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Books I’m Reading with Martha : Cleopatra

Martha announced the second book in her book club today. It’s called Cleopatra: A Life by author Stacy Schiff. I’ve been reading it on my Sony Reader (which I love!) as part of the Martha Circle campaign and it is a really interesting book. It is meticulously researched and very well written. I didn’t know much about Cleopatra before this book.

Cleopatra became queen when she was 18 years old. She was a brilliant ruler and such an intriguing figure. My favorite theme in this book is women and power. It is interesting to me to see how women have used their power or influence even when they live in a male dominated society. This book also discusses (of course) her relationships with the two most powerful men at that time. I also like that the author dispels many myths created over thousands of years but with all the research actually makes the story of Cleopatra more dynamic (the real story is much more dramatic than a Hollywood portrayal.) Cleopatra is fascinating. You can read along with Martha and get your copy of Cleopatra over here.

For the next few days Sony is offering $30 off the Reader Pocket Edition. Read along and tweet your thoughts about the book using the hashtag #booksimreading.

Egypt is one of those places I am hoping to see when we move to Europe next month. Fingers Crossed. Have you ever been to Egypt?

  1. Lauren Kay

    December 13, 2010

    I teared up when I saw the pyramids; I was so excited to see them. I had been wanting to see them since I was a little kid. Egypt has got to be one of the coolest places I've ever been. Now I just need to get to Greece. I hope you get there!

  2. Sylvia

    December 13, 2010

    I've been there twice and here is what you need to know: Egyptians are the friendliest, most welcoming people on earth. They will make you feel like you have been friends with them before. Prepare to have your picture taken with loads of children where ever you go. They will make you will feel like a rock star even though you tell them you are just a "regular" person. Cairo has horrid air pollution. Luxor is worth the trip {by train if you are truly adventerous} and much more relaxing. Learn a few words of Egyptian and you will enjoy yourself immensely {also worth reading if you haven't are Anwar and Jehan Sadat's autobiographies}.

  3. janeannechovy

    December 14, 2010

    I loved Egypt, too! Best parts were Luxor/Karnak (by overnight train), including a Nile boat ride, and racing camels (really!) by the pyramids. Just don't try to climb up–they really frown on that. Also got some cool silver jewelry (wish I'd bought more different kinds of stuff) in the Khan el Khalili.


    December 14, 2010

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  5. Darcie

    December 14, 2010

    went to Cairo during our honeymoon. what an honor to be able to view the pyramids in person, along with take a boat on the Nile and visit mosques. so many beautiful and amazing places to visit. i hope you make it there.

  6. Willa

    December 19, 2010

    I went to Egypt when I was young, like 14, with a student exchange program which really turned out to just be a fancy tour, but i had a great time all the same. I would agree that Luxor was one of my favorite places, the temples were great. Overall, I think the mosques I visited were my favorite part. Such incredibly beautiful and sacred feeling spaces, and hearing the daily calls to prayer. All the hotels we stayed in there were really lovely and I bet would be great with kids…a lot of them have a sort of retro-feeling colonial touch, for the foreign tourists, so beautiful gardens and grounds to explore, drinks and moist towels in the lobby. I think it was the Luxor Hilton where there was a giant outdoor chess set (3 foot tall pieces!). Make sure to eat lots of fresh falafel and pita, and the hibiscus iced tea!!

  7. Rebekka Seale

    December 20, 2010

    No, but I think I'll get a chance to go this year and am so excited!

  8. ROK

    January 6, 2011

    I'm catching up on my blog reading—I've been to Egypt (we set up camp in Cairo) with my 2.5yr old daughter. It is a reasonable flight from Paris (thats where we connected through) and very cheap once you get there. It was nothing to hire a guide and driver for the week (which is nice, b/c you'll want carseats for the boys–crazy traffic). Anyway, from my research there seemed to be few family trips to Cairo so I always comment on it! No problems with the babe, just like any other city trip. And the pyramids are cool for everyone(and they can run around and play in the sand–its not stodgy at all).

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