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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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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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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.



  
From a random review:

  

« White, E.B.: The Trumpet of the Swan | Main | Gladwell, Malcolm: The Tipping Point »

Wolitzer, Meg: The Ten-Year Nap

  

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Riverhead Books © 2008, 383 pages
3 stars

In her eighth novel, The Ten-Year Nap, Meg Wolitzer focuses on a circle of friends, four women whose lives turned out differently than they'd anticipated, and different from what the feminist movement of their mothers' generation had led them to expect. Having put their careers on hold when they had kids, the women, ten years in and now largely free from the more pressing demands of motherhood, are waking up from the nap of the book's title to reexamine their situations. Do they want to go back to work? Would anyone hire them? Are their marriages happy? Interspersed among the chapters focusing on these four are briefer sections in which the lives and life choices of a variety of other women are explored--the principals' mothers, Margaret Thatcher (as seen through the eyes of her personal assistant), Nadia Comaneci, Georgette Magritte (the painter's wife)--so that the book amounts to a sort of profile of womanhood, a consideration of the state of feminism in the present day.

My reaction to the book is mixed. On the one hand, Wolitzer is an excellent writer, peppering her pages with the telling detail, so that individual scenes come alive. Her descriptions can be lovely. And in fact she captures well the conflicted feelings of the modern stay-at-home mom--the discomfort with not contributing something quantifiable to the family coupled with ambivalence about rejoining the work force. That said, the book is vaguely depressing. Wolitzer's women seem to be perpetually morose and unsatisfied, unable to recognize that their lives really aren't that bad. And although they do come across as three-dimensional characters, it's very hard to care about any of them. Nor does the book offer much by way of plot. For all its lovely writing the novel is a chore to get through. I hate to say it, but literally only ten pages from the end I thought I might not have the stamina to finish it.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

Wow...and such a promising premise too. Thanks for the review!

2.

Great review! It actually sounds like my sort of book. Ah, if only the pile weren't so large...




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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.