Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver,
and The Bull from the Sea

I know, I know, I should never have promised to try for more frequent updates. But in the week that I skipped, I had the best excuse of all...the flu. Which gave me time, of all things, to read :). I've now read Valley of the Soul, the first Alana book, and DragonQuest (recommended by my youngest). I've just started Scardown as well. It's been an interesting mix with the fantasy/mystery/thriller, two young adult books with very different approaches, and now a cyberpunkish science fiction. It's all in the mood when I approach that book shelf :).

Anyway, as promised, my notes on A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver. I'm combining this with the Renault notes because they are both older books and my notes were sparse.

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg

(Acquired: family)

Another book I was supposed to read. This one is a bit embarrassing because my older sister lent it to me and then bought me my own copy so she could have hers back because I took too long. On the other hand, I'm great at guilt motivation so I have now read it. This is a fascinating look at the history of Eleanor of Aquitaine from the perspective of Eleanor and her family and friends waiting for Henry to be released into heaven. I'd recommend it to those interested in the politics of the time but who prefer not to slog through dry history. It'll give a good sense of the place for sure :).

The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault

(Acquired: bookshelf)

Though not written in a modern style, this is a compelling look at the Greek life in ancient times. I grew up on Greek mythology, so the tale of Theseus is not a new one to me, but Mary Renault brings it to life. She tells the tale not of the young man sent to the labyrinth but of the scarred warrior who came back. He makes some poor choices, mocks the warnings of the gods, and has to recover from his mistakes. These elements are very traditional for Greek mythology and so somewhat predictable, but putting the pieces together as you try to figure out what the gods meant and whether he's going to properly navigate those waters now is half the fun.

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