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Jason Webster's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Jason Webster recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Jason Webster's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Juan Pujol Garcia, better known as Garbo, was perhaps the most influential spy of World War II. By feeding false information to the Germans on the eve of the D-Day landings he ensured their absence in great numbers from Normandy’s beaches. This allowed the Allied push against Hitler to begin. Amazingly, Garbo’s cover was never broken.

After the war Juan Pujol Garcia faked his own death and moved to Venezuela where he opened a book store. He died in Caracas in 1988.
Recommended by Jason Webster, and 1 others.

Jason WebsterThis again is about the power of the imagination. This is a very worldly book. Pujol is one of the most extraordinary characters. He ended up fighting for both sides during the Second World War. Sometime in 1941 he decided that someone had to put a stop to Hitler and he was going to do that. (Source)

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Deep Song and Other Prose

A collection of prose writing and lectures from the great Spanish poet. less
Recommended by Jason Webster, and 1 others.

Jason WebsterLorca is someone who is deeply, deeply engaged in this kind of poetic, mystical, surrealist, non-rational theme that is so much part of Spain. And I think he, more than any other person, really gets to grips with it. The essays that I am really concentrating on are ‘On Lullabies’, ‘Deep Song’ and ‘Play and Theory of the Duende’. Those three essays really get to grips with this essence of Spain. (Source)

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My Last Sigh

This long out-of-paint autobiography provides insight into the genesis of Bunuel's films and conveys his frank opinions on dwarves, Catholicism, the Marquis de Sade, food, and smoking, not to mention his recipe for a good dry martini! less
Recommended by Jason Webster, and 1 others.

Jason WebsterYes. He is fantastic at the celebration of the non-rational which is one of the things that I find very appealing about Spain. This is Buñuel’s autobiography where he talks about how important it is to let his mind wander and to daydream even though it is becoming more and more unfashionable. He is almost like a prophet of non-rationality in this very rational world. He’s lucky in that he lived... (Source)

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The Journey of the Soul

The Story of Hai Bin Yaqzan

The Story of Hai bin Yaqzan is a truly remarkable product of 12th-century Moorish Spain. It is widely regarded as the prototype for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Best described, perhaps, as a philosophical romance, it tells the story of a young man, cast upon a deserted island as an infant, suckled and reared by a doe, who succeeds by his own efforts in fitting himself for life in his natural environment. The author, bin Tufail, was one of the outstanding philosophers and scientists of his day, and hence many strands are woven into the fabric of the tale. Hai's physical development is... more
Recommended by Jason Webster, and 1 others.

Jason WebsterI think it is an extraordinary book. Many people see it as one of the inspirations behind Robinson Crusoe. There was a translation done of it from the Arabic into Latin just a few years before Defoe wrote Crusoe and there are various parallels between the two books….For me it’s really interesting because there is something quite modern about this book that was written in the 12th century – he... (Source)

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"I was nineteen years old, still soft at the edges, but with a confident belief in good fortune. I carried a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese. I was excited, vain-glorious, knowing I had far to go; but not, as yet, how far." Despite this romantic and optimistic opening, what Lee finds is the most primitive and feudal country in Europe, a peninsula untouched by the modern world, a land of labor without dignity, a church devoid of compassion, and a country ripe for revolutionary change.

There is humor, love,...
Recommended by Alastair Humphreys, Jason Webster, and 2 others.

Alastair HumphreysReading Laurie Lee was suddenly a very different perspective on adventure, because he was just a normal young guy. He was not very tough. He wasn’t very fit. He didn’t claim to be trying to do anything extraordinary. He was just out in the world, living vividly and being curious and I loved that, mostly because it sounded like me. Ever since I read As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning I thought... (Source)

Jason WebsterThe best book in terms of engaging with this dreamy and poetic truth at the heart of Spain. (Source)

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