Bethany Chase on ‘Books I Ritually Re-Read’

Do you re-read books? Why or why not? If you do, leave a comment with the book you ritually re-read the most!

Like most bookworms, I have an important list of criteria for the books I ritually reread: the book must be funny, romantic, with characters I miss when I’m away from them. It definitely can’t be depressing, offer any dreary meditations on human nature. I like to be happy, and I will shamelessly defend my fondness for books that tend to make me that way.

I have a lot of re-reads I dearly love, but here are my tippity-toppity five:

1. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. My parents introduced me to this when I was a kid, and it remains a cherished favorite. Herriot, a mid-20th- century Yorkshire veterinarian, wrote with warmth, compassion, a keen observational eye and a deliciously ironic humor that are uncommon even among trained writers.

2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Another incredible example of classic British humor. I discovered this my junior year of college, while I was actually living in England, so I am the proud owner of the original 1998 (yes, I’m old) UK paperback edition, which is now practically in tatters from having been read so many times.

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3. This Splendid Peril by Rosemary Fitzgerald. I can safely say this book, a historical romance set in medieval Mont St Michel during the Hundred Years’ War, is on no one else’s re-read list, because it was published in 1982, and it’s the author’s only book. I know because the author was my grandmother. And her book was a labor of love — meticulously researched, thoughtfully written, with an incredibly appealing cast of characters. The pride she rightfully always took in the book was a strong inspiration to me from early childhood on.

4. Anne of Green Gables. I think I need say no more.

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have a longstanding castles-and-petticoats fetish, so this sumptuous historical epic is right up my alley. And Gabaldon’s wit and gift for character made this a guaranteed keeper for me.
 

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A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, BETHANY CHASE headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

About

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, BETHANY CHASE headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.