Monday, April 20, 2009

Re-Reading Love Medicine

A couple of months ago, I read a post at Flitting on Fiction, which has been replaced with Flitting through Canadian Fiction about re-reading books. A lot of people re-read, but a lot don't.

I think that is why people enjoy libraries so much. They can read it once and not have to find a place to keep it.

I, however, keep and cherish my books. It's an obsession as much as a collection. I have always loved the look, feel, smell of books. I love the sound of the page turning. This is a huge part of why I do not want a Kindle. I can see the appeal to people, especially those that travel a lot, but for me, I like the actual paper book.

I would love one day to have a house in which I can dedicate one room as a library. I am already running out of room for my books.

I don't re-read everything, though it's possible that in time I might.

I always re-read if a new book in a series comes out. For example, Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap series. These are among some of my favorite books.

I have re-read a lot of books in college too. Books I read in High School that we covered again in college or in different classes in different years in college.

I don't re-read other books that often, but this week I picked up one I loved in college and haven't read since.

Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine.

I had gotten several books by Louise Erdrich from my wish list for Christmas. I was looking at them and decided I'd go back and re-read the book that made me love her as an author.

I am not certain if I simply forgot or just have a new appreciation for her work.

Her writing is so lyrical and poetic. She has a way of painting an image while allowing the words to flow like water. Erdrich, like many Native American authors, incorporates the traditional story telling into their written story. I think this is what gives it the fluidity and vivid imagery.

Her writing style reminds me a bit of Maya Angelou as well as Toni Morrison.

Love Medicine covers many themes including those common to all of us such as love, relationships, family, loss and the like.

She also covers themes intrinsic to the Native American/Indian (whichever term you prefer) experience. Themes like the old, traditional ways vs. the new, modern ways.

Some of the themes are layered atop each other because one is not possible without the other.

For example, the old vs. the new holds within it the theme of the languages - English vs. Chippewa, the religions - pagan vs. Christian, the reservation vs. the city and within that what it means to be an Indian. One theme I've found in many of her books is that of the reservation Indian vs. the urban Indian and the dichotomy involved.

I always find it amazing how differently I read a book as I get older. Not only do I notice things I hadn't noticed before when I re-read, but at different ages, I process things differently. My take on the book changes each time.

Do you re-read books? Which are your favorite to re-read?

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Poetic Shutterbug said...

jodapoet here from love the blog. I am the same way with books. I just love the feeling of a book in my hand vs the internet. Somehow online is a little too clinical. Maya Angelou is one of my top favorite poets. I am leaving my blogs at so I have followed you. You can check out my blog on your followers section. I didn't want to spam this comment with my url :)

flit said...

Thanks for the link :)

Love Medicine sounds excellent - defintitely something to add to my own wish list; thanks.

Most of my reading right now is re-reading but unfortunately not fiction. I will be SOOOOOOOOO glad when I can put my academic books aside for a bit and start READING again ...I'm sure it will help my blog too!

There are several old favourites that I look forward to rereading ... The Clan of the Cave Bear series - or the first few, anyway. Thornbirds...and it's about time for me to haul out one of my waaaaay old favourites, Walden Two I think.

Kelly B said...

Feel free to put your blog link here. I don't consider that spam. It's only spam to me if you leave your link and no comment.

Patricia Rockwell said...

I'm with Flit. I don't do much re-reading as I had to do so much of that when I was working. Now, reading for pleasure to me means I can read and release (that is, as a member of Book Crossing, I let me little babies leave the nest and go find a new home). I totally agree with you about the "feel" of a book. The turning pages moment is wonderful too. You don't get that reading online.

Dorothy said...

I'm so darn busy however I have re read books and your right every time I find and think differently sometimes I think it's because of what I've lived in life that makes it different each time.

Dorothy from grammology

laneerg said...

I love to reread books too, and do so quite often. However, with as often as I have moved, I have had to cut my personal library and keep it at a limited number.

The library system I use has this thing where you can make lists of different books. I have a list on the site of books I've read and have absolutely loved, which if I'm in the mood for rereading something, I can check that list.

Less cost,less space issues. :)

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