This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. This is Mary Beard sharing book reviews of books about classical topics. Even though some were interesting, witty, and well-written, it didn’t hold up as a ‘good book’ to me. It saddens me to say that this was the first Mary Beard book I didn’t really enjoy.
It feels like she was contractually obligated to write a book, and just took these book reviews she had lying around and made it into a book. I also didn’t appreciate how a few of them were about interesting topics, but after the book review was over - the topic was finished. I think Mary Beard excels when she writes a book about a single topic, and writes deeply about it.
Two examples of books like that are that vein include: her book about Pompeii, and The Parthenon.
Book #77 in my 2022 Reading Challenge