Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Salon: Penelopiad Read Along Invitation and Other Summer Fun

With yesterday’s graduation complete, Summer Reading Season officially starts today at Col Reads! I’m especially happy to be starting off this summer with two “buddy” reads. The first will be a foodie simul-blog with long-time friend Jess over at Desperado Penguin – we’ve both been reading Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices, and we’ll be blogging about it this week. I think this is the fourth simul-blog we’ve done, and I’m always surprised by our differing takes on the books we read, despite being friends for about 20 years.

Next up is a Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. When we signed up for the Read-A-Myth Challenge way back in December, wonderful Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza noticed we both had the title on our lists, and suggested we might read it together. And we’d like to invite you to join us too! We’re planning on reading and posting any thoughts or questions during the week of May 23-May 28, with a wrap-up post on May 30. Atwood’s novella finally gives Penelope, the long-suffering wife of Odysseus, a chance to tell her own story. I’m looking forward to some good conversation about the “feminist” perspective on a classic tale. Please feel free to join us for any or all of the read – it’s totally informal, but we think it will be fun.

Aside from that, my summer plans include getting to work on the challenges I signed up for earlier in the year, which should make for a fascinating summer of reading. I’m behind on the GLBT, Book Blogger Abroad and Read-A-Myth challenges at this point, but the titles I have planned are very eclectic and diverse, and I’m excited to get back to them. My daughter and I will also be working on the What’s in a Name 4 Challenge together for her summer reading project, always a treat.

I’m also hoping to make plenty of time for something else I truly love this summer: photography. I’m hoping to master PhotoShop Elements, so look forward to lots more pictures – and maybe even a change in design of Col Reads. More on that later.

What do the next few months hold for you, reading and blogging-wise?

I hope to see some of your thoughts on The Penelopiad on May 30!


  1. I hope you enjoy The Penelopeiad. I read it a few years ago and went to an event recently where Jamie Byng (the publisher at Canongate) reminisced about persuading Margaret Atwood to write the book as part of their myths series (MA was there, too.)

    I'll check back at the end of May - it will be interesting to see what you make of it.

  2. Summer? No fair! We still go until June 3. Ah well, it's close enough! I look forward to seeing some of your photography!

  3. For me this month is busy with doctors appointments and a trip to BEA! Can't wait for BEA!

  4. Oh, I love Margaret Atwood and haven't read (nor do I have yet) The Penelopiad. I'll have to check to see where I can get it. I still haven't read The Year of the Flood, which is on my Kindle.


  5. @Helen Smith: This is the first one of the Canongate series that I am reading, but I have read the Odyssey a couple of times, so I am interested to see MA's take on it.

    @Helen: I am trying to learn how to work with Elements. It's such a complicated program. I will report on progress.

    @Confuzzled: I am going to the Book Blogger Convention portion of BEA this year -- I'm very much looking forward to it!

    @Laurel: I hope you can join us! I was able to get The Penelopiad from our library.

  6. Col, how fun to have a friend in blogging whom you actually know! Have known for 20 years! Wow, I'd love that.

    I'm getting excited about summer, but it's a bit early for that for me. I still have to say good-bye to this class, the most difficult one I've taught in 25 years. Good-bye, sweet ones, may you be a lighter burden on next year's teacher than you were for me!

    As to The Penelopiad, I'm so excited! We're going to have a great time reading it together, and I love bouncing ideas off of other reading friends. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be saying, "My friend Col/Bellezza, who I've known for 20 years..." :)

  7. @Bellezza: Jess was actually my maid-of-honor, but we live on opposite sides of the country now, so it's fun to have something we do "together" again. I certainly hope there's a kinder, gentler, but equally satisfying, class in your future!

    I am also excited about reading The Penelopiad. Atwood's ideas are often complex, and it's really good to be able to tease them out with other readers. I think I have convinced another friend -- we've been friends since first grade -- to read with us as well! I certainly hope we're still blogging in 20 years, Bellezza -- but we probably can't even imagine what kinds of media choices we'll have then.

  8. Media choices, or eyesight! :)

  9. Colleen, I can't WAIT until my daughter's old enough to read with me. I just hope she likes mysteries. :D

  10. @Bellezza -- By that time I'm hoping my near-sightedness balances out my age-induced far-sightedness, leaving me with 20/20 vision. ;-)

    @Karen -- I hope she does too! My older daughter doesn't like mysteries *gasp* but she does like thrillers. We overlap on non-fiction and some lit fic, though, so it's all good! Ellie likes sci fi and fantasy (Rick Riordan, Madeline L'Engle are big around here right now) and that is children's lit I really enjoy! It's so interesting to see how they develop, though! (Neither of my girls would ever read a Nancy Drew though, and I think I read everyone I could find!)

  11. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this Atwood book. I have a hard time with her but am always willing to try her again!


I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col