report on recommended reading

Emma Comerford s369161 at student.uq.edu.au
Wed Aug 7 20:34:23 EDT 2002


> On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 12:25:41PM -0600, Robyn Starkey wrote:
> > Passage by Connie Willis was a compelling read, but why do I always feel
> > like I would never reread her books when I have finished them? I have been
> > trying to quantify the problem, but I don't seem to be able to be more
> > specific. Books I love I would read over and over.

Kathryn:

> I know what you mean, and I can't quantify the problem either.  I
> haven't read Passage myself, but other ones I've enjoyed, like "To Say
> Nothing of the Dog" and "Belwether", I don't feel any great desire to
> read again either.  The words "enjoyable fluff" spring to mind, though
> that isn't quite fair, because it isn't as if they weren't full of good
> ideas too.  But then I don't tend to *re-read* books for their ideas.
> Things that make a book re-readable are the characterisations and the
> style, I think.  Because you may want to relive that stunningly poetic
> passage, or re-travel that road with characters you love... as distinct
> from characters you like, perhaps?  Or maybe it's a question of
> character growth rather than likableness.  I'm really not sure.
> The odd thing is that the Connie Willis book I'm most likely to actually
> re-read is "Water Witch" and she co-authored that with Cynthia Felice.
> So the style, or the something, is quite different.

I thought these comments were very interesting as I've had such a
different reaction to Connie Willis. Her books are actually some of the
few  I always feel as though I want to re-read very soon! I feel there's
so many different jokes and undercurrents to her stories that I can't take
them all in straight away. So I guess that's the ideas of the
stories...but Kathryn's right in that I wouldn't re-read books whose
characters I didn't love (or find fascinating) or if I didn't appreciate
the style.

Emma

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