A question from The Younger Daughter the other day (“Should I read ‘Dune’ or ‘Time Enough For Love’?”) got me to re-reading Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love” again. And by “again,” I mean like for at least the tenth time.
I know that many critics and fans don’t consider it to be one of Heinlein’s better works, and as I read it again I do find sections that don’t shine quite the way I remembered. Yet it’s still the one book I would take to a deserted island with me. Perhaps it’s the circumstances under which I first read it – lots of stress, lots of uncertainty, lots of dreams lying shattered about me, feeling isolated, lost, and abandoned. My eighteen-year-old mind was probably vulnerable at the time and I may have imprinted on that book the same way a baby duckling does on the first thing it sees.
(Thank god I didn’t read “Atlas Shrugged” at that point!)
Despite the 1960’s sensibilities and some supposedly far future technology that my cell phone can run rings around, as a whole I still find the book to be one that I hold near and dear to my heart.
Other books I’ve read multiple times – “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkein, “Dune” by Frank Herbert, “Starman Jones” by Robert Heinlein, “Ringworld” by Larry Niven, “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” by Stephen Donaldson, the “Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars” trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, “Startide Rising” by David Brin, the “Foreigner” books by CJ Cherryh, the earlier “Dragonriders Of Pern” books by Anne McCaffery, “Red Storm Rising” by Tom Clancy, “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, the “Titan” novels by John Varley…
“Red Storm Rising” is probably my second choice for my library on that deserted island, but I always come back to the Heinlein work.
So – what book or books have you read multiple times, and which one is your absolute favorite and why?