Revisiting Old Friends

I can remember very clearly some of the defining books of my childhood. One was Watership Down, another was Candy Come Home. The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell and The Lone Pine Club series also stand out. And so does My Side of the Mountain. I clearly recalled so much of that book, and recently bought a copy for my daughter and son online. It arrived yesterday, and as I took it out its packaging, I decided just to dip into it, see if it was as good as I remembered.

Before I knew it, I was deep into the story. As captivating and enthralling as it was when I read it back when I was ten years old. The adventures of Sam Gibbley and his struggle to survive on his own with his falcon Frightful were just as mesmerizing to me now as they were then. My kids are in for such a treat!

In the foreword, the author, Jean Craighead George, says that plenty of people have been so convinced My Side of the Mountain was based on a real person, they’ve travelled to Delhi, New York to try and find Sam through the years. She assures everyone that he only lives inside her head. And because of her wonderful writing and amazing story, he lives in my head, too.

There are books I’ve read as an adult that I enjoy re-reading, too, one being The Danger by Dick Francis, which I think I’ve mentioned before. The Hobbit is another. I’ve re-read the Lord of the Rings trilogy many times, as well as all of Jane Austen’s works.

Part of it is the comfort of visiting an old friend, part of it is just revelling in the wonderful language again.

What about you? Do you ever re-read books, and which ones do you find yourself going back to most often?

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction for Gallery Books. Her debut novel, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, released in August, 2011, is set in the court of Henry VIII. It features the real historical figures of illuminator and painter, Susanna Horenbout, and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. A second book, also featuring Susanna and Parker, THE KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, was published on April 3rd, 2012. THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, a historical novel set in London during the Napoleonic Wars, is set for a November 27th, 2012 release.
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16 Responses to Revisiting Old Friends

  1. Michelle,
    I have many childhood favorites, too…The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare is a story I still love to reread and A Separate Peace by John Knowles and anything by Douglas Adams :). As an elementary school kid, I loved the novel of Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key — as well as the film. Oh, and A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan. So many wonderful, wonderful books!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Let the Games Begin!

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    A few years ago, I tried reading the uncensored version of The Diary of Anne Frank. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it. I think maybe I feel more now. When I first read it as a young teen, the book uplifted me yet left me with a great sadness because someone so brilliant was only allowed to shine in this life for such a short time. Though that’s not really true. Through her diary, she’s shone for many, many years.

    I have to admit that I’ve read Dr. Seuss books in dentists’ waiting rooms. lol I think they’re meant for adults as much as for children.

    • Edie, that’s interesting. I loved The Diary of Anne Frank as a child, too, but haven’t re-read it. I still have my old copy, I should try and dip into it. I don’t think my version was censored. What did they take out of your copy?
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book sightings

  3. Amy Remus says:

    I am not sure I have a favorite book from childhood or now. There are so many that I like. I always liked reading Dr. Suess books to my kids and any other books that were funny/nonsense and rhymed. My kids favorite (which I think my husband and I had memorized for awhile) was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. For me, usually after I finish with a book and am not sure what to read next I tend to go back and read books I really liked. I think it is being back with familiar characters and knowing how things are going to turn out so you can just read along for the story and relive it. Sometimes when a new book in a series comes out I like to go back and read the previous book to refresh my memory.

    • Ah, I know One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish so well. There are a couple of books my kids just couldn’t get enough of, and even know, every now and then I’ll find them reading them. I think all of our favorite, including my husband and I, is The Itsy Bitsy House.
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book sightings

  4. I’ve never read that book, but i’m def. curious. My favs were Anne of Green Gables and Chronicles of Narnia. Over the years I’ve picked both up and they do suck you back in! Julie Garwood was the first time I read a real romance and when I want to remember that feeling I had I reread her books. It’s kind of sad because I just don’t get that feeling anymore when I read books. Maybe because I write my own and have been in the biz too long?

  5. Misty Evans says:

    My sons love that book, too, Michelle.

    My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I don’t know how many times I’ve read that story, but it always sucks me in. I have others on my bookshelves that I’ve read many times over. The English Patient, The Secret Life of Bees, and a bunch of nonfiction stories and poetry. When I need a lighter break, I reread Jennifer Crusie and Susan Elizabeth Phillips books.

    • To Kill a Mockingbird is a book I absolutely adored. I had to study it for English at university, and re-read it many times because of that, but haven’t ever gone back to read it again for pleasure. Maybe I should . . .

      I really loved The English Patient, as well.
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book sightings

  6. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I inhaled all the Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon (sp?) and Hardy Boy mysteries when a kid. I even got my kids hooked on them when they hit the same age. They also loved the Watership down books, I didn’t so much. I have always loved the Dr. Seus books, even to this day.

    I used to be able to spout various phrases from those books all the time. A good story just stays with you!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Blog Tours – now!

    • Ah, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, The Secret Seven, The Famous Five. I loved them all. But my favorite of that genre was The Lone Pine Club by Malcolm Saville. I’ve started finding old second hand copies of it and giving them to my daughter to read. :)
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book sightings

  7. Joe Barone says:

    I liked Watership Down too, but I was probably a whole lot older than you were when I read it.
    Joe Barone`s last blog was …AUNT DIMITY’S DEATH by Nancy Atherton

  8. Joe Barone says:

    l just looked back through the other posts. To Kill a Mockingbird was a special favorite as well as The Secret Life of Bees.
    Joe Barone`s last blog was …AUNT DIMITY’S DEATH by Nancy Atherton

    • Joe, you probably got a lot more of the political references than I did. Only much later did I understand some of the issues the book was addressing. It stayed with me so clearly, I actually understood the book more and more as I got older, just from memory. :)
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book sightings

  9. Virna DePaul says:

    I definitely re-read my favorite romances. They are like comfort food. Linda Howard. Karen Robards. Lori Foster. Shannon McKenna. Always makes me feel better! :)

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