Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?
I would be so happy if someone gave me a giftcard; it really is like Christmas! I remember when I got one as a kid for £25 and I thought I was in heaven. I spent days picking out what I wanted. But let's return to the question. I would probably buy:
'The Prisoner of Heaven' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I am utterly ashamed I still haven't bought and devoured it!
It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from THE SHADOW OF THE WIND have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him.
Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival.and
'Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece' by Gustav Schwabb. It was my childhood book and I think I lost it and now I want another copy desperately before I head of to university.
From fire-stealing Prometheus to scene-stealing Helen of Troy, from Jason and his golden fleece to Oedipus and his mother, this collection of classic tales from Greek mythology demonstrates the inexhaustible vitality of a timeless cultural legacy.
Here are Icarus flying too close to the sun, mighty Hercules, Achilles and that darn heel, the Trojans and their wooden horse, brave Perseus and beautiful Andromeda, wandering Odysseus and steadfast Penelope. Their stories and the stories of the powerful gods and goddesses who punish and reward, who fall in love with and are enraged by the humans they have created, are set forth simply but movingly, in language that retains the power and drama of the original works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Homer. In Gustav Schwab’s masterful retelling, they are made accessible to readers of all ages.
I am using Hesiod's 'Theogony' for this week. You might notice I am in a massive 'Greek Myth'-phase but that's because I am working on something :)
'Muses of Helicon, let us begin our song with them, who hold the great and holy mountain of Helicon, and around its violet-like spring and altar of exceedingly strong Kronios, dance on dainty feet, and who, after bathing their soft skin in the Permessos or the spring of the Horse or holy Olmeios on the peak of Helicon, form their dances, beautiful dances that arouse desire, and they move erotically.'I really like the beginning and how the author asks the Muses to assist him in his tale. And I wonder who it is that dances and moves erotically.
Friday 56: I decided to go for the 56th verse instead of the 56th page.
'For nine nights, the counselor Zeus was mingling with her apart from the immortals, going up into her sacred bed.'
Well, I knew Zeus was a bit of a ladies man, but 9 nights in a row is very impressive.