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Defector Reads A Book

Introducing: Defector Reads A Book

a few students read in a crowded library
(Photo by Authenticated News/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Welcome to Defector Reads A Book, a new feature in which Defector reads a book, and then writes about it.

Three Defector book sickos, (me, Giri Nathan, and Maitreyi Anantharaman) will spend the month of November reading the same book, and then upon finishing that book we will post our discussion about it on this website. We encourage you to read it along with us, so that when the time comes you can share your own thoughts about the book. Is this partly a scam to convince our boss Tom Ley to purchase us subscriptions to nerdy literature publications? Absolutely not! We would never ever do this! DRAB is about the love of reading.

Anyway, let’s meet the book.

For the month of November, we will be reading Maria Dahvana Headley’s new translation of Beowulf.

Beowulf is one of the oldest English language works of literature that still exists, and Headley’s new translation has been praised by NPR and The New Yorker and a bunch of other fancy book places for bringing this ancient tale into the present day, both linguistically and thematically. I cannot vouch for any of this as I have not yet read the book. In fact, I haven’t read any translation of Beowulf since high school. Will this be a fun thing to read? Will we hate it? We will find out together!

How this will work is simple: you buy the book; we buy the book. As supporters of small businesses, we suggest ordering this book from your local independent book store! This month’s book is a paperback so it’s not even that expensive. If you must order your book online, we recommend Bookshop.org.

Once we all obtain the book, we read it. Then we will meet back here (Defector.com) on the last weekday of the month (in this case: Monday, November 30). We the dreaded book sickos will publish a blog with our thoughts, and then join you in the comments for yours! Happy reading!