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The Penelopiad
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus | Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, “I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.
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BookishBecky
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LaraS

The gods often mumble.

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ImperfectCJ
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Mehso-so

Finished while cooking split pea soup. This, along with Madeline Miller's Circe, was a valuable addition to my reading of The Odyssey, but it didn't really grab me. The link between the slain maids and the maidens of Artemis is intriguing, but it seems underdeveloped and academic. And while I'm not sure I fault Penelope for being snarky, I would hope that a few thousand years would provide equanimity of a sort.

jchawkins To be fair, a lot of Margaret Atwood's writing comes off as academic. 2mo
ImperfectCJ @jchawkins Good point. But this did seem a little more like "isn't this a cool idea?" without really being tied into the story well. I expect more subtlety and finesse from Ms Atwood. 2mo
jchawkins Fair. This is one by her that I haven't read...I should give it a go. Have you seen her course on MasterClass? It's marvelous! 2mo
ImperfectCJ @jchawkins I've never been sure whether the MasterClasses were worth it or a gimmick. Sounds like hers, at least, is the real deal. Thanks for the recommendation! Have you read her retelling of The Tempest from the Hogarth Shakespeare series? Not all of them work for me, but I love that one. 2mo
18 likes1 stack add4 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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Fighting a virus is a good excuse for an impromptu readathon. Although I suppose Atwood's Maddaddam trilogy would be more apt.

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ThisIsLilli
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Pickpick

The Odyssey retold from the viewpoint of Penelope - what more could you ask for?! This is a first-person account which succeeds in retelling a well-worn myth in such a way that it is still both absorbing and intriguing. For someone who studied Classics and loves myth retellings, this was a fantastic read.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#thepenelopiad #margaretatwood #myth #theodyssey #retelling #firstperson #fivestars

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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyMay19 Day 30: #Water. While I own a copy of this novel (along with may other Atwood titles), still have not read this yet.

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Tamra
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Pickpick

Another 5⭐️! What a clever & inventive feminist story that breathes life into Penelope, past and present. The humor too! The passage quoted above is a “video clip” from a modern day court hearing wherein Odysseus is having to defend himself against charges of murder. That last paragraph 😂😂😆

julesG Now I need to read this book! Thanks for the review. 3mo
Tamra @julesG I loved it and it‘s a quick read that you don‘t want to stop! Enjoy! 3mo
julesG Forgot to stack it. So thanks very much for your reply to my comment. 3mo
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Tamra
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“A stick used to beat other women with.”

Oh Penelope! 😫

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Chrissyreadit
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2. The picture of Shiva from your trip to India is incredibly perfect! And the magnet! I love the Celtic bookmarks and that you sent items from multiple mythologies. I‘m going to frame the card!!!! And the Egyptian papyrus!!!! #mythsandlegendsswap

MeganAnn Love the different mythology artwork! 💙💙💙 4mo
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rwmg
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Birdsong28
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Thank @Oryx for the lovely present.😘 It's not long arrived (5.30 pm) 📚📖

Oryx You're welcome! Hope you having a good day ❤️ 4mo
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LoverofLit
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Pickpick

This short read was absolutely charming and took me less than a day to read. Other reviewers lamented the fact that this book was only 192 pages but I enjoyed the dark humor and storyline told from the wife of Odysseus as he sails away to the Trojan War and then goes galivanting around, sleeping with goddesses while she waits for him. Good for her for the choices she made and finally getting to tell her story! #ReadingWomenChallenge Myth Retelling

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rwmg
Pickpick

Atwood's Penelope is a very funny character. If your mother is a Naiad, your father tried to drown you as a baby, Helen of Troy is your cousin (so you're always going to come off second best in the boyfriend/husband stakes), and your husband disappears for 20 years, really a sense of humour is your only possible way of staying sane.

Full of things you want to read out to anyone who will sit still long enough 👇

rwmg but the danger is you might end up reading out the whole book. 4mo
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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Expandingbookshelf
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“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can‘t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

Tamra Lovely! 5mo
Tamra Have you read the Watson translation yet? You know, because I hadn‘t read the Odyssey until last year, I hadn‘t paid any attention to this Atwood novel. Will definitely pick it up, so thank you for posting! 5mo
Expandingbookshelf @Tamra I did and I loved it! It‘s such an interesting translation 5mo
Tamra @Expandingbookshelf I will pick it up too then. 👍🏾 5mo
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ludodominici
Il canto di Penelope | Margaret Atwood
Mehso-so

Non il migliore della Atwood secondo me. Avevo già letto L‘altra Grace e il Racconto dell‘Ancella e questo libricino non regge purtroppo il confronto. La scrittrice ci ha abituate a donne molto sfaccettate, complesse, fragili e forti; in questo romanzo invece ci presenta una donna passivamente forte, schiacciata dagli uomini. Non mi è piaciuto affatto, nonostante io ami moto la figura di Odisseo e tutte le vicende legate a Iliade e Odissea

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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
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I'm excited for the Myths & Legends Swap, and remembered I had this book! I really need to read The Odyssey.

#ReadTheNorth #CanadianAuthors #FemaleAuthors

Alanyaaass I had to read the odyssey for uni and ngl it was a wild ride 😂😂 it was fun though 6mo
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Astroneman
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Mehso-so

Un unusual voice, Penelope, tells us about Ulysses and Telemaco, about her real life and something about Helena...

#book #litsy #litsybook #bookly #goodreads #booklover #margaretatwood #thepenelopiad #Ulysses #toread #readingchallenge #readingchallenge2019 #Odissea #Omero

readordierachel That cover is beautiful! 6mo
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ViaggiatricePigra
Il canto di Penelope | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick
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MirrorMask
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“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you #plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

#QuotsyJan19 @TK-421

Reggie Nice!!! 8mo
TK-421 ❤️ 8mo
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alisonrose
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#sundaysurvey time!! Please repost with your answers and tag me! ☺️🎉

My answers:
1. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood — such a brilliant idea for a retelling!
2. I can deal with background noise, like conversations around me in a coffee shop or something, but not loud TV or music or the like
3. 🐒
4. It‘s great in some uses — pastries and such — but some things are just weird. But I don‘t dump on people for loving it. Like what you like!

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TheBookKeeper
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"Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does."
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Sculpture by Marie Paule Deville Chabrolle

#margaretatwood #thepenelopiad #reading #wisdom #greatbooks

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Divyaslesha
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Pickpick

A short, but powerful read, especially relevant in the time of the #metoo movement. Definitely among Margat Atwood‘s best.

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TheAnitaAlvarez
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Pickpick

Love love love retellings of myths (and fairy tales, and classics). This one, by my favorite author ever is fantastic. When I read The Odyssey in High School, I was very frustrated with how Penelope was always sidelined and we never got to hear her side. Atwood does a beautiful work of telling her story and portraying a different part of this narrative. I‘d love to get to the rest of the series.

Alfoster Yes! You need to read Little Darlings when it comes out (I got an ARC from NetGalley) as it‘s a dark, creepy retelling of some tales about changelings!😳😳😍😍😍 11mo
Bertha_Mason I love that cover. You can't go wrong with Tamara de Lempicka. 11mo
TheAnitaAlvarez @Alfoster I‘ll look it up! 11mo
TheAnitaAlvarez @Bertha_Mason it‘s so pretty 😊 11mo
NeedsMoreBooks This is one one of my favorites 😊 11mo
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Wan.der.love
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Pickpick

“Cleverness is a quality a man likes to have in his wife as long as she is some distance away from him.”

Quick, unique, attention keeping read. Story alternates between Penelope‘s POV and the 12 maids represented using a mixture of different writing styles (poetry, interviews, even court case transcripts.) True Atwood fashion: exposing sexism and manipulation of women. If you enjoyed Circe/the Odyssey this is a great addition to that theme!

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Wan.der.love
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Thinking “The Penelopiad” will be an interesting read after “Circe.” Time to see things from Penelope‘s side. Fully expecting Margaret Atwood‘s signature mental and physical oppression of the female.

Photo is my own 💙 #worldwaterweek

KathyWheeler Love the picture and reading The Penelopiad after Circe is a great idea. I‘ll have to check it out. 12mo
Billypar Wow.... Beautiful! And that is one Atwood I have yet to try- love the quote. 12mo
Wan.der.love @KathyWheeler thank you!! will be interesting to see Atwood‘s take on Odysseus... 12mo
Wan.der.love @Billypar thank you!! I‘m looking forward to this read myself 12mo
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Skyrimir
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#gameoffavorites @ErinSueG @WhiskeyMistress favorite female author. Margaret Atwood, I love her ideas. I would love to have coffee with her.

ErinSueMreads Look up the trailer for her master class on writing. She looks like an absolute delight 13mo
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beaconhillbooks
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Pickpick

Interesting perspective from Penelope regarding Odysseus‘ story told from the Underworld. With chorus lines from the 12 Hung Maids...

Slim little thing that‘ll stick with ya even if I rated it 3 stars.

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Sophoclessweetheart
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{#bookmail — Best Mail} 👊🖤

I treat myself to these beauties because I was feeling down and sometimes only retail therapy will do. I love retellings of Greek myths so I‘m really excited about the whole Canon Myths series and started my collection with the Penelopiad. I also got a new copy of Apollodorus‘ Library to replace the last.

What was the last book you brought? #greekmythology #retelling #bibliophile #booklover #bookaddict #bookblogger

BooknerdsLife Great editions you've got there! 😍 I totally agree new books are the best to cheer us up! & Hope you feel better soon🤗💖 14mo
Sophoclessweetheart @BooknerdsLife Thank you Eliza. I love them! I‘m feeling much brighter now but I wasn‘t when I ordered these at the weekend 😹😹 14mo
BooknerdsLife @Sorceryandswords aww you're welcome Kendal😘😘 so glad you are feeling much brighter now. New books are the best! 😄💖 14mo
2BR02B I've been wanting to read The Penelopiad! I'll look forward to your review. 😄 14mo
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kathedron
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Panpan

Ugh! A retelling from Penelope's POV of events on Ithaca during Odysseus' 20 year absence and upon his return could have been great but what, really, does Atwood add? Some commentary on the maids' lack of sexual autonomy (because of patriarchy). A Penelope who devotes a lot of time and energy to weeping and to slut-shaming Helen (because women are bitches to each other, because of patriarchy). Is anyone not depressingly reduced in this telling?

eraderneely I actually liked this a lot better than I expected to, but I read it as really snarky so I was laughing the whole time. My book club was SUPER mixed on this one. 1y
ephemeralwaltz 😱 Taking this off my TBR for the time being 1y
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Sha0102
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Pickpick

Unique narrative. Penelope's point of view of Odissey (her participation). Quite worthy for those who enjoys Greek literature. #ThePenolopiad #MargaretAtwood #book #bookaholic #booklovers #ler #leitura #leitora #reading #instabook #instaread #instabooks #bookstagram #litsy #booklover #readingabook #vero #Sha2018 #taglivros

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MirrorMask
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BookishMe
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Pickpick

Finally completed my first #Greece read for #readaroundtheworld
#LitWorld2018GB
#LitsyPassport

Atwood entertains, taunts and provokes with this mystical retelling of Odysseus, through Penelope's point of view. Almost tempted to check out original epic 😅😅

Can't wait to continue the Greek trip with the other books while deciding titles for Ethiopia ;D

Crazeedi I love your idea 💡 of reading around the world 🌎! I might have to do this! 1y
BookishMe @Crazeedi Both hashtags / reading plans are ongoing... Join us! I will tag you in the relevant posts ;D 1y
Crazeedi @bookishme thank you! 1y
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melissa_corbett
Pickpick

One of my favourite books I‘ve ever read! Homer‘s Odyssey in a whole new, and feminist, light.

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Linds
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Pickpick

A fascinating re-telling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus from Greek myth, namely The Odyssey. Weird, feminist, and much funnier than I expected.

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alisonrose
Pickpick

Totally fucking loved this. Greek mythology retold with the loser dude to the side and the lady at the front, a lot of LOL lines, clever writing and a unique style that worked perfectly for what she was doing. This was truly fun to read, and I'm so glad I finally did. I want her to give all the myths this same treatment! 5/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose

I repressed a desire to say that Helen should have been kept in a locked trunk in a dark cellar because she was poison on legs.

[Poison on Legs = Riot Grrrl band name]

Owlizabeth [10/10 would listen to that band] 1y
alisonrose @Owlizabeth \m/ >.< \m/ 1y
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alisonrose

And so I was handed over to Odysseus, like a package of meat. A package of meat in a wrapping of gold, mind you. A sort of gilded blood pudding.

Lindy Atwood can be hilarious. 😆 1y
alisonrose @Lindy She really can!! 1y
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alisonrose
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I want a giant print of this cover art to hang on my wall. #nowreading

BookishTrish Wow! 1y
21 likes1 comment
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mcorneli
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Pickpick

Changed perspective makes all the difference. I‘ve felt sorry for Penelope ever since I read a kids version of Odysseus‘ homecoming as a child. She seemed like a statue—all goodness and no definition. Atwood‘s retelling gives Penelope all the complex contours of a developed character. Book two of the #ReadingWomenChallenge

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thereadingowlvina
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kyraleseberg
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Pickpick

Atwood's twist on Homer's Odyssey, told by Penelope in the underworld and chapter interlude chorus lines from her 12 hanged maids. It turns out Penelope wasn't the quintessential faithful wife waiting around for her husband to return from the war set in motion by her vain cousin Helen. She was intelligent, crafty, and played her role well. Told with wit and modern concerns ("I wished there would be another Trojan War so I could (cont'd)

kyraleseberg send him off to it and get him out of my hair." when speaking of her teenaged son), The Penelopiad retells an ancient tale from a surprising view and gives voice to those usually forgotten. I enjoyed the humor/snark between Penelope and Helen and the disturbing chorus lines of the hanged maids demanding justice. (edited) 2y
Andrea4 Her styling of this story was spot on too! 2y
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kyraleseberg
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This seems like a fitting book to follow up The Song of Achilles. I always enjoy Atwood's writing and this sounds like a fun spin on an ancient story.

readinginthedark It‘s not really fun—pretty intense with a strong feminist side—but very good! 2y
gibblr Totally fun read. Puts a different spin on things and I love her writing style in it. My 11th graders just read this over Christmas break. 2y
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saresmoore
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“Now that I‘m dead I know everything.”

#firstlines #24in48

PurpleyPumpkin That‘s a great first line!👍🏽 2y
Moray_Reads That's a good one 2y
saresmoore @PurpleyPumpkin It made me want to switch books! 2y
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saresmoore @Moray_Reads I‘m almost certain that you are the reason I picked this one. You‘ve been influencing quite a lot of my reading lately! Thank you! 2y
saresmoore @Moray_Reads My brain is clicking recollections into place slowly today. You didn‘t love the book, right? But I think you made me want to read it, anyway. Ha! 2y
Christine Ooh, great! And 😍 to that cover. 2y
Moray_Reads @saresmoore I didn't love it. I had issues with the tone and I can't help but compare Ancient Greek retellings with Christa Wolf who was SO GOOD at them 2y
LeahBergen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
BooksForEmpathy Really enjoyed this one! 2y
80 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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saresmoore
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My reading has been derailed time and again by real life as of late, so I am PUMPED for #24in48 this weekend! This eclectic stack should help get me started, but no shelf or box is off limits. I can‘t wait!

#readathon

LeahBergen I love that teacup 💕 2y
saresmoore @LeahBergen I do, too! The artist just so happens to be named Leah! 😍 2y
readordierachel I didn't realize The Glass Town Game was such a chunkster! 2y
See All 26 Comments
saresmoore @ReadOrDieRachel Right? It‘s quick, though. I started it and then decided I wanted to save it for the Readathon because it‘ll be a fun & engaging read. 2y
ohyeahthatgirl I really liked The Middlesteins. Just put it on a Blind Date With a Boom display at my bookstore! 2y
ohyeahthatgirl Lol, book. Hopefully ppl are getting boom for their bucks though? 2y
saresmoore @ohyeahthatgirl 😂 I see what ya did there! I‘m glad to hear you liked it. @vivastory really enjoyed it, too—seemed like a good pick for a readathon. 2y
Lindy You‘ve got one in your stack that‘s smart, funny and quick to read: 2y
Moray_Reads I can't wait (even if it does start at 5am over here) 2y
Kalalalatja @Moray_Reads it is 6 am in Denmark. But if there is something I‘m willing to get up early for, it is a readathon 😄 2y
Moray_Reads @Kalalalatja me too. And I have Monday off work in case I need recovery time 😉 2y
Kalalalatja @Moray_Reads I have planned a very low key study day on Monday, so I‘m good to go too! 2y
vivastory @Moray_Reads Are you going to wake up at 5 to start? 2y
Moray_Reads @vivastory I'm thinking about it. I have a pretty ace body clock so if I tell myself to wake up at 5 I probably will. If I don't I'm sure I can make up a couple of hours later 😉 2y
vivastory @Moray_Reads I'm impressed! I'm hoping to do the full 24 hours. I still need to figure out my snack situation & my tbr. I'm thinking of adding 2y
Leniverse I'm going to do a midnight start (and finish) my time zone. (The rules say that's ok.) 5am start is challenging enough, but a 5am end Monday morning is a big nope! 2y
Moray_Reads @vivastory love Un Lun Dun, so clever and fun 2y
Moray_Reads @Leniverse absolutely! I'm only contemplating it because I don't have work! 2y
UrsulaMonarch @Lindy ooo! This is on my TBR mainly for #rediscoveringatwood but I didn't know it was a quick read! 👍 2y
saresmoore @Moray_Reads @Kalalalatja It sounds like you both have a brilliant plan! Even though I‘m in the 24in48 time zone, I‘m an old lady who can‘t stay up past 10pm so I‘ll be waking early to get started, too. 2y
saresmoore @Lindy That‘s what I like to hear! 2y
saresmoore @vivastory I‘ve been wanting to read Un Lun Dun, too. This would be a good time to give it a go! 2y
emilyhaldi Some nice chunksters in that stack! 2y
saresmoore @emilyhaldi I plan to fully immerse myself. My husband is on full-time dad & cooking duty all weekend! 🙌😁 2y
batsy What an incredible combination of books! My weekend has turned out to be unexpectedly busy 😕 2y
saresmoore @batsy Oh, that‘s disappointing! I hope you‘ll at least be able to grab some moments of rest, here and there. 2y
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