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Friday, December 30, 2011

Books That I Read Again and Again

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. I have also read Vilette and The Professor by Bronte, and those would also be on this list, if I owned copies. I will admit, shameful though it be, that when I first read this book at around the age of 17, I was such a foolish little girl as to prefer St. John Rivers to Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester. Now one of my daughters has the middle name of Fairfax (for reasons of personal history, world history, and geography, as well as literature, just so you don't think I'm a little too attached to Mr. Rochester these days).

Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis. I am drawn into Orual's tale every time I pick it up. I read once that this book is just as much the work of Joy Davidman as of Lewis, that her influence and thought can be seen on every page.

Thursday Next books, by Jasper Fforde (I haven't read the latest installment.) I must admit that the first couple times I tried to read these, I just didn't get it. But then I did get it, and now I love these books. They are by far the lightest books on this list, but sometimes one needs something light. And I use terms from these books, such as 'echolocator' when I think an author has used the same word too many times in a row.

Perelandra, by C. S. Lewis. I was interested to learn that this book and Till We Have Faces were Lewis's own favorites among his works.

Glorious Freedom, by Richard Sibbes. I keep mentioning this book. You may have grown tired of hearing of it, but it means a lot to me.

Dorothy Sayers's mysteries, the other lightsome choice on my list. I think I had a crush on Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey ages ago, when I first read these books. The fact that I'm making that public knowledge would probably chagrin my husband, who holds Wimsey in contempt.

The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins. I am amused by the butler who practices sortes with Robinson Crusoe.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. I read this to my children most Christmases, mostly in a tip of my hat to my mother's tradition of reading it to me.

Silas Marner, by George Eliot. I think this is a lovely tale of a miser exchanging gold for golden hair, the love for inanimate objects for the love of another human being. This is one of the few works of fiction that I underline. That said, however, Romola by George Eliot deeply disturbs and depresses me (I've only read it once, and have no plans to pick it up again).

The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. One of the most philosophical mystery novels I've ever read. Don't judge this book by its movie, please.

I'm a little surprised to see how many mysteries made it onto this list.

And all of Jane Austen's works.

And Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan.


  1. Jane Eyre, Persuasion and Pilgrim's Progress are books I love to re-read too.

  2. What a fun topic! Certainly Jane Eyre. However, I noticed you didn't list Wuthering Heights. Have you read it? It's a magnificent novel in which the author creates such an atmosphere that when I'm reading the novel it feels odd when I stop reading and come out into the real world. My favorites of Jane Austen are Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. I will also confess (big confession) that I loved Twilight by Stephenie Myer. I didn't bother to read the sequels because after that the story seemed to get silly (as if a vampire story wasn't already silly).

  3. Some days I think I still have a crush on Wimsey . . .

  4. Oh, and you've (finally!) convinced me to put Glorious Freedom on my Wish List :)

  5. Hopeinbrazil, I particularly like Northanger Abbey, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

    Vanessa, I've read Wuthering Heights, and liked it, but it just didn't take me in the same way. Perhaps I was a bit too young. I'd like to give it another go someday soon. I can remember being surprised the weather was warm and sunny where I was, when I came up for air when reading WH. Maybe I'll have to look into Twilight. I wouldn't, if it weren't for you, friend.

    Jess, I'm glad! I don't know if you have a Kindle, but you can get a free Kindle reading app, and get The Bruised Reed for a steal ($0.99, if I remember aright). The Bruised Reed is also excellent. :-}

  6. I reread the C. S. Lewis Space Trilogy regularly. I also read Til We Have Faces often. I used to read Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World back to back every year, though I haven't for the past couple of years.
    Come to think of it, as broadly read as I like to think I am, almost all of my rereads are by C. S. Lewis. Oh well. It could be worse.