So earlier today Zuky @ The Book Bum created The Greek Gods Book Tag, and being a huge Greek mythology fan, I couldn’t resist this theme.
Rules by Zuky:
- Pingback to me here so I can read all your posts!!
- You can use my graphics if ya like, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to
- Tag as many people as you want, but please, share the love
Zeus: King of the Gods – your favourite book
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo: Choosing a favorite book is a bit like choosing a favorite child, but I think I’d be lying if I said anything other than Les Misérables. This book changed me. I’ve read it twice – all 1400 pages of my Signet Classics translation – and love every word of this epic story.
Hera: Queen of the Gods – a badass female character
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: Agnes Magnúsdóttir was actually a real person, but because there are so few first-hand accounts and her personality was entirely fabricated for this novel, I’m counting her as a character. This beautiful and devastating novel about the last public execution in Iceland tells the story of Agnes, forced to live out her final days in a remote village awaiting her execution. Rather than being painted as a villain, Kent humanizes Agnes, rendering her painfully sympathetic, and raising questions about the mental strength required to endure while you know your life has an expiration date.
Janus: God of Beginnings – your favourite debut(s)
The Secret History by Donna Tartt: Being a classics nerd who’s obsessed with The Secret History, I will fully admit to being a total cliche, but that’s okay with me. This debut from Donna Tartt is outstanding. It’s also one of the only novels I’ve ever read that’s set in Vermont (the homeland), so I automatically felt a strong connection with this story and these characters. Though so far my life has involved far less murder.
Athena: Goddess of Wisdom – your favourite non-fiction book
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: This true crime story about the capture and execution of the killers behind the Clutter family murder in 1959 Kansas is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Capote definitely bends the boundaries of nonfiction (notably including entire chunks of dialogue that there’s no way he would have been privy to), but ultimately, this is an incredibly well-researched book, that provides a unique and haunting perspective on the case.
Aphrodite: Goddess of Love – a book you adore and recommend everyone read (other than your favourite book!)
Everything I Never Told You by Celete Ng: This is my go-to book to recommend when I’m not familiar with someone’s particular tastes, because this is the sort of book that has something for everyone. Part mystery, part character study, part social commentary on discrimination and the quiet ways individuals are shaped by racism and sexism, this book is an extraordinary feat. The writing is beautiful and evocative, and it’s impossible to put down.
Hades: God of the Underworld – an evil book you wish didn’t exist
Red Rising by Pierce Brown: Or, if this hideously misogynistic novel has to exist, I’d rather it wouldn’t be marketed toward teenage boys – a demographic who could really benefit from some positive representation of strong female characters. Unfortunately, every woman in this novel exists as a potential love interest without much of a personality beyond that, and women are portrayed as trophies to be won and abused and bartered at the whim of the vastly more powerful men. I can’t remember the last time I was so offended by a book. And aside from all that, it just isn’t very good.
Poseidon: God of the Sea & Earthquakes – a beautiful & ground-breaking book
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: Beautiful and groundbreaking just about covers it. I’d never read a book about the Japanese annexation of Korea before this, and I learned so much about the twentieth century history of these two countries that I’d been completely ignorant of. This book provides such a nuanced exploration of themes of nationality and cultural identity; and beyond that, it’s written with elegant prose and contains a host of memorable and sympathetic characters.
Apollo: God of the Arts – a beautiful book cover
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie: I usually pride myself on not getting seduced by pretty book covers… but when I saw this one in my local bookstore I bought it about sixty seconds later. I love simple covers with a splash of color, so this one is perfect. Aesthetically pleasing and not too busy, with a clean font. I love it. (I read this recently and didn’t feel like writing up a proper review, but my mini-review is HERE.)
Hypnos: God of Sleep – a book so boring you almost fell asleep
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore: Unpopular opinion time! I couldn’t stand this book. It bored me to tears. I thought the diversity was fantastic (two POC protagonists, one of whom is trans), but aside from that, this fell totally flat for me. The plot was incredibly feeble, and for such a short novel it was unbearably repetitive. Granted, I’m not exactly the target audience for this book – I’m not a huge fan of either YA or magical realism – but I was in the mood for something a bit different and hoping to love this. Alas.
Hermes: Messenger of the Gods – a book you sped through
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge: I think partially given the nature of literary fiction and classics, which is 90% of what I read, books rarely grab me immediately. I sort of have to soldier through the first couple of chapters until I start to feel invested. But this book hooked me from the very first page. I read the first 20% in one sitting which I rarely do, and then finished it the next day. I could not put this book down.
Tagging (as always feel free to skip this if you don’t feel like doing it): Chelsea @ Spotlight on Stories // Hadeer @ Hadeer Writes // Callum @ Callum McLaughlin // Ann @ Ann Reads Them // Bentley @ Book Bastion