The Book of the Month Club, or, What’s Bot Reading Now?

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The Sibling

Bot  is the odd childhood nickname of my sister, explanations therefore reserved for later. I shall leave her identified only via that moniker here, in case she wants to distance herself from these proceedings in the future (ha).

Botly has lately commented on the fact that I get books quite frequently through the mail. It’s true: between reading for fun, for education, and for research, I have a constant influx of tomes from online sources. I don’t usually pay more than $4/book (check out www.betterworld.com for a great economic solution to your bibliophilic cravings). The result is, I can afford to feed the book habit on a relative shoestring and the consequence is, a plethora of books.

Bort (ok, it’s a mutating name, but I like that one especially. It’s kinda like Borg, you know?) – Bort reads a lot too, but mostly just for fun, and the necessary mental vacation from her very intensive work in the insurance industry.  Ergo, she does lots of “popcorn” reading – quickie books, light romances, some thrillers and mysteries and paranormals, things with cool cover art. Like that.

But she lately opined that she should get as many books as I do – from me, as gifts, was understood. She is ogling my volume of incoming and having biblio-envy, I understand. In our perfect world, we would each have time to do nothing but read.  With this as necessary background, I share with you my newly hatched Grand Plan.

She’d like a book a week (she can read more than that, but 1 a week from me is something she’d actually get around to reading, probably, as opposed to collecting for eventual perusal 10 years from now).  Her ideal mix would be, 1 non-fiction to 3 fictions/month.

Whereupon I say, “Bwahahaha…..”

The Scheme

After pinging her about topical interests, I gave her a non-fiction book about Atlantis. This on the heels of a conversation where she said she was interested in Atlantis but there wasn’t really anything factual about it. To which I replied, “Oh yes there is.” To which she replied silently with the infamous Raised Eyebrow.  Which resulted in me giving her this book, Survivors of Atlantis (see below for details). It marshals arguments from some well-known archaeologists who make arguments for the historical existence of Atlantis, and traces this Atlantean influence through various civilizations.  Interesting content, at the very least provocative of thought however you come down on the Atlantis question.

So, my grand plan is to follow up on the non-fiction Theme du Month with fiction books that elaborate upon that topic. That means, thematically, we can get into a subject of interest with a non-fiction groundwork, and then see how that subject has been elaborated upon in story narrative.

Now, how too cool is that? (Though if you don’t see at all what might be cool about that, you probably don’t grok this blog at all… !)

This means former-librarian me gets to go dig around in forgotten corners of literature and history and find really interesting (and ideally, mostly forgotten)  gems of literature, and share them in the context of the ‘real world’ framework they explicate.

I’m delighted. I think Bot will be delighted – if she actually finds time to do the reading. I hope she will. At any rate, I’ve managed to intrigue my own self with this concept, and see that I will have to order multiples of many of these books, because they’re things I would like to read as well. (Oh, darn, must…buy…more…books….!)

Therefore, with this post, I am announcing the Bot Book of the Month Club. Now and then I’ll post here about the Topic Du Month, and what titles are being bought and shared to delve into that subject.  When I post about the non-fiction seed of the month’s fiction reading, YOU are invited to contribute fiction reading suggestions that you think fit the theme.  Please do be sure to let me and other readers here know why you think the fiction work is relevant. I’m hoping for something that goes beyond just, “Story x takes place in that time/place.”  Why is that work  especially interesting?  Why should we look at this one book as a notable elaboration upon our non-fiction topic?

I’m curious to know what you might recommend.

With that in mind, then, here’s the non-fiction book for this month. Let me know what fiction you think would be suitable companion reading to this. Later, after I’ve made some selections, I’ll share my own choices and the rationale why. I’m limited to 3 fiction works to every 1 non-fiction for the Bot-book-supply-plan, but trust me that intriguing titles readers post about here are very likely to be purchased and read by myself, at the very least, and possibly The Great Botkins as well. 🙂

The Book this Month

Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on World Culture

Survivors of Atlantis - JosephThere is a lot of fluff written about Atlantis. There is also a lot of esoterica on the subject. I don’t dismiss that out of hand – I have my own experiences with esoterica, when it comes to that – but for someone interested in a contemporary factual treatment of Atlantis, Survivors of Atlantis is of particular interest.

This book makes an argument for the existence and global impact of Atlantis by comparing various cultural influences on widely scattered continents that seem to come from a single trans-continental source in prehistory.  In making this case he cites the work of various archaeologists who are respected as legitimate scientists in their fields.  The book gets generally good reviews from Amazon readers for its marshaling of facts, and stands out to me because one of Bot’s abiding areas of interest is archaeology.  Hence this pick for our Book of the Month club.

Survivors gets generally good reviews from Amazon readers, who especially like how author Frank Joseph uses archaeologist-collected evidence to make his points. In the News from the Weird corner, Joseph himself is, shall we say, a colorful character, notorious, even, for some of his past doings. I don’t want to get into that history too much here in a book description: at one point in his later life, Joseph seems to have turned a corner with his awareness and his personal activities, and since then has devoted his time and energy to things like his research about Atlantis.  If you are mucho curioso about the author, Google is your friend. Personally, I’m willing to let a work stand on its own two feet, and in this case there is much that is thought-provoking and well-grounded scientifically in this book.

But this is just the appetizer.  It sets the stage for our flights of the imagination in narrative tales yet to come. Do you have any stories in mind that take place in Atlantis, or are about that lost continent? Leave your reading suggestions (and reasoning why!) in the comments.

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