Language as Cultural Consciousness

“O Helen, Tyndareus’ daughter, the very essence of loveliness, off-shoot of Erotes, ward of Aphrodite, nature’s most perfect gift, contested prize of Trojans and Hellenes, where is your drug granted you by Thon’s wife which banishes pain and sorrow and brings forgetfulness of every ill? Where are your irresistible love charms? Why did you notContinue reading “Language as Cultural Consciousness”

Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova

Can you name the seven wonders of the ancient world? I’m a bit chagrined to admit that I indeed struggle. Somehow, I always seem to forget about the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus… If you’re like me, or you have young readers in your life who are curious about the ancient world, How the Wonders of theContinue reading “Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova”

Book Review: The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

Do you enjoy weird novels, the kind that don’t have a linear narrative, or complex character development to speak of, or even necessarily a discernible theme? At this point, maybe you are wondering, what on earth is left without those? In the case of Mark Haddon’s The Porpoise, I’d suggest atmosphere and a certain stylisticContinue reading “Book Review: The Porpoise by Mark Haddon”

Book Review: Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

Ideally, novels can function as empathy exercises, putting us—readers and writers—into the minds and hearts of people who we are not and helping us better understand them. For this to happen, of course, we have to be willing to step outside of our own thought-boxes and listen without judgment. I tend to think, as withContinue reading “Book Review: Wolf Den by Elodie Harper”

Book Review: Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil

Ariadne Unraveled is a retelling of the myth of Ariadne and Dionysus. The novel opens with Ariadne waking up on the shores of Naxos realizing that Theseus has abandoned her, then goes back in time to tell the story of what brought here there and follows her forward through the aftermath of Theseus’ flight backContinue reading “Book Review: Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil”

Book review: “The Sacred Band” by James Romm

James Romm’s The Sacred Band (thank you, NetGalley, for the review copy) is an engaging blend of 4th century BC Greek military history and anecdotes about notable public figures. The content revolves around the rivalries among Athens, Sparta, and Thebes (which has tended to be overlooked in favor of its flashier siblings) as they jockeyContinue reading “Book review: “The Sacred Band” by James Romm”

Book Review: Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood

Daughters of Sparta, which I received from NetGalley for review, purports to tell the stories of Helen and Klytemnestra, daughters of king Tyndareos and queen Leda of Sparta. Dual alternating third person narrators follow the sisters chronologically from childhood through the end of the Trojan war, including their marriages, experiences with childbirth and motherhood, andContinue reading “Book Review: Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood”