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Rereading books

I read about 80 books a year, on average, but I reread books very rarely. Some favorites, such as The House of Mirth, I’ve read multiple times, but usually I crave a new experience. I’m thinking about adding some previous favorites into my rotation, though—I’ve been wanting to revisit The Secret History, The Hotel New Hampshire, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and a few others.

I’d love to hear others’ feelings about rereading books and which ones you’ve enjoyed revisiting and which were letdowns.

by Anonymousreply 4306/10/2021

Only a few books out of the thousands I've read bear re-reading. Dancer from the Dance was one recently.

by Anonymousreply 106/07/2021

I rarely reread books, although will likely do BLEAK HOUSE at some point. THE OBSERVATIONS by Jane Harris is another candidate.

by Anonymousreply 206/07/2021

I reread My Dog Tulip every few years. I am not an animal lover and not a dog owner. But JRR Ackerley's prose and self examination grab me every time.

I tried rereading some Peter Dickenson mysteries lately. I found them unreadable.

Shakespeare and Plato bear rereading....but that is no surprise.

John Webster's plays are even better on rereading.

Blue Heaven by Joe Keanen was surprisingly delightful on a re-read.

by Anonymousreply 306/07/2021

Some re-reads:

- Different versions of [italic]The Count of Monte Cristo[/italic] from the Classics Illustrated comic book to several versions / translations of the novel.

- two of David Payne's novels, [italic]Early from the Dance[/italic] and [italic]Ruin Creek[/italic].

- Michael Connolly's Harry Bosch novels, two or three times each.

- some Philip Roth, especially [italic]Goodbye, Columbus[/italic] and [italic]Letting Go[/italic]

- everything by Andrew Holleran, I think, especially [italic]Dancer from the Dance[/italic] and his AIDS-era memoir, [italic]Grief[/italic].

- other gay novels that came out in the '80s, by Peter Cameron, John Weir, Robert Ferro, Paul Monette, Larry Kramer.

by Anonymousreply 406/07/2021

I've reread many of my favorite books. War and Peace about four times, Gone with the Wind several times, Jane Austen's books, Dickens, Cousin Bette by Balzac, several of Edith Wharton's books, Oscar Wilde, A Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, I know there are more and several I'm thinking of reading again now. I'm always on the search for new authors, recently discovered Ruth Ware and Louise Penny a while back.

by Anonymousreply 506/07/2021

[quote] I read about 80 books a year

Sure, Jan.

by Anonymousreply 606/07/2021

I try to reread the real classics every three or four years — recently I reread [italic]Pat the Bunny[/italic] and I’m so glad I did.

by Anonymousreply 706/07/2021

R4- The Beauty Of Men is one of my favorites of Andrew Holleran

by Anonymousreply 806/07/2021

That's so funny. I hardly ever reread books either. But I just reread Hotel New Hampshire, OP.

Was even better than I remembered.

by Anonymousreply 906/07/2021

Cousin Bette is a Datalounge wet dream!

by Anonymousreply 1006/07/2021

I'll return to these novels across my life:

Anna Karenina

The Buddenbrooks

Lonesome Dove (my mother's favorite ... MARY!!!!)

by Anonymousreply 1106/07/2021

R6, why is it so hard to believe that people read books? That’s how I spend much of my time when I’m not working.

by Anonymousreply 1206/07/2021

Reread V. Woolf often; Dickens's Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Dombey and Son every two or three years; Dancer from the Dance; Oates's Mysteries of Winterthurn; The Magic Mountain; Death in Venice and other Mann stories

by Anonymousreply 1306/07/2021

I love to reread Agatha Christie, Patrick Dennis, and Jules Verne. They never disappoint.

by Anonymousreply 1406/07/2021

I'm 72 now and have become a voracious reader in the last dozen years or so. I now read about 60 books each year.

I've just started rereading some of my old favorites and some are even the same paperbacks I've kept for many years with the intention of rereading decades later. They include The Talented Mr Ripley and Letting Go, both mentioned upthread as well as all of Barbara Pym's novels and a couple by Molly Keane, Good Behaviour and Time After Time.

But there are a few from my extreme youth which I've tried to reread and realize now aren't all that great, much as I once loved them: Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon, James Kirkwood's Good Times, Bad Times and, of course, The Catcher in the Rye.

by Anonymousreply 1506/07/2021

I earned an MA in Russian literature when I was 23. Every one of the books I read resulted in pain and joylessness because it was work, I read them through critical theory lenses and, always, in a rush.

During the past year, I have reread many of these formerly required works. I actually re-reread a couple of them. I was far too young to appreciate literature when I had to analyze Russian novels. As an eldergay ,I enjoy them.

by Anonymousreply 1606/07/2021

I'm definitely a fan of working re-reads into my rotation. I'm about to re-read "House Of Sand And Fog". I'm also sending a copy to each of my siblings.

by Anonymousreply 1706/07/2021

I re-read The Bell Jar about once per year. I love Sylvia Plath's dry, morbid sense of humor. Think of the author she would have become had she decided to live.

by Anonymousreply 1806/07/2021

*All of Jane Austen

*Dickens's LITTLE DORRIT and BLEAK HOUSE

*Thackeray's VANITY FAIR

*Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH and THE MILL ON THE FLOSS

*Hardy's THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

*Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA

*Woolf's MRS. DALLOWAY and TO THE LIGHTHOUSE

*Elizabeth Bowen's THE DEATH OF THE HEART and TO THE NORTH

*Sylvia Townsend Warner's THE CORNER THAT HELD THEM

*Iris Murdoch's THE BELL

*Muriel Spark's THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS, and LOITERING WITH INTENT

As you might be able to tell, I'm an English lit. professor. There are some others I probably teach more often (such as Charlotte Brontë's JANE EYRE and Forster's HOWARDS END) than some of the ones listed here just because they teach better to 18- to 22-year-old students; but these are the ones I most enjoy re-reading.

by Anonymousreply 1906/07/2021

r12, I've read at least 45 books so far this year. I love to read, I'm an eldergay (i.e., retired) and I'm a fast reader. Plus covid.

by Anonymousreply 2006/07/2021

I recall having liked Murdoch's THE SEA, THE SEA. Much of Trollope rereads well.

by Anonymousreply 2106/07/2021

Not quite rereading but the Quarry series by Max Allan Collins, about a Vietnam vet who becomes an assassin, is a personal favorite. Each boom is so similar to one another that it's kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure. Plus they're pulpy and fun to read.

by Anonymousreply 2206/07/2021

Always reread my books. It's like visiting an old friend.

by Anonymousreply 2306/07/2021

I don’t reread books, I don’t rewatch movies, I don’t do TV reruns. There’s too much new stuff to try.

by Anonymousreply 2406/07/2021

I've read Great Expectations and Maurice twice.

I've read The Persian Boy three times.

by Anonymousreply 2506/07/2021

I reread my favorite essays and criticism a lot, but almost never fiction. I had to downsize recently, and kept the non-fiction I still revisit regularly, but not much else.

by Anonymousreply 2606/07/2021

I like to try and find a new smaller novelist to read and support.

I know it's lame, but I'm part of a little book club. We switch off each month from big titles/authors (Toni Morrison or Cormac McCarthy) with some small writer who's all but unknown.

As a group, we've really discovered some gems. One that sticks out is a book called The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato. It's about this pop star who goes missing and the woman who tries to find her. Super creative. I was floored by it.

Anyway, if any of you don't want to do a reread, but want a new novel idea...

by Anonymousreply 2706/07/2021

Every December I reread Holidays on Ice as a seasonal tradition. When I’m at my most severe in depression Franny and Zooey is reread and is a great help. But the books I’ve reread the most throughout life are the His Dark Materials trilogy, they are always satisfying and getting to visit that world for awhile is a beautiful escape from reality.

by Anonymousreply 2806/07/2021

R28 I love the seasonal tradition aspect of that. I'm very much that way when it comes to movies. Perhaps I should start literary traditions as well!

by Anonymousreply 2906/07/2021

Writers whose work I reread for a sense of comfort, order, or comfortable disorder: Pym, Hollinghurst, Peter Cameron, Dickens, Murdoch, Reynolds Price, Austen, Hardy, Trollope, Whitman, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary Oliver, Chabon, Holleran, James Baldwin, Stephen McCauley.

by Anonymousreply 3006/08/2021

Herman Melville is one of the few writers whose works I enjoy reading more than once.

There are several books I read when I was much younger and had different reactions to when I revisted them as an older person.

For example I was bored with Gatsby as a HS student, but loved it when I went back to it a few years ago. In fact I found the end quite moving.

I was so enthralled by Catcher in the Rye in HS that I reread it a few years later when I was in college. However when I went back to it a couple of years ago, I felt as though I were reading a completely different novel. By the end of the novel, my reaction to Holden was, "What an asshole!"

I enjoyed The Sun Also Rises when I was young, but OMG I could not get past the first third of the book when I tried reading it last year. Bored. Out. Of. My. Mind. In fact I also tried reading some short stories and another novel and had a similar reaction. Interestingly, I enjoyed the recent Ken Burns documentary on Hemingway and my takeaway was that if I take one more stab at the author, I'm going to have to imagine Jeff Daniels reading the words to make it work.

I know some DLers are not fans of Pat Conroy, but I am. I reread both The Lords of Discipline and The Prince of Tides a couple of years ago, and I found them just as enjoyable now as I did back in the 1980s. (And P.S. the Streisand adaptation of Tides is a travesty.)

by Anonymousreply 3106/08/2021

I've reread Borrowed Time by Paul Monette and Into Thin Air by John Krakauer about four times each.

by Anonymousreply 3206/09/2021

I enjoy rereading short stories by Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor. as well as Jane Austin and Dickinson.

by Anonymousreply 3306/09/2021

I read a lot. And yeah, I re-read a few books over the years. The main one I feel almost compelled to read about once a year, is May Renault's Alexander Trilogy, Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. I fell in love with her Alexander when I was 19 and I keep going back to it. It is beautifully written, pure poetry.

by Anonymousreply 3406/09/2021

I am embarrassed that I don't read fiction, just non-fiction, mostly. Patrick McGilligan's biography of Hitchcock is so extraordinary--I find myself picking it up every 18 to 20 months or so and re-reading a chunk of it. Gives me great pleasure.

I like film criticism, too--so Peter Biskind's books of essays I like to re-read, as well. And Peter Bogdanovich is always good.

by Anonymousreply 3506/09/2021

[QUOTE] The main one I feel almost compelled to read about once a year, is May Renault's Alexander Trilogy, Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. I fell in love with her Alexander when I was 19 and I keep going back to it. It is beautifully written, pure poetry.

I adore those books. My mother gave me The Persian Boy to read when I was 13. Funeral Games was such a disappointment, though, compared to the first two.

by Anonymousreply 3606/09/2021

Don't send House of Sand and Fog to your siblings, r17. That was one of the most disturbing, depressing books I've ever read and I regret reading it.

I'm a fan of a Sci Fi writer, Pierce Brown who writes a series of books. The first in the series was Red Rising. Each time he comes out with a new book, I go back and re-read the previous book to jog my memory. He's a fantastic writer and a hottie.

Same thing with the Outlander series. The books are fantastic and so when she comes out with a new one, I will re-read the previous one before starting the new one.

One book I've read over and over is The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. It's a short book and just beautiful. Love it each time I read it.

And The Prince of Tides was a masterpiece and yes, the film was a travesty compared to the book.

by Anonymousreply 3706/09/2021

I've always enjoyed a good reread of "Perfume:The Story of a Murderer'.

by Anonymousreply 3806/09/2021

[quote]Don't send House of Sand and Fog to your siblings, [R17]. That was one of the most disturbing, depressing books I've ever read and I regret reading it.

I don't know your siblings, r17, nor do I know you, but if I were to receive a copy of House of Sand and Fog as a gift, I would know the person who gave it to me is a person of good taste.

by Anonymousreply 3906/09/2021

I teach with books and movies, both fiction and non-fiction, narratives and documentaries.

I reread some books every few years and watch some movies every year. This is the only way I can experience the art of a great work along with my students doing the same.

Almost every book in the HS and undergraduate canons - and there all kinds of canons, depending on the country, and the level of the school/students - can be reread.

I reread Les Liaisons dangereuses and Great Gatsby about every year. Also they go well together and its great to experience these books by sharing with young people reacting to them.

I almost never reread books for own pleasure. But I'll reread a lot of things as part of a class or reading group, etc.

by Anonymousreply 4006/09/2021

I read a lot of nonfiction also, R35. I love travel narrative: Paul Theroux, Eric Newby, etc.

by Anonymousreply 4106/10/2021

I have read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History three times and The Little Friend twice. The Little Friend in particular was better the second time. I haven’t reread The Goldfinch yet, but I will eventually.

I haven’t read it in a few years, but The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis is the book I’ve probably read the most times. I read it first when I was in college, in the South, and closeted. I was enthralled by that world. Now I see it (and BEE) for what it is. I might revisit it this weekend.

by Anonymousreply 4206/10/2021

Edith Wharton is always worth a reread. House of Mirth is a favorite. Cecil Beaton and Andy Warhol's diaries are fabulous. I think a person's perspective changes over time and you understand things in a different way. I have movies I watch repeatedly too.

by Anonymousreply 4306/10/2021
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