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The Years of Rice and Salt: Reading Schedule

So I have made up the long awaited reading schedule for our new selection, The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. It is an alternate history of the world that takes as its point of departure the annihilation of the entire population of Europe and its culture from the Black Death in the thirteenth century.

As there are ten books, I have conveniently created a reading schedule using those divisions.

Books 1 and 2: November 21 to November 30.

Books 3 and 4: December 1 to December 7.

Books 5 and 6: December 8 to December 14

Books 7 and 8: December 16 to December 21

Holiday break: December 22 to January 1

Books 9 and 10: January 2 to January 12.

"We always meet in the bardo," B explains to K during one of these extraterrestrial interludes. "We will cross paths for as long as the six worlds turn in this cycle of the cosmos. We are part of a karmic jati" -- that is, a "subcaste, family, village."

If reincarnation were true, who in your life would you identify as being part of your karmic jati, your group that rises and falls together, and why?

What do you think about Robinson's use of the concept of reincarnation as a literary device, to tie together the 600 years of history he must re-envision?

Anyone can post here who is a member, and comments are open. I hope some of you will join in.

Quotation is from Laura Miller's review of the novel at Salon.com.


Under the Moon

November 2011

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