Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ten books I want to read again

I'm not generally a re-reader. Sure, I've read a few things over  and over again - the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower - but mostly I try to make time for things I haven't yet experienced. There's so much out there!

Recently I've had an unusual desire to reread some books. I think it might be because I know they're good and somehow that seems more appealing than reading something that might or might not be good. Certainty can be comforting. In some cases it's been so long that I barely remember the books, but only remember how much I liked them.

When I began this post, I worried that I wouldn't be able to come up with 10, but once I got thinking I came up with so many that I had to whittle it down.

Here are the top 10 books (in no particular order) that I want to read again and the reasons why:

1. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I loved it and that's basically all that I remember.
2. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty: I want to re-experience my love for Marcus Flutie.
3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt: I've read all her books now and this one was still the best, and it's been a very long time since I read it.
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Because it's still the best Dickens.
5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: Not long ago I read a nonfiction book about the summer that inspired the novel, and also I haven't read it since high school.
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: I didn't like it, but I should. I'm willing to try again.
7. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood: I didn't read the second one and then when the third came out I couldn't remember the first. I want to start with this one and read the whole trilogy.
8. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian: I read it when it first came out and I've never stopped thinking about it.
9. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban: I haven't stopped thinking about this one either. That voice just pops into my head when I least expect it.
10. The World According to Garp by John Irving: It was one of his first books I read, and I loved it.  As much as I always love reading his writing, nothing has quite measured up to these early novels.

Whether or not I actually read these again remains to be seen, but they are the ones I keep thinking about.

Do you re-read? What's on your list?


Icy Daylight said...

I do re-read! But less now than I used to - as you said, there's just so much else out there. And I agree with what you said about certainty - sometimes you just want to read something you KNOW is good. I've read The Time Traveler's Wife more times than I can count - essentially I haven't *stopped* reading it since 2006 - and same goes for a lot of books I first read as a kid, like The Golden Compass. But there are books I've read as an adult that I'd like to revisit, like Case Histories and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull, Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Kavalier & Clay...and many more.

3goodrats said...

I also want to re-read A Prayer for Owen Meany. It was tough to decide whether to list that or World According to Garp. Both so good, and both I read so long ago!

Unknown said...

I don't normally re-read, but I am intrigued by your list. There are a few I haven't tried - The Double Bind sounds especially intriguing. Thanks for drawing it to my attention!