Literature Lust: Love Letter for Readers and Writers
January 15, 2020 | #4
Hello, fellow book lovers!
Every day I see new books that I want to read. So many good stories waiting out there! Literature Lust is a way a place to talk about all those books. Please drop me a
note. Let me know what you're reading, what you've loved, what you've hated, what you want to talk about.
Thanks for joining me. It's nice to know there are other people out there with an insatiable desire for the written word. Happy reading!
When the Title
Makes You Buy the Book:
Has it happened to you? Have you ever bought a book because you were seduced by its title?
I have, and it was called
Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the World by Ian Wright.
The author, Ian Wright, runs a website called brilliantmaps.com. where - since 2014 - 15 million people have viewed his cartography.
But I didn't know any of that when I bought the book. I just loved the title and the colors...and I identified with it because I DO have a curious mind!
You've never seen anything this cool.
Quirky maps illustrate strange bits of trivia, cool facts in living color, like
Average female height worldwide
Age of consent for heterosexual sex worldwide
All the places in the world the Vikings conquered
European countries that have invaded Poland
Where are the seven wonders of the ancient world?
Countries that lost citizens in 9-11.
Colors of passports throughout the world
Just for fun. Just for the "quirky" factor. Just because of the enticing title. Just for the title!
When the Review
Makes You Buy The Book:
Am I interested in medieval manuscripts?
So why would I add this to my "list?"
Because of a few sentences in a review. (Oh, the power of book critics!) In a New York Times' summary of new paperbook books, this one was listed.
"On this archival odyssey, I lost count of the things I learned...One of the least likely and most wonderful books I have ever read." -Helen Castor
I told you I was reading Circe, by Madeline Miller, named as one of the best books of 2018.
Circe was not a top contender on my reading list
I can still see Shirley Sprong standing in front of the classroom at Clarksville High, black-rimmed glasses, big-toothed, and scholarly, valiantly leading a class full of nerds into the language of Latin. Her verbal charge was “Veni, vidi, vici.” Her husky voice twists through a long-ago fog of battles and heroes, gods and goddesses, Circe among them.
My decidedly Christian upbringing made it difficult for me to relate to the Roman Gods, no matter how enthusiastic Miss Sprong was. Though I’ve always been a writer filled with ideas, I struggled when it came to creation myths and multiple Gods, and I saw the irony when I thought, “Lord, help me,” after being assigned to write a story about the gods of old.
So believe me when I say that Madeline Miller’s novel, Circe, was not a top contender on my reading list.
What made me read it
Not a top contender until my daughter told me I HAD to read it. You may know how it is with mothers and daughters. I wanted to please her, connect with her. Both my girls are avid readers, and we enjoy talking about our current “reads,” so while Circe wouldn’t have been my top choice, I was game. Besides, she had made it easy by gifting me with a Book of the Month subscription.
Sometimes the greatest pleasure comes from the most unexpected places.
Circe was a unique and memorable book that took me to a world I had never allowed myself to imagine…the halls of the Titan gods forever battling the Olympian deities. Places filled with strident, vain, struggling creatures interested in power. Bizarre creatures that demonstrate bizaare behaviors. Liaisons, lovers, lechery, and disloyalty twirling through the heady air of the halls of Helios. The loneliness, power, and longing of the goddess, Circe, caught between gods and mortals. All in one compelling story.
The story of Circe
You may remember the name of Circe, the goddess in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, who turns sailors into pigs and gives solace to Odysseus before he returns home to Penelope.
"Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week
that is devoted exclusively to reading.”
– Lena Dunham
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