SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #19 and #20

Book #19 was "The Bacchae and Other Plays" by Euripides, translation and commentary by Philip Vellacott. I'd already read "The Bacchae" but not the other three plays in this Penguin Classics collection: Ion, Helen, and The Women of Troy. It helps to flip back and forth between the notes and the story and probably to read the play first and then the commentary. There are a few things I wish Vellacott had explained better, but he does a nice job of helping you get the context - both within Greek mythology and the life of Euripides and the politics of his day - you need to enjoy the plays. I enjoyed all of them more than I expected and found them full of pithy quotes and subtle but good lessons about human behavior.

Book #20 was "Meditations from a Moveable Chair," a collection of essays by Andre Dubus, best known as a short-story writer. These essays touch on his life in a wheelchair after a car accident that left him with one leg amputated at the knee and the other so shattered that it was useless. But he spends just as much time writing about the craft of writing, his complicated feelings about his family and how his Catholic faith affected his life. I was wowed from the very first essay. They are finely crafted, with details that pull you in and make you see things through his eyes. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys creative non-fiction.

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth [fiction] - Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
2. Ice Cold [fiction] - Tess Gerritsen
3. Snow Crash [fiction]- Neal Stephenson
4. The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge [fiction]
5. The Brontes - Juliet Barker [non-fiction/group biography]
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [non-fiction]- Rebecca Skloot (unabridged audiobook)
7. The Moon in Our Hands [fiction]- Thomas Dyja
8. The Algebraist [fiction]- Iain M. Banks
9. Moab is my Washpot [non-fiction/memoir]- Stephen Fry
10. The Last Olympian (Book Five in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
11. Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer [non-fiction/memoir]- Lynne Cox
12. A Year in Provence [non-fiction/memoir/travel]- Peter Mayle
13. A Plague of Doves [fiction]- Louise Erdrich
14. Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles [non-fiction/memoir]- Anthony Swofford
15. White Witch, Black Curse [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
16. The Witches of Karres [fiction]- James H. Schmitz
17. Dawn (Lilith's Brood: Book 1) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
18. Things Fall Apart [fiction]- Chinua Achebe

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