Books I Have Read More Than Once
Life's too short to re-read a book...unless it's really outstanding.
- •The entire Aubrey-Maturin canon by Patrick O'BrianHis books nearly spoiled me for all other literature. His storytelling and word craft is better than any other. I've made my way through the canon at least three times now. I don't have the words to express how much I love these books, or how much I came to care about the two main characters. The funny thing is, the first time I picked up Master and Commander I read a few dozen pages and put it back down thinking it was boring. I'm glad I picked it back up a few years later.
- •Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility by Jane AustenYou'd think books this old would be dated, but I find them to be just as witty and fresh as when they were written.
- •The Judge Dee books by Robert van GulikMy mother-in-law introduced me to these books and now that she's gone, I read these from time to time in her memory. Van Gulik was a scholar who originally translated The Celebrated Cases of Dee Goong An, then decided he could create a mystery series based on this real life judge. Mimicking the ancient Chinese format, each book contains three mysteries the judge has to solve. On a related note, the Sugawara Akitada mysteries by IJ Parker use a similar format and are also wonderful.
- •I, Claudius by Robert GravesI was introduced to this subject in high school through the BBC adaptation, which was terrifically entertaining but essentially an historic soap opera. The book is so much more.
- •The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton JusterI'm not a big fan of fantasy, but this book captured my imagination as a youth and I re-read it from time to time as an adult. It's held up well.
- •Black Beauty by Anna SewellSad and hard to get through if you are tender-hearted, but the last paragraph is one of the most poignant ever written. While I've read it several times in my life, I more often open it to the back and read those last few lines to be reminded that happy endings are possible.
- •Raney by Clyde EdgertonI first read this as a young Southern bride with a Yankee husband. Hilarious! We lived briefly in Michigan after we married and I'd read this book out loud to myself because I was so homesick for southern accents. These days, I read it from time to time to see how far I've come from the sheltered girl I once was (although I was not Raney by any stretch of the imagination).
- •The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy TanI'm a fan of several of her works, but this is the one I've returned to. Like most of her books, wise and absolutely heartbreaking.
- •The Dr. Siri mysteries by Colin CotterillCleverly written, with an interesting historical location (1970s Laos). I feel as if Dr. Siri is a friend.
- •We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley JacksonSuch a wonderful, creepy story. Even though I know the ending each time I read it, it sucks me in all over again.
- •The Harry Potter series by J.K. RowlingI've read the books several times, seen the movies more, and listened to the audiobooks as well. There's not a format in which I don't enjoy this story.
- •The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil GaimanEngrossing adult fairy tale woven by a master storyteller.
- •Hyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshHilarious and moving memoir. And, while it contains the very best description of living with depression I've ever read, it's so much more.
- •The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne CollinsDark but quick read of a dystopian future. Strong, enterprising female hero.