Sundays in bed with …….. Babel

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the arm of my sofa) is Babel by R F Kuang

I really enjoyed the Poppy Trilogy by R F Kuang and I loved the idea of this book and the tower of Babel being a centre of translation in Oxford so this was a book that I was really looking forward to reading.

Blurb from the book:

An act of translation is always an act of betrayal

Oxford 1836
The city of dreaming spires

Ir is the centre of all knowledge and progress in the world

And at its heart is Babel, Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation

The tower from which all the power of the empire flows

Orphaned in Canton and brought to England by a mysterious guardian, Robin Swift thought Babel a paradise.

Until it became a prison.
But can a student stand against an empire.

So far I’m about a third of the way through and I am really enjoying the story and the ideas. I loved the discussions between the characters about how translations can never be totally honest as words don’t translate exactly into other languages. I’ve come across this problem in music when a translation that sticks very closely to the original words often doesn’t work as well as one that changes the words more but conveys the sense better.

What are you reading this Sunday?


Stacking the Shelves 18

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It’s Saturday and we woke up to a blizzard! Winter is definitely here although the snow has pretty much all gone now. Saturday means that it’s time for another post about Stacking the shelves. ┬áThis is a meme hosted by Reading Reality and details are on her blog. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

My stacking the shelves posts are mainly about the books that I get from my local library. Libraries are continually under threat of closure or reduced hours but they are such an important way of getting books into people’s hands that they need supporting. By highlighting the amazing books that I pick up every week, I hope to inspire maybe just one person to visit their library and borrow a book.

This week’s library haul

It’s a much more normal selection from the library this week with two crime novels after not picking any last week. I’m really looking forward reading all of this week’s picks.

Forfeit by Barbara Nadal I really love this series of books set in Istanbul and featuring Inspector Ikmen and Inspector Suleyman. They are always intriguing mysteries and I love the insights into Turkish life as it is somewhere that I have never been.

The Poppy War by R F Kuang I have been meaning to read this for ages and so was really pleased to see it on the shelf today. It’s apparently quite a dark fantasy based on ancient China.

Till Daph do us part by Philippa Nefri Clark I know absolutely nothing about this book but the cover really appealed. It looks like being a much more lighthearted mystery than some of the ones I have read lately so will be a good contrast.

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan I have enjoyed previous books by Sarah Morgan and the cover of this is just gorgeous. I love that dark blue! I’m rationing myself to just one Christmas book a week as it’s still only November!

Have you read any of these? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear your thoughts.