Apr 24, 2017

Ancient Global Epics & Literary Versions

Reading our Roots

Are You Nutz? Why?

I simply love learning about the Ancient World.  So, what's more fun than to read works that stood Eons' length of time!

Some of these epics are long!! A lifetime to read long!  So, in this case, I'll give in to abridgements.

Ancient Epics can include Foundational Myths for the country because every project needs it's Bunny Slippers.  

More professionally speaking they are... oh look! A video!

But.... Around the World Challenge...

I won't cross post these Epics with the Around the World Challenge.  If a modern adaptation or retelling is clearly based on an epic, I'll link it here as such.  Maybe I'll branch out the definition of what makes an Ancient Epic to include under represented countries.  *cross your fingers* I hope English translations are available!

For sure, I'll make my signature Destination Profile for each Epic.  They look so pretty! And I can pack in so many resources.  

More specific posts will be linked here.  So for The Ramayana as an epic: I have the Destination Post which won't be added to. (Except adding AGE Challenge link to here.)

Future, more detailed books will be added here under the title: The Ramayana.  This would include the Sanskrit Clay Library Collection, other translations and a heading that lists literary adaptations.  

Literary Adaptations are more widely read, so I'll also include them in the Main Alphabetical Index  

You're Invited
I've explained what'll work for my site.  Feel free to adapt this in any way you like.  Read only modern retellings or make it a lifer and read only the unabridged translated works! 

Use #AncientGlobalEpic & Participate via Blog, Booktube, Twitter, or Instagram  ... 

Whichever Floats your Bookmark!

Central (including The Caribbean)

Europe (including Russia)

South & Central 

Eastern & Southern
Islands of the Indian Ocean

The Middle East



Apr 23, 2017

Russian Novels 1900s

Chekov, In the Ravine

Merezhkovsky, Christ and Antichrist, Part Two: Leonardo da Vinci or The Gods Resurrected

Leonid Nikolaevich Andreyev (1873-1924), The Christians 
Valeri Yakovlevich Bryusov (1873-1924), The Republic of the Southern Cross
Merezhkovsky, Christ and Antichrist, Part Three: Peter and Alexis

Mikhail Alekseyevich Kuzmin (1875-1936) Wings

Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev (1878-1927), Sanin

Bryusov, The Fiery Angel

Garin-Mikhailovsky, Engineers
Gorky, The Mother
Sergeyev-Tsensky (1875-1958), Babaev
Fyodor Sologub (1863-1927), The Petty Demon

Andreyev, Seven That Were Hanged

Artsybashev, At the Brink

Gorky, Confession
Aleksei Mikhailovich Remizov (1877-1957), The Pond

Andrei Bely (1880-1934), The Silver Dove
Alexander Ivanovich Kuprin (1870-1938), The Pit, Part One

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin (1870-1953), The Village

Bunin, Dry Valley

Tolstoy, Khadzhi Murat

Bely, Petersburg (Rev. Ed. 1922)

Bryusov, The Altar of Victory

Kuprin, The Pit, Part Two

Sologub, The Legend in the Process of Creation

Bunin, The Gentleman from San Francisco

Bely, Kotik Letaev

Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937), The Islanders

Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich Ivanov (1895-1963), The Partisans
Remizov, Noises of the City

Ilia Grigorievich Erenburg (1891-1961), The Extraordinary Adventures of Julio Jurenito and His Disciples…
Ivanov, Armored Train No. 14-69
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (1890-1960), The Childhood of Luvers
Boris Pilnyak (1894-1937), The Bare Year

Aleksei Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1882-1945), Aelita

Apr 20, 2017

Under Construction

3 Major Projects Announcement

Thank you for being Patient.  

I spent the last 2 weeks tweaking my Menus and Itineraries.  I’ve also added a Reader’s Retreat.  Destinations have trickled in a lot slower than usual.  That section will be back on track shortly.  

All of this is in preparation for … drum roll …. 

Reading all the Russians Project!!! 

Slowly, I’ll be typing up the Chronology of Russian Books.  I have 9 pages of books to type up over the next few days!! And more slowly, I plan to read all or most of them.  So the Destinations will trickle in until that 9 page list is up.  Then I'll be back to the daily Destinations again.  

2nd Drum Roll …. 

Global Ancient Epics Project! 

I plan to read at least one Epic from various countries around the World.  This will include Modern Retellings or Adaptations.  They’ve inspired so many rich stories and I’m excited to share my findings with you.  I’ll draft up a Reading List based on my Goodreads Bookshelf.  The Reading List is flexible and can be added to as I discover more of the great books.  Feel free to join in or suggest your own country’s Ancient Epic.

3rd Drum Roll….. Already posted is the ...

Reading Around the World Project.  

I’ll try to read from each Continent (EASY!!!!)  I’d like to focus on lesser known regions or areas that are under represented.  Many countries are in the news, focusing on disasters.  I’d like to focus on books that showcase the culture of the country.  Some of the historic turmoil is good to learn about also.  Anything that can give a deeper understanding of the people and their culture.

As always, please feel free to recommend books to me (hopefully that are available in an English translation).  You can recommend in the comments or through my Goodreads Account.  I’d sure like to learn about more books, myths, epics, philosophers that represent other countries.  Romanized Titles are ok, I’m pretty good at Google & am not afraid to dig for gems!!

My Tourist Map section is woefully broken!  I’m not sure where to go with that section.  Delete it? Alter it?  I could change it to make mini-projects.  Or if they are helpful, I could continue to make mind maps for books.  Drop me a line for any ideas.

Apr 19, 2017

Sita’s Ramayana

Her Side of the Epic!

Text By Samhita Arni
Illustrations By Moyna Chitrakar
Based on Chandrabati’s Retelling
Originally Attributed to Valmiki
India, 2011

Main Attractions

1. Keeps the Ancient Vibes 
2. Lots of Events & Details 
3. Beautiful Artwork
4. Great Intro to the Ramayana 
5. Lengthy Mythical Battle 
6. Includes all the Key Events
7. Told as a Fable with Morals
8. The Women’s Point of View
9. Fun to Read & Discuss
10.  Best Ending Ever!


Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Summer Salad
If you know the story already, this will be a super breezy read.  It retains most of the original, well-known events.   If you don’t know the story, this will be a great introduction and still a light read.  The names may be a bit confusing, but there is a handy map at the beginning.  This story demonstrates the ideals of everything relating to male and female.  We aren’t expected to live up to these perfect standards because they are, well, perfect.  The ending is up for tonnes of debate! That’s where all the best discussions are.  This book ends it so well and contributes to this debate.  

Why Visit Here

This graphic novel is a retelling of this Ancient Epic.  And it does it so well!  Understanding this epic is a great way into understanding  some of India’s culture.  Indians all over the world grow up hearing this famous tale.  So if you are familiar with it, surely some great conversations can be had!  It’s such a great story to talk about because it demonstrates what makes an ideal human.  What’s our role in society and what should be the priority?  Which role should be dominant; family, or job?  What exactly is our social responsibility?

Packing List

✓ Bunny Slippers for a cozy read
✓ A cartoon adaptation for enhanced coziness
✓ Must dine at your local Indian Restaurant for great food after!

Movie Adaptation
✓ Sita Sings the Blues (2008) Directed by Nina Paley - She opened the copyright for 100% free distribution!  And it’s a great movie, a very cute rendition of The Ramayana.

Apr 18, 2017


Travel Itineraries of All the Destinations

An Alphabetical Index: Complete List of Books

Chronology of Russian Novels: Reference List & Challenge to Read them All!

Reading All Around the World: A Challenge to Diversify by Country!

Ancient Global Epics: Glacial reading pace of the roots of our civilization. 

Alphabetical Index

Complete List of Books


Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
The Alchemist
And the Mountains Echoed
Anne of Green Gables
Animal Farm


Brave New World
The Better Angels of Our Nature
The Bhagavad Gita
The Book Thief
Bridge to Terabithia


Caleb Williams
The Canterbury Tales
Catch 22
The Catcher in the Rye
Crime and Punishment 
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage 


Defence of Poetry By Sir Philip Sidney
The Dhammapada
The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso  
The Dubliners
Doctor Zhivago


Eugene Onegin


Faust Part 1 & 2 By Goethe
Fathers and Sons
The Fault in Our Stars
The First Circle


Gone with the Wind


The Handmaid's Tale
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
How to Read a Book
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
The Hunger Games


I Am Legend
The Idiot




The Last Unicorn
The Librarian
Lord of the Flies


The Mahabharata
Master and Margarita
The Metamorphosis
The Monk


The Neverending Story
Notes from the Underground


The Odyssey
Of Human Bondage
Olive’s Ocean
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The Outsiders


The Pearl
The Physician
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man



The Ramayana


Salem’s Lot
Shooting Kabul
Sita's Ramayana: A Graphic Novel
Sky Burial
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy
Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy  
Sources of Chinese Traditions V.1 (Earliest-1600)
Sources of Chinese Traditions V.2 (1600-20th Century)
Sources of Korean Traditions V.1 (Earliest-16th Century)
Sources of Korean Traditions V.2 (1600-20th Century)
Sources of Japanese Traditions V.1 (Earliest-1600)
Sources of Japanese Traditions V.2 P.1 (1600-1868)
The Strain


Tao Te Ching
The Tale of Genji
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
Things Fall Apart
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Train to Pakistan


Under the Dome



Waterfront Down
Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Wild Things Are
Why I Write
The Witches






*Updated Daily

Apr 17, 2017

Why Blog About Reading

My Writing Roots

    I started this blog after tonnes of failed attempts at the online journaling form.  I consider myself a writer since a very young age, how cliche!  I’m unique because I started with poetry at age 10 & winning a poetry contest early on at my local library.  My Irish father must have inspired at least some of that, him becoming a published writer during my teens through sheer dedication to the craft & marketing.  

    I’ve always swayed between reading and writing.  This blog is the first union between these two passions.  I’m loving the magazine appeal of seeing each post.  Seeing the final post always brings me so much joy because I know it can be leisurely read over a cup of loose-leaf Mermaid’s Blend.  By far, the Destinations is the most extensive, it’ll always be the heart of this Books Online Oasis.  

Organic Cyber Space

   But I can see it growing organically into a Retreat where I hope to explore deeper into books in a conversational style.  Teaching in Bundang, Korea has taught me the importance of comparing literature with each other.  So in the retreat, I hope to create a place for the characters to go on vacation, where they can kick back and let their Verbs just hang out in all their Adjectival glory!  A place for Hamlet to lecture Holden Caulfield.  Or Raskolnikov to slung beers with Hamlet and compare grievances.  Does Virgil like to be a guide for Dante?  Or would he rather be in Paradise Lost? Or even Joyce’s Ulysses?   

   And…. What kind of Retreat would it be if there was only one activity!  A lake needs more than just a canoe.  It needs a watery runway with loons to run through, dramatically trying the near impossible!  Or sturgeons far into the depths, musing on the most unattainable meanings.  And a writer, happily on the shoreline foolishly trying to understand the two.  Naturally, I’m referring to the impossibly of challenges!

Charting Troubles!

            In the Atlas section, I hope to somehow include an organized link to all of the challenges I’m chipping away at.  The Atlas is just an index for navigating this online space.  In the Retreat section, I’ll ponder the idiocy of trying to read all of Russian Lit in a single lifetime.  Or head shaking moments from reading a book set in another culture, that I understand nothing of!   

           That rebellious map section.  It’s shuffled down onto the end …. Of the line.  Painfully neglected….. Atlases need a map! That’s the whole point of having an atlas.  It’s like a Mermaid Blend without the spring water!  Can the Soul’s Wager find a resting place in the Maps?  Or should it become the exercise grounds for Characters going on a Retreat?    
What’s to be done?  For now, just collect dust and hope it amounts into a bunny.

   Forming blog posts gives me a sense of refinement.  It takes the same skill as composing a sonnet.  Refining words into a highly enjoyable wine.  Blog posts are a little more relaxed and have some fluffy love handles that sonnets just don’t allow for!  Sonnets, all tightly bound up in their corsets!