Stuck in a (welcome) classics rut

For some reason - perhaps because of the recent upheaval in my personal life - all the books I've read lately have been old favorites, mostly classics. There was Wuthering Heights, then a jump forward to The Guernsey blah blah blah, then a jump back to A Pair of Blue Eyes, and now The Count of Monte Cristo.

I've only read TCOMC once, a few years ago, and I decided back then that it was my second- or third-favorite book, behind Les Miserables and possibly A Tale of Two Cities. I remembered that it was bloated and overlong in areas (especially those pertaining to the use of hashish), but I also remembered that it was AWESOME. The humanity and principles of revenge/forgiveness on display in this book are so deeply moving that even its format as a serially published novel can't dilute its message.

I expected TCOMC to suffer from a second reading. Instead, I find that I am just as riveted as the first time around. Perhaps even more so, because I can anticipate with glee (or abhorrence, or grief) the events that are just around the corner for Edmond. The last few nights, I've gone to sleep in my comfortable bed thinking of Edmond in his filthy jail cell. I've wondered what it would be like to spend eight years secretly learning foreign languages from an old man in the cell downstairs, never knowing if I'd be able to gain freedom and use them in the outside world. And even though I knew that he would find the treasure on the Island of Monte Cristo, I, like Edmond, had to take a break from the part where he is digging and strikes a wooden box to collect my thoughts and tell myself that I wouldn't be disappointed if nothing came of it after all.

This, my friends, is the definition of a good book, one whose essence seeps into your daily life and colors all the moments it can, both sleeping and waking. I'm glad to have a go-to book like this one to turn to when all I need is something familiar, diverting, and thought-provoking to read at the end of the day.

And since TCOMC is approximately 3700 pages long, it looks like I'll be going to this go-to book for a few weeks yet.

Who has read this book and thinks it's awesome? Mediocre? What's your go-to book these days?

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