Tag: back to school

New Books to Read Under Your Desk

So, we’re back to school. Some of us, anyway. Regardless of when you go back, you’re going to need something to read under your desk when you’re supposed to be learning. Here are some new releases to get excited about.

 

Scavenge the Stars 

Release: January 7th

Amaya has been imprisoned on a debtor’s ship for years. When she saves a drowning stranger, she thinks it will lead only to longer internment. The man she saved, though, has the resources to help her, and offers her a new life. Surrounded even as she is by opulence, all she can think of is revenge against the man who ruined her and her family.

 

Woven in Moonlight 

Release: January 7th

Ximena is the decoy Condesa of an occupied land. Sold into marriage to protect the last blood countess, she must find the ghost summoning relic that conquered her land and smuggle it to the resistance. But is another war what her people need, or should it be avoided, even if doing what’s best for her people means betraying everything else?

 

Spellhacker

Release: January 21st

Diz is a thief of magic, a lucrative trade since it’s commodification following a devastating magical plague. But it’s harder to escape from the life than she and her friends anticipate, especially when the magical secrets they uncover keep getting stranger and more dangerous. What was the plague, and why was magic locked away as a resource for the powerful?

 

Seven Deadly Shadows 

Image result for seven deadly shadows

Release: January 28th

Kira could always see Youkai, and between this, bullies at school, and her parents’ indifference, her only refuge is her grandfather’s shrine. She loses even this when she learns the Demon King will rise to end the world, and all he needs is a relic from her shrine. For help in protecting the relic, she recruits seven death gods, but their motivations are suspect, and danger could come from any side.

 

Blood Countess 

Image result for lana popovic blood countess

Release: January 28th

Historical fiction takes on the real life vampire Elizabeth Bathory. Alright, so that’s apocryphal, but she was one of the most prolific serial killers in history. A lowly maid, Anna, is catapulted into the countess’ inner circle, and thinks herself unimaginably lucky. That is, until she realizes that she’s in danger, and the countess’ everyday cruelty is just the preview to the torture and murder of girls like her.

 


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Literary Canon Update

Have you ever been given a reading list that’s written, translated, and selected exclusively by and for men? Odds are you’ve rarely seen any that aren’t. If you want to appreciate the cannon while also living in a world where women exist, this is the list for you. These books and translations are some of the best and most lauded of all time, and yes, they’re by women.

It was, I must confess, a little hard to compile. The Odyssey was first translated by a woman only in 2017! But don’t despair. It’s all here for the taking.

 

The Iliad and the Odyssey

 

Homer’s epics have been translated MANY times, but these, by Caroline Alexander and Emily Wilson, respectively, set an incredible standard.

 

The Iliad

 

 

Close as can be to the ancient Greek, this translations has garnered heaping praise. “[T]he guard has changed, and a new gold standard has appeared”, said New Criterion at the volume’s publication. This edition even manages to retain the original line numbers from the Greek.

 

The Odyssey

 

 

This work, too, matches the original Greek as closely as possible. “A staggeringly superior translation―true, poetic, lively and readable, and always closely engaged with the original Greek”, said Harvard classics professor Richard F. Thomas. Iambic pentameter imitates the lyricism of the original Greek, and the volume also includes translation guides and maps.

 

 

Antigonik and An Oresteia

 

 

For both of these it is possible to turn to Anne Carson, a Canadian translator and classics professor. Carson’s translations are modern, elegant, and never condescending. In stead of translated, the works seem brought into the light, with all their strangeness and fierceness intact.

 

 

Jane Austen

 

How is it that Jane Austen, often the only woman on a reading list, is still under hyped? I had a guy in a bar tell me once that if people like Austen it’s because they haven’t read a lot of books. He really said that. Family conflict, human stories, and scathing humor makes Austen worth reading, with characters you really will love, and hate.

 

Pride & Prejudice

 

It’s a staple for a reason, and if you’re not sure you’ll relate to these people’s problems, you’re wrong. Fuckboys, impending poverty, poor decisions, and character growth you can get behind. Plus, it may be a period piece, but people still love their sisters. You’ll relate.

 

 

Jane Eyre

 

 

Another classic people want to avoid, but it has everything: deaths, fire, lies, weddings, blindness. I wouldn’t exactly call Jane a relateable character, but she’s understandable, I think, when you see everything she’s been through. And she’s incredibly decisive.

 

 

 

Images via Amazon