Vanguard Spotlight Book of the Month: July 2024

Monthly Reads from ASU-Beebe Students, Faculty and Staff.

ASU-Beebe Book Favorites

Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book. Instructions can be found on the instructions tab or at

Featured ASU-Beebe Faculty Member: Blake Bell

About Blake

Blake Bell is a History Instructor at ASUB. He has been here since the summer of 2023.






About the Book



American Gods

By Neil Gaiman

Review by Blake Bell

American Gods is a masterfully crafted narrative that delves into the power of myth and the enduring need for belief. Employing the reliable “Hero’s Journey” motif, Gaiman crafts a cerebral epic that pits the gods of antiquity against the gods of modernity. Set against the rapidly evolving landscape of American culture and spirituality, Gaiman's protagonist, Shadow Moon, is enlisted by Wednesday, an incarnation of Odin, to search for and rally the gods of Norse, Slavic, African, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Canaanite mythologies to fight for survival. Their adversaries are the gods of the modern world; Technology, Media, and the Internet.

The gods of antiquity draw their strength from memory, sacrifice, and celebration. However, in the four centuries since the beginning of the Scientific Revolution, they have slowly weakened, with some even dying because they’ve been forgotten altogether. Shadow and Odin’s adventure through America introduces the reader to an eccentric cast of characters as he searches for the old gods that have survived. Many have integrated into society and live alongside us. Some are moderately thriving in this new world, while others live on the fringes waiting for their impending demise. One constant is apparent: none wield the power they had in ancient times.

Meanwhile, their opponents' influence and control over people have grown exponentially in recent decades. The new gods, Technology, Media, and the Internet, are confident in their ability to eradicate the weakened gods of humanity’s past. However, arrogance is a trait Odin has used against his enemies for centuries. If history and mythology teach us one thing, it’s that you can never count out the cunning old Norse deity.

Gaiman effortlessly blends myth, fantasy, and reality to take readers on a journey exploring the intersection of tradition and progress. This thought-provoking book is truly a unique experience, appealing to fans across genres.

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