A MODERN READING OF THE ILIAD BY A NON-CLASSICS STUDENT

I still don't know what compelled me to ask my past Classical Mythology professor which translation of The Iliad and The Odyssey is best, but I did. You'd think translating part of The Aeneid from Latin and studying about Troy/the Trojan War extensively would be enough to repulse me forever; my hidden masochism never ceases to surprise me. Here are my feelings on The Iliad Lattimore translation:

THE STARLESS SEA



The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern
Anchor Books | August 4, 2020

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.
    Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.
    What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

TRAIN TO BUSAN REVIEW

I find this really weird. I am a book review site, but I get more views on non-book reviews, except for my old/incomplete Raven Cycle discussion post, which for some unknown reason, does very well. How do I replicate it for future posts? Granted, it's 3 years old, but even my 4-year-old posts don't get have the same view count. Anyway, here's my review of Train to Busan.

ACOTAR COULD NEVER


A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1)
by Elise Kova
Silver Wing Press | November 26, 2020
      The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.
      Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella's village to be their Human Queen.
      To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she's dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town's only healer.
      That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives... for her.
      Everything Luella had thought she'd known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.
      The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another... but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

FIRST AUDIOBOOK OF 2021



The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue 
by Mackenzie Lee
Katherine Tegen Books | June 27, 2017

    Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
    But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
    Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

WHY I READ MURAKAMI + REVIEW



Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
by Haruki Murakami
Vintage International | August 2015

     In this hyperkinetic and relentlessly inventive novel, Japan’s most popular (and controversial) fiction writer hurtles into the consciousness of the West. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World draws readers into a narrative particle accelerator in which a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters collide to dazzling effect. What emerges is simultaneously cooler than zero and unaffectedly affecting, a hilariously funny and deeply serious meditation on the nature and uses of the mind.

I FINALLY READ A BOOK AND I DIDN'T LIKE IT

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow
by Wang Anyi
Columbia University Press | March 1, 2008

     Set in post-World War II Shanghai, "The Song of Everlasting Sorrow" follows the adventures of Wang Qiyao, a girl born of the "longtong," the crowded, labyrinthine alleys of Shanghai's working-class neighborhoods.
     Infatuated with the glitz and glamour of 1940s Hollywood, Wang Qiyao seeks fame in the Miss Shanghai beauty pageant, and this fleeting moment of stardom becomes the pinnacle of her life. During the next four decades, Wang Qiyao indulges in the decadent pleasures of pre-liberation Shanghai, secretly playing mahjong during the antirightist Movement and exchanging lovers on the eve of the Cultural Revolution. Surviving the vicissitudes of modern Chinese history, Wang Qiyao emerges in the 1980s as a purveyor of "old Shanghai"--a living incarnation of a new, commodified nostalgia that prizes splendor and sophistication--only to become embroiled in a tragedy that echoes the pulpy Hollywood noirs of her youth.
     From the violent persecution of communism to the liberalism and openness of the age of reform, this sorrowful tale of old China versus new, of perseverance in the face of adversity, is a timeless rendering of our never-ending quest for transformation and beauty. 

I GUESS I'M A FILM/ANIME REVIEW BLOG NOW... I'LL TRY TO READ

After watching Hotarubi no Mori e, which I have a "review" for on my blog, I wanted to watch more sad animes. One of the most highly suggested movies was Wolf Children. I saw clips of it on Youtube, I read the synopsis, and I wasn't that intrigued; in fact, I was a little weirded out after I saw the clip where Wolf Man reveals that he is a werewolf to Hana, and the next thing they decide to do is make babies... Not how I would react if I found out the guy I've been seeing is a werewolf, but you do you!