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Topic: Re-reads - what a surprise!

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Subject: Re-reads - what a surprise!
Date Posted: 10/26/2011 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was a young teenager at least twice and now I'm listening to it.  I am amazed at how different it seems.  So much so that I wonder if I read an abridged version.  Now it's been more than 40 years since I read, but there are key parts that are a total suprise to me.

Anyone else have a similar experience? It makes me wonder if I should go back and reread much of what I read as a kid.

Date Posted: 10/26/2011 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,573
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Yes, I agree about rereads.  I reread Alas Babylon, On the Beach, Left hand of Darkness and a couple of other favorites this year and was shocked at how much I just didn't understand about the stories and motivations of the characters when I was so much younger.  It was worth the time to reread all of them.

Date Posted: 10/26/2011 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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I agree, re-reading is (usually) such a delight. We bring such a different aspect of ourselves to a book at different times in our lives.

I didn't read that book until I was an adult, but I loved it. 

Date Posted: 10/26/2011 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,133
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I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls twice and enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first, maybe more.  Only in this case I had forgotten I had read it before!

Last Edited on: 10/26/11 5:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2011 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I haven't re-read very many, but one comes immediately to mind: Celia Garth.  I was probably 13,14 when I read it numerous time.  I re-read it last year or so (almost 30 years later) and liked it every bit as much and appreciated it even more.  It's now part of my permanent Top 10 favorite books.

Last Edited on: 10/29/11 12:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/27/2011 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,727
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I just picked up a used copy of Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree.  I remember reading it as a teen (yeah, it was a stone tablet back then) and I remember being floored by the twist...so it's going to be a hoot to see how I react now!

Mrs. Mike was one of my favorite books as an early teen; I re-read that about 5 years ago, and had a completely different reaction to it.  As an adult, I found it very humorous.  As a teen, I was right there with her, experiencing every emotion Mrs. Mike experienced!  It was fun, and a little sad knowing I was so much more jaded now.   Ah well, that's a reading life, isn't it?  wink

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I was amazed at how differently I reacted to Jane Eyre and Gone With the Wind reading them as a *grown up* as opposed to when I read them in my teens.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 267
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I felt the same way about Jane Eyre when I reread it recently. I had read it in high school for an English project. I loved the story, but didn't get much else out of it. When I read it this time around, I was amazed at all that I had missed before.

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,140
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Sharla --- Do not know how I missed "Celia Garth" in my youth --- just read a synopsis and it is so like everything I was reading back then.  No doubt it will be showing up on my reminder list soon.

On the whole I am not much of a re-reader --- however, of late I did re-read "To Kill A Mockingbird" and thoroughly enjoyed it --- the first read had been as a junior in high school.  No doubt "Gatsby", "Grapes of Wrath" and many of those other classics would have a completely different feeling these 40 years later.

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 10/28/2011 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 5,982
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I just re-read Mockingbird also and was disappointed! I enjoyed the read but was disappointed to realize it is not my favorite book of all time as I had thought all these years! Now I have to re-read more of my favs to find my very favorite!

Date Posted: 11/1/2011 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Yes. To Kill a Mockingbird. My all time fave novel. I read it first sometime as a child--10 maybe? Read it again for a college or high school English class. Re-read it a few years ago and was amazed at the different subcurrents I was attuned to as a 40+ year old woman. Able to appreciate the magnitude of its statement for its time and place, and to give it context in American history.