January Rosepoint Review Recap—Hello Frigid February!

Rosepoint review recap-January banner

No Christmas snow or the most part of January, but here is February and with it our heaviest snow period in the area this season. This week promises to be a douzy with a foot of snow forecast. The CE has prepared his snowblower with fresh gas and assured himself that it will start. In our mini-banana-belt, however, we may or may not get that accumulation.

This time of year has me looking at the blog and thinking of housekeeping the ole website from opening new (2022) folders to gathering old lists to archive. Seems like it’s a yearly learning process and takes me a while. I’ve opened up a couple new menus that I hope will make for easier or faster navigation.

The CE meanwhile is content to crank out most every book I send his way and is happily engaged in reading. He’s doing well with his reviews and I appreciate the help!

Between the two of us, we managed seventeen book reviews for January, most from NetGalley, several from audiobooks (local library and NetGalley), a couple from author requests as well as one blog tour. (My reviews in the links below.)

Rosepoint Review Recap-January

The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni
Talk by Greg W Peterson
Going There by Katie Couric
Head Shot by Otho Eskin
Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra
Where There’s a Will by Roland Sinclair
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Enter a Wizard by Connie diMarco
A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie Graves
Roaring Liberty by Jean Grainger
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Texas Job by Reavis Z Wortham
Red Buring Sky by Tom Young
Hidden Agendas by D Marshall Craig
Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski
The Berlin Exchange by Joseph Kanon
Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O’Connor

 

Reading Challenges banner

As mentioned above, my reading challenges have all been updated and the older challenge years archived in the drop-down menu. The new challenges are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. I hope you’ll join me in a Challenge or two! Which do you routinely join yearly? Will you join a new challenge this year? (I’ll be adding Ireland Reading Month in March.) You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. (Goodreads has upwards of three million participants this year with an average challenge of 46 books. That’s impressive, huh!)

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As the Page Turns Book Club is well into The Song of Achilles and it appears that The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, a Goodreads Choice Award nominee as well as a Reese Witherspoon Book of the Month back in May of 2020 is next. Reese was one of the Celebrity Book Clubs I blogged about looking into during the first burst of Covid. She has a very lively and active digital book club as well as Instagram account. The moderator of our local club works hard to entice participation, but so far for those who joined, it’s the usual few that contribute. I wonder if one of the problems is that she proposed one book a quarter rather than one a month. I’m already well into the audiobook (once again gained from my local library for Overdrive); much too soon.

(Kindle) Reading StreakKindle is one of the sneaky little entities gathering your reading history and from time to time I get these little updates to my values. Obviously, I missed a day (or two) when we were traveling by RV in remote areas as I have successful Goodreads Challenge badges (except 2015) from 2013 with no way to include those years on my list in the widgets.

Audiobooks

I finally landed my first two audiobooks from NetGalley and discovered a few small problems with skipping or blanking dialogue. Not significant enough to lose the thread, but a glitch I’ve not encountered with the audiobooks from my library. Do you also download books from NetGalley through their NetGalley Shelf app? Have you noted any problems?

Thank you again for joining my community if you are new and much appreciation to my established followers for shares, likes, and comments. It’s not a blog without you!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

The Song of Achilles: A Novel by Madeline Miller – #Audiobook Review – Literary Fiction

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Literature & Fiction

Book Blurb:

The legend begins…

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

My Review:

Granted it’s been so long ago that I read Homer’s Illiad that all I remember is the opportunity for naps. But here we are with the classic being brought into the modern world told romantically through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles long term companion. The POV as told by Patroclus weaves the intimate story between Homer’s “gentle” character, who is banished by his father to Peleus, father of Achilles, following the unfortunate death of another child purely by accident at his hands. In this retelling, Patroclus and Achilles gradually bond leading to a life-long intimate and devoted relationship.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerWhile the Illiad concentrates on the Troy war with which Greece becomes engaged following the kidnap of Helen of Sparta, Miller’s novel chooses to tell the story of the two young men; one, the most storied and gifted warrior of ancient Greece, the son of Thetis, a goddess.

Thetis never accepts Patroclus and often tries unsuccessfully to separate them.  Achilles develops a devoted intellectual relationship with a slave girl that leads to Achilles’ refusal to fight for the Greeks when Agamemnon steals her away. What Patroclus lacks as a warrior, however, he provides as a healer when the Greeks converge on Troy to rescue Helen. Many years into the fight, he will eventually take up a sword to protect Achilles who is still refusing to fight. Patroclus vows to save Achilles’ reputation.

He’ll die at the hands of Hector of Troy who spurs an enraged Achilles to engage and kill Hector in return only to be killed himself by the legendary arrow from Paris to his unprotected heel. While there is certainly sufficient material regarding the war with Troy, you aren’t buried in battles (though there are some protracted descriptions of combat) and the real story behind the conflict remains the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus.

This is only a part of the Trojan War fable that fired the imagination made stronger by the mythological Trojan horse.  There is still debate that it actually happened against evidence of a possible site. Fascinating tale from the 12th or 13th century BCE made famous by Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey. And who’s to say this version might not have been any more or less true than the other?

It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. The narrator does a good job with ancient names and pronunciations as well as provides depth and emotion to the atmosphere.

Do these classics hold an attraction for you as well? Gods and Goddesses, powerful warriors, and perceived disrespect starting wars? Oh, wait—guess that’s still happening.

Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: HarperAudio
ASIN: B007HI3IQ6
Listening Length: 11 hrs 15 mins
Narrator: Frazer Douglas
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Song of Achilles [Amazon]

 Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Madeline Miller - authorThe Author: Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches and writes. The Song of Achilles is her first novel. Find Ms Miller at http://www.madelinemiller.com/.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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