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When I was a child and even now I thrill to some of the basic myths and legends from around the world.

I remember laughing about the plan to get Thor’s stolen hammer back by disguising him as a bride.  The fact that he couldn’t keep his eyes from glowering behind his veil was funny.

Wiki tells the story about Thor:  

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

In the comedic poem Þrymskviða, Thor again plays a central role. In the poem, Thor wakes and finds that his powerful hammer, Mjöllnir, is missing. Thor turns to Loki, and tells him that nobody knows that the hammer has been stolen. The two go to the dwelling of the goddess Freyja, and so that he may attempt to find Mjöllnir, Thor asks her if he may borrow her feather cloak. Freyja agrees, and says she would lend it to Thor even if it were made of silver or gold, and Loki flies off, the feather cloak whistling.

In Jötunheimr, the jötunn Þrymr sits on a barrow, plaiting golden collars for his female dogs, and trimming the manes of his horses. Þrymr sees Loki, and asks what could be amiss among the Æsir and the elves; why is Loki alone in Jötunheimr? Loki responds that he has bad news for both the elves and the Æsir—that Thor's hammer, Mjöllnir, is gone. Þrymr says that he has hidden Mjöllnir eight leagues beneath the earth, from which it will be retrieved, but only if Freyja is brought to him as his wife.

Loki flies off, the feather cloak whistling, away from Jötunheimr and back to the court of the gods.  Thor asks Loki if his efforts were successful, and that Loki should tell him while he is still in the air as "tales often escape a sitting man, and the man lying down often barks out lies." Loki states that it was indeed an effort, and also a success, for he has discovered that Þrymr has the hammer, but that it cannot be retrieved unless Freyja is brought to Þrymr as his wife. The two return to Freyja and tell her to put on a bridal head dress, as they will drive her to Jötunheimr. Freyja, indignant and angry, goes into a rage, causing all of the halls of the Æsir to tremble in her anger, and her necklace, the famed Brísingamen, falls from her. Freyja pointedly refuses.

As a result, the gods and goddesses meet and hold a thing to discuss and debate the matter. At the thing, the god Heimdallr puts forth the suggestion that, in place of Freyja, Thor should be dressed as the bride, complete with jewels, women's clothing down to his knees, a bridal head-dress, and the necklace Brísingamen. Thor rejects the idea, yet Loki interjects that this will be the only way to get back Mjöllnir. Loki points out that, without Mjöllnir, the jötnar will be able to invade and settle in Asgard. The gods dress Thor as a bride, and Loki states that he will go with Thor as his maid, and that the two shall drive to Jötunheimr together.

After riding together in Thor's goat-driven chariot, the two, disguised, arrive in Jötunheimr. Þrymr commands the jötnar in his hall to spread straw on the benches, for Freyja has arrived to be his wife. Þrymr recounts his treasured animals and objects, stating that Freyja was all that he was missing in his wealth.

Early in the evening, the disguised Loki and Thor meet with Þrymr and the assembled jötnar. Thor eats and drinks ferociously, consuming entire animals and three casks of mead. Þrymr finds the behaviour at odds with his impression of Freyja, and Loki, sitting before Þrymr and appearing as a "very shrewd maid", makes the excuse that "Freyja's" behaviour is due to her having not consumed anything for eight entire days before arriving due to her eagerness to arrive. Þrymr then lifts "Freyja's" veil and wants to kiss "her". Terrifying eyes stare back at him, seemingly burning with fire. Loki says that this is because "Freyja" has not slept for eight nights in her eagerness.

The "wretched sister" of the jötnar appears, asks for a bridal gift from "Freyja", and the jötnar bring out Mjöllnir to "sanctify the bride", to lay it on her lap, and marry the two by "the hand" of the goddess Vár. Thor laughs internally when he sees the hammer, takes hold of it, strikes Þrymr, beats all of the jötnar, kills their "older sister", and so gets his hammer back.

Odin’s two ravens that represent thought and memory are rich symbols.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind") are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring the god Odin information. Huginn and Muninn are attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the Third Grammatical Treatise, compiled in the 13th century by Óláfr Þórðarson; and in the poetry of skalds.

The names of the ravens are sometimes modernly anglicized as Hugin and Munin.
In the Poetic Edda, a disguised Odin expresses that he fears that they may not return from their daily flights. The Prose Edda explains that Odin is referred to as "raven-god" due to his association with Huginn and Muninn. In the Prose Edda and the Third Grammatical Treatise, the two ravens are described as perching on Odin's shoulders. Heimskringla details that Odin gave Huginn and Muninn the ability to speak.

I have long been intrigued by the story of Penelope making sure it was really her husband who had come home after tricking the suitors for so long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Odysseus has now revealed himself in all his glory (with a little makeover by Athena); yet Penelope cannot believe that her husband has really returned—she fears that it is perhaps some god in disguise, as in the story of Alcmene—and tests him by ordering her servant Euryclea to move the bed in their wedding-chamber. Odysseus protests that this cannot be done since he made the bed himself and knows that one of its legs is a living olive tree.

Before the cheesy Hercules animated movie, Hercules was a mighty hero.  Tricking Atlas into taking his mountains back on his shoulder after he got the golden apples was very interesting.  In fact, trickery was a big factor in a lot of the tales.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

 

First Labour: Nemean lion
 Second Labour: Lernaen hydra
 Third Labour: Ceryneian Hind
 Fourth Labour: Erymanthian Boar
 Fifth Labour: Augean stables
 Sixth Labour: Stymphalian Birds
 Seventh Labour: Cretan Bull
 Eighth Labour: Mares of Diomedes
 Ninth Labour: Belt of Hippolyta
 Tenth Labour: Cattle of Geryon
 Eleventh Labour: Apples of the Hesperides

     Finally making his way to the Garden of the Hesperides, Hercules tricked Atlas into retrieving some of the golden apples for him, by offering to hold up the heavens for a little while (Atlas was able to take them as, in this version, he was the father or otherwise related to the Hesperides). This would have made this task – like the Hydra and Augean stables – void because he had received help. Upon his return, Atlas decided that he did not want to take the heavens back, and instead offered to deliver the apples himself, but Hercules tricked him again by agreeing to take his place on condition that Atlas relieve him temporarily so that Hercules could make his cloak more comfortable. Atlas agreed, but Hercules reneged and walked away, carrying the apples. According to an alternative version, Hercules slew Ladon, the dragon-like guardian of the apples, instead. Furious that Hercules had accomplished something that Eurystheus thought could not possibly be done, he sent Hercules off to his final task, the capture of Cerberus, the three-headed guardian hound of the gates of the Underworld.

 Twelfth Labour: Cerberus

Poor Paris was certainly tricked.  He chose Aphrodite and Troy paid for it in blood and destruction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

The goddesses thought to be the most beautiful were Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, and each one claimed the apple. They started a quarrel so they asked Zeus to choose one of them. Knowing that choosing any of them would bring him the hatred of the other two, Zeus did not want to take part in the decision. He thus appointed Paris to select the most beautiful. Escorted by Hermes, the three goddesses bathed in the spring of Mount Ida and approached Paris as he herded his cattle. Paris, having been given permission by Zeus to set any conditions he saw fit, required that the goddesses disrobe and allow him to see them naked. (Another version of the myth says that the goddesses themselves chose to undress to show all their beauty.)

Still, Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful, so the goddesses attempted to bribe him to choose among them - Hera offered ownership of all of Europe and Asia; Athena offered skill in battle, wisdom and the abilities of the greatest warriors; and Aphrodite offered the love of the most beautiful woman on Earth, Helen of Sparta. Paris chose Aphrodite— and, therefore, Helen.

Helen was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta (a fact Aphrodite neglected to mention), so Paris had to raid Menelaus's house to steal Helen from him (according to some accounts, she fell in love with Paris and left willingly). The Greeks' expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the mythological basis of the Trojan War. This triggered the war because Helen was famous for her beauty throughout Achaea (ancient Greece), and had many suitors of extraordinary ability. Therefore, following Odysseus's advice, her father Tyndareus made all suitors promise to defend Helen's marriage to the man he chose for her. When she disappeared to Troy, Menelaus invoked this oath. Helen's other suitors—who between them represented the lion's share of Achaea's strength, wealth and military prowess—were obligated to help bring her back. Thus, the whole of Greece moved against Troy in force. The Trojan War had begun.

Apollo the driver of the chariot of the sun and the healer and oracle stands out in my mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Apollo  is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion, Greek and Roman mythology, and Greco–Roman Neopaganism. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

The one whose story hurts my heart the most is Cassandra who is cursed by Apollo to tell the truth about the future and to not be believed.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba and the twin sister of Helenus. She was said to have had red hair kept in curls, blue eyes, and fair skin and she was very beautiful, intelligent, charming, desirable, elegant, friendly, and gentle, but she was considered to be insane. Cassandra was described as the "second most beautiful woman in the world." Her beauty was even compared to that of Aphrodite and Helen of Troy.

Apollo's cursed gift to Cassandra became a source of endless pain and frustration to her. In some versions of the myth, this is symbolized by the god spitting into her mouth; in other Greek versions, this act was sufficient to remove the gift so recently given by Apollo, but Cassandra's case varies. From Aeschylus' Agamemnon, it appears that she has made a promise to Apollo to become his consort, but broke it, thus incurring his wrath: though she has retained the power of foresight, no one will believe her predictions.

While Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy (she warned the Trojans about the Trojan Horse, the death of Agamemnon, and her own demise), she was unable to do anything to forestall these tragedies since no one believed her. Coroebus and Othronus came to the aid of Troy out of love for Cassandra. Cassandra was also the first to see the body of her brother Hector being brought back to the city.

Gods and goddesses were deadly, too, when mortals collided with them through love or pride and paid the price.  

Prometheus paid for sharing fire and creativity with humans until he was rescued later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Prometheus is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who in Greek mythology is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence, and as a champion of mankind.

The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology, and is a popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules).

Monsters are fascinating...The Medusa, the Minotaur, Centaurs, and Cerberus.

A list is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Something deep inside is stirred up when I read the stories about dolphins sacred to both Aphrodite and Apollo.  I especially like the story of Arion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

According to Herodotus' account of the Lydian empire under the Mermnads, Arion attended a musical competition in Sicily, which he won. On his return trip from Tarentum, avaricious sailors plotted to kill Arion and steal the rich prizes he carried home. Arion was given the choice of suicide with a proper burial on land, or being thrown in the sea to perish. Neither prospect appealed to Arion: as Robin Lane Fox observes, "No Greek would swim out into the deep from a boat for pleasure." He asked for permission to sing a last song to win time.

Playing his kithara, Arion sang a praise to Apollo, the god of poetry, and his song attracted a number of dolphins around the ship. At the end of the song, Arion threw himself into the sea rather than be killed, but one of the dolphins saved his life and carried him to safety at the sanctuary of Poseidon at Cape Tainaron. …Arion, according to Herodotus' brief excursus, then continued to Corinth by other means and arrived before the sailors that tried to kill him. On his return to Corinth, the king didn't quite believe Arion's story. The sailors believed Arion was dead in the sea, and on arrival in Corinth they told the king that Arion had decided to remain in Italy. After Arion presented himself, they could no longer deny the truth.

The story as Herodotus tells it was taken up in other literature. Lucian of Samosata wittily imagined the dialogue between Poseidon and the very dolphin who bore Arion.
Augustine of Hippo asserted that pagans "believed in what they read in their own books" and took Arion to be a historical individual. "there is no historicity in this tale",also according to Eunice Burr Stebbins, and Arion and the dolphins is given as an example of "a folkloristic motif especially associated with Apollo" by Irad Malkin. Yet there are many more or less reliable historical accounts from many periods of people being saved by dolphins. Erasmus instanced Arion as one of the traditional poet's topics that sound like historia rather than fabulae, though he misremembered that Augustine had taken the Arion story to be historia.

I am not the only one fascinated by this story…wiki tells of recent uses:
Other variations of the story exist. In 1994, it was adapted by Vikram Seth and Alec Roth for the opera Arion and the Dolphin (aka "The Dolphin Opera"), commissioned by the English National Opera for professional performers with community chorus and children's chorus. It premiered at Plymouth in 1994 under conductor Nicholas Kok and director Rebecca Meitlis.

Arion is alluded to in Plato's "Republic" at 453d, where Socrates says: “Then we, too, must swim and try to escape out of the sea of argument in the hope that either some dolphin will take us on its back . . ."

Arion is mentioned in Act 1, scene ii of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, where the Captain reassures Viola that her brother may still be alive after the shipwreck, for "like Arion on the dolphin's back, I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves."

Arion is mentioned in the first stanza of Luis de Góngora's Soledades.

Arion is a poem by Alexander Pushkin.

Arion is a journal of humanities and the classics published at Boston University.

The Jimmy Buffett song Jolly Mon is based on this fable.

There is a cantata by the French Baroque composer André Campra telling the story of Arion.

Arion on the dolphin is the imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, publishers based in Boston and New York; the figure was used previously by the sixteenth-century Basel printer Johannes Oporinus as his device.

Since November 2009 the Icelandic bank Nýja Kaupþing ("New Kaupthing") since being taken over by the Icelandic state has been rebranded as Arion banki.

A cantata for children's choir & piano, 'Arion and the Dolphin', by the English composer Philip Godfrey, was first performed in 2003.

The trickster, Coyote, appears in modern stories by Charles De Lint and others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Coyote is a figure in the following cultural areas of the Americas, as commonly defined by ethnographers:

California
Coyote is featured in the culture of the following groups who live in the area covered by the state of California: the Karuk, the Maidu of Northern California, the Tongva of Southern California, the Ohlone mythology of Northern California, the Miwok mythology of Northern California, and the Pomo mythology of Northern California.

Great Plains
Coyote is seen in the cultural heritage of these people of the Great Plains area: the Crow mythology (Crow Nation), the Ho-Chunk mythology (Ho-Chunk, Winnebago), and the Menominee.

Plateau
Myths and stories of Coyote are also found in the cultures of the Plateau area: the Chinookan (including the Wishram people and the Multnomah), the Flathead, the Nez Perce, the Nlaka'pamux, the Syilx (Okanagan), the St'at'imc, the Tsilhqot'in, and the Yakama.

Coyote has been compared to both the Scandinavian Loki, and also Prometheus, who shared with Coyote the trick of having stolen fire from the gods as a gift for mankind, and Anansi, a mythological culture hero from Western African mythology. In Eurasia, rather than a coyote, a fox is often featured as a trickster hero, ranging from kitsune (fox) tales in Japan to the Reynard cycle in Western Europe. Similarities can also be drawn with another trickster, the Polynesian demigod Māui, who also stole fire for mankind and introduced death to the world.

Ireland has many legendary heroes to enjoy, Cuchulain, Finn, and real ones like Brian Boru.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Ulster cycle

The Ulster Cycle is traditionally set around the time of Christ, and most of the action takes place in the provinces of Ulster and Connacht. It consists of a group of heroic tales dealing with the lives of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, the great hero Cú Chulainn, the son of Lug, and of their friends, lovers, and enemies.These are the Ulaid, or people of the North-Eastern corner of Ireland and the action of the stories centres round the royal court at Emain Macha (known in English as Navan Fort), close to the modern town of Armagh. The Ulaid had close links with the Irish colony in Scotland, and part of Cú Chulainn's training takes place in that colony.

The cycle consists of stories of the births, early lives and training, wooings, battles, feastings, and deaths of the heroes and reflects a warrior society in which warfare consists mainly of single combats and wealth is measured mainly in cattle. These stories are written mainly in prose. The centrepiece of the Ulster Cycle is the Táin Bó Cúailnge. Other important Ulster Cycle tales include The Tragic Death of Aife's only Son, Bricriu's Feast, and The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel.

The Exile of the Sons of Usnach, better known as the tragedy of Deirdre and the source of plays by John Millington Synge, William Butler Yeats, and Vincent Woods, is also part of this cycle.

This cycle is, in some respects, close to the mythological cycle. Some of the characters from the latter reappear, and the same sort of shape-shifting magic is much in evidence, side by side with a grim, almost callous realism. While we may suspect a few characters, such as Medb or Cú Roí, of once being deities, and Cú Chulainn in particular displays superhuman prowess, the characters are mortal and associated with a specific time and place. If the Mythological Cycle represents a Golden Age, the Ulster Cycle is Ireland's Heroic Age.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...
Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig (c. 941–23 April 1014) (English: Brian Boru, Middle Irish: Brian Bóruma, Irish: Brian Bóroimhe), was an Irish king who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and especially his elder brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland. He is the founder of the O'Brien dynasty.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against the Norse Gaelic Kingdom of Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach Ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies.

This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Dubliners under their king Sihtric Silkbeard and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign.

Favorite books about Ireland are by Morgan Llywelyn:

   Bard
   Red Branch
   Lion of Ireland  

A fun set of books with many Greek and Norse characters is by Kelly McCullough:

The hero of the stories is so good at programming that his many times great aunt wishes him to do a job for her.  That she is a Fate is only one part of the problem because what she wants is so terrible, he must refuse.  

Refusing a Fate is not good.  One should also not believe that Zeus is just a wino who loves to party.  It can be tough to know that Pluto is waiting impatiently to get his hands on you.  And the Furies?  I leave it to your imagination.  When I read the books, I spent my time either laughing or cowering under the couch.

    WebMage
    Cybermancy
    Codespell
    MythOS
    SpellCrash

There are many tales around the world which I hope you will share.
Which stories are your favorites?

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Speaking of myths and legends, my dear friend jeanette0605 is doing her first diary at DKos, a genealogy diary for GFHC: Family Legends, Fact or Fiction, on Friday, the 31rst at 9:00 AM about family legends that may or not be true.

I have some of those tales myself to tell about.  I hope you will all drop in and share.

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Poll

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome (34+ / 0-)

    How to find the group Readers & Book Lovers:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    or click on the heart by our tag and we will come to your page.  Please stop by and visit as you can comment in diaries now for a longer time and there are some really interesting diaries there.

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    Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule

    DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
    SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
    Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
    Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
    MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery Susan from 29
    Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
    alternate Tuesdays 8:00AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
    Tue 10:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
    WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
    Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
    THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
    alternate Thu 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
    FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
    SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
    Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

    …………………

    I have finished reading:

    Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
    Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham
    Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham

    Existence by David Brin

    I am reading:

    Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku  (pg. 281 of 368)

    Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (re-read) (pg. 212 of 543)

    Black Diamond by Martin Walker (pg. 208 of 298)

    Best Short Novels of 2006 ed. by Jonathan Strahan (pg 1 of 573)

    What are you reading or hoping to read?

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:24:17 PM PDT

  •  What I'm reading (11+ / 0-)

    Just finished
    The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover.  The protagonist is a detective for the Catholic Church, investigating miracles. Politics removes him from that post, and he's off to investigate a mysterious evangelist, who happens to be his uncle and who raised him as a child. Interesting.

    Now reading

    A Behavioral Theory of Elections by Jonathan Bendor et al. Traditional "rational choice" models of voter behavior don't mesh all that well with how voters actually behave, in particular, they don't do well with predicting turnout. This is an attempt at a different formulation. This will interest election geeks.

    Existence by David Brin. A very complicated SF book; the main plot is about a guy who collects the garbage that's in outer space. Then he finds an alien artifact. Fairly dystopian.

    Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.

    Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

    To promote the general welfare: The case for big government. This is a collection of essays by historians on the idea that the federal government has always played a key role in Americans' lives, from the founding of the Republic to the present day. Each chapter is about a different area of life - transport, education, etc. - and each outlines the history of the federal government's role.

    Just started
    Alien Diplomacy by Gini Koch. The further adventures of Katherine Katt-Martini, new mother, newlywed (she's married to an alien) as she continues to save the universe from evil (but not if it interferes with Mommy and Me class) while having lots of great sex with her husband. Fun stuff.

    Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Dan Sylveste is intent on figuring out what happened to the Amarantin civilization, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Lots of other stuff going on as well, with a lot of interesting hard-SF ideas.

  •  I love that Thor story (11+ / 0-)

    Love mythology in general, both the stories that appear all over the world (like the Great Flood, or the faerie lover), and the ones from other cultures that make me say, "Wait, WHY did she do that?!"

    Just finished "something in the Water," a Torchwood tie-in novel.  Some witty dialogue, but didn't get very deep with any of the characters.

    Next up:  The Storm Before Atlanta, by somebody or other.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:09:52 PM PDT

  •  Finn MacCool, by a mile (10+ / 0-)

    He's a liminal character in every way: warrior/poet; man/child; etc.  Being rushed into hiding (away from his father's enemies) as an newborn, he is dropped into the river, and emerges clutching a salmon.  At about age nine, he kills his first boar.  A student of a famous bard, he is watching over the cooking of the Salmon of Wisdom and touches it, then puts his burnt finger into his mouth and receives all the wisdom his master has been waiting for years to get.

    Cuchulain is okay, but Finn is a real character: half hero, half trickster, and all liminal.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:18:32 PM PDT

  •  This Sat. we are seeing "An Illiad," (10+ / 0-)

    a one-man narrative.  Great reviews.

    On Sept. 8, we are seeing Euripides' "Helen" at Getty Villa.  In this version Paris doesn't spirit away the real Helen, who is in Egypt.  Should be interesting..  

    I just started Deborah Mitford's  memoir,"Wait for Me."

    I decided not to contine reading "It's the Middle Class, Stupid,"by James Carville and Stan Greenberg.  Seems rather obvious if one reads the newspapers and blogs.  And I can hear Carrillo ranting while I'm reading.

    Listening to:  "All the King's Men," by Robert Penn Warren.  Trying to fill in the blanks in what I've read.  wonderful narrator and oh-so-timely story.  

  •  In the story within... (9+ / 0-)

    ...a story within a story within a story within a story that I am reading, I'm working my wat out from the middle with three layers left.

  •  I kinda identify with Cassandra. (9+ / 0-)

    Not that i make predictions, but that everyone in my life tries to tell I'm crazy instead of helping me prove my sisters are lying. I'm not reading anything besides dkos at the moment.

  •  *Just* finished (10+ / 0-)

    H. Richard Niebuhr's The Kingdom of God in America, which picked up a bit toward the end.  Still enjoyed Social Sources of Denominationalism more, but I need to get through all of his books ASAP.  Next up, The Meaning of Revelation, which I loved when I was in college.  We'll see how I relate to it now.

    Kingdom of God in America might be a tough sell for most Kossacks - it's the book in which he critiques liberal religion as proclaiming that "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgement through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."  For readers in 1937, that was probably a dousing with ice water.  Today, I suspect most readers would say "so what?"

    Niebuhr's critique of liberalism - as harsh as it was by the standards of his day - was actually more of a sympathetic critique than an attempt at undermining liberalism.  He points to many continuities between Christianity and liberalism - tracing the idea of progress back to the Hebrew prophets.

    What stands out the most, however,  in his book, which is a history of Protestantism beginning with the Reformation and going through to the Social Gospel movement, is his insistence that the kingdom of God is a dynamic reality, not a static thing that exists elsewhere - or that forms the basis for anything.  This idea of the kingdom of God as a dynamic movement, which can not be possessed by any text or institution, is probably the most important corrective to Fundamentalism his argument offers.

    In an echo of Max Weber's distinction between charisma and institution, Niebuhr's also very concerned to trace how dynamic movement inevitably degenerates into moribund institutionalism - and he declares explicitly that that process is often responsible for religious violence.  (Social Sources explicitly acknowledged a debt to Weber - I don't recall a citation in Kingdom of God in America)  Toward the end of the book, he states

    The same institutionalization which represents the death of an old movement can be, as history amply illustrates, the pregnant source of a new aggression.  It cannot be otherwise with a church which conserves in some form the gospel of the kingdom of God.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:47:02 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for promoting my Stalingrad thing, cfk. (10+ / 0-)

    My reading now takes me back to Utah in 1857 for a diary
    I intend to do about 9/11.
    Myths are fun and they can inform us about the human condition,
    but I'm afraid my thinking follows Plato's. Sometimes myths get in the way, especially in 'Murka, where we have an entire industry dedicated to
    turning out pernicious ones.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:54:04 PM PDT

  •  "The Myth of Sisyphus" (10+ / 0-)

    If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent.

    The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn... The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    -Albert Camus

    I've always found the text above beautiful & comforting, which is odd given that Sisyphus' eternal torture was meant to be horrifying to the reader. Somehow Camus found strength in it.

    We might exist in a cold & uncaring Universe, but one of the "gifts" of being human is the ability to create our own meaning and purpose out of the absurdity of existence (i.e. free will). In acknowledging the absurd realities, we can "revolt" against the void & continue to search & create a meaning regardless (which might be ridiculous, but hey the Universe started it) and possibly find happiness.

    •  oh, Rimjob! Well said!!! (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks!  I like what you said as much as what Camus said!!

      I am so grateful for free will.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:07:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oddly enough, (6+ / 0-)

      I referred last night to Ann Romney's task of trying to enroll American's women in liking Mitt as a Sisyphean task. She didn't look very happy, though.

      Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

      by Mnemosyne on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of Sisyphus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk

      Back in the '80s there was a comic by an artist name Eddie Campbell titled Bacchus, which portrays the God of Wine as a shriveled old man telling stories in a bar.

      I've only read one of Campbell's Bacchus stories, in which he tells the tale of Sisyphus; the whole tale about why the gods were so pissed at him.  And how every time Zeus sent Death to take him, Sisyphus found a clever way out.

      After Sisyphus' first escape, Death (portrayed in the tradition medieval version of a skeleton in a robe) brings a pair of handcuffs, ("a futuristic design", Death explains for anyone quibbling about anachronisms).  Sisyphus asks Death how they work, and in a bit of business worthy of Bugs Bunny, tricks Death into putting the handcuffs on himself.  Then Sisyphus pushes Death into a closet, locks him up, and leaves town.

      After a while Zeus notices that no one has been dying lately, so he has to send Ares down to earth to release Death.

      "Wait a minute," the bartender interrupts at this point.  "You're saying God sent War to release Death.  That's profound.  Is that what the story means?"

      "It doesn't have to mean anything," Bacchus replies wearily.  "It's a story.  You listen to it and you enjoy it."

      The bartender goes on to say that he bet that when Zeus finally did get his hands on Sisyphus, the guy was in for a whole world of payback.  Bacchus says, "Well, there is this story about Sisyphus pushing a rock up a hill for all eternity...

      "...But that's just a myth.

      "Actually, Sisyphus is still alive and well and living in Australia.  Every once in a while Death catches up with him..."  We see a panel of Sisyphus in a bathtub grimacing as he sees skull-faced Death, now dressed like a British stockbroker and holding a sparking electrical cable.  "...And each time that crafty bastard finds a way to escape!"

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 04:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self-promo for freebie: My Regency romance novella (11+ / 0-)

    A Perfect Duet will be free on Kindle tonight sometime after midnight through Labor Day. (Sorry that it's not free quite yet, though you can "borrow" if you're a Prime member. Also, you can read Kindle books on your iPhone, computer or other device with a free app available here.) Here's the book blurb:

    Meek Miranda Granville comes alive at the pianoforte – except when Andrew Owen is beside her. His playing moves her, but his critiques spoil the effect. As for him, he only wants to share his training with her, but he always seems to botch it. The trouble is he’d rather run his fingers over her than the keyboard, but she’s promised to his rogue of a cousin. When his cousin stands her up at the village bonfire, Andrew gets his chance to strike a chord with her, but to do it, he’ll have to outplay both his rival and her father.
    Please consider downloading, "liking" the Amazon page and/or reviewing (it all helps!).

    Link to book here.

  •  Here we are (10+ / 0-)

    with all convention-all the time, and you're writing about myths and legends. Just heard a soundbite from McCain's speech that was blatant in its dishonesty, and NPR tamely said "the White House has denied those allegations." :sigh:

    Anyway.

    Your legends are all so grand and classical. One of my favorites is far more mundane -- one Edward Bear, who lives near the Hundred-Aker Wood near his friends Piglet and Wol and Eeyore and Kanga and Roo.

    I went back recently, for other reasons, and reread the basic book (with the original illustrations, not those tacky Disney things), and the stories hold up very well.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:06:54 PM PDT

  •  Edith Hamilton's Mythology, Poul Anderson, TDC (7+ / 0-)

    I ran across it early on; it's still a classic guide to the Greek and Roman myths, and the Norse gods as well.

    Poul Anderson is known as a science fiction writer - but he also did some great fantasy work. Operation Chaos and Operation Luna detail the exploits of werewolf Steven Matuchek and his wife the practicing witch Virginia. Along the way they tangle with elements of assorted mythos from around the world. Three Hearts and Three Lions retells the legend of Holger Dansk. A Midsummer Tempest combines the world of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with The Tempest, set in an alternate England at the time of Cromwell's rebellion.

    Two of his best short novellas areThe Queen of Air and Darknesss and Goat Song. Between them they really explore just what the idea of "Mythos" is all about and why humans need myths - as well as being incredible stories.

    Anderson's Time Patrol series have several stories that involve the mixing of myth and history.

    Trying to cover all of the myth and legends Anderson addressed over his career is a daunting task. Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov still have huge reputations and followings; IMHO Anderson should be ranked right up there with them.

    And while I keep shamelessly plugging it, it's worth doing again in this context. The online graphic novel The Dreamland Chronicles incorporates quite a bit of Arthurian legend into it.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:49:57 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! (6+ / 0-)

      I will just copy your whole comment into my book list!

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:53:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anderson is one of my favorites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk

      Operation Chaos, set in a world where magic and 20th Century technology are intertwined, is one of my favorites; as is Three Hearts and Three Lions and A Midsummer Tempest.

      But probably my favorite Poul Anderson Novel of all is The High Crusade, about how a small English village during the Hundred Years War is visited by the advance ship of an alien invasion.  The English manage to overwhelm the aliens (through a combination of audacity, luck, and not realizing they were supposed to be cowed) and sieze the ship with the intention of using it to help King Edward defeat the French and possibly liberate the Holy Sepulchure.

      Instead, they find themself on a one-way trip to the alien's star empire where their only way home is to out-bluff and out-fight the most powerful civilization in the galaxy.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 04:45:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds very interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper

        Thanks!

        I am not sure how I have missed Poul all these years.

        What about his Flandry books of the Technic Civilization Saga...any good?  

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 06:04:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Flandry books... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, quarkstomper

          ... are sort of a cross between James Bond and Horatio Hornblower. The Flandry stories are set in the larger future history Anderson created. (List here towards the bottom of the page.)

            The Flandry stories are set during the Terran Empire period, and in some ways he's a tragic character if you look at the arc of his career. He almost has to be - the culture of the Empire is in decline and his heroism is largely turned to trying to stave off the inevitable.

              Anderson was very much aware that there is a price to be paid for some things in this world, and not always a fair one. Some of his novels and shorter works can have a quite melancholy atmosphere. "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" from the Time Patrol series is one that comes to mind, and there are others.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 06:49:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar, quarkstomper

            I just had noticed that all seven compilations were available and that made me wonder...they are composites of several stories, I think.

            I will try the first two, I think, and see what happens.

            Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 07:22:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  High Crusade was one of the ones I was thinking of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, quarkstomper

        ...including. But aside from the concept - a comparative handful of medieval humans taking on an interstellar empire! - the setting is science fiction rather than fantasy. That is, no magic - just advanced technology.

        But it's still an entertaining read!  If I recall correctly, Anderson was a founding member of the SCA, so he was having a lot of fun with the whole idea.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 06:20:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Coyote/Loki/Trickster... (6+ / 0-)

    It's interesting how he keeps showing up in different forms in different mythologies.  In the Bible, he shows up as Satan, although, obviously, he gains a lot of extra baggage.  But there's the same playfulness associated with him in some of the Bible stories, for instance the one about Job.  In Norse and Native American mythology, he often appears, as in Job to double-dare people who otherwise should have more sense.  Likewise, Satan shows up in the New Testament to tempt him

    Luke 4:9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written:

    “‘He will command his angels concerning you

    to guard you carefully;

    11they will lift you up in their hands,

    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’c”

    12Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’d”

    13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

    As in many other mythologies, we have the trickster-like character setting a riddle-like problem for the protagonist.

    That's one reason I was so charmed when, in the Hobbit, Bilbo wins the ring through a riddling game with Gollum.  Oh come on, you think, when you read it.  Riddles?  Oh well, this is a story for children after all.  Actually, it's in the tradition of myth (and the Bible), and Tolkien, who was a professor who wrote and taught specifically about British and Finnish myth would have known this quite well.

    I've been stressed out lately, so I hunted through my books for something less tense to read.  I finally zeroed in on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  And oh, it was a good choice!  I've read it before, so I already knew it was a good book, but it's so comfortable and entertaining at the same time.  

    Brief Spam Thursday Classical Music tomorrow evening, will be guest-hosted by Dave in Northridge.  Subject: Unknown.  He said he'd surprise me.  That's fine by me!  Since I won't be posting it, you'll have to go through the CMOPUS tag (above) or keep watch for the diary on the recent list.

  •  A few myths I like (5+ / 0-)

    Tantalus – who is punished by the Gods by being forever hungry and thirsty, standing in water and grapes within reach.

    Medea – who, when Jason leaves her for another woman, kills her own (and his) children.

    1001 Arabian Nights – a bunch of great stories about magic carpets, djinn, rocs, thieves, etc.

    Oedipus Rex – which, by the way, Aristotle’s Poetics calls the perfect tragic play. (But I like Antigone, too, about a woman who just wants to give her father a decent burial).

    Prometheus – who gives humans the gift of fire and then is punished by the gods.

    Trickster tales – the trickster is a troublemaker, sort of in between a clown and a devil. The Norse God Loki is a trickster. In various Native-American stories, the trickster is a raven/crow or a coyote. And Bugs Bunny is a great trickster figure.

    I like fairy tales, too, I’d recommend a couple of collections: One is called something like “Irish Fairy Tales,” collected by the poet William Butler Yeats. The other is “Italian Folk Tales,” collected by Italo Calvino. An interesting thing I noticed is that in the Irish stories, the fairy folk live in a separate realm – sometimes accessed via a magical boat or a cave or a magic dance or whatever. In Italy, however, the magical creatures are right there in front of you. Maybe a king lives next door to an evil witch (who he forgets to invite to a big party) or maybe three brothers are walking down the road and a frog talks to them. For the Irish, magic happened in another place. For the Italians, you could see magic at any time.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:28:52 PM PDT

    •  That is interesting about the Irish and Italian (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Dbug, dirkster42, melpomene1

      tales...thanks!

      I did recently read  “Italian Folk Tales,” collected by Italo Calvino and enjoyed them very much.

      Great comment!  Thanks!!

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:33:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was either Lewis or Tolkien (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, dirkster42

        Either C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien (who were great friends) wrote an essay once about fairy tales, which I read back in the 1970s. One of the points he (or he) made was that the hero has to start in an ordinary situation (being a farmer, whatever) and then go off to have an adventure or quest (killing a dragon or rescuing a maiden or something like that), but that at the end of the story, the hero has to return home.

        If you think about it, in Lord of the Rings, the hobbits begin with a birthday party and wanting five meals a day (ordinary boring day-to-day stuff). Then they go on an adventure and eventually return home, where Sam gets married to Rosie and has kids. (This is the book, not the movie.)

        But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

        by Dbug on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:00:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Nazi Literature in the Americas" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, cfk, Monsieur Georges

    Holy cow am I enjoying that book right now.  I've been slow to catch on to Roberto Bolaño after not liking 2666, but between Nazi Literature (a new favorite) and The Savage Detectives, I'm fully on board now.  

    Wow, it's a great book - so weird, so unexpected, and frequently breathtaking.  There's no 'plot' per se: it's exactly what it says it is, an fake encyclopedia of Nazi or Nazi-sympathetic writers in the Western hemisphere.  But somehow it all works.  The entries are all interesting, and they frequently intersect, and there's a kind of sick, ironic humor about the dispassionate tone of the author, who never bothers to tell us that these are horrible, horrible people.  I just love it.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:10:16 PM PDT

    •  hi (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, pico

      I am glad to see you!

      It does sound weird.  :)

      But after reading Brin, I have nothing to say.

      I hope the new year is going well!

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:20:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, pico
      there's a kind of sick, ironic humor about the dispassionate tone of the author, who never bothers to tell us that these are horrible, horrible people
      reminds me a bit of the latest salvo at the opening of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion by a couple of guys who want to abolish the humanities and get rid of all reflection on values.  I just don't get how people think bifurcating things to that degree is a good idea.  Doesn't it lead to exactly what the book you're reading is getting at?

      If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

      by dirkster42 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:21:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, but Bolano is at least entertaining, heh. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Monsieur Georges, dirkster42

        It's funny to say this, but it's a morally enraged book that doesn't show the slightest evidence of moral rage on the surface.  Quite a read.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:30:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Having some trouble (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, pico

          finding that one at a local library, but I might check out some of his other stuff.  You've got me intrigued.

          If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

          by dirkster42 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:05:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For what it's worth (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, dirkster42

            I really did not like 2666, but it's well-liked.  The Savage Detectives is the work most universally regarded as his masterpiece, and I'm inclined to agree (especially the last fifty pages, which... whoa.)

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:54:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  nothing new to report; same book as.... (4+ / 0-)

    .....last week, but now officially in Part V of Genji monogotari.  That is past 2/3 of the way through, but there's still 370+ pages to go.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:50:17 PM PDT

  •  really, really late (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, cfk

    Sorry! I drove home from Dallas yesterday, expecting my insurance check to be in the mailbox. Of course, it wasn't. My brother is supposed to get out of the ICU today, so he & my mom say I should stay here & come back on the weekend.

    Reading: Moonwalking With Einstein - about a guy who decides to improve his memory & compete in the IS Memory Championshim. Really interesting.

    Wise Man's Fear - even as a re-read, I can't put it down. Middle book of the Kingkiller trilogy - really can't wait till next spring when #3 finally comes out.

    •  I will be glad to have part three (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anotherdemocrat

      of the series, too.  I was very anxious about what was happening when Wise Man's Fear left off.

      Best wishes to your brother!!

      Sending vibes about the insurance check arriving.

      {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've Had Good Luck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk

    with books that are re-tellings of famous legends and myths.

    Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin retelling legend of Aeneas' last wife

    Trojan Women: A Novel of the Fall of Troy by Byrne Fone retells Homer's epic war story from the p.o.vs. of Chryseis (Shakespeare's Cressida), Briseis, acaptive of Achilles, and from inside Troy: Hecabe, Andrmoache, Kassandra, and Helen.

    Both are excellent novels and rewarding reads.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 03:34:55 PM PDT

    •  They sound good...thanks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite

      Troilus and Cressida's story is also told by Chaucer.  I read it in college, but I only remember my teacher snickering about the word pander coming from a character who was trying to get the two together.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:00:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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