Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
We're reading this for my bookstore's book club this month, which I think is a great pick since so many people either have never read it and only seen the Disney movie or read it when they were children and haven't revisited it since. I'm in the latter category, and was surprised at how little I remembered of the book but how much I remembered of the movie. The aspect of "Alice" that strikes me most is how close an approximation it is to a child's imagination. I remember, as an only child, having parties with my dolls and stuffed animals, voicing all the characters and having full discussions, even arguments between them. My plastic indoor play structure became a castle more times than I can count. And Alice's characteristic of always trying to show off all her knowledge and how clever she is (when she usually gets it wrong) is classic child behavior. It's really quite amazing, how Carroll - who had no children of his own - captures the imaginative ramblings of youth. There is, of course, all the speculation about whether Carroll was in fact a pedophile, mostly encouraged by his numerous pictures and paintings of young girls, though it's something no one has been able to prove for sure. Either way, this should be an interesting discussion at our meeting.