I'm currently on a short break from The List. I needed to read light, familiar prose, so I reread a couple of old favorites and have started on a third. I reread The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and Going On Sixteen by Betty Cavanna. The Narnia book was published in 1950 and Going On Sixteen in 1945. When I read about Narnia I like to imagine myself as either Susan or Lucy while wishing I had Peter's courage and a bit less of Edmund's obstinance. When I read Going On Sixteen, I see myself as Julie, perpetually misunderstood and comforted by the love of a dog. I believe I first read this book when I was 14 or 15, and when I turned 16 and got a dog of my own I named him Sonny in honor of this book.
Of course, my Sonny wasn't like the Sonny in the book. He wasn't quite as intelligent. In fact, within our family his nickname was "Stupid Sonny," but never mind. It didn't affect the many hours I spent dreaming of the peace and quiet of a farm and wishing I could live on one with my dog. Of course, that was before I'd ever been to a farm and realized you have to get up at daybreak and there's lots of chores and stuff to do. Plus you can't exactly hop in the car and go pick something up real quick; a trip to "town" must be planned. So it seems I now only want to live on a farm if I have the wherewithal to pay someone else to do the mowing and the planting and the harvesting and the scooping up after all of the lovely animals. I just want to enjoy the peace and quiet and pet the animals every now and then. Oh, and plant some flowers and a few vegetables every spring.
The book I'm rereading now is In With The Out Crowd by Norma Howe. This one was published in the late 80s and that's when I first read it, I believe by accident. And I loved it and had to search for quite some time to find my own copy as it is now out of print. But I think it's every bit as much an adolescent girl's classic as Going On Sixteen. After I finish this one I will begin The Thorn Birds, reading out of alphabetical order because my sister recently finished The Thorn Birds and told--er, asked--me to read that one next so we can discuss it. She said she was hooked from the very beginning, so here's hoping!