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HELP! I'm out of books!


My headline today is not strictly true, I am NEVER out of books. I'm just out of books I haven't already read. This weekend I finished Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I've mentioned it in a couple of other blogs already. What a ride! I'll warn you, if you are squeamish about things like people being ordered to commit suicide (and doing it!) you won't like this book. But if you like a little court intrigue (think imperial court, not law court) mixed up with action, adventure, travel, and mystery - you will like this novel. It begins with a man who is serving a penance of sorts, in a remote outpost of the Empire, burying the bones of as many of the 40000 dead soldiers that are lying on a battlefield as he can. He comes to terms with the voices of the ghosts crying in the night, and struggles to write poetry in his hut by lamplight. His world is shattered by an unexpected gift from on high.

This novel takes you across the Chinese Empire (thinly disguised under its ancient name of Kitai, with other place and dynastic names similarly tweaked) to the far northern land of the Mongols. It is loosely based on eventus surrounding a rebellion that occurred during the Tang dynasty.

I could bore you for pages and pages with my feelings about this book, but since I like you I will spare you. Suffice it to say, it was a cracking good read! I'm off to the library to refill my bag and reload my reading list. Tally ho!

Oh, and I'm re-reading a PD James novel An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Good stuff, as always. More on that later.


RoeDapple 6 years, 6 months ago

I am currently reading "Lamb" by Christopher Moore.

devobrun 6 years, 6 months ago

What you describe is fantasy. Reconnect with reality-based novels. Begin with: "Cool Hand Luke", by Donn Pearce. All of 1960s rebellion wrapped up in one character, told by an author who lived it.

Other wonderful stories that tell of past villains and heroes are:

"A Man Called Intrepid" by William Stevenson. It is about the prototype of James Bond. "John Colter" by Burton Harris. He is the prototype of the mountain man. "Fatu-Hiva" by Thor Hyerdahl. About the prototype of an environmentalist.

There are many others, but I like to read about how we got to where we are. Extrapolation into where we might be is too easy. Read about other's created realities and you shall be disappointed as you grow older. Enrich your life with the past and you can create your own future......and it will be better than anything foisted upon you by illusionists.

Turn off your twitter account. Don't look at Facebook for a month. Immerse yourself in the past and emerge cleansed. That is my advice. Then, if you are interested, I can teach you how to tie a bowline, or chop down a tree.
Nah, that is too limiting, right? You want laws of physics to not exist when you read.
OK, never mind.

Cai 6 years, 6 months ago

I find myself ... disappointed in your lack of appreciation for Sci-Fi / Fantasy. The good books DO have rules that get followed. It's just a different set of rules.

This is the ultimate genre to ask "what-if" in (though this happens in many other genres too).

Just because YOU don't like to read about 'created realities' doesn't mean that they're useless. They allow us to explore topics of people, morals, ethics, and many more. And all of these are legitimate.

Many allow us to dream bigger, and explore possibilities (particularly science fiction).

Many have a reoccurring theme that is extremely relevant to today and yesterday, and many are mere allegories for things that are completely existent within our worlds' rules. For the most blatant example of this I can think of off the top of my head, see Terry Goodkind's "Faith of the Fallen" as a book espousing the merits of capitalism over a communistic or other 'shared wealth' society.

Perhaps it is your view that is limited.

Katara 6 years, 6 months ago

I sent you a link to a book swap site via PM. It is good way to clean off your shelves of books you've (and don't want to keep) and fill them back up again with new reads.

Katara 6 years, 6 months ago

Or if you just want some different reads to try, I have a stack of books that I have listed on the swap site but I'll send you the list and you can pick what you want. I have some sci-fi/fantasy, some biographies, some historical fiction and some general fiction. PM me if you want the list and I'll send it to you.

bevy 6 years, 6 months ago

My goodness, Devobrun, what a lot of assumptions you've made! Don't you know what happens when you do that? I have degrees in History and English Literature, so I have read plenty of non-fiction and continue to do so. One of the books I picked up again recently was my Chinese History textbook from college. I also listen to NPR and read the news daily. I have never had (and won't have) a Twitter account, and my Facebook access is limited to an occasional foray to check on distant friends. I also have four children ages 21, 18, 14 and 16 months. Suffice it to say, I get plenty of reality and sometimes it gets pretty depressing. I'll pause while you readjust your view of me. Better? Good. Thanks for your recommendations, I will check them out.

Reading is my escape. The time others spend vegged out in front of one lighted rectangle or another, I spend curled up in a comfy chair with a book in my hands. There is no limit to my appetite for adventure, mystery, knowledge, beauty and fun. I just happen to find mine in books of all kinds.

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