Posted: Jul 12, 2021 2:35 am
by don't get me started
1. Pragmatic Meaning and Cognition – Sophia S.A. Marmaridou
2. Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany and Japan - Randall Hansen
3. Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics – René Dirven and Marjolijn Verspoor (Eds.)
4. Age of Static: How TV Explains Modern Britain – Phil Harrison
5. The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species and Making us Smarter – Joseph Henrich
6. Heroic Failure and the British - Stephanie Barczewski
7. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain - Maryanne Wolf
8. Language Soup: A Taste of How Diverse People Around the World Communicate - Kathryn A. T. Knox
9. A Place for everything: The curious History of Alphabetical order – Judith Flanders
10. Contrastive Analysis - Carl James
11. Impossible Languages- Andrea Moro
12. Languages in the World: How History, Culture and Politics Shape Language – Jukie tetel Andresen and Phillip M. Carter
13. HHhH - Laurent Binet (Translated from the French by Sam Taylor)
14. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offense – Jonathan Culpeper
15. Ethosyntax: Explorations in Grammar and Culture – N. J. Enfield (Ed.)
16. Second Language Speech Fluency: From Research to Practice – Parvaneh Tavakoli & Clare Wright.
17. At Day's Close: Night in Times Past – A. Roger Ekirch
18. Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation – Michael Agar
19. Possessives in English: An Exploration in Cognitive Grammar - John R. Taylor
20. I saw the Dog: How Language Works – Alexandra Aikhenvald.
21. The German War: A Nation under Arms, 1939 – 1945 – Nicholas Stargardt

22. Civilizations – Laurent Binet

310. pp.

I really enjoyed the other book by this author (no. 13 on the list above) and was looking forward to reading this alternative history. In this timeline some exiled Vikings make their way as far south as Panama in the 10th century. The upshot of this is that the American populations are exposed to old world diseases and to iron making techniques along with the introduction of the horse and other old-world livestock. Columbus reaches the Caribbean but is unable to make any headway against the local populations and he dies there, his mission a failure. Retro-engineering the naval technology of this failed mission the Incas sail to Europe and, taking advantage of the chaos of the warring kingdoms and religious strife manage to take over some great European powers with a surprisingly small number of men….

It was all very interesting and offers a wry insight into the ‘success’ of the conquistadors and other Europeans in the real history.

The tale rambled a bit and lacked focus, which made the last third kind of a chore to read. The hypocrisy, vileness and fantastical, preposterous nature of medieval Christian belief is described from the point of view of an outsider… Atahualpa is not very impressed by the religion of the (to him) New World!

The book was okay I suppose. Not nearly as good as HHhH. A better alternative history, in my view would be ‘The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson.


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