Vote for the October book club book

This is a room for the discussion of travel plans or experiences and the culture of places you have visited or plan to visit.

Which book would you like to read in October?

Poll ended at Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:39 pm

Quo Vadis
3
17%
The Old Man and the Sea
3
17%
Roadside Picnic
4
22%
The Time Machine
1
6%
Heaven and Hell
3
17%
Three Tales
4
22%
 
Total votes: 18

Mista
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Vote for the October book club book

Postby Mista » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:39 pm

Here's a last minute poll for the OCtober book club book. I've included IronMike's suggestions, and the two most popular runners-up from last vote.

Please make sure that the book you want to read is available in the language of your choice before you vote for it. If you'd like to read something else, you can nominate it for next month - nominations will be accepted at any time. The poll is running for three days, and you may vote for one or two books.

Henryk Sienkiewicz: Quo Vadis

1894, Polish, 589 pages

Goodreads wrote:Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as to offend the sensitive. Petronius, a generous and noble Roman, a man of the world much in favor at the court of Nero, is intrigued by a strange tale related by his nephew Marcus Vinitius of his encounter with a mysterious young woman called Ligia with whom Vinitius falls madly in love. Ligia, a captured King's daughter and a one-time hostage of Rome, is now a foster child of a noble Roman household. She is also a Christian. The setting of the narrative was prepared with utmost care. Henryk Sienkiewicz visited the Roman settings many times and was thoroughly educated in the historical background. As an attempt to create the spirit of antiquity, the novel met with unanimous acclaim, which earned the Nobel Prize in literature for the author in 1905. As a vision of ancient Rome and early Christianity it has not yet been surpassed, almost a century later.


Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea

1952, English, 132 pages

Goodreads wrote:The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.


Arkady & Boris Strugatsky: Roadside Picnic

1978, Russian, 145 pages

Goodreads wrote:Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.


H.G. Wells : The Time Machine

1895, English, 118 pages

Goodreads wrote:“I’ve had a most amazing time....”

So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.


Jón Kalman Stefánsson: Himnaríki og helvíti (Heaven and Hell)

215 pages, Icelandic, has 63 different versions on Goodreads in a wide range of languages, including the big European languages, Scandinavian, Russian, Arabic, among others.

Note that this is the first book of a trilogy, and that the first book and the trilogy both have the same name.

Amazon wrote:In a remote part of Iceland, a boy and his friend Barður join a boat to fish for cod. A winter storm surprises them out at sea and Barður, who has forgotten his waterproof as he was too absorbed in 'Paradise Lost', succumbs to the ferocious cold and dies. Appalled by the death and by the fishermen's callous ability to set about gutting the fatal catch, the boy leaves the village, intending to return the book to its owner. The extreme hardship and danger of the journey is of little consequence to him - he has already resolved to join his friend in death. But once in the town he immerses himself in the stories and lives of its inhabitants, and decides that he cannot be with his friend just yet.

Set at the turn of the twentieth century, Heaven and Hell is a perfectly formed, vivid and timeless story, lyrical in style, and as intense a reading experience as the forces of the Icelandic landscape themselves. An outstandingly moving novel.



Gustave Flaubert: Trois Contes (Three tales)

120 pages (three different short stories), French, 254 different editions on Goodreads

Goodreads wrote:Twenty years after Madame Bovary, Flaubert wrote Three Tales, each of which reveals a different aspect of his creative genius and fine craftsmanship.

In A Simple Heart, a story set in his native Normandy, in which every chapter, every place, every emotion corresponds to some person, some scene, some feeling in the author's past, he recounts the life of a pious and devoted servant girl. 'I want to move tender hearts to pity and tears,' he wrote, 'for I am tender-hearted myself.'

A stained-glass window in Rouen cathedral inspired him to write The legend of St Julian Hospitator with its insight into the violence and mysticism of the medieval mind. Herodias, the last of the three, is a masterly and powerful reconstruction of the events leading up to the martyrdom of St John the Baptist
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IronMike
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby IronMike » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:04 pm

I would add for the ones I recommended, that they are available in many translations.

Quo vadis? by Henryk Sienkiewicz (152 results at Index Translationum)
Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway (296 results);
Roadside Picnic (116 results) by the Strugatsky brothers;
The Time Machine by HG Wells (171 results at Index Translationum).
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby Mista » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:51 pm

IronMike wrote:I would add for the ones I recommended, that they are available in many translations.

Quo vadis? by Henryk Sienkiewicz (152 results at Index Translationum)
Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway (296 results);
Roadside Picnic (116 results) by the Strugatsky brothers;
The Time Machine by HG Wells (171 results at Index Translationum).


Yes, thanks, I forgot that. I'm a little busy at the moment, as I'm preparing for a trip to Moscow with a flight at 6AM tomorrow morning. That also means that I won't be around when the poll is over, or on the 1st, when the reading officially starts, so please don't wait for me to come with any announcements, just watch the poll, get your books and start reading. And if someone wants to announce the winner, feel free to do so.

The link for the discussion thread is here: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 23&t=10009
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IronMike
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby IronMike » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:56 pm

Enjoy Moscow! I miss that damn place. If you like beer, check out all the local beers. Some good brewers over there.
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IronMike
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby IronMike » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:48 pm

Go Roadside Picnic! (I already have it on my shelf in Esperanto.)
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby Mista » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:54 pm

The time is out and we have a tie (again). My suggestion is that we read Three Tales in October and Roadside Picnic in November. Also, for those who want to read the longer books, that we include those at the same time and read Quo Vadis in October and November and Heaven and Hell in December and January.
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kanewai
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby kanewai » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:02 pm

Mista wrote:The time is out and we have a tie (again). My suggestion is that we read Three Tales in October and Roadside Picnic in November. Also, for those who want to read the longer books, that we include those at the same time and read Quo Vadis in October and November and Heaven and Hell in December and January.
It sounds good to me. It's always hard to balance the short works with the longer works, so it might be nice to have a choice of one or the other, or both.

I'll be in for Three Tales (I've actually already started) and I'll start in on Quo Vadis? in a few weeks, probably in French.


For anyone else in the US with a kindle, check out the Oeuvres complètes de Gustave Flaubert for $2. This contains his novels, poems, short stories, and lectures. In general the French Oeuvres complètes collections have been high quality, unlike some other "bargains" I've tried on Amazon.

I see a lot of public domain copies of Quo Vadis? in different languages, but I'm not sure of the quality of the translations. I downloaded the free one in French, and compared it to a 2016 translation by Maria Cieszewska (link here).

2016 translation (Maria Cieszewska)
Pétronne s’était réveillé vers midi, comme à l’ordinaire très fatigué. La veille, il avait été convié chez Neron à un festin qui s’était prolongé fort tard dans la nuit. Depuis un certain temps, sa santé commencait à se gâter. Il disait lui-même qu’il se réveillait le matin comme engourdi et incapable de rassembler ses pensées.


1896 translation (Ely Hélperine-Kaminski) (the free one)
Pétrone se réveilla seulement vers midi, et très las, comme de coutume. La veille, il avait été convive de Néron, et le festin s’était prolongé fort avant dans la nuit. Depuis quelque temps, sa santé commençait à s’altérer. Il avouait se réveiller le matin tout engourdi et incapable de rassembler ses idées.

The 2016 version flows better to my eyes ... hopefully I can find an affordable copy.
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Mario Vargas Llosa, Tiempos recios: 95 / 350
Le Clézio, Désert: 75 / 410
Elena Ferrante, La vita bugiardi degli adulti: 50 / 100
Assimil German: 65 / 100

IronMike
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Re: Vote for the October book club book

Postby IronMike » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:26 am

I'm in for Roadside Picnic in November. I'll read it in Esperanto. Possibly I'll do Quo Vadis as well. I have that in Eo and Pola retradio has done a reading of it and its on their website, so I'll be able to listen/read it.
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