Pinned post: Join us in an Ozathon? #Ozathon24

I’ve decided to start a readalong of the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. This follows two book-a-month readalongs hosted by Calmgrove that I have greatly enjoyed: the Narniathon in 2022 and LoveHain in 2023. As he’s not hosting another such event next year, I know I’m going to miss this part of my reading life, so I decided to start one of my own. I am delighted to announce that Deb of The Book Stop, a fellow Oz fan, will be joining me as co-host.

The Oz books were central to my reading life as a child, and I’m interested to look back at how they shaped me then and what they might say to me now. There are 14 books, and the plan is to start in December and read in published order through January of 2025.

If you’re not up for such a commitment, though, there will be a stopping point at the end of the first six books. Baum actually tried to end the series here — he wanted to write other things — but his fans wouldn’t let him, so he reluctantly went back to writing an Oz book a year till the end of his life. The later books have some good parts, but the first six are probably the strongest. You’ll get a good taste of Oz that way, even if you don’t go further.

It’s not necessary to read all of them, or read them in order. Feel free to dip in as you wish.

A well-loved set of Oz books

Otherwise, I just have one recommendation: Read an illustrated edition! When I read an ebook without illustrations, I realized how much the artwork had contributed to my experience of these books. The first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was a landmark of book design and illustration and has gone through many revisionings since then. The rest of the series was illustrated by John R. Neill in a distinctive style that I think greatly enhances Baum’s sometimes pedestrian writing. I’m sure his pictures were integral to the books’ initial popularity and success.

What about films and adaptations? No doubt these will come into the discussion, too, so bring whatever you’ve seen into the mix.

There will be a monthly post on each book, here or at The Book Stop or both, and a roundup of any posts that are shared with us. #Ozathon24 is the hashtag for sharing.

Dorothy and Ozma, by John R. Neill

Here is the schedule, with links to the wrap-up posts:

Part I: Essential Oz adventures

  • December, 2023: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz– hosted by Entering the Enchanted Castle
  • January, 2024: The Marvelous Land of Oz – hosted by The Book Stop
  • February, 2024: Ozma of Oz – hosted by Entering the Enchanted Castle
  • March, 2024: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz – hosted by The Book Stop
  • April, 2024: The Road to Oz – hosted by Entering the Enchanted Castle
  • May, 2024: The Emerald City of Oz – hosted by The Book Stop

Part II: Further journeys in Oz

  • June, 2024: The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  • July, 2024: Tik-Tok of Oz
  • August, 2024: The Scarecrow of Oz
  • September, 2024: Rinkitink in Oz
  • October, 2024: The Lost Princess of Oz
  • November, 2024: The Tin Woodman of Oz
  • December, 2024: The Magic of Oz
  • January, 2024: Glinda of Oz

I do hope you will join us for this exciting adventure.

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31 thoughts on “Pinned post: Join us in an Ozathon? #Ozathon24

  1. I’m very very tempted and will say yes, though I’ve been a hopeless fail at LoveHain (just read the one book). I did love the first Oz book as a child though I discovered the others only later and haven’t read book 3 onwards yet though I did see some animated adaptations.

        1. Yes, all are old enough for public domain. As I said, try to find them with illustrations. Looking forward!

  2. I’m so excited to join you on this journey! These were my favorite books as a child and Oz my favorite place to escape to in my imagination. There’s so much more to Baum than what most people realize. I hope rereading these will be as magical.

  3. I’ll certainly think about joining in one or two of the reads, Lory, providing I can access copies via the library or if I come across particular titles by happenstance! This sounds an excellent excuse to visit or revisit the Land of Oz for fans as well as newbies!

  4. I just read the first book a few years ago and like it. I have the Burns and Noble lather bound classic edition which is a bind up of the first three books.

  5. Oh, you are so tempting! I read many of these as a child (and missed much of the satire; I thought General Jinjer was awesome and had no idea he was making fun of her). This sounds like a lot of fun and I think I will join you…

    1. Tempt, tempt … Agreed about the satire! The Land of Oz particularly, the poking fun at suffragettes went right over my head. It will be interesting to discuss these from an adult perspective.

  6. I am very tempted! read and reread them all as a kid. So very much oddness to them…which reminds me I’ve been meaning to track down Alison Lurie’s essay, The Oddness of Oz, for ages….

    1. Yes, very odd indeed! I do hope you’ll join, let me emphasize again this does not need to be a marathon for all. Feel free to dip in and out as you wish. It would be great to look at Lurie’s essay. Was that in her book Don’t Tell the Grownups? I used to have it but I left it behind.

  7. Hi Lory, I am very tempted by this read-a-long! Sadly, I missed out on reading this books as a child – I did start reading the series a couple of years ago for The Classics Club, but that petered out a bit. I love your advice about reading the illustrated editions of them, as I do think reading them on my Kindle did contribute to me losing interest. Will look into getting my hands on an illustrated copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 👧

    1. Definitely look for versions with illustrations. There must be e-copies available too, but you might have to pay something for them. It will be lovely to have you along!

  8. My sister has custody of our family copies but I brought the first three back after Thanksgiving. My mother read all fourteen aloud to us, and I reread them frequently on my own. We agree, however, that some are much better than others. When do you plan to start?

    1. I’ll do an intro post on the 1st. Then I’ll do my own post of some kind during the month, and a wrap up at the end. I don’t think we will bother with a linky so to share your own post just leave a comment on any of mine, or I’m sure I’ll see it anyway. Looking forward!

  9. I enjoyed the first book a lot when I read it in the early days of my blog, my daughter being a fan of the film at the time, so I’d love to read some more. I’m particularly drawn to the Emerald City for May, as emerald is, of course, the May birthstone, and my birthday month too.

    1. Fantastic! I love those fortuitous connections. I’ve found there is a “Wonderful Welcome to Oz” edition from Modern Library that has an introduction by Gregory Maguire and the texts of Land, Ozma, and Emerald City – including illustrations, as far as I can tell. So for anyone who just wants a sampling that could be a good option. The original edition of Emerald City was particularly lavishly illustrated, with 16 color plates embellished with green sparkly paint. The Books of Wonder facsimile edition reproduced this effect and is still available (the originals are probably quite costly.) Anyway, happy to have you along.

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