Goodreads - February 2015


Hello everyone!

My apologies for the lack of news, I had a bad case of flu. I am still feeling a bit under the weather, but I am getting better.

I am so late with this message, so here we go. Goodreads Challenge - February 2015.

I came across this book at the library as I was looking for ancient myths in China for one of my photography projects. It gave me a great overall view on culture and history, supplied with beautiful photographs.

Now that was full of information. 646 pages of historical facts, dynasty by dynasty, analysing the military, political, religious and cultural state of Ancient Egypt until Cleopatra. I learnt a lot to be honest. I thought I knew a lot about Ancient Egypt but this book most definitely filled up loads of gaps and tought me loads. For example, I had no idea the Egyptian version of the term Pharaoh was not used before Hatshepsut. You know, before last year, I never really thought about how we talked about history. Then I came across this article, and started thinking really hard about the place of women in history. So when I read that this term might have been created to legitimise her reign, and was then used by historians to refer to all the leaders of Ancient Egypt, I had to stop reading for a few minutes. It felt like such erasement of the source of the term? But also, it is quite a simplification, which I can understand, the difference with former kings was made for a reason, and the term carried on to be used for a reason as well. So one simplification brought a couple of others.
All of that to say, this book gave me a lot to think about.

When I started studying ancient civilisations for my project, I decided to finish each civilisation's study with a view on women. Which is how I ended up reading this book. Gay Robins stated right away how difficult it is to study women in Ancient Egypt, and why it is important to carry on this study. The book was full of information, it opened a lot of discussions and always reminded why in each case it was difficult to be certain.

My first  Gilmore Girls challenge book. I did not even notice when I picked up that it was on the list.
It is not the kind of literature I usually go for, which is why I am doing this challenge. I watched the mini series with Colin Firth and quite enjoyed it, I thought I could try to read Pride and Prejudice. And how glad I am I did. It took me only a bit of time to get used to the language, Jane Austen's way of writing flows so easily I did not struggle at all. No struggle and all fun. I was so happy, it was such a great plot. Nothing far-fetched or cliché, and so many well-developed characters, especially the women. Also a great hindsight into England in early 19th century.

Mesopotomia was the next civilisation to study for my project. This book was intense, there were loads of information but it was quite difficult to go through. A lot of words, but few sources. I suppose I was expecting something a bit more academic.

 I struggled a lot there. I said it already, I am not used anymore reading in verse, and I rarely do it in english. This book was surely a difficult one for me, even past the way it was written. I was expecting to learn a lot about what happened to Aeneas and the rest of the Trojans after the fall of Troy, I wanted to read about Dido the ruler of Carthage, and the foundation of Rome. Well, I was robbed of those two. The part focused on the relationship between Aeneas and Dido felt so botched and hurried. The foundation was barely mentioned, but the war(s) in Italy went on for chapters.
The book overall just fell so unbalanced and drained.

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