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View Poll Results: How will we lose ourselves in translation in January?
Embassytown by China Miéville 3 33.33%
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada 3 33.33%
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa 5 55.56%
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin 7 77.78%
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto 3 33.33%
The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By by Georges Simenon 6 66.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-07-2018, 08:00 AM   #1
issybird
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Vote for January 2019 • Lost in Translation: Other Tongues


Let's select the book we'll read and discuss in January 2019!

We love new participants. We're happy for you to vote, but we'd like to request that you not vote unless you plan to join the discussion whatever the selection, in the interest of a vibrant conversation. So if you haven't posted in a book club thread yet, do please say a quick hello here or in the Welcome thread.


This is a poll. Vote for as many books as you'd like. Questions? FAQs | Guidelines Or just ask!

Choices:

Embassytown by China Miéville
Amazon US $7.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.
345 pp.

Every Man Dies Alone (alternate title: Alone in Berlin) by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann
Amazon U.S., $12.99 | Amazon CA $9.88 | Amazon UK £4.99 | Amazon AU $14.99 | Kobo U.S., $12.99 | Kobo CA $13.59 | Kobo UK £4.99 | Kobo AU $14.99
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Based on a true story, this never-before-translated masterpiece was overlooked for years after its author—a bestselling writer before World War II who found himself in a Nazi insane asylum at war’s end—died just before it was published.

In a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis, it tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Third Reich, Otto and Anna Quangel launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, Every Man Dies Alone is more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order—it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and for each other.

This edition includes an afterword detailing the gripping history of the book and its author, including excerpts from the Gestapo file on the real-life couple that inspired it.
546 pp.

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Kobo prices: $US9.99, $C13.99, $A14,99, $NZ20.34, £3.99.
Spoiler:
Quote:
In the spring of 1860, Fabrizio, the charismatic Prince of Salina, still rules over thousands of acres and hundreds of people, including his own numerous family, in mingled splendour and squalor. Then comes Garibaldi's landing in Sicily and the Prince must decide whether to resist the forces of change or come to terms with them.
This is a book translated from Italian into English, but of course it is also about the loss of a way of life and coming to terms with change.
327 pp.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK £5.99 | Amazon CA $10.99 | Amazon AU $11.99 | Kobo US $9.99 | Kobo UK £5.99 | Kobo CA $10.99 | Kobo AU $11.99
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A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can choose -and change - their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
304 pp.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Amazon US $12.86
Spoiler:
Quote:
In Kitchen, a young Japanese woman named Mikage Sakurai struggles to overcome the death of her grandmother. She gradually grows close to one of her grandmother's friends, Yuichi, from a flower shop and ends up staying with him and his transgender mother, Eriko.
The book works as translation on two levels - the language, and the misunderstood Erika who was struggling with being transgender in 1980s Japan.
152 pp.

The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By by Georges Simenon, (Siân Reynolds, tr.)
Kobo UK £2.99 | Kobo AU $10.99 | Kobo CA $11.99 | Kobo US $9.99 | Audible US
Spoiler:
Quote:
A brilliant new translation of one of Simenon's best loved masterpieces.

'A certain furtive, almost shameful emotion ... disturbed him whenever he saw a train go by, a night train especially, its blinds drawn down on the mystery of its passengers'

Kees Popinga is a respectable Dutch citizen and family man. Then he discovers that his boss has bankrupted the shipping firm he works for - and something snaps. Kees used to watch the trains go by to exciting destinations. Now, on some dark impulse, he boards one at random, and begins a new life of recklessness and violence. This chilling portrayal of a man who breaks from society and goes on the run asks who we are, and what we are capable of.

'Classic Simenon ... extraordinary in its evocative power' Independent
251 pp.

Last edited by issybird; 12-07-2018 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:57 PM   #2
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Well, I was able to get all but one of these from one or another of my libraries, so I think it's clear that I won't be voting for The Leopard. And it was the least interesting to me. All the rest look possible, and are either in my library, or inexpensive enough that I don't mind paying.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:01 PM   #3
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Well, I was able to get all but one of these from one or another of my libraries, so I think it's clear that I won't be voting for The Leopard. And it was the least interesting to me. All the rest look possible, and are either in my library, or inexpensive enough that I don't mind paying.
My libraries have all of them in one form or another, with the exception of the frontrunner.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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My libraries have all of them in one form or another, with the exception of the frontrunner.
Ah, that one I got from AmazonUK at a reasonable price. £2.99, which is $3.83 USD. Plus a decent WhisperSync price for the Audible book.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:06 AM   #5
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A big thank you to the person who nominated The Leopard. I have managed to source both ebook and audiobook versions in Italian, so I'm looking forward to some immersion reading. My other vote went for Embassytown
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:00 AM   #6
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A big thank you to the person who nominated The Leopard. I have managed to source both ebook and audiobook versions in Italian, so I'm looking forward to some immersion reading. My other vote went for Embassytown
You are welcome. I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:02 AM   #7
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I'm not really feeling the love for this month's selections. I opted for 'The left hand of Darkness'.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:57 PM   #8
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I'm not really feeling the love for this month's selections. I opted for 'The left hand of Darkness'.
I'm not feeling the love either; I was hoping to be forced into reading another mind-improving classic.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:18 PM   #9
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I'm not feeling the love either; I was hoping to be forced into reading another mind-improving classic.
I think this is a good list; the books fall solidly into the quality literature category without quite the element of necessary compulsion, i.e., you get a side of entertainment with your mind-stretching. I like classics myself, but I gather that's not a universally shared taste. They do make for excellent discussions, though!
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:30 PM   #10
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Probably the only real classic in this is The Left Hand of Darkness, which I read when it first came out, but haven't read since. So for me, it will be a completely new read for all intents and purposes. And now that we've nominated it, I'll be reading regardless of whether it wins or not. Along with a couple of the others.

Overall, I'm reasonably pleased with the nominations, as witnessed by my voting.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:45 PM   #11
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I think this is a good list; the books fall solidly into the quality literature category without quite the element of necessary compulsion, i.e., you get a side of entertainment with your mind-stretching. I like classics myself, but I gather that's not a universally shared taste. They do make for excellent discussions, though!
I don't necessarily like classics, but I like to say I've read them. Hence the need for some element of compulsion.

I certainly didn't like The Three Musketeers or The Old Man and the Sea, but I do like feeling smug about having read them, as I expect I will about The Scarlet Pimpernel, as soon as I get to it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:21 PM   #12
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I think The Leopard is considered a modern classic.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:09 PM   #13
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I think The Leopard is considered a modern classic.
Yes, it is and part of the Vintage Classics series. It’s been on my TBR, and I hope to get to it someday.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:17 PM   #14
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I'm not feeling the love either; I was hoping to be forced into reading another mind-improving classic.
Me too. I’m not into this month’s list. Although I didn’t nominate anything so I suppose I can partially blame myself. But, I did use all of my tickets to get more added to vote. I wish your book had gotten a third to make it to the vote too.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:38 PM   #15
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I think The Leopard is considered a modern classic.
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Yes, it is and part of the Vintage Classics series. It’s been on my TBR, and I hope to get to it someday.
Well, once again I'm brought up short. Thank you both for the "educational opportunity". Now I'm clearly going to have to go get my local library to buy a copy.
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