To imagine is to experience the future?

To see is to experience the world as it is, to remember is to experience the world as it was, but to imagine–ah, to imagine is to experience the world as it isn’t and has never been, but as it might be. The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real, and it is this ability that allows us to think about the future.

by Daniel Gilbert, book ” Stumbling on Happiness”

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New books to the never-ending “to-read” list

Warning!!

Before you read any further, this is a post about more cool books to read!

Don’t blame me if your list of books gets out of control later, okay?

Yes, I have just added more books to my “to-read” list!! All from authors that wrote both fantasy and science fiction.

After reading “The Curse of Chalion” by Lois McMaster Bujold I have immediately added the first book of the Vorkosigan Saga series (sci-fi).

And yesterday I came across this iO9 post listing the 10 Book Series So Addictive, You Never Want Them to End. Yes, the Vorkosigan Saga is among them!

The first book of the series is “Shards of Honor (1986), and the most recent one was released in 2012. The impressive full list of books in the series can be found here. There are almost 30 books!! And, well, addictive it is, then!  I will probably start slow on this one.

Also, this week a friend of mine told me about another prolific writer called Poul Anderson.  He wrote fantasy and science fiction, and won awards for some of his works.

So, for classic hard sci-fi by Poul Anderson: “Tau Zero” (1970). I have heard this one is his materpiece!

For some space opera, my friend told me about The Saga of Dominic Flandry (12 novels, published from 1966 to 1985).

And for some fantasy “dungeons&dragons” style by the same author, there is “Broken Sword“, first published in 1954.

I haven’t read any of them before but I believe these are interesting titles to explore!

You can thank me later 😉

The Curse of Chalion: book review

Hi, all!!

Here goes another book review of one book I read for the –awesome– book club The Sword and Laser. Yay, it’s fantasy month!!

 

 The Curse of Chalion

 By Lois McMaster Bujold

Kindle edition

Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2001)

Print Length: 512 pages

Read from August 07 to 20, 2013

 My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

This was an unexpected book for me! When I read the book description, I confess I was not so excited about it:

“A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.”

However, I was not disappointed! It is a very elegantly written tale, and the world building is amazing! I thought it had a slow start at the beginning. At 30% of the book I was feeling nothing was going to happen, the pace was slower than I would have enjoyed. The main character, Cazaril, is presented as a broken man, escaped from slavery, and returned to his Kingdom (Royacy) searching for shelter. At these introductory chapters, I wrongly suspected there would be no magic or fantastic events in the story.

The author slowly builds the characters and unravels the magical and religious background of the kingdom of Chalion. After it is clear that there is a dark curse going on and that Cazaril is the “hero” who takes action to solve the mystery (and gets deeply involved with it), the pace of the book increases greatly. From this point forward, I could not let the book down. I ended up loving Cazaril’s integrity, objectivity and sarcastic observations, and could not help but keep my fingers crossed for him. I really enjoyed the writing style of the book. It is classy but not over the top. The dialogues are great too, and the characters feel real and authentic.

All I can say without being “spoilery” is that it was a very pleasant read and I loved the ending, even though it may sound foreseeable for some. It is a great fantasy novel, very well balanced and with the right amount of magic in it. There is a sequel of this book called “Paladin of Souls”, which is now on my “to-read” list.

This book may be a good one for beginners in the fantasy genre, because it is light and neat even having elements like dark magic.

Oh, this author is also known for the science fiction series “Vorkosigan Saga” (which I never read) and that got my attention now.

Mismanaged commitments

Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to concentrate.

Your ability to concentrate is directly proportional to your ability to eliminate distraction.

Distraction is created by mismanaged commitments.

—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

 

Well, I’m very distracted today! So I believe it is time to review my GTD notebooks on Evernote and clear my mind!

An image for a nice week

August musings for a nice week

So, it’s the 34th week of the year! Times flies!

It seems to me that after August, things go on faster and faster, and when we least expect it, it’s Christmas! I haven’t had much energy to blog the past few days, but I’ve been reading a lot!

And to start the week happily, here goes a view taken on one of my weekends walking-running-mornings. It was a beautiful Sunday!