Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Few Book Reviews

Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch - This is an excellent book if, like me, you just wanted a tertiary brush up on mythology. I know I learned about lots of myths as a kid, but I find myself mixing them up or not remembering what certain Gods are known for, and while I was always interested in knowing more I've never bothered to read into it until now. This book gives a quick run down of the better known Greek and Roman myths along with a REALLY quick run down of Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, and Indian myths at the very end. Greek and Roman (which are interchangeable but are referred to by their Roman names) are undoubtedly the focus. I find that many of the "classic" novels I read reference myths constantly, and after reading this book I feel I have a better understanding of what they are referring to at those times. If you're a scholar of mythology, this book is not for you; but if you just want to better understand the basics, I highly recommend this read. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The Day of the Trifids by John Wyndham - This book falls in the category of "Post Apocalyptic Before It Was Cool". I picked this up expecting some kind of horror story about alien plants only to have it turn out to be just like a modern day zombie story in that it focuses more on how man kind responds to an apocalyptic event and how they continue to live. It's a quick read and it was reasonably enjoyable. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King - While I normally swear off any type of spin off literature, this book was so well reviewed that I decided to give it a try. Mary Russell is an extremely smart young woman recently orphaned and being looked after by her horrible aunt in the English countryside. Mary crosses paths with her neighbor, Sherlock Holmes, while out for a walk one day and the two notice a commonality that brings them together. The pair have the same deductive reasoning power that most others around them completely lack, making them good companions for each other in spite of their 50 year or so age gap. As Mary grows up and goes off to college, Holmes takes her on as an apprentice and she helps him solve cases along the way.

Being a spin off, the book relies on you having an understanding of Holmes' famous cases of his past, but they are broken down a bit if you don't know (or remember) the specifics so you are still able to understand what's happening. I like the interactions between Mary and Holmes most of all - the cases they solve are certainly not the main event. In spite of my usual reservations, I couldn't help but enjoy this little jaunt back into Sherlock Holmes' world. If you're a Holmes fan, I would recommend giving this a read if only to be back in his world once more. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!