The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

THE DISPLACED READS: 7 books with a twist of Alice

As it’s that time of year when (depending on your hemisphere) poolside or fireside books are a must, and since we’re not quite ready to let go of the Alice theme, we at TDN have come up with our own version of a summer (or winter) reading list.

In our usual perverse manner, we haven’t chosen books on the current New York Times bestsellers list, but, quite simply, books with the name “Alice” in the title.

We haven’t read them yet, either, so this list is as much a journey of discovery for us as it is for you.

Let us know what you think!

1. Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland by J. T. Holden and Andrew Johnson

Average Amazon rating: 5 stars

Have you ever wondered…
Who really stole the Queen’s tarts? Whatever did become of the Walrus & the Carpenter after their nefarious jot down the briny beach with the little Oysters? Is there truly any sense to be found in nonsense at all? (Amazon product description)

“The rumored ‘lost rhymes’ of Lewis Carroll are the inspiration behind Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland, a compilation of masterful poetry. While adding new and interesting elements, Holden has managed to keep the timeless appeal of the original works, allowing true fans to insatiably dig in. From the absurdity of the verse to the well-composed rhyme to the shrewd black-and-white illustrations, this book is certainly a literature lover’s delight.” The Children’s Book Review)

2. The Logic of Alice: Clear Thinking in Wonderland by Bernard M Patten

Average Amazon rating: 4 stars

“Alice in Wonderland may well be the most interpreted book in history, but there are always new depths to be plumbed. Bernard Patten dazzles us with his analysis of key episodes in the book. Like Lewis Carroll, Patten obviously loves logic and uses wit and humor to draw serious lessons about the principles of clear and logical thinking.” –Clare Imholtz, Secretary, Lewis Carroll Society of North America

“As Patten makes clear, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, far from being just an entertaining children’s book, is more complex and deeply reflective of Dodgson’s character than it may seem. By making an effort to understand its deeper layers, both children and adults may profit from this masterful tale by learning to think better and, along the way, having fun.” (Amazon product description)

3. Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser by William Irwin

Average Amazon rating: 4 stars

From the back cover:

  • Should the Cheshire Cat’s grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?
  • Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?
  • Can drugs take us down the rabbit-hole?
  • Is Alice a feminist icon?

This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived—Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche—Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life’s ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

4. Alice I Have Been: A Novel  by Melanie Benjamin

Average Amazon rating: 4 stars

“Benjamin draws on one of the most enduring relationships in children’s literature in her excellent debut, spinning out the heartbreaking story of Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…Focusing on three eras in Alice’s life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

5. Alice Bliss: A Novel by Laura Harrington

Average Amazon rating: 5 stars

“When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she’s heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.” (Amazon product description)

6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Average Amazon rating: 4.5 stars

“What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?
Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she’s actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn’t sure she likes who she’s become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.” (Amazon product description)

7. About Alice by Calvin Trillin

Average Amazon rating: 4 stars

Trillin, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1963, regularly wrote about his family members, particularly his wife Alice, who lost her battle with lung cancer on September 11, 2001. This book, an homage to Alice, was published five years after her death.

“This succinct account of Alice’s upbringing, their meeting, their romance, their family, and her career beyond that of Trillin’s helpmeet, offers glimpses into a multifaceted character.” (Booklist)

“In his writing, she was sometimes his subject and always his muse. The dedication of the first book he published after her death read, ‘I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice.’
In that spirit, Calvin Trillin has, with About Alice, created a gift to the wife he adored and to his readers.” (Amazon product review)

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STAY TUNED for Monday’s account of the two displaced royals, William and Kate.

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One response to “THE DISPLACED READS: 7 books with a twist of Alice

  1. Brandon DuGrey August 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    “Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland” rocks! ;-)

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