Recently, I’ve had multiple requests for book recommendations from readers who are new(ish) to Greek mythology. What’s a good entry point? they asked. My brain immediately exploded with possibilities, of course, but after I reassembled it, these five came floating to the surface.Continue reading “5 Nonfiction Books for Readers New to Greek Mythology”
As February is slipping away, it’s past time to revisit my excellent January reads. So with no further preamble…
January reads: Ancient Greece
The Oresteia: “Agamemnon,” “Libation Bearers,” and “Eumenides” by Aeschylus
The Oresteia follows Agamemnon’s return from Troy, his murder at the hands of his wife (Clytemnestra) and lover (Aegisthus), his son Orestes’ revenge killing of them, and Orestes’ murder trial.
One of my favorite stories from Greek mythology is the popular version of Perseus and Andromeda’s myth.
It’s one of the few I can recall in which the hero does NOT come to grief. Perseus does NOT enrage the gods via a fit of hubris. He does NOT suffer a tragic punishment. He fulfills his quest to chop off Medusa’s head, marries Andromeda, and they live happily ever after in the stars. Literally. The gods immortalize them as the constellations Perseus and Andromeda. Continue reading “Why is Medusa’s sad backstory so rarely told in Greek myth retellings?”
December reads? December rereads, more like. Six of the 10 books I read were books I’ve read before … in some cases multiple times. The holiday season is a time for nostalgia, apparently.
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan
This completed my 2017 rereading of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I’d forgotten how cleverly done the last book was. The first four draw on Greek mythology in fun and silly ways. The last book uses character development and plot to engage with ideas and questions ancient Greek mythology wrestled with and explored. My favorites: Your fatal flaw can also be your greatest strength. And: Is it possible for heroes to survive their own hubris? Continue reading “Reading Wrap-Up: December Reads”