My local library was selling off some of its withdrawn non-fiction stock, so my brother and I took the day to pop down and see what was on offer! I shall embed the video at this point, so that you can watch it before you read the rest if you prefer it that way – I’ll mostly be rehashing down below what I’ve already said in the video anyway, but for those of you who prefer video or prefer text, you can choose, of course, which medium to view. 🙂
I graduated in classics, and like to keep up my Greek and Latin, so when I spotted a Loeb edition of Frontinus’ Stratagems and Aqueducts, I had to pick it up! Loeb editions have the Latin or Greek (Latin, in this case) on the left hand pages and, if you want to use it, an English translation on the right hand pages. The translations are quite old and more formal in style. Of course, if any of you out there translate, you’ll realize most languages don’t facilitate A > B translation – it’s a lot more complicated than that! – so while the translation will be very useful if I get stuck, I can ignore it if I want to, and it couldn’t give me all the answers unless I apply my own Latin knowledge! Aqueducts aren’t the most thrilling subject for me, but I don’t think military stratagems are that bad, at least! I like to keep a collection of texts that I can use to keep up my Latin, so that was a nice cheap addition to that. For reference, we got 14 books altogether at the library sale, for which the total was only £6 / $9.20 / €7, and when I bought a brand new Loeb edition of a Cicero text, that came to over £20, so the Frontinus was definitely an amazing find!
In the same vein, I bought Amo, Amas, Amat… and all that: How To Become A Latin Lover by Harry Mount. As if I need to become a Latin lover! It’s a primer, but in a very informal, humorous style – good if I want to refresh my basic Latin, but I bought it for all the silly jokes and puns.
I got The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda De Lisle, about Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, even though I’m pretty much tired of the Tudors by this point and want to take a long break from them! I don’t know Jane Grey’s story as well, nor that of her sisters at all, though, so I picked it up.
Continuing along the royalty line (haha), The Kings and Queens of Scotland by Richard Oram. I focus so much on English/UK royalty that I forget to think about my own! This book covers Scottish royalty from the year 400 till (I assume) 1707, which is when Scotland united with England.
Last from the library, I bought The Short Oxford History of English Literature – just because. The courses I took during my classics degree were mostly in Latin and Greek, but in my final year, I studied a lot of texts in translation. Even in the Latin and Greek texts, I mostly analyzed the texts, so it was all a lot like an English class! So I’ve always been interested in literary analysis, and I was hopefully going to study English Literature and Language after I graduated classics, but I haven’t been able to sort out my finances yet. Still, I bought the book as a wee head start! 🙂
As a little bonus, I picked up Empress Orchid by Anchee Min from a local charity shop. It was 3 for 2, and my brother could only find two he wanted, so I picked up this one. It’s about an emperor’s concubine, and I’m excited to give it a read.
You might see reviews of these books go up on my Goodreads profile (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7310932-alexxandra), and I might even film some book reviews 🙂
Until next time