From what I can see, the majority of people who have read both Circe and The Song of Achilles tend to prefer Circe. Of course, that’s possibly just my Instagram bubble rather than a real statistic. I ended up enjoying The Song of Achilles way more than I expected. Yes, I had my issue but I think it was mostly well-written. My issues came from the YA of it all and the slightly cringey way the romance was written. However, I celebrate the fact that Madeline Miller represented their relationship in this way. More than anything, it was a sweet and emotional story that I was happy to have read. I didn’t immediately rush out to buy Circe but I did want to read it. After my recent run of Greek mythology novels, I decided it was finally time. Would I be one of the people who preferred this to the earlier book? Or would I buck the trend?
Book Review – A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynesbooks, reviews
2023 is turning out to be the year of Greek myths and their different retellings. I hadn’t meant for this to happen but I’ve just found myself in a bit of a cycle that I’m not intent on breaking. Thankfully there are so many recent books that I can read. Publishers are relishing the resurgence of mythology and it feels like every week we get a feminist rewriting of one of the most famous myths. Natalie Haynes is one of the most celebrated, so I felt that it was only fair that I give this book a chance. I guess it also helped that I’ve already refamiliarised myself with the events of the Trojan War thanks to Stephen Fry. Plus, it just happened to be available on my library app. Why not listen to it as I was working? Hearing the plight of all those women might make me feel better about my dull job.
Book Review – Ariadne by Jennifer Saintbooks, reviews
This recent trend of feminist rewritings of myths and legends isn’t going away any time soon. It feels like every single book being published at the moment is based on some poor figure in Greek mythology. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it but do we need quite so many at the same time? People regularly moan about the lack of originality i the film industry but what of publishing? It feels as though the only books getting a green light right now are either mythology retellings or cosy crime. Flooding the market with these types of books just means that quality declines. Yes, The Song of Achilles was great but not everything can be the same. Ariadne is one of those books that I’ve heard so many good things about. Although, it was also nominated for a GoodReads award in 2021 which is often a worrying sign. I was interested to see what it would be like but also kind of scared to start it. This week, I finally took the plunge.
Book Review – Troy by Stephen Frybooks, reviews
It seems as though the trend of introducing modern readers to Greek mythology isn’t going away any time soon. And I couldn’t be happier. I love being able to revisit these stories in a more relaxed way. I finished listening to Stephen Fry’s Heroes last Sunday and immediately started listening to Troy. I had so enjoyed his retelling of the myths about the great Greek heroes that I knew I wanted to see what he made of the Trojan War. After all, we’d heard it referenced so much in the earlier work. It also helped that Helen gets a mention in Less is Lost. I felt like the universe was telling me that it’s time.
Book Review – Heroes by Stephen Frybooks, reviews
I’ve had the audiobook version of this book in my Audible library for quite a while but never felt like listening to it. I don’t find it easy to listen to myths when I’m working because I tend to lose track of who everyone is. Those Greeks had such similar names so I always worry that I’d get lost. It’s also much longer than my usual audiobooks, so it wouldn’t be something I could finish over the course of one day. Meaning I’d had to rely on my memory to remember what I’d just listened to. In my constant attempt to decrease my TBR, I decided it was time to listen to it. Over the last week, I’ve listened to it in between reading a physical book. I definitely think this was the best way to do it. That way I can take a break whenever things get a bit too weird or rapey. Although, thankfully, there isn’t as much in the follow-up to Mythos.
Book Review – Top Ten Greek Legends by Terry Dearybooks, reviews
Do you ever revisit the books of your youth? It’s one of those big dilemmas. Do you reread them to see if they’re as good or do you not take the risk? It’s awful going back to something that you loved and realising that it’s just not that great. That was my quandary with this book. I had thought about it for years but couldn’t find it anywhere. It didn’t help that I’d forgotten the full title and didn’t know who wrote it. There was a point where I genuinely believed that I’d made it up. Although, I also remembered how much I loved this book. I am sure that it was the reason that I love Greek mythology. It must have been my introduction to them. I can’t remember where I bought it but it was probably at the Scholastic book fair. Those places were magical. I miss the rush you’d get at one of those. Nothing in adult life can match it.
Book Review- Great Goddesses by Nikita Gillbooks, reviews
Oh, the smugness that I was experiencing last week. What an idiot I was. I was so cocky when I finished two books in one week. So, cocky that I almost didn’t get this one finished in time. I expected to get through this poetry collection in no time but, whenever I had the chance to read it, I just didn’t want to. Maybe it was because I had just finished two really easy to read books? Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t engaging with this one enough? I guess it was about time that I had a bit of a struggle. 2019 has, for the most part, been a really good reading year. I’ve not experienced much of a reading slump so far so it was high time that I had a small one. It also doesn’t help that I’m super tired this week. I feel like I’ve barely slept the last few nights. So, I’m going to be a boring old lady and get to bed early tonight. Wrapped up, herbal tea, and a pair of fuzzy socks. Sounds blissful.
Book Review – Mythos by Stephen Frybooks, reviews
There was a point when I didn’t think I would finish this book for today’s post. I was well on track until I got horribly distracted by a podcast I listen to. A friend from work and I are obsessed with the My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast and love discussing it. I’d been saving series 4 for a bit to give me a break after series 3 but, the other day, she announced she’s finished book 4. So, naturally, I have to catch up with her and I may have listened to that instead of Stephen Fry one night this week. It was enjoyable listening to this book as an audiobook but I’m not convinced it’s the greatest way to do it. For one thing, I fell asleep in the middle of several chapters and had to go back the next day. For another, it took me way less time to read a chapter than it took Stephen to narrate it. I’ve never considered how much longer saying something out loud is compared to reading it in your head but it must have a major impact on the time you spend with a book. But this feels like a topic for another time. It’s late and I have to get this review finished.
Book Review – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Millerbooks, reviews
I meant to start writing this review last night because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me. Inevitably, I didn’t manage it as I got distracted and, if I’m not careful I’ll do it again tonight. It’s all because of this book as well. I have been a fan of Greek myths since I was a kid and got given a book about them. Before writing this post, I decided that it was vital to find the book online so I knew the name. I never did, which is a shame because I bloody loved that book. It presented the Greek myths in a child-friendly way that really played up the humour. Something that really helped distract from just how horny Zeus and everyone really were. It meant that I became interested in the myths rather than disturbed by them. With that kind of background then this book should have been right up my street. So, why has it taken me 7 years to read it? A very simple answer… the cover. The original cover (featuring a breastplate that looks more Roman in my mind) just looks tacky. I know I know. Never judge a book by its cover etc. But, come on, it’s awful. If Bloomsbury hadn’t released the beautiful Modern Classics edition then I might never have experienced this book at all. I owe them.