{Books in a Nutshell} July ~ September 2016

by Julia

 

Just slightly behind my schedule as this post was supposed to be published at the end of September cough cough (〃ω〃) Anyway, this trimester things have gone much better and reading has returned being an essential part of my daily routine.

 

 Sarah Zettel – Fool’s War
|Italian Translation|

I really enjoyed reading this sci-fi novel. I was particularly struck by the theme of Islam and religious intollerance, something I wouldn’t have expected from a book of this genre and even less considering that it was written in the late 1990s. The plot was gripping enough to make me read it in less than a week [the rainy Scottish weather was a good allied as well]. I found the first part better written and described than the latter, still it’s a book worth reading for the genre’s aficionados.

Rated 4/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Marion Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon
|Italian Translation|

Amazing. Simply amazing. I remembered Marion Zimmer Bradley from the Trillium series [back when I was a teenager] and honestly it didn’t impressed me much – I liked the plot, but found the characters too clichéd. This book is a whole different story. The characters here are absolutely perfect, troubled, twisted but also incredibly real. And the idea of telling the story of Arthur from the perspective of the main women of the tail it’s just freaking genius.

Rated 5/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Roland C. Wagner – La Balle du néant
|Italian Translation|

Not bad, but not great either. The first story is more crime than sci-fi. The second one is very original but a little too dazed for my liking. I appreciated the very original and unusual style though.

Rated 3/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Alan Dean Foster – The Black Hole
|Italian Translation|

I was a little disappointed to discover it was the written version of a 1979 Disney movie, and not the other way around. Anyway I liked it to a certain extent, definitely not great literature her, but enjoyable enough as an easy-peasy summer reading.

Rated 3/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 James Edwin Gunn – The Listeners
|Italian Translation|

A great novel. I particularly loved it because I reminded me of Simak’s City, my sci-fi all-time favourite. I loved how the idea of ‘waiting’ was unravelled throughout different generations and different scenarios of human society. I found the writing style very evocative, almost metaphysical. I think I could re-read it in a couple of years from now.

Rated 4/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Leonardo Vittorio Arena – Ramayana
|Original Language|

I was curious to read more about this Indian epic poem that was referred to so many times while I was studying for my Bachelor degree. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the style the author chose to present the story as it tends to trivialize and flatten the whole plot construct. This has made me much more aware of how difficult it actually is to transpose ancient poems into modern texts without banalizing or even worse distort the original epic construct. Ancient poems are too entagled with the historical period and social values they were produced in, and no one can really recreate that by simply transposing the plot in modern terms.

Rated 2/5 stars on Goodreads

 

Including the books I read in October I’m currently 22/25 in my Goodreads 2016 reading challenge, which means, only 3 more books to go before December 31st in order to complete it. I hope not to spoil everything right at the very end of the challenge!

Advertisements