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A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Reread

Top Ten Books I'd Like to Reread
Top Ten Tuesday is a brilliant meme from The Broke and the Bookish. Making Top Ten Tuesday lists is hands-down my favorite Tuesday activity. This week's list is books I'd like to reread.

I love rereading as much or more than reading a book the first time around. Sometimes I think I haven't really read a book until I read it the second time around. The danger is that a book you loved won't live up to the memory of the book. Recently I reread Middlemarch (third time around) and The Idiot. Each of these classics was even better than I remembered. Here are my top ten books I'd like to reread.

1. The Inferno byDante What could be better than a vicarious visit to hell, in the company of Dante and Virgil. Harrowing punishments lovingly described.
2. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann Can this book really be as profound and as moving as my memory of it? It is a looong book, but one of these days I will read it again. Sick people in a sanatorium escape the realities of life--and of course, everything is a metaphor.
3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner Fell.In. Love. When I read The Sound and the Fury I was entirely seduced by the lushness of the language, the dizzying experience of this tale told by an idiot.
4. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner My mother is a fish. That is one chapter is this mordantly funny and brilliant novel.
5. The Bone People by Keri Hulme Indescribable. Controversial. Disturbing. Unlike anything else you have ever read.
6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doesoevsky Tears poured down my face as I read this book. Deep inside I am Russian and it is always winter. Why else would I be magnetically attracted to long books about inexplicably tortured souls?
7. Anna Karenina by Tolstoy See above.
8. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert This book is pure genius.
9. The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West Exquisite. The most perfect prose. Emotionally complex and moving.
10: Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose Francine Prose loves books as only a writer can, with a passionate devotion. Read this book immediately if you haven't read it already. Keep a notebook next to you as you read, because Prose will make you want to read every book she discusses.

That was fun! Now it's your turn. What books would you like to reread?


bermudaonion said...

You picked some pretty heavy books!

Christopher said...

Fabulous list! I've read most, but there are a couple on there I've not yet gotten to. I really, really want to read the Thomas Mann novel sometime soon, I've heard nothing but very good things about it. Thanks for sharing your list of books important enough to you to reread! Cheers! Chris

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm dying to reread the journals of LM Montgomery. There are five of them and are not quick reads, but they're books I know I'll revisit often in my lifetime.

ImageNations said...

You make me feel guilty of having not read the classics: Faulkner, Dostoevsky, Mann, and Tolstoy. I need to catch up.

Audra said...

I live for rereading! I love your list although I was less enamored of the Prose book than you. Faulkner begs a reread, esp since I read him in high school and much of him went over my head.

Scriptor Senex said...

I haven't read 'Reading Like a Writer'. Must put it on my list.

As for the principle of re-reading I'm not generally in favour of it. I've found some of my 'greats' were not so impressive second time around. Perhaps it's to do with where you are in your life experiences when you originally read them.

Scriptor Senex said...

Just to let you know I've already ordered a copy of Reading Like a Writer! I really do take up some of your recommendations, thank you.

Kerry M said...

I haven't read a single one of these! I did just pick up Reading Like a Writer from the library, so I'm excited to dive into that.

Marie Cloutier said...

The Bone People was pretty amazing. :-)

Anonymous said...

some great choices Lisa ,I m considering rereading a mann book for german lit month in November ,all the best stu

Anonymous said...

Couldn't resist this one. Hulme's Bone people is the only book my reading group has re-read in its 23 year history. That says something I think.

Meanwhile, I can always reread Jane Austen ... I would reread several Thea Astleys (but then I should read more of hers I haven't read). I have reread two Camus books, and would like to rearead some of the others. Oh dear ... the list could get long so I'll stop here.

There's always a tension, isn't there, between re-reading and reading new books.