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The Book Club

With another week under our belts, we have finally reached the weekend once more, and The Book Club is back and ready to give you a few new titles to enjoy amidst the ever-growing pile of schoolwork that accumulates as we get further into the term. Now with school being in full swing again, it is hard to find the time and mental energy to sit down and read, especially among the assignments, club meetings and work. So, this week we are going to take a look at a few titles that do not require a lot of time and focus to enjoy.  

The first title is The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, boasting only a little less than 200 pages. If you have ever read previous editions of The Book Club, you will remember that I have an acute fondness for Greek mythology, so this book, of course, caught my eye immediately and somehow snuck into an edition. The novel, though rather short, explores the events of Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey from the point of view of Penelope, the wife of the famed Odysseus. She tells her story from the Underworld, explaining how she was valued in life only because she had waited for her husband’s return, and had remained loyal during his 20-year-long journey. The book reads as part novel and part poetry as Penelope and her maidens weave together the story. Atwood is able to give this classic tale a new dimension as she presents a relatively minor character with most of the novel’s point of view. If you, like me, are a sucker for any sort of Greek mythology retelling, this is the perfect way to get your mythological fix even if you don’t have hours of commitment to give the book. Though, it would be safe to brush up on the events of The Iliad and The Odyssey before giving this book a try.  

Another few options if you are looking for a “quick read” include quite a few classics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or even The Great Gatsby. Most of Shakespeare’s pieces are also on the shorter side, along with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which is a perfect book to pick up as we get ready to step foot into spooky season. If none of those are quite up your alley, then I would also recommend getting into a poetry collection. They’re not for everyone, of course, but most of the collections are rather short, making it easier to give them a try without investing an abundance of time to the task. To get you started, I would point you towards Sappho’s fragments, or Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukmatathil. The point is, there are numerous pieces out there that are short, yet engaging. That way you have reading material that does not require too much energy and time to enjoy. 

That’s all for this week’s edition! As always, if you would ever like to recommend something, do not be afraid to reach out. During the next few editions, I hope to pull together an assortment of spooky and downright terrifying books to get you through October. Until then, I wish you some happy reading, even if it’s brief.