LT Book Club: ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ by Lewis Carroll
My New York Book Club’s October read was Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. This is a total classic and tells the follow-up story of the famous Alice after she returns from Wonderland. After Alice climbs through the mirror in her drawing room, she finds herself in the world of the Looking-Glass, where all kinds of ridiculousness occurs before she wakes up back home with her kittens.
I honestly can’t say I enjoyed Through the Looking-Glass, even though my favorite poem, “Jabberwock,” is first found in its pages. I just found it too silly, which I realize is sort of the point and I should probably loosen up. All the same, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Alice.
I read the Books of Wonder edition published by Morrow in 1993, which was terrific because:
a) it had beautiful silver edges
b) it replicated John Tenniel’s illustrations using the original wood-blocks
c) it followed Victorian standards of type-setting and font
It was a great little copy and I highly recommend it.
I recommend taking a page from Alice in Wonderland and having a little tea party. Break out the tea cups, sugar cubes, and loose-leaf!
- BBC’s Ultimate Fish Cakes: I feel like you need to eat something involving fish, since they come up so much in the book. Fish cakes are a delicious little patty of goodness, perfect to delicately nibble while discussing outrageous children’s literature.
- Smitten Kitchen’s Plum Cake (okay, it’s a torte, but still): “‘The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown: / The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town. / Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown: / Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.'” You need it. But don’t leave town on account of it, it’s too good to miss.
When I confessed to my mother that I had not particularly enjoyed Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and, indeed, found it too silly, she was entirely unsurprised, commenting sagely, “No, you’re not an Alice type of girl.” Ah well, I guess you can’t change your stripes. Unless you live in Carroll’s cockamamie Looking-Glass world, in which case you can probably do whatever (and I mean whatever) thing pops into your head.