Old School Wednesdays

Old School Wednesdays Readalong: September Poll

As you probably know by now, Old School Wednesdays is a new weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when we were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation into the past, right?

Old School Wednesdays Final

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We asked YOU for your favorite old school suggestions – and the response was so overwhelmingly awesome, we decided to compile a goodreads shelf, an ongoing database, AND a monthly readalong/book club. (Note that we’ve removed books that we have already read, or that we selfishly want to review as solos on Wednesday!)

September Readalong:

It is time for the September poll! Our official August readalong happens next week (Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede & Caroline Stevermer), but we’re preparing for September and opening the floor to voting for next month! The September Readalong will take place on September 25.

You can vote on which title you’d like to read by using the poll in our sidebar, or following the titles below. Every month, we’ll select 4 titles at random from the OSW suggestions database. We’ll also include the one title from the previous month’s poll – the runner up with the second most votes (last month, that title was Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr). Without further ado, here are the new crop of 5 titles for voting!

Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr

Lord of the Two Lands

In 336 B.C., Egypt lay under the yoke of Persia, ruled by Governors appointed by the King of Kings in Persis. And in the Temple of Amon in Thebes dwelt the only living child of Nectanebo, the last fully Egyptian Pharaoh, who had been defeated in battle and slain by Darius’s servants

But from the north a spirit of fire was moving across the World. A great warrior and general, the king of Macedonia, had risen to rule the Hellenic city-states. Now he was determined to challenge the might of the Persian Empire, to engage Darius himself in battle, and to defeat him. He was called Alexander, and the priests of Amon in Egypt saw that he was destined to rule their ancient land.

So they sent Meriamon, Beloved of Amon, daughter of Pharaoh, Singer and Priestess of the God, up from Egypt to the Plains of Issus, where a great battle had been fought, and the Persian king defeated. There she was to find Alexander, and persuade him to turn from the straight Eastward road and come south – where the double crown of Egypt awaited him.

LORD OF THE TWO LANDS is firmly based in the history of Alexander the Great, and then steeped in the rich, sun-drenched magics of ancient Egypt. It will transport you back to the time of heroes, when one man changed the face of the world.

Hunter’s Oath (The Sacred Hunt #01) by Michelle West

Hunter's Oath

Once a year the Sacred Hunt must be called, in which the Hunter God’s prey would be one of the Lords or his huntbrother. This was the Hunter’s Oath, sworn to by each Lord and his huntbrother. It was the Oath taken by Gilliam of Elseth and the orphan boy Stephen–and the fulfillment of their Oath would prove the kind of destiny from which legends were made.

Jackaroo (Kingdom #1) by Cynthia Voigt


There is much want in the kingdom and the tales of Jackaroo, the masked outlaw who helps the poor in times of trouble, are on everyone’s lips. Gwyn, the innkeeper’s lively daughter, pays little attention to the tales. But when she is stranded during a snowstorm in a cabin with the lordling Gaderian, and finds a strange garment that resembles the costume Jackaroo is said to wear, she begins to wonder….

Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee

Wolf Tower

A new teen fantasy series begins with this story that sweeps readers into an epic adventure while probing truths of adolescence. Claidi is a 16-year-old orphan, forced to serve as a handmaiden to a cruel, royal family in the oppressive House. Outspoken and ready for romance, she becomes embroiled in a plot to rescue a handsome, intriguing prisoner.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


Since it was first published in 1987, the story of thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson’s survival following a plane crash has become a modern classic. Stranded in the desolate wilderness, Brian uses his instincts and his hatchet to stay alive for fifty-four harrowing days.

This twentieth-anniversary edition of Hatchet contains a new introduction and sidebar commentary by Gary Paulsen, written especially for this volume. Drew Willis’s detailed pen-and-ink illustrations complement the descriptions in the text and add a new dimension to the book. This handsome edition of the Newbery Honor book will be treasured by Hatchet fans as well as by readers encountering Brian’s unforgettable story for the first time.

[poll id=”7″]

Get voting! And we hope you will join us on September 25.

Ongoing Suggestions:

Got a suggestion? Have an amazing book, published at least five years ago, that you would love to nominate for the OSW monthly readalong? Speak up and submit your favorites! (If you have problems with the form below, you can also access it HERE.)

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  • hapax
    August 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    These are all good books, but I pretty much think that anyone who cares about YA / middle grade literature *has* to read HATCHET. It’s just that much of a classic.

    Besides, we haven’t read many “boy” books in this read-along…

  • Liz
    August 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I LOVE Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra, so I really want to try the stuff she wrote as Michelle West.

    Hatchet is a classic though — I remember really liking it in middle school.

  • Thea
    August 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I *love* Hatchet and am definitely planning on a re-read soon! BUT I voted for the Cynthia Voigt title because: 1. I’ve never heard of it (?!?!) and 2. With that new Voigt book coming out it seems like perfect timing!

  • Kate K.F.
    August 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Jackaroo was one of my favorite books growing up and seeing it here reminds me that I should reread it at some point. I never knew it was part of a series but it worked well for me when I was in my Robin Hood, must read all the medieval fantasy stories stage and it has a badass heroine.

    I’ve never heard of the one about Alexander and as a Classicist, he was one of my favorite historical figures to study. I need to find that one.

  • Estara Swanberg
    August 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Two awesome books again! Michelle West AND Judith Tarr *sigh*. Well, there’s always the fact that the Hunter’s Oath duology overlaps with the first part of the House War and Sun Sword series, so maybe you’ll get around to reading it that way.

    Having said that, awesome Evayne a’Nolan gets more screentime in the Hunter’s Oath duology, probably because she’s the eminence grise between happenings and with Jewel in the other series as one of the main characters there’s already one seer to many.

    For that matter MSW’s Cast in Sorrows will be out in six days (that’s the Elantra series by MSW ^^) so yay!

  • Hazel
    August 22, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Oh, I haven’t read the Jackaroo books in so long! I think I forgot they existed. Wow.

  • Juan Pazos
    August 22, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Have you noticed that the second most-voted title from the poll is usually the least voted the second time around? That’s a pity, I really wanted to read Lord of the Two Lands, a kind of book I tend not to be interested about. These readalongs are a great oportunity to get out of reading ruts, get a taste of something new.

    BUT I voted for Hunter’s Oath this time.

  • Ana
    August 22, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I never heard of Hatchet so I voted for it, because everybody seems to love it? *grin*

    Juan Pazos – these books go back into the roster so they might make a come back later again. I really want to read Lord of the Two Lands too!

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