Or more specifically, my own copies of La Ciudad de las Bestias, El Reino del Dragón de Oro, and El Bosque de los Pigmeos, which apparently constitute a set trilogy. I'm already a bit sad that there are only three books, but "trilogy" rather than "series" suggests an actual three-book story arc and not just episodic adventures, and that makes me happy.

The library book has been (graciously) relegated to the pile of books to return; someone else can now appreciate this quite good book, courtesy of the Austin library system. (Though they had at least two copies in when I checked this one out, so I probably haven't deprived anyone of the chance.) Now I can underline words I don't know, and make little notes in the margin, and take as long as I need, and--oh. Damn. Pencils. I need pencils. I cannot possibly write in a book in pen.

Quick! To the mechanical-pencil-mobile!
I did not exactly breeze through chapter three, but "El Abominable Hombre de la Selva" was a relatively brisk read compared to some that came before. This was equal parts that Kate Cold is a delight to read about and that I've stopped looking up every vocabulary word I'm not sure about; if I'm pretty sure of what it means from context, onward I go.

I was absurdly proud to recall what 'albóndigas' were.

The liberal use of similes in this book are a mixed blessing; they're nicely evocative, but they're a lot harder to work out from context than the straightforward descriptions. But I like the rivers in the jungle sliding around like luminous serpents, so I think overall I am for them.

Onward through chapter four, "El Río Amazonas". Which is making me somewhat nostalgic for my time in the jungle.
In which our protagonist goes to meet the grandmother he does not approve of, after whining about not wanting to go to the Amazon on an adventure, dammit. Once again, I needed to stop and look up words before finishing the first sentence. ("muchedumbre" means "crowd." Good to know!)

You would think that with two entire chapters in the book just on taking trips and general travel, I would be able to translate a few paragraphs about meeting someone in an airport with ease. But nooooo. I'm getting more out of cognates than vocabulary from my textbook, unless you count things like articles and prepositions.

Anyway, time to keep reading and meet the eccentric grandmother. Given that Alex has been muttering about how she'd happily push him into a piranha-filled river, I think I like her already. Alex is, after all, a whiny, sullen, occasionally violent brat. But then, he has good reason for it, being both a fifteen-year-old boy and under a huge amount of stress at home. I kinda hope she schools his ass anyway.
Alexander Cold despertó al amanecer sobresaltado por una pesadilla. (Alexander Cold woke at dawn frightened by a nightmare.)

I've just started the first chapter of one of the very few YA fantasy (I think? It might just be general adventure) novels that I was able to find at the Austin City Library branch that boasted the most Spanish books. As I suspected, the main problem appears to be that 90% of the books available, at least in elementary and YA categories of fiction, are translated from English. (Two were translated from German, which was at least nice for the novelty.)

This is apparently the first YA book by the author, Isabel Allende. I confess that I am slightly bemused to find that the protagonist is named Alexander Cold--his parents are Lisa and John--but if I'm running around slapping Czech names on my fantasy protagonists, why shouldn't an author from Chile put English names on hers?

Attempting to decipher unfamiliar vocabulary from context has been rough going so far, as the first paragraph starts by recounting a dream the protagonist had. And it's not encouraging that I had to look up three words in the first sentence alone... But, hey, if it were easy, it wouldn't be instructive.