Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rereading: yes or no?

Do you like to reread books? I love it, but it always makes me feel vaguely guilty, like I should be enriching my mind with new material. Especially when I reread something cheesy and chick-lit-y, which I can justify the first time, but when I come back for seconds and thirds, I always have that nagging voice in the back of my mind saying "Really? Gossip Girl again? What about how much you 'looove' Hemingway? Or how much you've 'always wanted' to read The Sound and the Fury?"

Fortunately, I've become an expert at silencing that voice (but please don't doubt my love for Hemingway, and I swear I'm going to get to a Faulkner novel sometime!). So, when looking for something to occupy the small amount of free time I've had lately, I turned back to The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, a paperback I picked up for 50 cents at a used book sale before going to Hawaii last summer.

I pick up a lot of books this way, based mainly on the covers (oops. Another trait of mine that brings my nagging inner voice to the surface), and never really know what I'm going to get. But this book blew me away. A memoir about cancer, Kelly (I feel like we're friends now, so I can call her by her first name) somehow manages to make a book about a tragic subject feel as though it's brimming with life and hilarity. And a sincerity that almost takes you by surprise every few pages -- as I read, I find myself taken aback by the realness of her prose.

This is the kind of book you want to read again and again. I'm lucky enough to write a book column for bask Magazine (check it out if you want!), and I immediately slated this book into the next issue. Which led to the first and only time a publisher has sent me a signed copy when I request a review copy (Thanks, Hyperion! It made my day. Ok, at least week).

Long story short: if you want a book that will absorb you (I read the whole thing on the plane to Maui), make you feel as if you're doing something worthwhile by reading it, but still feels light enough not to tax an already overworked mind, I can't recommend this one enough.

Do you have any books you could read over and over? Or do you only like to read a novel once and be done with it?

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