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Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Discussion: Same Book Different Age, Any Difference?

It is drab and raining here today with the promise of two more days of the same.  I was not feeling very inspired to come up with a Monday Discussion today.  But thankfully, Elizabeth the Intern was here and she had a great idea. It's one I have done before, but not for years.

So the question is, is there a book you read when you were younger that you did not like, but re-read as an adult and loved?

I will go first.  I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and liked it just fine, but when I re-read it as an adult, I absolutely loved it.  I understood Atticus Finch and his dilemma much better the second time around.  We get the story through Scout's eyes only, and since she is a kid, she doesn't articulate everything that is really going on, only what she sees and notices.  As a kid myself reading the novel, I took everything Scout said as the whole story, but as an adult, I knew how to read between the lines more.

What about you?  For today's Monday Discussion share an experience you have had where a book changed for you by reading it at a different point in your life.


Elizabeth said...

I read Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat when I was 15 or so and I really didn't appreciate it- I think I got too caught up in the weird names (Secret Agent Lover Man) and the somewhat random, magic genie. However, when I read it again as an adult I fell in love with Block's lyrical writing style. It is now one of my favorite YA novels.

Christine said...

Greetings from Vermont Becky! I reread Jane Eyre last year, wondering if I would still love it. As with Elizabeth, it was a different experience. For one thing, at 15 I'd not yet read Jane Austen, so the first time around I didn't notice how similar the language was (written just 33 years after Pride & Prejudice). I also have a list of books to read for just this purpose but have not done so - starting with Grapes of Wrath.

John, Librarian At Dawn said...

The one that I always tell people about is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I was assigned to read it in high school and didn't. I think I got through less than two chapters so I gave up - and I'm glad I did! I read it on my own when I was in my early 20s and it had all the intensity it was intended to have. Particularly the stark ending. I don't think that teens, no matter how advanced their vocabulary, can fully appreciate such a novel. They simply have not had enough life experience to grasp what is being conveyed. The excuse used by those in academics is that Hemingway was very young when he wrote it (I think he was 19 or 20) but he had already experienced world travel, war, loss of life - the very topics of the book. In fact, the novel is semi-autobiographical. Most of all, the concept of existing without parental support, as an adult alone in the world is a precondition for grasping the later events of the book. Many teens just can't comprehend the deep meaning because they can't first understand the emotional and social context.

Anonymous said...

I've often thought that I should go back to my HS reading lists and go back and reread them with my adult self. Yes, it's important to read a variety of different authors in school, but there are some things that just make more sense at a different point in life.(ie. marriage, children, death.)

Christi said...

I was in love love love with Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet when I was a middle schooler. In particular, I adored A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I went back to it about a year ago and just didn't think it was as strong as either A Wrinkle in Time or A Wind in the Door. I think time can also make you more critical of something that you took at face value as a child.

Carey G said...

This is a play, but Macbeth. I read it in 10th grade and thought it was the worst. Now, it's one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I took two advanced Shakespeare classes in college and they taught me how to be an active reader, not just of the Bard but of all literature.