For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the Greek myths. What began as a school assignment quickly turned into a passion as I began to learn more and more about the classical world. I dabbled a little in other mythologies (mostly Egyptian and Irish), but as far as I was concerned, nothing could match the beauty and the grandeur of the Greek stories.
I still stand by that, but I’m now finding out that the Norse myths are a lot of fun too.
A while back, a friend of mine, after finding out that I love Irish literature, recommended this book to me. I’m terribly glad that he did. The one-sentence review he gave of it on his blog sums it up pretty nicely: “This is a thing of beauty.” Just the same, I’d like to add a few words to that.
Reading in the Dark follows its young, unnamed narrator throughout his life in the Northern Irish city of Derry just before the Troubles. As the son of a working-class Catholic family, he already faces challenges that most boys his age would not usually meet. Soon, though, his life takes a much darker turn when his dying grandfather confesses to a crime committed decades earlier. Little by little, this boy begins to piece together the history that his family has tried for so long to keep hidden.
Welcome to the second week of Reading Ireland Month! You can learn more about the event at 746 Books, and check out the rest of the Reading Ireland posts here.
So, a while back, I bought a copy of Poems: 1965-1975, a collection containing all of the poems from Seamus Heaney’s first four books. Or, so I thought. Once I got it home, I noticed this little note on the copyright page:
Seven poems that appeared in the original edition of Death of a Naturalist are not included in this volume.
I assumed that this must be the work of some nosy editor at FSG, but then I happened to come across this excerpt from one of Dennis O’Driscoll’s interviews with Heaney:
Year of First Publication: 1912 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2009 Number of Pages: N/A Publisher: Project Gutenberg Genre: Drama, Comedy Find it on Project Gutenberg or in paperback. (Disclosure: the last one is an affiliate link.) We kick off this year’s Reading Ireland Month with one of the great classics of Irish drama.Continue reading “Book Review: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw”
This is one of those books that I bought and then stuck in my bedroom somewhere, never to be seen again until several months later when I finally decided to read it. I have no idea what took me so long. I mean, I had read Gaiman’s short stories before, so I knew him to be more than capable of creating mind-bending fantasy worlds, or a real-world story teeming with dread, or a very simple story that nevertheless breaks your heart. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he did all three at once.
I really wanted to like this book. Especially since I believed this author was going to turn out to be one of my favorite poets. I was taken in immediately by his technical brilliance, by the way he crafts his poems and makes these awe-inspiring, mind-bending little devices out of words. By the time I reached the end, though, I wasn’t quite as excited anymore.
As you might have guessed by now from my profile picture or my list of “Blogs I Follow,” I sort of have a thing for Pre-Raphaelite art. I’m also a fan of the poetry of Christina Rossetti. So you can imagine my surprise when it finally dawned on me a few years ago that one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was the brother of the famous poetess. Not only that, but the two of them also came from an entire family of artists and writers. This was one family that I had to know more about, so I was excited to read The Rossettis in Wonderland, a biography of the family by university lecturer and Pre-Raphaelite scholar Dinah Roe.
[Warning! Spoilers!] For a while now, I’ve been looking for a jumping-off point into the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky, that lovable little existential novelist that is the pride and joy of Russia’s literary canon. After trying some of his longer works, I decided I’d ease my way in with some of his short fiction instead. …
Year of First Publication: 2015 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2016 Number of Pages: 644 Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Genre: Nonfiction Sub-Genres: Biography, Literary Criticism Note: this post contains affiliate links. Exciting things are happening in the world of the Inklings. Once a bit of esoterica for fantasy fans, this small club ofContinue reading “Book Review: The Fellowship: the Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski”
Year of First Publication: 1914 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2001 Number of Pages: N/A Publisher: Project Gutenberg Genre: Fiction Sub-Genres: Short Fiction Find the ebook on Project Gutenberg or the paperback on the Book Depository. (Disclosure: I’m an affiliate.) As part of “Reading Ireland Month,” hosted by Cathy of 746 Books and NiallContinue reading “Book Review: Dubliners by James Joyce”
Year of First Publication: 2015 Number of Pages: 413 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Genre: Nonfiction Sub-Genres: Biography Subjects: Writers, poets, artists, literature Find it on the Book Depository here. (Disclosure: I’m an affiliate.) Hello again, and happy new year! I know things have been quiet around here lately, but I’m back now, and with aContinue reading “Book Review: Joy by Abigail Santamaria”