Stealing from friends : books to re-read

20 January 2014

My (virtual) friend Leigh got a brilliant idea from her friend Anne to choose some of her favourite books to re-read in 2014. This got my mind whirring as I have a handful of books I absolutely come back to time and time again, and even more I'd like to give another go. Last year - and with Leigh's great What I'm Into monthly link-ups - I devoted more time to reading (and reviewing) and I'd love to continue this trend indefinitely.

With that in mind, I'm stealing Leigh's borrowing of Anne's idea and offering five books I regularly re-read and five more I hope to re-read this year.

Till We Have Faces :: I've already outed myself as a perpetual re-reader of CS Lewis' final novel. Each reading brings fresh perspective and hidden insights of this strange and dark retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

The End of the Affair :: I first read this book in college and was equal parts enchanted and tormented by the love affair between Bendrix and Sarah (often thought to have been based on Graham Greene's own love affair). Their story is tragic and her faith is a mystery, but still I come back to it.

The Red Tent :: Almost outpacing Till We Have Faces as the book I've re-read most, Anita Diamant's fictionalized account of the biblical story of Dinah (Jacob's only daughter) brings a rich, ancient narrative to the plight of women in the early days of Israel and an intense depiction of brother- and sisterhood among this nomadic tribe. Dinah is an unforgettable heroine.

Pride & Prejudice :: Yes, of course, isn't it obvious? Such a cliche to be a modern woman admiring Lizzy and in love with Darcy who re-reads this book every chance she gets. I literally can't bypass any copy of P&P I see in a storefront. I buy them all. And read.

Jane Eyre :: I've only read this twice, but this year may see its reprisal! Jane is honest, pure and strong. And her verbal sparrings with Mr Rochester a pleasure to read.

And this year? This year I want to re-read...

Mansfield Park or Persuasion :: I read these two Austen books long ago, but would love to give one another go!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe :: Another long ago read and my first foray (like so many others) into the work of Lewis. I'd love to read the story of Aslan again through the eyes of my own children.

To Kill a Mockingbird :: I read this book in high school, loving it then, but never touching it again. Matt shocked me to no end when he revealed he had never read it, so I'll bring it back around and force-feed it to him.

The Great Gatsby :: However, I did manage to convince Matt to read Gatsby (his first time) and then we finally watched the Leo-starring remake. It's a short book, but packs a punch.

The Waste Land and other poems :: My mentor in college gave me T. S. Eliot's collection of poems as a graduation gift and I've already starting diving back into it.

So those are some of my lofty aspirations for reading in 2014, not to mention so many other books on my to-read list. Will I actually read them all? Probably not. But I may as well try. ;)

How about you? Is there a book you just can't help but re-read?


  1. Every year, I try to read the monthly "almanac" portion of Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac. These snippets of life on a Wisconsin marsh always inspire me to get up earlier and to notice more the natural world around me. (The more in-depth essays in the back half of the book take longer to digest.) I re-read The Hobbit in 2012 prior to the first movie coming out and then again last year. This year, I've been re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy — just started Return of the King. Sophia and Jen are reading the Chronicles of Narnia and I may pick those back up this year as well.

    1. Phil, Matt's been rereading those, too! Jack maneuvered Fellowship of the Ring fairly well, but said The Hobbit bored him. Ha! :) I haven't yet read any of them... I know, terrible. You'll have to tell us how Sophie enjoys Narnia. We've done read alouds of them all, but still enjoy listening to the radio dramatizations of them. Also admire your almanac reading. Will have to pass on some of Seamus Heaney's work to you... he often wrote about the natural world and his childhood farm.

  2. I JUST responded to your comment on my post that I prefer Persuasion or Mansfield Park to P&P. I also meant to add To Kill A Mockingbird to my list. And I've been meaning to re-read Great Gatsby for ages!