Confronting the Classics, Mary Beard, 2013

Hard to imagine an entire book of literary reviews of books on Classic themes and topics being so engaging, but it was terrific.  Beard, a Classics Professor at Cambridge, is the primary Classics editor for the LRB and TLS and often publishes in the NYRB as well, so the books reviewed are nearly all from the last five years.  A rich trove of the history (lots of emperors) and philosophy of the Greeks and Romans as well as the challenge of translation.  Her 2011 lecture at the NYPL entitled “Do the Classics Have a Future” is a wonderful introduction.