Posted by: Lizzie Ross | October 7, 2010

Reading Recidivism

Today’s NAIWE post prompt is: What book or books do you read over and over?

I’ve already posted about my biennial trip to Middle Earth, during which I’m all things Tolkien. I pull out the books, the extended DVDs, and the Middle Earth Atlas (yes, I have one); cook up some sausages, toast, and tea; turn off the phone and computer; and alternate between book and TV screen as the mood strikes. Melodies from Howard Shore’s music underscore my dreams each night I’m immersed in this world, and I need a good stretch with academic articles to clear my mind when I surface after reading the final lines of the Appendix F.

In fact, I’ve already posted about nearly all the books to which I return on a regular basis: Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Benson’s Lucia books, Eager’s odd-ball magical world, Montgomery’s famous red-headed girl.

But there’s one series I’ve omitted. Or, to be more precise, I’ve posted about only one book out of this set of (for now) 12 books. These are Eric Kraft’s amazingly multi-layered creations that constitute The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences and Observations of Peter Leroy (so far).

Peter, like me, is a child of the 1950s, so I like to think that we led parallel lives (although I grew up nowhere near any body of salt-water larger than a glass of gargle for a sore throat). I feel an affinity for Peter, and I can’t get enough of him.

Each time an addition to this series appears, I re-enter Peter Leroy’s world anticipating adventures that make me laugh, whether they involve a young child’s growing awareness of the people and world around him (Little Follies), an adolescent boy’s growing interest in the opposite sex (At Home With the Glynns), the story of the strangely unusual love affair during WWI of the narrator’s grandparents (Herb ‘n Lorna), or his mother’s attempts to create a business (Inflating a Dog).

I understand that the next book of Peter Leroy’s memoirs will tell the story of his courtship and winning of Albertine, my rival for his affections. But I’ll read it anyway, because I want to know what she’s got that I haven’t got. And when I find out, look out Bolotomy Bay.

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