Monday, April 9, 2007

And a related question ...

...(after you scroll down to the last post)...which books do you actually re-read? (Maybe this is the more interesting topic.)

In my case, it's series mysteries. I read detective fiction largely for the development of series characters over time, and about twice a year I'll go back to a series I read piecemeal and read it from beginning to end/most current novel. Some of the authors that have gotten this treatment: Elizabeth George, Ian Rankin, Phil Rickman. (George is writing largely about broken motherhood; Rankin about alcoholism, Scotland, and masculine power; Rickman about folklore and mysticism. Rickman is also brilliant at the inexorable lead-in to the over-the-top finale.)

Here's an embarrassing admission: I often find I've completely forgotten the solution to each and every crime.

So--what books do you return to, and why?


susan said...

I'm starting with this post. I, too, forget enormously important parts of the novels I've read (which is part of what contributes to my imposter complex as an English professor). I re-read Elizabeth George; for a while I was re-reading Georgette Heyer when I was visiting my parents and my childhood books were still all on the bookshelf in my room; I re-read Julian May's Galactic Milieu series; Maupin's Tales of the City. Many of these books are sort of comfort reading, in that I find the characters cozy companions.

liz said...

I'm with Susan on Heyer, but I didn't read her until I was an adult.

Reginald Hill. Jane Austen. Josephine Tey. Dick Francis. Robin McKinley. Douglas Adams. Some books I will not admit to. 8^D

Isabel said...

First time reader... hope you don't mind if I comment on this post.

Read these hundreds of times:
Of Human Bondage, Maugham
Le Salle de Bain, Toussaint

Anything by P.G. Wodehouse or Arthur Conan Doyle.

I've never heard of Elizabeth George: I'll have to check it out!

niobe said...

I reread pretty much everything I read. I can't understand a book unless I've read it at least twice.

S. said...

Susan and Liz, You know, I'd never heard of Georgette Heyer (just googled her.) Hmm.

Liz, I'm not yet certain I've read all of Hill's early work, but he's definitely on my list of people to read in sequence once I have.

Isabel, welcome! Comment away :)

Niobe, when I was teaching and read books yearly I came to love them in ways I never would have otherwise.

Lo said...

I love to re-read...I don't think I'll really be able to sum up all my favorite re-reads in this post but I'll name a few that come to mind: Cheaper by the Dozen, a book I've loved since childhood. Wicked. The Mill on the Floss. The harry Potter books, though just for plot consistency, not out of deep love and rediscovery.

Magpie said...

In the serial mystery category, the Lord Peter Whimsy books, by Dorothy Sayers, are divine, and very re-readable.