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Joined 2 years, 6 months ago

reading mostly non-fictional books to learn new stuff. But occasionally I'm reading Sci-Fi and History.

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Falko's books

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Ursula K. Le Guin, Laozi: Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching (1998, Shambhala) No rating

No other English translation of this greatest of the Chinese classics can match Ursula Le …

To be in favor or disgrace is to live in fear. To take the body seriously is to admit one can suffer.

What does that mean, to be in favor or disgrace is to live in fear? Favor debases: we fear to lose it, fear to win it. So to be in favor or disgrace is to live in fear.

What does that mean, to take the body seriously is to admit one can suffer? I suffer because I'm a body; if I weren't a body, how could I suffer?

Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching by ,

The final stanza relates this to the public good and body politic, but I like these bits on their own as well

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Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone: This Is How You Lose the Time War (Hardcover, 2019, Simon and Schuster) 5 stars

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange …

a teapot in a tempest

5 stars

"This is How You Lose the Time War" asks the reader to perch on the shoulders of two operatives on opposing sides of a time-traveling war.

Each chapter follows "Red" or "Blue" as they scurry up and down timelines and across dimensions. The book is both sweepingly broad and extremely contained and personal.

The settings flit by, dizzying: a temple for mechanized humans, an ancient holy cave, the assassination of Caesar - each sketched with broad, emotional strokes to give the setting an aesthetic. One gets the sense that a great web of cause and effect is being constantly constructed, altered, and destroyed, without ever seeing the full picture.

Against these backdrops, the characters "Red" and "Blue" write to each other - as nemeses, then as friends, ever deeper entangled even as they demolish each other's plans and forces. The letters make up an enormous part of the experience, and …

Halil Gülbeyaz: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Hardcover, 2003, Parthas) 5 stars

Detailed and engaging biography about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

5 stars

While this is a biography and thus rather dense with dates of events and names etc. I found it still very interesting to read. Halil managed to really tell the story of Mustafa Kemal. Carefully collecting sources and trying to carefully tell the tales of the mythos from evidence. He provides references to all the material and also context into other historic events and figures of the time. Really interesting to read the implications of the colonial powers and the demise of the ottoman empire in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The book helps connecting the dots of my rather sparse knowledge of recent european history.