msktrnanny: (12/25:Snoopy & Woodstock go electric)
[personal profile] msktrnanny
[livejournal.com profile] suzy_queue asked me about the book I've reread the most and the movie I was most surprised by. [and two other things, which I'll do another day]

First, After thinking about this a bit, I realized there are three answers to this. First, the one that makes me sound thoughtful; To Kill A Mockingbird. First read this in 6th grade. Not as assignment, I was just one of those precocious kids. I couldn't possibly have understood half of it, since I'm still learning new things when I read it as an adult. But. The way she talked about where Scout lived and the people...it stuck with me.

I love Scout; even back then there was just something about her. Brave, naive. There was, still is, something intangible and undefinable about her that just calls to me.

At the time, Atticus scared me. While it was obvious he loved his kids, somehow he seemed separate. Alone.

Boo. What can you say about Boo Radley? I do remember being very confused about why all the stink was made about him in the town. As an adult, I'm still not sure I understand it. But the mystery of Boo was enticing.

Given that we've learned precious little about equality of man since the book was written, it can be an incredibly sad read at times. It is, however, just as transportive as it was way back then, the sign of a 'good read' in my book. In rare form, the movie adaptation of this is as arresting and powerful to me as the printed word. The blatant innocence on the faces of both Scout and Boo is both breathtaking and alarming. And when the gallery stands for Atticus, I cry every time. Yup, I am that weird.

Now one that shows my whimsical side; The Phantom Tollbooth! Seriously fun book, with fabulous imagery, delightfully quirky characters and he has his own CAR!!

This was read aloud to me in school in a rare display of a teacher truly understanding that sometimes you need to have a story told to you. We even got to watch the filmstrip adaptation of it afterwards. [Anybody remember those?] If To Kill A Mockingbird was transportive, this was like getting in a rocket ship and flying to a new planet! I've been lucky enough to 'tell' this story to a few children and it is always a big hit. And it's about time for a re-read. Yay!


The last one is actually a series, also long overdue for a revisit; the Time Quintet by Madeline L'Engle. Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Door, Many Water, and An Acceptable Time. We read Wrinkle in seventh grade [again with the filmstrip! YAY!] and wow, was it ever cool to read about Meg Murray! She was 'boy studies' smart! She was awkward [at the time, unusual for the girls we'd read about in school] and still got the interest of a popular guy at school. I got Meg in ways only Trixie Belden had resonated with me before.

On top of all that, the story was unique! The kids were powerful, not talked down to. The went on epic journeys with fantastical characters and creatures while learning about the universe and themselves without it ever feeling patronizing. Space and time travel! Intergalactic physics! And? She used the word fewmets! How can you not love that?

One my greatest delights in life was meeting the author when Scrumpkin was young. She was as unapologetically herself as her heroines tend to be and honestly pleased to meet her fans. Especially the many women who had grown up under her influence.

If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so. You won't regret it!

And now, to the

The was tough, and I suspect what I came up with is likely not what you had in mind when you asked. But the honest answer is a film called Sommersby. It's not even the kind of thing that normally appeals to me, so I don't remember how in the world I got to be watching it. But. Richard Gere was great in it, filthy through a huge segment. Which was different for him. Jodi Foster plays a part very unlike what I'd come to expect from her as well. It's set post civil war on a large farm in the South, but doesn't glorify the landowners as much as usual and has scenes that are just plain dirty. Like, actual dirt. The whole thing looked more real than most I'd seen about the area at that time before. Dry, difficult, uneven and cruel. Punishing. I remember thinking how punishing that life was.

Personally, I think both actors did a great job of portraying the confusion and indecision of changing times and changing hearts. And the end?! Oh, the ending. I truly didn't see it coming and it made the movie just so much more worthwhile*.

If it's true Jodi met her long time partner on set, so much the better!

*I'm never sure how much story/plot to reveal or not reveal in this kind of discussion. I don't want to spoil anyone! :-)

I'm late to getting started with this, but still have plenty of days to fill, so give me something to talk about!
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