Monday, January 15, 2007


Continuing my lists of favorite things, today we have Books Part II. (I'm not sure yet how many chapters we'll have in this book section. How can I condense a lifetime of reading joy into one list? Or two?)

Anyway, here's a list of books that I re-read. It doesn't mean that these are my only favorites, but just that these are the ones I return to every year or two or five. Now, I have heard some people say with amazement, "Why do you re-read? I would never re-read. There's too much good stuff out there!" And my answer to this is, "Do you ever go back to a favorite restaurant? Play a favorite cd more than once? Return to a favorite vacation destination?" There's something to be said for familiarity, for the warm feelings you get when you revisit a place that you've been happy in. That's one reason I re-read. Another is that of course my appreciation for a work deepens every time I re-encounter it. It frees me to pick up on things I missed, makes the experience richer.

So here are some of my old friends, in no particular order (and leaving out the LDS ones I re-read because I mentioned them earlier):

The Book of Mormon
The Great Divorce (and Narnia books) by C. S. Lewis
Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery
Lying Awake by Mark Saltzman
Bring Me a Unicorn and other journals of Anne Morrow Lindbergh (can't stand Gifts of the Sea, though. Too self-conscious. I don't mind it in the journals.)
Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
The Chosen, My Name is Asher Lev, and The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Selmeier by Louise Plummer
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster
The All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Joy in the Morning by Betty Green
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Books that I haven't re-read yet but plan to, and regularly:

Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
Travelling Mercies by Anne LaMottGilead by Marilynne Robinson

1 comment:

Jennifer B. said...

Your list is timely. I have book club pick this month and I haven't made my decision yet. It's fun to see that we share some favorties. When I was young, I re-read A Wrinkle In Time and it wasn't the same--it had lost the magic. I'd like to do more re-reading--I think I just need to pick the right books. I'm excited that I picked up Bring Me a Unicorn at the library when they were having a "buck-a-bag" sale. I had never heard of it, but recognized her name. I actually liked Gift From the Sea. My mother-in-law gave it to me when I got married and I took it on our honeymoon. It accidentally went for a swim in the ocean, dried, and now is delightfully warped with a slightly washed out inscription. Fitting, don't you think? It has a special place on my bookshelf.