Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Do you reread novels you've already read?

I do, occasionally. I have some books on my shelves that I keep for comfort reading...I pull them out when I'm sick with the flu or I'm in between books and in need of something that will make me feel good. They include mysteries by Mary Stewart (like "Airs Above the Ground" and "This Rough Magic") and , and sweet English stories set in Cornwall by Rosamunde Pilcher. (I'm going to get to Cornwall some day. That's for sure.)

There are times that I decide to reread a book because I just loved it so much and it has more to give me. All time favorites, such as Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies, are in that category. I can also re-read Anne Rivers Siddons novels because the writing is so comfortable and enjoyable and rich.

Well, I think I have a new author to add to my "re-read" list: Elizabeth Berg. Have you read any of her novels? Her most recent is "The Art of Mending," a lovely and beautifully written story of three siblings coming to terms with the death of their father and the realization that they had different experiences of their parents in the same family. The narrator is a quilt artist, by the way, and there are some wonderful passages about her feeling about her work her love of fabric, her studio, like this one:

"Sometimes a dinner guest will ask to see my studio -- it's almost always a woman, although occasionally a man will want to see -- and whenever they do, they stand still in appreciative wonder (the men with their hands in their pockets) and usually say just one word: Wow. It doesn't matter if they like to sew or not, they just appreciate seeing a room so completely stocked, so richly reflective of a person's passion. It's similar to the way a lot of people love hardware stores. Whether you know what the things are or not, they're all there. "

Anyway. I love her writing. All of her stories had an intimacy to them, as if you're talking to your best friend who is very articulate. And her plots tend to capture seemingly small things that, in the context of relationships and families, are huge. I highly recommend her.

Me, I'm going to sit for a bit and re-read "The Art of Mending."


  1. Diane, I seldom re-read but do have a selection that have left their mark on me and they occupy a special section on my shelves and have read them more than once...just about all of Toni Morrison's books, The Secret Life of Bees, and one that I've been carting around and do re-read about every 2 years is Women Who Run w/ Wolves by Clarissa Estes. Pull of the Moon is the only book I've read by Berg.

    Happy reading.

  2. Thanks for the reading suggestions. I want to read them all, on your recommendation.
    I choose books sometimes because I can imagine the author writing them with an English accent and find that so soothing too. I love Joanna Trollope's works for that reason and because they concern the interworkings of relationships, not so much complicated plotlines. I also find Ruth Rendell's mystery/thrillers very involving.
    Wanna go to England together?

  3. Try reading Animal Dreams by barbara kingsolver. I think you'll like it. It's the only book I reread.