Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three on a Theme: 3 Rereads of Old Classics

I don't need to tell you AGAIN how awesome audiobooks are, right? Well, I have been using audiobooks to reacquaint myself with some old favorites. I'd like to remind you that re-reading books you have loved from different times in your life can backfire. I'm looking at you, Hunger Games. It's not that I don't still love HG. But I was surprised at how much I didn't love it compared to the first time around.

These three are actually my top three favorites from childhood, so it was pretty risky to do a re-read. But, they were obvious places to start what I am sure to be an ongoing quest. 

The Wizard of Oz by F.L. Baum
The Wizard of Oz is a story set across a whole bunch of books I have never read. I have a bucket- list expectation to own them all but have made no efforts toward that goal. Ever. However, I consider the first book to be one of my all time childhood favorites. Reading it, recently, I had forgotten about each time one of the friends was separated from the group. I'd also forgotten about the mice and that the flying monkeys were not permanent minions of the Green Witch. I'm not even sure she was green in the book, come to think of it. I think this story is actually worth an annual re-read. I have also loved almost every retelling of this story. Especially when set to music.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:
I don't remember my thoughts about this book as a child though this one and Hodgson's The Little Princess (I need to reread that!) were favorites in elementary school. I remember being completely enthralled with the idea of moving into a huge house with secret rooms and a garden that was hidden away. I mean this is a fairy tale in it's finest, right? Re-reading it as an adult though, I was really struck by how much of it is really about parenting and what children need to flourish. The audiobook was lovely and the reader does a wonderful job with it. I was apparently combining the two male characters in my mind and I had ZERO memory of the ending.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I cite Alice and Wonderland as my top favotite book about half the time (the other half I say the Wizard of Oz). The interesting thing is that I'm not sure I understand most of it. It's embedded, supposedly, with satire about the society in which it is set, and the language is a bit topsy turvey. And who the hell knows why a raven is like a writing desk?! But I love it. Again, the magic is in the possibilities. And the talking animals.

Honorable Mention:
I also re-read the Harry Potter series and now have a clear preference in the question of Jim Dale or Stephen Fry. 

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