The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
Published by Picador, 2011
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Reading a collection of Duffy’s poetry is an odd experience, in that her work often oscillates between the clumsily blatant and the impenetrably obscure. When she strikes the sweet spot between the two, there’s no denying her ability to pack a punch with a limited word count. The highlights here were the poems that explored the loss of her mother, particularly the pieces, ‘Water’ and ‘Cold’.
You can pick up a copy of The Bees from Book Depository by clicking here.
Mythologica by Dr. Steve Kershaw & Victoria Topping
Published by Wide Eyed Editions, 2019
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This encyclopaedia of gods, monsters, and mortals from Ancient Greece serves as a fantastic entry point or reference guide for those at all interested in mythology. The book highlights 50 key figures, and though the text for each character isn’t exactly exhaustive, we’re given a condensed snapshot of their role within the canon, and a few interesting facts about them. Seasoned myth enthusiasts are unlikely to learn anything new, as such, but having been written by a Classics scholar and Greek mythology expert, the information is succinct and reliable.
The real draw here is undoubtedly going to be Victoria Topping’s stunning artwork. Each figure is given a full-page portrait that cleverly draws on iconography from that particular character’s story. Topping’s style is bold, stylised, and perfectly suited to the powerful yet enigmatic nature of her subjects. It really is one of those ‘I could happily have every page of this framed on my wall’ kind of books, and I know I’m going to flick through it time and time again, in awe of just how gorgeous it is.
It would make a fantastic gift for any lover of mythology, but by all means treat yourself!
You can pick up a copy of Mythologica from Book Depository by clicking here.