Just a little reminder…
I thought it would be a good idea to remind readers what the title of the blog means if they haven’t read the old blogs in a while. For those of you who haven’t made it that far back into the older stuff yet, here you go.
Below is a little snippet to get you started and then you can click on the link to take you back to the original post.
Where did tea come from? Why did turning teacups over become a thing? The origins of the title of this blog should probably be explained (as promised). Also, what does it have to do with history? Well, it all has to do with drinking tea in the 1700’s. Don’t forget your teaspoon!
What I’m Reading…
Two of my favorite books that I’ve read this year to round out Mythology before I move on to something completely different. 🙂
Daughter of the Moon Goddess
by: Sue Lynn Tan
I have mentioned this book several times already. However, I wanted to mention it one more time since the second book is coming out in November, Heart of the Sun Warrior.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess has definitely been one of my favorite reads this year. The main character Xingyin goes through quite a journey in the attempt to save her mother and meets many interesting characters along the way. Some of these are helpful and some are not so helpful. Xingyin still manages to make everything work out in the end.
I’m looking forward to the sequel when it comes out to complete her journey.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
by Axie Oh
This has been another favorite. When I first started the book, I really had no idea where it was going. As the story progressed, I got more attached to these characters and it went where I wanted it to go while still giving me a surprise at the end. I love books that do that.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea tells the story of a girl who makes a sacrifice at the beginning of the book. She takes a journey and tries to figure out why tragedy has repeatedly happened to her people and her home. Mina eventually is successful and everything works out in the end.
Merriam-Webster defines “mythology” with four different definitions. One is an allegorical narrative with allegory meaning something that can be interpreted and have a hidden meaning behind it. The second is as a body of myths specifically referencing gods or legendary heroes, etc. The third definition is simply a branch of knowledge with the fourth being a belief or ‘myth’ that has grown up around a person or thing or a place.
“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”
World Mythology page 17
There are many different types of myths. Some of my personal favorites are the various stories about the sun and the moon. Such as the Native American story of Coyote where he kills nine of the sun’s brothers, thus saving the world. However, he then has to kill nine of the moon’s brothers because people almost froze to death.
Another is the story of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon. She was married to the archer Houyi who shot nine of the 10 suns, leaving one and saving the people from hardship. Houyi was granted an elixir of immortality but did not take it since he didn’t want to leave his wife. Chang’e took the elixir to keep it from someone else who tried to take it. She became immortal and went to live on the moon so that she would not be far away.
Mythology varies from country to country and across cultures. However, everyone has had their own myths or some version of them. Everyone has a version of how we got here or what this or that god did. An example could be Ares and Mars or Aphrodite and Venus. While not exactly the same, they were still the gods of war and love, respectively. In this case, this is more like “borrowing” but we’ll let that go. Stories are amazing and how people seem to come to the same or similar conclusions about things has always amazed me, too.
- World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends by Tamsin Hughes
- Mythology definition – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mythology
- Chang’e Chinese Goddess of the Moon: A Guide – https://mythologysource.com/change-chinese-goddess/
- Image – original painting from 1815 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mythology_collage.jpg#/media/File:Protected_by_Ares,_Achilles_Overwhelms_Hector.png
- Image – original painting dated from 1368 and 1644 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Anonymous_-_The_Moon_Goddess_Chang_E_-_1981.4.2_-_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art.jpg
Apologies for the delay in posting. The post I mentioned last time will be coming up momentarily. I have been spectacularly unmotivated to read these days and am attempting to work on that. Please bear with me and I hope to have some new content coming up soon. 🙂
What I’m Reading
World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends
by Tamsin Hughes
I’m currently reading through a book called World Mythology. It looks at mythologies from around the world from creation myths to specific gods that appear and reappear in multiple countries as well as stories about creatures. It also helps identify the difference between what is a myth, what is a legend, and what is a folk story. These three things can all be quite similar and get confused often. However, they have some distinctions to help make them more clear.
“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”World Mythology page 17
In the conclusion of the book, the author notes that there are many remarkable similarities among the various versions of these stories across the globe. She also marveled at how creative these people were when they were attempting to understand the world.
“Whether you have read this book from beginning to end or simply leafed through its pages at random seeing what piques your interest, you will surely have marvelled at the creative enterprise that our forbears employed to make sense of their world.”
“Being firmly rooted in an age of science and technology, it is easy for us to be critical of, and even to deride, the fantastical aspects of the belief systems of our progenitors. We can forget just how powerful a profoundly inspiring story was to earlier cultures where storytellers were revered and narrative was the epitome of invention.”World Mythology pages 247-248
I’m also currently pleasure reading the “Shield-Maiden” series The Road to Valhalla by Melanie Karsak. I had previously read the first four books but had not read the fifth. In these books, the main character Hervor (as well as many of the other characters) has a close and personal relationship with their gods. For Hervor, it’s the All-Father Odin and for her friend Eydis, it’s Loki. Throughout the books, the gods speak to the characters and guide them along their journey. I’m re-reading the series and am about to read book five so I’m not sure how their story ends yet. But I’m sure it will be interesting.
I am still in the process of reading these books (yes, I did skip to the end for some of this.) I do plan to put up another post on mythology in general soon as I plan to have a few more posts on mythology topics/books.
- World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends by Tamsin Hughes
- The Road to Valhalla Series by Melanie Karsak
What is the history of Groundhog Day? Does Punxsutawney Phil (or his various other animal friends) really predict the weather? Let’s find out…
The history of Groundhog Day goes back well over 100 years. Similar to the Groundhog Day we are familiar with, a sunny Candlemas meant more days of winter. With the groundhog, a sunny day causes him to “see his shadow” thus predicting six more weeks of winter.
The first time Groundhog Day was in the newspaper was in 1886 in Punxsutawney. In 1887, they started going to Gobbler’s Knob where the groundhog makes the prediction.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the groundhog doesn’t actually make a prediction that is always accurate. Or really make a prediction at all. The “Inner Circle” who are a part of the group that takes care of the groundhog and the ceremony of Groundhog Day, seem to basically pick one of two pieces of paper. One says that Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow and the other doesn’t. So basically one is predicting more winter weather and the other an early spring. But it’s all in good fun. Since they technically should be hibernating, my best guess is if the groundhog hasn’t got up from their winter sleep yet, winter isn’t over.
- Groundhog Day: History and Facts – https://www.history.com/news/groundhog-day-history-and-facts
- Groundhog Day 2022: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning we’re in for 6 more weeks of winter –Doyle Rice, USA TODAY https://news.yahoo.com/groundhog-day-2022-punxsutawney-phil-124107026.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
- Groundhog Day 2022 predictions: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter –Anthony DiMattia, Erie Times-News https://news.yahoo.com/groundhog-day-2022-prediction-6-122944630.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
Top Favorite Reads of 2021 and 2022 Current TBR List
My favorite books of 2021 could probably keep us here all day. However, I’m going to narrow it down to just a few. Most of these deviate from the historical areas that the blog usually leans towards but some are what I will call “history adjacent”. 😄 Some may be repeats to the blog or to you. I hope there are a couple of good suggestions for your shelves.
#1. The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women’s Lives by Barbara Burman and Ariadne Fennetaux
This was a fun book looking back at the history of pockets in women’s clothing and the journey that we have taken together. It was a little trip through time looking at clothing and how it has changed. I have two separate blog posts referencing this book so you can go back if you have time and see some of my thoughts. (Please see the links here.)
#2. Wild Sign: An Alpha and Omega Novel book 6 by Patricia Briggs
This is just a continuation of one of my favorite series. There are two separate but intertwined series and this is book six of the “spin-off” series. The original series that goes along with this (see the timeline on the author’s website for guidance) is the Mercy Thompson series. Coyote Mercy (full name Mercedes) went to school to be a history teacher and decided it wasn’t for her and became a Volkswagen mechanic. These books are full of supernatural friends, usually saving the day from some disaster or other. I would suggest starting at the beginning with these as the stories all intertwine with each other. But if you don’t, you can always go back.
In Wild Sign, Charles and Anna, the two main characters go to investigate when they find out that everyone in a remote mountain village has disappeared. Happy reading. 😊
#3-5 The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life
These three books follow the journey of Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. They meet in a library. They time walk to the time of Elizabeth and back. They search for the truth of the Book of Life, the thing that brought them together to start with. These books have a lot packed in them from scholarly research, murder, and of course, there is the magical world of the witches, vampires, and daemons living in secret and just trying to stay alive.
Alright, time for the 2022 Current TBR List
#1. Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
A book 1 of 2 of the Celestial Kingdom Duology – a journey through legends and follows, as the title would suggest, the daughter of the Moon Goddess as she goes on a quest to free her mother.
#2. Elizabeth & Margaret: the Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton
#3. Eleanor by David Michaels
#4. ‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara with John Nicoletti
This list will probably be much longer here shortly as new books are always coming out. Some of these may make a return to the blog, so stay tuned!
More history content coming soon! Happy reading! 🙂
The Blog has a New Look
Don’t forget to come and check out the new content coming soon and some of the old content that may strike your fancy as well. Feel free to let me know if I need to change anything about the new look or if anything is difficult to navigate.