The Greek Gods Book Tag

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

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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

17333319Burial 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)

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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

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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!)

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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

51sz0tslgal-_sx330_bo1204203200_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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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48 thoughts on “The Greek Gods Book Tag

  1. Omg I didn’t know about the misoginy of Red Rising! And I was planning to read it soon omg I can’t express how grateful I am about your warning. I just HATE when a book lacks strong female characters (aka realistic ones that are not there just for the male character). I’ve only hears good things about the book, but when I think of it, it is to little surprise. I’ve read enough popular problematic books to not trust the rating system :/ (I read one SUPER misogynist book that promotes abusive relationships and romanticizes rape, as a few problematic things to mention, and it had 4.2 on Goodreads)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg, I’d be so curious to see what you think of Red Rising, but I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. [minor spoiler – this happens like 10% into the book] the main character Darrow’s wife Eo’s entire role in this story is to sacrifice herself to fuel his man-pain and give him something to fight for. She dies in the first couple of chapters and she’s probably the female character with the most personality in the entire book. It is honestly so offensive.

      Ugh, I know, Red Rising has 4.26 on Goodreads which makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills, but all of the negative reviews of this book say the same thing: it’s basically a Hunger Games rip off, and it’s horribly, inexcusably misogynistic. Like, the sort of sexism that I’d expect to see from 80s sci-fi, not something published in 2014. I think a lot of people are willing to excuse ‘problematic’ elements of books by choosing to ignore how impressionable young people are when they read a book that (however unintentionally) glorifies rape and essentially frames women as pawns to be used in men’s political struggles. It’s so disturbing. And I see this so often, where really offensive books are rated really highly. Which book is it that you read with the 4.2 rating?

      Anyway, if you read Red Rising, let me know what you think! Either way, I can only recommend checking this one out of the library, it is not worth spending any money on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh god sounds terrible. The book I read is called ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Kristen Ashley (I think her name was) and I did quite a rant, with a bit of swearing, on it in one of the tags 😅 (think it was the #Nope book tag, read it if you want a more thouroughly explanation of my hate). It’s just the same like said about Red Rising (except about hunger games). Not to mentioned that you go like “wow this is very immature 16 year old” UNTIL YOU FIND OUT SHE’S 30. And she describes the environment like “Over the hill was a large forest. Cool!” *pukes*. I think the “Mary Sue” thing is sexist, but whole shit I’m not gonna deny that she is the very embodiment of it, along with her husband (Gary sue?) who, as the man, is so ridiculously more powerful that you can’t even respect him. So except for being extremely misogynist and promoting rape and abusive relationships, it’s also just plain bad. There’s no redeeming qualitys. The author must have sacrificed a hundred virgins or something to get such high ratings. Like even if I didn’t like the book, I wouldn’t attack the author. But this book is just so fucked up and promoting so many horrible things that I have 0 respect for her.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my god that sounds awful!!!!! Yeah I totally agree about the concept of ‘Mary Sue’ being sexist when we often don’t think twice about male characters who are given the same sorts of characteristics, but sometimes it’s an apt descriptor, especially when there’s just no depth to the character. Like… it’s fine if female characters are pretty or talented? But they still need to be well developed and well-rounded. I hate when such blatantly misogynistic books are given a free pass.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wait ’till you’ve read the reviews of the book, it makes you question humanity 😂 No but it’s just so many 4 and 5 stars that you wonder if you’ve even read the same book (like with you for Red Rising). Don’t they see how problematic this book is? Or just the bad quality of both text and content? Like I’m not even native speaking but even I can tell it’s BAD. It’s just, sometimes you just want to start a publishing company just to make sure to actually publish books with quality.
        Yes! It’s like when people started calling Rey from TFA a ‘Mary Sue’ for knowing how a ship, like omg SHE WORKS AS A SCAVENGER TO FIND USEFUL PIECES OF COURSE SHE MUST KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. Not to mention the fact that she could fight very well (when it was established earlier in the film that she sure knew how to fight) or *Gasp* be stronger than a male character! The whole thing just stinks of sexism.
        And then you just read ‘Wildest Dreams’ and starts to question everything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OH wow I did not realize that English isn’t your native language!! Your English is so good, I never would have guessed. Where are you from?

        But seriously, when I read books that bad, I start to get angry with the publisher even more than the author. It’s an editor’s job to catch all this stuff!

        I’m not even into Star Wars but I started getting so annoyed at all of the nerd boys hating on Rey just for being a capable woman!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • yeah Sweden is very pretty :DI live in the archipelago outside the capital, and it’s very beautiful in the summer and when the snow has settled down in winter 😀 Though I do NOT recommend you to come to here during April. Today, it has snowed, sun shining with barely a cloud in the sky, then rained, hailed, thundered and now the sun is back. All in one day 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • OH GOD that’s even worse than here!!! I live in Vermont (northeast) which is one of the colder parts of the country but at least it’s finally stopped snowing!!! I hate winter so much, there is definitely no danger me going to Sweden in winter or spring 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel, I’m so glad to hear you didn’t enjoy Red Rising either. I read it a few years ago and I was totally uncomfortable with all the rape as a plot device and shallow female characters. I really don’t get the appeal of that series. Although I have to admit a few friends have convinced me to give the rest of the series a go later this year. Hopefully I’ll enjoy them better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear you didn’t like Red Rising either. I do not get the hype about this book!!!! The plot was derivative, Darrow was the most embarrassing nerd boy self-insert protagonist ever, like he’s so magically amazing at everything (and devilishly handsome!!!) that I just could not stop cringing, and then obviously the misogyny. [spoiler to anyone reading this thread] The fact that Eo is the female character with the most agency and personality and she dies like 10% into the book is… not a good sign.

      I hope the rest of the series improves! I just could not bring myself to go on after the first one. I think there’s some potential for Mustang to become an interesting character, but so far her role as Darrow’s potential love interest has been incredibly shallow. Hopefully Brown puts some effort into developing her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to let you know what I think of the next two when I read them! I think one of the worst bits about RR was the fact that Darrow was a total Gary-Stu. He starts off the novel handsome and amazing at everything, but then he gets “Carved” and actually ends up looking even more beautiful and becoming even more intelligent before it becomes Hunger Games in space. I dunno. I’m glad to have found another soul who thinks this book gets more hype than it deserves.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I look forward to your reviews!

        Omg, I know, I just could not take Darrow seriously. The ‘protagonist who’s exceptional at everything despite being the relatable Everyman’ trope was already cringe-worthy when Darrow was just an amazing Helldiver, but then he got Carved and it was just taken to comical proportions.

        Also, you’d think with the whole Hunger Games in space thing would be the most interesting part of this book, but the Arena bored me to tears!!! I just didn’t get it – the stakes never felt high enough to warrant the absurd amount of bloodshed. Like… all of these rich people are going to send their only children to get murdered by other rich people’s kids for absolutely no reason?? It literally made no sense.

        This book, I swear to god. Every time I see another 5 star review for this book I feel like I’m losing my mind a little bit more.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha I think you and I were meant to find each other through blogging! I totally relate to that feeling of just not seeing what everyone else is seeing when they rave about gigantic series that have some pretty glaring flaws. I totally agree that the basic plot and worldbuilding didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t very original, first of all. It felt awfully derivative of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, and I didn’t understand who came up with the entire society based around hair color in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly!!! It’s so cool we have such similar opinions despite veering toward different genres. (Which, incidentally, is exactly how I am with my friend Chelsea @ Spotlight on Stories who I think you follow – like you she goes for more YA SFF than I do, but when our books overlap we almost always agree. Naturally, she also hates Red Rising.)

        And totally, the very premise of the book was ridiculous! Like, I guess it had the potential to be a commentary on racism…? But it didn’t even do that. It was just The Hunger Games but Dumber.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I happened to check out your blog just now and noticed too that you’re in Vermont. Consider that one more thing we have in common! What a small world haha. I do follow Chelsea. She should join this conversation so we can all vent together haha. I think

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now that you say that I remember noticing that when I added you on Goodreads, but that’s so crazy. I never meet other people who live here!! Given that the state population is about twelve, what are the odds. Do you live here full time or just for college?

        Hahah I literally just messaged Chelsea and I was like ‘there is a lot of Red Rising hate going down right now. There is hope!!!’

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a born and raised Vermonter! I grew up and here liked the state so much I just never left. It’s home to me, for sure. What a small world we live in though, to have found each other through our blogs. Small state, small world I suppose! And hahaha at you messaging Chelsea. Our tiny rag-tag band who disliked RR have got to stick together. xD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my god that’s crazy. Same here!! Actually I wasn’t born here, I was born in San Diego but my family moved here when I was five, so I usually call myself a Vermonter (and hope that Real Vermonters don’t get angry with me for it). And I went to college out of state, but I ended up back here and I like it so much more in adulthood than I did when I was younger. I don’t think I’m going to settle down here permanently, but it works for now. Whereabouts do you live? Central Vermont for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow, that’s so funny that your commute to another state takes you less time than my 40 minute drive to work 😂 so I guess you’re a bit south of me (which is funny as yours is called ‘Upper Valley’ and my general location is referred to as ‘central’ – geography makes no sense). But this is awesome to find another Vermonter in the book blogging community!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Geography makes no sense to me either. I am terrible with directions! Comes from an entire childhood spent reading books in the car. It’s a wonder I can find my way to work and home again each day. I agree, I’m glad to have met a fellow Vermont blogger!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man, I can’t believe you can read in a car on these ridiculous windy roads. Tragically it is the motion sickness life for me! I should really train myself to listen to audiobooks so I don’t waste so much reading time when I’m driving, but I always end up zoning out after a couple of sentences. Also I think it’s even harder to navigate this place when you grow up here, like, I haven’t got a clue what any of these roads are called??? I’m okay at navigating myself, but I don’t think I’d be able to give someone directions to save my life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I still read in the car! It’s my superpower. Mr. Bastion (my SO) will drive and I’ll always be reading a car in the passenger seat haha. I don’t even try giving directions. I’d get people hopelessly lost. I feel you on audiobooks though. I’m listening to one right now becuase I’m trying to speed through the first book in a series as I got approved for its sequel via Netgalley, but I often have to rewind and re-listen to bits I found I tuned out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is the best superpower ever and I am incredibly jealous. My superpower is still getting car sick at the age of 25 😂 I’m with Mr. Bastion on this one, I’m always the driver.

        I also have to do that with audiobooks!!! I tried listening to Ian McKellen reading the Odyssey last summer, and I love the Odyssey but without fail I fell asleep a few minutes into every chapter. (Thankfully I was not driving at the time.) Sorry Sir Ian, I tried!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you clarified that you weren’t driving all those times you fell asleep listening to Sir Ian McKellen haha. Audiobooks are tough, because they would definitely make reading a breeze, but it’s way harder to focus on someone telling a story than feeling like you’re experiencing it yourself via reading. They feel like 2 different experiences for me anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely. And I think some books are just so much better suited to audio than others (like Harry Potter, that’s a great story to listen to, vs. something more literary). I also always get frustrated with how much quicker I could be reading the book if I weren’t listening to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • *I think our similar complaints can maybe be chalked up to that we’re looking for similar things from a book, even within different genres. When it’s lacking a story that makes sense or compelling characters, it’s easy for us to feel let down.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Bentley, I’m so glad to find another soul who didn’t enjoy Red Rising! I remember messaging Rachel when I saw her add it as currently reading on goodreads and saying, I suspect you’re going to hate this, but I really look forward to reading your review!

      I read Red Rising and couldn’t believe that the book was rated as highly as it was. I know the misogyny and rape rubbed me the wrong way, especially because the female characters exist only as love interests or sexual objects, and I found Darrow not only a Gary-Stu but a really unlikable Gary-Stu! Some of the goodreads reviews said that the second book was better, so I actually read that one too, but I didn’t think it improved at all. It’s really nice to have someone to vent with though! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Chelsea!! I’m so glad to have found you and Rachel to share in my dislike for that series! xD We’re like the Three Musketeers, fighting against Gary-Sue characters and poorly drawn female characters. I don’t know how we landed in a bizarro world where that book became so lauded. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that The Hunger Games was HUGE when that book came out, so dystopian fans ate it up.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so cool! I’ll definitely be doing this!

    I didn’t know you read “When the Moon Was Ours”! I’ve been meaning to read it, but if you thought it was boring, I probably won’t make it past the first page…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I requested it from Netgalley back in the fall on a whim after reading a glowing review, and ohhhhh man did I ever regret that decision. Boring is the one word I keep coming back to.

      I can’t decide if you’d like it or not! I mean, you’re obviously way more into YA, but for YA it’s sort of literary? (I forget where you stand on magical realism, but I really dislike it, so that definitely didn’t help.) But on the other hand, the diversity!! So cool!! And I learned a lot about the bacha posh cultural practice, so that was interesting… If nothing else it’s REALLY short. I’d definitely be curious to see what you think if you read it!

      Like

  4. I will definitely be doing this as well, I think the hardest part will be not just repeating several of your answers, because as usual we’re on the same page about a lot of things. Can’t help joining in the mythology fun though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read Murder on the Orient Express and Les Misérables. My favorite book might have to be Les Misérables and read the unabridged book. If it wasn’t for my passionate and obsessive love for the musical, I never would have wanted to read it in the first place and actually finished it in less than one summer.

    When it comes to books, I love fantasy, mystery, adventure, and classics

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m actually the opposite – weirdly I decided to read Les Miserables before I’d ever seen or heard the musical, and I fell in love with the story through the book! After I finished it I became obsessed with the musical, but I was never a musical theatre fan growing up, so the book Les Mis was my gateway into the world of theatre. It’s such a gorgeous story in whatever medium it’s told in.

      Like

      • Musicals was something I actually grew up on. My parents took myself sister and I to movie musical and musicals live.

        Wicked was actually sparked my love for musicals. My mom decided to go to New York with just me and she took me to see Wicked. That was key to beginning to understand the emotional side of musicals.

        Les Mis years later decided to challenge my knowledge of musicals. For starters, the musicals I grew up with were all happy. So I was quite shocked while watching the movie seeing it was tragic. I actually gave it a second chance and realized I did not see it for what it was the first around.

        I cannot believe I saw the stage version of both Wicked and Les Mis four times. Those two are very meaningful to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so great! I wish I’d enjoyed musicals more when I was a kid, but I really didn’t for some reason. I think it’s because I’ve always liked stories that are on the sad side, and like you I didn’t realize that musicals had the capacity to be that intense and emotional. I always thought of them being fun and whimsical (i.e., things I don’t particularly enjoy in fiction), but when I discovered Les Mis I realized just how much musical theatre was capable of. I’ve also been lucky enough to see Les Mis on stage multiple times and it never loses its magic.

        Like

      • Growing up, I was able to discover that musicals are capable of spectacle, dance, moments of comedy, emotions of joy, love, excitement and sad and strong emotional connections. I discovered all of that. I never analyzed musical emotions growing up.

        But through the realization of heartbreak through Les Mis has changed the way I view other musicals. I noticed it made it much easier to spot negative emotions in other musicals

        Like

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