A Sounds Ceramics Collaboration & Circe, by Madeline Miller

I’m so excited to be kicking off a collaboration with Sound Ceramics, in which we will be pairing gorgeous mugs with my latest book reviews, as well as some of my old favorites. Be sure to visit the Sound Ceramics store for more cool merchandise!

First up, a stunning mug and a stunning cover: this is Circe, by Madeline Miller. I really loved mythology and fantasy when I was young, but it’s been a while since I’ve read much of either. After reading Circe, I’m feeling like a kid again. Miller takes classic mythology and makes familiar stories more compelling (and easy to read) than ever. Ancient heroes, gods, and monsters became so much more nuanced as characters, so that I both loved and hated them. It was really hard to put this one down.

Another thing I really loved was that I felt as though I was not only reading a great story, but also learning a lot about ancient beliefs and practices. I kept researching the characters to learn more about their myths, and putting other mythological classics on my list (including Miller’s other novel, Song of Achilles, so you can bet that will be coming up soon, too).

If you’ve read this one and know of other books like it, please be sure to share in the comments below, because I just can’t wait to dive into more of this type of literature.

Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke

I haven’t been so captivated by a book since before my daughter was born (and that was over 4 months ago!). I simply couldn’t put Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke, down. Firstly, it’s incredibly unique: it blends our complex, busy, present world with a fantastical, simple, barren one. But if “Fantasy” is a no-go for you, this one is still worth a go – trust me on that. In my opinion, this book could just as easily be categorized as a psychological thriller, mystery, literary fiction, or sci-fi. It really has a little of everything.

Most importantly, though there are just two characters for much of the book, Clarke is somehow able to keep Piranesi’s voice interesting and the novel’s action moving quickly, even in a world where nothing much happens beyond the tides coming and going. It’s truly remarkable.

But beyond just the gripping plot and entrancing voice, there is so much happening in this novel on a thematic level. It asks huge questions of the reader: what happens when we’re left alone? What does it mean to be in touch with one’s surroundings? These questions (and so many others) are, perhaps, even more intriguing and insightful given our recent experiences during a global pandemic – sometimes Piranesi’s experiences hit really close to home.

With so many ethical, philosophical, and thematic overtones, I found it especially helpful after finishing this one to listen in on a few podcasts with the author. In particular, I’d recommend this discussion with Susanna Clarke, from Vox FM (I listened on Spotify, so you can find it there as well!).

10 for 10 I recommend this one to just about anyone.

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑