We’re always turning to our favorite books for answers to life’s difficult—or sometimes silly—questions. We here at Reading Rainbow think that turnabout is fair play, and this time we’re letting the BOOKS ask the questions!
(A book-nerd who lives through stories, takes her authors seriously, and thinks a B+ is the end of the world… Alice Rackham is a character after my own heart! After getting a bad grade on a college paper Alice decides to live her life according to classic novels, the results of which are smart, funny, and absolutely addictive. Filled with literary in-jokes, Classic Alice is a web-series that will appeal to bookworms, “smart kids”, writers, goody two-shoes, and anyone who has ever come into contact with someone who fits that description. I can’t think of any better person than Alice to be the inaugural subject of our “Curious Books” interview series. You can watch Classic Alice from the beginning here. —Jenni)
From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “Who are you?” and “Where do you want to go?”
I suppose I hardly know at present. I mean, I know that my name is Alice Rackham and I am a student at the prestigious Valeton University. I know that I study writing. I know that I want to be a writer… but there’s such a big question mark about all of that. Can I be one? Will I be good enough?
From Winnie-the-Pooh: “When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
I feel like Andrew would’ve been a better person to ask this. Did you see his video? Where he high fives himself in the mirror?
When I wake up in the morning, I roll from my bed to my desk and try to write a poem before I have coffee. Here’s a line from one I wrote a few days ago:
I stood at the banks,
face to the bay,
with a steaming mug of coffee clutched in my hands.
From Paddington: “Where do you come from?”
I grew up in New England — I come from crisp, chilly falls and bristling winters. Good study weather!
From The Giver: “What is your favorite memory?”
From childhood? Every time it snowed, we would come in from playing and have hot chocolate. I would run upstairs, grab a book, and sit near the fireplace with hot chocolate and a book (I think the one I’m remembering most fondly now was Little Women).
From more recently? There was this time at a good friend of mine and my roommate dragged me to this weird event that the town just outside Valeton throws in the spring. It’s a big outdoor concert called, like, Floralorilalia or something. I didn’t really want to go, but the bands were really great and we all had a blast.
From The Giver: “What gives you comfort?”
Knowing that I have a plan and a method of attack — charts! graphs! I just like knowing where things are going.
From Peter Pan & Wendy: “Would you like to have an adventure?”
…can we plan it?
From The Hobbit: “Go back? Go sideways? Go forward?”
What a silly question. Forward. Always go forward, never stop.
From A Wrinkle in Time: “Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?”
I — I mean. Wow. Heavy question, Wrinkle in Time! I think this was a pretty good example of a time I had to do just that. And since we’re back now — you know. I’m, um, going through that right now on the show, with lots of people watching.
From Anne of Green Gables: “Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful (or handsome), dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?”
Dazzlingly clever. Hands down.
Paraphrased from Fahrenheit 451: “What book would you memorize to keep it from disappearing into obscurity?”
Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. I think it’s such a haunting book because it touches on emotions every generation feels and it traverses time.
And finally… Paraphrased from the Harry Potter books: “Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin?”
I think I’d probably be a Ravenclaw. What do you guys think?
‘Classic Alice’ is the brainchild of series creator and star, Kate Hackett. It is the story of Alice Rackham, a college student with a huge drive to succeed. When she gets a bad grade on an essay because she isn’t emotionally connecting to material, she decides to take it a step further and live her life according to classic novels. Her friend, Andrew Prichard, uses the opportunity to make a vlog-style documentary about the process, and together they create ‘Classic Alice’.
Alice Rackham, played by Kate Hackett, has always been a good student. She puts an awful lot of value on school and academic performance; how could you not, as a student at the prestigious Valeton University? She wants, someday, to be a writer — one of the greats! She has a particular affinity for Poe, the Russians, and Twain, but that doesn’t mean Alice doesn’t understand the value of branching out.