Two Literary Things: The Literary Blog Hop and the Literary Giveaway Hop

I'll start with one hop:  The Literary Blog Hop at The Blue Bookcase

Literary Blog Hop
This is a bi-weekly hop for the literary minded. This week's question is:

Should literature have a social, political, or any other type of agenda? Does having a clear agenda enhance or detract from its literary value?


I'm a little late chiming in on this one, but I think my answer is similar to lots of others.  I don't think literature necessarily has to have an agenda.  However, I do believe that all literature has social/cultural/political implications.  I think some genres -dystopian fiction, satire,  science fiction, or the philosophical novel for example- do usually have an agenda.

Books that do have an agenda can be well-written or poorly written.  I'll take Margaret Atwood's novel, A Handmaid's Tale, as an example.  It is well-written, compelling and it hasa clear political agenda.  The aim of the satire in the novel is both specific and general.  She is not bound to her time, although the novel is timely.  The novel endures because, along with specific critique of governments and laws, there are universal themes as well: oppression and the power of storytelling, friendship and isolation.

Books that have an agenda specific to a time in place that fail to touch the universal, don't endure.  Then, there are books with no particular social/political agenda, that tell us so much about a time period or humanity, that they endure as cultural products.  That is what literature is: a product of culture, and so we learn a lot about ourselves and our history from reading it, or else it might not be worth reading. 

Besides the hop this week, there is also the LITERARY GIVEAWAY HOP hosted at Leswammes' Blog:  

I signed up for the giveaway hop a while back and I wasn't sure what to giveaway.  However, I found a copy of Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson, in great condition at my library sale, and I decided on that.  It is a previously loved book, but it is in great shape, and it is one of my favorites so far this year (read my review here). GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING.

Also be sure to check out all the other stops on the giveaway hop!

  1. Leeswammes (Int)
  2. The Book Whisperer (Int)
  3. Kristi Loves Books (Int)
  4. Teadevotee (Int)
  5. Bookworm with a View (Int)
  6. Bibliosue (Int)
  7. Sarah Reads Too Much (Int)
  8. write meg! (USA)
  9. My Love Affair With Books (Int)
  10. Seaside Book Nook (Int)
  11. Uniflame Creates (Int)
  12. Always Cooking Up Something (Int)
  13. Book Journey (Int)
  14. ThirtyCreativeStudio (Int)
  15. Col Reads (Int)
  16. The Book Diva's Reads (Int)
  17. The Scarlet Letter (USA)
  18. The Parrish Lantern (Int)
  19. Lizzy's Literary Life (Int)
  20. Read, Write & Live (Int)
  21. Book'd Out (Int)
  22. The Readers' Suite (Int)
  23. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (USA)
  24. Ephemeral Digest (Int)
  25. Miel et lait (Int)
  26. Bibliophile By the Sea (Int)
  27. Polychrome Interest (Int)
  28. Book World In My Head (Int)
  29. In Spring it is the Dawn (Int)
  30. everybookhasasoul (Int)
  31. Nishita's Rants and Raves (Int)
  32. Fresh Ink Books (Int)
  33. Teach with Picture Books (USA)
  34. How to Teach a Novel (USA)
  35. The Blue Bookcase (Int)
  36. Gaskella (Int)
  37. Reflections from the Hinterland (USA)
  38. chasing bawa (Int)
  39. 51stories (Int)
  40. No Page Left Behind (USA)

  1. Silver's Reviews (USA)
  2. Nose in a book (Int)
  3. Lit in the Last Frontier (Int)
  4. The Book Club Blog (Int)
  5. Under My Apple Tree (Int)
  6. Caribousmom (USA)
  7. breienineking (Netherlands)
  8. Let's Go on a Picnic! (Int)
  9. Rikki's Teleidoscope (Int)
  10. De Boekblogger (Netherlands)
  11. Knitting and Sundries (Int)
  12. Elle Lit (USA)
  13. Indie Reader Houston (Int)
  14. The Book Stop (Int)
  15. Eliza Does Very Little (Int)
  16. Joy's Book Blog (Int)
  17. Lit Endeavors (USA)
  18. Roof Beam Reader (Int)
  19. The House of the Seven Tails (Int)
  20. Tony's Reading List (Int)
  21. Sabrina @ Thinking About Loud! (Int)
  22. Rebecca Reads (Int)
  23. Kinna Reads (Int)
  24. In One Eye, Out the Other (USA)
  25. Books in the City (Int)
  26. Lucybird's Book Blog (Europe)
  27. Book Clutter (USA)
  28. Exurbanis (Int)
  29. Lu's Raves and Rants (USA & Canada)
  30. Sam Still Reading (Int)
  31. Dolce Bellezza (Int)
  32. Lena Sledge's Blog...Books, Reviews and Interviews (Int)
  33. a Thousand Books with Quotes (Int)


  1. Even books without a clear political or social agenda are still, like you say, commenting on the culture they're a product of. It's hard to think of a book that doesn't have some sort of agenda.

  2. not eligible for entry, but thought I'd say hello anyway. Hello.

  3. I am one of the participating blogs and wanted to stop by to say hello.


    I have two separate giveaways going on…one is for NIGHT TRAIN and one is my Blog Hop giveaway of HOW TO READ THE AIR.



  4. very well put. I agree that all literature is a product of culture.

  5. I took a class called Theology and Literature about a million years ago, and the point was that every author shares their concept of the divine in their work. Your post reminded me of that wonderful class!

  6. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!

    My mom has been sick, so I never got around to signing up to participate in the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop. I have a June Giveaway going on this month at my blog, and I'd love to invite you to stop by and throw your name in the hat for this book! It's a US giveaway only this month, but next month, I'll be offering an international giveaway for an Amazon card.

    If you follow my blog, let me know. I always follow back.

  7. I like how you mentioned the 'eduringness' of a work with an obvious agenda. It has worked if it is timeless, and fall flat if it isn't...

  8. Nice response, and a great point:

    "Books that have an agenda specific to a time in place that fail to touch the universal, don't endure"

    As you point out, satire (when skilfully done) can be a very effective form of literature and social change.

    Thanks for joining in the hop!


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