Author Topic: How and when do books change for you?  (Read 6504 times)

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JeanFromBNA

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2012, 09:40:04 PM »
Not a book, but the Sex And The City television series, and the two movies  I watched the original series on HBO, and enjoyed most of the episodes.  Now that I've seen reruns, I think that many of the characters are self-absorbed, self-centered, and shallow.  I still think that some scenes that show how the characters have grown are outstanding.

nuit93

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2012, 12:59:12 AM »
Judy Blume's Forever.  When I was young, it was really romantic and "grown up."  I reread it about a year ago and I hate all the characters, including the parents.  Only the sister was OK.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  As a youngster, I thought the dad was so fun and thought the mom should lighten up.  Now I understand and identify with the mom, and think the dad is a weak deadbeat.  Fun doesn't put food on the table.

I was about to post about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn also--when I read it as a kid, I identified more with Francie and her feelings growing up.  Reading it as an adult, I was more drawn to her mother.

alkira6

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2012, 01:27:19 AM »
Just about any Harlequin romance. I devoured those as a teen - bout them by the boxfull at yardsales and rummage sales.  I picked up a few a couple of years ago and promptly wanted to throttle every female main character in each book.  Maybe there was a period of time in the late 90's early 2000's where romance was redefined as a single mother (and always a single mother) being more attractive and more of a "real" woman than the woman with no kids that their love interest was already dating. Just the attitudes that these women had of being more "deserving" of attention/love/romance burned me up.  Not to mention the older Harlequin's where every woman is a virgin and falls in love because of "forceful, manly s3x ie borederline noncon s3x". How is this romantic?

On the other hand, rereading Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" gives me something new to think about every time I read it. I went from  :-\ and  :o and  :'( in my teens to debating current policy of reproductive freedom vs religious rights and how lack of participation in government will create a government that has no concern for you.

The Harry Potter books - I loved the first five and still do, the last book was about camping and was kind of phoned in.  I still think that Harry would not be anywhere near as functional as a human being after his upbringing his first 11 years and the additional trauma would not help.

Shakespear - I learned to pick out the naughty bits as I got older, so it's all funnier to me.

Sherlock Holmes - I did not like the novels when I was younger but after watching the absolutely wonderful and borderline cracky BBC series that started a couple of years ago, I went back and reread a couple (Hounds of the Baskervilles, A Study in Scarlett, A Sign of the Four)  and I appreciate the detail and induction work that Shelock does.

I used to love piers anthony as a preteen, now all of his books just make me roll my eyes. Anne Rice is the same except for the Beauty series, and that has always appealed because of specialist interests.

Jocelyn

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2012, 10:39:09 AM »
 

I heard that an ex-DH wanted "his share" of the money since the book was written while they were married and it took a while to get THAT worked out - I have no idea if he co-wrote, edited, or just "inspired" her.  But she did seem to have lost something over the long delay - skill? Inspiration?  Pacing?  Writing something besides "Ayla & Jondalar" either fighting or making up?
[/quote]
Perhaps he assisted in research for all the scrabble scenes? >:D

snowflake

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2012, 04:29:47 PM »
Great thread! It made me think of the Little House on the Prairie books also. I loved them when I was a little kid, like in elementary school; I loved all the detailed descriptions of how things were done back in the olden days--making cheese, gathering provisions for winter, that kind of thing. I reread them again when I was about 20 and realized how terribly hard their lives were, and how young kids were doing such dangerous things, because everyone had to help out or you wouldn't survive. All the close calls they had--like when Pa was stranded in the snow trying to get home from town, and Ma finally latches the door shut for the night, resigning herself to the fact that he isn't coming home (at least that night). That could have been the end of their pioneer days, right then.

And now, honestly, a lot of "pioneer" stories that I loved as a kid for the adventure just make me angry, parents dragging their kids off into the wilderness seemingly on a lark and without much preparation. It seems so irresponsible to me now.

I was the same way.  I read the whole series initially when I was 7 and thought that it was a fabulous adventure and sort of wanted to give up school so I could plow all day.  I re-read them when we visited some of the sites about 5 years ago and was shocked to realized that at times I was reading about them going through severe malnutrition.  Wow!  How did I miss that?  I also read some background and found out that Carrie never did recover her health after The Long Winter.  I really felt for Caroline.  How must it have been for her to watch her kids go through that when she was never completely on-board with pioneering to begin with.

Elisabunny

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2012, 05:51:54 PM »
Great thread! It made me think of the Little House on the Prairie books also. I loved them when I was a little kid, like in elementary school; I loved all the detailed descriptions of how things were done back in the olden days--making cheese, gathering provisions for winter, that kind of thing. I reread them again when I was about 20 and realized how terribly hard their lives were, and how young kids were doing such dangerous things, because everyone had to help out or you wouldn't survive. All the close calls they had--like when Pa was stranded in the snow trying to get home from town, and Ma finally latches the door shut for the night, resigning herself to the fact that he isn't coming home (at least that night). That could have been the end of their pioneer days, right then.

And now, honestly, a lot of "pioneer" stories that I loved as a kid for the adventure just make me angry, parents dragging their kids off into the wilderness seemingly on a lark and without much preparation. It seems so irresponsible to me now.

I was the same way.  I read the whole series initially when I was 7 and thought that it was a fabulous adventure and sort of wanted to give up school so I could plow all day.  I re-read them when we visited some of the sites about 5 years ago and was shocked to realized that at times I was reading about them going through severe malnutrition.  Wow!  How did I miss that?  I also read some background and found out that Carrie never did recover her health after The Long Winter.  I really felt for Caroline.  How must it have been for her to watch her kids go through that when she was never completely on-board with pioneering to begin with.

I wondered about the bolded.  Mary was so coddled, and yet reading between the lines in Little Town on the Prairie it was pretty obvious that Carrie was the one who suffered the most.
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Jones

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2012, 06:00:11 PM »
When I was a kid, I saw "Mr. Popper's Penguins" as a silly little story about a man who, through a series of accidents, ends up with a funny trained penguin act and has adventures while traveling with them.

As an adult, I see a man who has a bunch of pets he can't afford, his wife helps him come up with a way to do so, she quietly follows him all over the U.S. to help with the act. The children are pulled out of school. Finally, after turning down a huge monetary contract that would make it so his family had food other than beans (their primary staple), he leaves for a couple years to assist in rehabbing the birds to the wild; he doesn't consult his wife, just hollers to her with a wave, and she sighs and takes it. Why can't she go along? Why can't he send the birds off and go back home with his human family? Gah!

If I were Mrs. Popper, Mr. Popper would be a divorced man when he made his way back again.

iridaceae

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2012, 07:15:53 PM »
Barbara Michael's Ammie, Come Home. I read it in grad school and loved it, and was recently rereading it when I hit the line, "There are women you seduce, and women you rape..." And stopped cold and said, "WHAT!!!" That really jarred me. I'm surprised that I missed it the first time around, but yeah. That wasn't a fun moment.
That doesn't bother me because of the general conversation and talking about how Pat was mixing up the two and Sara's boyfriend noticed this and how severely this jarred him and made him start thinking hard about everything.

Jocelyn

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2012, 07:25:02 PM »
  I really felt for Caroline.  How must it have been for her to watch her kids go through that when she was never completely on-board with pioneering to begin with.
And losing her only son, who is never mentioned in the books, during the Little House on the Prairie period. Not to mention the idea of delivering a baby miles from town, in a house that's roughly the same size as my living room.

If you read LHBW, though, there are some rather questionable parenting practices, such as when Ma braids Mary's and Laura's hair, and then tells them to go ask their aunt (who is just arriving) which she likes better, blond or brown hair. Maybe it was an old joke, but obviously Laura didn't get it- she thought everyone thought brown hair was ugly.
Legend has it that Rose Wilder Lane, who was a rather well-known journalist in her day, edited her mother's books after the first one, to edit out some references like that.

Just Lori

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2012, 08:12:07 PM »
As someone who continues to re-read the LHOTP books to this day, 40 years after I first read them, I am really enjoying the comments in this thread.  I've often thought that Mary was too good to be true in the later books.  She was beautiful, she never thought a mean thought, she was awesome.  Don't worry about that cow, Caroline, we're going to send our Mary to college.  And Laura, you need to go out and get a job teaching kids who are older than you are - and boarding with a certifiably insane lady - so Mary can stay in school.  Yet we never hear Mary say anything like, "Gosh Laura, thanks for paying for 3/4 of my organ and paying for all my school expenses all these years.  And thanks for the Christmas presents.  My gift to you is a letter telling you about all the awesome college stuff you're funding!"

And I'm still not convinced that Almanzo and Laura didn't kiss until after they became engaged.  The real Almanzo was a hottie.  I don't think I'd be able to sit demurely for, oh, three years without at least letting him hold my hand.

Jocelyn

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2012, 08:49:00 PM »
As someone who continues to re-read the LHOTP books to this day, 40 years after I first read them, I am really enjoying the comments in this thread.  I've often thought that Mary was too good to be true in the later books. 
There IS one scene where the sisters are walking on the prairie, and Mary admits that she pretended to be a goody two shoes because it got her all the attention, and that looking back on it, she was ashamed of how she'd manipulated Laura.
I've often wondered if the 'college' were so much about education, as about teaching Mary skills like reading Braille and navigating in the world. That was the era of educating 'exceptional' children in state schools. In that case, it would be a choice between sending Laura, who COULD read and educate herself on her own, and dooming Mary to never again be able to read on her own or walk without a guide, or sending Mary to the 'blind college'.

nuit93

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2012, 11:57:02 PM »

And I'm still not convinced that Almanzo and Laura didn't kiss until after they became engaged.  The real Almanzo was a hottie.  I don't think I'd be able to sit demurely for, oh, three years without at least letting him hold my hand.

Wasn't that considered fairly normal in those days?  Or at least, an acceptable level of intimacy to describe in a children's book?

MerryCat

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2012, 02:35:01 AM »
As someone who continues to re-read the LHOTP books to this day, 40 years after I first read them, I am really enjoying the comments in this thread.  I've often thought that Mary was too good to be true in the later books.  She was beautiful, she never thought a mean thought, she was awesome.  Don't worry about that cow, Caroline, we're going to send our Mary to college.  And Laura, you need to go out and get a job teaching kids who are older than you are - and boarding with a certifiably insane lady - so Mary can stay in school.  Yet we never hear Mary say anything like, "Gosh Laura, thanks for paying for 3/4 of my organ and paying for all my school expenses all these years.  And thanks for the Christmas presents.  My gift to you is a letter telling you about all the awesome college stuff you're funding!"

And I'm still not convinced that Almanzo and Laura didn't kiss until after they became engaged.  The real Almanzo was a hottie.  I don't think I'd be able to sit demurely for, oh, three years without at least letting him hold my hand.

I know that the books were quite different from the reality of their lives. For example, Laura did work at a hotel at one point, whereas in the books Pa says no daughter of his will ever work in a hotel. There were times when they all had to do "mens' work" to help Pa out in the fields. But in The Long Winter Laura writes that only she worked in the fields, and that Ma was against it. I also remember reading that the differences between Laura's and Mary's personalities were exaggerated in the books to create interest and tension, and that the sisters were more similar than different in real life.

Just Lori, I agree that she may at least have held hands with Almanzo, but of course we can't expect Laura to write about that LOL. I like how she tries to massage away the ten year difference in their ages by being vague about his age.

Going back to these books with an adult's ability to read between the lines gives you a very different view of the Ingalls' lives. Where I once saw it as a grand adventure in the west, I see now the toughness and perseverance of a family struggling through some incredibly grim times. I used to see Ma as kind of a downer, but now I find myself sympathizing more and more with her point of view.

MariaE

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2012, 02:42:45 AM »
If you're looking for the "real deal" about Laura, I can highly recommend "Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Donald Zochert. I'm currently in the middle of rereading it myself :)
 
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Verloona Ti

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2012, 08:17:03 AM »
Great thread! It made me think of the Little House on the Prairie books also. I loved them when I was a little kid, like in elementary school; I loved all the detailed descriptions of how things were done back in the olden days--making cheese, gathering provisions for winter, that kind of thing. I reread them again when I was about 20 and realized how terribly hard their lives were, and how young kids were doing such dangerous things, because everyone had to help out or you wouldn't survive. All the close calls they had--like when Pa was stranded in the snow trying to get home from town, and Ma finally latches the door shut for the night, resigning herself to the fact that he isn't coming home (at least that night). That could have been the end of their pioneer days, right then.

And now, honestly, a lot of "pioneer" stories that I loved as a kid for the adventure just make me angry, parents dragging their kids off into the wilderness seemingly on a lark and without much preparation. It seems so irresponsible to me now.

I was the same way.  I read the whole series initially when I was 7 and thought that it was a fabulous adventure and sort of wanted to give up school so I could plow all day.  I re-read them when we visited some of the sites about 5 years ago and was shocked to realized that at times I was reading about them going through severe malnutrition.  Wow!  How did I miss that?  I also read some background and found out that Carrie never did recover her health after The Long Winter.  I really felt for Caroline.  How must it have been for her to watch her kids go through that when she was never completely on-board with pioneering to begin with.

I wondered about the bolded.  Mary was so coddled, and yet reading between the lines in Little Town on the Prairie it was pretty obvious that Carrie was the one who suffered the most.

It's been years since I've read the books, but I am still annoyed with Caroline's belief that, because SHE "had her heart set" on having a daughter that's a 'schoolmarm', she had a perfect right to try to cajole, nag, and pout Laura (who loathed everything about teaching children) into becoming a teacher. And bear in mind a school marm back then was pretty much doomed to a celibate life : Many school districts did not ALLOW married women to teach school until well into the 20the century!