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The Books That Marked My Life By Dolors Montserrat

The deputy of the European Parliament uses reading to live through the emotions of unknown characters. Although there are many works that have taught or entertained him throughout his life, in this selection he opts for ‘The Spanish process’, by Juan Milián,’ The bridges of Madison County ‘, by Robert Janes Wallet, and’ El time between seams’, by María Dueñas. According to Montserrat, through its pages the reader will be able to understand a current reality; dream, and remember who you are and where you are going.

Literature, like music, cinema and art, has the ability to make us live, dream, feel. Choosing the books that have interested or influenced me the most throughout my life is not an easy task. There are many who have taught me, changed me, strengthened me or entertained me. Of these, I propose to the reader three works: a political essay with which to understand the reality that we are having to live with; a timeless novel, with which to dream and fly; and another novel with which to feel and remember who we were and where we are going.

The political essay is The Spanish Process (2021), by my great friend, the essayist and political scientist Juan Milián. We both lived the independence process in the first person, he as a deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia and I as a national deputy and then a minister. Milián uses this experience to draw parallels between the political strategies of that nationalism and those of the current Pedro Sánchez government.

The author dissects the populisms that affect our country: the sacrifice of the truth, the improper use of public institutions and the social fracture promoted by political power. It correctly warns of the possible consequences of this way of doing and understanding politics and offers a liberal alternative to strengthen democracy and avoid decline. This book is, without a doubt, that book that Pedro Sánchez does not want us to read and, precisely for that reason, I recommend it.

The book I propose to dream is the novel by Robert James Waller , The Bridges of Madison County (1992). It speaks of ephemeral and at the same time eternal love. Because it is possible and compatible to love four days and not forget it in a lifetime. Like first love or summer love. It arrives without warning and leaves, but the mark it leaves is indelible.

Despite the sadness that the farewell produces or the lack of courage to change and make decisions, the novel teaches us that those four days deserve a lifetime. Whoever is fortunate enough to live such a love and is capable of being willing to pay the price for it will have taken advantage of every last breath of his life.

Finally, I propose to the reader a novel to feel -together with Sira Quiroga- in El tiempo entre costuras (2009), by María Dueñas. The message it transmits about the need to face with courage and determination the problems that life presents us or the importance of cultivating the courage and humility to recognize mistakes and grow personally from them seem to me important life lessons.

Along with this, the description of the Spain of the Civil War told from the perspective of an adolescent, oblivious to the political ups and downs, which ends in Spanish Tetouan pushed into espionage ?? not out of conviction but out of necessity ?? shows a reality of our recent history less told.

Since I was little, my parents taught me the idea that personal freedom is associated with independence, which is nothing other than what today is called female empowerment

Since I was little, my parents taught me the idea that personal freedom is associated with independence, that it is nothing other than what today is called female empowerment and that it has been teaching generations of Spanish women like me for decades. This is also what the novel is about, about facing our life with courage, without dependencies.

During the summer we have more time to relax, be with family, enjoy with friends. But it is also time to read, feel, dream. In short, to fly from our daily life and discover strange characters, countries and loves. Books transport us to wonderful worlds, unreachable, sometimes unrealistic , but no less exciting, let’s discover them!

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