March 11, 2011

three-bullet book review

Three-Bullet Book Review: The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (2009)

  • captivating portrayal of a historical prelude to major change: the years when Aristotle was Alexander the Great's teacher, just before Alexander conquered the known world
  • subtle exploration of teaching / mentoring, including its potential and limitations
  • humanizes major historical figures by revealing their complexities


Definitely, even if you're not a Classics nerd like me. Lyon's writing is smooth and dextrous, with lush attention to sensual detail. Historical fiction's necessarily predetermined endings can sometimes limit its allure for me, but Lyon's strong characters and gorgeous writing kept me coming back.


  1. I have very low threshold for historical fiction. Just can't do it.

  2. The is totally outside my usual brand of reading...and yet, I am interested in books about teaching/mentoring. One day two years from now I'll buy this book...and belatedly recall you that you recommended it. Plant seeds...that bloom years later. That is the mantra of teachers.

  3. Hey, I'm here! We have a totally packed conference schedule but if you are free Thurs. night 8ish and later I might be meeting up with Ms. Chalkdust & Boots for drinkies. I totally get it if you're not up for late nights right now though too. Let me know.

  4. She's reading in our reading series next week and I usually like to horn in on the suppers with the authors. Le sigh. I remember reading just for fun ...

  5. @LHdM: I hear you. Historical fiction is tricky, especially if it's set in an era about which you know anything.

    @Terri:Aristotle would definitely agree with your teaching mantra.

    @Cynthia: Welcome to Boston! Let me figure out Thursday night and I'll shoot you an email. It should work.

  6. @D-Med: You should totally go to dinner and report back on whether she's personable and what she was wearing. Important details.

  7. This sounds like a book worth checking out Thanks for the review.