I am passionate about travel, along with my family and photography, and when I’m not traveling, I enjoy reading. I especially enjoy reading books that take place in locations I’ve visited. They allow me to relive the adventures I encountered in those destinations, and such was the case with Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure set in Spain.
The Seventh Treasure follows the story of Secret Service agent Gene Cerone, who travels to Granada, Spain to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his sister’s death. Turns out her death was no accident and Cerone, with help from Lieutenant Mercedes Garcia, uncovers a hidden conspiracy that dates back to the time of the Moors.
Although I recently toured Spain’s Balearic Islands, I visited Granada back in 2003. Still, I vividly remember the Alhambra as a massive palace complex, home Spanish Muslims as well as Isabel and Ferdinand. The buildings were unassuming from the outside, yet ornately geometric and beautiful on the inside. The gardens and fountains were particularly unusual and lovely, plus a cooling respite from the summer heat. Anyway, Camarda’s book spends a lot of time in and around the Alhambra.
I’ve read Dan Browne’s books because I enjoy the way he entwines mystery with historical facts. Len Camarda’s follows a similar path in this, his first novel, using the storyline from the Tales of the Arabian Nights. His writing is descriptive, he keeps the plot moving, and involves politics (in a similar fashion to Tom Clancy) and uses plausible methods to uncover the mystery.
If you like historical thrillers or are just looking for a good read, I suggest Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure — and, of course, a trip to Spain!
Disclosure: The Seventh Treasure was sent to me for review, but if I’d come across it in the bookstore I would have purchased it. I can honestly recommend it.
The PICASSO Art & Arena exhibition opened yesterday in St. Augustine. The show celebrates the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Juan Ponce de León. The show is also the first of many exhibitions planned as part of the St. Augustine’s 450th Commemoration.
The PICASSO collection includes 39 original pieces created between 1929 and 1961, on loan from the Picasso Foundation in Malaga, Spain. They provide insights into one of the artist’s main themes: bullfighting. Bullfighting was a revered tradition in Spain, Picasso’s home country. Curator Maria D’Adamo told of Picasso’s fascination with the sport’s trilogy: the matador, picador and the bull.
The exhibition in the Visitor’s Center is set in the round, like a bullfighting ring, with two large photographic reproductions of spectators defining the space.
One of the highlights is a series of 11 lithographs, created between December 1945 and January 1946. They begin with a realistic drawing of the animal and succeeding works gradually reduce the strokes into a cave like primitive drawing. The final lithograph is only a few lines, but still recognizable as the animal.
I believe the bull series will appeal to both adults and children because they can clearly trace the transformation. Picasso said, “It took me four years to learn to paint like Raphael, and a lifetime to paint like a child.”
An intriguing 20-minute video is displayed on the rear wall showing Picasso painting on glass. The viewer gets to watch a work of art come to life right in front of their eyes.
In addition, the show includes some of the prolific artist’s ceramic pieces and illustrations composed for books. A timeline of Picasso’s life helps the visitor understand the stages of his artistic lifestyle.