobi 2018, (Via Gebennensis 2019)
Thank you, @isawtman, for this interesting thread! So far I have read just two Camino related books, a historical novel called die Madonna von Santiago ( El verdugo de Dios) by Totti Lezea and the autobiographical book "Ich bin dann mal weg" ("I'm off then!") by the german comedian Hepe Kerkeling. I'll take your recommendation and try to find the book by Don Thomas!
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Thank you, @isawtman, for this interesting thread! So far I have read just two Camino related books, a historical novel called die Madonna von Santiago ( El verdugo de Dios) by Totti Lezea and the autobiographical book "Ich bin dann mal weg" ("I'm off then!") by the german comedian Hepe Kerkeling. I'll take your recommendation and try to find the book by Don Thomas!


The book from Don Thomas : for more information take a look here.

Author is a well known and much respected forummember.
 

jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The Camino by Shirley Maclaine
Worth reading so you know what everyone is talking about 🤔 🤣 .
I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago (German: Ich bin dann mal weg) is a book by German writer Hape Kerkeling.
The translation, from kilometres and euros into miles and dollars, spoilt the book for me. There are NO miles and dollars in Spain. He also criticizes albergues, but never ever stays in one.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
None of the popular Camino books I take too seriously (same with the movies) as I know that practically all writer's embellish (caca de toro) their stories. So I take them with a grain of salt and judge the book by what I find interesting and entertaining even though I know it's not all true.
The Paulo Coelo book I could only read a couple of chapters of because of the whole mysticism thing to it (swords etc) and what I found to be cheesy, stereotype life motivation type advice. Fortunately it was a borrowed book and I could return it.
The Shirley McClain book was just too far out in la la land for me. A couple of chapters and skimming through it I decided mas caca de toro. Another (fortunately) borrowed book.
At first I did not enjoy the Hape Kerkiling book, but it grew on me and I ended up liking it. Bought that book for $3.00 on eBay, used.
The Jack Hitt book I enjoyed even though kinda silly. Grew on me. Another eBay used purchase. About $5.00.
Hemingway's Sun Also Rises I read years ago in college. Way before I knew about the Camino. Really enjoyed it, as I do most of his works, even though he was quite the eccentric chap and another writer fond of embellishing from what I've heard. On one of my Camino's I did spend the night at the Hostel Burguete, saw the piano with his initials carved on it but do not remember what room we stayed in.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
You did all the way to Burgette on the first day. Lots of people are saying to stop at Orisson for the night or you will kill yourself. How was you feeling the next day?
Most pilgrims walk all the way to Roncesvalles. If you are in decent physical condition it is not that difficult. I have done it several times and walked all the way to Burguete, just another 3-4 flat kilometres more after a break at the bar in Roncesvalles.
I stop at Orisson for coffee and water, and continue on. I did spend the night once at Valcarlos on the alternate route, but only did so because I left St Jean at around noon and was on no time schedule.
 
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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
None of the popular Camino books I take too seriously (same with the movies) as I know that practically all writer's embellish (caca de toro) their stories. So I take them with a grain of salt and judge the book by what I find interesting and entertaining even though I know it's not all true.
The Paulo Coelo book I could only read a couple of chapters of because of the whole mysticism thing to it (swords etc) and what I found to be cheesy, stereotype life motivation type advice. Fortunately it was a borrowed book and I could return it.
The Shirley McClain book was just too far out in la la land for me. A couple of chapters and skimming through it I decided mas caca de toro. Another (fortunately) borrowed book.
At first I did not enjoy the Hape Kerkiling book, but it grew on me and I ended up liking it. Bought that book for $3.00 on eBay, used.
The Jack Hitt book I enjoyed even though kinda silly. Grew on me. Another eBay used purchase. About $5.00.
Hemingway's Sun Also Rises I read years ago in college. Way before I knew about the Camino. Really enjoyed it, as I do most of his works, even though he was quite the eccentric chap and another writer fond of embellishing from what I've heard. On one of my Camino's I did spend the night at the Hostel Burguete, saw the piano with his initials carved on it but do not remember what room we stayed in.
Couldn’t agree with you more about Coelho’s The Pilgrimage. I, too, could only read a couple chapters of it. On the other hand, I found his book The Alchemist quite enjoyable and, as a general parable, very applicable to why one might walk the Camino. As it is a short, easy read, I pick it up once a year either before or after walking the Camino. I always find it brings me to the “right place.”
 

el guapo 123

El guapo
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 2016 2018
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
Thanks Todd
Agree about Shirley Maclaine’s book but I did enjoy Jack Hitt’s book especially the bit about the mad hospitalero which I thought was too extreme in the The Way. Have just ordered Finding Santiago from Amazon. Too long away from the Camino.
 

SuefromVegas

2022 pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I am embarking on my first Camino the first part of October, unfortunately not the entire distance but a start. I have read numerous books, fiction and nonfiction, including Shirley MacLaine’s. I always kept in mind that she is an actress and that this too may have been portrayed as a part in a movie. Although she did walk the entire Camino, a bit of embellishment was not surprising and at times tedious. I just saw it as part of who she is. She is one of my favorite actresses so I cut her some slack.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
This is what I wrote in 2013:
Camino bibliography

As an ex-librarian, I must offer you a reading list! The first title is the must-have guide to carry with you. The others are for research before you set off. Of course there are hundreds of blogs out there as well…
Brierley, John. A pilgrim’s guide to the Camino de Santiago. 9th ed. (Camino Guides, 2013).
Burkhardt-Felder, Theresa. Pray for me in Santiago. (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2005).
Clark, Trish. Guide to the Camino. (Paratus Press, 2013).
Harrison, Kathryn. The road to Santiago. (National Geographic, 2003).
Kerkeling, Hape. I’m off then: losing and finding myself on the Camino de Santiago. (Free Press, 2009).
Wells, Kim and Malcolm. Camino footsteps. (Fremantle Press, 2008).
 
2023 Camino Guides
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How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I am embarking on my first Camino the first part of October, unfortunately not the entire distance but a start. I have read numerous books, fiction and nonfiction, including Shirley MacLaine’s. I always kept in mind that she is an actress and that this too may have been portrayed as a part in a movie. Although she did walk the entire Camino, a bit of embellishment was not surprising and at times tedious. I just saw it as part of who she is. She is one of my favorite actresses so I cut her some slack.
I don't think she hiked the whole camino. In the book she describes being driven through several towns to avoid the press
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
Frey, Nancy Louise. Pilgrim Stories : On and off the Road to Santiago, Journeys along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain, University of California Press, 1998. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/usyd/detail.action?docID=871912

This is an excellent collection of personal stories put together by an anthropologist. It's a bit dated, written in the nineties but if anything that makes it even more interesting because it reveals a lot of the changes that have happened since then. Highly recommended if you can access or get hold of it.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I don't think she hiked the whole camino. In the book she describes being driven through several towns to avoid the press
The press? lol
I've seen a couple of her movies and such, but to be honest I don't think I'd recognize her (or any celebrity for that matter) if I saw them walking the Camino.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Time of past OR future Camino
CF whole & part 12-19, VF 17, VDLP+ptSbres22
Hi @isawtman - excellent thread! Thank you!

I’ve read three out of the four books you’ve outlined - ‘will check out the Hemingway book.

I loved Don Thomas’ book - there are chapters in the book which will have the reader laughing out loud and chapters which will bring tears. A warning - the chapter involving foot care shouldn’t be read while eating, but wow, some of us know what he went through and all of us can imagine!

Don Thomas has a terrific writing style - it’s a very personal style and the reader feels they’re right there with ‘Don’.

It’s a top read and is one of my favourite camino books, along with ‘The Year We Seized The Day’ by Colin Bowles and Elizabeth Best.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 
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isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I have recently purchased and they are sending me the following books
I'll Push You by Patrick Gray
The Way of the Wind by John W Pearson
Su Camino by Brien Crothers
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
The press? lol
I've seen a couple of her movies and such, but to be honest I don't think I'd recognize her (or any celebrity for that matter) if I saw them walking to Camino.
Back in the nineties, MacClaine was in a lot of movies, and was on many talk shows - probably because of her belief in past lives, and other mysticism. So I imagine that when she walked the Camino she was probably a lot more recognized than today.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019, 2021, 2022
My wife told me that I would not like the Shirley MacLaine book, and she was right. Not because it was badly written, but that it was too far from what I was looking for in a story.

My wife also told me that I would like the book about living in Spain, "Driving over Lemons" by Chris Stewart, and she was right again.

She also liked the Don Thomas book, as did I.

She told me I would not like the book "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, and she was right (Watching the movie just confirmed this.

So, when I next want to read a book about the Camino, I shall consult my wife straight away as she knows what I like before I do, and she is right !!
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I've mentioned this book before, and probably will again: 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee. It isn't about the camino (although it was one of the things that inspired me to walk it). It is about walking through Spain in the 1930's. Lee was a young, penniless Englishman and he mainly supported himself as he walked from Vigo to Alicante by busking on a violin and the enormous generosity of ordinary Spanish people. It's a humble and poetic work, I think written as a tribute to those people who helped him. I first read it when Franco was still alive - the later published version included Lee's involvement in the outbreak of the Civil War.
 

Cicada

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about

My wife told me that I would not like the Shirley MacLaine book, and she was right. Not because it was badly written, but that it was too far from what I was looking for in a story.

My wife also told me that I would like the book about living in Spain, "Driving over Lemons" by Chris Stewart, and she was right again.

She also liked the Don Thomas book, as did I.

She told me I would not like the book "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, and she was right (Watching the movie just confirmed this.

So, when I next want to read a book about the Camino, I shall consult my wife straight away as she knows what I like before I do, and she is right !!
Alisa Piper's Sinning Across Spain inspired my wife and I to walk our Caminos
 
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Steven Dwyer

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I enjoyed reading the pooh pooh of the woo woo in McClain’s book on the Camino. Yes, she did stray from a simple tale of walking the Camino into the mystical realm, but it seems appropriate given where she was walking.

The pilgrimage is based on the mystical voyage of the body of St. James transported in a stone boat surrounded by angels. After sailing upriver to Padron body is deposited and forgotten and centuries later discovered by a shepard guided by a shining star. Then St. James then mystically appears at the mythical battle of Clavijo slaying earning name Santiago Matamoros.

Perhaps sometime in the future a bishop or pope will decree the visions of St. Shirley to be a mystery of the church.
 
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Cicada

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
My wife told me that I would not like the Shirley MacLaine book, and she was right. Not because it was badly written, but that it was too far from what I was looking for in a story.

My wife also told me that I would like the book about living in Spain, "Driving over Lemons" by Chris Stewart, and she was right again.

She also liked the Don Thomas book, as did I.

She told me I would not like the book "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, and she was right (Watching the movie just confirmed this.

So, when I next want to read a book about the Camino, I shall consult my wife straight away as she knows what I like before I do, and she is right !!
Paula Constant's Slow Journey South and follow up book Sahara are both excellent reads
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
My favourites are: Jean-Christophe Rufin: Compostela and Hans Annink: A late pilgrim on the Milky Way
Of course, the first thing I do when reading something like this is to check my bibliography and see if the books are there. I don't have Rufin's Compostela but I do have The Santiago Pilgrimage: walking the immortal way by the same author. Do you know if this is the same book, just given different names in translation or if he has written two books on the subject? I also didn't have the Annink, but that seems to be because I was limiting the bibliography to books I can read (in English or translation) and the only edition I can find is in Dutch.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
This is what I wrote in 2013:
Camino bibliography

As an ex-librarian, I must offer you a reading list! The first title is the must-have guide to carry with you. The others are for research before you set off. Of course there are hundreds of blogs out there as well…
Brierley, John. A pilgrim’s guide to the Camino de Santiago. 9th ed. (Camino Guides, 2013).
Burkhardt-Felder, Theresa. Pray for me in Santiago. (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2005).
Clark, Trish. Guide to the Camino. (Paratus Press, 2013).
Harrison, Kathryn. The road to Santiago. (National Geographic, 2003).
Kerkeling, Hape. I’m off then: losing and finding myself on the Camino de Santiago. (Free Press, 2009).
Wells, Kim and Malcolm. Camino footsteps. (Fremantle Press, 2008).
And then I had to go and check for these, too. :)

I've added the Wells book to my bibliography. I didn't add the Clark book because I expect it is somewhat out of date as a guidebook, although it was current when you put together your bibliography.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
I've read three out of the four books (although The Sun Also Rises was in high school, more than a few years ago). I've been meaning to get the Shirley MacLaine book. Not because I expect to particularly enjoy it. But, like Coelho's The Pilgrimage, which I put in much the same category, because of the influence it has had on others and because I'm a bit of a collector.

I've discovered that people's opinions of Camino memoirs are very personal and what some people love, others will hate. So I really hesitate now to recommend that type of book. I will put that hesitation aside to recommend A Furnace Full of God by Rebekah Scott from this forum, about her experience moving to Spain in a small village on the Camino Frances. She is also the translator of The Great Westward Walk by Antxon (Bolitx) González Gabarain, which is very popular amongst the denizens of these forums. And, not a memoir (so I have no hesitation recommending it), I would highly recommend The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson to anyone interested in the Camino Frances.
 
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isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I enjoyed reading the pooh pooh of the woo woo in McClain’s book on the Camino. Yes, she did stray from a simple tale of walking the Camino into the mystical realm, but it seems appropriate given where she was walking.

The pilgrimage is based on the mystical voyage of the body of St. James transported in a stone boat surrounded by angels. After sailing upriver to Padron body is deposited and forgotten and centuries later discovered by a shepard guided by a shining star. Then St. James then mystically appears at the mythical battle of Clavijo slaying earning name Santiago Matamoros.

Perhaps sometime in the future a bishop or pope will decree the visions of St. Shirley to be a mystery of the church.
Steven, your write up is much more interesting than what Shirley did
 

mvanert

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2023
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas is a wonderful read, I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
 

Cicada

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
What kind of sins are we talking about?
Basically she walks from Granada to Santiago carrying the sins of friends and relatives in her backpack. In turn they pay her to take their sins with her. Much in the same way as medieval believers who paid pilgrims to carry their sins to holy places to buy forgiveness. Thus she funded her Camino.. She received sins of anger envy pride and lust among many.
She tells a great story meets some lovely people and inspired us to walk our Caminos and hopefully a few more
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Basically she walks from Granada to Santiago carrying the sins of friends and relatives in her backpack. In turn they pay her to take their sins with her. Much in the same way as medieval believers who paid pilgrims to carry their sins to holy places to buy forgiveness. Thus she funded her Camino.. She received sins of anger envy pride and lust among many.
She tells a great story meets some lovely people and inspired us to walk our Caminos and hopefully a few more
If anyone wants to discuss this book and missed the thread when it came out, there is a thread in the Book Club about it, which you can still read and add your own thoughts to.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I agree with the OP and really enjoyed Don Thomas's book, written by the forum's @t2andreo. Since each chapter is a short story of it's own, it makes for a perfect book to pick up "here and there" as it needs no continuity of thought to continue.
I have avoided Shirley McClaine's book like the plague and have no interest in "gobbledegook" type of navel contemplating.
Edited for typo as I wasn't in the Navy.🙂
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Do you mean Hape Kerkeling's book, which was originally in German?
Yes, that one, Kape's book...I made an oops. Jack Hitt's book was uninteresting because I never read it.😅 I stand corrected and will correct my post. Thanks for noticing. The book I read was "I'm off then". It was quite humorous and I quite liked it.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Wow! Just wow! I am so surprised and humbled - really, deeply humbled.

To be mentioned in the same thread with some literary greats is frankly both surprising and very gratifying. I wrote in a pen name - Don Thomas - as I was not seeking personal recognition.

An Australian Camino friend wrote to tell me to look into this thread as it was discussing Camino books, including mine - Finding Santiago. When I wrote and self-published it in 2020, I was just finding something to do at the beginning of the long COVID lockdown.

Many, various pilgrims had been nattering for several years that I ought to write a book. While in Spain, I would relate stories over a few beers or wine in the evening. The stories were always well-received. In more recent years, I would jokingly tell people to wait for the book - then COVID hit.

Amazon publishing does not pay a lot per book, so I am still in the red - not having recouped the initial costs of publishing yet. But, as I did not publish my book of personal experiences to make money - I am satisfied.

My sole objective was to put these stories out there for more people to experience. Even if you have not yet done a Camino, I was hoping you might experience it through my writing. That my book found its way into this discussion ratifies that objective. Thank you for all the kind words.

Eventually, I got bored enough with the pandemic situation in early 2020 to compel myself to sit down and write one to two short stories a day. There are more than 50 stories that made the cut, and another dozen or so that I wrote but did not include.

Even now, people who know me write to tell me how they liked the book and to ask about a sequel. My answer was and remains, once COVID is over and the world returns to some semblance of normal, I plan to get out and walk more Caminos and volunteer as much as they will have me. That is how I meet people and obtain more material. You literally cannot make this stuff up. That is what makes the stories so entertaining. They are all true. Only names are changed to protect the innocent - and guilty (LOL).

BTW - and it is explained in the book - the pen name Don Thomas is actually Don Tomás. In July 2019, I had the honor to be inducted into the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Santiago. This group has existed since the Pope established it in 1499, and it is charged with promoting the Camino de Santiago and the cult of Santiago.

Members of this group are lay brethren and are conferred the honorific Don for men and Doña for women. Of course the title is of little use in a civil society that does not permit honorifics or hereditary titles, as is the case in the US. However, as soon as I check in with Iberia at Miami, the "Don" bit opens doors. It follows from there when I am in Spain.

Since the honor was conferred, I have been studying Spanish every day for at least one-hour and I keep trying to live up to the charge made to me at my induction ceremony to spread the word about the Camino de Santiago and to promote making pilgrimage. COVID did not help. But, as a pilgrim, one assesses, adapts and overcomes any challenge.

When it came time to write the book, it seemed natural to direct credit to Santiago and the Archconfraternity. I hope my actions continue to do that.

Ultreia!

Tom
 
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vjpdx

camino-curious
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I learned, vaguely, about the Camino in catechism, but the first time I really learned about it as an adult was via Jack Hitt's Off The Road. I had listened to some of his segments on This American Life (a radio program on American public radio), and wanted to read some of his writing. I really enjoyed it.

The book that really set me on fire to do the Via Podiensis was Beth Jusino's memoir, Walking to the End of the World. I'm just about to start a re-read to see if it holds up. (I hope so!)

Looking forward to checking out Don Tomás' and Rebekah Scott's books!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I enjoyed reading the pooh pooh of the woo woo in McClain’s book on the Camino. Yes, she did stray from a simple tale of walking the Camino into the mystical realm, but it seems appropriate given where she was walking.

The pilgrimage is based on the mystical voyage of the body of St. James transported in a stone boat surrounded by angels. After sailing upriver to Padron body is deposited and forgotten and centuries later discovered by a shepard guided by a shining star. Then St. James then mystically appears at the mythical battle of Clavijo slaying earning name Santiago Matamoros.

Perhaps sometime in the future a bishop or pope will decree the visions of St. Shirley to be a mystery of the church.
Mystery of dysfunction more like it lol. :D
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
Basically she walks from Granada to Santiago carrying the sins of friends and relatives in her backpack. In turn they pay her to take their sins with her. Much in the same way as medieval believers who paid pilgrims to carry their sins to holy places to buy forgiveness. Thus she funded her Camino.. She received sins of anger envy pride and lust among many.
She tells a great story meets some lovely people and inspired us to walk our Caminos and hopefully a few more
So, when you get to Santiago, what do you do with all the sins? Do you put them in a sin bin?
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
Wow! Just wow! I am so surprised and humbled - really, deeply humbled.

To be mentioned in the same thread with some literary greats is frankly both surprising and very gratifying. I wrote in a pen name - Don Thomas - as I was not seeking personal recognition.

An Australian Camino friend wrote to tell me to look into this thread as it was discussing Camino books, including mine - Finding Santiago. When I wrote and self-published it in 2020, I was just finding something to do at the beginning of the long COVID lockdown.

Many, various pilgrims had been nattering for several years that I ought to write a book. While in Spain, I would relate stories over a few beers or wine in the evening. The stories were always well-received. In more recent years, I would jokingly tell people to wait for the book - then COVID hit.

Amazon publishing does not pay a lot per book, so I am still in the red - not having recouped the initial costs of publishing yet. But, as I did not publish my book of personal experiences to make money - I am satisfied.

My sole objective was to put these stories out there for more people to experience. Even if you have not yet done a Camino, I was hoping you might experience it through my writing. That my book found its way into this discussion ratifies that objective. Thank you for all the kind words.

Eventually, I got bored enough with the pandemic situation in early 2020 to compel myself to sit down and write one to two short stories a day. There are more than 50 stories that made the cut, and another dozen or so that I wrote but did not include.

Even now, people who know me write to tell me how they liked the book and to ask about a sequel. My answer was and remains, once COVID is over and the world returns to some semblance of normal, I plan to get out and walk more Caminos and volunteer as much as they will have me. That is how I meet people and obtain more material. You literally cannot make this stuff up. That is what makes the stories so entertaining. They are all true. Only names are changed to protect the innocent - and guilty (LOL).

BTW - and it is explained in the book - the pen name Don Thomas is actually Don Tomás. In July 2019, I had the honor to be inducted into the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Santiago. This group has existed since the Pope established it in 1499, and it is charged with promoting the Camino de Santiago and the cult of Santiago.

Members of this group are lay brethren and are conferred the honorific Don for men and Doña for women. Of course the title is of little use in a civil society that does not permit honorifics or hereditary titles, as is the case in the US. However, as soon as I check in with Iberia at Miami, the "Don" bit opens doors. It follows from there when I am in Spain.

Since the honor was conferred, I have been studying Spanish every day for at least one-hour and I keep trying to live up to the charge made to me at my induction ceremony to spread the word about the Camino de Santiago and to promote making pilgrimage. COVID did not help. But, as a pilgrim, one assesses, adapts and overcomes any challenge.

When it came time to write the book, it seemed natural to direct credit to Santiago and the Archconfraternity. I hope my actions continue to do that.

Ultreia!

Tom
Tom, you have written the Camino Book of 2021! Congratulations!!!!
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
One side comment about Jack Hitt's Off The Road. This was the book coincidentally being read by Emilio Estavez while the Estavez (Sheen) family was on a family roots-finding, motor home tour of Navarra in 2007 (IIRC).

Emilio brought the book to his father's attention. Dad was born Ramon Estavez. His stage name is Martin Sheen.

Opinions were exchanged. I understand one or the other of them remarked that this story - Off the Road - would make a good film.

And so, the popular film The Way was conceived. It was an independent production, presumably funded by the Estavez family. While we mostly like to poke fun at the errors in the film, it DID serve to open a lot of eyes - and hearts.

Over the years, while I was volunteering each summer at the Pilgrim Office, we would see an uptick in the number of pilgrims from any country where The Way was recently released in the local language. For a few years it was funny - odd funny. Then the pilgrim arrival numbers just climbed out of sight. THEN COVID hit, and we were forced to take two (or three) steps back.

So it goes. The popularity of the Camino ebbs and flows due to external considerations. Yet, it always seems to rebound after a reasonable period. Fingers crossed.

Ultreia!

Tom
 
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JimH67

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Since my decision to walk the Camino, I have downloaded about 10 books from Audible. I love listiening while i am training. I find myself listening to many more than once. My favorite at this time is "Sinning Across Spain" by Ailsa Piper. I am on my third time with this book and find it to be my favorite. The title is misleading, so do not misunderstand what she is writing about. It really is a good book in my opinion.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
+ others
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
Hemingway actually implies the nature of Jake Barnes injury during an early passage (in Paris, if I remember correctly). Quite liked that book, and Jack Hitt's as well.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
+ others
Worth reading so you know what everyone is talking about 🤔 🤣 .

The translation, from kilometres and euros into miles and dollars, spoilt the book for me. There are NO miles and dollars in Spain. He also criticizes albergues, but never ever stays in one.
Didn't he stay in one very early in his camino, where he tried to leave during the night but got himself locked in the courtyard until dawn?
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
+ others
The press? lol
I've seen a couple of her movies and such, but to be honest I don't think I'd recognize her (or any celebrity for that matter) if I saw them walking the Camino.
Quite. There is a passage in 'Ich bin dann mal weg', where the author hears a German pilgrim says to another after seeing his name on the albergue register: 'Some nut has signed his name here as Hans-Peter Kerkerling!'
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Didn't he stay in one very early in his camino, where he tried to leave during the night but got himself locked in the courtyard until dawn?
Yes, he did say that happened to him in the book. The book grew on me and I enjoyed it overall, but at times I found him to be too much of a whiner in it especially in regards to albergues (and his disdain for actually walking long distances). Made them out to be really terrible places to stay, which they're not. Unfortunately the uninitiated read that and believe it to be fact rather than fiction. I figured he made all that up as to convey a false impression of albergues thus giving him an excuse to stay in hotels. The real reason he didn't stay in albergues is because he just didn't want to be around other people (common folks?) in that setting.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
Thanks Todd
Agree about Shirley Maclaine’s book but I did enjoy Jack Hitt’s book especially the bit about the mad hospitalero which I thought was too extreme in the The Way. Have just ordered Finding Santiago from Amazon. Too long away from the Camino.
I think you were exceedingly over generous about thecJack Hitt book. It’s the worst I’ve ever read. Sneering and supercilious about some of the locals, their habits and beliefs and also some of the other pilgrims he is supposed to have met. I say supposed deliberately as there are one or two references which suggest he may not even have walked the Camino at all. Any connection between “The Way” and this shocker is possibly that they used it as an example of how not to approach things. Pity there aren’t minus ratings.

Bogong
 

isawtman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
Ice Age Trail, 2014, 2019
I think you were exceedingly over generous about thecJack Hitt book. It’s the worst I’ve ever read. Sneering and supercilious about some of the locals, their habits and beliefs and also some of the other pilgrims he is supposed to have met. I say supposed deliberately as there are one or two references which suggest he may not even have walked the Camino at all. Any connection between “The Way” and this shocker is possibly that they used it as an example of how not to approach things. Pity there aren’t minus ratings.

Bogong
I could really only find a couple things that may have been taken from the book. The most obvious one is about the mad hospitalario named Ramon. The guy was insane and you had to take a crap in his backyard.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
This has been recommended to me several times and I finally got around to downloading it to my Kindle after reading this post. Look forward to diving in this week.

And am I the only one who doesn't hate the Shirley Maclaine book? I found the loopy woo-woo aspect to be highly entertaining (if maybe unintentionally so on her part), and thought the fact that she walked the Camino when there was much less infrastructure and resources than there are now to be quite inspiring.

* P.S.: I'm a guy. :)
I was really into Shirley MacLaine at the time and was interested to read her book although I did skip a few weird chapters. I enjoyed the Camino parts. I couldn't even read Paul Coelho's.
 
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pac1952

Author of "An Impossible Dream"
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2015); CP (2018); VDLP (planned 2023)
What kind of sins are we talking about?
@isawtman - it will become obvious if/when you read the book. This, too, is an excellent read, as is her follow-up, The Attachment, which, whilst not a Camino book per se, touches on some wonderful elements of being a human, especially within the context of Sinning Across Spain ...
 

pac1952

Author of "An Impossible Dream"
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2015); CP (2018); VDLP (planned 2023)
Not about the Camino Frances but definitely about pilgrimage with a lot of interesting history …
“A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith” by Timothy Egan.
That, too, is a fascinating book. Some (small) elements of it annoyed me, but I learned so much about pilgrimage, especially in the first half or so of the book. Highly recommended.
 
Last edited:

Teej41

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2018
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
I did read the Shirley Maclaine book many moons ago and agree with others that she seems to have drifted off to another planet at various stages of her Camino. I am not at all a Hemingway fan so can't comment on that one. I have 'pencilled in' the Don Thomas book to read very soon so many thanks for bringing that one to the attention of everyone on this post. I am currently reading another account of a Camino entitled 'Walking On Edge: A pilgrimage to Santiago' by Reino Gevers. I am just over halfway through it and I must say that for me it's one of the most satisfying Camino books that I've come across. It doesn't pretend to be a guide book and in any case he starts from Lourdes then walks the Camino Aragones and Norte passing through Oviedo so there's very little overlap with the C. Frances. But that doesn't matter as the main intention of the author is relating the feelings and emotions that he experiences and what he learns from these, day by day. The central 'character' is someone named 'Chuck' whom the author befriends early in the narrative. Having done the Camino(s) 'many times' Chuck is the worldly-wise font of spiritual sustenance. The book is quite liberally garnished with Chuck's 'teachings'. More than anything else it's quite a philosophical sort of read. After having completed my own Camino (Frances) from SJPDP to Finisterre in Sept/Oct 2019 I find that there's a lot of what I've so far read in Gevers' book that I can relate to.
I was profoundly moved by my own Camino experience and am still in process of writing it up in a blog slowly, over two years later! Currently on day 15.. in Burgos! ...tgcaminos.com
 

Nigel Clark

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF May /June 2017
CF Sept / Oct 2019
My first encounter with the Camino was reading : A Canter to St James by Robin Hanbury-Tenison back in 1989.It is an account of his journey to SDC with his wife by horseback . I borrowed it from the Library but still do not know why as I have no interest in horses but it sowed the first seeds of desire to walk the Camino although I waited 28 years before achieving my first !!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
(2021)
When reading The Sun also Rises did you catch the lines about Jake Barnes talking to a man named Harris who was most likely was a pilgrim?

"In the evenings we played three-handed bridge with an Englishman named Harris who had walked over from Saint Jean Pied de Port"…page 125
 
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Evan Lacer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Post Covid
I've mentioned this book before, and probably will again: 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee.... Lee was a young, penniless Englishman and he mainly supported himself as he walked from Vigo to Alicante by busking on a violin and the enormous generosity of ordinary Spanish people. It's a humble and poetic work, I think written as a tribute to those people who helped him.
Indeed it is a classic. Dick, here are two short videos for your viewing pleasure.



What great people ordinary Spaniards are. 👍👍
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hi, I have recently read 4 camino related books and I though I would
relay my opinions about them.

The Camino by Shirley Maclaine: The Book starts out good enough but she starts having
dreams and in the later part of the book the dreams take over. It's a bunch of new aged
metaphysical gobblygook about Atlantis. One out of five stars

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Not a book about the Camino, but it involves
several locations on the Camino Frances. The novel follows former Soldier Jake Barnes
from nightlife in Paris to fishing in Burgette but mostly captures the San Fermin Festival
(Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Four out of five Stars

Off the Road by Jack Hitt: The book follows Jack's Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
to Santiago. Jack does meet up with an interesting bunch of people hiking the Camino.
Unfortunately, Jack veers off the Camino and spends some chapters on stuff that is only
barely related. Some of it is fairly gross. Jack should have learned from Hemingway
not to mention some things. For instance, Jake Barnes is a former soldier who was
injured in World War 1, but Hemingway never mentions what the injury is. I bought the
Jack Hitt book because the movie The Way is based on part of it. But I could only
find one or two scenes in the movie that may have been attributed to Hitt. Two out of Five Stars

Finding Santiago By Don Thomas: An amazing collection of stories about hiking caminos and also
volunteering at the Pilgrim's Office. There are 56 chapters and each one has a different story. Some
of the stories are funny, some are sad and others are inspirational. It's an easy book just to pick up
if you have ten minutes to spare and you want to do something. Most of the stories are just a few
pages long and the longest story is about 10 pages long. Five out of Five Stars.

Women may like the Shirley Maclaine book more than I did. But, starting at about Chapter 15 of the
book she goes full bore into the new age dreams, and when she isn't writing about the dreams she
is writing about avoiding the press.

That's all for now, Todd
I first heard about the camino when reading Therapy by David Lodge..... it's great, hope more people read it !
 

PhxRiles

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Leon to Santiago) 2019
I guess I'm a little different. I prefer stories of achievement, overcoming adversity and obstacles. That's why "I'll Push You" appealed to me, as opposed to more popular "celebrity" books my MacLaine and Coelho. There's another good one that came out recently called "My Own Pace" by Bryan Steward. His story of hiking the Camino with Becker muscular dystrophy. Maybe not quite as good as "I'll Push You," but close.
Just like we all walk our own Caminos, we all have different favorite books. :)
 
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