Monday, May 1, 2017

Question for the Community: Rereading Books


Because reading is an active process of interpreting, it is impossible to read the same book twice.  Almost necessarily, both you have changed and the zeitgeist has changed between readings.

This is what makes re-engaging a book so interesting.

Given that, a question for the community: what is either:
  • The last book you reread, 
  • The next book you plan to reread, or 
  • The book you have most reread?  
(And yes, the answer can be the same for all three.)

68 comments:

  1. Last book I reread: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    Next book I plan to reread: Sherlock Holmes collection

    The book I have most reread: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

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  2. Last book I reread: Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, Agatha Christie
    Next book I plan to reread: A Caribbean Mystery, Agatha Christie
    The book I have reread the most: Anne of Green Gables, the entire series, I read it at least once a year to cleanse my mental palate, so to speak. It is just wholesome and optimistic, and my favorite since I was in junior high.

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    Replies
    1. Agatha Christie is always a good choice!

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  3. The Big House: A Century In The Life Of An American Summer Home by

    Author: George Howe Colt

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    1. I adore The Big House and reread it several times. I deeply regret donating it to the library and often think about buying it again.

      Another reread for me is Personal History by Katharine Graham.

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  4. 1: Dining at Le Pavilion (Joseph Wechsberg)
    2: The Guns of August (Barbara Tuchman)
    3: Dining at Le Pavilion (Joseph Wechsberg)

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    1. I love anything by Barbara Tuchman try "The Lost British Policy: Britain and Spain Since 1700."

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  5. 1. Anyone Can Do Anything, Betty MacDonald
    2. The White Princess, Phillipa Gregory
    3. Autobiography, Lady Diana Cooper

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  6. The last book I reread: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
    The next book I plan to reread: The Masters of Bow Street by John
    Creasey
    The book I have most reread: Marblehead, The Spirit of '76 Lives
    Here by Priscilla Sawyer Lord and Virginia Clegg Gamage
    Lisa R.

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  7. 1. Mariette in Ecstasy (it's about a nun)
    2. probably something on the shelf by Louis Auchincloss
    3. John Adams by D. McCulloch (reread in chunks here and there)

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful choice, the Adams book!!

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  8. I am the only person whom will yearly read certain rereads at certain seasons?

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    1. Once fall hits I refer to it as "Bronte weather" and it is in the cooler, grey days that I tend to re-read anything Bronte. I also consider Tolkien fall / winter reading. Austen is for the spring / summer.

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    2. Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones.
      Charlotte Bronte

      All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.
      J. R. R. Tolkien

      Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken. Jane Austen

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  9. 1. How the Irish Saved Civilization: Thomas Cahill
    2. Ireland: A Concise History: Conor C. O'Brien
    3. The Six Wives of Henry VIII : Alison Weir

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  10. 1. I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter series...just finished Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
    2. As I'm working my way through the series...I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    3. I suppose I've reread my Bible the most, and have been reading it and rereading it since I was much, much younger. Specifically the Psalms, which are comforting, and James, which includes very good advice for how I should conduct my life.

    - ER

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  11. 1. The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher
    2. Haven't decided
    3. Any of the Mapp and Lucia books

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  12. My post will surely stand out like a sore thumb here since my reading interests are pretty much limited to health, food, pets, and the veterinary field. I plan to reread next, "The Gift of Extra Time" by Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM. The book I have reread most is an old cook book by The Frugal Gourmet (yes, I know, who rereads a cook book?). I can't remember the last book I reread. --Holly in PA

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    1. A kindred spirit that reads cooks books like...a book?

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    2. I also read cookbooks like the latest, must-read novel. My favorite is From Julia Child's Kitchen.

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    3. I am stuck on Better Homes and Garden: Heritage Cookbook (huge/tall, hard cover with box) and the Heritage of Southern Cooking by Camille Glenn (excellent pic/stories/info)

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  13. The Bible, Catcher in the Rye, and any of The Duchess of Devonshire's books.

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  14. 'Under the Tuscan Sun' by Frances Mayes...because it is really like taking a trip to Italy from my reading chair.

    As for planning to reread 'A Year in Provence', for the same reasons as the first book that I mentioned.

    Rereading and reading favorite travel books is the best substitute for when real travel is not possible.

    --EM

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  15. I reread the Kick Keswick series by Marne Davis Kellogg yearly.

    I am starting to reread The Martian by Andy Weir. I think I blew through it too quickly last time because I was so excited for the movie.

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  16. Last Book I read: A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    Next Book I plan to Read: The Final Club by Geoffrey Wolff
    The Book I have most reread: Regeneration by Pat Barker

    Most of the books I read and reread have an element of tragedy in them. I'm not sure why that attracts me, but it does. I also have books that I read while I read other books. Right now I'm reading the Complete Sherlock Holmes. The book is too long to read cover to cover and the separate stories help to break it up. I really enjoy reading and I'm jealous of the fellow in the photo above.

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  17. Reading is a luxury. At the computer/tablet/cell phone constantly, my eyes need a good rest and always on weekends. But summer is synonymous with being ensconced with books. Taken to audiobooks; somewhere in the collection there is something from the Greeks (NAXOS' Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War)and the frivolous/hilarious (Hatchett's Mapp and Lucia). Old friends trusted to transport and captivate.

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    1. Audiobooks are a great alternative to radio. I've just finished listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Jim Dale's voice is amazing. My other favorite audiobooks are A Christmas Carol read by Patrick Stewart (absolute favorite) and The Final Club read by Robert Sean Leonard.

      As Thomas Jefferson once noted to John Adams: "I cannot live without books."

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    2. JAB, if you haven't already seen it, the Patrick Stewart film version of A Christmas Carol is excellent!

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  18. I have enjoyed Rosamunde Rilcheer's "Winter Soltice" several times, actually, all of her books including "The Shell Seekers". "The Late George Apley" by John P. Marquand is a favorite and I look forward to rereading "The Big House" by George Howe Colt. There's one audiobook I listen to over and over again in my car (instead of listening to the radio) and it's "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Giuliano.

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    1. Sorry, typo - Rosamunde Pilcher...love this author!

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    2. Of course, the Bible is a given, life's handbook for living.

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  19. I just reread "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. The books I reread the most are nonfiction such "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl and I love rereading the classics, primarily the British ones.

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    1. I love Walden but another book often recommended at the same time, "Sand Country Almanac," failed to interest me.

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  20. My go to re-reads: Candide by Voltaire; Any of William F. Buckley's ocean crossing books; Short stories by O. Henry and Anthony Trollope; Poetry by Billy Collins; Cookbooks by Ina Garten; and absolutely addicted to audiobooks in the car.

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  21. I usually reread books I enjoy. To answer the questions on this survey:
    The last book I reread was Herodotus' History.
    The next book I plan to reread is still to be determined, possibly another of the Greek histories.
    The book I have most reread is probably A Christmas Carol, which I read each December, a tradition stemming from my childhood.

    I also enjoy rereading other books from my childhood, such as Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. And as one other commenter is doing, I, too, recently reread the Harry Potter series.

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  22. My interests are in the spy/war gendre and the authors I like Clancy, WEB Griffin, LeCarre and a few others either are no longer with us, or writing, or with diminished # of new books. So somewhat to the dismay of my wife/daughter I've reread all of their work, some more than once.

    Jrandyv
    Vancouver WA


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  23. I wonder if anyone is familiar with these books:

    "Enjoying Maine-Lively Stories about people and places from the seacoast to the north country, to the mountains, from fishermen to loggers, as enjoyed by Maine's favorite newspaper columnist" by Bill Caldwell (1977)

    Cape Cod Summer by Eleanor Early (1936, 1949)

    I have not read the Bill Caldwell book yet, but the book by Eleanor Early was on my shelf with a book mark at chapter 14: When the Old House Changes Hands.

    I'm fortunate enough to live near some fine used book stores and have been building and rebuilding my collection for some time.

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  24. "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger my answer to all three questions!

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  25. Is anyone familiar with A Maine Clambake Mystery series? The author, Barbara Ross, is a native to the town in which I live, but resides in Boothbay Harbor, and we featured her a couple of years ago at our annual author luncheon. Anyone looking for "fun" summer reading that will plant you smack-dab on the coast of Maine might enjoy "Clammed Up", "Musseled Out", and "Boiled Over". Each book features regional recipes that are connected to the story line.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds similar to Earline Fowler series Quilting/Benni Harper mysteries.

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  26. kim-kipling,crime and punishment,Herodotus ij

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  27. The last book I reread was Alistair McLean's When Eight Bells Toll. I devoured this book in my early twenties when, as a graduate student, I flew Pan Am from London to New York. The trip flew by and thereafter I ranked the novel as my favorite spy thriller. It didn't hurt that it took place on the west coast of Scotland--a place I had come to love. Recently I downloaded it to my Kindle and found it insufferable. The plot seemed contrived and the story line was so convoluted that it was impossible to follow. Maybe it's me--I am just not the bright young thing I once was. Or maybe my tastes have changed. Or maybe there are styles that are just not timeless.

    On the other hand I recently reread a book I struggled to read in my twenties. Henry Beston's The Outermost House. Now there is no other book I would rather reread and reread. The sheer beauty of the writing and Beston's ability to make vital the ongoing saga of nature's changing moods is more moving to me than words can express. It pleases me that that book is often cited in this blog.

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    1. As a kid, I loved reading Alistair McLean's books. I read them one after another and like you, When Eight Bells Toll was a favorite. I re-read it as an adult and was also disappointed. Insufferable is a bit harsh, but it wasn't the riveting book I had remembered.

      I've been tempted to read another - Night Without End, Ice Station Zebra or maybe The Guns of Navarone, but I think I'll just settle for the nice memories of great reads from a different age and a different time.

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    2. Alistair McLean's sons, and his ex-wife, used to live next door to us outside Geneva in the early 70s. You almost never hear his name mentioned these days. So great to see it here!

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    3. Since I started this sub-thread and find the above comments intriguing, I will continue the thread by asking if anyone has every heard of J.M. Scott? My parents loved his novels and, in the last few years, I decided to find out why. So in quick succession I read The Other Half of the Orange (about post World War II in the Alps), Heather Mary (an ill-fated sailboat cruise to Bermuda), and Sea-Wyf and Biscuit (about tensions on a life raft in the Indian Ocean). I found them all so fabulous and riveting that I could not believe they were forgotten and out of print. Has anyone heard of J.M. Scott and his writings?

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  28. Foxfire series
    The Tightwad Gazette
    Farmers Almanac

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  29. The most recent book that I have reread would be Jane Eyre.
    The next book that I plan to reread is Unbound, by Neal Lozano.
    The book I have read so many times that I've lost count is Pride and Prejudice.

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  30. Kinky Friedman’s Texas Etiquette or How to Get to Heaven or Hell Without Going Through Dallas-Fort Worth.
    Shooter’s Bible.
    Joseph Wambaugh/Hunter Stockton Thompson.

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  31. Aside from reference books, the ones I read and reread the most are all of Colin Fletcher's books, Walden and the journals of Richard Proenneke. I became interested in Proenneke when "Alone in the Wilderness" was offered as a premium during membership week on television. I'm also partial to George Washington Sears and Horace Kephart.

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  32. Great question and some good suggestions for things to reread. I have a handful of books I have reread many times:
    Catcher in the Rye
    The Great Gatsby
    Rebecca
    Brideshead Revisited
    The Thornbirds
    The Shell Seekers

    Funny how much they surprise me each time I revisit them.

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  33. Last reread: Spartina and Compass Rose, both by John Casey.
    Another keeper: East of the Hague Line, Gordon Holmes.
    Most reread: Hobby Horse Hill, favorite kids' horse book of all time.
    Always worth rereading: Anything by Nelson DeMille! So prescient it's scary.

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  34. Moby Dick
    The Great Gatsby
    Grey Seas Under



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  35. Persuasion by Jane Austen is my answer to all three questions. My absolute favorite Austen novel!

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  36. Last book I read was Agatha Christies Mysterious Affair at Styles. I also devour Jussi Adler-Olsen and Blake Crouch thrillers. Mostly what I re-read are gardening books. Look at them over and over again for inspiration and information.

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  37. Between the ages of 13 and 15 I reread Francoise Sagan's "Bonjour Tristesse" so many times think I could have quoted passages. PA

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  38. Just re-read Rosamunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice and Shell Seekers. I have re-read Jan Karon's first book in the Father Tim series. I collect cookbooks which I ready constantly. Love the one's from Buckingham palace coming forth now. Love the late designer Charles Fundree and search his books for ideas endlessly. Who can be happy without books? No one, really.

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  39. 1) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Not really about Zen or motorcycle maintenance, but deep and absorbing. Pirsig recently died.
    2)The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon...perhaps his most accesible book.
    3) The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh...biting wit and satire

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  40. Last Book: How To Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea by Tristan Gooley

    Current Book: Through the Kalahari desert by Guillarmo Antonio, Farini

    Next Book: Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger

    I am having a bad case of wanderlust.

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  41. I don't often re-read because there's always something new I want to try, however:
    Last re-read and the most re-read: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    Next re-read: Little Women, I think.

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  42. I re-read Dickens every single year, one or two books. For some reason, I get in a mood for it. Maybe because life is so sunny all the time ( I live in Calfifornia - serious sunshine. It's depressing.) I need some gloom once in a while.

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  43. Answer to all three: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John LeCarre

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  44. 1. Gatsby, after seeing the lurid movie remake on a plane
    2/3. Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy

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  45. I have copies of Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye and Brideshead in a desk drawer at work that I reread at lunch. I'm currently rereading the Harry Potter series with my 11 yo twins, as I did with my 19 yo it seems, only yesterday.

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  46. I've always enjoyed historical fiction. The next book I plan to re-read is titled Gate of Fog, a mystery novel that takes place during the American occupation of Japan, shortly after the end of the Second World War.

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  47. JOHN ADAMS by David McCullough.

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    Replies
    1. This is on my list to reread, as is James Grant's book on Adams.

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  48. We Took to the Woods-Louise Dickinson Rich.
    Gladys Taber-Stillmeadow and Cape Cod books.
    Winter Harbor-Bernice Richmond

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