Top Ten Tuesdays

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Top Ten Tuesdays – Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

Published September 22, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Oh, this won’t be pretty.  Even leaving out assigned reading for class, it’s not a pretty sight…

Anyway, so this is part of  The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesdays event.  The last time I did this, it was for the Summer TBR list.  Well, I actually made a decent dent in the list, it turned out.  Got through books 1-5 (though I’ve yet to write up my reaction to #5) and I’m most of the way through #8.  Over the summer, I also read To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, plus all too many volumes of manga, so…uh…yeah.  Anyway, the following list is needless to say not so much stuff I necessarily want to read as stuff I’m going to be reading as research for the final papers in my classes.  (Yeah, I’m already researching papers not due until December.  Such is life.)  Some of them should be pretty good reading, despite being research.  I’ll try and focus on those….

The list’s order is pretty random; they’re all of equal importance but all equally my own choices for my papers.

  1. The Female Review:  Life of Deborah Sampson by Herman Mann.  First written in 1797, this is a biography of a woman who dressed up as a man in order to fight in the Revolutionary War.  And lived to tell the tale:  Mann interviewed her in order to write her life’s story.
  2. My Dearest Friend:  Letters of Abigail and John Adams
  3. Letters of a Loyalist Lady by Ann Hulton.  A nice counter-point, I’m hoping, to the more typically repeated pro-Independence point of view that will be expressed in the previous two books.  Also, one of the few primary sources I have for women during the revolutions in the Spanish colonies is a letter from the royalist sister of Simon Bolivar, so there should be a nice parallel there, too.
  4. Virgil’s Empire:  Political Thought in the Aeneid by Eve Adler.  (Assuming that whoever has it eventually returns it to the library, that is.  It’s several days past due at this point.)
  5. Playing Gods:  Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction by Andrew Feldherr.  Technically, I’m supposed to be focusing on Virgil, but I want to use contrasting examples of other contemporary poets who treated the Trojan War material differently.  Though in Ovid’s case, it was post-Aeneid, so it’s a bit different than someone like, say, Catullus, writing a generation earlier.  (But I don’t plan on looking at Catullus too closely…)
  6. The Politics of Latin Literature:  Writing, Identity and Empire in Ancient Rome by Thomas N. Habinek.
  7. Reading after Actium:  Vergil’s Georgics, Octavian, and Rome by Christopher Nappa.
  8. Poetry & Politics in the Age of Augustus, edited by Tony Woodman.
  9. Latin American Independence:  An Anthology of Sources, edited and translated by Sarah C. Chambers and John Charles Chasteen.  You have no idea how tough it is to get good primary sources for this stuff in English translation.  Source books like this for the American Revolution exist aplenty (and I’ll be reading bits and pieces of a number of them, let me tell ya!) but English versions of ones for the revolutions in South America and Mexico?  Nope.  Just about zilch, apart from this and a few collections of the writings of Simon Bolivar.  And Bolivar is not likely to be a good source for my topic on how life was for women during the revolutions.  This is, of course, why one normally speaks the language of whatever one studies as a graduate student.  But I’m not planning on making a career in studying Latin America.  I’m focused largely on ancient Greece.  (Admittedly, my ancient Greek is twenty years rusty and was never good anyway, but…I should be able to pick it up again.  I hope.  German will be easier to regain.  And there’s a lot of German scholarship on ancient Greece.  Latin will also be easier to relearn — one of the easiest languages ever, in my opinion — but will not be as useful.)
  10. Sally Wister’s Journal:  A True Narrative.  This one will be hard to read, because it’s in-library-use-only, being over a hundred years old.  But it’s the journal of a “Quaker maiden” and her interactions with the officers of the Continental Army during the early years of the Revolution, so it’s likely to be very informative.  I’ll just have to figure out a time to sit in the library for hours on end reading it.  (Well, obviously, I’ll want to bring along my iPad to photograph any passages that seem important, which will help, but still…it’ll be an unusual experience for me.  But a good learning experience, too.  This is the sort of thing a professional historian is expected to deal with.)

Well, that jumped all over the place, didn’t it?  I should’ve tried to organize it by class, instead of going back and forth from one to the other and back again.  Oh well.  At least this time I’ll actually get to all the books on the list!

After I write that bloody paper for Thursday.


I don’t wanna write it.  It’s awful.  I hate the topic.  And I didn’t understand word one of the reading.  (Hey, I never signed on to study economic history!)

But I’m already halfway done, so I just have to knuckle down and finish it, right?


Top Ten Tuesdays – This Summer’s To Be Read List

Published June 16, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

In order to avoid a real post today (while I’m trying to figure out if I’m getting “dopey” from my increased dosage, as I’m told that’s a common side effect of this medication), I’m going to take part in The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesdays blog hop today.  (This means I don’t have to come up with a non-pre-planned post until Friday!  Yay!)

  1. The Greeks and Greek Love by James Davidson.  I read a few sections of this during the Fall semester for my final paper (the chapter on Achilles, and a few other bits, somewhat randomly) and now I’m reading the rest because…because.  Most books on ancient Greek society these days are still filtering their analysis of the Greek attitudes towards sexuality through Dover’s Greek Homosexuality, despite that its treatment of the subject doesn’t actually make any sense when compared with the original source material, but this book is trying to fix that problem.  (I.E., this book actually makes sense!  And it treats the ancient Greeks as people, who did things for human reasons, which varied from person to person and place to place, even if they did fall into a number of categories.)  On top of the fact that this book will be very important to my thesis, it’s also really entertaining reading, as Davidson’s writing style is light and witty (which cannot always be said for non-fiction books!).
  2. Tales of Superhuman Powers:  55 Traditional Stories from Around the World by Csenge Virag Zalka.  I’ve already read some of the stories, and they’re delightfully told.  It’s on my Kindle app on my iPad, though, so it’s a little less convenient to read.  I was just thinking “take up less space in my house” and wasn’t thinking “I’ll forget it’s there” when I bought it. 😦  I’d have already finished it by now if I’d bought the paperback…
  3. The Scarlet Sisters:  Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra MacPherson.  Since this is a paperback book, I’m reading it in the bath when I don’t have new volumes of manga to read.  (What?  I like to spend a long time soaking in the bath, but that’s boring if I don’t have something to read, and I don’t like to risk a hardback!  What’s wrong with that?)  It’s a really interesting biography of two sisters that I can’t believe I had never heard of before!  I’ll probably do a post about it when I finish reading it.  (The same applies to…actually, probably to most of the books on the list, really…)
  4. Whores, Harlots and Wanton Women by Petrina Brown.  I’ve gotta know if I was right or wrong to buy it.  Besides, there’s no reviews on Amazon, and I want to add one.
  5. The Death and Afterlife of Achilles by Jonathon S. Burgess.  The title says it all as to why I’ve gotta read it.
  6. Alice in the Country of Diamonds:  Bet on my Heart by Sana Shirakawa and Nana Fumitsuki.  A light novel based on the otome game Alice in the Country of Diamonds.  (For those not in the know, “otome games” are, uh, how do I describe them?  To call them “dating games for girls” would not be accurate, but…uh, they’re like choose-your-own-adventure novels, with pictures and sound, many fewer choices, and the idea of the game is to get the heroine into a relationship with one of the handsome young men surrounding her.  In the Alice series, they’re very loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, obviously, but it’s a twisted version where everyone carries guns, treats life as literally disposable and replaceable (except Alice’s) and it’s surprisingly bloody, which is what makes it work.)  I put it on this list primarily so that there would be a work of fiction on here.  (But it really is on my bookshelf waiting to be read!  I mistook it for a large volume of manga when I bought it…)
  7. Laughter in Ancient Rome:  On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up by Mary Beard.
  8. Barbarians:  An Alternative Roman History by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira.  I want to read this one close to the end of the summer, since I’ll be taking a class on the Fall of the Roman Republic in the Fall semester (ooh, that’s a appropriate!) but since it’s a paperback, I may end up getting to it sooner than that.
  9. The Lost Book of Alexander the Great by Andrew Young.  Just picked this one up, but it looks interesting.  He’s tried to piece together what was in Ptolemy’s history of Alexander.
  10. Njal’s Saga.

Of course, given the length of some of these books (particularly the first one), I doubt I’ll get through all of them.  I’ll be lucky to get through half of them.  Depending on how soon Fantasy Life gets its tentacles out of my life.  And how the various games in my backlog treat me, and if I ever get over my writers’ block, and if I can ever get off my lazy rear end and start cleaning my house, and…yeah, lots of factors.

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