Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: The Battle of Thermopylae: 300 Spartans and the Forgotten Citizen-Soldiers Who Fought with Them by in60Learning

Title: The Battle of Thermopylae: 300 Spartans and the Forgotten Citizen-Soldiers Who Fought with Them
Author: in60Learning
Publication: January 22nd 2018
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Ancient History
Purchase Link: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Most people know about the Battle of Thermopylae, even if they don’t recognize the name. During the second Persian invasion of Greece, 300 Spartans fought against Xerxes I’s forces on a narrow mountain pass. With such cinematic details, no wonder this sensational battle inspired the blockbuster film 300. However, both the film and popular imagination miss many important details about this battle. This concise history sheds light on the thousands of Greek citizen-soldiers who fought alongside the Spartans, forever changing the course of Greek identity and nationhood.


"These [men] are Sparta's walls."
—King Agesilaus when asked why Sparta had no walls.

When thinking of The Battle of Thermopylae most people (myself included) probably only think of the 2006 movie 300 by director Zack Snyder, where a force of 300 Spartans fights the Persians. However, thanks to this book by in60Learning I learned this definitely wasn't the case. It states that many representatives of Greece were present at the battle. Three hundred Spartans did fight there but so did 5700-7200 Grecian hoplites. Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Greek city-states. 

I love how all city-states, especially the Athenians and the Spartans (since they were the largest power at the time) had their issues with one another but when faced with the threat of the Persian, they came together and fight. I've always had a fascination with ancient Greece, especially Sparta so I thought this book was really fascinating. I basically couldn't read fast enough to absorb all the information. It was all truly compelling and made for a very good read.

At 37 pages it's already a short and straight-to-the-point book, so I flew through it in no time. I can't express enough how these in60Learning books are so easy to read as well as interesting and educational. I'd highly recommend them. Also, although the book is mainly about The Battle of Thermopylae (obviously) it also has some interesting information about the ancient world. I can't imagine that not everyone is at least a little bit intrigued by all of that.

5 interesting facts I learned:

  • The modern adjective 'Spartan', meaning to have an indifference to comforts and luxeries, comes from the lifestyle of the ancient Spartan people.


  • Possessions were held in common. This means that if a Spartan needed to borrow dogs or horses for hunting he could borrow his neighbor's ans vice versa.


  • Children were considered the equal responsibility of all. A neighbour was just as free to reward or punish a child, as was the child's own family.


  • The upbringing of children was heavy regulated. When a child was born, the newborn would be presented to the elders of their specific tribe where they would judge the strength and physical structure of the child and then decide whether the child would be kept or exposed to the elements and left to die.


  • Sparta held games and contests of strength and fitness for men and women alike. The women of Sparta were known to work out and keep fit just like the men.

Some photos and pictures related to The Battle of Thermopylae:

View of the Thermopylae pass at the area of the Phocian Wall. In ancient times the coastline was where the modern road lies, or even closer to the mountain.
{photo is public domain}

Map showing Greek and Persian advances to Thermopylae and Artemisium
{photo is public domain}

Greek phalanx formation based on sources from the Perseus Project
{photo is public domain}

Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David, 1814. This is a juxtaposition of various historical and legendary elements from the Battle of Thermopylae.
{photo is public domain}




Check out my other in60Learning review:


More in60Learning reviews to come soon!



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Accidental Tryst by Natasha Boyd

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.



Accidental Tryst by Natasha Boyd
Expected publication: March 6th 2018

A new standalone seriously (steamy) romantic comedy! Meet Trystan Montgomery. Suit monkey, commitment-phobic serial dater. No more than three dates, unless he hasn't ... you know.

Emmy: What a disaster! I only just made my flight to New York to help my uncle, and the phone I’m holding is not mine! It seems to belong to some commitment-phobic serial dater who’s never made it past four dates (according to the constant notifications he's getting from his fake dating profile...) And worse? I have a sinking feeling it’s that hot suit-monkey with the arctic grey eyes I just had a run-in with at the airport. Somehow I have to persuade him not to get a new phone until I get back. My whole life is on that phone. It’s only a few days. Surely we can handle it.

Trystan : This is a joke, right? My life could not get more f*cked up. I’m in the middle of selling my company and on my way to a funeral and that hot mess hippie-chick stole my freaking phone. I’m not sure how she convinced me not to immediately walk into a smart phone store and get a new one, but now she’s going to have to play stand in and distract me while I deal with my long-avoided and estranged family. I don’t have my dating apps after all, and frankly she’s pretty funny. And sexy. And why can’t I stop texting her? And now we’re talking. And … look, I’ll admit that I usually run for the hills the morning after, but the morning after phone sex? That’s not really real, right?


A new book by one of my favorite authors coming in out in less than two weeks! Natasha Boyd's book are always highly enjoyable and great reads. I'm sooooo excited because this romantic comedy of hers sounds hilarious. I can't wait to read it!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes by in60Learning

Title: Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes
Author: in60Learning
Publication: January 31st 2018

Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Purchase Link: Amazon

Rating: 4/5

Smarter in sixty minutes.
Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each. Long before historians added “the Great” to his name, Alexander stated, “I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.” He certainly lived up to this ambition, conquering most of the known world in just 13 years before his death at age 33. Though undefeated in his lifetime, Alexander died unsatisfied--he always wanted more. His ambitious personality comes as no surprise considering his upbringing: born to powerful parents, he studied under Aristotle and grew up believing himself a descendant of the Greek heroes Achilles and Heracles. His parents and tutors raised him to believe he had something to prove, and this book serves as an account of what he accomplished.

I absolutely love Classical antiquity and I've always been intrigued by Alexander the Great but I have to admit that I actually don't know that much about him. So obviously this was a perfect read for me since I learned so much more about him. This is also the second in60Learning book I have read so far and I haven't been disappointed yet. I've really enjoyed this book!

The book was quick to read like all in60Learning books are but even so it was really interesting and went pretty deep into Alexander the Great, his family and the time he lived in. It was very informative but written in a way that was easy to read and very engaging. 

Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes by in60Learning was a really great read. With chapters like 'The Foundation of an Empire', 'Proving his Worth' and 'The Beginning of the End' as well as many more, this book gives its readers a concise yet immersed view on Alexander the Great. 


Bust of a young Alexander the Great from the Hellenistic era, British Museum
{photo is public domain}

Aristotle Tutoring Alexander, by American painter Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
{photo is public domain}

Statue of Alexander in Istanbul Archaeology Museum
{photo is public domain}

Detail of Alexander Mosaic, showing Battle of Issus, from the House of the Faun, Pompeii
{photo is public domain}



Check out my other in60Learning review:
Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt


More in60Learning reviews to come soon!


Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Blitz: The Devil Makes Three by Evelyn Vox + Giveaway (INTL)


The Devil Makes Three
Evelyn Vox
(Share Me, #1)
Publication date: September 8th 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance

LEXIE
I know what you must think of me.
You’re going to think I’m a whoring trophy wife.
You have to believe me when I tell you, I do love my husband.
I tried to stop it. I tried to resist him.
But there was no resisting Derek Drake.
And if you were me, you wouldn’t have been able to, either.

DEREK
As long as I can remember, the beast has been inside of me.
It’s a monster with dark desires and carnal needs.
When it sees something it wants, it won’t be denied.
Alexandra Hale was a Princess, a spoiled brat who needed to be taught a lesson.
The moment the beast saw her, it claimed her. It was only a matter of time before it got out and took her.
It didn’t help that she so clearly wanted to be taken.

When Manhattan socialite Lexie Hale hires the dark, brooding Derek Drake to remodel her house in the Hamptons, she never imagined the deep, forbidden desires he’d awaken inside of her. There’s just one little problem: Lexie is married. How long can she resist Derek’s promise to dominate her and take her in ways her husband never could? And what will happen when her husband finds out?
Share Me: The Devil Makes Three is a steamy, heart racing erotic romance about the forbidden lust and even more forbidden desires between a married woman and her Alpha male contractor. It includes cheating, consensual, hard BDSM, an MFM scene, and a taboo cuckold relationship. Not for the faint of heart!
First novel in the Share Me Series
A Club Midnight Novel
EXCERPT:
I pulled up the album full of photos I’d saved and we went through them. I swiped away, explaining what I liked about each one, nerves fueling my gabbing more than anything else. He listened without saying a word, nodding here and there.
“This is my favorite picture,” I told him.
It was an ornate master bathroom with a huge tub, cream and gold accents, and white marble. He reached out and angled the phone so he could have a better look. Our hands brushed against each other, but instead of moving away, he let his rest against mine. The light, simple contact sent a shock through my system, and I knew he could hear the way my breath hitched when he touched me.
“You don’t need to flatter me, Alexandra,” he said, looking up at me, no, into me, with those dazzlingly gray eyes.
Like some bashful school girl, I was still distracted by the press of his hand against mine. I decided that I liked the way my full name sounded, coming out of those sensual lips of his. He was looking at me with the intensity at full blaze again. It sent a thrill of butterflies shooting down my stomach, and I took a moment too long to reply.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean you don’t have to show me pictures of my own work to convince me to take on this project.”
“I had no idea,” I breathed, “this really is my favorite of all the pictures. It’s a bathroom fit for–”
“A goddess,” he finished my sentence, never releasing me from his searing gaze.
His face was close. Too close.
I really couldn’t get over the color of his eyes. I’d never seen eyes like his before, like polished slate. The tension between us ramped up to an unbearable pitch, and he looked like he was about to devour me.
What scared me most was that I wanted him to.




Author Bio:
My readers and I are one in the same: we like it dark, and we like it dirty. If you like dominant men, strong-as-hell heroines, and heart-racing plots with lots of kink, then welcome to our wicked little club. My characters will take you on a wild ride as they give into their most forbidden desires, uncovering their truest selves along the way. Always steamy and extra sinful, my romances will have you embracing your dark side in no time.
Evelyn lives in Brooklyn, and some might be so bold as to call her a *gasp* hipster. When she's not busy ordering a craft beer or drinking kombucha, she works part-time at a wellness center. No matter what she's doing, her mind lives full-time in smutland, always thinking of new ways to torture those hunky Alpha males and the ladies they love to play with.
Check out my website for updates, newsletter sign-ups, and giveaways!




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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: February 17, 2018 + FairyLoot Unboxing {TALK FAERIE TO ME}

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.



First I'm sharing my unboxing of January's Fairyloot Talk Faerie To Me. I thought this book couldn't have been more amazing. Definitely my favorite out of all the ones I've gotten so far. ♥

Unboxing:



Exclusive 'What Breaks You' Pillowcase featuring a quote from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas designed by Evie Seo.

Exclusive 'Prince Cardan' (from The Cruel Prince) Candle by Meraki Candles.

Exclusive Vegan Seelie & Unseelie Lip Balm by GeekyClean. I got unseelie! 

Faerieland Colouring Book by Michael O'Mara, which was exclusively made for Fairyloot

Exclusive 'Ilyrian' Magnetic Bookmarks by Dreamy&Co: Feyre and Rhysand from ACOTAR series.


Two stunning art prints and text illustrations by Diana Dworak (Aelin and Rowan) and Stella Bookish Art (quotes by Julie Kagawa and Cassandra Clare)

The Book of the Month:


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 
+ bookplate and prince Cardan print and letter from Holly. I'm also currently reading this book right now. So far I'm really enjoying it!


My favorite item (aside from the book) was the Faerieland colouring book and the Feyre and Rhysand magnetic bookmarks. But I loved all items!

What items from this box do you like?
~



Book haul from the past 2 weeks:

Bought: 
The Scottish Stone Series: Book 1-4 by Kelsey McKnight
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta

Bought:
The Complete Circuit Trilogy
by Rhett C. Bruno
The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

For Review:
Byzantine Candor by Charles Hubbard

For Review:
Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt by in60Learning {My Review}


Freebies:
Stiger's Tigers by Marc Alan Edelheit
Wicked Favor by Sawyer Bennett

Freebies:
Boer War: A History From Beginning To End by Hourly History
A Love Thing by by Laura Kaye, Aurora Rose Reynolds, CD Reiss, Louise Bay, Cara McKenna, Lili Valente, Tia Louise, Skye Warren, KA Linde, Tamsen Parker






Have you read any of these books or which ones do you like the sound of?

Have a great weekend and happy reading, everyone! ♥