Last Tuesday I had a job interview. I had spent the whole week preparing it, the week-end, worked late in the night every day to be as best prepared as possible. So, when it was over, I felt some kind of inebriation. I needed something to just put the steam out of me, and instead of going to lunch at 11:30 am exactly as I do every day, I indulged myself into something I just love doing: going to the biggest second hand bookstore in Paris and grab some loot.
Since Athena had asked to see my bookshelves (and, actually, book piles and book cardboard boxes in the basement; my board games need some company after all), I just decided to share my findings, especially since I was pretty happy with it. Obviously, everything is in French.
From left to right:
- Confucius, by Yasushi Inoue. I enjoy Japanese literature from time to time, and Yasushi Inoue is my favorite Japanese writer so far (even though I don't recommend what is held as his masterpiece, The Hunting Gun short story). I also happen to have a keen interest for Early Chinese philosophy, so when I saw this book, it seemed a good fit!
- An obscure book on Korean mythology. Of course, one of my favorite part of the bookstore is the one devoted to Mythology. There are always some great finds to have there! This time I got lucky and found this appealing, if not good-looking, book. Since I know and have absolutely nothing on Korean Mythology, it seemed a very good idea to get it. Besides, I'm a bit picky when it comes to mythology, and it does two good things that I love. First, it replaces myths in their material contexts, by drawing links with archeological findings. Second, it quotes actual sources. I just hate mythology re-told. But mythology, in its raw state, is hard to apprehend, so it's good that these quotes come with plenty of commentary.
- A little book on Greek Mythology. With the risk of being mainstream, I am absolutely fan of Greek Mythology (even though I have never read Hesiod's Theogony as of now!). It's popular for a reason. But it's hard to read it from its actual sources (recently I was gifted a textbook to remedy that). And yet I think it's absolutely necessary, otherwise you're lost among a wealth of conflicting versions (partly because they come from different places and different times). This little book seems to focus on one specific body of texts, so it seems quite cool.
- Okay I don't know how to translate it in English... The Michoacán account perhaps? Anyway, more here on Wikipedia. It's an ethnographic chronicle of a people written during the Spanish Conquest. Even though this is a rather terrible part of our worldwide history, it's a period that quite fascinates me. It seems hard to read though, with plenty of list of names, and it's quite long. But I'm a bit used to this kind of old literature that isn't really readable by our present-day standards!
- Lastly, another of my favorite non Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers: Ismail Kadare. I had never heard about this book, Spiritus, before stumbling upon it. But he wrote so many of titles! Two books I especially recommend are The Siege and The Traitor's Niche. His novels are usually short, easy to read, a bit bizarre and somehow rather humorous (well, not all of them). They have a haunting, fleeting atmosphere that is very difficult to describe, that you feel immediately when reading it, and that I have found nowhere else. If you have the opportunity to grab one of his book, it's really something that is worth discovering!
PS: And I didn't get the job. A nice thing I got good books at least!
Sorry you didn't get the job, Z. Have you applied at CERN? If you took your private jet, the commute wouldn't be too bad.
Your books look 'brainy'. This is probably the brainiest one I have (and I don't understand a lot of it 😄).
Ah, merde about the job. 😯 Hopefully something better awaits you later.
Thank you so much for this show and tell, Zerbique! I especially like the Korean mythology pick, as I don't know anything about it. I realized we have one Ismail Kadare at home which I haven't read (The General of the army of the dead), I'll give it a try now that you recommended him. Let's do more of these loot posts!