Thursday, 4 September 2014


I am drawn to re-read certain books on a very regular basis.

I always read Hardy's Jude the Obscure once a year. It is such a depressing book; maybe it's that which makes me feel so much better once the final page is turned.

Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm is another that I re-read regularly (I've just finished it for the 100th time).

But perhaps the book I return to the most often is Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall. My ancient 1937 Penguin copy is falling apart from over usage; it requires some serious mending.

The book, which was dedicated to Harold Acton, contains this Author's Note (below), which, frankly, I would have thought somewhat superfluous.


  1. I have never read it - perhaps I should put it on my reading list.

  2. It's typical Waugh; I'm sure you'd find it amusing.

  3. This is something that I do too - I have a shelf of books that are 'keepers' and far too good to read only once. I can't say that I have ever read Waugh - maybe it's time.

  4. I have to have a regular Jude the Obscure fix. The rest of the time I beat myself with sticks.

    1. As did Jude.... but he WAS a stone cutter.

  5. I remeber reading Handful of dust, (in Hebrew of course).It was in my parents liberary snd I used to read their books which i not always understood.

  6. The reason why Jude the Obscure is so depressing is because it is about a stonemason. I've never read it.

  7. I love all Waugh.s books and have them - like you - in paperback - hence they are all falling apart from over reading. They are all gradually taking on that yellow look too. As for Jude the Obscure - I am afraid I have never been a Hardy fan - probably something about being made to study it for an exam whether I liked it or not.

  8. I love Thomas Hardy and 'Jude the Obscure ' is my favourite, I really felt for him.

  9. We have over 400 books in our library including a nice copy of Jude the Obscure, but I have admit I have never read it. Perhaps someday when I am deeply depressed.

  10. 'Jane Eyre' immediately leaps to mind. Been in love with that over-the-top melodrama since my teens. My copy, although not as ragged as your 'Decline and Fall' is very tattered.

    Also frequently pick up 'Under the Tuscan Sun.'

    Good reading.


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