Saturday, February 24, 2018

More Book Buying!

Yep, I seem to be buying books rather than reading this month. Bought a couple more yesterday - one based on a recommendation from a mailing-list discussion thread, and one I'd meant to buy a few years ago - this one I special ordered. Also I bought a tribute-book/biography for Gord Downie of Canada's Tragically Hip music group.

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World - Peter FrankopanThe Silk Roads: A New History of the World
Peter Frankopan
Copyright Date: 2017 (Reprint)

The product description:
“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian 

The epic history of the crossroads of the world—the meeting place of East and West and the birthplace of civilization

It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. From the rise and fall of empires to the spread of Buddhism and the advent of Christianity and Islam, right up to the great wars of the twentieth century—this book shows how the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East.

Peter Frankopan realigns our understanding of the world, pointing us eastward. He vividly re-creates the emergence of the first cities in Mesopotamia and the birth of empires in Persia, Rome and Constantinople, as well as the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death and the violent struggles over Western imperialism. Throughout the millennia, it was the appetite for foreign goods that brought East and West together, driving economies and the growth of nations.

From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts. Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next.
Based on the description, and the discussion where it was recommended, this looks like it'll be an interesting read - just not sure when I'll get to it. I'm so busy with work right now that I'm barely reading anything at all.

I also ordered myself a copy of:

The Emperor's Agent - Jo GrahamThe Emperor's Agent
Jo Graham
Crossroads Press
Copyright Date: 2013

The product description:
Courtesan, actress, medium . . . spy. 1805: Europe stands poised on the brink of war. Elza is content with her life in the demi-monde, an actress and courtesan in the glittering society of France's First Empire, but when her former lover is arrested for treason, Elza is blackmailed into informing on her friends and associates. She has one alternative-to become the secret agent of the most feared man in Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte! France's invasion of England is imminent, but a spy in the camp of the Grand Army threatens the secret plans. Taking the Emperor's commission to catch the spy means playing the deadly game of spy versus counterspy. However, this is no ordinary espionage, but backed by the power of the witches of England determined to hold England's sea wards against invasion. Only an agent who is herself a medium can hope to unravel their magic in time-with the life of the man Elza loves hanging in the balance. From the theaters of Paris to the sea cliffs that guard the Channel, from ballrooms and bedrooms to battlefields corporeal and astral, Elza must rely on her wits, her courage, her beauty, and her growing talents as a medium for she must triumph-or die!
If my memory serves, The Emperor's Agent is the sequel to The General's Mistress, which I read back when it first came out. I think it's time for a re-read to refresh my memory of events before I read The Emperor's Agent. My understanding is that these two books are loosely connected to the Numinous World series (Black Ships, Hand of Isis and Stealing Fire).

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