Home Feed
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Circe | Madeline Miller
post image


Being unfamiliar with the a lot of Greek mythology, I can‘t fully comment on how well this reimagining was. The writing was very easy and flowed well but it didn‘t keep my attention as much as I would like. I did like the focus on power, how it influences people and the way Circe reflected on her past actions and how she addressed them in the future and took responsibility for them.

#bbbbc #mpls #twincities

Schnoebs Also, @Birdsong28 I‘m using this as the one word title for #52booksin52weeks (edited) 1w
44 likes1 comment
Sleeping Giants | Sylvain Neuvel
post image

I can‘t wait for the discussion for #bbbbc #scififantasybookclub next month. I liked it but am struggling to describe why. It‘s a weird little book that pulls you in but not for obvious action or suspense. I definitely will need the other two but I‘ll wait until after my birthday. (My aunt usually gets me a gift card;) ) book 7/12 for #bfcr2

wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 You‘re making great progress on your book goal! 2w
MusicallyMorgan I‘ve got this on my TBR and can‘t wait to read it! 2w
LauraJ You are going to crush your reading goal! 2w
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
Circe | Madeline Miller
post image

It‘s an interesting book but I‘m having such a hard time staying motivated to finish it. I have less than 100 pages so hopefully I‘ll get through it soon.

#bbbbc #mythology #mpls #twincities

Sleeping Giants | Sylvain Neuvel
post image

Next up for us is Sleeping Giants by Slyvain Neuvel!

Feel free to join in! As always let me know if you would like to be added or removed from the notification list!

#BBBBC #scififantasybookclub

49 likes8 comments
Circe | Madeline Miller
post image

The next set of questions! Sorry for the delay, I had issues with the canva app again and since I was at work I couldn't fight with it.

Hopefully, the questions make sense 😂😅

#BBBBC #scififantasybookclub

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m going to start with 6...I loved that part, she built on the stories I knew, and fleshed them all out with more backstories, motivations, etc.... I quite liked how she wove in other myths into Circe‘s life story. And flipped the poor Odysseus story on its head. 3w
Schnoebs I did appreciate the role power played in this and I think it did definitely bring out cruelty in many (ie her brothers are good examples) but I think there were other examples where it cause cruelty in people (Penelope). Honestly, I think the first men who came to her island had the most impact because she kept it secret for so long. And finally, I don‘t have a major Greek background so I‘m not sure on the reimagining but what I want to read them 2w
30 likes4 comments
Troilus and Cressida | William Shakespeare
post image

"Cry Trojans Cry"
Act 2 of T&C! We meet Thersites who berates Ajax. The Trojans debate the value of keeping Helen. Achilles still won't fight and Ajax's pride is used to set him up. No Cressida but Cassandra makes a dramatic appearance.
Thoughts #shakespearereadalong folks? What do you make of Thersites? Did Troilus convince you that Helen is worth the fight? Do you pity Ajax? Does the play feel cynical to you? This act any easier to read?

Leftcoastzen Great image! 3w
merelybookish I continue to find the language challenging but also kind of amazing. Thersites has lots of good insults. I was also struck by Paris's line "I would have the soil of her fair rape." ? Anyone have thoughts on what that means? Any other lines you want to discuss? 3w
See All 57 Comments
merelybookish @Leftcoastzen It's by the artist S.S.E Cowperthaite. A stunning image of Cassandra. 3w
Lcsmcat The full line is “I would have the soil of her fair rape wiped off in honorable keeping her.” I think it‘s the old idea of making a woman marry her rapist to “stay pure.” So if he keeps her, she‘s ok, but if he sends her back to her husband, she‘s a whore. Not agreeing, just interpreting. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3w
Lcsmcat Thersites does have some amazing insults, but I had trouble making any sense out of that scene, and my edition was no help. Neither was the Arden production I watched, which dropped that scene entirely! 3w
TheBookHippie “....the hot passion of distempered blood" why young men can‘t be trusted ?. Love the image. I‘m using resources to read the language ...it‘s a hot mess. I now have gotten the summary so I‘m going to go back and reread until this point! I love the challenge the language is indeed challenging and intriguing. I love learning and this is a challenge but it‘s a fun challenge! 3w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat Thanks! The "logic" makes sense within the context. Poor Helen, her whole value is up for debate in that scene, less a woman than a prize. 3w
TheBookHippie @Lcsmcat I had trouble with that whole bit! Reminded me of the poor girls who were expelled in high school for getting pregnant the boy could stay. HOWEVER if she gave the baby to adoption she could stay ...WHAT?!?! 3w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat Do you mean scene I? My main takeaway is that Thersites thinks they are all idiots but especially Ajax! And he sees how the Greek leaders are using them. Interesting it was cut. But it does seem a bit like a throwaway scene. 3w
merelybookish @TheBookHippie I feel the same! Definitely challenging but it's fun to tackle. Apparently this play as more made-up words than any other! 3w
Lcsmcat @merelybookish Poor Helen indeed! She was definitely chattel in this version. I just read a poem by Rupert Brooke, Menelaus and Helen, where he says “white Helen bears Child on legitimate child, becomes a scold, Haggard with virtue.” after Menelaus “rescues” her. She can‘t win! 3w
TheBookHippie @merelybookish of course it does !!! Ha. 3w
Graywacke I found this act great fun, and easier to read (but not easy). Thersites is a terrific creation, the classical bad-attitude subversive soldier becomes a Shakespeare fool. Brilliant. And he‘s still subversive. And then the bard has fun with Helen‘s reputation, with Cassandra... 3w
Graywacke And finally he spoofs the wooing chapter in the Iliad...an Achilles that hides in his tent! All the asides, and poor Ajax. Shakespeare doesn‘t even let him give Achilles his meaningless weird spiel. The bard just edits it out - Homeric commentary. So... I‘m engaged now. (edited) 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat they dropped Thersites? Hmm. Maybe they didn‘t get the humor... 3w
Rachbb3 Thersites didn't really have a kind word for anyone. Lol. I really didn't feel bad for Ajax, he speaks of Achilles's pride when his own is just as bad. I really don't have any opinions of Helen yet. For "soil of her fair rape" my version says: i.e., the abduction of her (who is so fair) ??‍♀️ 3w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie on the language, this is a tough one. I found it was hard to both get the gist of a section and also actually understand each line. It was almost like I had make a choice...because word by word I would get lost. 3w
Graywacke If it helps - the embassy to Achilles is book 9 of The Iliad. (The main event spoofed here with Achilles hiding in his tent) 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I may need to reread The Illiad along with this. I haven‘t read it since 9th grade. 3w
jewright I think I have my new favorite Shakespeare insult, “Thou stool for a witch.”—Ajax. 3w
jewright My version describes Therisites as “a deformed and scurrilous Grecian.” I haven‘t read this play before, so I don‘t know, but is this his only entrance in the play? So far, there are a lot of characters and whom I think is going to be important keeps changing. (edited) 3w
Lcsmcat @jewright I think he comes back connected to Achilles, but I‘m not sure. 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Do you have a favorite translation of the Iliad? I have the Fitzgerald, but I could check the library if there‘s a better one. 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I‘ve only read Fagles. (Chapman would be appropriate here) 3w
Graywacke @jewright that witch‘s stool insult 😂 3w
merelybookish @Graywacke Thanks for all the Homeric context! It's been.a while since I've read the Iliad as well @Lcsmcat And I agree about how to read. I just tried to keep going and not stumble too much on particular words! 3w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @merelybookish I‘m finding reading and then listening to the Librivox version read by a group of volunteers helps with understanding the larger scene when I get lost on the lines. 3w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa For me, this play couldn‘t have come up at a better time... a riff of the Helen story just popped up in its twisted Pratchett Discworld version, and I reread some of my myths after Circe with the #BBBBC book club earlier this month. I‘ll have to pick up her Achilles soon, while I‘m trying to recall my high school Iliad and Odyssey stories. 3w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Lcsmcat And I agree, that‘s exactly how I read that line...if he keeps her and they marry, she‘s pure again. Otherwise he‘s just a rapists/abductor depending on your version. 3w
jewright @Lcsmcat I like the Fitzgerald one. 3w
Lcsmcat @jewright Good to know. 3w
batsy What @Graywacke said! Thersites is compelling. His commentary on what exactly he thinks of "leaders" & politics in general is way too relatable in 2019. Especially with how they mock Ajax but pander to him for the moment to lead them. I agree that while still challenging, the play has become a lot more interesting. The language is quite a feat & pretty amazing ?? I continue to see Troilus as a twit, especially for not taking Cassandra seriously. 3w
batsy @merelybookish My edition interprets the "rape" in that line as the "carrying off". So I'm wondering if the usage of the word rape differs slightly from our modern understanding. Regardless, the context is pretty clear about women as property and how the "right" kind of male owner/ownership colours her virtue and reputation ? 3w
Graywacke @batsy these are just great comments about 2019 and the perception of women. (Shakespeare was likely commenting on late Elizabethan politics - at least the editor of my edition thinks so. His view on women was - well, worth its own discussion.) 3w
Sunraven Joining the readalong belatedly, here I go! 😁 Some randomish thoughts:

I don‘t feel sorry for Ajax, as it seems like his own fault if he gives in to the false praise, but I do feel a bit sorry for Helen, the way she‘s talked about like an object to bolster a bunch of warmongers‘ pride. I did like seeing Hector arguing the (I thought) logical side, that they should give up Helen; did he also do that in the Iliad? It‘s been too long...
Sunraven I especially liked Hector‘s “Pleasure and revenge have ears more deaf than adders to the voice of any true decision.”

Also, last year I read The Song of Achilles, which is influencing how I‘m interpreting this play. Achilles hiding in his tent here isn‘t that far off from how he seemed in the Madeline Miller version, I feel like...
GingerAntics This act felt like we were in man land, taking a romp with a bunch of over inflated egos. For someone who was so desperately in love with Cressida in the last act, he spent a lot of time not even mentioning her in this act. I‘m not sure I buy that he‘s in love with her at all. At least not the way he claimed he was in the last act. So far, this play has been painful. Just something else to add to the “problem play” column. 3w
GingerAntics @batsy @Graywacke I agree that the discussion of leaders is easily relevant today. Sadly, I think the mentality toward women in this act is also amazingly relevant to today. 3w
Graywacke @Sunraven can‘t remember if Hector criticized Paris...Achilles hiding in his tent is a humorous exaggeration of his self-imposed isolation. 3w
merelybookish @Graywacke @batsy I enjoyed the part where Thersites tells everyone why they are a fool. Everyone had a reason except Patrocles. 😆 And you're right. He is our character speaking truth to power. Also @GingerAntics posted a quote a while back saying as long as there is war, T&C will continue to be relevant. 2w
merelybookish @jewright Yes, a lot of characters and presumably Cressida is important but she didn't show up at all in this act! 2w
merelybookish @batsy Troilus is a twit. 😂😂 2w
merelybookish @Rachbb3 Yes, Ajax does seem like a buffoon as well! He is getting manipulated but he's driven by vanity and jealousy so not exactly noble virtues. And yeah, Thersites such doesn't like him! (Or anyone else.) 2w
merelybookish @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great timing! How do all the versions hang together? Have you read Song of Achilles by same author of Circe? She gives a much more sympathetic version of Achilles and Patrocles than we are getting here. 2w
merelybookish @Sunraven Welcome! 😀 I don't recall about Hector in the Iliad. But my edition noted his quick change of heart at the end of scene 2 is one of the many inconsistencies in the play, in that after arguing quite forcibly about ending the war, he seems to change his mind quite suddenly. Also, I thought of Song of Achilles too, which I don't remember much of except Patrocles was portrayed with a lot more sympathy! 2w
merelybookish @GingerAntics Yeah I couldn't tell if Cressida was part of his impetus for wanting to stay in the war. So he could fight and gain honor, to impress her.🤷 (Sorry you're finding the play so painful.) 2w
merelybookish @jewright I liked "clotpole" for idiot. ? 2w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @merelybookish No I haven‘t read that one yet, but I really liked Circe so I‘m hoping to read it this month. Discworld‘s take was hilarious, although he altered the story somewhat, until the battle ended years later, “Helen” had a bunch of children, was middle aged, had lost her figure, and had the beginnings of a mustache and wasn‘t the vision they‘d all been motivated with throughout. It was funny and actually more realistic. 😂 (edited) 2w
GingerAntics @merelybookish oh, I hadn‘t thought of that as a motivating factor in his switch in thinking. Hm. Good point. He seemed to not want to go to war because of her in act 1, but perhaps he‘s switched tactics in act 2. 2w
GingerAntics @merelybookish @jewright don‘t you just love Shakespearean insults?! 2w
GingerAntics @Sunraven I like that quote about pleasure and revenge as well. I haven‘t figured out how I want to caption it, so I haven‘t posted that one yet. 2w
Sunraven @merelybookish: Totally had that thought about Cressida not showing up at all ... I kept thinking, is this just a rehash of the bits of the Iliad Shakespeare wants to make fun of? Why is it named like it‘s about these two characters when one of them barely shows up so far? 😆 2w
Sunraven @Riveted_Reader_Melissa: You‘re definitely making me want to read the Discworld version now. 😁

@Graywacke: My high school impression of Achilles‘ behavior was that he was pretty much acting like a selfish baby, so Shakespeare‘s interpretation feels pretty in line with my pre-Song-of-Achilles impression. 🤣
Graywacke @Sunraven 🙂 He _is_ such a selfish baby... 2w
Sunraven @Graywacke: Ah, selfish babies who are also incredibly overpowered ... The literal stuff of which legends are made. 😉 2w
53 likes57 comments
Circe | Madeline Miller
post image

And here are your first set of questions to answer! As always I started with the easiest questions tog et us warmed up and the discussion started. Feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you wish, just mark the spoilers if there are any!

#BBBBC #scififantasybookclub

AmyG I loved this book. I didn‘t know anything about Circe in mythology so I can‘t comment about that. But I loved her as a woman...with a woman‘s needs, wants and feelings. 3w
See All 15 Comments
AmyG As for the gods...Circe was so much more. To me she seemed half god, half human. 3w
TheSpineView I enjoyed this book immensely. I would love to read more from the author. The author did take some literary license for example the number of children Circe had. I especially loved how she humanized Circe. In this book she was drawn more to humans than what I remember. 3w
TheSpineView The author had Circe grow beyond her godhood. I don't recall that from my study of mythology... but it has been a while since I was in school. Regardless I liked how she developed the character. 3w
Caroline2 I loved the story and Circe but I found the author‘s writing style difficult at times. I don‘t know why, but my mind just kept wandering?? I didn‘t find it as immersive as I thought I would. 3w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa 1 I really enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. 2. Definitely, she fleshed out a female character that was really just an obstacle for Odysseus, and made a well rounded and complex character. 3. Yes, I think she learned a lot which is why she chose something else by the end. 3w
BethM I‘m with @Caroline2 , I didn‘t love this, and after trying a few times I DNFd. It wasn‘t immersive for me and I think the writing style didn‘t fit. 3w
cherinium @BethM You're not alone. I found this to be quite a slog. I don't remember much about Circe from my studies of mythology, so I can't comment on Miller's take on her. The character just didn't grab me, and the writing style underwhelmed. This was absolutely #notmything #unpopularopinion 3w
BethM @cherinium glad I‘m not alone! 3w
Gezemice @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @TheSpineView @amyG I have read Circe last year and it absolutely blew me away. I meant to re-read for this but did not get to it... I do recall however that I loved the writing, the lyrical yet hard-edged sentences, Circe coming into her own powers, and finally realizing that gods are assholes - and finding her humanity. Godding in Circe‘s world is being petty and squashing brutally - and you can‘t be happy like that. 2w
Gezemice @AmyG @TheSpineView Circe is a minor character in the Odyssey - Miller inserts her into better known stories of mythology, as well as making her her own character. It gives her an opportunity to throw in most of the Odyssey, much of Troy, Scylla and Charybdis - but also weave a feminist story. Even goddesses were raped. 2w
Schnoebs I enjoyed this and thought it was decent but I‘m happy that I‘m not alone in thinking it couldn‘t keep my attention. It took me twice as long as I normally would for a book this long. I did enjoy Circe as a character and the path she took where she tried to fix her past mistakes and not glorify them like heroes and gods would. I‘m not sure how much she learned from it but she did try to fix it which I liked. 2w
InLibrisVeritas @Schnoebs I had issues with it holding my attention too, even though I loved Circe as a character. I am glad to have read it though. 1w
36 likes15 comments
Sleeping Giants | Sylvain Neuvel
post image

It looks like the Sleeping Giants ebook is on sale for the Kindle right now! Only $1.99

Love it when these sales line up with our picks. #BBBBC #scififantasybookclub

vumblereads OH MY! Thanks for sharing! 3w
40 likes1 comment