009-2019 Mythos

Title: Mythos – The Greek myths retold

Author: Stephen Fry

While it is still fresh in mind I believe this to be the best moment to tell you a little of a book I managed to finish this afternoon.

As you can see above, the book I’m referring to is ‘Mythos’. My fascination with the Greek history (or mythology rather) started when I first saw the movie of Troy. How Achilles, son of a mortal king and a sea nymph was to become a hero in the overthrow of the city of Troy. After the movie I carried on with my life, as one does, and then a few years later I came across a book called ‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller, which tells the story of one offspring of Helios. Once I finished that off I saw that she had written another book as well before this book ‘The Song of Achilles’. I added this to my collection, and that ultimately was the hook that led me to want to know more of the Greek Mythology.

What the book offers isn’t just one story line of one character (as with Circe or Song of Achilles, which were both terrific books as well), but rather the story of creation.

Everything started off from ‘chaos’ and became to what is known to us today (if it is Greek mythology that you believe in). In a way it has a big-bang element to it, where at first there was nothing, and then suddenly, slowly, some things came to being, from which came more and more and more.

As noted, it all started with ‘chaos’, then came the first and second order of beings, know also later as titans, then the gods. The gods then had a huge war with the titans (those that didn’t side with the gods), and they became the new rulers. Or first rulers, because at first the titans (before Kronos) only lived together, with not really one ruling party over all, but merely all ruling over their own domains.

However, I have already said too much, and you should rather read this up yourself.

Jumping ahead, the book teaches us how the 12 rulers of Olympus came about, how some of the gods and titans spent some of their lives, and also their interactions with different humans in different ages.

What I wish to emphasize is that the book is full of lessons, as much as it tells a story. I enjoyed the stories/myths very much, but also have gained by learning some wisdom from the mistakes that some have made in the book. Yes, even the perfect gods in the book were not without their flaws, and so you can walk away with some great insight.

Even if you simply just want to read another entertaining book, this will definitely fulfill that purpose. And, you who knows, maybe you will want to know even more after you turned the last page.

Rating:

The book gives a solid introduction from the very beginning of how everything came to be. It gives us insight as to why certain animals, plants and other things have the name attached to them. It is very entertaining, and gives also some great lessons to some of the characters’ lives. The book is well written, and won’t lose the reader in any chapter, because it doesn’t jump around too much from one story to another, but rather starts with the foundation, and progresses as the events happened. The book deserves a strong 5/5 for what it offers the reader.

008-2019 Primate Change

Title: Primate Change – How the world we made is remaking us

Author: Vybarr Cregan-Reid

As noted in my introduction to this game of blogging, I enjoy reading a large variety of different genres of books. Mainly because I feel that when you only read one genre you get the feeling of knowing the area too well and then lose focus when starting with a new book in the same line.

Thus, to spice it up and always keep my head in a state of learning I read up what looks and sounds interesting. And, by following this approach I feel I have gained a tremendous amount of insight in different areas.

One thing that I constantly get reminded of at the end of every book is that even though I may have learnt something new from this book, there is so much more out there that I still don’t know.

Now, coming back to the title of the book, I looked at the front cover and saw the typical picture we see of how a strong and bulky man stands with his spear on the left, and then on the right we see the human hunched in his chair in front of the machine. Do you know the one I’m referring to? I hope so, because what the book is about is to tell us how we advanced from one lifestyle to the other, and how we feel the impact of that magnificent stride in our daily lives.

The book is split in five parts, and each part covers a specific time period of humanity. How our oldest ancestors lived all the way back then. However, this applies only if you believe in evolution being how humanity came to be. Myself, whether I believe in that theory or not is of no matter. What I do enjoy is my curiosity in learning something from everything. Also, the book focuses on some of the struggles (biological -wise) that I didn’t think of before in another way, so there I feel it gives some great insight to everyone.

For me, I enjoyed the story from part 2 and onward the most because that is a history we can completely relate to because it includes the time period of the medieval ages. We are taught of this in school and therefore are easy to agree with those facts, whereas before that time period all we can understand to be true comes from what has been buried deep within the grounds of history.

The book doesn’t only include history, but also biology of humans in the sense that our bodies were built for one thing, we changed our lifestyles, and our bodies, not being able to adapt quickly enough, suffer as a direct result of those changes.

If you think about it, through evolution we change to adapt to our environment. However, evolution is a lengthy process and comes only after multitude of generations have lived. How long, I won’t be able to give an exact number to (nor anyone for that matter), but too long for one lifetime to live through for sure.

Now, think of how drastic our lives have changed in the last 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years. Coupling those quick advances with the slow changes that evolution bring with them, we are definitely not yet properly adapted to this new lifestyle. Our bodies are suffering as we get older (Back pains for one hit everyone eventually at some stage).

What makes the book also great is that it isn’t confined to one science, but holds something of a few sciences. It is structured chronologically, and walks us through the history as it happened. The it tells us a little about biology and life for humans, and then finishes off with what could lie in store for us in the distant (or not so distant) future. It doesn’t go too deep into a topic that you will be able to call yourself a expert in the field after the chapter, but it gives you a chunk off the cake, which is more than enough.

Rating:

I may be a little biased with the rating, because I have read it a few months ago and don’t remember the details clearly, but I strongly believe that a rating of 4.8/5 is still strong enough to promote it to any potential readers out there.