It’s been one of those weekends–delightfully holiday-filled, but somehow, despite the extra time off, not particularly productive–as the lack of postings from me will attest (and yes, I do know it’s Wednesday; it was a very long long-weekend). I don’t know about you, but I find that whenever I have a whole whack of time where I can get a bunch of things done (usually things I’ve been putting off for just such an occasion)…I do anything but. It’s at such times that my tendency to reread things comes very much to the fore.
The whole concept of rereading things is a fairly contentious point amongst book people: I have a few good friends who cannot stand to reread a book and find it quite bizarre that I do so; conversely, there are people such as myself, who reread things regularly and have been known to read the same book, cover-to-cover, again and again over a period of anywhere from 9 months to 10 years. I also tend to dip into books I know very well, in a habit I refer to as “magazine reading”: whereby I enjoy a snippet of the book, but don’t actually commit to properly reading it through again; this is something I do especially frequently when I’m between books, or, as I was this weekend, trying to avoid doing other things. I do believe in the value of rereading, however, and you can expect to see a post (or perhaps “polemic” would be more appropriate) about that in the near future.
At this point, I feel I must make a confession. Despite our earlier comments about numbered lists and the way they’re reductive and limiting and frustrating (all of which is true), one of us at least still has a disturbing fondness for them, and will, by her own admittance, read even the most pathetic and ridiculous articles if they have a number in the title (eg. “10 things you didn’t know about Disney ™”). *Hint: it’s not Freda*
As a result of that, and as a pleasing cap on my seriously lax long weekend, I bring you,
Seven Books I Re-Read Instead of Doing Something Productive*
1. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. Because reading Pratchett is always a good idea (and so is rereading).
2. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. I find this book endlessly entertaining and extremely inspiring; all of you who wish to live tidier, fuller lives, or who wish to delight in some of the finest English satire ever written, need to read this book several times.
3.. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. Another extremely formative book for me, I have never ceased to enjoy reading part or all of this brilliant “novel of suspense.”
4. The Truth by Terry Pratchett. See above.
5. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. See what I did there? It’s not just Pratchett this time!
6. The Sirens Sang of Murder by Sarah Caudwell. Who knew it was possible to make tax law entertaining? Author of some of the finest, smartest, and wittiest, mysteries to ever grace the literary scene, Caudwell gets bonus points for leaving her readers guessing even after the murder is solved: no one, to this day, can tell you whether her detective, Historian Hilary Tamar, is a woman or a man. Read her books. They’re amazing.
7. P.G. Wodehouse, anything. It’s like sinking into a hot bubble bath, or biting into a perfectly buttered piece of toast–as Stephen Fry has said of Wodehouse’s magnificent prose, “You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour.”
*For the record: I believe that reading is extremely productive, and that all these books are excellent. Just in case you hadn’t already gathered that.