“The Madness of Cambyses” by Herodotus, transl. by Tom Holland

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), my review of this book will be very short because I don’t remember much about it. I could have avoided posting a review of it, but because the intent of my blog is to record everything I read (at least all the books), I must post a review. So here it is.

Genre:

Nonfiction — History

Pubbed:

Penguin Little Black Classics, N⁰ 78 = 2015
The Histories, transl. by Tom Holland = 2013
The Histories by Herodotus = c. 440 B.C. (Who knows?)

From the back of the book:

Weaving factual account with colourful myth, the ‘father of history’ tells of the psychotic Persian king — and his fateful death. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Certainly an interesting read, but I didn’t care for it. I attempted to read Herodotus’s The Histories once before because I’d read somewhere that it’s like the gossip pages of the classical world, so I picked it up to see what juicy tales Herodotus would tell me. I forgot which translated version I attempted to read back then, but I was very bored after a few pages and gave up because I didn’t really care to read it. I was just being nosy.

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“The Way I Heard It” by Mike Rowe

I totally read this book because the Dirty Jobs guy wrote it.

The book was unexpected. I only know the dude as the Dirty Jobs guy and didn’t know much else about him, but I liked him because of the show and was curious to see what he’d written about. When I realized the book was actually a bunch of vignettes about famous people throughout history, I was sold. I like books like this because I often end up learning something I didn’t know before. I even learned stuff about the Dirty Jobs dude.

Genre:

Nonfiction – History

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Executive producer and host Mike Rowe presents a delightfully entertaining, seriously fascinating collection of his favorite episodes from America’s #1 short-form podcast, The Way I Heard It, along with a host of personal memories, ruminations, and insights. It’s a captivating must-read.

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Two Audiobooks: “Blue Monday” by Nicci French & “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance

It’s the end of March and I’ve FINALLY started reviewing the books I read this year, smh. The first two books I read in 2020 were both audiobooks, which shows that this year began on a busy note.

It’s a little surprising to me how comfortable I’ve become with audiobooks. Now I don’t mind listening to new-to-me books on audio; however, I can only do so for certain genres. I refrain from listening to new-to-me epic fantasy books on audio since they tend to be very detailed and there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or remember what’s said. If I do listen to such a book on audio, it’s because it’s a reread.

As for these two books, one is a psychological thriller/mystery, which work well for me on audio because I get so hooked on the mystery that my attention hardly strays from the story, and the other is a memoir, which, surprisingly, works well for me on audio too. There are no similarities between these two books other than that they were the first books I read this year and they are both audiobooks. Those are the only reasons why I paired them in this post.


Blue Monday by Nicci French, narr. by Beth Chalmers

Genre:

Psychological Thriller; Mystery

Series:

Frieda Klein, book 1

Pubbed:

2011

Goodreads summary:

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when a picture of his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

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“The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World” by Clive Gifford, illus. Marc-Étienne Peintre

The Colors of History is one of the best picture books I read in 2019. It is also the least popular book I read that year, so I hope this review will get more people interested in it to share with kids.

As the title says, this is a nonfiction book all about colors and their impact and use throughout history.

Genre:

Children’s Nonfiction — Art; History

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which color is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future?

Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colors, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colors in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each color group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colorful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthrall budding artists and historians alike. (Goodreads)

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“The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair

This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read this year. I learned much from it, and I’m glad I own a copy. Not only is it a great read that presents facts about a common topic in an engaging way, but I also love the design and format of the book.

The edition I own is a white, naked hardback with spots of color on it. From a distance, one gets the impression that it has a dust jacket that hides a rainbow cover beneath. The cover is appealing and matches well the title — The Secret Lives of Color.

Indeed, it is as if we are being told scandalous tales about colors, in some cases. I was unaware of most of the information I learned from this book, which covers 75 colors, shades, and hues and shares fascinating stories and facts about each. The book is divided into broad color families. A section is dedicated to each — white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, green, brown, black — with chapters within each section that discuss variations of the particular color. For example, the first color discussed is white. First, we get an overview of the color as an introduction to the section, and then we begin a chapter on a variation/type of the color. The first is lead white, the second chapter is on ivory, and the third is about silver. The amount of chapter in each section varies, but the chapters are no more than three or four pages, and each page contains a simple border in the color being discussed.

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End of Summer Recap Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Kristin Kraves and knew I had to do it too. 😀 It was created by Faith at You Are What You Read and, like Faith, I’ll only consider for this the books I read in June to August.

Which book can you not stop thinking about?

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

A nonfiction book all about color. It’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, and I can’t stop thinking about it because I see color everywhere! 😀 Okay, that’s not the only reason why. There are so many interesting tidbits about colors in it that I mention them at random to people around me or I think back to the book whenever I look at certain colors, especially when shopping.

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“Becoming” by Michelle Obama

By the time Michelle Obama’s book was published in November 2018, I’d gotten a part-time position at my dream job: I was FINALLY working as a bookseller in a bookstore. A few weeks had passed since I’d started, so I was still getting familiar with the process for books we weren’t allowed to sell before a specified date although customers would visit and call the store often asking “Is it there yet? Can I come by for a copy? Do you have it?”

It was the same with Obama’s book. There was a buildup of great excitement and expectation for her autobiography. People couldn’t wait to get it in their hands, and on the day it was released, we were sold out in minutes. Whenever we received another stack of books, they’d be gone in moments, sometimes before they even got on the shelves. It was even worse around Christmas time as people bought copies for themselves, friends, and family and would place five or 10 copies on hold at a time — all Christmas gifts, everyone in the family getting a copy. I also bought more than one copy. I bought one for myself and gave another to my aunt.

As usual, I didn’t immediately begin reading Obama’s autobiography when I got it. I don’t read many biographies, autobiographies, or even memoirs, and when I do, they’re never about political figures. I’m not a fan of politics, and I always mistrust political figures. But I liked the Obamas and really admired Michelle Obama. I loved her personality. What convinced me to finally purchase her autobiography was an interview she did with Oprah where she spoke about her book, growing up in Chicago, and her time as First Lady. I got curious. I wanted to know more. Furthermore, I loved how relatable Obama was in the interview. She seemed to just “tell it like it is” even when she was trying to be tactful or hold back a bit on some things, she came across as honest. I thought to myself, “I need to read her book.” And I’m glad I did.

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Book Tag Week: Life’s a Beach Book Tag

Another tag post for BOOK TAG WEEK!!

I actually made it to the beach this summer. 😀

Although I make plans to go every summer, I never make it due to being too busy; but this summer I went on a reading retreat at the beach with a friend and had a great time. We only read a page each and instead spent our time people watching and talking. It was loads of fun.

Life’s a Beach Book Tag

The Life’s a Beach Book Tag was created by Lefty, the Left-Handed Book Lover.

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Book Tag Week: Quintessential Summer Book Tag

Onward and forward with BOOK TAG WEEK!!

You know what I’d like to do before summer’s end?

  1. Spend an entire day at the movies
    • I haven’t done this since college days. When exam week was over and my mind was goop from intense studying, cramming, and stress from the tests, I’d go to the movies and spend the whole day there watching everything I could sneak into. I’d like to do that again, although I’d probably fall asleep in the theater this time because those new chairs are so soft.
  2. Go on an architectural tour of a city
    • I really, really, really want to do this!! I even have a little pocket guide about architectural styles ready for such a tour.

Anyway, here’s the —

Quintessential Summer Book Tag

The Quintessential Summer Book Tag was created by the Bookish Kat. I consider myself tagged by Madame Writer.

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Book Tag Week: Summer Sweatalong Book Tag

BOOK TAG WEEK!! continues with the Summer Sweatalong Book Tag, which is perfect for this time of year and, more specifically, Tuesday, August 12, 2019 because it’s supposed to be hot as shit on that day in my part of the world. Jeez!

Apparently it’s gonna go up to the 90s, at which point the humidity will peak and stuff will happen to cause really bad thunderstorms. So in addition to sweating my ass off, I’ll be treated to lots of clashing and banging in the heavens as the weather sorts its self out.

Well, can’t do anything about that so… here’s the —

Summer Sweatalong Book Tag

The Summer Sweatalong Book Tag was created by Jo, the Bookworm Dreamer.

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