Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
  • Time Travel Rome

aiden12

What's the last book you read?

Recommended Posts

The last book I 'finished' was The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes. I didn't find it quite up to the same level of his previous two entries in his "Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone" series, but I enjoy fantasy fiction nonetheless as a departure from history.

 

Presently, I'm reading Gruen's "Last Generation of the Roman Republic" and "The Summer of 1787" by David O. Stewart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Roman matters, the last book I finished was Caroline Lawrence's thoroughly-enjoyable, Trimalchio's Feast, which features a parrot named Siptax that mindlessly repeats, "Long live Caesar". Currently, I'm reading A History of the Roman Republic by Klaus Bringmann. Bringmann and Siptax seem birds of a feather.

Edited by M. Porcius Cato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading John Mann's Attila the Hun as well as Jared Diamond's Collapse. They are both very good. I might even review Mann's Attila. Outside of that I've been reading Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe, a book given to me as a present. Its a bit out of date (reviews to obscure TV shows of the year 2000 etc) but it's still hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what I remember she describes at least in part the ritual. But the title is mainly about the sacrifice of the brightest political horse of the time, Caesar himself, on the ides...

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong but from what I remember, the October Horse was about Sulla's rise to become the "first" man in Rome, at this stage in the series of books Caesar was only a child and in the story I think it was actually Caesar's mother Aurelia who likened Sulla to the October Horse to which Sulla replied something like "that's all well and good but look what happens to it" or words to that effect anyway.

 

I've just bought Imperium by Robert Harris today, I've been meaning to buy it for a while now but just haven't got round to it. Has anybody read it? Is it any Good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what I remember she describes at least in part the ritual. But the title is mainly about the sacrifice of the brightest political horse of the time, Caesar himself, on the ides...

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong but from what I remember, the October Horse was about Sulla's rise to become the "first" man in Rome, at this stage in the series of books Caesar was only a child and in the story I think it was actually Caesar's mother Aurelia who likened Sulla to the October Horse to which Sulla replied something like "that's all well and good but look what happens to it" or words to that effect anyway.

 

I've just bought Imperium by Robert Harris today, I've been meaning to buy it for a while now but just haven't got round to it. Has anybody read it? Is it any Good?

 

October Horse is the last book in the series and retells the events after the death of Caesar. The books about Marius and Sulla were "First Man in Rome" and "The Grass Crown" (which were by far the best of the bunch, btw.)

 

As for Imperium, I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it... My own review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GPM - may I second PP's recommendation of Harris' Imperium. Exquisite novel. And it even had the Forum's biggest anti-Ciceronian (aka - me) rooting for the old devil and actually liking him. You should enjoy it. And talking of which - if Mr. Harris or his agent ever deigns to spy on us here: Please, please can we have the second part of this trilogy as promised!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
October Horse is the last book in the series and retells the events after the death of Caesar. The books about Marius and Sulla were "First Man in Rome" and "The Grass Crown" (which were by far the best of the bunch, btw.)

 

As for Imperium, I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it... My own review.

 

I stand corrected!

 

But I'm almost certain that the scene I mentioned between Sulla and Aurelia where the October Horse was mention was in one of the earlier books (think it might have been Fortunes Favorites) I've had a quick look through the book but I can't seem to find it, but a description of the October Horse is given in the glossary in the back of the book, which does point to it being mentioned somewhere in the story.

 

I'm going to keep looking because it's starting to bug me now! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For non-Roman interests ...

 

Yesterday at a used book sale I picked up a copy of an older book entitled Naked Before Mine Enemies. It's a biography of Cardinal Wolsey.

 

I've enjoyed it greatly. The Cardinal is a man I admire. Funny thing is, I never would have paid it a second thought were it not for Showtime's "The Tudors" and Sam Niell's performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last book completed (twice in a month), Carl Sagan's "The Varieties of Scientific Experience; Reflections on the Personal Search for God." I find Sagan much more palatable (and readable) on the subject than Richard Dawkins; been painfully working my way through Dawkins' "The God Delusion" for several months.

 

I haven't had much luck with Roman-subject novels, lately. I think Lindsay Davis has lost it; I actually gave up on "See Delphi and Die" during the first or second chapter. Volume one of Whoozit's "Caesar"(?) series almost made me physically ill. I have Saylor's "Roma" ready at my bedside; since it's a series of short stories about different eras, I'm not put off by comments I've seen about cardboard characters (that's mostly all you get in a short story).

 

I've recently read two of John Madox Roberts' alternative history of Rome ("Hannibal's Children," and "The Hills of Rome"); I assume there's a third volume out there, somewhere. I'm a little put off by how easily the upstart Romans seem to be walking all over the established powers. Of course, they do have flying machines, so...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two books actually. Plutarch's 'Lives', I've always enjoyed his writing style. And Epictetus' Enchiridion/Discourses. For me, life changing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Sirens of Surrentum" by our own Flavia Gemina (looking for more tips on toxicology I might have overlooked), and thanks to FG for the gift.

A re-read of Jashemski's "Pompeiian Herbal" nicely idiosyncratic ..this because I was checking over plant references to FG's 'Pirates of Pompeii" .

"Guess what came to dinner" by Gittleman, another scary excursion into digestible parasites (wash your hands!).

 

and ive been watching the "special edition" of Kurosawa's 'Ran" (King Lear in effect).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually highly tempted to try our Flavia's books - whether they are for children or not!

 

OK - I bought the first Simon Scarrow book last week 'Under the Eagle'. These books had been recommended to me by friends, and this particular novel had received a wonderful review from our very own Vigs. Sorry, Vigs - sorry, everyone. I have given up after page 14. Although this is Scarrow's first novel - and therefore naturally has the 'first novel' feel about it, the writing was so dry that I could not continue. I quite like the prologue, with the twist at the end where the 'general' who was directing events turned out to be none other than Julius himself, but the incorrect rendering of 'Caius' rather than 'Gaius' should have warned me.....

 

However, I did go on into Chapter One but found that I could have been anywhere! When I read a historical novel I want to be immediately transported to that world. I'm sorry, but this novel could be set anywhere. I had no feel of Romanism whatsoever and the writing bored me so much that I pulled out at page 14. Eventually, I may well return to have another try, but on my first impression, I am totally underwhelmed by this author. Robert Harris knocks spots off him. I even prefer Steven Saylor, whose 'Roman Blood' while also having a 'first novel' feel about it, with too much explanation here and there, had at least captivated me by page 14.

 

BTW: The 'Helen of Troy' by Margaret George was a very decent read indeed. It would probably be more of a hit with female members than male, but it was certainly worth its supermarket price and I shall keep it on my shelves - I 'm afraid I won't be doing that with the Scarrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that I will be obliged to review FG's books (looks around nervously :D )...so far I must say that they would be very useful sparking an interest in intelligent children. in the Roman world. Im not sure of the age range they are aimed at , but I would have very much liked to be 7 or 8 again and been passed a copy of "Pirates".I would be in the back garden with a wooden sword chopping away at barbarians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suspect that I will be obliged to review FG's books (looks around nervously :D )...so far I must say that they would be very useful sparking an interest in intelligent children. in the Roman world. Im not sure of the age range they are aimed at , but I would have very much liked to be 7 or 8 again and been passed a copy of "Pirates".I would be in the back garden with a wooden sword chopping away at barbarians.

 

Actually, I did an informal review of FG's Roman Mysteries series in back in April.

 

As I've read all the books in the series, I was thinking of expanding on that initial introduction to the series that I'd posted, with emphasis on the educational aspects of her books. She carefully uses primary source material in setting the scenes for each of her novels. At my public library, in fact, we're got a "Roman Mysteries" booktalk for children scheduled for later this summer.

 

Pertinax, we have all ages at my library reading FG's books, both young readers and adults (although our scheduled booktalk will be geared for children this summer). I agree with you -- I would very much like to be 7 or 8 again, too, and discovering this series! But since I steadfastly refused to grow up :D I think I'm enjoying them just as much!

 

-- Nephele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×