East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Hope & Glory – a reading list (fiction)

40651289_1844226848964225_7031900626594299904_nAs you can imagine, the next few days will be focused on promoting Hope & Glory, my steampulp game of exotic adventure. I will try to do this while staying true to the themes and purposes of my blog, because I know not everybody’s a roleplayer out there.
And for a change I will talk books.
Yesterday night, with my co-author Umberto Pignatelli and my publisher Gionata Dal Farra, we tried to make a list of influences for Hope & Glory, and the list went on forever.
So, here’s a brief reading list, covering fiction.
I’ll do another post about the non-fiction, later. Continue reading

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The Karavansara summer reading list for students (and everybody else)

I don’t know how it is there where you are sitting, but hereabouts schools are about to close for summers, and teachers are busy assigning homework and projects and stuff.
One of the things that hit the kids every year is the dread read at least five books from this list list.
I always hated that when I was in high-school – I usually approached summer with a stack of a dozen big books I wanted to read, and here I was forced to slip more dull novels in the mix. And now I’m told that with the lowering standards of our school they are reducing the required reads to three, but you get the idea.


And I thought, why not put together my own suggested reading list?
For kids out there, high-school level, to broaden their horizons, and provide some much-needed food for thought.
I’ll also do a list in Italian for my blog, as a form of service – but putting together a list of English-language titles is easier, and I’m told list posts are quite popular.
But with a twist: I’ll focus on a list of books in theme with the usual topics of this blog. Books that talk about science, nature, philosophy, literature, history and imagination.
With an eye for adventure, exploration, and a modicum of swashbuckling – because this is, after all, Karavansara!
Continue reading

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The Week of Unreliability

This is the week in which all of Italy shuts down as people eagerly pursue their dream of a vacation in style.
Shops are shut for business, public offices are closed, mail delivery becomes even more erratic. Even the internet becomes unreliable, and Facbook fills up with weirdos rambling about nothing.

Here in the Astigianistan hills, the torrid heat has given way to furious thunderstorms and five pm showers.
Feels like the monsoon season in Asia, without any of the perks.

So, for this week I’ll be sitting back and relaxing – sipping cold brewed tea, dining on Indian food (it suits the atmosphere, so to speak), and reading books.

In case you are interested, here’s what’s on my reading list. Continue reading