1. Every Day Is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel
I'm not sure why I like this novel so much, but I do, and feel the need to reread it every couple of years. The characters are strange and act unfathomably most of the time. Just like life, I guess.
2. Dover mystery series by Joyce Porter
The belligerent and oafish Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover is one of the most comic characters of all time. I laugh out loud whenever I reread any of the ten novels in the series.
3. Tree of Hands by Ruth Rendell
A wonderful and touching suspense novel about a grieving mother who suddenly finds herself caring for a child kidnapped by her mother. My favorite Rendell novel and that's saying something.
4. Clara: The Early Years by Margo Kaufman
As a pug lover, I've read a lot of books about the breed. No one can top Kaufman, though. She is such a witty writer, and in this memoir of sorts she describes how she fell under the spell of Clara, a pug diva. Kaufman captures the breed to perfection.
5. Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
A group of elderly friends are troubled by prank telephone calls that inform them: "Remember you must die." Spark is dead on in her insightful novel about old age. Masterpiece Theater serialized this back in the 80s, I think, and it was gripping. I'd love to rewatch someday.
6. Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
I used to reread this hilarious novel all the time. Then I lent my copy and never got it back. It's time to remedy that.
7. Ladder of Years of Anne Tyler
Feeling unappreciated and unnoticed, a middle-age woman walks out on her husband and children one day. Now that must be every woman's secret fantasy!
8. Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
A quiet novel about cousins who find an abandoned colony of summer houses and secretly take possession of one of them. Loved it when I read it as a child and I still do.
9. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Everyone should be required to reread this classic. It breaks my heart every time.
10. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White
A refresher course on how to write well, this short guide always inspires me to write succinctly.