I rarely do memes. It's hard enough to keep up with my reviews and literacy news. I've seen this one about "six things that make me happy" going around, and kind of thought, well, who besides Mheir really needs to know six things that make me happy? But then Charlotte from Charlotte's Library changed this meme into 6 books that make me happy. And one of her six books was by the same author of what she KNEW was one of my six books. And so she rendered me incapable of resistance. Without further ado, here are six books that without fail make me happy:
Listening Valley by D. E. Stevenson. I reviewed it here, and declared it my favorite book of all time. I don't think any new book will be able to dethrone it, because I pretty much know Listening Valley by heart. I've probably read it 20 times. It's possible that Antonia has shaped who I've become, too. I will add, though, that, like Charlotte, I have other D.E. Stevenson books that also make me happy (Charlotte Fairlie, The House on the Cliff, Still Glides the Stream, and Celia's House come first to mind).
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Yes, having this one as a favorite is a bit of a cliche. But I still read it almost every year. Mrs. Bennett still annoys me every time. But I always have to keep reading, to make SURE that it turns out ok at the end. Also, if it wasn't for the book, we wouldn't have the Colin Firth miniseries, would we? Enough said.
Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer. Really, with this series, I don't so much have one favorite. Most of Heyer's regency romance novels make me happy. The combination of witty banter, fancy clothes, and happy endings works for me every time. Heyer has two types of heroine - the older, smarter woman who is considered on the shelf by her peers, and the young, innocent girl who gets into scrapes. I tend to favor the older heroines, because I enjoy their interactions with the heroes (who are generally jaded rakes about to be reformed). In Lady of Quality, Heyer has mastered this dynamic (and there's a young, innocent heroine, too, to balance things out). But I also love Venetia and Frederica and Arabella and the rest.
The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Reviewed here and here. This book is home to one of my five favorite fiction rooms from children's literature, a post also inspired by Charlotte.
Maida's Little Shop by Inez Haynes Irwin. I think I have every one of the many different editions produced of this book over the past 100 years. It's one of the first books that I remember having as a favorite. I used to read it at my Grandmother's house (before eventually co-opting that copy).
There are lots of other books that I love, of course (and it particularly pained me to leave Elizabeth Enright's books off of this list). But there are the ones that make me happiest, time and time again. I'm not tagging anyone, but if any of you feel inspired to write about six books that make you happy, I'd love to hear about them.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.