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Books you long to revisit

When you're in the middle of reading a book you like well enough and intend to finish, but it isn't entirely enthralling you, do you long to go back and re-read books that did enthrall you? I certainly get that way. I seldom actually get around to the re-reading, because there are so many new books I still need to read and discover, but the temptation is strong enough to pull me back to former loves once in a while.

Lately I've particularly wanted to re-read A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, and Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. (As well as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and, as ever, The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, but those I've read more recently than the first two.) I think what I crave is the grace, romance, and wildflowers of the Forster book; and the crazy magic, the sparkling icy scenery, and the gorgeous vocabulary of the Helprin.

What books do you long to return to?



( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
I always find time to reread my old favorites. Some of the ones I have read approximately seventy billion times:

-- Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
-- The Hobbit and the LOTR books
-- The Wolf's Hour by Robert R. McCammon
-- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
-- The first three Shannara books by Terry Brooks
-- The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
-- The Narnia books by C.S. Lewis

Jan. 23rd, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Every time I see that icon I just fall over laughing.
(no subject) - dslartoo - Jan. 23rd, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jan. 23rd, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I reread Jonathan Strange within a year of my first read, and I keep wanting to go back to it. It's so lovely and weird.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
Indeed. She accomplished something so unusual in it, and haunting.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I read it a few weeks ago and I was sad when it was over. I long to return to the world she invented, and am eagerly anticipating the prequel she's working on.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Looks interesting! Will have to put it on my list.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
I definitely get like that, although more often for me it's because I had a conversation about the book or lent it to a friend, and my interest in it is renewed. Also, I often realize that I've forgotten whole huge chunks of books that I loved (I so need to re-read Strange & Norrell for this reason) and this distresses me and makes me want to flee to them.

Then there are the comfort reads that I go back to because I'm tired or sick or I just need something that I know will work for me, like Till We Have Faces and The Last Unicorn. LOTR, as well, though I tend to pick it up and just read a chapter here or there rather than re-reading the whole thing.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
I definitely need to re-read Till We Have Faces. I read it twice when I was young, but I think I'd really "get" it now.

And somehow I've never read The Last Unicorn! Must remedy this.
(no subject) - kalquessa - Jan. 25th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
I've heard she's great fun. Must get around to reading something of hers already!
Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Winter's Tale: gods, I love that book. I own four copies on two continents, and keep buying it for people I love.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
Hee, you even have an icon! I admire all the Helprin books I've read, but that one really shines.
(no subject) - scholargipsy - Jan. 25th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 24th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
If I ever need a break from a book I always pick up Hawke's Harbor by S.E. Hinton. It was the first book that she published in 15 years and is fantastic. I can't really explain what makes it so fantastic... it just is. I reread it 3 times in a row once.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
That is high praise! I read Rumble Fish a long time ago...she's quite the legend.
(no subject) - avari_maethor - Jan. 25th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 24th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
George Orwell's 1984 and The Road to Wigan Pier. I know they're depressing, but I really love his writing style.

I almost forgot - Brideshead Revisited, though I'm sure Waugh would be none too pleased if he knew that I read it for the guy on guy romance and couldn't care less about the religious aspects.
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
I've definitely got Brideshead on my list--and at least in part because of that guy on guy romance. ;)

I need to read more Orwell. I don't think I've read any since 1984 in high school (and indeed, it was good). There's a fence in our neighborhood on which someone has spray-painted "ORWELL WAS RIGHT." I imagine they mean something about Big Brother watching us, but I always flippantly think, "You mean we should keep the aspidistra flying?"
(no subject) - naill_renfro - Jan. 25th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gavinworld - Jan. 26th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jan. 24th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Man I felt so hick town when I read the comments because I hadn't even HEARD of most of these books much less read them!

I always feel sad when I put a book down in the middle of reading it because I had such high hopes for it! To be let down in such a way is so disappointing. Sometimes I wish I could forget I read some books so I can read them again for the first time again. There's nothing like your first time. : )

My 'comfort books':

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl by Anonymous
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
That's okay; I haven't heard of several of those either. :) There are a lot of books out there, though, and hopefully we can all acquaint each other with some of the good ones via this post.

I've heard of all yours--but haven't read the last two. Shall look 'em up.
Jan. 25th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
Just used my Christmas Borders gift card to buy Diana Gabaldon's entire "Outlander" series in paperback.

The Great Santini
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Corelli's Mandolin
Jan. 25th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
You are the first man I've ever met to admit to reading the Outlander books. :) (I, in turn, will admit that I've read the first one, and thought it one of the few actually sexy and romantic romance novels I've ever encountered. With a fun premise, of course.)

Conroy's 'Prince of Tides' stayed with me a long while. I should add 'Santini' to my list. And 'Corelli's Mandolin' is already on it. My poor, long list...
(no subject) - naill_renfro - Jan. 25th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )