From the title, you can see I LOVE TO READ.  Much of my youth was spent huddled up somewhere reading everything from history books to Jane Austen, and around to The Baby-sitters Club series (I’m not gonna lie, I LOVED those books). So, when Plinky Prompts suggested a blog about ‘What book could you read over and over ?’,  I was pleasantly stuck for a while as I thought over my options…

And what I’ve come up with is a three-fold answer. Basically, I can’t just answer that question with 1 book title. Its nigh on impossible. So, I’ve subdivided the question like I did my home library…Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Classic Fiction (actually, at home, there are MORE subdivisions…books are some of the only things I actually keep organised).

The Non-Fiction Book I Could Read Over and Over IS…

Sleeping Where I Fall, by Peter Coyote

When I was in uni, I started reading a lot of books about the 60s, namely books about a group called the Diggers. I even toyed with the idea of writing a dissertation on them (which didn’t come to fruition). A lot of the books that I read were…romanticised. It was like someone looked back, with rose-coloured shades on, and left out all the shitty parts of the 60s. Coyote doesn’t do that. He’s honest. He looks back with a fondness, but not with sweetness. He also doesn’t seem to preach, like others have. I’ve also read fellow Digger Emmett Grogan’s autobio, ‘Ringolevio’. I thought it might be more interesting than Coyote’s as Grogan was a bit more…wild. It was a bit crap, if I’m honest. Coyote’s book has a perspective, but he also widens it to include things that were going on around him, and things he was involved with, like the Free Store and distributing free food to the homeless in San Francisco (see video).  Now, I’ve read some reviews of this book that say its horribly boring, and that its ‘navel-gazing’ at its worst. Honestly, I don’t see that. I think its one of the best autobiographies I’ve read…and reread. His life may not appeal to everyone, but his experiences and development are really interesting. I especially like the anecdote involving Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and a rocking horse.

The Fiction Book I Could Read Over and Over IS…

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

This was a VERY difficult choice to make, but this is a GREAT book. It might not be my favourite, but this isn’t a list of favourites. I could read this book again and again and never get bored. The characters are great (hence the long series), and the story is quirky, new, and keeps you on your toes. I LOVE Jasper Fforde for this reason. I also really enjoy his Nursery Crime series. These books are chock-full of literary, historical, and cultural trivia, that will make you chuckle and get you thinking too. I really adore Fiction, and this is some at its best. Will it ever be a ‘classic’ along the same lines as Wuthering Heights or The Great Gatsby, maybe not, but I’d rather it be a cult-classic any day.

The Classic-Fiction Book I Could Read Over and Over IS…

The Odyssey, by Homer

Ok. This is pretty CLASSIC-classic. My brain racked through Austen, Bronte, Salinger, Twain, and loads more…but I kept coming back to The Odyssey. Like a lot of epics, it can get a little boring in parts. But I love its epicness. Sure, the female characters can be a bit stereotypical, but I believe they are strong characters nonetheless. The idea at its core–that home is where the heart is, to be cliché, is one that has echoed down, most notably perhaps in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. In uni, when I was reading (and in some cases rereading) books like Dante’s Inferno, and St Augustine’s Confessions, another core idea really hit home with me. As Jack Kerouac put it, ‘While looking for the light, you may suddenly be devoured by darkness, and discover true light’ (I LOVE that quote). You can see this in the Odyssey, the search of truth, for true love, for true home, for a true sense of self.

3 responses »

  1. Shari says:

    oooh, I loved the Babysitter’s Club series too! Did you know the author wrote a prequel to the series? It’s called The Summer Before.

  2. Well, as I’ve only read the Odyssey, I’ll comment on that. It’s nice to see someone reading it willingly (I had to force it on many students), and I have to agree with you that epic is just bound to get boring at some points — see, this is why I wasn’t a good professor 🙂 Have you read the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood? It tells Penelope’s version of the story.

  3. athenapearl says:

    I haven’t read that Margaret Atwood book, but I’ve liked some of her others. I will definitely look that book up though, sounds great. Cheers.

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