Friday, December 12, 2008
Another slow week for book acquisitions- with Christmas coming up, I'm trying to put the breaks on buying books because I have a feeling that Santa may bring me one or two. Having said that, it's not as though I could actually go an entire week without getting a new book. To wit:
I found Little Saint, by Hannah Green, in a used bookstore last Sunday. The title got my attention, but I really paid attention once I saw that it is a memoir about an American woman who spends some time in tiny hillside town of Conques, where I once spent a few days on a hiking trip in the south of France.
Conques is this really neat place- half tourist trap, half Catholic shrine to Saint Foy, a martyr who was killed for her beliefs when she was only twelve, in the Middle Ages. The city is the site of her reliquary, one of the last saint's reliquaries in France. Because of the reliquary, Conques was an important stop on the old pilgrim's trail that leads to coastal Spain and the traditional burial site of Saint James. A drawing of a shell is used in the book as a motif for the first page of each chapter; in the Middle Ages, when pilgrims travelled to Spain to make the pilgrimage, they would wear shells as a symbol that they were making the journey. Today you can buy gold and silver shells in Conques as a souvenir of your own journey on the pilgrim's trail.
I've started reading it already, because really- how could I wait? So far it's good. More to come!