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What books do you read and read again?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 04:01 am
I have an odd assortment.

They include George Eliot's "Middlemarch" and "Daniel Deronda"; a book about chess, called "The Queen's Gambit" by Walter-Tevis; Jane Austen; Jean Auel's books... ( Embarrassed ); some Henry James; the odd Dickens...eg Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations...and a whole bunch of others I can't remember right now.

I also used to have a bunch of kid's books I re-read when I was very ill, or sad....these included the Little House series, The Jungle Books, Wind in the Willows, the Flicka books....



What about you? What brings you back to them?

 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:05 am
@dlowan,
Books by and about P.G. Wodehouse. Books by E.F. Benson. The Miss Read books. Books by Jane Duncan. The Salterton Trilogy by Robertson Davies.

The Wodehouse for the writing and the bust-a-gut laughs. They can break a sour mood for me in minutes.

The Benson's for the dissection of society. Some characters are recognizable around me today.

The Miss Read books for their gentleness. The Duncan books (I'm somewhat less fond of the books she wrote under her alter) for hmmm well, something that's in all of the books I go back to - human observation.

The Salterton Trilogy because the books are about home. I knew some of the characters much later in their lives.

I value humour and character above plot.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:16 am
Over 40s. Over 50s. Reader's Wives. Viz.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:18 am
Zelazny's "Amber" series and Eddings' "Belgariad and Mallorean" series. Those are the books I re-read over and over.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:45 am
@ehBeth,
Never done Wodehouse....figure I should if they bring automatic laughs!!!!

Did some benson a loooong time ago...didn't catch me.

I have the odd splurge on Davies......I have some unread....

Need to look up Duncan and Miss Read!!!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:46 am
@Brandon9000,
Both SF?

I read some Zelazny ages and ages ago.

What makes you come back to them?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:50 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Both SF?

I read some Zelazny ages and ages ago.

What makes you come back to them?

He was a genius who wrote exciting, brilliant, witty, imaginative, and realistic science fiction stories, such as those about travel between parallel universes in the Amber stories. I still discover references I never saw before when I re-read "Lord of Light." The easiest intro to Zelazny, for someone who's never read him before is "Doorways in the Sand," about an interstellar political conspiracy a generation or so from now.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 08:41 am
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams (every couple of years)

The Fairacre Novels - Miss Read (have read some of the other stories, but didn't really care for them)

The Jeeves & Wooster Novels - P.G. Wodehouse (have read other stories, but not more than once)

The Sandman - Neil Gaiman (10 graphic novels collecting all 75 isues of the best comic book series ever written, i read this collection every year)

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury (every couple of years)

The Alice Books - Lewis Carroll (read every couple of years)

The Land Of Laughs - Jonathon Carroll - (read every couple of years)


edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 08:55 am
By again and again, I mean here more than twice. Oliver Twist. Tropic of Cancer. Tropic of Capricorn. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Cyrano de Bergerac. The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylumn at Charendon. Opus 21 by Phillip Wylie. An Essay on Morals by Phillip Wylie. Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen. The Prophet.

Some books, instead of reading multiple times, I dip into at random. Ulysses, in particular, and several books of poetry. The Bible (not so much now).
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 10:06 am
I rarely reread as an adult, even when I was a young adult. I think I've read more than once Crime and Punishment and the Light in August.

As a child I reread many books, especially A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the Lad books by Albert Payson Terhune.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 10:18 am
Oh, some great books listed here! Yes, to Oliver Twist, Jane Austen, Wodehouse (yes yes yes!!), Carol Shields, Jane Urquhart, Alice Munro, Dave Barry, and I love to read comedic plays, so everything by Oscar Wilde, Moliere, Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing, Midsummer Night's Dream)...plus mysteries by Martha Grimes, Colin Dexter, Tony Hillerman, PD James, and I forget who wrote the Cadfael series, Rex Stout... and I loved, loved, loved The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy and The Woman and the Ape by Peter Hoeg (he also wrote Smilla's Sense of Snow). So many books, so little time!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 10:38 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
in all of the books I go back to - human observation.


This is pretty true for me, too.

I read from the beginning to learn about people, and have enlarged that to reading re people in places at various times. I can be caught up, kind of stunned, by a turn of phrase, some sentences that seem to me to encapsulate an insight or simply describe something very well.

I do read words rather like a bath of pearls, or, I suppose, tripping swine, and tend not to process data to deep memory, except by continued exposure to more about the data over time. I end up with a vaporous overview of history, but with some almost random pictures of how things were, as if I were there.

I'm presently rereading Barbarian in the Garden, a book of essays by the Polish poet Sbigniew Herbert (member of resistance, trained in law, economics, philosophy, literature, obviously knowledgeable about the history of architecture and art). I first read it twenty years ago, read part of it again maybe twelve years ago. The essays are about Lascaux, Paestum, Arles, Orvieto, Siena, Gothic Cathedrals, Albigensians/Inquisitors/Troubadours, the Templars, Valois, Piero della Francesca. It's still a keeper.

I'm a maven of travel diaries and thus have read - besides Herbert - Montaigne, Goethe, Dickens, Twain, and many more diaries, most of those prime for a re-read.

On the other hand, I rarely reread a mystery or police procedural except by mistake. I can imagine rereading William Trevor and Alice Munro and some other story writers.. though I haven't yet.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 12:26 pm
@dlowan,
David Weber books, Robert Heinlein books, Harry Turtledove books and when I am down and need to enter a simpler black and white universe I turn to Dr. E.E Smith novels.

I remember sixten years ago reading one of Smith Lenmen books with my dog press tight against my back knowing that in the morning I would need to go to the vet and have her put down.

That is the time I found out there was no devil as I would had make a deal with him/her to have her with me longer.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 12:37 pm
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Good Soldier Schweik (Svejk) by Jaroslav Hasek
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Actually, I have re-read a lot of the books in my library. I read a book about every week, and I haven't bought any new books in a while, so I'm always going back for second helpings.
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 02:54 pm
Slaughterhouse 5: if I want to laugh: Cats Cradle if I'm looking for truth. The Bible if I need a doorstop
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 05:40 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy


What was that about Mame? The Little White Bone sounds cuter.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 06:05 pm
Like Joe, i read at least a book a week, and that often includes "re-reads" of books. I will re-read a history or a biography if i am satisfied that the scholarship is sound, and the subject is sufficiently interesting to me. I will also re-read some fiction. I recently re-read all the novels that i have in the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. It's not great literature, but they are all rousing good adventure stories. O'Brian takes quite a few liberties with history, which is not at all discreditable in an historical novel, if the only liberties are taken for sake of the author's characters, and everything else is authentic. Authenticity might well have been Mr. O'Brian's middle name. I have always been impressed that there were no anachronisms of speech, or of scientific and medical knowledge. When, for example, they sail through the Galapagos Islands in The Far Side of the World, Maturin and his scientific soul mate, the Reverend Mr. Martin, are frustrated to distraction by seeing species then unknown in scientific description, while Aubrey will not allow them a boat to land. Of course, the various species of the Galapagos were not scientifically described until Darwin published his data from the voyage of Beagle a generation later. The characters say interest when we would say influence, and having been deceived, Dr. Maturin vehemently protests that he has been practiced upon. All in all, O'Brian does a first class job, and knowing the plot and the dénouement does not spoil my pleasure at reading them again. O'Brian had a rare gift of putting himself completely into the early 19th century, a far better gift than better known novelists, which more than compensates for any complaints one might make about the quality of his work as literature.

I also re-read "classics" from time to time. I recently re-read Ivanhoe, which i had not opened since adolescence 45 years ago. In particular, i am constantly drawn to the works, just about any of the works, of Tolkien. Apart from being the highest standard of "sword and sorcery" fantasy literature, he was also an Anglo-Saxon and middle English scholar. While in university, i learned to read Anglo-Saxon and middle English, and was vaguely familiar with his work, especially his book on Beowulf criticism, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I will likely read it all again, more than once, before i cross the bar.

This evening, i was thinking about taking up and reading The Three Musketeers, another book which i haven't read in more than 40 years.
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 06:24 pm
There are some books I read and read again, but having see the previous lists,
I won't say what they are.

Mame: the Cadfael series is by Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter). If you enjoyed
those, you might like The Pillars of the Earth. [Yikes, I sound like an
amazon.com ad!]
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 06:24 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Good Soldier Schweik (Svejk) by Jaroslav Hasek
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Actually, I have re-read a lot of the books in my library. I read a book about every week, and I haven't bought any new books in a while, so I'm always going back for second helpings.


I read Babbitt as a teenager...remember nothing! Worth a read?
I must have re-read Catch 22 a hundred times.

I have always meant to read The Good Soldier!!!

Gogol...hmmmmmmm.....



I have a bit of a hidden agendum here.....I am utterly swamped by books.

I am in the midst of the most vicious cull of all, as I just can't bear it any more...but it IS hard. I used to re-read way more than I do now....and I am interested in others' habits.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 06:26 pm
@djjd62,
Interesting.

I think I am over HHGTTG...but I used to re-read it.

I adored Bradbury for a long time..what titles are in The Martian Chronicles?

Another Wodehouse lover!

 

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