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Rise, read, repeat: Groundhog Day at OUP

Bill Murray fought tirelessly to combat the ennui and frustration that accompanied repeating the same day over and over and over again in the film “Groundhog Day.” For him, repetition was torture, but for several of us at Oxford University Press, it’s not so bad…when it comes to reading!

On a day rife with meteorological superstition, we at OUP escape to the sanctuary provided by our favorite books, ones we’ve read again and again and again. Here are a few of our favorites, and why:

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“Not only is it beautifully written, The Accidental by Ali Smith made me question everything when I first read it. If I ever feel I’m starting to lose my sense of perspective or purpose, or like my brain needs a spring clean, I dig it out and read it again.”

— Alice Graves, Assistant Marketing Manager

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—my bedside companion, reliably solves any case of insomnia.”

— Clare Bebber, Senior Marketing Manager

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“Bizarrely, I think I must have read the The Land of Green Ginger about a hundred times. It’s a satirical re-telling of the Aladdin by Noel Langley and it makes me laugh until I’m sick. Don’t be fooled, it’s the 1937 edition you’re after, not the awful modern re-writes.”

— Katie Stileman, Publicity Assistant

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“Andie MacDowell with a groundhog, 2008” by anoldent. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. At the beginning of the book, you take it for granted that you are reading about the Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, but as things develop, you realise that it’s just a man, and it’s a man who earnestly strives for answers, only to find something resembling an answer as he looks back over the twists and turns and tumult of his own life. Life is the teacher. What to do but start again?”

— Ged Welford, Library Sales Manager

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“A Tale of Two Cities is the perfect mix of tragedy, comedy, love, and sacrifice, and is bookended by two of the most famous phrases in English literature. Dickens’ tragic Sydney Carton remains my favorite literary character.”

— Steven Filippi, Marketing Assistant

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It’s fast paced and hilarious, and features cameos from countless literary characters and an awesome heroine to boot. Think Terry Pratchett meets Jane Austen, with a dash of Roald Dahl…don’t ask, just read it!”

— Katharine Eyre, Marketing Manager

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The Time Machine by HG Wells. It was written in 1895, but is still ahead of its time; it predicted world wars and an even worse far-future that may yet come to pass!”

— Colin Pearson, Library Sales Manager

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Photo "Groundhog_eating.jpg" by D. Gordon E. Robertson. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
“Groundhog, eating” by D. Gordon E. Robertson. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

“I have probably read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith over twenty times since childhood. And just writing this sentence has made me long to get home and escape to that crumbling old castle and eccentric family once again!”

— Rachel Fenwick, Marketing Manager

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Northanger Abbey, far too many times. My favourite re-read has to be when I took it with me to Bath for my 21st birthday, and ended up reading it while visiting the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent, feeling very Austenian!”

— Emma French, Marketing Assistant

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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Even though I’ve read this book countless times and know the answer to the mystery, the memorable characters keep me coming back to this title.”

— Amanda Hirko, Senior Marketing Manager

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The total randomness of the universe is hilariously and thoughtfully depicted in the book (and series) and changed my world(s)view the first time I read it in high school. It also taught me the most important lesson in lifeDon’t Panic.”

— Molly Hansen, Assistant Marketing Manager

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Among other favorites, such as the Harry Potter series and almost every Jane Austen novel, we find these books to be a breath of spring when the winter of our lives seems never-ending. One must only dive into the refreshing yet comforting waters of a story they once knew, and revive themselves.

We wait with anticipation to see if Bill Murray will finally win over Andie MacDowellI mean, if we must endure six more weeks of winterbut no matter what the fortune-telling mammal decides, we don’t mind. We find comfort in knowing that the best place to weather the winter is the library, a cozy place to spend the day. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day…

Featured image credit: “Books, circle” by PublicDomainPictures. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

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