Author Topic: How and when do books change for you?  (Read 7177 times)

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NestHolder

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 05:46:00 PM »
When I read Pride and Prejudice as a teenager, I loved the romance.  In my thirties I loved the comedy.  Nowadays, I treasure the little moments where Jane Austen reveals her claws!

PastryGoddess

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 08:24:53 PM »
I'm rereading the "Wheel of Time" for the first time in a few years, and even though I read them as a teenager, and as new ones came out, I'm finding that I have a lot more understanding of some of the characters. When I was younger, it was about the adventures. Now, it's about the characters.

I'm working my way through them again and I'm a bit more impatient with the characters than I was as a teen

Winterlight

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 08:39:26 PM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

And Laurell K Hamilton.  Although the last might just be because her writing went downhill as I grew older.

Comparing her early work to her later stuff is PAINFUL. She got rid of her editor, and it shows.

I did have one of those moments with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. I still love them, but there are a couple of scenes that as an adult make me stop and say, "Wow, that was racist."
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
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finecabernet

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2012, 09:09:26 PM »
"Gone with the Wind." As a kid I thought for sure Rhett would get over it and come back to Scarlett. Now that I'm an adult I see that they were in a horribly dysfunctional relationship and that they never should have gotten together.

Also, I never saw the racism in it until I got older; now it's disturbing.

Re Wuthering Heights, I thought that Cathy and Heathcliff were meant to be and cruelly separated. Now I see that Heathcliff was an emotionally damaged sociopath and that Cathy was in a co-dependent relationship with him, and couldn't escape him.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2012, 09:26:15 PM »
Can you imagine this thread in 10 or 20 years and readers will be discussing Harry Potter or Twilight or the Hunger Games :) I'm sure I'm missing more series and authors, but those were the only ones I could think of

Enkidu

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2012, 02:53:54 AM »
For me, it was There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar, I think. Reading it as a kid, it was just a funny book, but I read it again a few years ago. As a mother, my heart aches for that little boy and his parents.

Me too! There were tears in my eyes when I reread it as an adult and got to the part where the parents push for removing the creative, effective school counselor in order to buy every classroom a computer. I found it a sad but true commentary on what we as a society prioritize.

Then again, it also made me think about the difference a caring adult can make in the life of a child, and made me imagine Bradley Chalkers all grown up, and still having a special place in his heart for Carla.

MerryCat

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2012, 02:58:40 AM »
When I read Pride and Prejudice as a teenager, I loved the romance.  In my thirties I loved the comedy.  Nowadays, I treasure the little moments where Jane Austen reveals her claws!

This and the humor has always been my favorite part of Austen! I think that people who see Austen's works only as romance novels, and compare her to modern romance writers are kind of missing the point. Not that there's anything wrong with a little fluffy, light romance. We all need a little brain-candy once in a while. But Austen's works are more than that.

Back on topic, I find a lot of Enid Blyton's works pretty hard to read these days. I know that they've been bowdlerized heavily to make them less sexist/racist/etc, but they're still just not as amazing as I remember.

Here's another one - I used to love the Little Women books as a girl. But when I re-read them recently, I found that I didn't like or sympathize with the characters nearly as much as I used to do. By contrast, when I went back to the Little House on the Prairie books, I found myself really appreciating for the first time how hard and hand-to-mouth their lives really were. Actually, it may have been the fact that I went back to LW right after re-reading LHOTP that changed my feelings for it. I found it a bit hard to see the Marches as poor when they owned their own house, had steady income, and don't have to eat just biscuits and boiled potatoes for supper. And the fact that Meg had fifty dollars to spend on silks, when Ma was worried about spending a few cents for candy on the train kind of cemented that for me. Intellectually, I realize that it's all relative and that you can be poor without being almost destitute as the Ingalls' were.  But going straight from one series to the other, when you haven't read either in years, was a really jarring experience. I may have to try Little Women again in a few years, when I've had my 'palate cleansed', do so speak.

CakeEater

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2012, 05:11:43 AM »
On Enid Blyton - I read a bit of one of my childhood books of hers the other day, where they sent a 9-year-old off on a bus and train to relatives she'd never met, and had no idea how to get there. "oh, just ask at the station'. That obviously made perfect sense to me as a child.

Cricket

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2012, 07:32:07 AM »
JRR Tolkien - Loved the Hobbit and Lord of the rings books when I was a young teenager. I started to read the Hobbit again last year to refresh my memory and see if it was suitable for my 9yo. I found it juvenile and patronising. I couldn't read more than a few pages. I love science fantasy and many books over the years have touted new authors as the next Tolkien. I now feel that it's almost an insult to do so!

Giggity

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2012, 07:56:22 AM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

And Laurell K Hamilton.  Although the last might just be because her writing went downhill as I grew older.

Is she the one whose characters can't actually cover any physical distance because they keep stopping every 20 feet to have sex? Or is that Anita Blake?
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Betelnut

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2012, 09:59:53 AM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

And Laurell K Hamilton.  Although the last might just be because her writing went downhill as I grew older.

Is she the one whose characters can't actually cover any physical distance because they keep stopping every 20 feet to have sex? Or is that Anita Blake?

Anita Blake is the name of the character in one of Laurell Hamilton's series.  And yes, nothing happens because the characters are having sex all the time.  Her last one was a bit better on this score so I am hoping that she has worked her way out of that rut.  Yes, I still read them but long for the earlier stories and plots.  You know, the books where something happens.
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bloo

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2012, 10:14:37 AM »
When I read Pride and Prejudice as a teenager, I loved the romance.  In my thirties I loved the comedy.  Nowadays, I treasure the little moments where Jane Austen reveals her claws!

This...so this! Just how I felt in my evolution of re-reading.

I know this isn't a novel, per se, but I grew up with the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip (debuting in newspapers when I was 12). I loved it and would laugh hysterically while reading it as a kid and teenager. As I had kids and watched them grow up (only 17 & 14 right now) I find myself TOTALLY identifying with Calvin's parents and am still laughing hysterically but from a different perspective!

Loved the D*ck Francis novels and they turned me into a bit of an Anglophile but when I revisit them (and I still do) they are so formulaic. I love Michael Crichton but feel the same way about his books.

Now that my daughter is a teenager, I have a different perspective on my fave book (mentioned in another thread) Coming Home. It came out before my daughter existed and my viewpoint on the main protagonist's decisions has changed over the years. I guess I've turned into an 'old mom'!  :)

jmarvellous

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2012, 10:28:36 AM »
My two favorite Annes (Frank and Shirley). Read their books in the last few months and was shocked by how cute and sweet they both are, and how ordinary.

Anne Frank really does seem like such a typical, universal teenager. Her relationship with her mom is much more poignant to me now than her relationship with Peter. And that Mrs. van Daan is a riot.

Anne Shirley seems like just about the best girl ever (instead of a terrible troublemaker!), though I still don't get why it took her so long to forgive Gilbert. My biggest change, though, is in seeing Marilla (the free Google books version is a bad scan that usually spells it Manila) as a wonderful character still growing up through taking on a child. What a wonderful parent!

Winterlight

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2012, 10:35:47 AM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

And Laurell K Hamilton.  Although the last might just be because her writing went downhill as I grew older.

Is she the one whose characters can't actually cover any physical distance because they keep stopping every 20 feet to have sex? Or is that Anita Blake?

She also wrote the Merry Gentry series, which someone online nicknamed "boinking her way to the throne." The first book was interesting worldbuilding, the rest devolved into bad p*rn.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Just Lori

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 10:46:00 AM »
This is not a book (and I apologize in advance for the thread drift), but a few months ago we were channel surfing and caught "Sixteen Candles," which was one of THE popular teen movies when I was a teen.  I completely related to the parents.  I cried when the dad realized he forgot his daughter's birthday.  I hyperventilated when the kids trashed the home during the party.

I guess I'd better not watch "Ferris Bueller" any time soon, or I'll be worked up over the car.  Who's going to pay for that!?!