Thursday, March 05, 2015

To Re-read a book?

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” ~ C.S. Lewis 

I wouldn't consider myself a big re-reader of books.  There's too many new books out in the world to spend a lot of time rereading what I have already read.   However, occasionally, I like taking a trip back down a trodden path.  Rereading a book is like having a reunion with an old friend.  It's like a get together of sorts where you reflect on times past--the good and maybe the bad--and then you evaluate how you've changed and perhaps how you've grown apart. There's a really good quote that says it so well, and yet alas, I can't find it.  Something along the lines of leaving a part of you between the pages so that upon the next reading, you not only encounter the characters once more, but your younger self as well.

As I said, I'm not a big re-reader, but sometimes I feel that after I leave a world of fiction behind, a part of me is tugged back to the story.  Like a spider's web that sticks to many surfaces forming a network of connections, I find my mind entwined with thoughts of the characters, the plot and the world.  I can only describe it as a pulling sensation.

Months or years after I've read the book, my thoughts will drift back to the book of interest and I'll feel the first tendrils of a pull.  The book has a hook trying to find purchase in my consciousness and the ideas slowly toy with my mind until they grip me completely.  I become consumed with thoughts of returning to that story--to get lost between its pages once again.  It's an odd feeling, but also a comforting one, like reuniting with that long lost friend.

"When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before." ~ Clifton Fadiman

This week, I have indulged in a re-read.  The 5th read, to be exact, of Tamora Pierce's Daughter of the Lioness book... saga? Series?  There are only two books and I'm not exactly sure what to call them.

I fell in love with Pierce's world of Tortall soon after entering and have read almost all of the related books at least twice.  (And more are said to be on their way, for which I am very excited!).  I find the characters are all so distinct and interesting.  They stand out and stand alone.  I also love how Pierce constructed Tortall.  She doesn't throw all the details about societal expectations/practices and politics at you in one go and I never felt overwhelmed in any book.  Instead, I always felt like I was told enough to form a complete picture and that the details fit well and added nicely together.

What I love about the Daughter of the Lioness duet is that unlike the three other current main Tortall quartets (right term? I don't know.  Let's roll!), is that the plot focuses a lot on espionage and the need to manipulate and work behind the scenes.

Rough Synopsis: Young Alianne Cooper of Pirate's Swoop wants to be a field agent.  Ordinary noble life is too boring and she is not interested in Knighthood like her mother.  However, her parents think that it's too dangerous and would keep her away from the spygame.  Unforeseen events have her kidnapped by slave traders and taken to the Copper Isles where she makes a wager with a god to keep two young women alive in exile throughout the summer.  Naturally, nothing will go smooth and easy.  Let's throw in some crows, some racism and unrest between the conquering nobles and island natives and a prophecy centuries old that talk of a twice royal queen for good measure.  Oh, and we can't forget suspicious heads of state who are out to rule at any cost.

Le sigh.

I am ready to go for round 6! Well, maybe I'll wait a few years first to make the reunion all the more sweet.

If you have any books that you drift back to time and time again, I'd love to give them a go if I haven't already!  My to-read book list can never be too long! 

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