Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Rating:  5/5

The Song of Achilles

Every once in a while a book comes along and takes your breath away. If you’re very lucky, you stumble across a gem with fully developed characters, beautiful prose, and an engaging story. The Song of Achilles is that book. I’d fallen in love with the idea of Achilles in high school Latin class but my passion for the myth came when I read The Iliad in college. Homer’s musical language is so beautiful even in translation.

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Sunday Reads: February 3, 2013

Blog Post:

3 Steps to Defining Your Personal Brand: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will do after graduation and this article was the perfect inspiration to start re-working my personal brand. Of course it’s all easier said than done but by starting early I hope I’ll get ahead in the long run.

Newspaper Article:

20 Odd Questions with Stephanie von Watzdorf:  I don’t know what is better, that her name reminds me of my beloved Blair Waldorf or that she was the daughter of an art dealer and a ballet dancer – so glamourous! “My favorite stationery is Terrapin by Ted Harrington [and his mother, Cathy]. Ted is great and his work has a little tongue-in-cheek humor to it.”

Of course the article above led me to the lovely stationery store where I found some adorable notecards, check them out here and here.

Maybe Cards

Books:

TimGunnFashionBible

Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible by Tim Gunn

This was a jauntily-paced look at the history of fashion with a few tips thrown in. If you’re looking for a “what to wear” guide, this is NOT it (try this instead). However, if you’re looking for a thrilling look at why we wear the clothing we do, head to the library and check this out right away.

Strands of Bronze and Gold Cover

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
*note: this title will be released on March 12, 2012.

I was so excited for this book because of its connection to fairytale lore without being overdone (Footnote: It’s retelling of the story of Bluebeard. ) — I’m looking at you retellings of Cinderella! Strands of Bronze and Gold had a lot of promise with its strong female heroine and 19th c. setting but I found myself distracted at times by the references to other works. At one point Sophia  receives a letter “Dear Miss Petheram, In vain I have struggled…” which is strikingly similar to Mr. Darcy’s letter in Pride and Prejudice “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Similarly, when Sophia and Monsieur Bernard de Cressac are to be married, he suggests taking their honeymoon in Barbados, which seems entirely too similar to Mr. Rochester’s actions with the mad woman in the attic (Jane Eyre or Wide Sargasso Sea). Though I love a veiled reference to works that have gone before, especially in historical fiction, I found these a little heavy-handed and distracting. All of that being said I think it would make an excellent addition to a YA collection, since teens probably aren’t as picky about their classical references as I am!