follows the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. After the war itself, which lasted ten years, his journey lasts for ten additional years, during which time he encounters many perils and all his crewmates are killed. In his absence, Odysseus is assumed dead, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must contend with a group of unruly suitors who compete for Penelope’s hand in marriage.
For this readathon, you’ll travel with Odysseus, as one of his crew, helping him to overcome obstacles at each stop on his journey home.
Luckily for you, the gods like you a little better than Odysseus and, if you want to, you can switch or combine events to suit yourself. I’ve designed the readathon to follow the map below, but don’t let that put you off or stress you out.
Will you make it home safely?
Sign-ups are open now and will remain open throughout the readathon (latecomers are welcome!).
The readathon itself will run from 1st to the 30th September in your own timezone.
Please feel free to post Twitter updates, reading sprints, Instagram photos or just generally share how you’re getting on with the readathon using the hashtag #mythothon Follow and tag @mythothon for updates, info and retweets.
Any questions, just let me know!
Create a full or partial TBR on any platform that suits you — YouTube, Twitter, blog post, Goodreads etc. — and leave a link in the comments if this post to join up.
If it can be added on Goodreads, it counts — novellas, graphic novels, audiobooks etc. are all fair game.
You can double up on prompts and/or jump around the map if you want. Tweak the difficulty to suit yourself. Have fun, don’t stress.
Your TBR can change over the course of the readathon.
To be clear, the books you choose DO NOT need to be mythology related to count, they just need to fit the prompt. For anyone who really wants to max their #mythothon game and work more retellings and mythology-inspired books into their TBR, you can find some lists on this blog I wrote for previous rounds.
The group book is not compulsory, but will be A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes.
It follows a number of women during and after the events of the Trojan War, interspersed with letters from Penelope to Odysseus. It’s one of my personal favourites and currently has a 4+ star rating on Goodreads.
You can use the group book as a substitute for any (one) prompt.
This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .
In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.
From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.
A woman’s epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world’s great tale ever told.
The Greeks have conquered Troy and now they are going back home.
Read a book set in a country not your own.
Odysseus and his men land on the island of the Cicones to raid it, taking all the food, water, and gold. Not his proudest moment.
Read a book about a villain.
Odysseus and his men dock on the island of the cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. Polyphemus eats some of Odysseus’ men but Odysseus tricks the cyclops into blinding himself so they can escape. He tells Polyphemus his name is Nobody, so when Poseidon asks who is to blame, the cyclops tells him, “Nobody”.
Read a book you know nothing (or very little) about.
4. Island of Aeolia.
The Wind God, Aeolus, gave Odysseus a bag of west winds, not to be opened until they returned to Ithaca. Impatient, Odysseus’ men opened it before they reached Ithaca and threw themselves massively off-course, making the journey even longer.
Read a book that is not the first in a series.
The Laestrygonians were cannibals. Odysseus and his men flee the island, back towards their ships but the giants throw boulders at the ships. Only Odysseus’ ship gets away.
Read a book with food in the title or on the cover.
They sailed to Aeaea, an island inhabited by the witch, Circe. Circe turns Odysseus’ men into pigs and keeps them there for a year.
Read a book that has a protagonist with a skill.
7. Teiresias and the Land of the Dead.
Odysseus follows Circe’s directions to the Underworld in search of the prophet Tiresias. Tiresias tells him how to get home.
Read a book you think you’ll learn something from.
Odysseus returns to the island of Circe to retrieve his men and bury their dead.
Return to a book and reread it.
The Sirens are creatures that lure men towards them with their singing, causing ships to break on the rocks. Odysseus puts beeswax into the ears of his men to keep them from hearing the Sirens’ dangerous song.
Read any book that calls to you.
10. Charybdis and Scylla.
The Scylla is a six headed creature that would take six men from each ship that passed by. Charybdis was a whirlpool that might destroy the whole ship. Odysseus had to choose between the two, which one to pass closer to. He loses six more men.
Pick two books. Flip a coin (or some other type of chance) to pick between them. You can Google ‘flip a coin’ to do this online.
The crew are hungry and slaughter the cattle of Helios, the sun god. When Helios finds out, he has Zeus destroy their ship.
Read a book with an animal on the cover.
Odysseus washes up on Ogygia where the goddess Calypso lives. He stays there for seven years. Athena eventually steps in and asks Zeus to let Odysseus go.
Read a book that has been recommended by a friend.
If you’re struggling to think of a recommendation, choose anything from any of the Mythothon recommendation posts.
Odysseus drifts to the island of the Phaeacians and is found by the daughter of Alcinous and Arete, Nausicaa. Odysseus convinces Alcinous to help him get home.
Read a book with royalty.
After 10 years at war, and 10 years of traveling, Odysseus is finally home at Ithaca! But, before he can officially return to his family, he must kick out the suitors squatting in his house and trying to marry his wife. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus kills all the suitors.
Read a story you got for free (e.g.: library book, borrowed, tor.com for short stories or Gutenberg for classics etc.).
If you have any other questions, please comment or contact me via twitter 🙂
Graphics created by @foxesfairytale using Canva