Arcadia: A novel (Hardcover)

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From the author of the international best seller An Instance of the Fingerpost, Arcadia is an astonishing work of imagination. 

Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the future—or the past?

In 1960s Oxford, Professor Henry Lytten is attempting to write a fantasy novel that forgoes the magic of his predecessors, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He finds an unlikely confidante in his quick-witted, inquisitive young neighbor Rosie. One day, while chasing Lytten’s cat, Rosie encounters a doorway in his cellar. She steps through and finds herself in an idyllic, pastoral land where Storytellers are revered above all others. There she meets a young man who is about to embark on a quest of his ownand may be the one chance Rosie has of returning home. These breathtaking adventures ultimately intertwine with the story of an eccentric psychomathematician whose breakthrough discovery will affect all of these different lives and worlds. 

Dazzlingly inventive and deeply satisfying, Arcadia tests the boundaries of storytelling and asks: If the past can change the future, then might the future also indelibly alter the past?

About the Author


IAIN PEARS is the author of the best sellers An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Dream of Scipio and Stone’s Fall, and a novella, The Portrait, as well as a series of acclaimed detective novels, a book of art history, and countless articles on artistic, financial and historical subjects. He lives in Oxford, England.

Praise For…


“Every so often you read a novel to which the best critical response is simply ‘Wow!,’ followed by a sigh of pleasure. Eighteen years ago I felt this way about Iain Pears’s intricate historical mystery An Instance of the Fingerpost. The book dazzled for many of the usual reasons—fascinating characters, a richly presented fictive world, polished writing, lively dialogue, a serious engagement with ideas about life and morality—but, more unusually, it was also a masterpiece of plot construction. All this is again true, and then some, of Mr. Pears’s Arcadia. . . . ‘Qui moderatur tempus intelligit omnia,’ goes the Lytten family motto: ‘He who controls time understands everything.’ Doesn’t that actually describe the art of plot construction and its master, Iain Pears?” 
  —Michael Dirda, The Wall Street Journal
 
“[Pears] is a master at creating structurally intricate novels. . . . As Pears steadily builds his multiplicity of stories, his orchestrations become something far more ambitious, a calculated and at times quite droll assault on the very nature of narrative itself.” 
   —Steve Donoghue, The Washington Post

“Arcadia leads readers into an escalating series of interconnected textual worlds. . . . Pears is a great writer of ideas and intellectual adventure.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A complex romp through time and genres . . . that intertwines 10 major characters over several centuries, with allusions abounding to Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, and a raft of others. . . . [It’s] fun to puzzle out how all the strands fit together.” 
   —Patricia Hagen, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“With Arcadia, Iain Pears has woven a delightful tapestry in the bold colors of complexity, wonder, and irony, even while offering the careful reader a chance to ferret out numerous literary allusions. Arcadia is filled with satisfying surprises up to the last sentence of its telling. Only a novelist with the knowledge and mental agility shown again and again by Iain Pears could give readers a gift as rich as Arcadia.” 
   —Dan Simmons, best-selling author of The Terror

Arcadia is a gripping tale, with memorable characters who lead us through the plot’s twists and turns to the book’s deeply satisfying resolution. Iain Pears has long been one of my favorite authors, and Arcadia is another example of his masterful storytelling: deftly told, genre-defying, and a treat to read.” 
   —Deborah Harkness, best-selling author of A Discovery of Witches
 
“A fantastical extravaganza . . . A complex time-travelling, world-hopping caper with insistently epic stakes.” 
   —Steven Poole, The Guardian
 
“Pears’s prose is a pleasure to read . . . A dream of perfection in beautiful language . . . A compelling narrative; switching from one [storyline] to another means we are constantly in a state of suspense . . . I was entirely captured.” 
   —Marion Halligan, The Sydney Morning Herald
 
“A many-layered narrative in which real and imagined worlds continually collide . . . Aficionados of fantasy fiction will find plenty here to relish.” 
   —Max Davidson, The Mail on Sunday

“The most striking thing about Pears’s writing—his plots and ideas are complex, but his style is simple and clear. . . . Fantastic fun and, in spite of its complexity, a swift read.”
   —Bryan Applebaum, The Sunday Times
 
“Not so much a novel as a cornucopia of narratives. . . . As a novelist, Iain Pears doesn’t repeat himself, and he gives with a generous hand.” 
   —Andrew Taylor, The Spectator
 
“Extremely clever but, better than that, immensely entertaining . . . Pears almost seamlessly merges genres of fantasy, sci-fi, spy thriller, romance, and more.” 
   —Jaine Blackman, The Oxford Times
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101946824
ISBN-10: 1101946822
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Pages: 528
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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