Book Review: Galatea by Madeline Miller

“He had no chance, really. He was only flesh.”

Published in March 2022, Galatea by Madeline Miller is set in Ancient Greece where a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost…

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Written by Madeline Miller and published in 2011, The Song of Achilles follows Patroclus, an awkward young prince who has been exiled to the court of King Peleus. There, he meets Prince Achilles. By all rights, their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper, despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

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My 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

I initially set my target as 25 books this year, but a few things happened that meant I reached this goal quite early on. Firstly, I had a baby, so this meant that I was awake at silly hours with plenty of time to read. Then, there was lockdown. Because of lockdown, I decided to join Bookstagram and NetGalley and get more serious about reviewing books. So now, instead of reading two books at most a month, I’ve been reading up to ten.

I upped my goal to 60 around halfway through the year, and still managed to pass that by reaching 74 books. This year has really rekindled my love of books, and I can’t wait to start 2021 with this new passion.

Here’s how my 2020 challenge went:

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

“In a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

Originally published in 2018 and written by Madeline Miller, Circe follows the daughter of Helios, God of the sun and mightiest of the Titans. But Circe is a strange child. She’s not powerful like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power: the power of witchcraft. She can transform rivals into monsters and menace the Gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island where she finds herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

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