FAVORITE BOOKS TO REVISIT
I don't reread a lot, since there's always something new crying out for attention — but I do revisit old friends more than I might have guessed before @mianguyen asked.
- •ShakespeareThe plays, not the poetry, and especially the tragedies.
- •The Great Gatsby
- •Harry PotterWe read these as newlyweds, and have delighted in introducing them to each of our children in turn. Ditto "His Dark Materials" (the better series by far) and our childhood favorites: "Charlotte's Web," "The Great Brain," "The Secret Garden," "Nightbirds on Nantucket," etc — I could revisit kids' books all day long.
- •Madame Bovary
- •The Journals of John CheeverSo good, and so easy to dip into at leisure. Especially apt during my commute on MetroNorth.
- •Alice Munro
- •Lorrie MooreMuch easier to revisit/reread individual stories (or short novels) than, say, Don DeLillo's "Underworld."
- •Don DeLillo's "Underworld"A touchstone book for me, in terms of tone, language, structure, characterization — it hit me at exactly the right time. I've never reread it straight through (unlike all of the above), but I've dipped into it hundreds of times for a quick hit. The most personal and intimate of his novels. Sometimes I dip into Bellow for the same kind of recharge, but his voice is so distinct and seductive I have to limit myself lest I start to imitate him, like adopting a fake accent when I visit the South.
- •The BibleYes, I'm Catholic. No, I don't read the Bible as anything other than a work of literature. But damn, it's pretty astonishing as that. And like Shakespeare, it turns up as a frame of reference just about everywhere, so I make new connections whenever I dip into it.