I love books and I love things inspired by mythology, so when I saw that Zuky had created an original tag called The Greek Gods Book Tag, I knew right away that I wanted to give it a go and had the perfect excuse to do so when I was then kindly tagged by Rachel. So, let’s just jump right in.
Zeus: King of the Gods – your favourite book
Despite only reading it a few months ago, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier shot right to the top of my list of favourite books. Richly atmospheric, deliciously gothic, beautifully written; I still find myself thinking about it all the time.
Hera: Queen of the Gods – a badass female character
The first person I thought of for this was Gretel, from Hansel and Gretel, which is a bit random but why not? It’s my favourite fairy tale, largely because Gretel is one of the very few female characters from classic tales who saves the day herself – after all, it’s her who outwits the witch and frees her brother – nor does she need to be married off to a prince to get her happily ever after.
Janus: God of Beginnings – your favourite debut(s)
I could pick lots for this, so here are a few that quickly sprung to mind: Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry, Shelter by Jung Yun, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Athena: Goddess of Wisdom – your favourite non-fiction book
I really enjoyed Iris Grace by Arabella Carter-Johnson. It’s the real-life story of a young girl (written by her own mother) who slowly breaks out of the confines and solitude of severe autism through her wonderful artistic talent and a beautiful, life changing bond with her pet cat, Thula. It’s a heart-warming story and a gorgeous book, full of examples of Iris’ artwork and photographs of her interacting with Thula.
Aphrodite: Goddess of Love – a book you adore and recommend everyone read (other than your favourite book!)
In terms of being approachable for everyone and universally retable in its theme, the first thing that comes to mind is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. It’s the story of a young boy named Conor attempting to come to terms with his mother’s ill health whilst being visited at night by a strange monster who pledges to tell him stories if Conor admits to the truth he is trying to hide from both himself and others.
Hades: God of the Underworld – an evil book you wish didn’t exist
I almost never DNF a book, but after suffering through more than 100 pages of Being a Beast by Charles Foster, I just had to relent. It’s a non-fiction book about a man who set out to live like various species supposedly to understand them better, but it was farcical, nonsensical, exploitative and full of contradictions. When he opened the book by telling us he used to be a trophy hunter, contributed to a hunting magazine and still fills his home with taxidermy, we were off to a shaky start, and sadly things only went downhill from there.
Poseidon: God of the Sea & Earthquakes – a beautiful & ground-breaking book
For this I’m going to pick The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, translated from Japanese by David Mitchell and K.A. Yoshida. It’s actually another non-fiction book about autism, oddly enough, only this one is written from the person living with the condition himself; and he’s only 13 years old! It’s structured mostly like a Q&A, in which he attempts to dispel myths surrounding autism and help people better understand why he behaves a certain way. It’s full of touching, enlightening moments and could help a lot of people to be more open-minded and tolerant.
Apollo: God of the Arts – a beautiful book cover
I’m going to opt for Vixen by Rosie Garland for this, partly because it’s easily one of my favourite book covers of all time and partly to remind myself to actually read it, since it’s been sitting on my shelves for ages…
Hypnos: God of Sleep – a book so boring you almost fell asleep
Harriet Lane’s book, Her, is billed as a sinister revenge thriller but it’s so tame and never really gets going. I kept waiting for things to ramp up to the next level but it just didn’t happen. When it’s finally revealed, the actual motivation behind the ‘torment’ is frankly ridiculous and practically non-existent, and the ending fell equally as flat for me, unfortunately.
Hermes: Messenger of the Gods – a book you sped through
I recently picked up Blythe Baird’s collection of poetry, Give Me a God I Can Relate To, intending to try the first couple of poems but I was so instantly hooked that I read the whole thing in one sitting. Her work is so accessible yet powerful, touching on themes like gender, sexuality, eating disorders and sexual abuse, always being incredibly poignant and relatable. I think it’s a great collection to try no matter if you’re a seasoned reader of poetry or a complete newcomer to the form.
There we have it! Thanks again to Zuky for creating this great tag and Rachel for inviting me to take part. If you want to get involved, consider yourself tagged by me.