Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for “Margaret Atwood”

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.


I read my first Margaret Atwood book when I was a teenager. The book was The Handmaid’s Tale, and it completely blew my little bookworm mind. I immediately wanted more Margaret Atwood books, and then I wanted more and more and more. I started with Atwood's novels and moved on to her short stories and poetry.




In high school, we had to memorize lists of literary devices, and I was okay at analyzing books for essays, but I couldn’t explain my love for Atwood’s writing. I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain it. Her characters and settings felt so real to me that I sometimes wondered if I was really reading fiction. Her books made me feel things and think things that no other book had before.

“She’d scoop us up and sit us on the white enamel kitchen table, alongside the pie dough she was rolling out or the chicken she was cutting up or the fish she was gutting, and give us a lump of brown sugar to get us to close our mouths. Tell me where it hurts, she’d say. Stop howling. Just calm down and show me where.

But some people can’t tell where it hurts. They can’t calm down. They can’t ever stop howling.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

When I went on my first solo camping trip, I brought Margaret Atwood’s books with me. I remember sitting on a boulder by a lake with a notebook and The Handmaid’s Tale. Determined to figure out what made this story tick, I examined everything from verb choices to scene transitions to major themes. I filled pages of a notebook with everything that interested me about The Handmaid’s Tale.

I didn’t know it at the time, but those were the seeds of me becoming a book blogger.  


Me reading The Handmaid's Tale in a campground.



If you have a blog, what made you decide to become a blogger?






  

34 comments:

  1. I own Margaret Atwood's book, but somehow haven't read them yet. And I just bought the Handmaid's Tale in paperback, because I'm thinking of using it in my teaching next year. Even if I haven't read it yet. And part of that is because I saw the movie trailer not long ago, and it was so deliciously chilling. A dystopia up there with 1984, and I just think that it's something both I and my students might enjoy.
    I love that this is the novel that laid the groundwork for you becoming a blogger!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Yes! You need to read her dystopias, especially at this point in history. They’re very timely.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I was joining Goodreads book groups to find like minded readers when I saw an offer for a free book by an Indie author. I couldn't believe that writing that good had to be self published and that nobody had snapped the book up. I joined Indie book groups to read more self published authors and opened The Book Cave to review their books and promote their work. Now most of what I read is Indie/self published and I love sharing these reviews with other readers! It makes me feel I'm doing a small bit to help these authors.

    I couldn't get into The Handmaid's Tale but that is more about my preferred reading tastes than any fault of the author! I found it interesting to read about your love for her work. I think I'm going to enjoy your A-Z posts!

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    1. It’s awesome that you promote indies. I don’t read enough of those.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I don't know the author earlier. About beginning of my blogging - I am preparing for running half marathon. I read a good description of full marathon running in a blog. I wanted to comment. I did not have gmail account. The comment dialog box said open an account. Then said make a blog entry. I became a blogger. 11 years ago.
    Awareness of Environment - Theme - Top Management Challenges
    Prof. K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao

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    1. Wow, you ran a half-marathon? I’m training to run a 5K, and that’s hard for me. I’d probably die if I ran a half-marathon.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    2. Nothing like that. You do one and you can do the other - some more. These days I walk 10 km on many weekend. 5k I do on many week days. So I reassure you. If you want to do it, or have to do it you can do. Otherwise, just forget them. No issue. I am walking a lot these days to reduce my weight which increased in between due to some health problem.

      Delete
  4. I still haven't read Margaret Atwood yet. One day!! I think it is cool that is how it kind of led you to blogging. I really just got super into reading after having kids and had barely anyone to talk to it about. I decided I needed something for myself outside the kids and the blog is where I found that.

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    1. I love your blog, so I’m glad you became a blogger!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Oh and another author to add to my never-ending list of author's I must read! I've heard of the book and the author, but have never read them.

    April Fools' Day

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    1. YES! Everybody needs to read Margaret Atwood.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I keep thinking I need to read The Handmaid's Tale... I became a blogger after leaving the West and moving back east. Over the years (12 1/2) I have written all kinds of things. And I love solo wilderness trips!

    http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-letter-andromeda.html

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    1. Wow, you’ve been blogging for a long time. I have, too. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I haven't read her books yet but you sure peaked my interest :)
    As for what made me become a blogger, I tend to find it difficult to open up my thoughts via spoken words and preferred written ones. I mostly write poetry and this is the first time I'm participating in the A to Z challenge. Hope it goes on well!

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    1. I can relate. I’m a better writer than speaker. This is my first time participating in the challenge, too. Good luck with it!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I KNOW I need to read this book. I've never heard anyone say anything negative about it, and I'd really like to read it so I can watch the series. I love that you can see the roots of your book blogging with this book!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  9. I remember reading The Handmaid's Tale in high school, but I feel like I should reread it now because I would appreciate it more.

    I started my blog because I felt like I was reading so many good books and I had to talk about them. Plus, I was starting to read a lot of blogs and I wanted to be able to participate more.

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    1. I read a lot of book blogs before I started mine, too. I wanted to talk about all the books my fellow bloggers were convincing me to read.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I really want to read The Handmaid's Tale. I'm yet to pick up a copy of it though. I've read Oryx and Crake (which I found really interesting) and I've read some short stories in a collection which I think had some by Margaret Atwood as well. She's definitely an author I need to read more of.

    I started blogging because I was hoping to start a family and I wanted somewhere to share stories about our motley crew of pets and kids. But the kids have taken a while to come so there's an awful lot of blogging about infertility, along with book reviews, film reviews and whatever else pops into my head at any given moment.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. I love Oryx and Crake! MaddAddam is my favorite trilogy ever. I like it when bloggers post book reviews and personal posts. It makes their blog more interesting to read. I always want to know about the person behind the blog.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I love that you were reading on your camping trip. Nothing better than fresh air and peaceful surroundings to set the mood for a good read! :-)

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    1. Agreed. I’ve spent a lot of time reading books in the woods.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. I don't remember why I became a blogger.

    I have the audio version of THT, waiting to be listened to.

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    1. You should get listening. :) It’s a strange, beautiful book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. I love that you can pinpoint like that, where you started out as a book blogger, beyond posting your first post or anything obvious like that :)
    For me, my journey to becoming a book blogger started with me just loving both reading and writing, but culminated with me stumbling across book blogs. I read them for a couple of years before finally plucking up the courage to start my own! :)
    I've always meant to read more Margaret Atwood, but never have. I read The Handmaid's Tale years ago and loved it, and I've read one of her short stories (Bluebeard's Egg), so I'm really going to have to get round to some of her other books soon.

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    1. I love your blog, so I’m glad you started it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I never heard of Margaret Atwood! And now I'm determined to read some tying for her, thank you :)

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    1. If you do read one of her books, I hope you like it!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. I'm surprised that a good number of people in the comments haven't read Margaret Atwood - myself being one of them! In my mind she is one those authors that many have read and I feel like a rarity having not. It was interesting to hear how much she has impacted your life, and that definitely budges her writing up on my 'authors to read' list.

    Thanks for sharing - looking forward to more of the A-Z blogging challenge.

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  16. When I was in college, my roommate took a short-term course that focused on Margaret Atwood and another Canadian author whose name I can't recall right now. So I read the books along with her, because of course I did, and found them fascinating. It remains my favorite of hers, and I kind of hated Cat's Eye. This was all pre-Internet, let alone Goodreads, so I'm not even sure now which of her books I've read. Wilderness Tips? Surfacing? Robber Bride?

    I became a book blogger because Goodreads led me into book blogs, and I kept finding myself leaving multi-paragraph comments, which made me think, hmm, maybe I should just have my OWN blog.

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  17. I haven't read Atwood yet but do plan to at some point. I really don't know what made me want to start a blog. Originally, my blog was not going to just be about books - which is why it has a dumb name. I don't think I have ever analyzed a book like you did this one. I will have to make time for it soon.

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  18. I heard Ms. Atwood speak at an event in Dallas not too long ago. She was so awesome to hear.

    I am a Hemingway aficionado and wanted to write about my new admiration for him and his Lost Gen friends when I got hooked on his life story in about 2008. So that is why I started my blog. Having a blog and doing this challenge is a great way to connect with other writers (and Hem people). Cheers, Denise

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  19. It's nice to be passionate about an author or book

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