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The Welsh Bookworm

The Welsh Bookworm is a librarian living and working in rural Minnesota. She is a past-president of the St. David’s Society of Minnesota, leads the Welsh folk-dance group Traed Y Ddraig, and teaches Welsh language classes. Her Welsh Bookworm column was featured occasionally in the newspaper Y Drych, now part of Ninnau. Laurel works for the Carver County Public Libraries in Waconia and Norwood Young America, loves reading, music, dance, languages, genealogy, gardening, and bird watching. Laurel reads historical fiction, mysteries, sci fi/fantasy, medieval and British history, Arthurian fiction, classics, and of course, anything connected to Wales. Follow my blog at http://welshbookworm.wordpress.com

Currently reading

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
William Kuhn
The Boleyn Deceit
Laura Andersen
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition - Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner The Definitive Edition of The Annotated Alice combines the annotations of Gardner's 1959 edition with his 1990 volume, More Annotated Alice, as well as additional discoveries drawn from Gardner's encyclopedic knowledge of the texts. It was Gardner who first decoded many of the mathematical riddles and wordplay that lay ingeniously embedded in Carroll's two classic stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. This edition is illustrated with John Tenniel's classic, beloved art - along with many recently discovered pencil sketches. There is also a filmography of Alice-related films by Carroll scholar David Schaefer.

I first read Alice in Wonderland as a child and still have the old copy with John Tenniel's illustrations passed down from my father. I was told once that I looked like the Alice in those illustrations, and indeed I still do, with my long hair and headbands. I have also long identified myself with her curiosity, stoicism, and pragmatism. She is the quintessential "scholar" archetype. (Those of you familiar with the Michael Teachings will recognize those terms. I am a scholar in growth, with perseverance, and pragmatism sliding to the stoic/spiritualist axis. In a group channeling exploring what cartoon characters most fit ourselves, Michael agreed that I was indeed "Alice.") I also have a "thing" for rabbits.

As it happened, I hosted our bookclub this month for our selection, Alice in Wonderland. I had great fun planning the table decorations which included a dormouse in a teapot. It had been many years since I had read it, and several in the group had never read it at all, having only seen a film version. The Annotated Alice provided much enlightening information about Lewis Carroll and his relationship with the original Alice - Alice Pleasance Liddell. I went on and read Through the Looking Glass which is much less familiar to me. The notes were even more extensive for this text. A child would enjoy the fantasy and nonsense aspects of the story, but as an adult I appreciated learning all of the underlying nuances behind it.