21 books finished in 2011

21 books finished in 2011
The Phantom Tollbooth

Reading this one was scary.

You see, in the past month, a handful of my friends have been bonding over their collective love of this book, and decided to organize a book club to share their obsession. I was dragged in, as I often am to this sort of thing, and when they realized I’d never read it, squeals of delight and anticipation, promises that It Is The Best Book Ever, yada yada yada.

But then, of course, I began to realize that the hype for this book was fairly high, and that it would be very easy for it to fail to live up to such ridiculous expectations, and I actually confessed to my friends that I was afraid that I’d not like it and we’d all get in a huge fight during book club and they’d never talk to me again. Because I can be quite stubborn and difficult, especially when I don’t like something. And I don’t necessarily give good reasons for not liking things. So, it was tricky. After being assured that, even if I hated the book and said it smelled and called all the characters ugly, even if I didn’t think it was funny at all and couldn’t stop making fun of it for being so lame, they’d still be my friend. We’d survive.

There’s nothing like a book club to reveal the beauty of friendship, eh?

The book? It was precious. I adore it. I’m so sad that I didn’t read it as a child, and I have already told my co-worker that she MUST read it to her son as soon as humanly possible. (I would have given her my copy, but I needed to take a picture of it. Priorities!)

I think I’ll call it an allegory. Hopefully I’m not wrong in that. It’s like the young school boy version of Pilgrim’s Progress, but much more playful and irreverent.

Here’s a little snippet, which I’m sure none of you can identify with:

   “But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.

“Think of all the trouble it saves,” the man explained…”If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing.”

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7 thoughts on “21 books finished in 2011

  1. i too never read it as a kid and found it so utterly wonderful when i finally read it a few years ago! it’s so fun and charming and witty!

  2. I never read it as a kid, either, and always felt a bit left out because of it. Cheers to you for picking it up years later! Great quote, too.

  3. I’m sorry we scared you a bit with this book.
    But even if you hadn’t liked it, we would still be friends. That’s the beauty of friendship: not everyone is the same.
    That being said, I am glad you enjoyed it, and that leads me to another beauty of friendship: shared delights.

  4. @Andrea – Ha! Banishment! If anyone could do it, you could.

    @Julie – Seriously. I can’t wait to share it with children.

    @Abby – You can always borrow my copy. It’s a quick read.

    @Austin – The fear was all in my head. Y’all are not to blame. I’m glad you wanted to share this delight with me!

  5. Pingback: 38 books finished in 2011 | these are the thoughts that fall out of my head

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