Books I read in April 2010

In April, I read only 3 books, but one them was 22 CDs long…

FICTION:

I finally read Foulcault’s Pendulum, by Umberto Ecco.
This guys know how to write. It was helpful though to know some Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and a few other things. Sometimes it was kind of reading Ulysses.
here is a review posted on amazon:

Student of philology in 1970s Milan, Casaubon is completing a thesis on the Templars, a monastic knighthood disbanded in the 1300s for questionable practices. At Pilades Bar, he meets up with Jacopo Belbo, an editor of obscure texts at Garamond Press. Together with Belbo’s colleague Diotallevi, they scrutinize the fantastic theories of a prospective author, Colonel Ardenti, who claims that for seven centuries the Templars have been carrying out a complex scheme of revenge. When Ardenti disappears mysteriously, the three begin using their detailed knowledge of the occult sciences to construct a Plan for the Templars[…] In his compulsively readable new novel, Eco plays with “the notion that everything might be mysteriously related to everything else,” suggesting that we ourselves create the connections that make up reality. As in his best-selling The Name of the Rose, he relies on abstruse reasoning without losing the reader, for he knows how to use “the polyphony of ideas” as much for effect as for content. Indeed, with its investigation of the ever-popular occult, this highly entertaining novel should be every bit as successful as its predecessor. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/89. — Barbara Hoffert, “Library Journal”

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
I actually listened to it, 22 CDs, not boring one second.
She writes so well, and have you travel all over the world, in time and space. fascinating, very well researched.
I rigth away read her other available novel in English, see in the upcoming post of books read in May.

Here is an excerpt of a review posted on amazon. I don’t think any of their reviews really honor this book enough though.

The marketing campaign is underway and Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is already being hyped as the “Dracula Code” or some similar slogan. I disagree with that approach, not just because they are quite different in more ways than just storyline, but because “The Da Vinci Code” was a good thriller with elements of history mixed in, but it is not even in the same league with this book.

“The Historian” is an epic work of historical fiction that sweeps across Europe during the four decades between 1930 and the mid 1970s. It just also happens to involve the Dracula myth and a good dose of suspense. Now, some people may object to me calling this novel a work of historical fiction because it is mostly fiction and contains very few real characters. That is true, but Kostova does such an amazing job of making the Dracula myths come alive that you can’t help feeling that the legends and the story are real. Her research is stunning in its attention to detail and the wide range of topics Kostova must’ve studied. A previous reviewer slightly criticizes Kostova for spending too many pages describing the pilgrimage routes of monks hundreds of years ago. While sections like that do slow down the pace of the novel somewhat, they don’t distract from it.

NON FICTION:

Now, I start hearing so much about 2012 that I wanted to read something about it, to have an idea what this Mayan calendar was about.
So I read:

The Everything Guide to 2012, by Mark Heley
I think the author does a great job of presenting things impartially, at all levels, and telling you when some ideas are honestly gooffy.
The Mayan calendar explanation was inofrmative, but that was not at all the scary part of the book, rather it’s all the more natural events in our planet system, current and supposedly upcoming. Not to read if you are depressed!

Here is amazon presentation:

The winter solstice in 2012 is the end of the current Mayan calendar cycle. There are lots of theories about what will happen on this date. Will all life on Earth end? Will humans reach a higher spiritual plane? Will visitors from another planet arrive? Noted Mayan expert Mark Heley leads you through all the theories and debates surrounding this mysterious event. He takes a reasoned approach to the subject, relying on astronomy and climate changes, rather than myths and stories.

This book features fascinating information, including:

  • The Mayan cyclical view of time
  • Modern interpretations of prophecies and predictions of rapid change
  • Galactic alignment and Mayan theories on the origin of the universe
  • Earth changes, the fall of civilizations, and apocalyptic theories

You will learn about the possible cultural and social impacts of the predicted events. The author also shares his ideas on what life might be like around and after 12/21/2012. This guide also includes an easy-to-use Mayan calendar date conversion chart. With this chart, you can use the calendar as a personal predictive and astrological tool as you prepare for the quickly approaching date.

About the Author

Mark Heley (Glastonbury, England) has been a pioneering researcher of Mayan culture and the theories surrounding 2012 for nearly a decade. He is the producer and director of the 2012 documentary called Frequency Shift and has spoken at events and conferences across the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and the United States on the subject. He has been a professional journalist for twenty years and has an honors degree in philosophy from Cambridge University.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hanna B.
    May 25, 2010 @ 14:14:04

    As-tu lu Bill Bryson (Motel blues) ? C’est vraiment excellent, très bien traduit en français mais sans doute encore plus délicieux en version originale.
    Je l’ai passé au Castor qui n’a cessé de rire tout du long, Isaac et Naomi aussi en leur temps. Il fait partie de mon top 5.

    Reply

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