A few posts back I talked about books that you can't ever finish--literary bete noirs, like Ulysses or Moby Dick or whatever. Today I was sorting through some boxes of books, looking for a research book but also wasting time re-reading stuff, looking at pictures in art books, just generally wasting time, and I started wondering--what are some books that are the OPPOSITE for you? Books you return to time and again?
Here are just a few of mine (and no, I'm not counting Hello Kitty Everywhere--that one just sits on the coffee table. I especially like the pic of Hello Kitty at the Eiffel Tower in her pink beret):
Middlemarch--it's sort of like going to a family holiday. I know everyone there, am comfortable in the surroundings, and I love those darned relatives, even if I sometimes want to strangle them for being eejits. I always hope Dorothea won't marry Casaubon, but she always does, the silly girl.
PG Wodehouse stories--these always cheer me up! I go back to favorite Jeeves and Wooster stories all the time, especially the one about the disputed cow creamer, or any time Gussie Fink-Nottle and Madeline Bassett have a bust-up and Madeline decides she'll make Bertie "happy" and marry him. Of course, I can't read them any more without picturing Stephen Frey and Dr. House, er, Hugh Laurie, in the roles.
Jane Eyre--though I usually skip the dull bits set in the Rivers' house. I like the weird Gothicism of the nasty school and the wife in the attic. I also like it that Jane is short, but still gets the guy (for obvious reasons).
Childhood favorites, like Little Women (I wanted to be like Jo, like most girls, but I wanted Amy's clothes and was appalled that Jo had to wear a dress with a scorch mark on the butt to the ball). I also like the Anne of Green Gables series, because I was also a very dreamy and sort of annoying girl like Anne, but one of my favorites is Rilla of Ingleside, the story of Anne's daughter's coming-of-age during WWI. And I Capture the Castle--I really wanted an eccentric family like that.
And, of course, anything by Austen. Those books have gotten me through a lot. The Dashwood sisters, Darcy and Lizzie, Emma and her annoying-yet-endearing smugness, Catherine Morland and her wild imagination, Anne and her long-lost captain, even poor Fannie Price--they're all old friends by now.
So, what are some of your favorite re-reads? What draws you back to them time and again?