Alastair Reynolds, Currently Reading, Literature, Revelation Space, Science Fiction

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Reading status: Currently reading

Revelation_Space_cover_(Amazon)

Blurb: Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld Resurgam, it’s of little more than academic interest, even after the discovery of a long-hidden, almost perfect Amarantin city and a colossal statue of a wingest Amarantin. For brilliant but ruthloess scientist Dan Sylveste, it’s more than merelty intellectual curiosity – and he will stop at nothing to get at the truth. Even if the truth costs him everything. But the Amarantin were wiped out for a reason, and that danger is closer and greater than even Syveste imagines…

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Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie, Finished reading, Literature, Science Fiction

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Reading status: Finished

Ancillary-JusticeBlurb:

The record-breaking debut novel that won every major science fiction award in 2014, Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. Ann Leckie is the first author to win the Arthur C. Clarke, the Nebula and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in the same year.

They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.

The Radch are conquerors to be feared – resist and they’ll turn you into a ‘corpse soldier’ – one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship’s AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people.

The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed – but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation. Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale.

But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.

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Finished reading, Iain M. Banks, Literature, Look To Windward, Science Fiction

Look To Windward by Iain M. Banks

Reading status: Finished

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Blurb: After a harrowing battle flashback, the scene shifts to one of the Culture’s wonderfully landscaped, ring-shaped artificial worlds called Orbitals. A ghastly light is awaited in the sky from distant suns detonated in the war of Consider Phlebas eight centuries earlier; an occasion for sombre festivity, pyrotechnics, and a memorial symphony from exiled alien composer Ziller. Meanwhile another tortured member of Ziller’s race–aggressors and victims in that more recent civil war–arrives on a mission whose dreadful nature emerges through fragments of slowly returning memory. Elsewhere, in the exuberantly imagined airsphere home of floating “behemothaurs” almost too huge to imagine, the clue to what’s happening falls belatedly into inexperienced hands…

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Father Goriot, Fiction, Finished reading, Honoré de Balzac, Literature

Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

Reading status: Finished

9780199538751

Blurb: This is the tragic story of a father whose obsessive love for his two daughters leads to his financial and personal ruin. It is set against the background of a whole society driven by social ambition and lust for money. The detailed descriptions of both affluence and squalor in the Paris of 1819 are an integral part of the drama played out by a wide range of characters, including the sinister but fascinating Vautrin. Unquestionably one of Balzac’s finest novels, Pére Goriot still has the power to move the modern reader.

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Fiction, Finished reading, In Search of Lost Time, Literature, Marcel Proust

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

Reading status: Finished

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Blurb: Swann’s Way is one of the preeminent novels of childhood-a sensitive boy’s impressions of his family and neighbors, all brought dazzlingly back to life years later by the famous taste of a madeleine. It also enfolds the short novel Swann’s Love, an incomparable study of sexual jealousy, which becomes a crucial part of the vast, unfolding structure of In Search of Lost Time. The first volume of the book that established Proust as one of the finest voices of the modern age-satirical, skeptical, confiding, and endlessly varied in his response to the human condition-Swann’s Way also stands on its own as a perfect rendering of a life in art, of the past re-created through memory.

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Currently Reading, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Literature, The Idiot

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Reading status: Currently reading

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Blurb: Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering, Fyodor Dostoyevsky set out to portray “a truly beautiful soul” colliding with the brutal reality of contemporary society. Returning to St. Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive Prince Myshkin—known as “the idiot”—pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General and his circle. But after becoming infatuated with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna, Myshkin finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and, ultimately, murder. This new translation by David McDuff is sensitive to the shifting registers of the original Russian, capturing the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative for a new generation of readers.

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Currently Reading, Fiction, Leo Tolstoy, Literature, War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Reading status: Currently reading

war and peace leo tolstoy

Excerpt (p. 97):  I have never been able to understand the passion that some people have for befogging their thoughts by cleaving to the study of mystical books which can only awaken doubts in their minds, while inflaming the imagination and inclining them towards exaggeration, which goes right against Christian simplicity. Let us read the Apostles and the Gospel. Let us not speak to penetrate what they contain that is mysterious, for how dare we presume, miserable sinners that we are, to admit ourselves into the terrible and holy secrets of Providence while we still wear this mortal flesh that raises and impenetrable veil between us and the Eternal?

Blurb: Considered by many to the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy’s masterpiece is a story of family life set against the backdrop of war. The novel begins in 1805 in the crowded and gossip-filled rooms of a St Petersburg party and follows the fortunes of the aristocratic Bolkonsky and Rostov families as Napoleon’s armies sweep through Europe, culminating in the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and Napoleon’s defeat. Tolstoy’s vast novel takes in both the epic sweep of national events and the private experience of individuals, from the keen young soldier to Napoleon himself, and at the heart of it all the complicated triangle of affection that binds his central characters.

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