Do you have a favorite book you’ve EVER read? One that you remember with some deep emotion, or come back to over and over? (Or am I the only re-reader around here?)
I was thinking about some of my favorites, and that there are a bunch of books I’ve read many times. Let’s say Five times. Or more.
Les Miserables: (I don’t know how to make French letter thingies on my computer, and Blogger doesn’t know that “thingies” is a word. Silly Blogger.) I read this every year for the first ten years Husband and I were married.* The whole Romantic style with its overly long sentences and dramatic descriptions is hard for me to take in general, but I love this story so, so much that I’m willing to wade through it.
Pride and Prejudice: This is a favorite bathtub book. The newsprint pages of my copy are all bendy and thick from tub-induced humidity. I could read this three times a year and not get tired of it. My favorite reading ? When I read it out loud to the Kids. I did the voices. They laughed a lot. Mmmm. Happy books + happy Kids = goodness.
If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits? (Do you know Erma Bombeck? If you don’t, do yourself a favor and see if any of her books are at your library. Had there been blogs in the seventies, she would have been the Queen. Well, she WAS the queen, but of newspaper columns instead. Go on. Try her. You can thank me later.)
Harry: I love me some Harry Potter. And don’t get all up in my grill if you hate it. Yes, there are too many adverbs in these books. Yes, nobody can just “say” anything – they have to say it “somehow” – and yes, that does bug. A little. But not enough for me not to love the books. You don’t have to agree, just please be kind.
The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand could write. And spookiness – she has characters that are so convincing that they could make me rethink how I felt about something I ABSOLUTELY knew.
Walk Two Moons: Sigh. My vote for Greatest Kids’ Novel Ever. I kneel before Sharon Creech and bow my forehead to the floor.
Where the Sidewalk Ends: This was my favorite book as a kid. I have my parents’ copy, all loved up and a little stinky from thirty years or so of kiddish affection. It makes an appearance in RRO, along with Grandma Jennie’s oatmeal butterscotch cookies (and her name).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Did I tell you that Kid 4 ate our copy? He really did. Bites of board book, ingested. Mmmm. I’d long since resigned myself to never being Mom of the Year. But next royalty check, I think I’ll finally re-buy the Caterpillar.
The Great Quillow (by James Thurber): I have a copy of this one that’s illustrated by the magnificent Stephen Kellogg. The pictures are magical, and so is the story. One part David and Goliath, one part Morality Tale, seven parts tongue-in-cheek sweet, ironic humor. LOVE.
The Book Thief: Honestly, does anyone else have to tell you to read it? Just do it if you haven’t. I’m not kidding. It may change your life. And I will personally give you a dollar if it doesn’t make you cry. (Next time we hang out, you read me that second-to-last chapter. If you don’t produce a tear, I give you a dollar. Promise.)
This is in no way a thorough list. There are more, lots more. I even read nonfiction, occasionally. (Usually cookbooks.) But not five times. Never five times.** I want to know what you read, over and over. Or if you don’t, I want to know that, too – because I might understand. There are some things that are great, once, and that greatness diminishes upon further viewing (remember Mission Impossible? I hope you only saw it once).
*We’re still married. It’s a weird tense thing. A time-tense thing. Not a stress-tense thing.
**Okay, except Scripture. That’s not on the list, but I do read it over. And over. And I love it, too.