Friday, March 26, 2010

But you don't have to take my word for it

First and foremost, I want to thank those of you who voted for my blog in the blog competition. If you have not voted yet, I would appreciate it if you would! Here's the link. Voting ends tonight at midnight! Now that I have that business out of the way, we can move on (but don't forget to vote! - Ok, I'm done now).

I just finished rereading, for the umpteenth time, one of my all time favorite books, The Bean Trees. Actually, I didn't exactly finish it. I still have five or six pages to go that I can't bring myself to read because I don't want the book to end.

I was first introduced to this book when I was 16 or so and I used to read it once a year because I loved it so much. But this time it had been about five years since I last read it. It meant as much to me this time as all the previous readings, only a bit more. And in different ways. Do you know what I mean? Different parts stand out to me now. But the book is still as amazing as ever.

There's another book I have a history of rereading. It's called Golden Boy's Sister. This book is sort of an inside joke with my sisters and me. We read it out loud to each other when we were young, and we loved it - but in a mostly joking way because it's just awful. It's like reading an after school special from the 80's. We laughed at it for all the wrong reasons. And it became a tradition for us to read this book out loud with each other every so often and laugh together about all our favorite terrible parts.

About a year ago I found our old copy of Golden Boy's Sister and decided to reread it since it'd been so long. This time when I read it I found that for the first time, I could relate more to the mom in the book than the teenage main characters. It was interesting and I'm glad I reread it, even though it's a truly awful book. I'll probably reread it again at some point in the future and find that I relate more to the grandma. But that better not be for at least five more years.

The thing I like about a reread is that it makes you realize things about yourself. You find you relate to the book differently because of things you've experienced since the last time you read it. Different characters stand out to you; different parts touch you. You feel parts of the book more deeply than you used to which causes you to reflect on the things that have changed in your life in the time that has passed.

Besides these two books I've listed, I have several other books I reread from time to time. Part of me thinks it's a waste of time because I have so many new books I'd like to read but another part of me thinks that rereading a book I love is like visiting an old friend. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Do you have a book that you have read over and over again? (If it's by Dr. Seuss, I'm sorry but it doesn't count. Shel Silverstein does count - don't ask me why.)


Anonymous said...

I have read, "Fox With Cold Feet"800+ times to my daughter. She finally told me last month that it was boring and we haven't touched it since!
I've read "Ten Stupid Things Women do to Mess Up Their Lives" about ten times and it always works.

Kwo Ling said...

"Treason" by Orson Scott Card and "Jennifer Government" by Max Barry. I think also "Outlaws of Sherwood" by Robin McKnight is turning into one of those rereads for me.

Heather said...

oh. my. gosh. GOLDEN BOYS SISTER! Could i love that book any more than i already do. Good times. I remember reading that book out loud when were were younger. Man, oh man.

I also heart Bean Trees. I need get that one.

I re-read "The Picture of Dorian Gray" I love that book. Crazy, i know, but i just love it.

Jim and I have our core groups of books that we love so much we re-read ever couple years:
*The Lord of the Rings set, of course
*The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles (if you haven't read these, do, please)
*Percy Jackson and the Olympians
*Where the Sidewalks Ends
(can I throw in a Babysitter's club shout out too?!)

Kathy said...

I really want to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" again. It's one of my top 3 favorites. But I keep finding new books to read instead. Someday.

Your story about the book you read with your sisters reminded me of "Mad Libs" (because I used to stay up late with my friends and giggle at our bodily function answers). I think we should get a pad and do it here at work!

Elizabeth Downie said...

ha, I think that's a great idea! Here's one for today.

When I see Pierce Brosnan in May, I'm going to (verb) __________ then tell him, "I (feeling) _________ you sooo much! You're even better looking than (less attractive celebrity) _________." I hope to get a scene in the movie so I can show off my (talent/or body part) __________ and finally get discovered. I'm sure that (star in movie)____________ and I are going to become best friends. And everyone will forget about the time I (past tense embarrassing action) ___________ in the Michael Cera movie.

Tracie said...

I am a book re-reader! Recently I've been re-reading Nancy Drew books with my daughter (first time around for her) and it just takes me right back to my childhood, snuggled up under the blankets reading with a flashlight!

I now have this mischievous urge to go find a copy of Golden Boy's Sister!

Here via Friday Follow! =) Have a great weekend!

Kathy said...

Yay! Here are my answers:

david schwimmer
kristen stewart
peed a little in my pants

Elizabeth Downie said...

Here are mine:

1. scream loudly
2. love
3. Carrot Top
4. dance moves
5. Ed Harris
6. wouldn't let go of Michael Cera

Wolfgang said...

keep saving blatants
don't care about
Freddy Krueger
new and improved lower lip
the "location director"
had a shaky lower lip

Sarah said...

I'm rereading "Eat, Pray, Love,"; usually, I do not reread books (only Jane Austen novels), but I read this one at a time in my life when I got one set of emotions out of it, and I figured I wanted to go at it again. :)

PS: Obviously, you have a future career as a Mad Lib author!! :)

count to 100
write flowery poetry about
Ray Romano
Zachary “Chuck” Levi
Choked on a grape

Aphrodite's Mortal Friend (ME) said...

ATree Grown in Broklyn- my favorite of alll time! And I've always wanted to read the Bean Tree- isn't there a few more in the series? Happy Friday Follow- stop by my place when you can!

Kel said...

Jane Austen's Emma! Just swinging by to wish you a happy weekend!


Tenny Kusuma said...

Happy FF! Following you from Friday Follow blog. Have a great weekend.

Tenny at Simply A Mom.

Anonymous said...

Mine would be Henry Miller's "The Air Conditioned Nightmare" - the writing's wonderful and I do love a good rant.

Kelly L said...

I do have a couple of books that I have reread several times - The Thornbirds - this the first novel I read almost 30 years ago - the beauty of the story - I still love it.

I am your new stalker from happy FF - please feel free to visit my blog and sign up for a giveaway - my first- a two movie DVD - The Perfect Stranger.

Erin said...

I reread lots of books! I think it's funny that Shel Silverstein counts but not dr. suess! I agree completely. Anyway Found you on Friday Follow. I hope you'll come stop by our chaos soon.

Anonymous said...

my favorite re-read would have to be "Love in the time of Cholera" it gives me hope.

An admirer from the distance. ;)

Katherine said...

Ah, Golden Boy's Sister... I'll never forget when she falls out of the moving car while trying to look cool when arriving at the school picnic at the lake. HA! I could never get through that part when we were reading it out loud. Plus Packy and Noony and all those silly boys calling her embarrassing nick names. I love that book.

My embarrassing re-read is "Camp Girl-Meets-Boy." So dumb, but so fun and summery! Ha! I've also read "The Bean Trees" many times (at your suggestion!), most Jane Austen novels (esp. "Persuasion," "Emma," and of course, "P&P"), anything by Roald Dahl or Lynn Reid Banks (you know, "The Indian in the Cupboard" series), as well as the Harry Potter series. Oh, and I've read the Twilight trilogy several times (note I said "trilogy"...). Apparently I re-read a lot of books!! But I also read new stuff, too. I am currently in the middle of about 4 or 5 books. I pick up whichever one I feel like reading that night! OH, Agatha Christie's a good one to re-read - she's written so many that I often forget "whodunnit" between reads! She's so good! Oh, books. I think I need to go read one right now.

Katherine said...

Oh, I forgot to include my Mad Lib answers:

pass out
wanna eat you
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
tripped over Billy Bob Thornton

P.S. Told you already, but LOVE the new quote!

Elizabeth Downie said...

Katherine, I definitely consider Twilight a trilogy too. Don't get me started on Renesme. Ugh!!

Anonymous, I'll have to read Love in the time of Cholera.

Liz said...

The Giver by Lois Lowry. It's one of my favorite books.