Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Iliad – Homer (part 2 of 4)

I set myself an extra challenge this summer, in addition to #20booksofsummer, I decided to read The Iliad. It’s a book I’ve wanted to read for e v e r. This is the second part of my review, the first one can be found here. The biggest reason I kept putting it off is because I thought it would be very difficult to read (like how I find Shakespeare!) but this translation is written in a very straightforward way and it’s actually really easy to read.

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I love the look of this book.Β 

As ever, if you are serious about your classic Greek literature, this is not the review for you. Haha. Stay away! Otherwise, let’s see what happens from chapter 7…

Book 7

The Gods intervene again to make Hektor offer one on one combat to a Greek warrior. Any Greek warrior. Winner takes all.

No one’s that keen at first, but Menelaos starts to volunteer, calls the rest of them women (pfffft) and that shames nine of them into volunteering, Lots are drawn and Aias is the… winner?

They have a bit of a fight, seem equal, and then they are stopped because it’s night time. Seems quite badly planned tbh.

They go home for the night. It’s suggested in Troy that maybe they should… errrr… just give Helen back? along with all the stuff Paris nicked from them. He says he’ll give back the stuff, and some extra, but not Helen.

They have a break the next day to gather the dead on both sides and burn the bodies. The Greeks make one massive pyre and then build a fortress on top with massive gates, a big ditch with spikes etc

Poseidon is pissed off with this because they didn’t make any offerings to gods first. He’s stays quite grumpy about this throughout the story.

Finally Jason makes a cameo by popping over on a ship with some wine for the Greeks. Yey, Argonauts!

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err… hello

 

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That’s more like it.Β 

Book 8

There’s a bit of fighting. Mostly we’re with the Gods.

Zeus forbids any of the gods from interfering. He decides to help the Trojans himself. And he goes off to a mountain to watch for the day.

Hera and Athene decide to sod his orders, and suit up to go and help the Greeks. Luckily Zeus gets wind of this and sends Iris to warn them about the consequences. Basically he says he’ll lightning strike Athene so bad she won’t be healed for 10 years. He says he won’t do the same to Hera because he expects this behaviour from her. lol. They decide to heed the warning and go home.

Zeus returns from his day out. Athene sulks. Hera gives him some shit about it. I like Hera.

During some Gods discussion, the prophecy about Hektor only dying by Achilleus’ hand, after the death of Patroklos, is mentioned. Well, I think that’s going to be important later. *taps nose and winks*.

And that’s the end of another day.

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A futile attempt at reading The Iliad while the chaos of slime making goes on around me.

Book 9

The Greeks realise they are basically fucked without Achilleus. Agamemnon sends a party of two messengers and Odysseus, plus Aias and Phoinix, to tell Achilleus he can have his war bride back, plus some other lovely ladies, plus a load of stuff, and he can marry one of his daughters and have a massive kingdom (desperate much?).

Achilleus tells him to piss off, and says he might even go home the next day.

On returning to give Agamemnon the news, Diomedes, a younger warrior who is gaining confidence, says: Oh well sod him then. Lets just ignore him and get on with the fight.

Then everyone goes to sleep again.

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beer

Book 10

Diomedes and Odysseus decide to go on a spying mission to the Trojans. Meanwhile, coincidentally, Hektor sends his own spy to the Greeks.

Diomedes and Odysseus catch the spy on his way into the Greeks camp. They get some info from him and kill him.

They then go and kill a bunch of Trojans and nick some awesome horses.

Book 11

There’s fighting and all the key Greek fighters get some sort of injury. It’s not looking good.

Achilleus and Patroklus get back in on the story. Achilleus sends Patroklus to look at who is being brought back injured. This allows Nestor to tell Patroklus that things aren’t looking great… and maybe he can borrow Achilleus’ armour and… maybe just pretend to be Achilleus a bit and scare the Trojans…

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Book 12

Wow. It’s all properly kicking off in Book 12, leading up to the half way point of the whole thing.

All the leading Greek fighters got injured so are out of action. The Trojans are feeling invincible, and the push back to the ditch/wall arrangement that the Greeks built a few chapters ago, is on. Even when their horses won’t cross the ditch they just leave them behind and go on foot.

The chapter leads up to a big battle at the wall. Hektor and Sarpedon are key Trojan figures for this part. Hektor leads an assault on one of the places to get through it. And just at the end of the chapter he manages to get through and the Trojans start scaling the walls and going through the gap and the Greeks scatter. It’s all looking terrible for the Greeks!

 

Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Top 10 Bookish Websites

This is the topic of Top Ten Tuesday for this week, coordinated by That Artsy Reader Girl. I know it’s not Tuesday. As previously discussed, I will never end up doing this on the right day!

1. Goodreads. I know I’m not supposed to pick this, but I do use it a lot. I love the yearly challenge and I like being able to see all the books I’ve read all together in a list.

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2. NetGalley. Books for free because I will write a review of them, which I would do anyway. I was so happy when I started getting approved for books! Now the problem is to not request too many that I don’t have time to read them… way too late to stop this being a problem.

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3. bookfacemagazine.Β This is an Instagram account. I love it though.

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4. Book Riot. Book stuff. Recommendations. Interesting articles.

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5. Lit Hub. Books, essays, recommendations. Love the Rebecca Solnit article I read here last year.

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6. Manchester Literary Festival. The tickets to this years events were just all released on Wednesday. I’ve been quite retrained and just bought for two events. Can’t wait.

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7. The Literary Gift Company. Bookish things. I want pretty much everything they sell, but currently covet this t shirt.Β 

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8. Bookshambles. This one might be cheating a bit, because it’s a podcast. But it’s the only podcast I regularly listen to and it’s where I’ve got so many recommendations from over the last few years, of books that have ended up being some of my favourites.

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9. The Guardian Books section. I read quite a few of the articles and also tend to read their reviews of books I’m interested in.

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10. Twitter. Because I follow so many great bookish people. πŸ™‚

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20 Books of Summer – Month 2 Update

I always think I will read loads when it’s the holidays. The reality is I read much less than when I’m working. It makes no sense! The challenge is quite straight forward: read 20 books in June, July and August.Β 

So I’ve finished 11 books so far. This means I’m unlikely to reach my goal of 20, but I’m ok with that. There are several books I’m already quite far through, so I might get quite a few of them finished. I also have book club next week so I’ll definitely get through at least one more for that.

My 20 books of summer side project: Project Iliad has also been slightly neglected in July. I am currently up to chapter 11 of 24. I’ve summarised the first 6 chapters in the first part of my review here. I’ll actually be happy if I complete this goal, even at the expense of the 20 books goal!

Here’s the original list of books, with ones I’ve read in red. Books I’ve read that weren’t on the original list are added at the bottom. Links to my reviews are next to all the ones I’ve read. Wonder how I’ll get on with the rest of August!

  1. Homegoing – Yaa GyasiΒ (review)
  2. Still Me – Jojo Moyes (review)
  3. Conclave – Robert Harris (review)
  4. Sarah – J.T. Leroy
  5. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (review)
  7. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne
  8. The Pisces – Melissa Broder (review)
  9. How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb
  10. Β Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls
  11. The Iliad – Homer
  12. Story – Robert McKee (review)
  13. How To Stop Time – Matt Haig (review)
  14. 2666 – Roberto Bolano
  15. Β I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  16. The Dark Dark – Samantha Hunt
  17. Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life – Helen Czerski
  18. The Dark Road to Mercy – Wiley Cash
  19. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
  20. The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit
  21. Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates (review)
  22. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf (review)
  23. Little Black Book – Otegha Uwagba (review)
  24. Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher (review)