Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Company Men (♦♦♦♦)

Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) thinks he got the raw end of the deal when his big company laid him off from an executive job after working there for several years. The worst was yet to come; even the best friend (Tommy Lee Jones) of the company’s president got laid off by none other than his lover (Maria Bello). At risk of losing everything he had worked for his entire working life, Bobby asked his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) for a job as a construction worker. Chris Cooper also co-stars.

This movie is sad, brutal and realistic all at once. In spite of it, I did like it. I think it was a serious attempt to depict what millions of Americans have lived through this latest recession. It’s true that the lives of the executives may not be most representative of the challenges faced by common citizens under duress, but think about it…When you earn a big salary your debts and financial obligations are magnified because you believe you can afford it; then one day your job is taken away and your way of life is gone. Not to be missed!