The Forum Book Club thread 2020. August: Tiempos recios

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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby DaveAgain » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:06 pm

Mista wrote:December is here, and the title of the thread is updated. Who will be reading Heaven and Hell or Three sisters?
I'll be reading the three sisters, possibly as a parallel text in French and German, but I need to finish one of my other books first :-)
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby lavengro » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm

I have not found an online version of Chekhov's Three Sisters in Italian, but I will give a try at working through an Italian language production of the play which I found on Youtube. This version has clear audio but auto-generated Italian closed captioning and the video is blurry A.H. ("as heck").

Le tre sorelle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQtXZq2-tbU
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby IronMike » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:22 pm

Neither book is available in Esperanto and as for Chekhov, I've had enough of him in Russian and English.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby marie39 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:23 pm

I decided to skip December. Is the book club continuing this year? I have a couple of recommendations if anyone is interested.

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Thriller - I found the Spanish version avaliable on Kindle Unlimited. It seems like the book was translated into quite a few languages too.
A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe.


Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Fiction - Amazon ahs the book in German, French, Italian and Portuguese. it looks like it's been translated into a couple of other languages too according to goodreads.

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.


Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Nonfiction/Biography - This book has been translated into quite a few languages as well.

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.


The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Classic Mystery - Amazon has an ebook version of this in Malay so I plan to read this book at some point anyway. It's been translated into a lot of languages.

Master detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to Northern France by Paul Renauld, but upon arriving at Renauld’s home, the police inform Poirot that Renauld had been stabbed in the back with a letter opener and his body had been found in a freshly dug grave next to a golf course. Renauld’s wife claims masked men tied her up and then took her husband away from her, and until then, she had not known her husband had been murdered. A mystery that is seemingly unsolvable, but nothing ever escapes Papa Poirot.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby Mista » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:34 pm

Sorry, I meant to bring up that question earlier. My personal view on that is that I would like to take a break as long as the Super Challenge is on break, and then try to attract some new members when it starts up again in May - and I think your suggestion of Agatha Christie is an excellent one for that purpose.

If there is interest in reading something in the meanwhile, I don't mind doing the organizational stuff. Is anyone else interested in reading a book club book in February?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. December: Heaven and Hell/Three sisters

Postby marie39 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:33 am

Mista wrote:Sorry, I meant to bring up that question earlier. My personal view on that is that I would like to take a break as long as the Super Challenge is on break, and then try to attract some new members when it starts up again in May - and I think your suggestion of Agatha Christie is an excellent one for that purpose.

If there is interest in reading something in the meanwhile, I don't mind doing the organizational stuff. Is anyone else interested in reading a book club book in February?


I don't mind waiting until the Super Challenge starts back up to resume the book club. That will also give me time to finish Quo Vadis?.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. Getting ready for the Super Challenge

Postby Mista » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:11 am

The Super Challenge will be starting up again in not much more than a week, so it's time to start thinking about what we will read in May.

I suggest we try out the following and see how it works. We run a poll like always, and ALL books that get 3 votes or more will be read that same month. That way, we can hopefully have books of varying degrees of difficulty without scaring anyone away.

I'll set up a poll on Sunday (which will run until Thursday), so please post your nominations no later than Saturday, and make sure to drop by again early next week to vote.

My nomination is The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren. This is a book that I have been working on in Icelandic, and I will continue doing so for a while yet. It's a book written for children around 10 years old, but a real classic, well worth reading and enjoyable for adults too. The language is, of course, quite simple, making it a very suitable first book in your target language.

goodreads wrote:The Brothers Lionheart (Swedish: Bröderna Lejonhjärta) is a children's fantasy novel written by Astrid Lindgren. It was published in the autumn of 1973 and has been translated into 46 languages. Many of its themes are unusually dark and heavy for the children's book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal and rebellion are some of the dark themes that permeate the story. The lighter themes of the book involve platonic love, loyalty, hope, courage and pacifism.

The two main characters are two brothers; the older Jonatan and the younger Karl. The two brothers' surname was originally Lion, but they are generally known as Lionheart. Karl's nickname is Skorpan (Rusky) since Jonatan likes these typical Swedish toasts or crusts.

In Nangijala, a land in "the campfires and storytelling days", the brothers experience adventures. Together with a resistance group they lead the struggle against the evil Tengil, who rules with the aid of the fearsome fire-breathing dragon, Katla.
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. Getting ready for the Super Challenge

Postby David27 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:48 pm

I’m happy this is starting back up. I used to love reading but have had trouble making time now that I’m a working professional, but last year I read petit pays, metro 2033, la sombra del viento, and half of bridge on the drina. Outside of that I only read one other Russian book. So this book club helped me read more.

For next month I wanted to read Азазель (in English the Winter Queen) by Boris Akunin. I’ve read 2 other mysteries by him, but that is the first in his series, which I don’t find need to be read in order. His detective books became fad hits in Russia, sparking Fandoromania (Fandorin is the main detective). They’re light reading mysteries, not high brow literature, but read well and cover Russia and a lot of real events in Russia in the 19th century.
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. Getting ready for the Super Challenge

Postby IronMike » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:14 pm

I'll second the nomination of Азазель (The Winter Queen). From Goodreads:

Moscow, May 1876: What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fandorin, a young man of irresistible charm, to the Alexander Gardens precinct for more information.

Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done—and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin. There are many unresolved questions. Why, for instance, have both victims left their fortunes to an orphanage run by the English Lady Astair? And who is the beautiful "A.B.," whose signed photograph is found in the apparent suicide's apartment? Relying on his keen intuition, the eager sleuth plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the deadly center of a terrorist conspiracy of worldwide proportions.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. Getting ready for the Super Challenge

Postby Maiwenn » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:23 am

Mista wrote:The Super Challenge will be starting up again in not much more than a week, so it's time to start thinking about what we will read in May.

I suggest we try out the following and see how it works. We run a poll like always, and ALL books that get 3 votes or more will be read that same month. That way, we can hopefully have books of varying degrees of difficulty without scaring anyone away.

I'll set up a poll on Sunday (which will run until Thursday), so please post your nominations no later than Saturday, and make sure to drop by again early next week to vote.


Thanks for organizing, Mista! My proposal is La Peste (The Plague) by Albert Camus. It's been translated into a ton of languages and is somewhat topical. ;) My Dad just finished reading it in French, so I think the language is probably reasonably accessible.

A gripping tale of human unrelieved horror, of survival and resilience, and of the ways in which humankind confronts death, The Plague is at once a masterfully crafted novel, eloquently understated and epic in scope, and a parable of ageless moral resonance, profoundly relevant to our times. In Oran, a coastal town in North Africa, the plague begins as a series of portents, unheeded by the people. It gradually becomes an omnipresent reality, obliterating all traces of the past and driving its victims to almost unearthly extremes of suffering, madness, and compassion.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11989.The_Plague
To see many of the different editions: https://www.goodreads.com/work/editions ... 6-la-peste
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