What are you reading (non-SF)? (2015-16)

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by Boreas, May 2, 2015.

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you @Boreas for the recommendations!
    Do you mean his series A Requiem for Homo Sapiens or The Ea Cycle? Both?!

    What I have found is Way of the Samurai (Musashi, Book 1). I reckon this must be it.
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I meant the novel Neverness and its sequel, which comes in three parts as A Requiem for Homo Sapiens. ARfHS can also be read first without any problems it seems, since @R-Hat read it without picking up Neverness. I've actually been wary of picking up the Ea Cycle, as I've heard that it doesn't measure up to Zindell's science fiction work. But in the end, I'll end up giving in and giving it a go, too.
    I have it in a hardcover edition as just Musashi. It's a beautiful Bildungsroman, charting the moral growth of the protagonist from the age of 17 to his 30's (or 40's?) as he develops and refines an ethical framework by which to ground his worldview. It starts out as a physical quest for martial prowess, but it transforms into a quest for spiritual enlightenment which includes an understanding of and appreciation for harmony between individual, society and nature. In page count, only half the novel is Musashi's story. The other half showcases a diverse range of characters at different stages of psychological growth, many of them mired in self-created illusion, often leading struggling or pathetic lives, but offering a wonderfully edifying contrast to Musashi's concerted effort at self-betterment. If you decide to read this book, I'll join you. I can re-read it any time.
     
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  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks Boreas. I think I’ve got it now. Musashi was the original novel (around 950pages) which was reprinted later on into a 5 or 3 books series (depending on the editorial) as Way Of The Samurai.
    Musashi
    , is out of print. I also checked Amazon.de but without luck. However, in Amazon.es, eureka! It must be popular in Spanish and also in Italian, as I have found the complete series Way of the Samurai plus his Taiko and Heike works available. As I said, I shouldn't be buying more books this year :rolleyes: but
    I'll get them next time I'm over there and then we can time it.
     
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Even better if you can get a copy translated into your native Spanish. I hope it's a direct Japanese-to-Spanish translation instead of a Japanese-to-English-to-Spanish. Taiko is the novel that deals in power politics of the nobility during the time leading up to the conflict that would eventually result in the Tokugawa Shogunate. Musashi starts right from that crucial Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 that secured the victory of the Tokugawa faction. But the two novels are not connected and are totally separate stories.
     
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  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I checked it out and is a direct translation. I didn't think of that.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Yeah, the books I have by Stanislaw Lem are all translated from Polish-to-English but via German. I would love to have those books translated directly, especially since I already love them so much even through the double translation.
     
  7. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    The risk there is dealing with unrelated languages. German and English kind of work. Polish despite the fact of being the source language, is slavic and it will be the spanner in the trio. The text gets diluted with each translation.
     
  8. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Started listening to Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman today. Typical Gaiman so far (ie. brilliantly written with oodles of character) but somewhat lacking in direction. Still, 1/4 in and it's great!
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm re-reading Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander to refresh my memory since it's been almost two years and I want to get onto the next volume in the series. I love O'Brian's sense and style of humour. It's usually understated and very sly.
     
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  10. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Santa has brought me, amongst other titles, Musashi, La Leyenda del Samurai, Eiji Yoshikawa first of the trilogy. @Boreas I'll let you know when I might start it in case you want to reread it.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Great, I'll definitely join you. Really hoping you'll like it.
     
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  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just finished The Wolf in the Attic by P Kearney. This is a very evocative story about Anna, a greek refugee trying to find herself in the Oxford of the late 1920s . Kearny is a great storyteller and I found his narrative very compelling.
    There is a mishmash of mythical figures and supernatural elements, which I found charming and very engaging.
    A very pretty, magical, uplifting story.
     
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