Reading List: The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)

Being a huge fan of The Odyssey (and not so much a fan of the Iliad), I sort of gravitate towards retelling of old stories. So when I spied this book on the shelves and a quick review search on Goodreads, I added this to my reading list.

Miller said that if others think of this book as a fan fiction, then so be it. I honestly found it a bit dragging in the first few chapters, and the subject was a bit too tricky to handle (duh, it’s Achilles after all), which does feel like fan fiction-ish. There were also some some inconsistencies in over-all writing style (it’s her first book after all). But her knowledge of Greek mythology shone through midway and that was when I found the book enjoyable enough (coincidentally it was when she got through the choicest parts of the Iliad).

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars. Good enough to borrow from a friend who has a copy…and return after.

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Reading List: A Piece of the World (Christina Baker Klein)

“Over the years, certain stories in the history of a family take hold. They’re passed from generation to generation, gaining substance and meaning along the way. You have to learn to sift through them, separating fact from conjucture, the likely from the implausible. Here is what I know: Sometimes the least believable stories are the true ones.”

Aside from the gorgeous book cover (the best one I’ve seen in years), I was curious about a real-life painting the book is based on. Over-all, I find the book very well-written and well-researched (it is based on real people who live more than half a century ago), and with graceful respect for its characters. And like all good books, you cannot stop thinking about the characters and the words simply stay with you like images from a painting.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Buy for the cover and keep for the story. Definitely worth sharing with fellow bibliophiles.

Complaining Not Complaining

The past few months have been overwhelming at work given all the office drama, pit stops, and new challenges (every day!!!) and Husband’s new work role has been overwhelming too as I now struggle with being the primary household decision maker for most of the time when he’s deployed on site overseas for weeks. Since he is away, my son compensates by demanding my attention as much as he can. Make that overwhelming overwhelming.

The shortened work days because of the holidays brought undue stresses since I was working for 12 hours everyday just to get everything done, and I couldn’t. I was telling the Husband, “Change of scenery please. That or recuperating in the sofa with Netflix.” He agreed, “You need a break, you’ve been obsessed with the GOT S7 memes as a coping mechanism.” (Come on, the Javelin gold medals and the endless Sean Bean quotes and the zombie white walker moonwalk and the Jon Snow memes are just too good to pass up. I still laugh thinking about it.)

So, despite bouts of flu and cough making rounds in the house (amazingly my flu vaccination worked since I was the only one who was not sick), I agreed to bring the entire household to Hamilo Coast to support the Husband who was participating in a triathlon. It was only 2 days and we were tagging along with another family whose head of household was also participating in the triathlon. As much as I don’t really like 2 day family trips because you can never relax (my kaladkarin days are behind me), I just needed to get away and distract myself.

The Pico de Loro beach and country club is beautiful and a site developer’s dream come true. But I was missing that community vibe.

While a bit dangerous if athletes competing are not trained well, triathlons are fun to watch as you cheer for your team. But a crowded open water swim, then the grueling heat while biking, and the fatigue that sets in while running the last leg is not to be taken lightly. As a spectator and supporter, it seemed that my emotions swam, biked, and ran too as I waited to check if the Husband was able to successfully move on to the next transition.

The entire 2 days, my son coughed progressively, the yaya was having a fever, and I was cranky most of the time (eventually I had to bring all of them to the hospital for a check-up once we got back to the Metro while Husband rushed to catch his flight). But the change of scenery was good. I am grateful that the Husband finished the race safely and within his time goals, the son and the yaya are getting better now, and I got to dip my legs into the water and sink my feet into the sand.

Now I need a real vacation.