Revisting My Expectations

It’s very hard to recommend books since I find our enjoyment of them is such a personal thing. They touch us somewhere in our brains where dreams, hopes and disappointments reside.

This morning I took a good look at my bookshelf. It is small. I keep it that size because I know my inner hoarder would overwhelm my living room otherwise. The small size (about 30 books) makes me re-evaluate their value to me on a frequent basis.

One thing I’ve rarely done is to reread a book. If I’ve enjoyed them and kept them, they hold a mystique not unlike our memories of high school. We filter those memories, keeping the best parts, and often sugar coating them.

I’ve wondered before whether our timing and attitude make a good book a great book in our minds. Seems we take what we need and overlook the rest. What we need evolves with time. I’m going to reread a few books that have stuck with me and have spent a silent, dusty vigil on my shelf of honor. I am afraid that they’ll let me down in the same way a high school reunion does. Those valued and happy memories are open to a new awakened place. Their charm and value are put up to scrutiny that I’m not sure I want to give them. (BTW- I don’t do high school reunions.I love my memories to stay just as I have protected and perfected them.)

The books that I will revisit are: Cry of the Panther by James P. McMullen and The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. Both have to do with experiencing Nature on an intimate level. That subject runs deeply through my bookshelf starting with my first love The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling.

Each of my rereading choices have some raw elements. Nature does too. I guess that’s why they felt genuine. They also have characters who have a focused and obsessive search that is very personal. Based upon true stories and actual events, they both offer real-life heroic adventure.

I will definitely write a follow-up post about how they weathered the storm of reappraisal.

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10 thoughts on “Revisting My Expectations

  1. “I am afraid that theyโ€™ll let me down in the same way a high school reunion does. Those valued and happy memories are open to a new awakened place. Their charm and value are put up to scrutiny that Iโ€™m not sure I want to give them. ” Brilliant writing.

  2. Hi Susan!
    I have a limited collection of books too. I reread my collection of Nancy LeMann every year. She’s quirky and I love that, but not many people that I recommend her books to have the same love of her that I do.
    Thanks for the recommendations. I’m always looking for some good summer reading.

  3. Pingback: Writers Helping Other Writers « belly button blues

  4. A very interesting read here! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am the opposite. I have hundreds of books (may actually do a post in response. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and I would find it extremely hard to part with them… I would definitely recommend rereading books you liked (perhaps even giving other books you disliked a second chance) as our perspective changes over time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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