August 28, 2009

Favorite Quote Friday

Joan unwrapped the strips of linen, then gasped as she saw what they had concealed. It was a book, bound in the Eastern fashion with leather-covered wooden boards.

"It is my own," said Aesculapius. "I made it myself, some years ago. It is an edition of Homer—the original Greek in the front half of the book, and a Latin translation in the back. It will help you keep your knowledge of the language fresh until the time you can begin your studies again."

Joan was speechless. A book of her own! Such a privilege was enjoyed only by monks and scholars of the highest rank. She opened it, looking at line after line of Aesculapius's neat uncial letters, filling the pages with words of inexpressible beauty. Aesculapius watched her, his eyes filled with tender sadness.

"Do not forget, Joan. Do not ever forget."

by Donna Woolfolk Cross

I read this in February 2002. Here's what I wrote in my book journal:

I read this for The Book Spot group read [a Yahoo group]. Informative and entertaining. A provocative work of historical fiction. Based on the legend of a female pope back in the 800s. Doesn't sound too exciting, does it? But the characters are well-written and the plot is a non-stop adventure. It's extremely readable (not a dry, boring paragraph to be found!), yet provocative and educational. There's a bit of romance that keeps things moving along, too. There is a significant amount of "near misses" for Joan and the reader must have a willingness to suspend disbelief in order to not be put off by Joan's incredible luck. I caught myself shaking my head several times, whispering, "Phew! That was close!" A real page-turner. Will read more by this author. Highly recommend. Rating: A (9/10 Terrific! Couldn't put it down.)

It's fun to look back on my journal entries, but they're certainly not as polished as my reviews for this blog!

I re-read Pope Joan a few years ago and was a little concerned it wouldn't be as good as the first time I read it. I was pleasantly surprised that it was just as entertaining. This is a wonderful book. Definitely a keeper!


  1. That was fun and I loved that quote. Makes me treasure my books even that much more and I would like to read this one!!

  2. I love the idea of a book journal. I have not kept one but may need to start one up. I am visiting from Dolce Bellezza!!

  3. Thanks for the review, and the quote. That sounds like an interesting book.

    I don't have a book journal - but I used to have a journal where I would write my favorite quotes from different books.

  4. Such wonderful book ideas here! Thanks!

  5. The review and quote were great, as are your beach photos :)

  6. I keep going back and forth on reading this one. I'm not sure what it's going to take to make me pick it up.

  7. You're doing a good job of making me want to finally pick this one up! :)

  8. Staci - Oh, you're in for a treat if you haven't had a chance to read Pope Joan. It's one of my favorites.

    Sara - I started keeping a reading journal back in 1995. It's fun to flip through them and see what my reactions were about certain books. It's also fun to see a notation about a book that I have absolutely no recollection of ever reading! ;) Thanks for stopping by. Bellezza is one of my dearest friends. I hope to meet her in person someday.

    Angie - You're welcome. And, yes, it's a very interesting (and highly entertaining) book.

    I think it's a lot of fun to be able to go back and read some favorite passages from books I've read. Good idea to keep them all in one place. Mine are scattered about in 12 journals!

    Pamela - Thank you!

    Diane - Thank you so much. You can see more pictures on my photo blog, if you like. Just go to the main page of this blog and click on the camera in the left sidebar.

    Joy - I wonder what's holding you back??

    Nat - Yay! Go for it!


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