Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flannel Books

Inspired by Laurel’s post about old favourites (June 24), I started thinking about some of my comfort books: the ones I slip into like a well-worn pair of flannel pajamas.

I know she’s divisive (people seem to either love her or hate her), but I love Margaret Atwood. I’ve loved her since I was 16 and fell in love with the passion and desperation of her poem “Variations on the Word Sleep”. Shortly afterwards, I became fascinated by the story and characters of “Cat’s Eye”, the melancholy feeling of which has always lingered with me. She has a new book “Year of the Flood” coming out in September, and I find the regularity and consistency of her voice and her publishing very comforting.

I had been wishing Tom Robbins would write another book and then I checked the catalogue and lo! there’s another book, “B is for Beer”, out since April! I love the crazy, inane humour of his books, almost as much as I love the words that he throws together into ridiculously long sentences! His female characters are so interesting and memorable that various characteristics of each have fused together into a strange composite character in my memory: an immortal one with very large thumbs and a propensity to collect insects.

I don’t tend to do a lot of re-reading (because my ‘to read’ shelf has become an entire bookcase), but “The Time Traveler’s Wife” begs to be read more than once. There’s something really compelling about the love story that begins when she is a young girl and he is an old man, but continues through the times when they are the same age, when she is older than he, when she remembers him and he has yet to meet her and vice versa. Perhaps inspired by Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, I couldn’t wait to finish “…Wife” so I could start it all over again, knowing what I knew by the end.

Other desert island potentials: Anne of Green Gables, the Complete Works of Shakespeare, The Diary of Anne Frank, and any (or all) of the books from Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Novels series.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely have to agree with you about The Diary of Anne Frank and Shakespeare. I have read and re-read "The Diary..." and most of Shakespeare's works over the years and they alwasy stay with me long after reading them...