Reading Roundup: Women, War & Weird Beliefs

The idea of a Resonance Calendar seems to have come from the community surrounding the notetaking app Notion, but I’ve adapted it for how I use and I’ve found it really useful as a practice. The idea is to keep track of and reflect on the various things that you read, watch and listen to. Each month, as a part of my spaced repetition learning practice, I select the most interesting of those things and share them here.


  • I made some progress on Brotherhood of Kings by Amanda H. Podany and learned that Sargon was the first emperor in history and the first person with the goal of conquering the known world. I knew he was important, but I didn’t realize that he was the first.
  • I picked up Quantum Shadows by L. E. Modesitt on sale. It made me want to go back with a hardcopy and post-it notes and annotate it. If I had to explain it as a 10-second pitch I would say it’s a mashup of Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld & an intro to world religions textbook… from the perspective of a rationalist who thinks atheists are ridiculous. It’s kind of a screed about how religion is fine until proselytization turns into armed conversion… that goes into a lot of detail about fancy lamb dinners and wine pairings.
  • As a palette cleanser, I picked up Reflections (Indexing #2) by Seanan McGuire. It reminded me of Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series, except urban fantasy.
  • I enjoyed The Queen’s Weapons by Anne Bishop, mostly because I enjoy how thoroughly ‘from the id’ Anne Bishop writes. It’s a story about bullying and teenage cruelty and how hard it can be for adults to come down hard on young people early enough to stop them from ruining everyone’s lives. Her worldbuilding always hooks me because the society allows for the sorts of extreme violence in retaliation that would be unacceptable in the real world but are just considered normal in this one and the magic system makes it sort of work. It’s an unusual juxtaposition of “coming of age” stories and family drama and also international violence and court politics.


  • I discovered Dan Davis, an author who also writes Bronze Age stories, and his really awesome youtube channel. This video sort of summarizes the parts of The Horse The Wheel And Language by David Anthony that are relevant to the Yamnaya Culture of the Pontic Steppes.
  • Watched episode 7 of Altered Carbon. My husband expected me to dislike it because I’ve complained about flashback scenes before, but this one was incredibly well executed. The flashback was necessary to contextualize the plot, the episode moved the plot forward in a big way, and I was never twiddling my thumbs wanting to get back to the main timeline because it was clear that this was filling in information the viewer needed at precisely that moment in order to understand what was going on in the main timeline.





Did you learn anything from this? Have any insights to share? Lingering questions? Something you read recently you think I’ll be interested in? Let me know in the comments!


Eleanor teaches Ancient Civilizations and spends the bits of time left over writing stories that bring history -- and magic -- to life. She enjoys rock climbing, bullet journaling, & gardening focused on plants you can actually eat.

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