Summer Reading for an Interested Student

Dear [removed],
Thank you so much for following up!
I think you might enjoy the writing of Adrienne Mayor.  She writes for a general audience and her books sell well, but she holds a  research post at Stanford and her writing is widely respected and cited by academics.  I found her book Amazons both fun and groundbreaking: it changed how I teach the material.  Her first book, The First Fossil Hunters, is strongly recommended by one of my colleagues who studies ancient science.  But, really you could read any or all of her books and be confident you were making a good choice.
A little older in James Davidson’s Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens.  It was written as his PhD, but became a best seller.  I use sections of it in my 4000 level Sex and Gender course, but it is very readable and fun.
If you want to read more literature written in the ancient world rather than ABOUT the ancient world, Emily Wilson’s brand new translation of the Odyssey is BEAUTIFUL and really accessible.  Likewise, you might look for Ann Carson’s translations of Sappho and various Greek plays.  She’s a poet in her own right and they are stunning.
Also, my dear friend Josephine Quinn has just published a book In Search of the Phoenicians that everyone is raving about.  It contextualizes the culture groups living around ancient Judea and says quiet a lot about the history of how Europeans and Americans came to think about their own relationships to the lands that are now the modern state of Israel.
Finally, if you’re really more interested in Rome, then look for books published by Mary Beard.
Once the fall semester starts …. [Removed]
All best,
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Associate Professor, Classics Department
Rose Mary Sheldon’s Ambush and other books on ancient warfare
Eric Cline’s 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
James Romm, Ghost on the Throne
Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed
A.E. Stalling’s translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days
Sarah Rudens’ translation of Apuleius’ Golden Ass

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s