East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Blood & Treasure or, I am too old for this

Seven minutes into the pilot of Blood & Treasure, the new TV series by CBS, I stopped laughing and decided that life’s too short to waste time with such irritatingly cliched writing.
And it’s a pity, really, because there’s obviously money backing the series, that was shot on location in a number of places, including my hometown of Turin, but the writing is so abysmal, I really couldn’t make it.
I wanted to, because at one point I thought it might be fun to do a post on Karavansara. I went back and restarted it.
I stopped watching 11 minutes in.

Let’s see what we are talking about…

An antiquities expert teams up with an art thief to catch a terrorist who funds his attacks using stolen artifacts.

Oh, yes, fair warning: here be SPOILERS.
True, I’m gonna spoil only the first ten minutes of the pilot, and a lot of the things you already saw in the trailer, but…

S P O I L E R S!!

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Book gifts for Christmas

A short post to thank my friend Claire and my brother Alessandro for their Christmas gifts. They know me, and they gave me books.
Books make me happy. And two interesting books they are.

17611937Claire went for a historical thriller, The Tournament, by Matthew Reilly. I’ve long been a fan of Reilly’s breakneck-paced, higly-ballistic techno-thrillers, and this unexpected foray of the Australian author in a very different genre and setting intrigues me a lot. Espionage, the game of chess, intrigue and seduction, sounds like my sort of adventure all right. And the novel is set in Constantinople, which is an extra bonus.

51FZBwlQ-OL._SY346_My brother went for something completely different: a book about Taoist Poetry in the T’ang era (618-907 AD).
A.S. Kline’s Like Water or Clouds is both an anthology of T’ang poetry and an examination of how Taoist thinking influenced literature in China. The volume features a nice overview of the development of Chinese philosophy through history, and then offers a fine selection of annotated poems from the T’ang period. The book is beautifully illustrated with reproduction of Taoist paintings.

Two fun, unusual and highly appreciated books for these cold winter nights.