By Stacy Thompson
So it’s more than 120 days until college football season…and watching pro baseball is mind-numbing, to say the least. College basketball (men’s and women’s) is over as well…we do have the NBA playoffs and NHL playoffs to get excited about, but nonetheless, it’s a dead time around here for the most part. I have no fantasy football roster to prepare, no tailgate food to organize and ready, and my next trip with Mom is several weeks away, so what’s a girl to do??? Well, I could binge-watch Friends yet again for the nine-hundreth time, could binge-watch another of the ‘critically acclaimed’ or ‘audience favorite’ series on cable TV or online….or, I could just re-read some of my favorite books.
Re-reading a book, to me, is akin to channel-surfing on a lazy Saturday and stumbling upon a John Hughes classic film (think Ferris Bueller’s Day off, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc. etc.)—you’re going to experience a plot-line you know by heart and words that you either quote incessantly or live by daily, but you’re going to enjoy it nonetheless. The list below is eclectic, mainstream, classic and personal, all rolled into one – when I read for pleasure (which isn’t often enough) I lean toward books and series that I can simply let wash over me—nothing too serious or too deep that I can’t pick it up and put it down but rarely want to do the latter. For the most part I want a book that will entertain me while at the same time allowing me a chance to turn my mind off—but something that will make me laugh or cry without being a total bummer. Like many readers, I have several that I go back to time and time again – for the familiarity, the comfort and the pure joy of a well-written story.
So here are my choices for Books You Can Read Again and Again…and Again
- To Kill A Mockingbird – yes, you probably had to read it in high school, but give this gem another chance and appreciate the message behind the story – I think Atticus Finch impacted my decision to go to law school more than any advisor ever could and his code of ethics are the barometer we should all strive to meet daily
- The Stand – take the time to wade through Stephen King’s uncut version of this opus – it’s not a quick read, but extremely worthwhile, with characters on all sides of the ethical spectrum dealing with life-altering dilemmas – this book is, by far, one of King’s least horror-leaning books. I’d also recommend two other King books, Mr. Mercedes (more recent) and Different Seasons (four short stories, one of which was made into the classic film Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me)
- Gone With The Wind – I was ten years old when my fifth-grade teacher gave me her copy of this book and challenged me to read it – it’s a history lesson, guidebook on the old South, human-interest illustration and love story all rolled into one
- The Harry Potter Series – I got into these late (why all the fuss? I asked at the time) – hadn’t read any until the fourth one was coming out, and then cursed JK Rowling for not getting the remaining volumes out quickly enough – yes, it’s a meant to be a tween novel series, but adults are sure to enjoy every page
- Little Women – Louisa May Alcott manages to give every character a different character while weaving a most cohesive story
- Little House on the Prairie – Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert may have brought these characters to life on the TV screen, but after reading the books, I wanted nothing more than to make maple syrup popsicle sticks in the snow and to churn my own butter
- Hunger Games trilogy – once again a tween-read, but an entertaining read to the very end—we all would want any young girl in our life to have the strength of Katniss
- The Great Gatsby – I’ll admit that I had to force-read this in school, but reading it again as an adult proved this timeless classic should be given a second chance…and a third chance…and (you get the picture)
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed – if you’ve read my previous blogs, you know I love a good hike…what this woman did was above and beyond that, and her story is worth repeating
- James Elliott – All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful…etc.
After reading these books I was convinced I need to become a veterinarian –I settled instead on being a lawyer who takes in any and all furry creatures that cross my path
- Eat, Pray, Love – see “Wild” above, but with much better food and more showers…for sure
Everyone has their go-to book, the one you would have to take with you on a desert island – I, of course, would skirt the desert island one-book minimum by insisting on a Kindle to house several dozen books! Happy Reading everyone and enjoy this down time until football and tailgate season!!