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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them. The blog, however, will continue, and if you've got a good first line to share for TwitterLit please do so here.



  
From a random review:

  

« Blanc, Nero: Anatomy of a Crossword | Main | Brown, Dan: Angels & Demons »

Truss, Lynne: Eats, Shoots & Leaves

  

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Gotham © 2004, 209 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Author Lynne Truss is not above vigilantism. Indeed, given her druthers, Truss would arm the citizenry--that portion of it, at least, that takes its punctuation very seriously--with permanent markers and Wite-Out and set it loose on a world of greengrocers' signs marred by misplaced apostrophes. And she mightn't stop there: "No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, 'Good food at it's best', you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave." Truss's plea for violent action in the face of mixed up itses may go unheeded, but her light-hearted, best-selling paean to punctuation, originally published in Great Britain (and retaining British punctuation practices), has clearly tapped into a vein of previously voiceless pedants who believe that the lives of punctuation marks are worth celebrating. Evidently, as Truss writes, "a lot of well-educated sensitive people really have been weeping friendlessly in caves for the past few years, praying for someone--anyone--to write a book about punctuation with a panda on the cover."

Truss's plea for violent action in the face of mixed up itses may go unheeded, but her light-hearted, best-selling paean to punctuation, originally published in Great Britain (and retaining British punctuation practices), has clearly tapped into a vein of previously voiceless pedants who believe that the lives of punctuation marks are worth celebrating.Published in the U.S. in 2004 with an (unremarkable) introduction by Frank McCourt (author of Angela's Ashes), Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a breezy, funny account of the history, abuse, and proper use of a host of punctuation marks--the apostrophe (with which the author's affections clearly lie), the comma, the semi-colon (failure to use which was, according to George Bernard Shaw, "a symptom of mental defectiveness"), the exclamation point (among punctuation marks "the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly"), and so on. The book is a quick, amusing read, and it is besides an attractive little volume, panda-covered, of course: the perfect gift for the sticklers in your life.

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.