Mini Audiobook Reviews: Paleontology & Spirituality #NonfictionNovember

Posted November 14, 2022 by Stephanie in Audiobook, Nonfiction, nonfiction november, Review / 13 Comments

Title: The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times
Author: Adrienne Mayor
Publicatipn: February 23, 2021
Genre: Nonfiction, Paleontology, History, Ancient History
Find it on: Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 4/5★

Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants–these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact–in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans.

As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground.

Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.

I never would’ve connected paleontology with classical antiquity, which are both favorite topics of mine, but that’s what made The First Fossil Hunter all the more intriguing when I started reading it. Adrienne Mayor’s theory in this book is that we can trace certain aspects from mythology like griffins, cyclops and even the Greek heroes back to skeletal remains of prehistoric animals like dinosaurs and mammoths. It was a highly fascinating read!

Donna Postel was the narrator. She did a fantastic job and I would love to listen to more audiobooks narrated by her. I will definitely be on the search for more from Donna!



Title: Witches, Heretics & Warrior Women: Ignite Your Rebel Spirit Through Magick & Ritual
Author: Phoenix LeFae
Publication: 22 March, 2022
Genre: Nonfiction, Spirituality, Witchcraft, History
Find it on: Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 2/5★

Take Back Your Power and Unleash It on the World.

Filled with transformative stories of powerful women from legend and history, this book explores themes that witches, heretics, and warriors confront in a patriarchal world. Join the fight against the status quo by learning how to invoke your own defiant female ancestors and the lessons they represent. Each chapter examines a topic like standing tall in your beliefs, finding your voice, embracing your sexuality, and loving your body.

This book will inspire you through the stories of Circe, Anne Boleyn, Marie Laveau, Mary Magdalene, Jeanne D’Arc, Salome, Boudicca, Moving Robe Woman, and Harriet Tubman. Phoenix LeFae also shares hands-on practices-including rituals, crafts, and meditations-designed to support you as you connect to your inner rebel. Learn how to create shrines, connect to your community, work with essential oils, and more as you find and embrace your own personal power.

I initially wanted to read this book because I saw it would have chapters about Circe, Anne Boleyn, Marie Laveau, Mary Magdalene, Jeanne D’Arc, Salome, Boudicca, Moving Robe Woman, and Harriet Tubman but other than the few things that were said about these women, I didn’t particularly like it. The writing just wasn’t it for me. It was all very repetitious and made me cringe a lot. Also, the chapter about Marie Laveau didn’t feel exactly right to have written the way she did.

Senn Annis was the narrator. I didn’t dislike her narration especially but it wasn’t also the best I’ve ever heard, to be honest.


13 responses to “Mini Audiobook Reviews: Paleontology & Spirituality #NonfictionNovember

  1. I once saw a TV show that talked about ancient paleontology. I don’t remember what the show was, but it mentioned scientists finding dinosaur bones in coffins because old-time people accidentally dug them up and then decided to give them a proper burial. 🙂

  2. I love the sound of Fossil Hunters and definitely want to get that one! I’ve long thought that legends of dragons or whartever werre inspired maybe by fossils or real creatures, so this is a fascinating idea.

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