thinking out loud

Re-Reading/Diana Wynne Jones

I think I’m one of the many who had J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series to thank for my love for Diana Wynne Jones. It’s funny. I don’t consider myself a Harry Potter fan – I enjoyed the books, and looked forward to the next book, and the book after that, ever since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  (the stores here didn’t sell HP yet, and the second book was the only one I could find, at a store selling used books from overseas). They were enjoyable and funny and engaged me more than most of the fantasy reads I had at the time. They were pretty awesome – they just weren’t the first books I ever liked, and wouldn’t be the last. They didn’t change my life in that way, although I know they have for a lot of people. They did introduce me to Diana Wynne Jones, and I guess that’s even more special – more magical – than anything else I could have hoped for the popular series.


It started with an article in a local newspaper about Diana Wynne Jones and how she wrote the Chrestomanci books long before Harry Potter. I kept her in mind in case I came across her books one day – not an easy feat at the time, but after awhile bookstores began to stock as many middle-grade and YA fantasies as they could, and DWJ’s books became available. I don’t even remember what was the first one I read. I think it was Charmed Life, but I can’t be completely certain. I did fall for Cat and Christopher Chant, and the magical worlds they explored throughout the Chrestomanci series. I was fascinated by the idea of a multiverse – something I encountered for the first time in fiction then, but have wondered about many times before. After I read all the Chrestomanci books that were out then, I went on to Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Power of Three, andHexwood… and on and on, and not a single book had ever disappointed me.


This was all a long time ago. I still re-read some of my favourites every year – Fire and Hemlock, Eight Days of Luke, Archer’s Goon, Charmed Life. And then I stopped. I’m not sure why. It could be the “pile” of TBRs that could fit an entire bookcase, or the fact that sometimes I get too tired to even read once I’m home (where I do most of my re-reading). Either way, I haven’t read Diana Wynne Jones in awhile, when my friend wrote an entry about the joys of re-reading, listing Enchanted Glass as one of her comfort re-reads.


I have Enchanted Glass on my iPad. That afternoon, I opened the file and read the first page. And continued reading, until the end of my break. I read more of it in the car on the way home, and once I reached home, I picked up my physical copy of the book and continued from where I’ve left off. I was re-readingEnchanted Glass, and like every single time I re-read something by DWJ, I’m finding new, wonderful things to think about that I might have missed the last time I read it. And by the time I turned the last page, I’ve decided to re-read all the DWJs I have. So far I’ve (re)read Enchanted Glass, Black Maria, and Archer’s Goon, and am halfway through Hexwood and A Tale of Time City, and can’t wait to re-read the rest!


-> originally posted on the Elsewhere blog


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