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The Pillars of the Earth

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
by Ken Follett
Someone on this forum recommended this book. I just ordered it from the library, thinking it might be a good book to take along with me on my walk. Ha! No-one mentioned it was hardcover and three inches thick!
I'm wondering about buying it through iBooks to take on my phone.
Two questions:
1) has anyone used any of the available copies - is one to be preferred over another?
2) is it a suitable read-aloud for kids (8-13 years)? The opening sentence grabbed my 11 year old son! I haven't had time to pre-read yet....does it get graphic and unsuitable? I would like to have something to read to them each evening and would like it to be somehow pilgrimage-related. Or any other suggestions perhaps?

Thanks
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Some parts of it definitely not read aloud for kids. Being medieval it is quite earthy in places- and some of the sexual goings on were quite hard for a friend of mine who came to hate the book. Personally I found it quite fascinating with the insight it gave- but I wouldn't read anything other than excerpts to kids.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Rachael,

Your children might also enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson's classic 1879 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Considered a pioneer in outdoor travel literature it is free to download in project Gutenberg. It is fun to read and the poor donkey, named Modestine, certainly had quite a heavy load to carry including Stevenson's sheepskin-lined sleeping bag!

Margaret Meredith
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
by Ken Follett
Someone on this forum recommended this book
2) is it a suitable read-aloud for kids (8-13 years)? I would like to have something to read to them each evening and would like it to be somehow pilgrimage-related. Or any other suggestions perhaps?

Thanks

I loved "Pillars" for the details about building medieval cathedrals but agree it focuses on sex a fair bit.

I, like you, continued to read aloud to my kids long after they could read themselves - we all loved it.

Not exactly pilgrimage but books about quests and set in medieval times that might be suitable : "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" by Avi, "Adam of the Road" by Elizabeth Janet Gray, "The Door in the Wall" by Marguerite de Angell, "Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village" by Laura Amy Schlitz.

Not medieval but definitely worth including: "The Silver Sword" by Ian Serrailler.

What about Lord of the Rings? It's about a quest, rather like a pilgrimage, and the book is so rich in language and imagery. I didn't see the films but loved the books.

I guess if you are really keen you could try "Pilgrims Progress" by John Bunyan. Bone up on the allegories first. Personally I've never been able to finish it.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
PS forget taking a printed copy of anything! Download stuff onto your phone.
 
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ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Hey there

I would have to say reading the Pillars of the Earth first sowed the Camino seed for me many years ago.

Definitely not for young people. There are some graphic rape scenes.

Your family may in enjoy reading Travels with my Donkey by Tim Moore. Which is about the hilarious adventures of Tim and his Donkey on the Camino.

I took a Kindle last year and loaded it with other Ken Follet books. I loved it. Super light...the battery lasted for ages.

Hi Lise T, never read "Travels with my Donkey" before, so my apologies if I am incorrect. But I think that is the book someone was telling me about that has the "F"-Bomb in the first couple pages. May not be appropriate for 8-13 year olds. :eek:
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
I use my Samsung S4 as an e-reader as well as a camera. The screen is large enough to make it pleasant enough to read something. I didn't find it so eay with my Iphone 3GS. I agree with those above about The Pillars of Earth being unsuitable for children. For some reason Ken Follet feels obliged to have strong sexual scenes in all of his books that I have read. However apart from that the stories are interesting.
 

cherrys

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct (2013), Finisterre/Muxia Oct (2013), Camino Frances and on to Finisterre Sept/Oct (2016)
Tim Moore's book is hilarious (I think). There is some swearing in there which you could skip over, but the rest of it could be read day by day - as he travels west, so do you. I've read it a couple of times, pre and post camino, then my daughter gave it to me for Christmas, now my 95 year old mother-in-law is reading it and loves it too. Said she's learning more about caring for donkeys than she ever thought she needed to know at her age!
 

Sue M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-Burgos(2012)Leon-Santiago(2013)Sarria- Santiago(Sept 2013),Frances (coach,2013),Le Puy-Conques(May 2014), parish pilgrimage organised for June 2015.
My copy of the Tim Moore book is called 'Spanish Steps'. I enjoyed both that (a light read) and 'Pillars of the Earth', both of which I bought as paperbacks through Amazon. 'Pillars' is a big read and I think you'd enjoy it more reading it afterwards at home. You won't have much chance to get into it properly while walkingthe Camino!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Hola Kiwi-family. You could check out 'Pilgrimage to Heresy' by Tracey Saunders. It is Camino, both Priscillian and modern. Some difficult parts maybe around the treatment of Priscillian might need missing out for children. Also a heavy book for a pack, but it is available for Kindle and maybe other devices.
 
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owms2323

Credential question
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
by Ken Follett
Someone on this forum recommended this book. I just ordered it from the library, thinking it might be a good book to take along with me on my walk. Ha! No-one mentioned it was hardcover and three inches thick!
I'm wondering about buying it through iBooks to take on my phone.
Two questions:
1) has anyone used any of the available copies - is one to be preferred over another?
2) is it a suitable read-aloud for kids (8-13 years)? The opening sentence grabbed my 11 year old son! I haven't had time to pre-read yet....does it get graphic and unsuitable? I would like to have something to read to them each evening and would like it to be somehow pilgrimage-related. Or any other suggestions perhaps?

Thanks
Excellent book. I have it downloaded from Audible, as well as it's sequel World Without End and no, it's not suitable for children.
 

ghostinyou

New Member
I agree with the others about travels with my donkey. Sooooo funny! While on the camino last August, I had flashbacks from the book and burst out laughing. One particularly long, hot, dusty and mostly solitary day, I came across a donkey tied to a fence pole and grazing (his owner was down the way napping under a tree). All I could think was SHINTO!!! That donkey had no idea the photo shoot he was in store! I finished the day with giggles and a spring in my step!
 

NHGargoyle

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Sept 2014, Aug 2016 Português Porto-Santiago Sept 2018
by Ken Follett
Someone on this forum recommended this book. I just ordered it from the library, thinking it might be a good book to take along with me on my walk. Ha! No-one mentioned it was hardcover and three inches thick!
I'm wondering about buying it through iBooks to take on my phone.
Two questions:
1) has anyone used any of the available copies - is one to be preferred over another?
2) is it a suitable read-aloud for kids (8-13 years)? The opening sentence grabbed my 11 year old son! I haven't had time to pre-read yet....does it get graphic and unsuitable? I would like to have something to read to them each evening and would like it to be somehow pilgrimage-related. Or any other suggestions perhaps?

Thanks
That is one of my favorite books and I now look at cathedrals in a very different way. It has been out for quite awhile now so you might be able to get a digital copy of it and it is out in paperback. It might be a little intense for an 8 year old and it does get graphic at times.
 

Leaningforward

Active Member
Not a book for kids. I thought of the book on my recent camino, especially at the church albergue in Granon and the cathedral in Santiago (to name a few) where you can see (and trace delicately with your fingers) the unique marks stone cutters carved in blocks, which served to identify the stone cutter, who would be paid for each stone block.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Kanga,
Great suggestions - we are reading Adam right now and have read all the rest except Crispin and the master and Ladies one. Will get them.

Thanks for all the other suggestions too. We have already read Pilgrim's Progress aloud as a family and persevered to the end! You get into the rhythm of it eventually;-)
Must confess I enjoyed Tim Moore's book far less! Funny at first, but I got tired of reading from one joke to another.
Stevenson's journey might be the answer for this trip (and it just might inspire us to follow in his footsteps!!!)

I read comfortably enough on my iphone 4. Beats carrying a library! And actually, we read far less when traveling than we do at home, but sometimes you just want to curl up with a story....
 
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Re Tim Moore and Travels with my Donkey - I just bought a copy - via KOBO for my e_reader and it is now listed as "Spanish Steps". I am away next week so will have a chance to get into it. I read both the Follett books - and whilst there was some sex I believe his focus was to portray life in the England of the 12-14th centuries. I would further suggest that it was not meant for people under 14 or those with less broad minds. Still "to each her/his own". Buen Camino. :rolleyes:
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
That is one of my favorite books and I now look at cathedrals in a very different way. .
Also one of my favorite books and you have to read the sequel too, 'World without End'. Reading Pillars opened my eyes to the gigantic enterprise involved in building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. Also I became fascinated in the stone masons 'logos' that they left on many stones. I look for them whenever I enter a medieval church or cathedral. However, Rachel, it's not a suitable book for your youngest children! Anne
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'm enjoying this - it's caused me to look for books myself. Here's one that also sounds good:
"As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" by Laurie Lee - a lyrical account of his voyages as a young man in the 1930s is a masterpiece in English travel writing. Lee describes his departure from a sleepy part of the Cotswolds, to London then Spain, armed with little more than an adventurous spirit and a violin. Exhilarating, whimsical and poetic, it captures a fascinating moment in time.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Stevenson's "Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes" gets my vote. I also enjoyed "Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalusia" - Penelope Chetwode (wife of poet John Betjeman). Her sole companion on her ride over disused mule tracks and goat paths was a 12 year old mare, La Marquesa. This was written in 1962 and her story of traveling around Spain, the way of life and the people she met were among the things that inspired me to walk the Camino.
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
The Great Donkey Walk - From Spain to Greece by Pilgrim Ways by Susan Chitty & Thomas Hinde and The Seven Year Hitch: A Family Odyssey by David Renwick Grant. Both amazing journeys undertaken by enlightened parents with their children - plenty to discuss/purse lips at/laugh with etc.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
That was a great book and so was the sequel of which the title escapes me at the moment. I think if you look you can find a beat up paperback copy of either or both in just about any used book store. Forget the e reader it's one more thing to have to worry about.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Forget the e reader it's one more thing to have to worry about.
I disagree - you just use the Kindle app on your mobile phone. A thousand book library for the weight of 1/2 an apple.
My spouse, as someone who used to carry my paperbacks, wholeheartedly concurs.
Most people take their mobile phone so it's nothing extra.
My phone has now replaced camera, maps, books, watch, alarm clock, music player, cinema ......
And if Siri could only lift things, do the washing and take out the garbage the old man would be in trouble.
 

jprogers

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2005
Ptgse 2007 Norte 2009 Ingles 2011
Vasco del 2013 Ourense to SdC 2016
Invierno? 2020
I enjoyed Tim Moores book. If you are ever on the Tunnel route you go through Vitoria. Ken Follett has donated a large amount of money to help with the restoration of the huge Cathedral in Vitoria - it is really worth a look and I believe it will take a long time to restore.
 
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gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I'm a great fan of "The Hobbit" for children. A rollicking adventure tale written well enough to keep adults interested.
For children I like to keep two or three books on the go at any one time and let them choose which one to read today.
Go Frodo & Gandalf!

Regds
Gerard
 

Phillypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C F Sept.(2013) Camino de Madrid & Finisterre/Muxia Sept. (2014)
Finisterre/Muia June (2017).
Your 13 year old may like a book of his/her own. "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" was a favorite of my son's at that age. A Stephen King book about a young girl who gets lost on the Appalachian Trail but survives with her faith in a Boston Red Sox pitcher!
 
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obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
I disagree - you just use the Kindle app on your mobile phone. A thousand book library for the weight of 1/2 an apple.
My spouse, as someone who used to carry my paperbacks, wholeheartedly concurs.
Most people take their mobile phone so it's nothing extra.
My phone has now replaced camera, maps, books, watch, alarm clock, music player, cinema ......
And if Siri could only lift things, do the washing and take out the garbage the old man would be in trouble.
LOL...
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
Your 13 year old may like a book of his/her own. "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" was a favorite of my son's at that age. A Stephen King book about a young girl who gets lost on the Appalachian Trail but survives with her faith in a Boston Red Sox pitcher!
That was a great book.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
I disagree - you just use the Kindle app on your mobile phone. A thousand book library for the weight of 1/2 an apple.
My spouse, as someone who used to carry my paperbacks, wholeheartedly concurs.
Most people take their mobile phone so it's nothing extra.
My phone has now replaced camera, maps, books, watch, alarm clock, music player, cinema ......
And if Siri could only lift things, do the washing and take out the garbage the old man would be in trouble.
I did think about an e reader because I'm one of those people who becomes anxious with nothing to read. So NOT having an e reader sent me in search of book stores in the larger cities along the French Route. As a result of this, I saw parts of the cities I might have missed (just another adventure) AND because the English language book section tended to be limited I read books I may not have chosen otherwise and they were all worth reading.
 
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obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
I enjoyed Tim Moores book. If you are ever on the Tunnel route you go through Vitoria. Ken Follett has donated a large amount of money to help with the restoration of the huge Cathedral in Vitoria - it is really worth a look and I believe it will take a long time to restore.
I'm thinking about doing the Tunnel Route. Is there much info on this route? Could it be done by bicycle?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I'm thinking about doing the Tunnel Route. Is there much info on this route? Could it be done by bicycle?
To begin your research on the Tunnel route aka the Camino Vasco del Interior search this Forum topic. Also check out this GREAT illustrated blog of a bike trip along the route by fellow Forum member Zinaztli. Written in Italian (translate with Google) this has maps, profiles, good technical data and WONDERFUL photos !!

Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith
 
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lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
I'm enjoying this - it's caused me to look for books myself. Here's one that also sounds good:
"As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" by Laurie Lee - a lyrical account of his voyages as a young man in the 1930s is a masterpiece in English travel writing. Lee describes his departure from a sleepy part of the Cotswolds, to London then Spain, armed with little more than an adventurous spirit and a violin. Exhilarating, whimsical and poetic, it captures a fascinating moment in time.
Just started to read this autobiographical book by Laurie Lee and I am loving it! It is of particular interest as I have just finished walking the Madrid Camino and the author's entry to Spain takes him from Vigo to Segovia. He then continues south into Madrid, of course walking along that wonderful calzada romana familiar to those who have walked the Madrid Camino. It is a beautifully written book with many evocative similes and metaphors. Highly recommended!
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I disagree with the advice about digital on your phone. It's hassle enough worrying about charging the damn thing. I always carry a paperback, and have been known to read it twice.
As for suggestions. i haven't read the Stevenson so I can't comment, but if you want to read to your kids you need a bloody good story to appeaal to various ages, (I assume). My recommendation would be "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman. It was a great movie, but the book is a total, hilarious classic, and almost written to be read aloud.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I'm a huge fan of the book "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. It is the longest book I have ever read at nearly 1000 pages in small print, but so very captivating. I loved it and have a greater appreciation of the building of Europe's massive cathedrals...so fascinating!
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@Vieve
A few days ago I received a notification that you had posted an angry emoji on my original post in this thread (which is actually over five years old). I have mulled it over and fail to see how a simple question would elicit such a response, but I do apologise if for some reason it offended you.
 

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