Sunday, February 10, 2008

TSS Week 1

Hey! This is my first posting as a member of the Sunday Salon, and I am psyched. I guess I will dive right in. (Note: I read a lot of books at once so bear with me. I am going to limit myself to three per post.)

I really have no more excuses for not participating in the "My Year of Reading Dangerously" challenge except perhaps because I'm scared. I have been trying to read David Copperfield, for example, for about 9 years now. I am terrified by its length and by Dickens, though I have read and enjoyed him before. I guess this is the point of the challenge. I might switch my schedule up to start with Proust though, since I have been given many books as gifts (including Proust) and people are anxious that I read their gifts soon. Stay tuned.

I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the first time this week. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did because, after all, don't we all know the story by heart? Apparently not. I know this is cliched but the book is so different! There are all kinds of characters and countries we were not introduced to in 1939. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it is pretty violent, and I wonder how appropriate it would be for young children.

I also read The Little Prince for the first time. (I was having a serious children's book craving.) It was fabulous! One of those children's books that really packs a lot of philosophy and wisdom under the guise of fun. I was confused by the end and again, think that it might be heavy for young readers, but perhaps I am biased in that I like to try and shelter children from everything! (It's a scary world out there.)

Because I fell in love with SARK recently, after having read the fabulous Succulent Wild Woman, I ran to the library to get more of her. I took out Eat Mangoes Naked, which is a book about pleasure: how to find pleasure in the smallest things, in the dark times, etc. While it has not hooked me so far, I am enjoying it. (As I recall, I felt the same way about SWM, and by the end I was totally recharged and inspired, so I'm not giving up yet.)


Debra Hamel said...

I read The Wizard of Oz a couple years ago for the first time and was surprised myself because of the divergences from the movie. It was interesting to see the original and figure out why they changed things in making the film. Also interesting to see the back story of some of the characters--like the Tin Man and the flying monkeys. Who knew? Still, it got rather dull with all those different lands. I think the people made of china were a low point for me.

Clare Dudman said...

I've not read The Wizard of Oz or all those other books you've mentioned...and I really ought to. The list gets ever longer. Reading what you and Debra brings to mind Gulliver's Travels.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Salon. I know just what you mean about 'David Copperfield'. My own bete noir, as those who know me well will tell you, is 'Wuthering Heights'. I have at least four copies that well intentioned friends have given me over the years, convinced that I only had to have a copy in the house to read it, but no, it just doesn't work that way, does it.

Andi said...

Great post! Welcome to TSS! Unfortunately I don't share your warm feelings toward the Wizard of Oz. I had to read it first in an independent study (and for a class I was helping Thesis Director teach) and later for another class that slips my mind. I could barely stay away. Maybe because we'd been reading other really exciting things like Pinnochio and The Book Thief. It sort of paled in comparison.

Petunia said...

I've read both The Wizard of Oz and The Little Prince but I haven't heard of the other author. I'll be checking into her now.

I have thought about joining that challenge too but I think it would just be too much for me. I figured I'd try to read what I could along with them but that I wouldn't commit to anything. You have a good list. Good luck.

dshep said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! The Little Prince is a great book. I read it for the first time in my 20s.

My very favorite passage is in Chapter 21. The Fox explains taming and establishing friendships to the Little Prince.

"To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world."