A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

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Ольга
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2017

Postby Ольга » Fri May 12, 2017 3:31 pm

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From Amazon:
The instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller

Named a Hot Fall Read by USA Today, Vanity Fair, Newsday, O Magazine, the Seattle Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mashable, Pop Sugar, and the San Antonio Express-News

Named a Best Book of the Year by Brainpickings and Book Riot

"A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.


From the Hardcover edition.


My opinion:
Purely psychological and philosophical book. However, much more interesting than Carnegie.
It is my favorite book of 2017. It has made my 2017. Pretty short (I read on Kindle, but I saw somewhere that it is about 250 pages in hardcover). Motivational and inspirational. Provokes positive thinking. The best medicine for depression. :)
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IronMike
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2017

Postby IronMike » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:46 am

Forgot this thread existed...

Ok, so I definitely have read more than just the following book this year. But this book combines many things I find fascinating, so I'll write about it.

The book is Mi Stelojn Jungis al Revado by Mikaelo BRONŜTEJN (Михаил Бронштейн). The book was published in 2016 here in Moscow by the publisher Impeto. The book is 564 pages long incl. a few notes pages at the end.

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First off, the book is written in Esperanto. How would I translate the title? Hmm... "I put stars on [my] dreams"? "I had stars in my daydreams?" No matter. The point of the title is: I was blinded by my dreams...I was looking through rose-colored glasses...I expected more.

The book follows so characters from the beginning of the Russian revolution of 1917 (how timely with all the 100th anniversary stuff going on now here) to about 1938 and the Stalin purges. Some of the characters are (were) actual Soviet Esperantists and some are amalgamations of Esperantists that the author knew about through stories from survivors of this time period.

Initially, the new Soviet regime was in favor of the language as a way of uniting the working class in multiple countries. Lenin himself makes an appearance and persuades several Esperantists to continue their work with the language, teaching it, corresponding outside of the USSR with it, creating organizations where it is the language. With the government's aid, a house was procurred as an Esperanto house and the several different E-o organizations had offices there, as well as held meetings. Government supported employees worked there. It was a utopia for those E-o speakers. The stars were clouding their dreams...

Lenin doesn't last long, as we all know, and Stalin comes on to the scene. He even makes an appearance in this book, and much like during the terrible times, he isn't named. But he gets a capitalized pronoun. He starts out supportive, but that doesn't last long, and some of the characters start to notice that well-known Esperantists (translators, writers) are disappearing, or being sent to exile. Ads start appearing in foreign E-o magazines and journals from families looking for their relatives who were last heard from at so-and-so time after having traveled to the Soviet Union. Esperantists in USSR start being asked to use their connections to find out where someone's relative is, and sadly, some of these folks start learning that some have been executed. A few Esperantists get smart and find ways to get their families out (to an uncertain future as at least one family that got out was Jewish...and this is the early 1930's...). Bottom line: the Soviet Esperantists were blinded by the false promise Communism gave them for a future where all the workers of the world would have a communal language. So blinded that they failed to see what Communism had wrought until, for most of them, it was too late.

I've always had an interest in the persecution that Esperantists have received by governments and cults of personality. That lead me a couple years ago to read La Danĝero Lingvo (The Dangerous Language), a detailed study of the persecution dealt Esperantists (mostly) in Nazi Germany and the USSR. This novel, supported with actual written clips and photos from newspapers, magazines and letters of the time (not all Esperanto press, including also Russian, Australian, U.S., German), is a natural compliment to Ulrich Lins' study.
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iguanamon
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby iguanamon » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:00 pm

With a New Year soon upon us, it's time to restart the Book Club! This is a place to talk about books outside of your log so everyone, not just people who read your log, can learn and share about what they're reading.

The rules are in the first post, the main thing is: Please don't post links to illegal downloads Please be respectful of rdearman's situation vis a vis copyright law in the UK.
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IronMike
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby IronMike » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:53 pm

Just finished Mondo de travivaĵoj (A World of Travels) by Tibor Sekelj. An incredible book by a polyglot, anthropologist, documentarian, tribal sorcerer, attempted murder victim, yogi. The guy had a full life. Hard to believe he made it through some of his travels.

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About Sekelj from Goodreads:

Tibor Sekelj was a polyglot, explorer, author, and 'citizen of the world.' In 1986 he was elected a member of the Academy of Esperanto and an honorary member of the World Esperanto Association. Among his novels, travel books and essays, his novella Kumeŭaŭa, la filo de la ĝangalo ("Kumewawa, the son of the jungle"), a children's book about the life of Brazilian Indians, was translated into seventeen languages, and in 1987 it was voted best Children's book in Japan. In 2011 European Esperanto-Union declared 2012 "The Year of Tibor Sekelj" to honor the 100-year anniversary of his birth.

It's a very readable book; each chapter is about 6-8 pages long, so an easy read on the bus or train on the way to work! Includes pictures from his years of traveling. The pictures aren't of the best resolution, but they are unique.

Two thumbs up for Mondo de travivaĵoj!
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