Sunday Salon: Want To Join Us in an Atwood Read?

My friend Col and I are planning on reading Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad together, and we want to invite you to join us. We’ll be reading it the week of May 23 through May 28, 2011, with a review to be posted on Monday, May 30. Of course, if anything strikes our fancy before the 30th, we may post on that as well.

If you’re reading for the Read-a-Myth Challenge, or the Once Upon a Time 5 Challenge, this would be a perfect fit.

Here are some reviews to further pique your curiosity:

“In this exquisitely poised book, Atwood blends intimate humour with a finely tempered outrage at the terrible injustice of the maids, phrasing both in language as potent as a curse.” –Sunday Times (UK)
“Penelope flies with the help of the sardonic, dead-pan voice Atwood lends her, a tone — half Dorothy Parker, half Desperate Housewives.” –The Independent (UK)
“Alter[s] one’s point of view toward [the story], imbuing it with a modern sensibility yet revealing some eternal truths about men, women, and the issue of power, including the power to shape a narrative. . . . Atwood shows with intelligence and wit just how complicated and unpretty love can be.” –O, The Oprah Magazine
“Along with her presentation of the hallucinatory maids and Penelope’s straight talk about her husband, her girly laments about the ferocious competition of Helen and her queenly worries about fending off the suitors, Atwood’s brilliance emerges in the skillful way she has woven her own research on the anthropological underpinnings of Homer’s epic into the patterns of her own stylized version of the poem. . . . A fascinating and rather attractive version of this old, old story, a creation tale about the founding of our civilization meant to be heard over and over and over.” –Chicago Tribune
Will you join us?
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33 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Want To Join Us in an Atwood Read?”

  1. Atwood is one of my favorite living writers. I haven't read this one though I have a copy on my shelf. I'll definitely try to join in if I have time. Bravo for coming up with the idea.

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  2. Interesting…I may just have to join in on this one. That is if I can get it from the library in time 🙂 I've read The Handmaid's Tale but nothing else by Atwood so it would be a nice change to try her again.

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  3. Anthony, so glad you'll be joining in. An Atwood take on anything is irresistable, isn't it? Such a wonderful author…Mrs. B, I hope you'll have the time to read with us, or if not that you can come by and leave a few of your thoughts on the review posts.Tiny Library, I'm glad you recommend it! It's one of the few Atwood's I've not yet read.Ally, thanks for the suggestion. I've not heard of Weight or its author, so it's good to have more books for the 'get to someday' pile.C.B. James, debate is a good thing! Especially among those of us who are passionate readers, right?!Samantha, The Handmaid's Tale is one of my least favorite of Atwood's work. When she does her futuristic/sci fi stuff I'm less enthralled than with the works like Cat's Eye or The Robber Bride. Don't get me wrong, I think she's a fabulous writer, but it would be fun if you had a chance to read something else by her.Col, I know! Weren't those reviews compelling? Like, I want to download it on my Nook and forgo the library altogether!Frances, and I love reading with you so I'm extra happy that you're joining in! XOXOBina, how funny that you haven't read anything for your own challenge yet (and I was feeling a bit behind!). I'm glad you're joinin in!

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  4. I won't have time to get to this one right now, but I am very much looking forward to your thoughts on it. I've had it on my TBR wishlist for YEARS!!!

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  5. Andi, I just downloaded it on my Nook, and after reading the free sample that they tease you with, as well as the foreward by Margaret herself, I can say that I'm really looking forward to it. Can you possibly squeeze in 224 pages? If not, we'll try to whet your appetite even further with our reviews.

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  6. You're better than I, Becky, in using the library instead of a credit card. Hope you can find it! You'll have it read before I can open my Nook if I know you. 😉

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  7. Glad you'll be checking in, Diane. Which Atwood is your favorite? Mine is The Robber Bride, which is in my top ten list. You know, right in there with The Virginian. Yeah, Vasilly! Glad you're in!!

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  8. I was going to say exactly the same thing Diane said (several Atwoods on my shelf, but not this one) and then I saw her comment. So . . . ditto. 🙂 Have fun reading!

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  9. This is wonderful, Bellezza! I am quite bad at read-alongs. So I will stay on the side, but I will look forward to reading your reviews and that of other read-along participants. Have a wonderful time during the read-along!

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  10. One of the good things about this particular book, besides that it's Atwood's, is that it's short. I think that makes for a better read-along. I can't do long books, like Bleak House very well, because I have to read it all in one go or I lose the meaning and momentum. I'm going to be glad to finally have something read for these challenges, too. Looking forward to your thoughts as the reviews are posted, Vishy.

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  11. I am getting tempted by your comment that 'The Penelopiad' is short 🙂 There is still time for May 23 and so I will think about it. Yes, 'Bleak House' is really huge! I thought I will look for a 'thin' Dickens book to read and I discovered that dear Dickens has written only 'thick' books! (with the exception of 'A Christmas Carol')

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  12. Oh no! 🙂 Jeanette Winterson is a must for any woman that loves good books. She has changed the way I see the literature written after the '80s and she's become one of my top 3 all time favourite authors. The Passion and Written on the Body are the ones to start with 🙂

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  13. I have this one on my shelves too so I will see if I can get to it when you all are reading it! I've heard amazing things about it and The Odyssey is a favorite of mine.

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  14. Yeah, Amy, welcome!Vishy, that's one of my jobs: talking people into reading more books. I'm glad it's possibly going to work out for you. And a thin Dickens' is an oxymoron.Ally, now I'm really excited about reading my first Winterson. Thanks for giving me two titles to start with.Kristen, I'd love to have you join us. I haven't read the real Odyssey in its entirety, only the bits I find in children's books for my class, so I'm wondering if I shouldn't read that epic as well. Or, first.

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  15. Simon, it's so good to hear from you! I'm glad you found me again, over here on Blogger. I hope you can uncover your edition of The Penelopiad from wherever it lies. 🙂

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  16. I can't commit to a readalong right now as I just freed myself of all of my reading "obligations" and plan to read whatever I want, when I want for a few months. However, I will be following this closely and am anxious to read what everyone thinks of this one.

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  17. I will happily be joining in as long as I am organized enough to get it at the library in time. I'm excited to read this after finishing the Odyssey and plunging my way through Ulysses. This should be much more enjoyable!

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  18. Will be following you in spirit, as have my first review copy to post on, and my tbr is beyond scaling at the mo, but will follow with interest as am in the myths challenge.

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  19. I have read the book and will chip in with some thoughts when your review is published! Best of luck! Thank you for reading this for my challenge. 🙂

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  20. I'm very embarrassed about not having read a myth book yet! 😀 But I'll start The Penelopiad tomorrow on my commute :)Also, I posted about your readalong on the our challenge blog!

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