My cousin called me today to tell me he wouldn’t be meeting me in Montana, which is where I am while you are reading this. We talked a bit, and the topic rolled around, as it often does, to our respective grandkids. And I told him my daughter had said this afternoon that every day after school, her own daughter, age 11, came straight home and buried herself in a book.
My cousin said, “Ah, unto the third generation.”
He meant that I spent my childhood with my nose in a book. So did my daughter. And it looks as if the third generation is following her nose into a book as well.
It’s a lovely place to be. Some of my best friends are books. The only disadvantage is that I’ve discovered not just the joy of reading, but the desire to re-read as well. There isn't enough time in the world . . .
I don’t just have a TBR pile. I have a TBR-R pile. A To Be Re-Read stack of wonderful books that just keeps growing and growing and growing.
Lately, because I got a Kindle for my birthday, I’ve been stocking it with a bunch of favorite TBR-R books (in many cases for the low low price of $1.99 or less) and because they are there, I’ve been re-reading them. It’s like getting wonderful welcome visits from old friends.
I thought I’d share a few of the books I have recently re-read in the hope of passing on the goodness in case you haven’t read them yet – or maybe they’re in your TBR-R pile, too.
So, in no particular order, here they are:
Persuasion – Jane Austen’s last novel – didn’t cost me a cent because it’s in the public domain. Of course I have Pride and Prejudice on there, too. But Persuasion is my favorite, possibly because Frederick Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero. I like quiet, contained, determined, competent men. I liked the fact that he could hurt at her rejection, could think her wrong-headed and even weak for letting familial duty guide her, and yet respect that about her, and then learn to fall in love with her all over again.
The Loves of Ruby Dee – my favorite of the wonderful Curtiss Ann Matlock’s books. I was so excited to find it available for ebook because now I can start recommending it again. For years it’s been hard-to-find and I’ve practically had to put a chain on my own paperback copy of it when I’ve lent it to friends. Why is it my favorite? I think because I so totally knew those men – Will and Hardy and Lonnie were just like the men I knew growing up. But as a child I only saw one side of them. Curtiss Ann showed them to me as multi-faceted, flawed, honorable, flawed, believable, flawed men. Did I mention they had a flaw or two? But wonderful as well. Or maybe their being flawed was the draw in the first place. No matter. I'm just glad to have it with me wherever I go now.
Perfect Timing – Jill Mansell is one of my favorite English authors. And Perfect Timing is a favorite of mine among her books. Poppy Dunbar was a lovely heroine with just the right amounts of uncertainty, determination, angst and compassion in her life . The book also had a wonderfully quirky cast of characters that Jill’s books regularly abound in. And it had Caspar for a hero. Caspar was terrific -- so clueless, so male, so believably self-absorbed until he finally woke up and realized what -- and who -- he really wanted in his life. It makes me smile just to think about it.
Frederica – I have a whole ‘collection’ of Georgette Heyer books on my kindle – 10 at last count. But Frederica was the first I bought because it was the first Heyer book I read. Loved it – all of it: the determinedly competent, managing heroine who tried so hard to make life work for everyone else all by herself, the gorgeous airheaded well-meaning sister, the brothers – Harry, Jessamy and, of course, the very memorable Felix, the “Baluchistan hound” Lufra, and especially the Marquis of Alverstoke who went from only caring about himself to caring desperately about everyone that Frederica cared about, but most of all about Frederica herself.
And of course there are Faro’s Daughter, Venetia, The Grand Sophy, Black Sheep, and The Convenient Marriage. All wonderful Heyer books that I’m re-reading with great joy. I could never see myself lugging the most of the collected works of Georgette Heyer through four airports, as I did earlier this week, but the kindle made it easy – and enjoyed every minute.
Match Me If You Can has been my favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips book since I first read it. And I re-read it recently because I’m working on a matchmaker book of my own right now and I am trying to make sure that where SEP and I overlap in plot I don’t unconsciously overlap her people! So I’ve spent quite a lot of time with Heath “the Python” Champion and matchmaking Annabelle Granger. My re-read reminded me how much I enjoyed the book the first time around. It’s lovely to see how SEP has done things and then make sure I do what I’m doing differently.
I have more. I’ve stocked up with Kate Walker’s Constantine’s Revenge, Liz Fielding’s The Sheikh’s Unsuitable Bride, Anne Gracie’s To Catch a Bride, Kathleen Eagle’s The Last True Cowboy, Elizabeth Peters’ Trojan Gold, Trisha Ashley’s Twelve Days of Christmas. And there are more I covet, believe me.
I love spending time with old friends, even – especially – the ones I made in books.
Do you have a TBR-R pile? If so, what’s one of your faves to go back to? Or do you read a book once and that’s enough? Leave a reply and I’ll get Star, the Montana dog, to pick a winner to get a copy of my latest book, The Night That Changed Everything. She’ll pick on the weekend, and I’ll notify the winner in the comments section, so check back or drop by my blog and I’ll post the winner there, too.
Find out how Edie Tremayne and Nick Savas turned each other’s life upside down in Anne’s latest, The Night That Changed Everything on the shelves now in UK from M&B Modern, coming to North America in November 2011 from Harlequin Presents Extra.