This is a fascinating book which proposes a new and interesting theory regarding Stonehenge which offers explanations that I have never considered bef...moreThis is a fascinating book which proposes a new and interesting theory regarding Stonehenge which offers explanations that I have never considered before, and yet to read them, and the authors reasons for them truly does make a great deal of sense. As a person who has a long time interest in Stonehenge and other similar megalithic sites I was very excited about this book, and loved the fact that I learned something completely new on the subject.
A couple of the things which I really enjoyed was the way in which the theory presented within the book connects many of these various different megalithic sites as being a part of the same group of people, also more and more we are learning that ancient people may have in fact had a great deal more travel and communication between different cultures and part of the world than previously suspected, within this book the author shows the way in which these Megalith Builders may have traveled around the world to construct these sites.
I particularly enjoyed the offered connection between the legend of Jason, and Atlantis and how they could be explained in terms of the Megalith Builders, and the purposes of their constructions.
The other thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way in which the idea which is proposed that Stonehenge, and other similar structures were used as part of ceremony of which involved the rising of a new king, and regicide of the old king unite some of the various different theories about Stonehenge together. It explains both the relation to the structures with astronomical coordinates and it explains recent evidence which suggests that the site was used as a burial ground. It also correlates with different myths of ancient people that have stories about similar practices as the ceremony of the regicide.
This is not just another book about Stonehenge but offered a fresh new look and is engrossing to read. (less)
A charming book which seeks to try and unravel the mystery of the labyrinth which proves to be both a perplexing and fascinating symbol that has captu...moreA charming book which seeks to try and unravel the mystery of the labyrinth which proves to be both a perplexing and fascinating symbol that has captured the interest of people throughout the world and across time. Even today people still flock to walk the labyrinth.
The author explores the earliest roots of the labyrinth imagery, and how it has evolved over time to eventually become the modern maze a beloved game and puzzle for many people today. He seeks to uncover the truth beyond one of the most famous so called labyrinths of time, the Labyrinth of Daedalus and the Minotaur of Greek Mythology, as well as looks for an answer to the very origins to the word labyrinth itself.
Labyrinths appear in many different cultures, and religions, and have served people a variety of different uses. The labyrinth is a journey each individual may take to seek out their own answers in their life, and in understanding the mystery of this symbol which still very much holds us within its grip.
An enjoyable and interesting read, though I was a bit disappointed that the author did not spend more time on the historical aspects of the labyrinth. He starts to move fairy quickly into the book to more modern conceptions of the labyrinth, though I appreciated the way in which the author displayed the prominence that the labyrinth still has today, and how people continue to be captivated by it.
I also enjoyed his discussions on understanding the difference between labyrinth and maze, which as he points out are often mistakenly seen as synonymous to each other.
I very much appreciated the diagram to creating your own labyrinth that was included in the back of the book. (less)
It was difficult to decide how to rate this book, because while on the one hand I did thoroughly enjoy reading the book as I found the subject matter...moreIt was difficult to decide how to rate this book, because while on the one hand I did thoroughly enjoy reading the book as I found the subject matter to be truly fascinating, on the other hand I found that the way in which the content was presented left something to be desired.
While the content within the book is truly interesting the author presents it in a less than interesting way making the reading at points a bit dry and difficult to grind through. Teresi may be knowledgeable and a good researcher but I fear that he is not a good writer.
I did learn a great deal from this book and I was glad for having read it. I personally thought one of the most interesting, at least to read, chapters was the chapter on Cosmology, as I am fascinated by creation stories from different cultures. In addition because the subject dealt a lot more with myth rather than talking of science and math it did help make the reading a bit more interesting and easy going. It is also interesting to see the similarities between the different cultures.(less)
I am not normally a big reader of non-fiction but I love history and I do try to expand my reading horizons so now and than I do try to delve into non...moreI am not normally a big reader of non-fiction but I love history and I do try to expand my reading horizons so now and than I do try to delve into non-fiction. I have heard some good things about this book and so I thought I would check it out. I have to say I was left somewhat disappointed. I did find many aspects of the history within the book to be quite interesting but I just felt that the narrative of the book was lacking. It just was not as innovative and there was nothing about the way that it was written to set it apart from that typical sort of non-fiction, almost text book like feel that is the reason that makes it hard to be motivated to read non-fiction.
It also seems as if the author was telling two different stories simultaneously and did not really link the two stories together that well so that it was as if the author could not make up his mind about what he wanted to write about. The two different stories were too much set apart from each other and not woven together. The story tells of the first opening of the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, and alongside that tells of the gruesome, Jack the Rippersque murders that took place at the hands of a man who called himself Henry Holmes and who took advantage of the influx of people that the fair provided, particaurly, young naive women.
One of the things I really did enjoy about this book was reading about all of the different innovations and inventions which came out of the fair. There were many things I read about in which I could not believe had in fact been invented at that time. I also really did enjoy the reference that Larson made to the varrious different famous authors who attended the fair as well as other famous individuals.
I think this book is a must read for anyone. I grant that Christians are not likely to change their opinions because of this book, but I still think n...moreI think this book is a must read for anyone. I grant that Christians are not likely to change their opinions because of this book, but I still think no matter what ones religious background, this book will make you think.
I found his writing clever and witty, and it made me laugh and cry (ok I did not literally cry) but parts of it were so sadly true. It was an easy and engaging read. While being I am not an atheist, I did not agree with everything he said, but his main points were spot on, and I loved the whole premises behind the book(less)
I do not read a lot of non-fiction, becasue often times I find the way non-fiction books read, tends to be tedious and dry and feel a bot text book li...moreI do not read a lot of non-fiction, becasue often times I find the way non-fiction books read, tends to be tedious and dry and feel a bot text book like, but I am interested in history and I do try and expand out my reading experiences.
I have to say that I thought Fraser did a wonderful job with this book, it read almost like a novel for me, something that rarely happens with non-fiction. It was such a captivating and engaging story from start to finish. I was a bit daunted at the prospect of reading it, but from the first page it grabbed my attention and it kept it all the way through.
It is so well balanced between imparting the informaiton to the reader and still keeping a fluid and interesting story going. Part of this I think was helped both by her skillful use of footnotes, which was able to impart extra information to the reader without interrupting the flow of the story and the subject itself. The life of Queen Mary truly sounded like it was right out of a Gothic novel.
I did not know much about her, but in reading this book discovered that she was truly a fascinating, remarkable, and very heroic figure, who faced much tragedy and adversity in her life and faced it with tremendous courage and dignity.
I also liked the way in which this book offered a different look at Queen Elizabeth, a subject who is often glamorized and undeniably was a remarkable woman, but Fraser shows her in a much more human light. Being a woman in a difficult position and forced to make difficult choices, her treatment of Mary truly was unjust and cruel. (less)