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Forum Book Club - Getting started, with book nominations

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Some great ideas for a Forum Book Club were suggested on a Zoom call today. I'm outlining a simple approach below, and let's see how it goes.

Here is the plan :):
  1. Develop a list of candidate books. People suggest books in the thread below, and I update the list in post #2.
  2. At intervals, we start a new thread - one book per thread, and one new book/thread every couple of weeks or so.
  3. We'll try to put the list in tentative order, so people have a few weeks to find and read books if they want.
  4. If you can't read the book at the time of the initial discussion, you can still comment on the thread in the future.
Here are some ideas on criteria for selected books, but we can adjust as appropriate:
  1. Camino de Santiago is a central theme.
  2. Generally not self-published memoirs, particularly by forum members (i.e. Book should be written and edited professionally, and we want to avoid both self-promotion and hurt feelings.)
  3. May be paper book, e-book or audio book.
  4. Maybe be fiction or non-fiction, but generally not strictly "guide books".
  5. For selection of "next book," I'll get it started, but maybe we can have an occasional poll for input.
[By the way, there is no reason that any forum member cannot start a new thread on a book as long as they respect Rule #3 about commercial posts. However, if we do this in an organized "Book Club" fashion, we might get better interaction among interested forum members. Also, we can stretch out the experience over the months as we wait patiently to walk!]

With all this in mind, make your book suggestions below, and I will start the ball rolling.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
List of books for possible discussion in the Forum Book Club.

Initially, the order is random, but once we get some more books on the list, I will revise to indicate a tentative sequence
  • The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson
  • The Great Westward Walk, by Antxon Gonzalex Gabarain
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
  • The Year We Seized the Day by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles
  • To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela by Kevin A. Codd
  • A Hug for the Apostle: On Foot from Chartres to Santiago de Compostela by Laurie Dennett
  • Buen Camino! A Father-Daughter Journey from Croagh Patrick to Santiago de Compostela by Natasha & Peter Murtagh
  • Sinning Across Spain: Walking the Camino by Ailsa Piper
  • Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino by Joyce Rupp
  • Two Steps Forward: A Novel by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist
  • All the Good Pilgrims: Tales of the Camino de Santiago by Robert Ward
 
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CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Scott, Robert A. 2010. Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage and the Healing Power of Prayer. UC Berekely Press. (largely a medical history of the material economy of pilgrimage routes, including the way of St. James).

Michener, James. 1968. Iberia. (Especially the final chapter on the way of St. James). Penguin/random House. Quite a lark... often not so much well informed as very persuasive as a raconteur.

Turner, Victor. 1973. "The Centre Out There: pilgrim's goal" in History of Religions Vol 12:3, pp 191-230. An anthropological analysis of the structure of pilgrimage over time and place.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Wow! Over 20 books have been nominated, and I can't process any more for now. You are free to add suggestions to this thread, but I have already made a shortlist of 10 that we will vote on for this round. I applied the criteria mentioned in Post #1, and then considered cost and availability in different formats.

Life is getting in the way of my forum fun, and I won't be able to set up the poll until Thursday. In the meantime, you can start reading reviews and get ready to vote! You might want to reserve some of these books at your local library, too.

Here are the 10 finalists we'll pick from, in alphabetical order by author:
AUTHORTITLEPAPERE-BKAUDIO
1Codd, Kevin A.To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela YesYes
2Downie, DavidParis to the PyreneesYesYesYes
3Gabarain, Antxon GonzalexThe Great Westward WalkYesYes
4Hitt, JackOff The Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down The Pilgrims Route Into SpainYesYes
5Kevin, TonyWalking the Camino (from Granada)YesYesYes
6Piper, AilsaSinning Across Spain: Walking the Camino YesYesYes
7Rupp, JoyceWalk in a Relaxed MannerYesYes
8Simsion, Graeme, and Anne BuistTwo Steps Forward: A Novel YesYesYes
9Sumption, JonathanPilgrimage YesYes
10Ward, RobertAll the Good Pilgrims: Tales of the Camino de Santiago YesYes


 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Year of past OR future Camino
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi
What a great idea - I'm in.
The libraries in my city are closed because of you know what. And the bookstores. I'll have to order the books from Amazone and I hope I'll get the books in time to be part of the book talk.
 
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Allyson Hughes

just one more...
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances fall of 2017
Le Puy en Velay Aug-Sept 2019 and
Camino Frances Sept.-November 2019
I started reading that book a year ago, but although interesting, it was too "mystical" for my particular taste.
Yes...the Camino was mystical for me. I don't need a guide to the Camino....I would like to discuss about the mystical aspects of the camino with others that they experienced.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I am amazed, but not surprised, by the wonderful list compiled in less than 24 hours.
To C clearly for agreeing to put this together, and to all of those who have enriched my reading life by your submissions: Muchas gracias!! Reading, running and riding have been my sanity savers during the past 13 months. Now I have much more to add to my list.
Not suggesting anything is amiss, but our local library is quite small and Camino lore doesn't feature prominently (OK, not at all) in the local selections. [Our local line is that the library is closed today because someone has checked out "the book".] This means our local bookstore is going to get some unexpected business, finding and ordering books. Buen Camino.
 
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Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Fantastic book thread idea! Can the book list idea be expanded to include all the Caminos including the Francigena?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Can the book list idea be expanded to include all the Caminos including the Francigena?
The list doesn't depend on which Camino route. At this point, it is just a list of 10 books about the Camino, selected from suggestions in the thread above. We will vote on which one(s) to use in a new "Book Club" thread. If this goes well, we'll try another book, and we might even open the list for more suggestions.

I am making up the rules for the Book Club, as we go! (I'm not committing to a comprehensive list of books about the Camino!)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I'm surprised "I'm Off Then" by Hape Kerkeling is not in the offering. As I understand, it was very instrumental in Germans walking the pilgrimage and I met quite a few of them myself. I am in the process of reading it now as it was translated into English
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm surprised "I'm Off
Then" by Hape Kerkeling is not in the offering
Only because nobody nominated it in time. I'll add it to the growing list for future consideration.

Is it too late to suggest
If you give me a link showing its availability to forum members in English, I'll add it to the growing list. ;)

But remember what I said...
(I'm not committing to a comprehensive list of books about the Camino!)
 

FamPed

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
  • The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson

A really good book, I see that nobody has nominated it. I would like to read and talk about it with you all. But maybe we shall start with an easier book? *Thinking out loud*

Ps! I have seen the thread with the poll and made three suggestions. :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson

I would like to read and talk about it with you all. But maybe we shall start with an easier book?
Here's a secret - I'll post tomorrow with a thread to start with this book, while we vote on the second.
 

JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés - SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués - Porto to SdC - Spring 2019
Francés again - ASAP
I'm surprised "I'm Off Then" by Hape Kerkeling is not in the offering. As I understand, it was very instrumental in Germans walking the pilgrimage and I met quite a few of them myself. I am in the process of reading it now as it was translated into English
Hape is definitely an inspiration for German peregrinos - every single one I walked with had read his book, or heard about the Camino because of him.

However, like Coelho, there does seem to be some doubt over how much of the route he actually walked!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hape is definitely an inspiration for German peregrinos - every single one I walked with had read his book, or heard about the Camino because of him.

However, like Coelho, there does seem to be some doubt over how much of the route he actually walked!
I'm only a third of the way through the book so far and he has already taken a bus ride.🤔 😅
 
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JamesGeier

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
Many good suggestions. I have read most of them. One of my favorites not on the list is:

Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain
by Nancy Frey

Buen Camino!
--james--
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Not a Camino de Santiago book per se, but an absolutely delightful book to read for any book forum, is "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", which anyone who has walked a camino can relate to.
 

WanderstheWorld

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have a few suggestions for the next list. The first Camino book I read was “What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim” by Jane Christmas. She’s a Canadian author. It’s has some humour to it too. The second is a fiction book based on the author’s experiences - “Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart” by Kamal Ravikant. It’s a fav of mine. Buen Camino!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Wow, I don't think the list of Camino related books will ever end...it's enough to make my head spin.😳
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago, July 2019
Some great ideas for a Forum Book Club were suggested on a Zoom call today. I'm outlining a simple approach below, and let's see how it goes.

Here is the plan :):
  1. Develop a list of candidate books. People suggest books in the thread below, and I update the list in post #2.
  2. At intervals, we start a new thread - one book per thread, and one new book/thread every couple of weeks or so.
  3. We'll try to put the list in tentative order, so people have a few weeks to find and read books if they want.
  4. If you can't read the book at the time of the initial discussion, you can still comment on the thread in the future.
Here are some ideas on criteria for selected books, but we can adjust as appropriate:
  1. Camino de Santiago is a central theme.
  2. Generally not self-published memoirs, particularly by forum members (i.e. Book should be written and edited professionally, and we want to avoid both self-promotion and hurt feelings.)
  3. May be paper book, e-book or audio book.
  4. Maybe be fiction or non-fiction, but generally not strictly "guide books".
  5. For selection of "next book," I'll get it started, but maybe we can have an occasional poll for input.
[By the way, there is no reason that any forum member cannot start a new thread on a book as long as they respect Rule #3 about commercial posts. However, if we do this in an organized "Book Club" fashion, we might get better interaction among interested forum members. Also, we can stretch out the experience over the months as we wait patiently to walk!]

With all this in mind, make your book suggestions below, and I will start the ball rolling.
My favourites are:
1. Nicholas Luard - The Field of the Star
2. Robin Hanbury-Tenison - Spanish Pilgrimage (A Canter to Saint James)
3. James Bentley - The Way of Saint James
4. Edwin Mullins - The Pilgrimage to Santiago
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I suggest we set up a separate time for the book club forum instead of using our usual forum time on Tuesdays.
I'm not sure how that would work, as I have only been on a few of those zoom calls. Here on the forum, more people can participate - in their own time zones!

In the meantime, pop over to this thread on the first book, and give your comments and questions about the Gitlitz and Davidson book. :)
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago, July 2019
Some great ideas for a Forum Book Club were suggested on a Zoom call today. I'm outlining a simple approach below, and let's see how it goes.

Here is the plan :):
  1. Develop a list of candidate books. People suggest books in the thread below, and I update the list in post #2.
  2. At intervals, we start a new thread - one book per thread, and one new book/thread every couple of weeks or so.
  3. We'll try to put the list in tentative order, so people have a few weeks to find and read books if they want.
  4. If you can't read the book at the time of the initial discussion, you can still comment on the thread in the future.
Here are some ideas on criteria for selected books, but we can adjust as appropriate:
  1. Camino de Santiago is a central theme.
  2. Generally not self-published memoirs, particularly by forum members (i.e. Book should be written and edited professionally, and we want to avoid both self-promotion and hurt feelings.)
  3. May be paper book, e-book or audio book.
  4. Maybe be fiction or non-fiction, but generally not strictly "guide books".
  5. For selection of "next book," I'll get it started, but maybe we can have an occasional poll for input.
[By the way, there is no reason that any forum member cannot start a new thread on a book as long as they respect Rule #3 about commercial posts. However, if we do this in an organized "Book Club" fashion, we might get better interaction among interested forum members. Also, we can stretch out the experience over the months as we wait patiently to walk!]

With all this in mind, make your book suggestions below, and I will start the ball rolling
In these Covidian times, and without the opportunity to embark on the physical walk, I have been on a virtual pilgrimage, through the Camino literature, travelogues and histories, but only decided recently to put them all together and I am SHOCKED at how many I have! How does other people's collections compare? And is there anything glaringly missing?
I guess this is just an indication of the times we live in, but I am hoping to get the opportunity to experience the Camino later this year. I have everything crossed!
 

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