Top Ten Favorites to Re-read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more! This week, bloggers are writing about the top books they’d like to re-read.

I rarely re-read books. There are hundreds–thousands–of book out there that I want desperately to read, and my bookshelves are lined with dozens of tomes that taunt me when I walk by. (In a good way. I think.)

However, every once in a while I’ll add a book to the Re-read pile. Sometimes the book utterly captivates me from start to finish, and I can’t wait until sufficient time has passed for me to pick it up again for a new take. Other times, it is only in retrospect that I realize how much I’d like to revisit a certain book.

10. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
I first read The English Patient on a masochistic whim. After graduating from college, I kept in touch with one of my literature professors. Feeling the weight of educational duty lifting from my shoulders, I was lost and confused, and asked him what he had his students reading that summer. I’m glad I did. This is a moving and timeless tale.

9. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
A friend of mine loved it because it combined San Francisco, real estate, and Persian culture–his three passions. I can’t say I found any of those particularly interesting–except, perhaps, San Fran–but the book instantly drew me in and broke my heart. This is a great modern story that has many unexpected twists and turns; I couldn’t put it down.

8. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
I read this book, along with Hesse’s Demian, to impress a boy when I was in college. It didn’t work, but I became a lifelong Hesse fan. For that, I thank him.

7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
For my nonfiction writing class, we watched a segment of the movie Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of this fascinating and idiosyncratic man got me thinking about the man behind the story. I immediately ordered the movie and re-ordered the book, which I read a few years ago.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Even more fascinating to me than Truman Capote is his once-dearest friend, Harper Lee. I have very specific memories of reading this book one summer in college. A serious relationship was in its death throes and I resolved to pick up on an old habit: reading the classics I was never assigned in high school. Unfortunately, now when I think of To Kill a Mockingbird, I think of my ex. That needs to change!

5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
This is a book that I’ve read–and recommended–so many times, it’s beginning to lose some of its savor. A real shame, since this is probably my favorite book ever. I’ve even considered getting a tattoo of the final line of dialogue.

4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I read The Poisonwood Bible several times in my early teens, hoping to soak up the magic of Kingsolver’s prose and to learn how to imitate, however crudely, her finely wrought characterization. Each time, I found some new gem. It’s due for another re-read now, and I’m curious to see what I think after more than a decade.

3. No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July
This is the finest collection of short stories I have ever read. July’s characters are eccentric but believable, wonderfully realized and endearingly fragile. One of the stories woke something very old and deep inside me that I never realized was there; that, to me, is the mark of unforgettable literature.

2. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Jack gave me a copy of Watchmen for the first Christmas that we were together. I read the whole thing in bed on New Year’s Day. In return, I bought him the fancy library edition, which has much bigger images with finer detail. (Unfortunately, it’s also very heavy, and impossible to tuck into my purse for my daily commute.)

I’m not saying it’s why I’ve stayed with him…

1. A Song of Ice and Fire (series) by George R.R. Martin
Because everyone knows that this is the series that made me fall for Jack. He introduced George to me when we first started dating, and many of our earliest conversations revolved around Jon and Dany and Tyrion. I was pleased with the first season of the HBO show, Game of Thrones, but it only served to pique my interest in the series once more! This time, I’d like to try it on audiobook.

It’s interesting to see how many of these books bring up memories of old and new relationships. I suppose that’s fitting, since re-reading each of these books feels like visiting an old friend.

What about you? What are your favorite books to re-read?

9 replies »

  1. Fantastic list! The House of Sand and Fog was so compelling and heart breaking and I absolutely loved The Poisonwood Bible and The English Patient, as well.
    The Also Rises is my favorite, favorite Hemingway novel!


  2. I think yours might be my favorite list so far. I would really like to read Poisonwood Bible again and Miranda July, who I adore. My husband is always trying to get me into Hesse, but I’ve only read Siddhartha.

    Come visit my list at The Scarlet Letter.


  3. Makes me want to read House of Sand and Fog even more. I’m supposed – he expects me to (Andre is my professor), but dang it…the movie made me SO sad and the book is so much better from what I hear.



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