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…

My Reading Year 2015 in Retrospect

2015 was for me a great reading year, though I definitely read less books than in the previous two years. Also, I discovered the benefits of joining NetGalley, through which I could read advance copies of some of this year’s hot releases. Visiting Jessica @ Bookworm Chronicles last December I saw a post that made me want to replicate what she did, so I borrowed the format and the questions for this post. Below is how my 2015 reading year looked like:

Books read: 26         
Fiction: 24                 Non-Fiction: 2                      Re-reads: 0

Genres: (some of these overlap)

Poetry: 1                    Historical Fiction: 9             Religion: 1

Contemporary Literature: 7           Mystery/Suspense: 3           

Thrillers/Espionage: 6

Jessica @ Bookworm Chronicles adapted these questions which I borrowed because I found them fun and so revealing.

Best book of the year (I couldn’t possibly pick just one): Best Books I Read in 2015

Most surprising (in a good way!): Angels at the Gate by T.K. Thorne, because it took me five trials before I finally read the whole thing

Most recommended to others: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain; Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas (both drew the most comments)

Best series you discovered: I read only two novels from series I already knew, namely The English Spy by Daniel Silva and The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer

Favorite new authors (to me): Mark Henshaw; David Mitchell; Frederick Forsyth

Most thrilling (unputdownable): The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth; Slade House by David Mitchell

Most anticipated: The English Spy by Daniel Silva

Favorite cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Most memorable characters: Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin from Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb; Beryl Markham from Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Most beautifully written: The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw

Had the greatest impact: Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb


  1. I am pleased to hear you had a great reading year in 2015. I am also pleased you found my layout and questions helpful to reflect on your reading. I wish another great year in 2016 :-)

    1. Thanks, Jessica for your wish and for the layout and questions; when I saw your format last year I instantly wanted to replicate it. Looking back it was a very good reading year; though I read slower than usual.

  2. You had an interesting assortment of genres. I remember reading some of Frederick Forsyth's books many years ago, but I honestly can't remember if I read The Fourth Protocol. Maybe I should take a look at it. I certainly don't remember any of his books as being duds.

    1. If you didn't read it, perhaps you should, Dorothy. It's quite a story, and prescient. One learns a lot with his books.

  3. I like Jessica's layout too. I may also borrow it when I do my favorites of the year list. I have not been a rereader but this year I think I reread three books. I don't think I have ever read a complete book of poetry. But at least I read a Shakespeare play! Best wishes for your reading in 2016!!

    1. Isn't this layout great? I think it reveals your stats without overwhelming your readers.
      Well, technically it wasn't a single book of poetry but several because I'm reading Jorge Luis Borges' Complete Poetry. I have already written five posts in Spanish and (2 or 3) English translations.
      It's been months since I haven't resumed reading it. Hopefully I'll finish this year and start the Complete Poetry of some Spanish poet. I'm planning to do that eventually with Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare, among others.

    2. And best wishes for you too, Judy!

  4. I finally heard Bill Simmons' (hosts a sports podcast) thoughts on Concussion (the movie): Will Smith's accent is terrible, movie doesn't truly go after the NFL, Goodell agreed to promote movie in NFL telecasts etc as long as it didn't truly go after the NFL. Congrats on a great reading year - and I really liked Circling the Sun too!

    1. That's interesting because I have heard Will Smith on promotion interviews in which he says he is a football dad and never knew about the possibility of brain damage caused by frequent blows to the head. Maybe the disconnect stems from the necessity to raise awareness rather than play the blame card.

  5. Like the format Carmen. It seems to sum up your reading year nicely. I agree on the book cover of Circling the Sun -- who could be better than Beryl Markham? I'm curious about the impact of Rodin's Lover and might check that one out. Cheers.

    1. I agree. I strongly recommend Rodin's Lover; it was an emotional experience for me.


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