Friday, January 8, 2010

Boning Up On Books

The WOOFers, Mary (Milkbone) and Diana (d.d. dawg) have stopped by this weekend on their 2010 WOOF Blog Tour to promote reading for all ages. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the newly released download, "Accentuate The Pawsitive."

I’m pleased to report this WOOFer’s reaction to learning her granddaughter read Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. I did not go to that all-too-familiar place of feeling like a dinosaur. Instead, I was overwhelmed with excitement that she’d discovered Holden Caulfield.

I devoured the first-person narrative when I was about her age. I remember my daughter reading it when she too was around 15 or 16. A great age to be introduced to that icon of teenage rebellion while experiencing a master writer’s creative style.

As it turns out, my granddaughter inspired her mother to re-read the 1951 novel. My daughter related how she not only gained a new appreciation for the book, but more importantly, an opportunity to discuss its topics with her teenager.

So nothing would do but that I trek to the library and check out one of the worn copies lining the shelf, the one with the least amount of tape holding it together.

What a treat! How wonderfully the book has aged. It is truly timeless. The characters, the dialogue, the issues as relevant today as they were when the book was first published.

But the real joy of re-reading that book at this point in life has manifested in other ways:
• I appreciate that my granddaughter, my daughter and I shared the experience.
• I know I am still basically that same girl who first read those pages.
• I am grateful to authors who write books worth reading again and again.
• I am reminded that as we mature, we gain new insight and perspective.

Perhaps some books should be re-read every decade. Interestingly enough, I saw somewhere that a number of people feel guilty reading a book a second time. They say they feel like they’re wasting time. They believe they should always be reading something new. Exploring the unknown!

Well, I would argue I was exploring the unknown. I’d never read The Catcher in the Rye with +2.50 readers. I’d never read the classic after becoming a mother or being divorced or losing both of my parents.

And a waste of time? Did I mention the discussion with my “girls”?

So, if there is still anyone out there who thinks a re-read is frittering away precious hours, well, you can just give me back my hunting hat!

What are you reading now? In addition to WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, that is. Leave a comment here and enter a drawing for "Accentuate the Pawsitive," a WOOFers guide to realigning your life!

"Mind spinning? Mood Swinging? Middle sagging? Get used to it! When you reach 50, shift happens. But, you're not alone. WOOFers to the rescue!"

Diana aka - d.d. dawg


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Like to laugh? You'll discover more funny women stories, limericks and poems when you...

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Mary Cunningham is author of the award-winning, four-book ‘tween fantasy/mystery series Cynthia’s Attic (Quake) and two short stories Ghost Light, Christmas with Daisy, a Cynthia’s Attic Christmas story, and is co-author of WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty (Echelon Press). A member of the Georgia Reading Association and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club, she lives in the mountains of west Georgia.

Diana Black is the third author of the humor book WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty (Echelon Press). A published songwriter and cartoonist, her professional work also includes illustrating children’s books as well as graphic and cover design. Her project, Wendel Wordsworth: No Words for Wendel, a picture book, song and educational materials, is designed to encourage young readers. Black is a member of the SCBWI (Southern Breeze Chapter) and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club.


  1. I reread constantly. For me reading a book the first time is the most work, and rereading is getting more value out of time already spent. Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion, or her A Civil Campaign. I recently discovered Tanya Huff's latest, The Enchantment Emporium, and I go back to that a lot. Another frequent re-read is The RiddleMaster of Hed trilogy, by Patricia McKillip. That's the great thing about strong characters, I don't get tired of reading about them, even if I know what's coming.

  2. I don't know how people could not re-read a book! It's like visiting with an old friend; yes, you know their story and history, but there's comfort in the familiar.

    I love how your family read "Catcher in the Rye". For my family, it was "The Great Gatsby". It had long been a favorite of mine, and then my daughters had to read it last year for school, but re-read it again for pleasure. It was wonderful to be able to have our own little book club to discuss the book from our own perspectives.

  3. I agree! My favorite things to do is re-read Lord of the Rings or To Kill A Mockingbird. Never get tired of my favorite books.


  4. Thanks for hosting WOOF today, Stiletto Gang!


  5. Hi, there Stiletto Gang! Thanks for hosting this stop on the WOOF blog tour. It's always fun to visit with you great ladies/writers!

    AuthorGuy, I love your comment about strong characters. It's so true. They can entertain and teach us much time after time.

    Red Hot, I re-read the Great Gatsby just last year (Atlanta had a kind of community effort), and loved it for some of the same initial reasons and for new ones as well. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    My co-author Mary and I are such fans of To Kill A Mockingbird, that I'm not surprised it showed up on her comment!



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