Sunday, January 3, 2010


Dear Great Book Guru- Throughout 2009 you have given me some good suggestions about books that might challenge me . Now I want to expand my reading world in 2010 even more. Can you help me? Determined Reader

Dear Determined, Yes, I have a plan for you. Choose a piece of literature you never really read when it was assigned in school but now you would like to study for enrichment and enjoyment. Let’s start with Homer’s ILIAD. Get a good contemporary translation- I’d recommend Robert Fagles- he does a wonderful job – the beauty of the poetry is retained but the wording is totally understandable and the format very reader-friendly. Next, get the CDs that follow this translation read by the wonderful Derek Jacobi . The ILIAD was originally a sung poem so it is important to hear it in addition to reading it. Next, get the Teaching Company’s series of lectures on the ILIAD delivered by Helen Vandiver, an expert on ancient Greek and Roman literature. Each of the six lectures is thirty minutes and you will come away with a much deeper understanding of the poem than you could ever have imagined. There is a fascinating new book out by Caroline Alexander THE WAR THAT KILLED ACHILLES, which offers new insights into the this age-old classic. Finally, get a copy of the movie TROY to finish your multimedia approach to the ILIAD. You will be amazed at how much you have learned and , more importantly, how much you have enjoyed the experience. Everything I have mentioned is available through the Sea Cliff Library- the book, the CD’s, the Teaching Company DVD’s and the movie. Oh, I almost forgot- you should come in or call the Library to reserve a museum pass for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (free admission, reduced parking and discounts) to view the newly refurbished Greek and Roman wing. Of course, this is just the beginning- there are so many pieces of literature( the ODYSSEY , James Joyce’s ULYSSES, Ovid’s METAMORPHESES, etc.) you could explore in the same manner. Get you to your Library, my friend!

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