Sunday, April 29, 2012
April 2012 Books
First published: 750 B.C
Excellent, highly readable translation of a very exciting epic. It is truly remarkable to think that both The Iliad and The Odyssey were first composed and performed in the oral tradition and were written down on papyrus scrolls many years after initially created.
Modern Scholar course
An excellent course covering the major plays of the four prominent ancient Greek playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. What made this course so interesting is that not only is Prof. Meineck a scholar, but he has also produced these plays for the stage.
He speaks about the cultural and political backdrop at the time of the first production in Athens, Greece and how the audience would've thought and felt about certain topics and even moments within each play. He also addresses the use of masks, the chorus, the three actors and minimal use of props. A highly recommended course.
First published: 1942
When I mentioned to my daughter that I wanted a good book on Greek and Roman mythology, she recommended this book which was part of her high school required reading list. This became a critical source of information while reading The Iliad and The Odyssey. I am sure it will come in handy while working my way through the extant plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides.
I have been intimidated by Virginia Woolf so it was perfect when I spotted this reader with An Anthology of her Best Short Stories, Essays, Fiction, and Nonfiction on the front cover. What better way to sample her writing and see how accessible it was?
End result? I loved reading her essays, short stories, diary excerpts and various letters. I tried to read the sections from her novels but found it was too difficult to pick up the story mid-stream. I now own and look forward to reading: A Room of One's Own, Moments of Being, A Writer's Diary and Mrs. Dalloway.
I bought this at a local library book sale a couple of years ago and picked it up after deciding that I wanted a quick and engrossing read after being immersed in Homer's epics for the past few weeks. I was happy to find it unnecessary to read prior books in the series.
Jack Reacher is a highly trained, extremely intelligent ex-military cop, whose mind is engaged 110% throughout the story. And because it is told in the first person, the reader knows exactly what he is thinking. I enjoyed this far more than the one book I read in the Kurt Wallender series, The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell. I definitely plan to read more.