Margaret Atwood Reading Month: Wrap-Up #MARM

Thanks to everyone who participated in Margaret Atwood Reading Month and contributed their enthusiasm, interest and experience to making the event a success. We’ve collaborated on this link collection, so we’re cross-posting. Please let us know if we’ve missed anything and we will transform all the information into a page that we can update for future MARMs!

Straight away, after our announcements on October 1st, there was talk of plans and excitement. Bookish Beck made plans quickly. And Angélique chatted about just beginning her Atwood exploring (with The Heart Goes Last and Alias Grace).

Paula Bardell-Hedley reminded readers every week through October of the event and then crowned the promotion with her Margaret Atwood Shelfie and, later, some of her favourite covers.

Heaven Ali and Karen shared some of their favourite covers too.

And so did I, along with my favourite quotes (which Paula had fun with as well).

Madame Bibi titled her review post (see below) with one of her favourite quotes (you’ll have to click through to discover what it is) and Anne on the Shelf tweeted a timely quote for November as well.

Many readers shared their first experiences. Some, like A Life in Books and HeavenAli and Karen and Marcie, found it hard to pinpoint the specific book which twigged their interest in the late ‘80s. The classic Virago Modern green-spines or one of the chunky pocket books? Was it The Handmaid’s Tale, Surfacing, Lady Oracle, The Edible Woman, Bluebeard’s Egg, Cat’s Eye or Bodily Harm?

Others specifically recall their first Atwood. For Kat and Debbie it was The Edible Woman. For Rebecca and Lisa, it was The Blind Assassin. For Laila, Cathy, and for me it was The Robber Bride.

(The winner for Most Firsts appears below – there’s still time to guess! And there was one reader for each of the following as their “first”: Cat’s Eye, Oryx and Crake and Lady Oracle. Was it you? You’ll find those below too.)

Those who read and reviewed during the month included classic and contemporary selections and even some children’s books and poems and a cookbook! Surprisingly, nearly every work of fiction came up in conversation or was reviewed during the month.


The Edible Woman (1969)
Rebecca @ Bookish Beck
Laila @ Big Reading Life

Surfacing (1972)
Rebecca @ Bookish Beck
Yasmine Rose @ Yasmine Rose Reads

Lady Oracle (1976)
This was Rickster Rick’s introduction to Atwood and a favourite of HeavenAli’s.

Life Before Man (1979, finalist for the Governor General’s Award)
Ali @ HeavenAli
(Marcie read this one too but left a comment on HeavenAli’s blog instead of posting something herself. Maybe she will still post it?? *nods head vigorously*)

Bodily Harm (1981)
Paula @ Book Jotter

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985, winner of the 1987 Arthur C. Clarke Award and 1985 Governor General’s Award, finalist for the 1986 Booker Prize)
Out of those who commented or posted, for the majority of Atwood readers this was their first of her books.
Including Anne, Paula, Kristie, Kristine, WhatMeRead, Vishy, and Lory.
For Rachel @ Hibernator’s Library too, who writes about it here and here.
And Iliana @ Bookgirl, and Reese @ ReeseReads (who made it fit with some challenges too).

Cat’s Eye (1988, finalist for the 1988 Governor General’s Award and the 1989 Booker Prize)
This was Priscilla’s introduction to Margaret Atwood. And Melanie had just announced she was going to read it in October when she saw the announcement about MARM.

The Robber Bride (1993, finalist for the 1994 Governor General’s Award and shortlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award)
This was my first Atwood (and Cathy and Laila said that it was their first of her books too).

Alias Grace (1996, winner of the 1996 Giller Prize, finalist for the 1996 Booker Prize and the 1996 Governor General’s Award, shortlisted for the 1997 Orange Prize for Fiction)
Lisa @ ANZ LitLovers
Yasmine Rose @ Yasmine Rose Reads featured Alias Grace as a selection in her ongoing Sunday series in which she recommends a book “written by a woman who has influenced and shaped my intersectional feminist perspective, with special emphasis on women of colour, women in translation, LGBTQ+ women and women of different religions”

The Labrador Fiasco (1996)
Karen @ Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

The Blind Assassin (2000, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize and finalist for the 2000 Governor General’s Award, shortlisted for the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction.)
Yasmine Rose @ Yasmine Rose Reads

This is Marcie’s pick as her favourite Atwood (at least for this year!)

Oryx and Crake (2003, finalist for the 2003 Booker Prize and the 2003 Governor General’s Award and shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction.)
This was Melanie’s introduction to Margaret Atwood.
And Carra read this and loved it so much that she ordered the rest of the books in the trilogy but she prefers to play in a corner by herself, so wave in her direction as she waits for her shipment. *smiles and waves*
Also, Yasmine Rose wrote about the trilogy as a whole (see below).

The Penelopiad (2005, nominated for the 2006 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature and longlisted for the 2007 International Dublin Literary Award)
Madame Bibi @Madame Bibliophile Recommends

The Year of the Flood (2009, Oryx and Crake companion, longlisted for the 2011 International Dublin Literary Award)

MaddAddam (2013) (Third novel in Oryx and Crake trilogy, Goodreads Choice for Best Science Fiction 2013)
Yasmine Rose @ Yasmine Rose Reads

Melanie @ Grab the Lapels

The Heart Goes Last (2015)
Madame Bibi @Madame Bibliophile Recommends

Hag-Seed (2016)
Helen @ She Reads Novels

But of course, Margaret Atwood writes a lot of different forms, so there was also more to say about her children’s books (from 1978’s Up in the Tree to 2011’s Wandering Wenda and Widow Wallop) here (by Thoughts Become Words) and here (by me). Kristie read some short stories. I peeked into her poetry and, would you believe, a cookbook?! And Marcie held a discussion about readings, interviews and TV adaptations.

Finally, because the event unfolds in November to celebrate her writing and her birthday, there was also cake, at Laila’s house and at mine too!


Now for those of you who missed their slice of cake on the 18th, you’re lucky that we tossed a few leftover slices into the freezer. Grab a plateful and start thinking about what Margaret Atwood book you might like to read next!

**(If we forgot anyone, or if anyone posts a little after-the-fact, please let us know and we will add you to the list!)**

In Case you Missed It:


November 1: Beginnings at Buried in Print and Consumed by Ink

November 8: Cover Images at Consumed by Ink

November 15: Favourites at Buried in Print

November 22: Quotations at Consumed by Ink

November 29: Endings at Buried in Print

November 30: A Round-Up of links collected from participants at Buried in Print and Consumed by Ink

You can find more information about this event in our announcement post here and here.

See you next year!

27 thoughts on “Margaret Atwood Reading Month: Wrap-Up #MARM

  1. Cathy746books says:

    I am so sorry I didn’t manage to participate this year – I managed about two chapters of Oryx and Crake before life got in the way! I have loved reading everyone’s posts and I do hope it comes back next year – maybe we could all read The Testaments!

    • Naomi says:

      We were wondering about that very thing, Cathy!

      No worries at all, of course – running out of time and wishing I could do more is my specialty! 🙂

  2. madamebibilophile says:

    Thanks so much to you both for organising such a great event and for this very helpful round-up! I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s posts – so much Atwood has been a joy. The cake looks amazing 🙂

  3. Catherine says:

    Well, I completed the reading part before the end of the month but never made it to the writing. I’m sorry. I finished The Handmaid’s Tale and was stunned by the story and how it made me feel.

    What a great event. I’m going to try harder to participate next year!

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks, Catherine! I’m glad you were able to read the book. If you ever get a review up for it, we’re happy to add it to the list! 🙂

  4. iliana says:

    Thank you so much for hosting this and am so sorry I didn’t get to participate more but November was just a bit crazy. That cake looks yummy and now to look forward to the follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale right? What great news from Margaret Atwood!

    • Naomi says:

      No need for apologies! It’s all just for fun. So glad to have you join in for whatever you can!

      Her new book is going to be out just in time for MARM next year!

  5. annelogan17 says:

    What a wonderful idea for a blogging event, and I’ll repeat myself once again, I loved the acronym! Atwood would most certainly approve. Did someone tweet at her during November to let her know what you guys were doing? Did she acknowledge it in any way?

  6. buriedinprint says:

    Heheh Maaaybe I will still post it. Funnily enough, I hadn’t even been planning to reread this one, and was actually enjoying the idea of floating around and through a bunch of shorter pieces and introductions and interviews. But then I found a second-hand copy at a booksale which was the same edition as I’d read as a teenager so I was in. But the post? We’ll see. If so, you can be certain it was your vigorous nodding that did the trick!

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