Tag Archives: re-reads

What I am reading now

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About a year ago, I suddenly lost interest in my spreadsheet of books. I got behind on updating it, and I never got back to it. I am still reading, though!

Mostly, I am re-reading lately. I have re-read most of my Sheri S. Tepper books, which I always enjoy. I got a set of the Galactic Mileau series by Julian May, and that was a lot of fun to revisit. Now I need to get the Intervention and Pliocene Exile books. It has probably been 15 years since I read those books, long enough that I can re-read and be surprised by a few things. And, right now I am reading the Harry Potter books, 4 through 7. We seem to have lost the first 3, or I would be reading them, too.

I am re-reading for a couple of different reasons. First, obviously, is the economic reason–it doesn’t cost anything to read books that I already own! My children have reached ages where they seem to be outgoing all of their clothes all the time, no doubt because they eat all. the. time. So, it is nice to have a large library of books that I can go to for entertainment at no extra expense.

But, I also find it a bit comforting to re-read. I love picking up a book that I already know I will like. A lot of the books I re-read, I may not remember the details before I read them, but I remember what it was like to read them. I can revisit what it was like when the ideas were new, or I can remember things that were happening in my life when I read the books the first time around. This can lead to expense, though–sometimes I have to go out and buy a book that I remember but can no longer lay my hands upon. But I can usually find something on my shelves that meets my needs, which makes me feel good about keeping all these books. Yes, there was a point to keeping them!

Re-visiting an old friend

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18. Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

I came across this book a long time ago, I don’t even remember when. It wasn’t great literature, and I would have to make a pretty long list of my favorites before this would occur to me, but it was a really nice book. I’d call it a comfortable read. It didn’t change my life, but I remembered it, and I read enough books that remembering large parts of the book 15 or 20 years later is actually quite a testament to the book.

I came across a copy of this at one of the periodic used book fairs different groups at work hold to support some charity. It seems like a great deal for the charities and the groups supporting them—they solicit donations through emails and bulletin board postings, then organize all the books and sell them in a conference room for a day or two. I am sure it is time-consuming, but all of the money goes to the charity, so it’s a nice deal. I love browsing through these fairs, seeing what people have donated, and finding books to try. Books are generally $1 or less, so it isn’t that risky to try something new. But occasionally, I come across an old friend, like this book.

I snapped the book right up, thrilled to have come across it by chance. I haven’t been looking for it, I just recognized it. I didn’t read it right away, though. As usual, I had several books that I was excited about in my TBR stack (mountain…), so I put it aside. It made me happy to have it, though. Last week, I was looking for something light and quick to read while the kids were at their dad’s for the evening, so I picked up Thornyhold.

It was just as good as I remembered it. Geillis is an amazingly strong character, glossing over her very difficult childhood with a no-use-crying-over-what-can’t-be-changed attitude. Even when describing highly emotional events, her common sense shines through. When she falls in love with her handsome neighbor, and he smiles at her, she makes a comment about the sun coming out and all the birds bursting into song in a way that pokes gentle fun at her own out of control emotions.

The witchcraft plot was a little silly, but nothing too outrageous. As a whole, the book was so charming, I am willing to overlook a few minor faults. And, I am inspired by Gilly’s can-do attitude to make her home her own—my own home is in better shape because of it! I hung a picture and some curtains (see post below) and cleared out some clutter this weekend. So, that’s a definite good effect of the book.

Highly recommended, but remember, don’t have high expectations of great literature. That’s not what this book is meant to be.