Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reading, lately

As an English major, I read constantly for most all of my classes. This semester has yet to yield anything of particular interest to me as far as literature goes, however. I just can't get into Medieval British literature...and I sort of in awe of those who can. So this week I was extremely grateful when my mother gave me two books she picked up at a yardsale & thought I might enjoy, and enjoy them I did! What-the-Dickens by Gregory Maguire & Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin.
Maguire, who wrote the Wicked series as well as several other fantastic fairytale re-tellings, is one of my favorite storytellers. What-the-Dickens was, to me at least, about the art of storytelling itself, and though it's certainly in the veins of young adult literature, it has plenty beneath the text for the grown up reader. It made me think quite a bit about imaginations & childhood, and the magic we struggle to keep with us.
Alice I Have Been is also a story retold. The narrator is Alice from wonderland as a woman in her eighties. The story explores her relationship as a little girl with the man who wrote Alice in Wonderland (in the story, Mr. Dodgson) and her young life in Oxford. It continuously questions the divide between childhood and after. I finished it at 3am this morning & cried over the last several pages. I'm a book crier, what can I say.
Now I need new books!
Any suggestions? What are your favorite books?


  1. Question, does the Alice book get into the creeper parts of Lewis Carroll?

    I, like everyone else probably, got stuck on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books. They have an awesome mystery story.

    For my "lighter" mysteries, I love this series called "The Cat Who" books by Lillian Jackson Braun. They feature this reporter with a large mustache and his two Siamese cats. They kinda help him on the puzzles, but not in a fantasy novel way. They just do things that seem like a weird coincidence.

    Sadness that Brian Jacques just passed. Redwall books always made me happy when I was small.

    I love reading comic books too, obviously. I would recommend Jeffrey Brown to you. His "relationship" ones are so real. There is "Unlikely," "Clumsy," and "AEIOU: Any Easy Intimacy."

    Vonnegut vonnegut vonnegut.

    Sometimes I like going back and trying to read classics I have missed out on along the way.

  2. Alice I Have Been does touch on the darker side of Lewis Carroll, but through the eyes of Alice who finds she was too young to really remember what happened. But her family eventually no longer allows him to see her because of their questionable relationship, and throughout the book attention is drawn to his attachment to little girls.

    I never read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books or the Cat books! Perhaps I will soon. I'm very sad about Jacques. Other than Harry Potter, Redwall is my favorite world. The still make me happy, I re-read them.
    Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors. Which book is your favorite? Mine are Slaughterhouse-five and The Sirens of Titan.

    Thanks for the suggestions, lady!