Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Releases on the Horizon

Here are some books to be published later this year (or possibly into 2017) that I'm interested in. And they fit in well with this week's top ten Tuesday theme as well. Check out the "Speculative Fiction in Translation" post at if you're interested in more translated science/speculative fiction titles.

Everfair Cover

 Everfair by Nisi Shaw is a steampunk alternate history of the Congo. Thanks to Jordan at Forever Lost in Literature for highlighting this on her blog this week.

Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation Cover

Invisible Planets is a collection of science fiction stories by Chinese authors translated by Ken Liu. Due out in November 2016.

Iraq + 100 Cover

 Iraq + 100 is a collection of speculative fiction stories by Iraqi authors, imaging what Iraq will be like in 2103, edited by Hassan Blasim.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear Cover

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, tranlsated by Susan Bernofsky, is about a family of writers and performers in East Germany.

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi & winner of the 2014 prize for Arabic fiction. Jonathan Wright is translating it into English. (Arabic cover shown.) Hadi al-Attag roams the city of Baghdad, collecting the parts of people who have been dismembered in explosions & sewing them into one body. When a displaced soul enters the body, it comes to life and sets about taking revenge on those who killed its parts.

Spanish Women of Wonder is a collection of stories written in Spanish and translated into English by Sue Burke. This was a kickstarter project, and I'm sure these authors will be new to me. (No cover available.)


And finally, though this isn't a translation, it's one I'm really excited about: Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea novels are being published in an omnibus edition with illustrations by Charles Vess!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday


I love learning new words when I'm reading. Check out bermudaonion's blog if you'd like to learn some in addition to the ones I've picked up this month.

Two from James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips.

Rodomontade is a noun referring to boastful or inflated talk or behavior. According to Wikipedia, the term is a reference to Rodomonte, a character in the Italian Renaissance epic poems Orlando innamorato and its sequel Orlando furioso.

Negentropy is negative entropy, or reverse entropy. It means things becoming more in order: more organized, structured, functional. (simple Wikipedia)

Panegyric is a public speech or published text in praise of someone or something.

" . . . he filled my tooth, while intoning a panegyric to all my teeth . . ." from My Friend Muriel by Jane Duncan.

Polysemy: poly- "many" + sema "sign" is the capacity of a sign/symbol to have multiple meanings.

"The Polysemy of Veiling"  (a section title) in What is veiling? by Sahara Amer

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books set outside the USA

OK, so I went a little overboard on this one. I'm looking forward to what others post for this meme, since I'm always looking for international reads. If you want to see what other bloggers posted, check out this link.

The first three on my list came to mind easily, I had to look up the rest on my Library Thing account to jog my memory. Except for as noted, the author is from the country the book is set in.


Golden Scales by Parker Bilal
Genre: mystery (first in a series)
Setting: Egypt; author is of British & Sudanese descent

Genre: historical fiction
Setting: East Pakistan/Bangladesh during & after war for independence

The hired man by Aminatta Forna 
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Eastern Europe; author is Scottish & Sierra Leone ish?

Dust by Yvonne A. Owuor
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Kenya

The garden of evening mists by Tan Twan  Eng
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Malaysia

Anything by Amitav Ghosh, an  Indian writer,
especially Hungry Tide, Sea of Poppies & River of Smoke
Genre: historical fiction 
Setting: India, China

A Persian Requiem by Simin Daneshvar, translated by Roxane Zand
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Iran

God's of tango (Argentina) &
The invisible mountain (Uruguay)
by Carolina de Robertis
Genre: historical fiction 
Author is of Uruguayan descent.

The three body problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (first in a trilogy)
Genre: science fiction
(set during the cultural revolution, this novel won the Hugo for best novel in 2015.)
Setting: China

Non fiction

Genre: narrative nonfiction
Setting: India; follows several families in a slum near the Mumbai airport.

The author is an investigative reporter who writes on poverty in the US. 
Born & raised in the US, Boo is a Pulitzer winner & this book reads easily.

Story of the Qu'ran: it's place in Muslim life by Ingrid Mattson
Genre: non fiction
I found this a fascinating description of the history of the Qu'ran & it's interpretation from an academic believer's perspective. I include it since the Qu'ran originated in what we now know as Saudi Arabia, and the academic study of this scripture was pioneered and continues to be taught more outside the US than in.

If the oceans were ink: an unlikely friendship and a journey to the heart of the Koran by Caria Power
Genre: memoir
Setting: England & India
The author is a US citizen; her parents were Quaker & Jewish. She met Sheikhh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, an Indian imam living in England while they were both at Oxford University. This book chronicles her study of the Koran over one year with Nadwi, as well as her description of his training & activities as an imam.

The butterfly mosque by Willow Wilson
Genre: memoir
Setting: Egypt
The author is a US citizen. The book describes meeting her husband and converting to Islam while living in Egypt.