Books I Read Again. And Again.

Do you reread your favorite books? If so, which ones do you turn to again and again? If you don’t reread, what is your reason? Do you think your time is better spent discovering something new? Perhaps no story has moved you enough for a second go around (I can’t imagine such a thing!).

I’ve read, and reread, countless books throughout my rather lengthy life, but for now I’ll pare the number down to a few selected titles.

Jane EyreI went on a classics binge in the early nineties and revisited some favorites from my high school English classes. I found a new appreciation the second time around for Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and A Separate Peace.

Willa Cather was a new-to-me author in the nineties and Song of the Lark may, just may, be her standout title. I was delighted to read it again years later for a book group. The same book group selected Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, paired with Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and I found nuances that had gone unnoticed on my first reading of both books (one of many reasons to join a book group—uncovering those nuances).

If Morning Ever ComesHow many times have I read If Morning Ever Comes? Four? Five? This is Anne Tyler’s debut novel, published in 1964 when she was only twenty-two. The story has many layers, and mysteries that I’ve never quite solved. Read the New York Times review here.

I know I’ve read Marjorie Morningstar three times. Despite the perhaps outdated message and unsettling ending, I love Marjorie Morningstar. Veteran author Herman Wouk somehow delivers a feminist and non-feminist message at the same time. Read why women love Marjorie Morningstar here.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is the tale of the joys and sorrows of a poor girl of Irish descent growing up in Brooklyn during the earlier part of the twentieth century. It was well worth it to flip through the pages a second time.

As a child, I couldn’t get enough of Nancy Drew and probably left the books in tatters.

Then there are my “teachers,” the authors who helped me to become a mystery writer: Thank you to Agatha Christie, Gillian Roberts, and Joan Smith. This trio caused more tattered pages from countless readings. In 2014 I posted my appreciation for Ms. Roberts and Ms. Smith here.

Masculine Ending

What books do your favorite authors reread? Find out what draws Ian Rankin, John Banville, Julie Myerson and others (mostly British) to the same stories again. And yet again. See the interview here.

What stories do you reread?



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