There are so many GREAT books out there. My TBR stack is one-hundred books deep — that’s not a joke. But every now and then I want to read something familiar, something comfortable, something that makes me feel whatever it is I need to feel.
Here are some of my tried and trues, the ones I’ve read several times and will probably re-read again very soon:
1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I read this book for the first time when I was in sixth grade and it’s stuck with me all these years. It has a headstrong, courageous main character, witch hunts, a pretty sailor boy, and memorable side characters. I think this was the first time I had a crush on a fictional character. Read it. Then come back and we’ll have a virtual book club about it.
2. Banner in the Sky. Again, another oldie, but a goodie. This book is about conquering insurmountable odds and courage and defying your parents to reach your goals. I think this is the first book that ever made me cry.
3. City of Bones. My BFF says that it’s embarrassing for a grown woman to claim a book with that cover as one of her favorites. Half-naked boy aside, I really do love this book, but probably not for reasons that you would expect. I think of it like a manual. You want to write tension? Read Cassandra Clare. You want to write a memorable love story? Read Cassandra Clare. You want to write an excellent first kiss? Yep. Read Cassandra Clare. The greenhouse scene is the one I refer to every time I write a first kiss. The emotions, the use of other senses, the sheer perfectness of the setting. Make fun all you wish, but I bet you won’t write anything that will succeed like this book has. Unless you’re JK Rowling. And if JK Rowling is reading this post then…Ohmygosh! JK Rowling is reading my blog!!
4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You can hate urban fantasy, YA, all fiction books in general, and still recognize the quality of Laini Taylor’s writing. The vocabulary, the metaphors, the story telling, the characters — all of those things are fantastic. It’s the kind of book that makes me want to delete every manuscript I’ve ever written because they will never compare.
5. A Tree for Peter. That picture is from my personal copy of this very lovely children’s tale. Originally published in 1941, A Tree for Peter tells a story of a little boy growing up in a shantytown outside a big city. The setting is dark and dreary, but it is a story of hope. With the help of an old vagabond — and maybe a figment of a lonely boy’s imagination — Peter finds beauty and light in a place where everything appears ugly and dark. My mother read this to us at Christmastime from my great grandmother’s old, beat up copy. I found a copy a few years ago and am carrying the tradition on with my own little brood. They love the story and the gorgeous illustrations just as much as I do.
Are any of you re-readers? And if so, what are your favorite books to re-read?
I am SO not a rereader. You know how some people have photographic memories? Well, I’m not one of those–but if I’ve read it, I don’t forget it. Twenty years can go by, but as soon as I pick up the book again I remember everything. Especially if I loved it. It makes me all the more cautious of what I actually do choose to read.
I’ve read the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Trilogy start to finish probably on the order of eleven times.
@Crystal: I’m the same way. I picked up a Mary Higgins Clark (why yes,I do indulge in the occasional cozy mystery), and remembered the plot after a couple of pages. Needless to say, I didn’t finish that one again. I can only reread the really, really good books.
@Stephen: Dude. What happened to Redleg?
@Becky: Eh, he realized the remaining-anonymous-online jig was probably up since his real name was on his book cover. 😛
Love this post! I read Fantastic Mr. Fox (all Roald Dahl books, actually) all the time and A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner and Pat Conroy´s Beach Music. Michael Crichton books are easy to re-read too. Love me some Jurassic Park and Congo.
I definitely re-read books. My personal favourite is The Killer Angels, which I must read at least once a year.
I’m a re-reader. Not afraid to admit it.:) And i’m with you, Becky, on TMI series–not afraid to re-read City of Bones with a cutie pie on the cover.:) Cassie Clare crafted an amazing book that sucks me back in EVERY TIME.
I’ve re-read the Harry Potter series 2x, same for my all-time favorite series by Anne McCaffrey:The Dragonriders of Pern. I’ve read ALL those books 3x. LOVE them.:)
Fun post! xoxoxo
For the record, my “prove you’re not a robot” word was “feckno.”
I think I might use that as a made up swear word in my next novel.:) lol
I remember reading The Witch of Blackbird pond in middle school to ! I haven’t read it in so long. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is just so amazing ! I’ve listened to the audiobook twice.