Wednesday, May 07, 2008

a gift you can open again and again

I consider myself a good reader—I read quickly, I enjoy reading, and I read a wide variety of books. This list though, of books I can read again and again, kind of stumped me because I read very few books more than once. Very few. I, uh, actually couldn’t think of a single “adult” book (not a picture book, or a young adult book) that I had read at least twice. None have come to mind. Is that strange? I also own very few books because I can get anything I want from my library, so the chance of just picking something up that I’ve read already is pretty slim because the books aren’t just easily accessible on a shelf. The books I do own are packed up in boxes because we’ve unpacked very few of our possessions since moving to Kansas, so I couldn’t even look over my bookshelves to remind myself of the books I love. I’m sure there are a few, I just can’t think of them. So here is a list of books that I know I’ve read more than once, and then a few that I would happily read again.

Five books I can (and do) read again and again (get ready—they are all children’s books)

1. Fanny’s Dream, by Caralyn Buehner
It’s not just the illustrations in the book that are magic, it’s the entire story of a sturdy girl who seems so unlikely to marry a price that wraps me up in happy memories. I was introduced to this book by Ann The Perfect many years ago and have since gifted it to several other friends. “Even with all that moonlight is still took Fanny an hour to give up her dreams.” I can’t even tell you how many times I have read and loved this little book.

2. Thunderhoof, by Syd Hoff
This was the first book I could ever read. I’m going to use the term “read” pretty loosely here, because it was more a recitation of what I knew the words were than actual reading. It’s the charming little story of a wild horse who doesn’t want to be tamed. I have no idea why this, of all the books in my house, was my young-girl favorite, but my mom says that I would read it over and over and over and she could rarely get me to choose anything else. I now own a copy and will, of course, read it to my children.

3. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This book was also a gift from a college roommate. Somehow this book, that at the time was a symbol of passive-aggressiveness and anger, has become one that I love. I do think of that horrible time in my life every time I read it, but slowly those memories fade away and I am left charmed by a little boy who tames a fox and protects a rose.

4. My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss
I read this book a lot while in college and would definitely consider it my “downer” book—I would read it when I was depressed because I felt like the purple day perfectly expressed my mood. “On purple days I’m sad. I groan. I drag my tail. I walk alone.” Ahhhh, twenty-something angst. Most of the book is actually quite upbeat, and it has wonderful illustrations.

5. Holes, by Louis Sachar
I was given this book as a gift and quickly fell in love. I love how the different stories wrap around each other before finally coming together in a perfect ending. The movie was great, but the book was much, much better. This is the only long book that I have ever read aloud on a road trip: It took eight hours and my throat was dry and sore long before the end, but nobody wanted the story to end.

6. Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
Simply, I love this book. When it was my turn to choose my book club book, this is the book I chose. It is at the same time heart-warming, humorous, and heart-wrenching. I love the way the story is told, as a narrative on a road trip, and also of the road trip itself. I love that it is written for children but that it has layers of meaning that impact adults. I love the references to the grandparent’s marriage bed. I love the lunatics that the girls see. It is a mystery and a comedy and a moral tale. If you have not read this book yet, you should. Right now.

These are books that I WOULD read again.
7. Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
8. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
9. Harry Potter (the whole series), by J.K Rowling
10. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the whole series), by C.S. Lewis
11. The Lord of the Rings (the whole series), by J.R.R. Tolkien


Stephanie said...

Awesome book list! I'm not a huge reader myself, but I am always looking for fun new books to read to my kids. I'm going to look for Fanny's Dream at the library. I don't comment on your blog nearly as much as I should, but I LOVE reading it!

Janssen said...

I so wish you would post every day for the rest of the century.

I need to read some Jodi Picoult.

Adrienne said...

My favorite part of Fanny's dream? From the house burning/saving the twins part till she rejects the fairy at the end. That book still makes me laugh and cry. Yay you! Good taste. :)