Club Spotlight: Modern Mythology Book Club
With the flurry of increasingly creative (even bizarre) flyers for new clubs at the start of each school year, it’s easy for more niche offerings to fly under the radar. The Modern Mythology Book Club, however, founded by Sophia Woo (‘24), is determined to stand its ground.
Described by Woo as “a comfortable space for students to talk about mythology-inspired books and literature of all kinds,” the club is open to members with all levels of familiarity with mythology. Over the course of the year, members of the club will read various books with a wide range of mythological roots, starting with those from Greco-Roman culture and then moving on to those from lesser known sources.
Woo says not to worry if you don’t have much experience reading about mythology, as the club, “is a place for students to learn more about myth-inspired books and mythology from around the world.” Her goal is to introduce the joy of mythology to as many students as possible, and she emphasizes that the club is open to all students, regardless of whether or not they take Latin and are well-versed in Greco-Roman mythology.
Right now, the club is reading and discussing The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which you’ve probably heard of if you've spent any amount of time on #BookTok over the last two years. Based on the story of Achilles, a hero of the Trojan War, who has just one fatal weakness, and his best friend/presumed lover Patroclus, the novel combines fact and fiction with history and romance. It is set during the Greek Heroic Era and essentially retells the events of Homer’s Iliad from Patroclus’ point of view.
The club’s next pick is Julie Berry’s Lovely War, a book inspired by Greek mythology. It’s the tale of two romances during the days of World War I and World War II, as told by the goddess Aphrodite, as she attempts to avoid facing judgment on Mount Olympus. In a world where, “gods hold the fates—and the hearts—of four mortals in their hands,” love has to prove itself the most transcendent power of all.
Other titles the club plans to take on this year include The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (inspired by Greek Mythology), Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (inspired by Greek mythology), and Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales).
Although the name of the club connotes yet another book club, Woo doesn’t want it to be just a reading group and has plans to expand it to other avenues. She wants to work with Greenville and Seely Place Elementary Schools to host events introducing kids to mythology and mythology-related literature. She says that, among other fun events that are in the works, the club will host “movie nights and book exchanges” and even do some volunteer work.
Club member Noah Oh (‘24) says that even though he has only been to one meeting, he is looking forward to actually picking up a book unrelated to English class and reading it. “My reading is currently at a third-grade level,” he jokes, “so hopefully this will help with that.” Similarly, Ted Janaqi (‘24) is interested in exploring and learning about the “interesting genre” that is mythology-inspired literature.
The Modern Mythology Book Club is open to all students in grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. Meetings occur one or two Thursdays a month after school in D4. The next meeting date is to be decided, so if you’re interested in joining or even if you just want to get more information about the club, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Google Classroom with the code 2xp6afq. Hope to see you at the next meeting!