This week’s TTT topic, brought to us by The Broke and The Bookish, is books which we’ve felt differently about after time has passed. I am very obstinate and don’t change my mind about things very often, so let’s see if I can think of 10.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
I read this last year and thought it was fine; it just didn’t grab me in a strong way. A few months later, I met Lisa Williamson at a signing and her complete niceness and passion for her characters completed by 180 on this book.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
My opinion on this one hasn’t changed that much; I hated it when I first read it a few weeks ago and I still hated it when I reread it last month, but this time around, I at least managed to find a couple of things not to hate. I also felt really smart for the amazing theory I developed about the ending (which I then Googled and discovered quite a lot of people had already thought of it).
Far from the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
I read Hardy at university and hated him; Jude the Obscure was a particular source of boredom and I fell asleep in my seminar about it. Flash forward 13 years and I am now obsessed with Thomas Hardy and Far from the Madding Crowd, which I think I read “for fun” before going to uni, is my favourite. I don’t know what was wrong with me before.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Obviously I loved this book when I first read it and I still love it now, but I find new things to love about it every time I reread. My most recent experience with Offred made me an emotional wreck; my first reread as a parent made me focus on the pain Offred feels at losing her daughter and I was basically unable to cope. I’m really interested in how our feelings about books change based on how our lives change between readings, hence…
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
This has been one of my favourite books since I was 13 and my dad forced it into my hands as part of my initiation into the world of football. I’ve reread it every few years since, including this weekend, when I was newly struck by everything Hornby has to say about masculinity and how football and obsessions in general are at the heart of it.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae has inspired me to seek out more books with a space setting, and I really enjoy them, but none of them are as good as Illuminae, which only makes me love this more. I must reread while I’m waiting for Gemina.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
I was obsessed with this book as a child, but somehow managed to miss all the creepy stuff which I noticed when reading it to my daughter; like, what’s with the creepy town made of china, and the scarecrow breaking the necks of the birds the witch sends? It’s weird that this is such a children’s classic when it’s so frigging frightening.
Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book; the whole concept of a group of teenagers getting powers of ESP from a flu jab was silly but fun, and the book was entertaining. A few weeks ago, I read the sequel, Think Twice, which was so bad and vacuously pointless that it ruined Don’t Even Think About It.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The first time I read this, obviously I was touched by the friendship between George and Lennie, blah blah, but Of Mice and Men is a classic example of how no good comes from teaching a book too many times; I used this book as class text probably 4 or 5 times and ended up hating it. Seriously, John, we get it: Lennie is like an animal so you keep saying “paws” instead of “hands.” You didn’t need to use it 76 times.