2020 Reading Challenge Overview

21 thoughts on “2020 Reading Challenge Overview”

  1. Sure does! In fact, this was a good reminder to myself that I have never actually read Beowulf and really should so thanks!

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    1. I’m not sure Beowulf counts as from another culture for me, because I’m a white American with English ancestors. Still … 1100 years is a long time from when it was written to now, and no one read Beowulf round the fire when I was a child, so I’m going to read it now.

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      1. I started reading Mythos and realized, wait! I have some Greek ancestors! I was not raised with any Greek culture though so I sort of shrugged it off then. I probably know just as much or more about Norse mythology and I don’t have a spec of Nordic blood in me lol. I’m viewing it as ‘something I wasn’t raised learning about’ so it counts!

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      1. Haha not reading in old English. It’s the Seamus Heaney translation that I’ve had since it came out twenty years ago. I dipped into it then but never read it through.

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      1. I’m glad I read it at last. The introduction was useful and interesting for some historical background. The translator respected the original epic and the 10th century scribe by treating the material as a recital of factual events plainly told rather than as a once-upon-a-time tale. The introduction also prepared me for what would have otherwise seemed like jarring insertions of Christian morality into a pagan epic. I wondered about that 10th century scribe—he was a Christian but maybe close enough to his pagan forebears to take the Beowulf story literally. Maybe that’s why it’s possible to see Beowulf as a real person instead of a cartoonish superhero. I saw his bravado as a young, impetuous and ambitious knight in the Grendel/mother portions, and his wise and wary and even fearful reflections as he prepared to face the dragon and death at the end. Meta impressions—no battle victory is permanent, and best let sleeping dragons lie.

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  2. Pam, that was a fantastic summary and compelling argument for me to pick up a copy (of that translation specifically) to add to my TBR pile! I think there is so much value and much to be learned from folklore and fairytales of various cultures that really encompasses humanity and history while remaining timeless.

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  3. I was originally listed as CalamiTEA, but unfortunately someone tried to hack my email and I am locked out, so I needed to open a new blog as well. Circe was my January pick!

    I just read Circe! I couldn’t put down the book. I posted the full review on my blog.

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    1. I thought it was a fantastic re-telling too! I love how Miller made her so human in her faults and really highlighted the process of change and transformation to someone that because powerful not only in her craft, but in her heart and soul. I would love to see your review, feel free to post it here!

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