Hello Readers! This is the official suggestion thread for April/May book of the month reading.
For this round we're taking 3 suggestions for the pole.
As last time, please only suggest 1 book per post. Like 2 others you'd enjoy reading (your initial posts count as 1 vote for your books). Try to post a small summary of the book rather than a link, it's easier for people to make a decision without having to toggle back and forth.
An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith. Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, has been trained from childhood to fight and kill in service to the Faith. He has earned many names and almost as many scars, acquiring an ugly dog and a bad-tempered horse in the process. Ensnared in an unjust war by a king possessed of either madness or genius, Vaelin seeks to answer the question that will decide the fate of the Realm: …who is the one who waits?
Im on mobile. So give me a few seconds to fulfill the requirements.
The Killing Star
Plot Summary ( copied from Wikipedia )
The late 21st century seems like a good time to be alive. Earth is at peace. Humans now command self-replicating machines that create engineering marvels on enormous scales. Artificial habitats dot the solar system. Anti-matter driven Valkyrie rockets carry explorers to the stars at nearly the speed of light. All seems well.
Then, from the uncaring black of space come swarms of relativistic missiles. Though they are merely boulder-sized hunks of metal, they move fast enough to hit with the force of many nuclear arsenals. They are impossible to track and impossible to stop. Humanity is all but wiped out by the horrific bombardment.
A handful of survivors desperately struggle to escape the alien mop-up fleet. They hide close to the sun, inside asteroids, beneath the crusts of moons, within ice rings, and in the fathomless depths of interstellar space. But most are hunted down and slaughtered.
The last man and woman on Earth are captured as zoo specimens. In the belly of an alien starship, a squid-like being relates to them the pitiless logic behind human-kind's execution: the moment humans learned to travel at relativistic speeds was the moment mankind simply became too dangerous a neighbor to have around. Nothing personal.
In an astonishing feat of narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.
For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threatens to destroy his small, safe corner of America -- and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.
I've seen the movie and ever since then the book's been on my to-do list. I've seen some of Adams' speeches, you should at least get informed on the Kakapo, I found the whole 'case' of that animal's existence amazing. And I think I'd enjoy his sense of humor.
edit: thanks to whoever mentioned it in the discussion
'Ishmael begins with a newspaper ad: "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person." He responds to the ad and upon arriving at the address, finds himself in a room with a gorilla.
To the narrator's surprise, he finds that the gorilla, calling himself Ishmael, can communicate telepathically. At first baffled by this, the man learns the story of how the gorilla came to be here and soon accepts Ishmael as his teacher, regularly returning to Ishmael's office throughout the plot. The novel continues from this point mainly as a Socratic dialogue between Ishmael and his new student as they hash out what Ishmael refers to as "how things came to be this way" for mankind.' wiki
This is a beautiful book about philosophically examining society from an outsider's point of view. Many of the things humans do seem to make no sense, until one views them through the eyes of an animal used to the laws of the jungle.
Extra Bonus Round: Pearl Jam made this song and video based on the novel Ishmael. I loved the video long before someone told me that it was based on a book. Ishmael stars at 2:44.
Id like to suggest One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The Gulag, the Stalinist labour camps to which millions of Russians were condemned for political deviation, has become a household word in the West. This is due to the accounts of many witnesses, but most of all to the publication, in 1962, of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the novel that first brought Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn to public attention. His story of one typical day in a labour camp as experienced by prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is sufficient to describe the entire world of the Soviet camps.
Sounds intriguing. I took a modern Russian history course back in uni which was very interesting. One of the books we read was Hochschild's The Unquiet Ghost, which I remember liking. It's been a while, but I think I'd recommend it if you are interested in the post-Stalinist era.
I read this book in high school (consider reading and writing were things not the most easiest for me) it was an excellent and thought provoking story which id read again and thought people may enjoy as I don't think many people end up reading foreign books often.
Its not to long, an easy one for a month. The translation I linked is apparently the only "approved" translation by the author, and happens to be the one i read years ago as well. (though it must be a reprint as i wasn't in high school in 2005)
Did you listen to the last discussion? I don't want to derail this thread so im happy to discuss it further in another thread but to quickly answer. I don't think discussing literature which may or may not have political leanings within this book of the month group is a bad thing or unwelcome. The discussion is also out of the forum (for the most part), and if the last discussion is anything to go by, people who have been in this book of the month have been reasonable and self aware in the way in which they speak (the lack of these being one of the core problems that ended up with no politics in the first place).
Though if @gearheadgirl27 feels it may be out of scope ill suggest another book. It is fiction though based on real places and history.
Judging by the synopsis, I think it is focused more on the human suffering part and less on politics. Eden can correct me if I'm wrong cause I haven't read it. And, in my experience, you can derail just about any topic into a political discussion in a matter of minutes.
The Foundation discussion went really really wide but the book kind of allows it, 'cause it touches a bit of everything (human nature, religion, greed, economy, science, futurism, philosophy). So when you listen to the discussion it would seem as if more than half of it is off-topic.
Also, I'd like to thank whoever suggested Isaac Arthur's channel! Really interesting perspective on the whole futurism thing.
I also checked out Isaac Arthur, and he has quite a few well paced, well thought out and reasonable propositions. I just couldn't listen as his pronunciation just stuck in my craw. Shame, as he has some really good ideas.