Read it Again, Ma’am

I read all the time. If I could no longer read for some reason I’m sure I’d wither away and die. Oh sure, I could listen to books on tape, and I suppose I could make do, but there’s something magical about the way a reader interacts with a book that a recording can’t replicate.

My taste these days runs to science fiction/fantasy, but I’m always looking for some new delicacy regardless of genre. And then there are my favorites. These are books I’ve read more than once, and for someone like me who’s always looking for the next literary thrill this repeat reading is the highest compliment I can pay a book.

So what select books are among my repeats?

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is number one. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve delved into the world of Scout Finch, and I read it at least once a year in the fall.

2) Stephen King’s, The Stand, is a close second. The epic tale of good versus evil still gives me chills, and I become suspicious of any sniffle or cough, certain that Captain Trips is about to wipe out most of humanity.

3) A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, comes in third, and I can’t really say why. There’s something about this coming of age story that draws me in. My heart aches for these boys on the brink of manhood and all of the pitfalls awaiting them. If I pick up my well worn copy when I’m dusting or otherwise moving stuff around I can’t help but begin reading it again.

4) I’ve read all but one of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series multiple times, having read the series from the beginning every time a new book in the series was released. So I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone seven times, while I’ve only read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows once.

I’ve recently added a new book to those deemed worthy of a rereading. This book, The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig, is the first book that comes to mind when a friend asks for a recommendation. So when I didn’t have a new book in the queue, I thought it might be time to remember why I recommend it so often.

The Whistling Season is set in Montana in 1909. A widower with three sons takes on a housekeeper whose ad, “Can’t cook, but doesn’t bite” intrigues him. The widower and his sons get much more than they bargained for when Rose and her brother, Morrie come into their lives.

This book is an homage to education and the one room school house, and to a time when life was a bit slower, but no less complicated than it is today. The language is incredible and the story so compelling I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to reread it.

Those are mine. What books have you read repeatedly? I’m always looking for my next favorite. Looking forward to suggestions.

Peace, people!

Twice as Nice

Second Time Around

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

Generally when I’ve finished reading a book I’m done with it, regardless of how wonderful or well-written it was. There are two books, however, that I’ve read multiple times and will read again: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Stephen King’s The Stand.

To Kill a Mockingbird should be mandatory reading for every citizen of this country. If one ever doubted the existence of white privilege Ms. Lee spells it out in this tale of racism and heroism in a small southern town. 

King’s The Stand is the most frightening book I’ve ever read. Good and evil literally battle for dominion of the earth in this post-apocalyptic thriller. Often I joke that I read portions of it with my eyes closed. 

In both cases movies have been made from these novels, and I believe a remake of The Stand is in the works. By all means watch the films, but the books are worthy of reading and reading again. 

Note: I’ve also read all of the Harry Potter books numerous times, but I’d already broken the prompt’s rule and didn’t want to go to Daily Prompt prison.

Peace, people.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/second-time-around/”

  

Quoting Atticus

Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:

Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it and why does it move you?

  
Through the character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee shaped my ideas and attitudes about courage and race from a very early age. Perhaps the most radical thing my mother, who was hardly a radical herself, ever did was to take me to see the film version of the novel.

As soon as I was able, in those days before E-readers made every book easily accessible, I checked To Kill a Mockingbird out of the Floyd County Public Library in Floydada, Texas. There were adult ideas embedded in the book that I did not yet understand, so I read the simple story of Scout and her brother.

I read the book again and again through the years after buying the paperback edition at a garage sale. With every reading I gained new understanding. When the physical book finally fell apart I downloaded it onto my Kindle, and I read Atticus’s story at least once a year.

The quote above about real courage speaks volumes to me, especially in these times of fear mongering and gun worshipping. My fervent hope is that more people would make Atticus’s words their own.

E.T.: The Earnest Terrestrial 

Among us walk men

Of a most serious bent

Earthlings quite earnest.

  Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

There also are those

With more frivolous outlooks

Inclined to amuse.

 Jim Varney in his role as Ernest T. Bass in Ernest Saves Christmas.

Such as this Ernest.

Who contrary to his name

Was anything but.