When I was younger, my mom never understood why I would read some books over and over and over again, since I knew exactly what was going to happen. But to me, my favorite books were like comfort food and sometimes, I don’t want to guess how things will turn out. I don’t want surprises. I just want to be taken on a familiar ride with characters I love and a surround myself in a setting that feels like home.
The Sweet Valley High books? Oh my gosh. Back then, I read them to death. A Horse Named Mr. Ragman? Read it at least a zillion times. The Horse Masters? It needed a new cover by the time I was done with it.
So every summer, I pick at least one book to reread, taking a familiar trip home and indulging in some comfort food. So because our theme for August is summer reading, for today’s Five for Friday, here’s my–
Five of my Favorite Books for Summer (Re)Reading
1. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
My mom and I often argue which book was better–Clan of the Cave Bear or Valley of the Horses. She’s a Valley gal, I’m total Clan. Oh my goodness, the richness of her storytelling! The authentic characters and their intriguing way of life! The smells, creatures, and sights! Truly extraordinary, I could never get tired of this book.
2. Hope was Here by Joan Bauer
I make it a point to read this book at least once a year since it’s the novel that made me truly fall in love with the young adult genre! Oh how I love this novel. Humorous, touching, and beautifully simplistic, it’s the kind of story you can devour in one sitting, again and again. And have I mentioned that I’m a total Joan Bauer fan? Love all her books. Better stop now before I start sounding obsessive.
3. A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Perfection. Just perfection. Funny, entertaining, and touching, I adore every single page of this endearing story and Grandma Dowell is the reason why I loved having older characters in my first novel. And the part where she’s at the train station, watching Joey pass by? Oh my gosh. Gets me every time.
4. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
If you’ve read this book, then you’ll understand why I don’t need to explain the beauty of this amazing story.
If you haven’t read this book, then you must put it on your own summer reading list. Like, right now.
5. Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
I had a hard time picking my fifth book because the first four are all older novels and I felt as though I should go with something newer. But alas, I must list Love, Ruby Lavender. The characters, the setting, the story, Deborah Wiles, I love, love, LOVE it all!
And since summer reading is often synonymous with romance novels, I’m including a romance that I could read again and again …
6. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux! Dougless Montgomery sometimes gets on my nerves with all her crying, (and here’s where I should confess that I’m not all that into romances,) but wow, what an epic tale!
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite summer re-read?
I’m rereading Gone With the Wind right now, but that’s only once a decade thing. For kids books when growing up: Adam of the Road and Johnny Tremain. Newer kids books include Avi’s Crispin, Roth’s Divergent, Collins’ Hunger Games and Rowling’s Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix is my favorite.)
Harry Potter, yes!! I plan to start re-reading them in September since we’re going to Universal Orlando in January. 🙂 I finally got through Lord of the Rings this summer … that’s going to be a once in a decade thing for me, too!
You will love Potterworld at Universal! It was so ridiculously cool!
Thanks for the post, Laura. I love rereading favorite books. I’ve also reread Hope was Here, A Long Way from Chicago, and Because of Winn Dixie. I have A Long Way from Chicago as an audio book, so I re-listen all the time–it’s beautifully read! I also reread Peck’s The Teacher’s Funeral and Here Lies the Librarian. Other favorite “re-reads” are Tolan’s Surviving the Applewhites (it’s one of the funniest books I know), Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Cooper’s King of Shadows, and Birdsall’s Penderwick series.
I was really into “The Three Investigators,” written by Robert Arthur, and sometimes featuring cameos from Alfred Hitchcock (He was still cool way back when I was a kid). I still have a few of my original books, but I was wandering through Goodwill one day and spotted one that I no longer had–The Whispering Mummy. So, I decided to plunk down the $1.31 or whatever it was, and now it’s mine. Again. I read it last summer, and the story still holds up. So cool! I was twelve again.