Monday, 26 February 2018


“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ― Mark Twain 

Books I’ve read lately and enjoyed: 

Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome by Lesley Adkins and ‎ Roy A. Adkins
This is a detailed, scholarly work on every aspect of Roman daily life, from the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD. The chapters are arranged thematically and the information is organized methodically and lucidly. While it is a valuable reference work, I found reading through it quite enjoyable. 

Music A Very Short Introduction by Nicholas Cook
This was an interesting book on music/musicology written in an engaging way, which draws the reader into thinking about the nature of music in all of its numerous manifestations. While some of Cook’s analyses of topics and interpretations of musical styles and pieces are useful, obvious or even self-evident, others no doubt will be controversial and give rise to much cogitation in the mind of the reader. 

Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
This is a “boy’s own adventure” style thriller with good measures of supernatural/fantasy, action and historical/mythological elements thrown in. Reilly is an Australian author who has written quite a few similar books in this genre and provides readers with thrills and escapism in what are easy to read and digest (and then excrete, I guess) novels.

This was a diverting read based on the following conceit: Around 4,500 years ago, the capstone upon the summit of the Great Pyramid of Giza absorbed the energy released by the Tartarus Rotation (a monstrous sunspot that occurs every 4,000-4,500 years), and saved the earth from major flooding and catastrophic weather. This capstone was later divided up by Alexander the Great with one piece hidden in a booby-trapped location within each of the other seven wonders of the world. If and when they are reunited and replaced on the capstone during another solar event, they can bring 1,000 years of peace or power for the nation that possesses them. The Tartarus rotation is about to recur and the search begins to reunite the fragmented capstone. Reilly’s derring-do hero Jack West Jr plays a central role in the novel.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we can reread a favoured book from adolescence and love it again in middle age. And sometimes we totally disappoint ourselves by disliking a previously loved book. In 1999 I loved Girl With a Pearl Earring ... Now it seems less than life changing.

    Perhaps novels are more susceptible to changed perception than non fiction.