Sunday, May 2, 2010

Love myths?!

Here are two books on Greek mythology that I absolutely love!

Last year I was on a major Greek mythology binge and I scoured amazon looking for books that had myth retellings. I'm so glad I found these two, and now I want to pass on the info!

Aphrodite's Blessing - Clemence McLaren
Genre: marketed to adults, but suitable for the over-14 crowd (I admit to blushing a little when I read this!)
# of pages: 202 (hardcover)

This is a collection of 3 short stories dealing with some of Greek mythology's happier love stories - the tale of Atalanta, the tale of Perseus and Andromeda, and the tale of Eros and Psyche. Because these are short stories, characters fall in love rather fast, and everything ends happily. This book is a perfect for when you're in the mood for a fun, quick read that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire - Julius Lester
Genre: Adult fiction/fantasy
# of pages: 186 (hardcover)
Amelia's Age-Level Recommendation: I think this book is okay for 12+. :)
I'm not going to lie - I am completely fascinated by the story of Cupid and Psyche: it's my favorite Greco-Roman myth and so naturally I'm a sucker for [some] retellings (CS Lewis' Till We Have Faces didn't really do anything for me, but that's because it doesn't focus on the love story...*yawn*) I also really like this story because Lester really seems to do justice to the traditional elements of the myth while adding a sort of modern-day commentary. When you read about myths, sometimes they feel kind of cardboard: not really explained in detail, not exhibiting a lot of emotion.... but Lester's retelling adds heart and a deeper level to this timeless tale. He also uses a double-perspective which is a breath of fresh air, because most stories (including the above book) only focus on Psyche, so Cupid is either really unrelatable or really inconsiderate.
Favorite passage from the book?
"It was all Cupid could do not to turn around, go to her, and apologize for being such a fathead." (pg 124) <--- hahaha! I love Cupid, but yeah he is a fathead sometimes!
I don't usually like to talk about my writing, but one of my MSs has to do with this myth - I just love it so much! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes 1) myths, and/or 2) sweet romances that don't have a lot of angst. Don't get me wrong, angst is necessary sometimes - I'm not dissing angst! But sometimes, "sweet" is good too!
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