Teaser Tuesday: Penguin Book of the Dead

Like the feeling you get when settling into a comfy chair with a good book and your favorite beverage, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.This last Friday I received an amazing gift: my own copy of The Penguin Book of the Dead. Read about how I got this copy here.

The Goodreads Blurb:

Since ancient times, accounts of supernatural activity have mystified us. Ghost stories as we know them did not develop until the late nineteenth century, but the restless dead haunted the premodern imagination in many forms, as recorded in historical narratives, theological texts, and personal letters. The Penguin Book of the Undead teems with roving hordes of dead warriors, corpses trailed by packs of barking dogs, moaning phantoms haunting deserted ruins, evil spirits emerging from burning carcasses in the form of crows, and zombies with pestilential breath.

Spanning from the Hebrew scriptures to the Roman Empire, the Scandinavian sagas to medieval Europe, the Protestant Reformation to the Renaissance, this beguiling array of accounts charts our relationship with spirits and apparitions, wraiths and demons over fifteen hundred years, showing the evolution in our thinking about the ability of dead souls to return to the realm of the living–and to warn us about what awaits us in the afterlife.


The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 169:

After Thorolf died, a good many people found it more and more unpleasant to stay out of doors once the sun had begun to go down. As the summer wore on, it became clear that Torolf was not lying quiet, for after sunset no one out of doors was left in peace. 


Four Stars to The Song of Roland (Dorothy Sayers, translator)

song of roland coverI enjoy classic and medieval literature, and found this tale to be as compelling as I found the Tale of El Cid. There’s gallantry and betrayal and revenge and drawn-out, eloquent death scenes – what more could one ask for in a medieval epic?

My main issue with the book is with the translation. At times it seems as if Sayers is forcing the rhyme, making whole sections unbearable/unreadable/uninteresting/unintelligent and many other negative words with an “un” prefix.

This is a story I think would benefit from an adaptation into prose rather than poetry, and will likely seek out a different translation.

5 points for the story and 3 points for the translation averages to a 4 star review.

Five Stars to The Monk of Mokha by David Eggers. 

I picked up this book because it was about coffee.

Monk of Mokha coverI like coffee, but I wouldn’t call myself a coffee snob. I don’t have the bank account to support such a hobby. So, I’m mainly satisfied with my own brews at home with store-bought beans.

I read this book and found myself drawn into the world of a would-be coffee importer with (at first) no taste for coffee. How could this be?!

By the end, I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, wondering if he would make it out of Yemen alive, let alone bring the beans to the United States.

Having finished the book, and knowing the story behind the brand, I now want to try this coffee for myself. But, again, it’s somewhat cost-prohibitive at approximately $29 USD for 4 ounces. Perhaps for Christmas?

I would recommend this book for any and all coffee lovers.


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