For the month of August, the Inn — well, Sara and Jenia — has decided to run its first readathon! An #Innathon if you will. The readathon will run from August 1st to Sepember 1st. Because it’s summer and because we’re an Inn, the theme for this readathon is Travel.
The readathon consists of two parts: 1) five travel-themed book challenges + a bonus group book and 2) reading sprints, i.e. a set time every week during which we’ll try to read together. You don’t have to complete all the challenges; you also don’t have to participate in the reading sprints. (Alternatively, you can come hang out with us on Twitter during the reading sprints without reading a travel-themed book!) Although we’re a SFF blog, you absolutely don’t have to read SFF books to participate. Audiobooks, novellas, ebooks, etc. all count of course.
Scroll on for the challenges, the tentative reading sprint times, and our own picks!
The Travel-Themed Challenges:
- Read a book about travelling. Any kind of travelling fits, whether by foot or by spaceship.
- Read a translated book. It can be translated either into English or into whatever other languages you speak.
- Read a portal fantasy. Portal fantasies are books about someone from one world falling into another (e.g. The Wizard of Oz).
- Read a “beach read”. “Beach read” is a contentious term, so feel free to interpret it as broadly as you like! We’re taking it to mean “fun and light”, but if you relax best when reading Kafka on the Shore, go for it.
- Read a book featuring an inn. Well, duh. But it can also be a hotel, hostel, airbnb, etc.
- Finally, a bonus challenge: Read the Odyssey! Homer’s classic is going to be our “group book”. This is the only challenge that you can combine with others: e.g. the Odyssey can count as your translated book. Unless you read it in Ancient Greek of course.
At the moment, the plan is to read every Sunday evening, Europe time. The first one will be on August 4th and the last one on September 1st. Every week we’ll run a Twitter thread where people can post their reading progress and thoughts. The threads will start around 17.00 GMT (which is 19.00 Central European and 13.00 EDT). This is the first time the Inn is running a readathon and we’re not sure how many people will be participating, so for now this is just a suggestion! Both hosts live in Europe, but if enough people are interested, we can have threads convenient for other timezones too. Please come chat with us on Twitter.
Our Own Picks:
Sara is a mood reader and Jenia is indecisive, so these picks aren’t set in stone. But here’s some preliminary ideas:
1. Read a book about travelling.
Jenia: I really love doing long day hikes, so I’d like to read something about that. Maybe Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods, or anything else people can recommend.
Sara: Penric and Desdemona #7 by Lois McMaster Bujold! Pretty sure traveling is part of it, since the main character is sort of an itinerant priest-sorcerer. I love this series so much.
2. Read a translated book.
Jenia: The only one I’m really sure about it: I got Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi a while back and still haven’t read it. It’s about time I do!
Sara: This is where my Odyssey read will go! Actually, “listen” is more accurate. I’ll audiobook the Emily Wilson translation, narrated by Claire Danes.
3. Read a portal fantasy.
Jenia: I’m eyeing either something quite straightforward (An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows) or something that interprets the prompt waaay more broadly (Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock).
Sara: I’m actually not sure. Portal fantasy is a bit out of my comfort zone. Is The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow cheating? There are portals, and it is fantasy…hmm…
4. Read a “beach read”.
Jenia: Not sure yet! But I did just get Allie Therin’s Spellbound, an LGBTQ+ fantasy romance set in the 1920s, so very likely that.
Sara: I’ll copy Jen with Spellbound, or another romantic fantasy.
5. Read a book featuring an inn.
Jenia: Some kind of murder mystery where everyone’s trapped in a hotel, like Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie.
Sara: I have to read Juliet Marillier’s Harp of Kings and I’m almost sure it will feature an inn. If not, I’ll need a plan B 😀 recs please?
6. Read the Odyssey.
Jenia: I’ll be listening to the Ian McKellen-read audiobook (translated by Robert Fagles).
Sara: We will have to compare the translation/narration! Although I’m pretty sure you can’t beat McKellen narrating…
What About You?
Are you interested in taking part? What are your plans and recommendations for the challenges? Please come chat with us on Twitter if anything is unclear. Happy reading everyone!