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Circe
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Archive: Other Books > Circe by Madeline Miller - 5 stars

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message 1: by Moke (last edited Jun 09, 2018 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Moke Originally, I had listed this as a book I was going to read for magical realism, but - I agree with the comments - it really doesn't fit that genre. It is a fictional embellishment of the life of the nymph, Circe, who most of us know as a brief chapter in the long Greek epic of Odysseus. He and his men come upon her island on their journey home from the Trojan War. Miller's re-imagined tale, of course, focuses on tragic figure of Circe and how she came to be isolated on the island and how she became a sorceress beginning in the great halls of her Titan father, Helios.

There are many familiar characters and monsters throughout the book including Daedalus, the Minotaur, Jason and Medea. I have always loved mythology and, so, enjoyed every cameo by each famous hero or villain throughout. It is also, as it happens, about witches much like the other book I read this month, The Rules of Magic - perhaps even, the first witches...? Or, at least, the myth of the first magical beings who used "pharmakia" (herbs and potions) to cast spells and how being magical or a witch is a metaphor for inventing oneself. Circe tells Penelope toward the end of the book that the secret to cast spells is one's will and her most used spell is one that changes someone into their true being - I don't think that is a spoiler...

So far, my summer reading list hasn't let me down! This is another book that I can highly recommend for anyone who loves mythology or Greece. It isn't fun like the movie Mamma Mia and there is never guarantee of happy endings with the gods (in fact, you can pretty bargain on the opposite), but it is Greek island hopping at its mythological best. :)


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments YES! I am trying to get through my current audiobook because this one is on deck next!

Like you, I love Greek mythology. I wish I knew more of it; one of my favorite gen ed classes in undergrad was a mythology course, but in hindsight I feel like we really covered so little of it. Maybe, when I am done with my JD, I will take a mythology class...just for fun ;)

Until then, Circe will have to fill that void!


message 3: by Moke (last edited Jun 09, 2018 07:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Moke Nicole R wrote: "YES! I am trying to get through my current audiobook because this one is on deck next!

Like you, I love Greek mythology. I wish I knew more of it; one of my favorite gen ed classes in undergrad wa..."


I would love a class like that! Have you ever read, The Bull from the Sea or other Mary Renault books? She was my intro into fiction based on mythological characters - I read her in an English class loooong ago. Good luck with your audiobook!


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Moke wrote: "Nicole R wrote: "YES! I am trying to get through my current audiobook because this one is on deck next!

Like you, I love Greek mythology. I wish I knew more of it; one of my favorite gen ed classe..."


I have not read Mary Renault, but am checking her out right now!


Cynda  (cynda) I love the stories of Greek mythology too.
I am getting older and more picky about how I spend my time. I no longer want to much wade through Homer or Vergil, may be not even Ovid. But Madeline Miller, yes. It is like swimming. I will be reading her The Song of Achilles and her Galatea.


Moke I probably read another of her books also. Kudos for reading from the original with Homer, et al. I agree, this way is a lot easier to wade through.


message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments If you haven't already, I recommend Mythology by Edith Hamilton. It gives overviews of all the stories and characters.


Susie | 4488 comments I’m yet to write a review for this but I also loved it. Five stars and straight to the Top Ten of 2018.


message 9: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9377 comments Got to get to Circe this year!


message 10: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Jason, I also love Edith Hamilton book. I’ve read it many times since my teens and it is a great comprehensive introduction to everything Greek mythology


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review!! Everyone seems to love this book. I'm going to have to add it to my every growing TBR!


KateNZ | 2672 comments This is on the wish list. I liked Song of Achilles well enough that I’ll definitely get to it


message 13: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9377 comments Circe is one we can read together, Rachel.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Circe is one we can read together, Rachel."

Lets pick a time to do this. It would be fun.:)


message 15: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9377 comments How about, unless it fits a tag earlier, September or October? Like a high Holiday gift. Jason, are you in? Anyone else? I could make it my local book club pick at the same time and maybe grab KSZR......


message 16: by AJ (new) - added it

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 830 comments I think this is my next audiobook listen


message 17: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9377 comments We are coming soon... unless you get busy with wedding and want to wait for us...


KateNZ | 2672 comments I’m in, Amy!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "How about, unless it fits a tag earlier, September or October? Like a high Holiday gift. Jason, are you in? Anyone else? I could make it my local book club pick at the same time and maybe grab KSZR..."

Let's plan for that unless something comes up earlier.


message 20: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9377 comments Starting a list on my phone to keep track - right under the lengthy complicated book shortlist. So far, Amy, Rachel, and Kate....


message 21: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Amy wrote: "How about, unless it fits a tag earlier, September or October? Like a high Holiday gift. Jason, are you in? Anyone else? I could make it my local book club pick at the same time and maybe grab KSZR..."

I'll give it a shot. Not something I was planning on reading but I'm in.


message 22: by AJ (new) - added it

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 830 comments I’ll join in the group read


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