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The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood
Progress: 103/659 pages
" Back in Madrid, where the battle continued on the university campus, British volunteers took over the job of clearing the hospital of Moorish troops, aided by the fact that some of the hungry Moors had poisoned themselves by eating rabbits, guinea pigs, and other laboratory animals injected with viruses for medical experiments....Returning to their Philosophy and Letters headquarters, the Britons, including John Cornford, a great-grandson of Charles Darwin, set up sniping positions in the windows of a lecture hall, behind barriers that included the thickest books they could find: metaphysics texts, nineteenth-century German philosophy and the Encyclopedia Britannica. (In another building, French volunteers were sheltering behind parapets of Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, and Pascal.) A bullet, the British found, would penetrate an average of 350 pages before coming to a stop. In the building's basement they discovered a large selection of books in English, and lugged copies of Thomas De Quincey, Charlotte Bronte, and others up four flights of stairs to their strongpoint to read during lulls in the fighting."

Spain In Our Hearts, by Adam Hochschild (copyright 2016; quote is from pages 83-84 of the Mariner Books trade paperback edition, 2017) (note: try as I might, I could not type 'Bronte" correctly, but author Adam Hochschild, in tandem with whoever typed his book, is much more intelligent than I am, making sure the two dots are included above the "e" in 'Bronte', and he probably knows what those two dots are actually called. I did, however, learn how to ø today--doesn't help here, though.)