Summer Reading: Alice in Wonderland (2017)

Alice Tea Party

In year #1, we set out to read The Great Divorce.
In year #2, we set out to read Gulliver.

I am excited to welcome you to the 3rd attempt at Summer Reading bliss. This year we reach into the world of 19th century literary nonsense with Lewis Carroll (if that, in fact, is your real name, Mr. Carroll…), his girl Alice, and their friends in Wonderland.

The purpose of the Summer Read is simple: Reading is good. Reading together is better. I’ve found value in reading with my wife, with my children, with friends. I will take any excuse to turn off the screen and turn on my imagination, charged by well-written words on old-fashioned paper. I like to invite people along.

As in years past, the plan is simple:

  1. Crack open your copy of Alice on June 1st.
  2. Talk to someone else about it along the way.
  3. If you feel like it, see what I have to say here.

A few reminders if you join me in the book:

  1. I approach the text as a first-time layperson. I am not an expert.
  2. I am quite casual about this whole thing, but I try to write on Thursdays.
  3. So casual that if you’d rather read without me, we’ll both likely survive.


Which versions might I recommend?

If you’re a PURIST, I recommend a simple version (links to Amazon). Written by Carrol. Classic pen & ink illustrations by John Tenniel. Less than $10. It works.

If you’re ADVENTUROUS, I recommend the Classics Reimagined Edition (links to Amazon). This is a modern work of art – watercolors meet collage. Delightful. A little more expensive at $18 for the hardcover, but a good exercise for your right brain.

If you’re an AVID READER, check out the Leatherbound Classics Edition (links to Amazon). I set out at a pretty slow pace, so if you’ll outrun me and read both Alice books, plus a half-dozen other Carroll stories, this is your jam. $14 for the hardcover. Not bad.

If you’re a NERD like me, go with the Norton Critical Edition (links to Amazon). I love the extracurricular essays, biography, backstory and random opinions that come with the Norton editions. Rather than running, I enjoy digging. $16 for the extra depth.


Alice Books

I’ll be in the Critical Edition, which I believe contains the Tenniel illustrations. I may also pick up the Reimagined Edition, because I’m a fan of the more outrageous art style as well. I’ll share that one with the kiddos, too.


What now? 

Check back here on Thursdays, starting June 1st, for some random thoughts on Wonderland and all things Alice. I will aim to be consistent in posting, but when life gets in the way, I’ll plead for your mercy…

I will link every post on THIS page, so that you can easily find them. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them. If you would rather hunt me down in person, I love book discussions and coffee… particularly on the front porch.


The Imaginative Edgar Cuthwellis : Alice #1

Curiouser and Curiouser : Alice #2