Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today it’s time to step back in time for a trip through history in the shape of the Ancient History Book Tag. These prompts really made me smile when I saw them over at Shelves Of Starlight, so I decided to consider myself very much tagged.
Here we go!
The Stone Age – one of the first books you remember reading
I have very early memories of reading a lot of childhood classic books like Peter Pan and The Water Babies with my parents, which I talked about in my post about loving classics here. As for reading by myself, I remember the Puddle Lane books very clearly, to the point I tracked down a load of them second hand on ebay when my son was starting to read, and I’ve packed them up safely for future grandchildren. I still remember some of the stories so clearly, and the way they slowly developed to become more complicated as the reading level increased is something that, as an adult, I think is very clever.
Ancient Greece – your favourite myth-inspired book (doesn’t have to be Greek mythology) or retelling
I could pick numerous books for this prompt, but, having read it earlier this year, I’m going to have to pick Ariadne. It was a book that absolutely devestated me and gave me warm fuzzy feelings, and then did the same all over again. It wasn’t a relaxing book to read, but it was utterly beautiful, and I’ll recommended it highly for a long time to come. It’s a very special book, and I think it will go down in bookish history well remembered.
The Roman Empire – a book featuring an impressive empire or kingdom
In the From Blood and Ash series, the Atlantian empire has been not only continuing but thriving behind the scenes. Despite what the ruling government have told people, Atlantia is successful and prepared for almost any situation, a fact that surprised me as a reader as much as it surprised our protagonist Poppy, as we see things develop in A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, and The Crown of Gilded Bones. The author has done a wonderful job of crafting a fully fleshed out society with governement, religion, and technology all working together.
The Middle Ages – a book that is an absolute bummer
Ha! What a prompt. Sadie was an incredibly depressing book. It was well written, don’t get me wrong, but I came out the other side utterly miserable.
The Renaissance – a book that you’ve learned a lot form, or that made you think
I really took a lot away from Ace of Spades. As well as being just an incredibly good book, it was also brutal and painful in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated in advance, only possibly taken it away when fully immersed in the novel. It was a fantastic read and again is one I’ll be recommending freely, but it absolutely made me stop and think, as I mention in my review.
The Industrial Revolution – a book featuring an invention or concept that you would have in your own life
This prompt gave me pause for thought because I’d really like a) a sword, b) magic, and c) a magic sword, but really I think what I’d like to see more of is an educational approach that we see in Truly Devious. Ellingham Academy allows pupils to explore the things they absolutely love, without fees, and giving them access to everything they need to excel. While this in practice might not be fully plausible, I would love to see a more flexible education system that allows people – especially those who may not have been able to complete a traditional education – to engage with what they love, rather than all the focus being on passing exams.
World War I & II – your favourite historical fiction book about the World Wars (or if you don’t have one, your favourite historical fiction in general)
I don’t read much World War based fiction; I feel that the traumas of millions of people have almost been exploited in some of the books that are filling our shelves now. However, I do like historical fiction, albeit not reading as much as of it as I used to. This year I’ve read the Infernal Devices trilogy, part of the Shadowhunters universe, and I absolutely loved them. They’re absolutely my favourite part of the Shadowhunters world that I’ve read so far, and I think the historical setting just helps them flare to life.
Present day – a book everybody should read in present day according to you
I could pick so many books for this one! But after some serious thinking, I’m going to go with Body of Stars. Not only does this have a fabulous system to it – not quite magic, but not quite logic – that is wonderfully unique, but it also takes the idea of women being in control, gives you that’s the impression of this new world, and then shows how really damaging that system is for women and girls, despite their supposed place of power. In some ways it was depressing to think that there’s no way women and girls will ever break through the glass ceiling, but in others, it was a wonderfully powerful book, showing that determination to overcome trauma and make something come from it was, as a trauma survivor, empowering.
So there we are, a combination of two of my favourite things, books and history. Although I’m slightly irrate there’s no Ancient Egypt prompt! I’ll make up my own….