Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rereading: So Nice I Read It Twice

There are two types of book lovers:  those that reread, and those that don't.  Count me in as an enthusiastic rereader.   Rereading to me is comfort food, like buttered biscuits or Motown music or an afternoon nap.  

My Kindle has only enhanced my love of rereads.  Now I can carry a little portable library with my favorite books.  This is a booklover's dream.

Here is a list of books that I have reread a number of times.  Vintage children's books are my first reading love, and that is reflected in this list.

Children's Books

Nancy Drew (I grew up with the matte cover books with yellow spines)
the Ginnie and Geneva series - Catherine Woolley
The Luckiest Girl - Beverly Cleary
the Betsy-Tacy series - Maud Hart Lovelace (my all-time favorite series)
the Little House books - Laura Ingalls Wilder
the All of a Kind Family series - Sydney Taylor
the Keeping Day series - Norma Johnston
Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink

The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare
A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett
the Five Little Peppers books - Margaret Sidney
Gone Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away - Elizabeth Enright
the Betsy and Billy series - Carolyn Haywood
children's mysteries by Georgia author Wylly Folk St. John
Beverly Cleary's books - especially Ramona the Pest and Beezus and Ramona
the Narnia books - C.S. Lewis
the Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Cheaper by the Dozen - Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Indian Captive - Lois Lenski
The Witch Family - Eleanor Estes
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth - E.L.
The Borrowers - Mary Norton
Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
The Crystal Tree - Jennie Lindquist
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Velvet Room - Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Teen Books

the Franzons series by Thyra Ferre Bjorn
Red Sky at Morning - Richard Bradford
The Cheerleader - Ruth Doan MacDougall
Seventeenth Summer - Maureen Daly
Meet Me in St. Louis - Sally Benson

Seventeen - Booth Tarkington
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith 

Books for Grown-Ups

A Room With a View - E.M. Forster
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier
Diana - R. F Delderfield
Jubilee Trail and Calico Palace - Gwen Bristow
The Winthrop Woman - Anya Seton (I love many of her books)
Portrait of Jennie - Robert Nathan
the Jalna series - Mazo de la Roche (my favorite adult series - highly recommended for anyone who loves family sagas)

Gospel - Wilton Barnhardt
Possession - A.S. Byatt
Time and Again and From Time to Time - Jack Finney
The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler (probably my most re-read book)
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
The Best of Everything - Rona Jaffe
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (my favorite classic novel)

I would love to hear from you.  Are you a rereader?  What books do you enjoy reading again (and again)?


  1. Oh yes, I'm a rereader--so much so that it's a conflict between rereading an old favorite and reading something new.

    Some favorites?

    Tolkien:-probably my most frequent revisited series--The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings.

    Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain and everything

    Dostoyevsky: everything

    Finney: Time and Again

    Eco: The Name of the Rose

    PD James: everything

    Austen: everything, including her juvenalia

    Great idea--I hope you don't mind if I do a post on rereads on my blog.

  2. More of a rereader here, but over the last year I have been indulging in more new stuff. I'm about to dig into Dennis Lehane's work and this will be new territory for me.

  3. Fred, great list! Always nice to talk to another Jack Finney fan. I love his books.

    I would enjoy reading your post about rereads as well. I belong to a children's literature discussion group, and we discussed rereading recently. I've been making a list of my favorites ever since. :-)

  4. Bob, good to balance the old and the new! I want to hear your review of the Dennis Lehane books.

  5. I will occasionally reread a book that I read very quickly the first time, to savor it and make sure I didn't miss anything. And I sometimes reread favorite books I read a number of years ago, just to see if I still love them or if I see them completely differently as I mature. There is one book that I reread just about every year - Neuromancer by William Gibson. I love being immersed in the world of that book, love the quirky characters and the way Gibson pulls all the threads together at the end. I first read it in the '90's and I'm still not tired of it.

  6. NEVER. Well, almost never. There just isn't time to reread a book when there are so many unread books!

  7. Pam,

    You make a very good point about rereading a book after years have passed. It is interesting to see the book again with new insights.

    Interesting about Neuromancer! My book that I reread most years is The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. It is always a summer read for me.


  8. You're absolutely right, there are books that are like friends, I love to visit them repeatedly. I find myself gravitating toward new writers recently, there are some great new voices out there, I hope to add them to my collection.

  9. Here is my 2014 Reading List. All our books I've never read before:
    Me Before You
    The Fault in Our Stars
    Gone Girl
    What For Elephants
    The Book Thief
    What Alice Forgot
    The Happiness Project
    To Know You
    The Thirteenth Tale
    The One I Left Behind
    The Husband's Secret
    Shine Shine Shine
    Kisses from Katie
    Descending Son
    It Had To Be You

  10. There are books I re-read repeatedly and probably will for the rest of my life. Then there's the 1-reads. I'm not sure anything is in the middle.

  11. Thanks for the great comments! I appreciate them. Cece, I agree that books are like friends. I feel that way too. Stephanie, what a great reading list! I read The Thirteenth Tale last year and absolutely loved it.



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