Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Origins of the Alphabets

I picked up Origins of the Alphabets by Joseph Naveh at a booksale because it seemed to be the type of thing I would be interested in. I was not disappointed. I love anything to do with archaeology and classical history, so it was a treat for me to read about the origins of alphabetic systems of writing. The author traces the developments of the Phoenecian, Hebrew, Greek, Roman, Aramaic and Arabic alphabets from their common origin to their later stages.

The book is full of great photographs of ancient writing, and is clearly written and easy to read. It appears that it was intended for an introductory college course. Those interested in archaeology or ancient history might get a kick out of this small book; those who are not already interested might find it a bit dry.

4/5 stars

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