Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Double Takes

Source: imlostinbooks.blogspot.com

Hello! Anybody home? I'm still here. The school year may have slowed down and ended last week, but summer picked up voraciously. My softball playing daughter has a crack in the growth plate of her heels, putting softball on hold; meanwhile, soccer is picking up for all three of them as softball is ending. My oldest will be a Freshman in high school this year (yikes, but no I don't feel old! I just wonder where the time went), and she will be trying her hand (or I guess, foot) at the high school girls' soccer team in a summer tournament before she commits to the fall season. The week after her games end, my younger two are playing in a local rec league, but are on opposite nights of the week - so Monday through Thursday night soccer games it is. And then there's the other get togethers and commitments along the way. So, there's been no break between the end of school and beginning of summer. But we've got a vacation planned, so it's all good.

Now to the books. I have a few ready for review, but I'm waiting for publication dates so the books are available. Also, I want to combine a few in one post because they have common publishers and/or topics. For now, as I've been reading through my book blog friends' posts, I've seen some titles of books I've read and got to thinking about rereading books. I don't reread books unless I teach them, those I read every year. I have learned first hand that to really know a book, you have to reread it, more than once at that. But I have so many books I want to get to at all, that it seems time wasted to reread. Nevertheless, here are some books I've reread and would read again.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I first read this classic in American Literature in high school and I now teach it! I have grown more fond of it with each reading. The characterization and those perfectly written phrases make me happy just thinking about them. And yes, I am a fan of the new movie...over the top (in true Gatsby style), just how Gatsby and Fitzgerald would expect.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
I taught TKM for six years to ninth graders. I've read biographies of Harper Lee and the entwining of the book in her life (my favorite is Mockingbird, by Charles J. Shields). And I wrote a twenty page paper of the book's publication history in grad school. I LOVE this book...I call it the Literary Bible because of the numerous life lessons I've seen with each reading. However, I am not a fan of the movie. Yes, you read that right. While Gregory Peck is the epitome of Atticus (no one could probably come near as good), I think the movie does not hold as close to the book as it should.  Yes, common statement from bibliophiles, but I've done my research on the movie, its production, and have found more than enough information about the unnecessary changes made to the book. (Ironically, Peck was the proponent of the changes...makes my love of him as Atticus bittersweet.)

**Side note: My husband wants a big dog and since I've picked out the last two, it only seems fair. However, I've struck a deal that the dog has to be named Gatsby or Atticus. However, due to my tenuous relationship with Peck, I'm pushing for Gatsby.

Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
I reread this one beginning of this year before I bought the movie. I didn't like the movie at first because I thought its artsy-ness hindered its accessibility to a wider audience. However, after a second watch, I liked it better. Also, I reread it in the best translation for Russian literature: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. I thought it was just me, but a friend reread in this translation too and said it made a huge difference.  I went out and rebought all of my Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation. Which leads me to my next reread...

Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction, by Tom Raabe
The definition of biblioholism on the cover says it all: the habitual longing to purchase, read, store, admire, and consume books in excess. Need I say more? No, but you want to hear more anyway? Sure! Here are some chapter titles: Anatomy of an Addiction (physical symptoms and living environment); Take the Test (even I blushed to see how highly I scored on this test); Variants of the Disease; We Are What We Buy; TheCure (which takes you through every level from abstinence to buy till it hurts).

There are more, but it seems easiest to say that the books I'd reread are Classics (and literary merit - depending on your definition of a classic). There's just something great and timeless about the writing and characters...hence the term Classics. What would you gladly reread?


  1. Oh pleeeaaassee name your new dog Atticus :) Swoon and sigh and swoon again!

    You picked GREAT books for a reread. Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites and I recently reread Gatsby.

    Biblioholism sounds like a perfect book!

    1. Yes, everyone who book blogs should read Biblioholism!

  2. Interesting on Anna! I am listening to it, but I'm not sure which version.

    BTW Atticus was a really GOOD person, even if you have a Peck issue, the character was someone to look up to.

    1. Atticus was my first fictional character crush! Swoon and sigh as Jennifer said above. Did you know they use TKM in law schools to teach morals and ethics? He's the ultimate good guy.

  3. What a great list of rereads! Mockingbird ranks at the top of my list as a reread. In fact, I read it for the third time last summer. Love the names you've insisted upon for the dog-to-be!

    1. Kinda makes me want to rename my other dogs! Lol

  4. Am I the only person on the face of the earth, or at least the western hemisphere, who has not read To Kill a Mockingbird? Someone quick get Jennine a glass of water, give her air, she just fainted.
    I think it was assigned in school and I used Monarch notes or something. Lately the book has been popping up everywhere so okay, I am going to read it, I promise.
    When I finish may I have a gold star?

    1. Did you hear that Carolynn? It was my jaw dropping to the floor! Never read To Kill a Mockingbird?! Oh the tragedies of life ;) If you read it I will give all the gold stars you want!