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Books I Have Known, Read and Re-Read.

(43 Posts)
Calendargirl Sat 18-Jun-22 06:55:35

I read a lot, but many books that I have enjoyed, I wouldn’t want to read again.

This got me thinking about the books I have read and re-read.

When I was younger, The Famous Five and Malory Towers, all by Enid Blyton of course.
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge.

When a teenager, Fifteen by Beverley Cleary.

And in adulthood,,
Nice Work by David Lodge.
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Over 1000 pages long, but doesn’t seem it. I never tire of reading about Scarlett and her exploits, always hoping for a different ending…..

There are others, I’m sure, but these are the ones that spring to mind.

Shelflife Sat 18-Jun-22 07:03:32

The one book l remember was Fifteen by Beverly Clearly. Apart from you I haven't heard of anyone else being familiar with it. Why this book stays in my mind I don't know as can't remember anything about it !
Our English teacher read it to us in class.

Calendargirl Sat 18-Jun-22 07:12:02

It was a lovely, gentle book about a first teenage relationship Shelflife.

It was set in America in the 50’s, the heroine was unsurprisingly, 15. I was a bit younger than that, and it opened my eyes to what it might be like to have a boyfriend, all the uncertainties and anxieties. It was all very innocent, no torrid sex or anything.

One phrase stuck in my mind after her first tender kiss with the boyfriend, “ I never knew a boy’s lips could be so soft”.

Remembered that when I kissed my first boyfriend!

Sentimental old me!


grandMattie Sat 18-Jun-22 07:18:04

We had very few books as a child and no library was available in my little third world island in the 50s. I absolutely loved the Jalna series as a teenager, ditto Georgette Hayer.
As an adult- Never let me go, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Le Petit Prince, p and many many others.
I have read War and Peace in French, enjoyed it, which is more than an be said of Joyce’s Ulysses!

ShazzaKanazza Sat 18-Jun-22 07:25:20

I’ve loved reading over the years and always had my head in a book as a child. But I never really read a book over and over. Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree could be the exception. As an adult I discovered The Hunger Games and I’ve read each one about 5 times and I could read them again.

Ailidh Sat 18-Jun-22 07:26:05

As a youngster, yes to Malory Towers, and to the St. Clare's.

Also to the Abbey series by Elsie J. Oxenham: Ive even enjoyed them as an adult - it was such a gentle, privileged world where quite old teenagers were cossetted and gentled.

Georgette Heyer, the Regency novels and Some of the detective ones (others of the detective ones are appallingly snobby). The Grand Sophy was my first, and probably my first ever novel as an adult, neck and neck with The Mirror Crack'd by Agatha Christie. Sophy I can get to the final page and go right back to page one in a continuous loop.

Pride and Prejudice, I can also Read continuously. Bliss.

dissillusioned2022 Sat 18-Jun-22 07:30:13

I am aged 72, female and although I am supposed to be a carer, I feel like a skivvy. I hate most domestic chores and cooking. My husband is aged 80 and has various ailments he is vastly overweight drinks far too much and can be very aggressive (verbally). If it wasn't for my dog I would have left home on many occasions. I hate the vilage I live in and most of the people, I do not like England and would prefer to live somewhere warm and sunny, but that is out of the question and we both need medicine and medical care. Everyday is boring and I am so glad when it is bedtime. We have a huge garden, which I mostly care for, as well as doing pretty much everything else - like I said just a skivvy. We get no benefits from the Government not even an attedance allowance! What a sham that all is. I am just so angry that we carers get no support at all. Nobody ever says to me how are you coping - because they don't care. As long as we carers do all the donkey work for nothing - the professionals will just sit there and look good. I have nothing to look forward to, no holidays and no hope. My hobbies include reading, walking and sleeping.

Calendargirl Sat 18-Jun-22 08:08:48


Your post would get more replies on a different, more relevant forum, Chat maybe.

Shelflife Sat 18-Jun-22 08:44:24

Calendargirl, thanks for the memory! Was definitely a book that made a lasting impression as l am now on my 70s . I would have been about 13 when the class teacher read it to us.
Think I might do some online research and find a copy !

M0nica Sat 18-Jun-22 09:14:13

I endlessly reread books, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Palliser and Barchester novels of Anthony Trollope, Dorothy Sayers, Mrs Oliphant, a female contemporary of Anthony Trollope.

I have them on my Kindle and use them to lull me to sleep. A familiar book, tucked under the blankets, with just the light if the Kindle. Also ideal for wakeful patches at night, dentist's surgeries now they have taken all the magazines away.

The joy of all these books is that on every reread, I constantly not things in the books I have never noticed before. I am rereading a Mrs Oliphant book at the moment, 'Miss Marjoribanks' with a heroine as selfish and self orientated as 'Emma' in the eponymous Jane Austen book and it is wonderful.

Caleo Sat 18-Jun-22 11:23:41

Disillusioned, put him on a slimming diet and keep out of his way as much as possible.

Get a goat or two to live in your huge garden, and learn to milk. Lucky you!

Plant an oak tree.

AGAA4 Sat 18-Jun-22 11:33:54

Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott was my favourite book as a child.
I often used to read it under the lilac tree in the garden.

DanniRae Sat 18-Jun-22 12:12:40

There are 3 books that I constantly reread - All by Rosamund Pilcher. They are "Winter Solstice" "Coming Home" and "The Shell Seekers"
I also reread some of the Monica Dickens and Elizabeth Elgin books that I love.

sodapop Sat 18-Jun-22 12:50:25

The Little Women series for me along with Famous Five and Katy. I also liked Jennings and Biggles.
I am currently re reading the Georgette Heyer books, I love her use of words. Two authors I can read more than once, C J Sansom and Diana Gabaldon. So much fascinating historical detail.

Sago Sat 18-Jun-22 13:05:17

The vacillations of Poppy Carew by Mary Wesley, Jane Eyre and finally The Alchemist.

eazybee Sat 18-Jun-22 13:15:50

My comfort reading shelf has books which date from my teens, all well-written and sharing a wry sense of humour. They include books by Elizabeth Goudge, Georgette Heyer, Angela Thirkell, Rumer Godden, Meredith Daneman and one which belonged to my mother and is long out of print: 'The Late Mr. Early' by Joan Hewitt.

winterwhite Sat 18-Jun-22 13:24:49

The Fortnight in September (R.C. Sherriff); Laurie Graeme, esp The Early Birds; Nella Last's War etc; most Barbara Pym; and the children's left behind Biggles are my regular comfort re-reads.

Always looking to add to the list!

Witzend Sat 18-Jun-22 13:41:12

I’m another who re reads a lot of Trollope (Anthony, not Joanna), particularly the Palliser series and The Way We Live Now, but some of his others, too.

Also some of Mrs Oliphant - I recently re read is Miss Majoribanks (Marchbanks), much of which is very funny.

Plus good old Jane Austen (of course) and Barbara Pym - I love most of hers.

Other favourite re-reads include Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis), Three Men In A Boat (for the laughs), and Mr Golightly’s Holiday (Salley Vickers)

The Darling Buds of May is another - I never liked the TV version though, and Mrs Gaskell’s Cranford.
There must be more I can’t think of at the moment.

AGAA4 Sat 18-Jun-22 13:42:25

Oh and Cider with Rosie. I lost my beautifully illustrated copy when I last moved house.

Witzend Sat 18-Jun-22 13:43:51

Oh, and The Cazalet Chronicles, and Rosamund Pilcher’s Winter Solstice, but I save that for the run up to Christmas.

Witzend Sat 18-Jun-22 13:51:18

Ditto to Cider with Rosie, and the Barchester novels. Mr Slope long ago joined P&P’s Mr Collins as the two most ghastly fictional men I’ve ever ‘met’ but I think Trollope definitely takes the prize for the most wonderful physical description of someone who would make you shudder.

AGAA4 Sat 18-Jun-22 13:54:14

Witzend that could be a thread. Who do you think are the most ghastly fictional characters?

GagaJo Sat 18-Jun-22 14:20:30

The Handmaid's Tale. It's been my favourite my whole life, and that is despite my being an English teacher, and consequently reading many, many books. I've read it so many times.

Also, My Family and Other Animals. Read it first at school and have both read and taught it repeatedly. Lovely book. Never ages.

M0nica Sat 18-Jun-22 14:27:17

Witzend lovely to find someone else who reads Mrs Oliphant, and in particular, Miss Marjoribanks, the wonderful irony with which she sends up the eponymous heroine.

Witzend Sat 18-Jun-22 14:40:08

If you’re talking just thoroughly awful people, AGAA4, I’d have to include

Lady Catherine and Lady Susan (both JA)
Wackford Squeers (Dickens)
Felix Carbury (The Way We Live Now)
Augustus Melmotte (ditto)
The ghastly arty son of the professor in Lucky Jim (Bertrand?)
The thoroughly nasty aunt of the child Jane Eyre, not to mention the appalling head of Lowood school.

Can’t think of any more off top of head at the mo. Would love to read about anyone else’s!

Favourite re reads I can’t believe I forgot before are all E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia series, and his Paying Guests - another lovely light and funny escapist read.