My children are studying ancient history this year, and as part of that—and as part of my Cavalcade of Classics—we read The Odyssey aloud together.
Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey is awesome. Odysseus is such an arrogant jerk. He caused so many of his own problems yet Homer seems to love him all the more for it. My daughter said at one point, “This is a really Odysseus-centered book, isn’t it?” which is kind of an obvious statement given the title, but I get what she means. It’s not just a book about Odysseus, it’s a book that’s devoted to portraying him as a hero even when he makes really stupid mistakes or lies for no reason, although I suppose that those things just make him more god-like, at least from a Greek Mythology standpoint.
One of our favorite sections:
My children and I laughed at so many parts of this book, but naked Odysseus jumping on the threshold to announce his killing spree really cracked us up. Playtime is over, indeed.