Mar 19 2011 3:00pm

Rereading: The Comfort of an Old Friend

BookOne of my dear friends (*ahem* Megan *ahem*) does not reread books.
Frankly, I don't get it. Of course, I like to read new books. I wait patiently for new releases by favorite authors and I'm always interested to try new authors who have been recommended to me by someone I trust.
But there are times when I just need to settle down with a book that will hit all the right notes for the mood I'm in, a book that has characters who have become familiar friends, a book whose denouement I know will leave me with a warm, happy sigh. 
Maybe I reread because I don't have a favorite aunt with whom I can sit down for tea and sympathy and my closest friends are too many miles away for a quick, comforting visit. Maybe I reread because there are times when I really don't want any surprises. 

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta ChaseSo, what do I reread? Well, that's an interesting question. And the answer is, it depends. It depends upon what I want from that reread.

When I'm looking for a historical comfort read,  I always to turn to Loretta Chase. I know, your first thought is Lord of Scoundrels, and I do reread that on occasion, but you're more apt to find me curled up with Mr. Impossible, because, I've got to tell you, when you're reading for comfort, you need a Beta Hero. Those Alphas are just too exhausting. And Rupert Carsington is all that is yummy and comforting in a Beta: big, handsome, funny and overtaken by love. 
On occasion, I look for a contemporary Beta to soothe the savage beast. That frequently involves Lisa Kleypas'  Smooth Talking Stranger. Although Jack Travis might look like an Alpha hero to you, what with all those muscles and macho interests (hunting, fishing, serial dating), deep down, under all those muscles, he's a mushy Beta, swept off his feet by his first glimpse of our heroine. 
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’NealSometimes, I'll haul out a reread that will provide me with a good, cathartic cry. These don't require a particular type of hero (or heroine for that matter). The only requirement is a denouement that will tug the old heartstrings. I find Barbara Samuel/Barbara O'Neal a very reliable catharsis reread. I just have to gauge the amount of catharsis I need before choosing one of her books. Most of the time, it's Barbara O'Neal's The Lost Recipe for Happiness, a reliable heart-wrencher with a very satisfying ending. I get the good cry and the warm resolution. You can't beat that. If I'm after a sob-fest, I'll read Barbara Samuel's No Place Like Home. Although the heroine ends up with true love (something I insist upon when I read), there are plenty of tears on the way to the happily ever after.
Dreaming of You by Lisa KleypasSurely, you ask, you must reread some Romances with tasty Alpha heroes. And surely I do. Those are my hot rereads. When I'm looking for something a little spicy, a little sexy (or a lot sexy), then I reread those Alphas. Interestingly, these are mostly Historical Alphas. Give me The irredeemable Marquess of Dain from Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels or, even better, the incorrigible Duke of Ainsworth from her The Last Hellion. Give me Derek Craven, guttersnipe turned pent-up Alpha from Lisa Kleypas's Dreaming of You. Oh yeah. Give them to me, Baby!

There are more. I have quite an extensive keeper shelf, but these are the ones I turn to more frequently than the others, and these are the reasons I turn to them. Apparently, Megan has access to a favorite aunt with a steaming pot of tea and a sympathetic shoulder.

So what books are your go-to rereads?

Myretta Robens 
The Republic of Pemberley
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1. wrytersblock
I was surprised to find that a couple of my friends and family readers don't reread books. I have an aunt and a cousin who both will read a book once and then turn them over to me, telling me that they're done with them. And I've read a couple of books that I won't revisit again, but the vast majority of my books I couldn't fathom parting with. I just know that these are stories and characters I will want to get to know again.

Elizabeth Young's "Asking for Trouble" and Cara Lockwood's "I Do (But I Don't)" are both contemporary reads that I reach for when I want something fun packed with warm fuzzies and a little bit of sexy buzz. Nailing Singh's Psy/Changeling books (specifically "Slave to Sensation" and "Visions of Heat") are hot paranormals I've read so often than the binding is starting to show some love (I'm very tender with my books).

I'm reading my first Loretta Chase novel right now, and it so happens to be "Mr. Impossible." I am finding Mr. Carsington to be utterly irresistible, and Daphne is a wonderfully clever and appealing heroine. I haven't even finished it yet, but unless the unthinkable happens and there's no HEA, I can already tell this will make it onto my keeper/reread shelf.
Donna Cummings
2. Donna Cummings
I don't always get to re-read my favorites, but I have tons of them on standby, just in case! In the past year I re-read "Heaven, Texas" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and it was as wonderful as when I'd originally read it long ago. I also read "Beauvallet", my favorite Georgette Heyer, about once a year. It never gets old!
Myretta Robens
3. Myretta
Oh! Heaven, Texas! How could I have forgotten Susan Elizabeth Phillips in my list of go to rereads. I have reread that entire series more than once.
4. Marg
I buy books I love in case I want to reread them at some point but I really don't usually get around to it. I think I have reread maybe 9 books in 5 years maybe.
5. SandyH
I like Amanda Quick's earlier books and Jayne Castle's world. Dreaming of You is my favorite. I also Linnea Sinclair's Games of Command (yummy not quite all human cyborg). Roberta Gellis' Roselynde series.
Shayera Tangri
6. Shayera
As a librarian I'm grateful for the non re-readers. Their donations to the library are greatly appreciated.
I, on the other hand, am a constant re-reader. I'd say a good third of my annual reading is made up of re-reads. At the very least.
7. pjpuppymom
Julie Garwood's Saving Grace. I've worn out three copies of the book over the years. ;-)
8. Barb in Maryland
I am married to a non re-reader who once asked why I re-read. Why, it's so I can visit with friends, I replied.
I have books on my keeper shelves that I haven't re-read in several years and I have my 'comfort' reads, which are those books that get read about once a year.
I'm with Shayera-a goodly chunk of my reading time goes to re-reads. There are times when only an old, familiar book will do.
9. bungluna
As a readaholic who reads about a book a day, I satisfy my addiction with old friends that I re-visit over and over again. I used to keep a list of all the books I read in a month but stopped doing that when I realized how often I was re-reading some of my books.

Favorite re-reads: Jennifer Crusie, Lois McMaster Bujold, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, Dick Francis, Dorothy L. Sayers, Jayne Ann Krents in all her incarnations, JD Robb, Joan Wolf as well as most of the ones already mentioned. Just call me hooked on books....
10. Jennjenn
A lot of my friends can't understand why I would re-read my books and I ask them do they have certain movies that they watch over and over and usually they say yes because they just love them, well I tell them thats why I re-read certain books again and again. I get more from a book than a movie. Sometimes I re-read new books because I've devoured them the first time round and stayed up into the night reading them, other times if its a series and there's a long gap between publishing I'll re-read the other books in the series to get back in the zone and then I read the new book all up to date and in that series little world
11. Daniela C.
I re-read for a number of reasons. 1) I re-read a series to refresh my memory of the continuing story arc. 2) I re-read a favorite author or book for the same reasons as you: to come back to an old friend; to feel the same comfort of a "hot cocoa and warm fire" type of feeling; to feel that same hot spark or zing of that "first time".

For many years I haven't re-read even though I bought and kept many, many books. But for the past few years I found myself reminising about old books. I have gone back to read books I haven't touched in maybe a decade. Laura Kinsale, for instance or Joanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts!

I go back to more recent books I've read like Shelly Laurenston. Her books make me spit-water-out-of-my-nose laugh so hard, even the second or third time!

There are many favorite books in so many catagories. Just as there are many friends in your life. You know who to call for a quick-pick-me-up, or a good cry, or a steamy good time.
Jennifer Ma
12. Jen X
I'm with you. I adore a great Beta hero for comfort re-reads. Amongst my favorites are Elizabeth Hoyt's, The Leopard Prince; Connie Brockway's, As You Desire and Victoria Dahl's, Start Me Up & Lead Me On. I do love to re-read Dreaming of you though...there's just something about that Derek Craven *g*.

My newest addition to my keeper/re-read shelf is Julie Anne Long's, What I Did For A Duke. It's wonderful. :)
Myretta Robens
13. Myretta
I forgot Harry Braxton! Absolutely a Beta reread for me. I guess there just wasn't enough space to talk about them all. I have What I Did for a Duke on my Kindle. I'll make that my next read. Thanks.
14. The Quirky Librarian
I have to admit that Jennifer Crusie is at the top of my rereads list. Others and examples of them that I adore are:

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Breathing Room (or her "Nobody's Baby But Mine"- and the books from that same "universe")
Nora Roberts: Irish Trilogy (Born in Fire, Born in Ice, Born in Shame)- among many, many others
Diana Gabeldon: Outlander (Yum...)

and strangely, a teen read from about thirty years ago: Margaret Mahy's "The Changeover". I read that as a young girl and still find myself returning to those characters every couple of years.

Now that I've heard the panting about Lisa Kleypas' "Dreaming of You"- it's next on my reading list. ;)
15. Shea P
I don't generally re-read books. I find that when I try to I skip through parts because I know what is coming. But there are a few authors that if I am out of something and have them laying around I will try it. Susan Enoch, Johanna Lindsay, Lynsay Sands, Lorraine Heath. They all employ such a wonderful sense of humor within their stories that they make me laugh out loud. Any book that can make me giggle (or cry) with the characters will bring me back for more.
16. StaciH
I kick off every summer with Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me. So looking forward to Memorial Day Weekend when I pull it off my shelf!
Lisa Cox
17. brontëgirl
Some of my re-reads . . . Charlotte Brontë's novels, and occasionally Emily and Anne Brontë's novels, as well as Jane Austen's, and Zane Grey's . . . and some YA stuff that I liked in highschool and earlier--Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder . . . all romance-y, even Grey's work.
18. Davidia
I also enjoy many of the books mentioned, but what I enjoy most of all are the series such as Stephanie Laurens's Cynsters, Gaelen Foley's Knights, Jo Beverley's Malloren to name a few. And always good for a re-read.
19. Lm_brinkley
Hmmm, well I really love Lora Leigh's breed series. I get a whole range of emotions from every book. I laugh out loud and ball like a baby, but I have always been happy at the end. My husband rolls his eyes whenever a new one comes out. I re-read the whole series every year.
20. Maririve
I keep most of my books and am always re-reading. Especially when the next book in a series I collect is about to be published I will re-read the entire series before reading the new book. Some of my favorite series are the psy/changeling by Nalini Singh, the Arcane Society by Jayne Ann Krentz, the in Death by J D Robb, and all of Christine Feehan's series.
Hayley Hunter
21. Bookworm-at-Starbucks
I for one LOVE to reread my favourites, espeacially Julia Quinn's "The Duke and I" and her other book "The Viscount Who Loved Me." Though they are some what macho, they are really soft teddy bears underneath. They are funny, heroic and make you sigh that happy sigh in the ending.
Helen Wright
22. hww
Every summer I reread an author's entire booklist. One summer is was Stephanie Laurens, gotta love the Cynsters, then Jo Beverly in total. Onward to John Sanford, etc. Always I reread Barbara Delinsky's 2 wonderful books, THE SUMMER I DARED and FOR MY DAUGHTERS. Winners all. And not forgetting LIGHTENING THAT LINGERS by the Curtis' and anything by Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh. It's fun to just close your eyes and pick one.
23. joleesa
Catherine Anderson's Annie's Song, Christina Dodd's Candle in the Window, Julie Garwood's Saving Grace, LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory, Pride and Prejudice, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dance with the Devil, J.R. Ward's Lover Eternal, everything by Jennifer Crusie and all of my 18th century girls' literature. Oh, and the Night Watch books by Terry Pratchett. Wow, this list is long!
24. BabtyB
I'm a avid rereader! I love to go back and read those familiar words and get reacquainted with the characters! My favorite reread of all time, hands down is Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. I enjoy this book because its sweet, funny, tender, cruel and just a darn good read! Its suitable for any mood or any time of day. I do suggest that first timers read the complete Wallflower series first, but I bet Devil in Winter is their favorite too!
25. MELG
I reread all the time...Yes, Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter, but also Sugar Daddy series; Susan Elizabeth Phillips--all of hers, esp Dreaming of You. I also reread Susan Anderson--Be My Baby--one of the best ever written and reread; Some of Nora Roberts--Inner Harbor, Seaswept, Rising Tides, and not as frequently, Cheaspeake. Have enjoyed for the humor more than once, Jane Austen in Scarsdale, and Jan Austen in Boca by Paula Marantz Cohen---laugh outloud funny.... Another all time favoriteo--Kathleen Giles Siedel---Don't Forget to Smile ----Love to reread..

.It is like a wonderful peice of music...I don't listen to a symphony only once...I listen toit over and over...because I enjoy listening to it. I reread because I enjoy the process and it is enjoyable to know the words and how things turn out.
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