14 June 2010

Hello again, blog!

I missed you! Haven't written in months. My bad.

Struggling with a lot of work. It's gotten so stressful, I've managed to read only one book in 3 months. And I'm not even finished with it. How f*cked up is that.

So the book in question is Tom Holland's Persian Fire, which is basically on the Persian-Greek wars in the 5th century (think 300 and all that). My friend Andy gave it to me while I was traveling in Europe last May. Greece wasn't really on my Europe itinerary (sad), but the book came as a nice surprise because I had actually forgotten to bring a book with me during my 2-week trip!

So it was a happy thing that I got something amazing to read at the airport and during the long-haul flights. Here's the blurb on the book:

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out. The Persians were turned back. Greece remained free. Had the Greeks been defeated at Salamis, not only would the West have lost its first struggle for independence and survival, but it is unlikely that there would ever have been such and entity as the West at all.

I think I'm slowly moving into a non-fiction phase as I grow older. Not that I'm giving up altogether on fiction; it's still the bulk of my reads. But I guess I'm beginning to like non-fiction too. When it came to non-fiction, I used to read literary criticism and mythology books only, but now am reading stuff on history and science--so it's all good!


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