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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





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



Book Notices | The Martian by Andy Weir / Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith / Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Andy Weir, The Martian

  Amazon  

This was a fun read. Mark Watney is an astronaut who gets left behind on Mars, presumed dead. But he winds up surviving (not much of a spoiler there) because he's very smart and very resourceful. He describes what he's up to in audio logs, which is what we're reading. These alternate later on with third-person narratives of what's going on back on Earth. The story is filled with a lot of scientific explanations that I, at least, didn't always follow, or if I followed it I forgot the details. But that doesn't matter. They're there mostly to provide verisimilitude, and it works. But Watney isn't just a techno-babbling scientist with serious MacGyver skills, he's also likable and funny. We definitely root for him. A feel good book, then, that's been made into what I assume is a feel good movie: I've yet to see it, but it's on my list.

Robert Galbraith, Career of Evil

  Amazon  

I'm liking this series more and more all the time. Cormoran Strike is a one-legged private eye. Robin Ellacott is his temp turned secretary turned associate who, in this outing, receives a severed leg in the mail--clearly a message for her boss. It turns out that there's a lengthy short list of people in Strike's life with the mindset and motive to post a leg, and the investigation is on. The mystery is all very good, but more importantly, there is further development on the personal front--because I'm mostly in it for the developing relationship between Robin and Cormoran. The only negative here is that the book ended, and there won't be another available for some time. I am bereft.

Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened

  Amazon  

This book was a birthday present, and I might not have picked it up otherwise. But I'm glad I read it. The author is quirky and irreverent. She writes about her strange childhood as the daughter of a taxidermist whose idea of fun was sticking his hand up roadkill and waking his daughters for a puppet show. The author herself appreciates the odd taxidermied item, provided that the animal who gave its life for the project did not do so under duress, and that he or she is dressed to kill in a pirate outfit vel sim. But it's not all about stuffed animals. There's a lot about vaginas as well, and about life with her constantly exasperated husband Victor. Lawson also writes about her anxieties and insecurities and oddities. It's a very funny book, although sometimes it can be a bit much. Lawson is essentially saying, "Look at how weird I am!" throughout the book, but sometimes this can feel...maybe affected is the right word. Or is it disingenuous? "I'm so weird that I do X, but secretly I think it's pretty awesome that I'm weird enough to do X" is the message I'm getting. Right. Anyway, it's still pretty damn funny.

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