Top Ten Tuesday (130): Books I Feel Differently About

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week is about the books I changed my mind about over the years.

  1. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene: As I grew up, I realized Nancy Drew is a bit of Mary Sue–but that doesn’t keep me from loving her, anyway.
  2. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis: I still love it, but I realized when I was older that there really isn’t much going on, plot-wise.
  3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare: I vaguely enjoyed Shakespeare’s tragedies while in high school, but didn’t fully appreciate Shakespeare as a playwright until I saw Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet.
  4. Emma by Jane Austen: I didn’t like Emma until I saw Romola Garai’s portrayal of her–young and light-hearted, rather than malicious.
  5. Some of C. S. Lewis’s nonfiction: It’s hard to overlook some of his statements on women that do sound a little sexist.  I’m sorry, Lewis.  I like you.  I really do.  But I am offended.
  6. Some of G. K. Chesterton’s work:  I enjoy his Father Brown mysteries and some of his other work, but I am confused as to why no one ever mentions his clear anti-Semitism.  Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
  7. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: I didn’t know for awhile that Dumas’s grandmother was an African woman and a slave, or that he experienced racism.  He wrote Georges, set in Mauritius, which addresses race in a way many of his other works do not.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (130): Books I Feel Differently About

  1. Ellen @ Quest Reviews says:

    These are amazing! I’ll be the first to agree that Nancy Drew wasn’t the best heroine. There was one book in the series that stopped me reading Drew as a kid, and that was when Nancy ran around on Ned when he hadn’t yet arrived at the summer club where they were all staying. She says something like, “Thank god Rick, my tennis partner, is leaving before Ned arrives tomorrow!” Boo, Nancy!

    Romola Garai did do an amazing job portraying Emma! That production was fantastic. I remember the cinematography the most — the colors were so rich and bright!

    I haven’t read C.S. Lewis extensively, but that’s so interesting that he has a sexist tilt. Was it a product of his time or what? A lot of people I grew up with and know are obsessed with Lewis because of his religious bent. It’s funny because Catholics and Protestants all want to claim him for their own, but he really might not be worth claiming if he’s sexist.

    And that’s amazing detail about Dumas. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never read a Dumas work. Summer goal, right there!

    This is such a good TTT, Briana and Krysta! I loved reading these answers and it gave me a lot to think about. 😀


    • Krysta says:

      I always preferred the classic Nancy Drews with the yellow covers because in the white paperbacks they made Nancy flirt with a different guy every time–when she was supposedly dating Ned! Classic Nancy was going steady with Ned and not, that I recall, running around on him! But that definitely bothered me. :/

      Oh yes, that movie is simply gorgeous all around!

      Lewis is by far one of the most important and easily understood Christian apologists out there. I think his utility stems from his desire to speak about “mere Christianity” rather than get into dogma fights. That being said, I think he’s a product of his time. Gender issues rarely come up for him, but when they do he kind of just says “Yes, wives be subordinate to your husbands” and doesn’t really unpack what that might mean, which is basically all I want out of him. That Bible verse does go on to specify husbands should love their wives as Christ does the church (i.e. sacrificially) but everyone always stops quoting it like it means husbands get to do whatever they want. But for sure I understand why everyone quotes Lewis all the time.

      I always find it interesting that Dumas’s history isn’t referenced much. He’s one of the most read, if the not the most read, French author and everyone glosses over what he would have faced to achieve that. I realize his father was a military hero and that probably smoothed some social situations over for him, but still.


  2. La La in the Library says:

    I learned of Dumas’s grandmother in February from a black history page I follow on Facebook. I have a draft started for a blog post during February next year. Another blogger and I were wondering how the Anne Of Green Gables stories would hold up for us now. I bought the entire collection last year as an ebook bundle and plan in rereading them at some point. 🙂


    • Krysta says:

      That’s so cool! I’m glad someone highlighted her!

      I think the Anne series holds up really well. I’m starting the series over again now! Nothing seems particularly old-timey and unrelatable and I think it helps that there aren’t really any awkwardly outdated stereotypes thrown around. I did take more note this time that some of the characters in some of the stories do make disparaging remarks about certain groups, but I think it’s supposed to be an illustration of a small town mindset and not indicative of the author’s views. Like when Anne comes to PEI there’s some talk of how they should be getting a child from PEI to know that she’s…safe or something? Because only local children are normal? It’s obviously a ridiculous viewpoint and I suspect Montgomery might have been poking some subtle fun at people who think like that. I usually forget about those moments, though. I hope you enjoy your reread!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books says:

    That’s great! Sometimes it’s by listening to other people talk about books and learning or seeing new things about the characters we’ve read about or the story that our opinions start to change. And I think that’s great. We should always be open like that to seeing different perspectives on the books we’ve read.


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