Tuesday, February 11, 2020

1000 Books Project: Herodotus' The Histories - Books 1, 2, 3 Discussion

Finally! I know, I know. A week past what I said, but better late than never.

Book One:

To kick things off...
"Although the Persians regard the abduction of women as a criminal act, they also claim that it is stupid to get worked up about it and to seek revenge for the women once they have been abducted; the sensible course, they say, is to pay no attention to it, because it is obvious that the women must have been willing participants in their own abduction, or else it could never have happened."
Victim blaming since ancient times.

I'll admit this didn't really take off for me until the latter part of Book One. At the point of Cyrus's strike against the Assyrians at Babylon is where my interest started to perk up (though not to the point of ravenous reading. It's still slow going, for me anyway).

The description of Babylon and the temples made me envision a beautiful and rich city. What I really found interesting was the queen Nitocris. Her strategic diversion of the Euphrates River, and her building of the embankment, as a defensive system against invasion, was genius. Also, her clever tomb built over the busiest city gate as a trap for future invaders. A very cunning queen indeed.

Next, Cyrus set his sights on the Massagetae. What I found most interesting about these people were their custom of relatives sacrificially killing a loved one when they became very old, along with some livestock, stewing the meat and eating it. This form of ritual cannibalism was considered an honorable way to die (whereas anyone dying from illness were not eaten, but buried in the ground). I couldn't help but think that perhaps these Massagetae were the inspiration for Anne Rice's twins in The Queen of the Damned, who were of an ancient race condemned by the Egyptian queen for their cannibalism of their dead loved ones.

Book Two:

Herodotus talks about another part of the story of Helen and Alexander (Paris) which Homer omitted from the Iliad. In this version, Alexander is forced to sail to Egypt and is greeted less than considerately because his stealing Helen from Menelaus is considered an "unholy deed." Supposedly, Homer found this story not suitable for an epic poem.

I found the timeline of Egypt and its kings very interesting. I thought I knew a fair amount about the kings of ancient Egypt, but it seems possibly not. I plan to do more research on the Egyptian kings mentioned. I've always found ancient Egypt very fascinating.

Book Three:

In this book, the strategic overthrow of the Magus by the seven conspirators, including Darius, was the standout for me. I believe this was a cunning move by Darius to become the Persian ruler.

I'll mainly share quotes from this section.

Darius said this to his co-conspirators when they were plotting the overthrow:
"Where a lie is necessary, let it be spoken. Our objective is the same whether we use lies or the truth to achieve it. People lie when they expect to profit from others' falling for their lies, and they tell the truth for the same reason--to attract some profit to themselves or to gain more room to manoeuvre in."
Otanes, one of the co-conspirators, basically advocating for a democracy. Of course, he was voted down, but "Go him!"
"It is my view that we should put an end to the system whereby one of us is the sole ruler. Monarchy is neither an attractive nor a noble institution. You have seen how vicious Cambyses became and you have also experienced similar behaviour from the Magus. How can monarchy be an orderly affair, when a monarch has the licence to do whatever he wants, without being accountable to anyone? Make a man a monarch, and even if he is the most moral person in the world, he will leave his customary ways of thinking. All the advantages of his position breed arrogant abusiveness in him, and envy is ingrained in human nature anyway." 
He goes on, but the meaning is there. This was the reason George Washington did not want to be a monarch, and why the founding fathers decided against it when we became a nation. Too bad certain people would like it to be a monarchy again (American history, 2016 to present).

My final observation in Book Three...the science really was not sound. Egads. Case(s) in point:
"...a lioness gives birth only once a lifetime to a single cub, because she expels her womb along with the cub. The reason for this is that while the cub is in the womb it begins to move around, and since its claws are far sharper than those of any other animal it scratches the womb, and eventually, as the cub grows, it rips it to shreds, until by the time is is due to be born the womb has been completely destroyed."
What exactly were winged snakes?


So, what did I miss? Did you find other aspects of the three books equally interesting? Are you struggling with the read, as I am?

Share any and all thoughts in the comments.

See you next month for Books 4, 5, and 6.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Book Jar/Book List Challenge: Randomize Your Reading 2020 - Checkpoint One #Bookjar

I did not draw any books from my jar, nor my book catalogue (list) in January. I had a lot of reading on my plate. How about you? Did you draw any books? Did you finish them?

Share your experience (and links, if you like) in the comments.

For February, I have drawn...

from the Book Jar - The Secret History by Donna Tartt
from the Book List - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage

I still have a lot on my reading plate for February, but I'm hoping I will be able to get to both titles. We shall see.

Have you chosen your February book(s) yet? Again, share in the comments.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Update on 1000 Books project: Herodotus' The Histories

I'm just going to say it...this book is kicking my ass. I'm still woefully behind on the reading. One person who was originally going to participate on the read of this book has since dropped out. I can't say I blame her. However, I'm still going to slog along because...challenge accepted. Ha.

I've decided to revise the schedule a bit, and I will warn. I'm not sure how intensive my discussion posts will be because frankly I'm not entirely sure how my retention is going to be with this book.

If you're reading along, let me know if you are struggling as well, or if you have decided to drop out too. Don't worry. I won't fault anyone if they do.

Revised Reading/Discussion Schedule

January - Books 1, 2, 3
Discussion - I will aim for Monday, February 3rd

February - Books 4, 5, 6
Discussion - March 1st

March - Books 7, 8, 9
Discussion - April 1st

Hope this works for everyone. I apologize again for being so behind, and for the disorganization.

If you're coming across this post and want to find out more about the 1000 Books Project: Non-Fiction 2020, visit this post.


Friday, January 3, 2020

1000 Books Project - Herodotus The Histories Reading Schedule

Schedule change! First two books discussion will be moved to January 21st.
Sorry...I'm behind on the reading. Thanks for bearing with me. 

I apologize for being a few days late with this schedule. Last time I looked, I only have one participant (Thank you, Lucy), but hoping more will join in.

This book has nine books so I built the schedule around them. The introduction, timeline, and the back matter of the book are not included in the schedule, but feel free to read them (I plan to).

Discussions will be posted here on the blog. Feel free to stop by the discussions any time. Post your thoughts in the comments, or share a link to a blog post.

Reading/Discussion Schedule

  • January 1-9 - Book One and
    Discussion January 10
  • January 11-20 - Book Two
    Discussion January 21
  • January 22-30 - Book Three
    Discussion January 31
  • February 1-9 - Book Four
    Discussion February 10
  • February 11-19 - Book Five
    Discussion February 20
  • February 21-29 - Book Six
    Discussion March 1
  • March 2-10 - Book Seven
    Discussion March 11
  • March 12-20 - Book Eight
    Discussion March 21
  • March 22-30 - Book Nine
    Discussion March 31
The original challenge post with info and sign-up is here.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Yearly Challenges - Wrap-Up Post #ReadYourShelf #Book2MovieRC #13WLRP

This is the wrap-up post for the 2019 yearly challenges I host...2019 Book to Movie, 2019 Read Your (Book) Shelf, and yearly challenge for the 13 Ways challenge.


  1. I am not continuing with the yearly challenge for the 13 ways challenge in 2020, but it is still a perpetual challenge. Look for the button in the sidebar and click it for full information.
  2. I've added two new challenges this year. Check out the links at the end of this post, or look for the buttons in the sidebar.
I'm posting the links to the 2019 challenges below. If you completed the challenge (or even if you didn't) and you post a wrap-up, please link up in the original linky on the challenge sign up post. When you put your name/blog name, just add "wrap-up." Like so: truebookaddict/wrap-up

Here are the links to the 2019 challenges:

2019 Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge

2019 13 Ways of Looking at The Lifetime Reading Plan Reading Challenge

2019 Book to Movie Reading Challenge

Be sure to leave a comment on the post so I know you added your wrap-up.

In case you missed the sign-up for this year's yearly challenges, you can find them below.

2020 Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge

2020 Book to Movie Reading Challenge

Happy reading in 2020...a brand new decade of reading!


Saturday, December 28, 2019

2020 Book to Movie Reading Challenge #Book2MovieRC

It's year four of this challenge! Time flies! Welcome to any newcomers and welcome back to any continuing participants.

I have found quite a list of books which have been made into movies (or series) and are coming out in 2020. I'm sure there could be more. If you notice I'm missing any on the list, leave me a comment and I'll add it to the list.

Dracula (Netflix series, January 1, 2020)
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson (January 10, 2020)
Sanditon, Jane Austen (PBS series, January 12, 2020)
The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting (Dolittle, January 17, 2020)
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James (The Turning, January 24, 2020)
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier (Netflix, 2020)
P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2, February 12, 2020)
Call of the Wild, Jack London (February 21, 2020)
Emma, Jane Austen (February 21, 2020)
The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells (February 28, 2020)
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer (March 29, 2020)
The Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit 2, April 3, 2020)
Two Kisses for Maddy, Matthew Logelin (Fatherhood, April 3, 2020)
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett (Secret Garden, April 17, 2020)
The Good Shepherd, C.S. Forester (Greyhound, May 8, 2020)
The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn (May 15, 2020)
Dragon Rider, Cornelia Funke (August 17, 2020)
The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate (August 14, 2020)
Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie (October 9, 2020)
The Witches, Roald Dahl (October 16, 2020)
Without Remorse, Tom Clancy (September 18, 2020)
Dune, Frank Herbert (November 20, 2020)
News of the World, Paulette Jiles, (December 25, 2020)
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty (Hulu limited series, Late 2020)
The Pale Horse, Agatha Christie (BBC/Amazon, Christmas 2020 approx.)
Made for Love, Alissa Nutting (HBO Max limited series, 2020)
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (BBC limited series, 2020)
The Enola Holmes series, Nancy Springer (Enola Holmes, 2020)
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (USA Network series, 2020)
The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock (Netflix, 2020)
Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng (Hulu limited series, 2020)
I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb (HBO limited series, 2020)
The Outsider, Stephen King (HBO limited series, January 12, 2020)
Minamata: The Story of the Poisoning of a City, and of the People Who Chose to Carry the Burden of Courage, W. Eugene Smith and Aileen M. Smith (Minamata, 2020)
The Stand, Stephen King (CBS All Access streaming series, 2020)
You Should Have Known, Jean Hanff Korelitz (The Undoing, HBO series 2020)
Normal People, Sally Rooney (Hulu series, 2020)
The Duke and I (Bridgerton series), Julia Quinn (Untitled Netflix series, 2020)
Fear Street series, R.L. Stine (2020)
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, 2020 maybe)
China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan (2020 maybe)
Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli (2020)

Again, if you find out about any I haven't mentioned, leave me a comment and I'll add to the list.

You will notice I've changed up the levels to make things less complicated (I hope). 

Main Levels

The Enthusiast: read 1-3 books
First One to the Theater: read 4+ books

Read only books being made into movies for release in 2020 (you are not required to only read from the list above. As I stated, if you find another movie or TV series/mini-series based on a book coming out in 2020, feel free to read it).

Additional Levels

Not Ready to Let Go: read at least one (1) book made into a movie or series in 2019

Here's a list of 2019 movies adapted from books. (Note: Some of the movies listed may have been moved to 2020).

Living in the Past: read at least one (1) book made into a movie in previous years

You can Google for previous years, or check Goodreads lists.

The Movie Was Better (What!?): watch the movie(s) for the book(s) you read.

*the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

Additional Guidelines
  • The books you read can count for other challenges. Ebooks, audiobooks, and traditional formats all count.
  • The start date is January 1, 2020 so any book you started between the first of January, and now, counts. End date is December 31, 2020.
  • Remember, TV series/mini-series count too.
  • Pick your level (and additional levels)
  • Sign up below and grab a button (below the linky). I hope you will join me!
  • If you have any questions, click the contact me button in the sidebar, or leave a comment.

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Friday, December 27, 2019

2020 Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge #ReadYourShelf

It's our fourth year! Wow! Once again, a shout out to the awesome book bloggers/booktubers who created the #RYBSAT (Read-your-bookshelf-a-thon), which I adapted this challenge from in 2017.

I did better in 2019 with this challenge, managing six books out of 12, but still didn't complete the challenge. I shall try again this year.

Here's what you do:
  • Go to your bookshelves, or stack on the floor, or on your nightstand, etc. Pick out a book that you've been wanting to read on a particular shelf.
  • Now continue down that line of books on the shelf (in order) until you have 12 books. (Here's an example image - most of my books are stacked instead of shelved traditionally because I have so many!) So, my books are stacked left to right, or right to left, and there are 15 so I have my three alternates. 
  • You might notice that there are a couple of extra books in my chosen shelf (as I mentioned above). These are alternate titles. I found that part of the reason I failed at this challenge is that I didn't have any options for alternates, which I now feel is essential, especially if your sequence of books has more than one by the same author. I'm limiting the alternates to a three book maximum.
  • You will then read your 12 books over the next twelve months, one book each month. You can read them in order (forward or reverse), or you can plug 1 - 12 (or 1 through your total number including alternates, if any) into a randomizer each month to pick your title for the month. The point is that you're not specifically choosing the book each month. It's chosen for you, either by ordered reading, or random choice.
  • If you find that one of the books is part of a series and you've already read it, I will allow a substitution of another book from the series. However, if you find this happening (a whole series, several by the same author, etc) in the stack/shelf you chose, and you don't like it, I would suggest picking a different stack/shelf.
  • If you find yourself unable to finish one of your books in a month's time (I recently experienced this with a book I've found will take me a bit longer to finish, as I need to read it in doses), as long as you finish it during the challenge dates (January - December of current year), it counts. So, with the alternate reads option, and this addition, I think things should be much easier. 
  • If you start the challenge late, mid-year, etc., you can read the number of books coinciding with the remaining months in the year. For example, if you start in June, you would pick a shelf (or section of shelf) with seven books (and 2 or 3 alternates) to give you your seven books for the remainder of the challenge dates parameters.
  • What an awesome way to tackle books gathering dust on your bookshelves. Right?
  • Challenge runs January through December of 2020.
  • You can cross over books from your 12 books with other challenges.
  • Just remember to stick to the guidelines above.
  • Easy peasy!

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