What books have you read more than once? Or annually?
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For many years I returned again to *Return of the Native* by Thomas Hardy, because I loved the atmosphere and the character of place spun by the novel. Then I read All 12 (or is it 13?) novels of Hardy, and only one came up to that level for me, perhaps two: "Tess of the D'Urbervilles* and *Mayor of Casterbridge."
So, what book do you often re-read and why? (The Bible excepted).
This thread might turn up a whole pile of books to add to the wishlist/TBR. I'll star it right now!
This will likely be a popular answer, but I wear out copies of Pride and Prejudice. I discover some new little thing every read through. Every time, especially with new copies, I think to myself that the story will have changed somehow, the characters will have said something different. They never do of course, but the suspense is always there.
The Princess Bride and The Abandoned are my other security blankets. No need to explain Princess Bride to anyone not living under a rock. (I gladly will though, if there are rock-dwellers out there!) The Abandoned, also published as Jennie, is the only book that heavily uses anthropomorphism and doesn't piss me off. (Yeah, Black Beauty bugs me.) Granted, the whole boy-in-a-coma-who-turns-into-a-cat is a bit out there. Since I first read it as a child, that doesn't matter to me as much as it might otherwise. It introduced me to Paul Gallico, the grit of urban Scotland, and the study of cat behavior. It's similar Harry Potter and the like - it might not be the best work of literature, but it's nice to 'come home' to something familiar once in awhile.
Every couple of years without fail I reread Captain Corelli's Mandolin and The Crimson Petal and the White. From time to time I also dig out A Passage to India. Middlemarch, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, The Beach, The Grapes of Wrath, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Collector, The Stand, Rebecca, Diary of a Nobody, Eleni, The Go-Between, The Enchanted April, Les Liaisons Dangereuse, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Life of Pi, The Madness of a Seduced Woman, The Secret History, Ragtime, The Remains of the Day, Sophie's World, 84 Charing Cross Road and The Athenian Murders.
Or, to be more accurate, I used to reread them all before LT came along. That was when Mount TBR got out of control and I started spending more time on here talking about what I was reading than actually reading. I think it's time to start digging out some of those old favourites again.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22" Yossarian said.
"It's the best there is" Doc Daneeka agreed.
Confession: I've never read any book more than once. Mostly, it's because there's so much I feel I haven't read and don't want to miss out on. There's also a little concern in the back of my head that perhaps I won't love a favorite as much the second time around too. Perhaps in a couple of decade's time, I'll re-visit some of those favorites.
(edited for grammar. poor, poor grammar)
I reread more books than I could possibly count. About half the books I read every year are rereads.
I typically re-read most or all of a series before reading the latest installment. Some of my series' have been read many times. I used to read lord of the rings annually, but it's been a few years now. I'll re-read Pratchett and many thrillers and cozies as comfort reads, again they've all been read many times.
Unfortunetly the prevalence of ebooks has meant I'm reading more new books than old favourites at the moment.
There is no set pattern to my re-reading of books. It's just in the moment so to speak. But the ones I re-read the most are The Hobbit, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Double Star, The Sand Pebbles, Run Silent Run Deep, Beat to Quarters and all three of of Daniel V. Gallery books about Boatswains Mate First Class Gioninni Now, Hear This!,
Cap'n Fatso and Away Boarders.
I re-read Pride and Prejudice every six months to a year. It's my favorite book, and it makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
At least once a year I read an old Nancy Drew book, solely because I loved them so much as a child.
I hope I'm not being fraudulent with this post, but I am quite a slow reader, have many books that I wish to read for the first time, and feel I don't have the time to re-read any books.
That does not mean I do not have a list of books I would love to re-read, and that list includes:
The Good Soldier Svejk
The Bridge on the Drina
While I do not get to re-read these books, I do have lovely memories of them and get a great kick when I come across them on the bookshelf (or in a box, or on the floor).
I tend to reread The Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time and it's sequels every few years.
I re-read mysteries - Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Rex Stout, Dick Francis, several of my regency period romance authors - Georgette Heyer and Mary Balogh, and various and sundry as the mood strikes. I recently re-read Slaughterhouse Five for a challenge with CharlesBoyd and enjoyed it immensely.
I have been getting so many good recommendations from LT in the last two years, however, that I have been doing much less re-reading of favorites than reading of new authors.
Plus, of course, like #3 Booksloth, spending time on LT that used to be spent reading.
Not complaining, you understand, because I've been reading great stuff recently.
I've read Luck in the Shadows and Stalking Darkness three times each since I discovered the series in 2008 and Ransom by Lee Rowan more times than that since discovering the book in 2007. I've been actively trying not to re-read but some books just keep calling me back to them.
I have many other books that I plan to re-read but feel that I really should try and get to all the books in my tbr pile first.
There's nothing I re-read with any regularity, but The Hitchhiker's Guide series by Douglas Adams are my go-to books whenever I need something light and funny to put me in a good mood. Whenever I pick one up, I usually end up reading most if not all of it, so I've read most of the series a few times.
Others I've re-read and plan to re-read again:
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (it's just beautiful)
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (fun sci fi that's well-written)
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (also beautiful and evocative)
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (just a great book)
There are quite a few others I've read once and want to re-read because once is not enough to get all the book has to offer - Midnight's Children, Inversions, Oryx and Crake, Snow Crash, The Unbearable Lightness of Being... The list could go on.
I usually reread series before the next one comes out or the movie of it comes out. I've also read Love Story by Erich Segal probably 100 times.
I am a compulsive re-reader. Almost all the fiction books I own, and several nonfiction, have been re-read, usually many times. Sometimes I read the whole book, and other times I will read selections from a few different books with similar themes. Most of my books are well worn, and fall open at my favourite parts.
I do alot of rereading, though thanks to LT and PBS, I have a 30 + TBR pile *shiver*....
Anyway, the books I hit more than once are usually classics I first read in middle school, fantasy novels, & historical romances. They include:
Outlander + rest of series
Wraeththu... I just put this trilogy on my Kindle so I wouldn't have to lug my gigantic omnibus edition around, yay!
Little Women ... I've read this so many times, I've had three copies disintegrate on me. Time to put it on my Kindle, maybe?
The Thorn Birds ... same here
Jane Eyre ... one copy has fallen apart
Anna Karenina ...on the 2nd copy here, too.
The Witching Hour ... 3rd copy
Ride the Wind ... 4th copy, I think
East of Eden... though I read this almost constantly in HS, I haven't read it in awhile.
The Black Jewels Trilogy
The Bronze Horseman... first time I read this, I must have been 17 (2002), I've reread it at least eight times since then.
I used to reread Hawaii alot in HS...friends thought I was crazy, that is until Lord of the Rings became popular once more and everyone was lugging a huge book around.
Man, now I want to reread some books!
I love rereading books! I always feel that a great book is meant to be read and read again and they should be better each time you pick them up! In fact, most of my library has been read at least twice.
The Wheel of Time
Sword of Truth
Anne of Green Gables
Little House on the Prairie
I've read these series at least half a dozen times, usually in preparation for a new instalment or just for the assurance of a month of reading material I can count on. I LOVE rereading a series I enjoy.
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Secret Garden, The Monster Garden by Vivien Alcock, Heidi, Gone With the Wind and The Picture of Dorian Gray are probably the most reread single books in my collection right now.
I don't do alot of re-reading, simply as the TBR pile is so huge and lovely. But I do return to Tim Winton short stories Minimum of Two and The Turning pretty often, and get more out of them each time.
Rebecca by du Maurier is one I have reread several times, and usually give it as a gift to friends.
Any book I would not want to reread is sent for bookmooching and tagged 'get rid of it' in My Library collection. So I have many hundred books on my shelves, of which at least half have been reread - some many times.
I am currently rereading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which I discovered last year. Each book contains as much material as three standard books, and there are currently six in the series, so its quite a big undertaking!
I may not reread every book by these authors each year, but I will read at least a couple:
Georgette Heyer - a wonderful pick me up
Linda Howard - newer ones are just potboilers
Dick Francis - quick fun reads
Dorothy L Sayers - Harriet and Peter
Suzanne Brockmann - action-packed romance
Jennifer Crusie - always makes me laugh out loud
#24 I so agree about that 'only books for rereading get kept' thing. Unfortunately that still leaves around 2000 books on my shelves that I would like to reread. Wanting to do it and actually getting round to doing it are sometimes two completely different things!
A long time ago, when I probably only had half as many books as I have now, I was very impressed by reading an interview with Octavio Paz, in which he explained that, starting on a certain day each year, he would put everything else aside and re-read Don Quixote. Unfortunately, I never had that sort of self-discipline...
I have a fairly long list of things that I think of myself as re-reading frequently, but in all honesty there can't be many that I re-read more than once every ten years, on average. It's probably more realistic to say that if a book impresses me I'm likely to re-read it a couple of times within the first three or four years, then at progressively longer intervals. I also tend to alternate between "buying" and "re-reading" phases. When I have one of the latter, it tends to take me along a particular theme - time, place, genre, whatever.
I've always re-read a lot of books. Starting when I was very young, for years I checked out Molly's Moe by Kay Chorao and the Disney Song Book from the library every time I went.
A lot of the books I re-read now are the ones I liked enough to buy when I was young, The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley, The Secret Circle and Dark Visions Trilogies by L.J. Smith, and the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Supermysteries are some of my most frequently read.
#29 Oh, laby, that brings back memories! The Puppy With Plush Paws (never did ID who it was by despite cries to the Name That Book group) came home with me week after week after week after week! Yes, I think you are right - these habits start to form when we are very young. These days I have a lot less time for rereading (mainly thanks to LT) but I still manage those old favourites every now and then.
Oh, my daughters loved Molly's Moe! And the younger one loved Shirley Hughes' Alfie books so much, we checked all of them out every time we went to the library. Fortunately they had many copies.
I do as much rereading as new reading--maybe more.
Most of Jane Austen--usually have one in progress. I am trying to get through Emma for the first time, but keep going back to the others. What a nerd.
Gone With the Wind
Life is a Banquet
To Kill a Mockingbird
Mists of Avalon
Diary of a Mad Housewife
Plan to reread Frankenstein soon.
I've probably read Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers 5 or 6 times and just got the audiobook from the library. Ian Carmichael is the reader. It's wonderful.
So I'm counting it as a re-read even though it's a first-listen.
I don't think it counts as a first-listen if you can recite large chunks along with the reader.
If you're like me you'll get yourself some brand-spanking-new copies then not be able to part with your old friends.
My new Gaudy Night is so nice and my old one was so decrepit that I had no compunction in dumping it. I confess, though, that wouldn't be the case for everything.
My Gaudy Night is decrepit too - pages fall out every time I open it - but it feels 'right' to me. I don't think it would feel quite the same if I bought a new copy.
I have an old Gaudy Night whose front cover is detached. Book and book-less cover are in my nightstand somewhere. New Gaudy Night is cataloged in LT.
Aack. Just looked at my catalog, and I have two "new" copies of Gaudy Night. So the old one is the third one. Sigh.
I've had trouble getting rid of copies of Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer too. I've got four of them.
#26 "I am currently rereading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which I discovered last year. Each book contains as much material as three standard books, and there are currently six in the series, so its quite a big undertaking!"
It's a bigger undertaking than you think. Outlander now has 7 books in the series and there are more to come. An Echo in the Bone was released in the United States on 22 September, 2009. The UK release was supposed to have been 7 January 2010.
For many years, I'd reread Moving On by Larry McMurtry, mostly because I was in an unhappy first marriage and that's what that book was about! Now that I'm happily remarried, I tend to reread The Great Gatsby! (Go figure)
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
a book on Organization the title of which escapes me
Harry Potter series - I have read them all in English, listened to them on cd in English, read them in Spanish, and am currently reading them aloud in Spanish to my son! If the Spanish cd ever comes out, I will buy it.
The only book I have read twice is the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. I just love the story and the characters :) I have watched the BBC version about three times over. I think it is a great adaptation :)
I reread the Hitchhiker's Guide series and both the Dirk Gently books - all by Douglas Adams at least once a year. I also enjoy rereading Tom Robbins books but they don't get reread as frequently as Adams.
Maybe it is a result of getting older and forgetful but there always seems to be some joke or great line that I 'discover' with each reread.
I've re-read a lot of my books but the most repeated reads are easily Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (14 times) although I read the 5th and 6th books a lot too and Watership Down which I've probably read a similar number of times.
I find myself re-reading the books from The Adventure Library series. Also the essays of Joseph Epstein. Canticle for Leibowitz has also gotten several reads and half-reads. Other than that, I generally don't re-read books.
Even with weekly trips to the library, we can't seem to keep our family of readers in new books, and so someone is always in the middle of a re-read of one of Eddings' Belgariad, or one of the Harry Potter books. It worries my husband, who I don't think has ever re-read a book and can't fathom the purpose.
I re-read a lot and always have. I found so much comfort in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a girl, the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace and lots of the other girls' classics. Now I'm more likely to return to Persuasion or the two Gatherer of Clouds books by Sean Russell. I read it in another comment here on LT: who needs drugs when you have access to the comfort, familiarity and transcending power of a beloved book?
I've re-read The Mummy or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice at least 5 times, and love it even more everytime I do. Similarly I think I've read Pride and Prejudice a few too times even for being female (although in my opinion I don't think you could ever read that novel too much!) Those are the two big ones, and I guess once I get my copy of Time Traveler's Wife back from my future sister in law, I'm sure I'll re-read that one as well.
Every year I re-read the last 3 books in Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave Trilogy and Jane Austen's Persuasion and I love them just as much every time.
I just read Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and promptly began reading it again. I found it very moving and I also wanted to consider how its structure works (15 different narrators!) It got me thinking about what my grandmother would say if she could speak from beyond the grave.... My full review can be read at: www.the-reading-list.com
*will definitely be starring this thread!*
Honestly, the books I re-read are usually YA fiction, mostly in series, because those are what I like the best. Kristy and the Secret of Susan, a BabySitter's Club book, I've read at least 12 times. I re-read it at least once a year.
I have a few favorite Sweet Valley books that I re-read occasionally, including The Evil Twin (heck, that entire mini-series), and The Magic Christmas.
And I've read most of my Torey Hayden books at least twice. Just finished re-reading One Child, I think I've read Somebody Else's Kids at least four times. Those are hard to read, tho, at least for me. REALLY heartbreaking and emotional, especially knowing they are true stories.
I've read several books in my library multiple times, so it would be difficult to single any out*, but I've just finished reading Infinite Jest for the first time and hope to make it an annual tradition. If you've read it before, you probably understand why. There's just too much, and despite the fact that it is all presented in a very easy-to-read manner, there's a lot that one can miss on even multiple reads. And on top of that, it was soooo rewarding that even after reading some essays about it and discovering how much I overlooked, I still never felt lost or bored at any point.
* mostly books that I read before they were adapted to movies and re-read immediately before or after seeing the movie
I try to read How Far to Bethlehem? by Norah Lofts every Christmas. I love it.
I always thought I couldn't read a book more than once, but have found that to be completely untrue. I've read The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer 3 times, the entire Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris twice, and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs twice. I will probably read the latter 2 again and again.
Well, when I need comfort reading it's usually some or all of:
Miss Read's Fairacre or Thrush Green series, L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simons's book, particularly the Stroganoff ballet series and Elinor Brent-Dyer's Chalet school series.
For general reading I have read over and over again:
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield, Lord of the Rings, all of Jane Austen, although Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility less often than the other four, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond series and The House of Niccolo, China Court and In this House of Brede by Rumer Godden, E. F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia novels, Antonia Forest's Marlows series just to mention a few.
It's probably a good thing that I'm not famous and will, therefore, not be invited on to Desert Island Discs as I couldn't possibly restrict myself to one...
I usually don't read books more than once but I have read these twice:
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Shipping News by Annie Prouxl the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
I've been re-reading Agatha Christie's mysteries for quite a while now. I enjoyed them as a kid, and with many of them I haven't remembered how the twists and turns resolved in the end, so they're fun to read all over again.
I usually read Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion every year.
Other books that get read at irregular intervals are
Dorothy Sayers' mysteries (especially Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon,
Anne McCaffrey's Pern series,
Tolkien's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings,
the Chronicles of Narnia,
L'Engle's Time Quartet and the Austin Family series.
I read each of the Harry Potter books again before reading the newest book as they were published. However, I have not bothered to read the final book again.
Almost any book I have rated 3 stars or above has been / will be reread - some almost annually. Often I feel in a Georgette Heyer or a Clifford Simak mood, so I will pull out one or more to amuse/soothe/excite me for a couple of days. As soon as I finished Diana Gabaldon's stunning Outlander series, I started again from the beginning.
I find, if I am really enjoying a book, that I tend to speed through it the first time, and often as not will almost immediately reread it at a more leisurely pace, so that I can pick up on the little nuances that I raced past before.
I re-read The Great Gatsby most years, or every 18 months (its just had its 28th read and still holds up), I love the chrystaline language. Other books I have read more than three times include Helen Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road, Karen Blixen's Out of Africa and Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Other books I've read 3 or more times can be found here:
Books I am about to read again in the coming year:
War and Peace
I frequently read something I've previously read - usually well-known titles - but I also have a group of books that I think of as my version of 'comfort food' and I re-read them fairly regularly, usually if I'm under the weather or cheesed-off about something:
Any of Dorothy L Sayers' 'Harriet Vane' books, plus Murder Must Advertise and The Nine Tailors;
Jane Austen's Emma;
Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy;
The Wind in the Willows (sorry alsvidur).
My annual re-read list continues to grow, until I'm in danger of not having time for anything new. Right now it includes:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Rudyard Kipling's Kim
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Babel-17 and various other Delanys
My Family and Other Animals
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Up in the Old Hotel
and battered copies of Martian Chronicles and Dandelion Wine
as you can tell, it's mostly comfort reading.
I love Latin American and Spanish fiction, and I re-read these books every couple of years, at least:
Sobre heroes y tumbas--Ernesto Sábato
Pedro Paramo and El llano en llamas--Juan Rulfo
Evaristo Carriego--Jorge Luis Borges
La vida es sueno--Calderón de la Barca
Los pasos perdidos--Alejo Carpentier
Guzman de Alfarache--Mateo Alemán
I also try to read at least one of the two books of Don Quijote de la Mancha every year. That's probably my favorite book.
Lately I've been going back and re-reading books I enjoyed in high school. I find them to be doubly enjoyable as an adult, because while I generally remember very little about them, they're still connected to a different time in my life. They left an impression on me then, and I can connect my faint recollections of them with the words I'm reading now, as an adult. I re-read The Catcher in the Rye a few years ago, and encountered a different Holden than I remembered. When I was sixteen, I thought he was pretty badass for going off into the city on his own; as an adult, reading about a young kid trying to be an adult before his time, it was a lot sadder book than before.
This year, I re-read The Day of the Locust and The Moviegoer. I'm planning to read The Great Gatsby again soon.
Every year I re-read Wuthering Heights, All Quiet on the Western Front and Breakfast at Tiffany's, I love them all over and over again. Every once in a while I re-read The Green Mile, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, No Country for Old Men and Ludo and the Star Horse.
I have read quite a few books more than once and my daughter has read the Twilight series about 8 times.
I have read The Iliad and The Odyssey at least fifteen times. I have several translations of each book and until this year had read each book every year for the past five years. I love the stories and the way they are written. I recently bought audio books of the translations by Stanley Lombardo narrated by the author with Susan Sarandon doing introductions to each chapter.
I also enjoy re-reading some of my favorite old Robert Heinlein such as Starship Troopers, Citizen of the Galaxy and Glory Road. I have a series of mysteries set in Imperial China known as the Judge Dee series and I will usually re-read two or three of those every year. It's like visiting old friends.
The Red and the Black by Stendhal - twice, this somehow happened naturally. The interval was about 7 years.
>69 Ex_Lit_Prof:, I was curious enough to click, but your URL doesn't work.
Edit: because you posted that in 2010, natch
Oh boy, I think I will list authors whose series I read frequently first.
Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series
Jim Butcher Harry Dresden series
Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan series
Rex Stout Nero Wolfe series
Ellis Peters Cadfael series
Terry Pratchett all things Discworld
J.R.R. Tolkien all things Middle Earth
Then there are the special books:
Anything Can Happen by George Papashvily
Rebecca, The Scapegoat and The Birds by Daphne du Maurier
Oh, there are more, that's why I keep books on my shelves, is because I will have them when the mood hits to read them, or they will be at hand when someone wants the perfect book to read.
I also read Heart of Darkness twice, first in Polish and then, 3-4 years later, in English.
I've read Catcher in the Rye twice, the interval was around 18 years, first in English, then in Polish.
The only books I have re-read multiple times at many different stages of life are The Narnia Chronicles, the whole Sherlock Holmes canon, many Isaac Asimov books, especially the Foundation series, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.
Looking back through my reading list spreadsheet, there are a number of others I have read twice (or occasionally thrice) - sorry for no touchstones, I pasted this from my list and it's too long to edit right now:
War of the Worlds
The Ruthless Yeomen
Day of the Triffids
The French Revolution
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and other stories
Pillars of the Earth
Brave New World
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Fathers and Sons
Diary of a Young Girl
The Lost World
The Red Room
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A Christmas Carol
The Midwich Cuckoos
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Adrian Mole 2)
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Time To Kill
The War of the Worlds
All Quiet on the Western Front
A Tale of Two Cities
Children of the Stones
The Importance of Being Earnest
Romeo and Juliet
A Hero of Our Time: Illustrated and Annotated Edition
The Man in the High Castle
It Can't Happen Here (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Three Musketeers
the House of Cards trilogy
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