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?