I reread books. Sometimes I do this for book club as we will be scheduled to read a book I have read before. I will also pick up a book I haven't read in years to see if it is as good or as I remembered. I also reread a book if I am going to recommend it to a grandchild. Other times I reread because I am going to talk about a book on the blog and want to refresh my memory of it.
What I always find when I do this is that I discover things in the book I missed the first time. The first time I read a book, I read for story. The second time I read, I read for detail. If the book makes it to a third reading and, often, it does, I read for theme and deeper understanding.
The time it takes to reread a book is a significant commitment for me as there are more books published on any given Tuesday than I can read in a year. That means the book has to have special significance for me. Here are the ones that find their way into my hands every couple of years.
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner - Truth is I also reread Crossing to Safety by Stegner every couple of years as well. In Angle of Repose when Lyman Ward, a retired historian, sets out to write the story of his grandparents in the young western frontier little does he realize that the things he finds out will effect his own life. Stegner wrote beautiful prose and does an amazing job of storytelling.
The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer - This terrific book was made into a mini-series in the late 1970's and honestly Hollywood should have just left this alone. The Last Convertible is the story of 5 Harvard men and the women they loved in years before World War II where their concerns included which Big Band to see and who would be driving the huge, Packard convertible they called The Empress. World War II changed the men's plans and their paths.
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy - Often compared to the writing of Norman Mailer, Piercy's book Gone to Soldiers was a NY Times bestseller when originally published. Another World War II book (I guess I do have a historical fiction habit), this book interweaves the stories of ten remarkable characters who fought and died, lived and loved during this time period. Most of all the story tells about the invincibility of the human spirit in the quest for what is good and right.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - I first read this book as a child, probably around age 10 or 11. A recent reread was eye opening for me. The book, written in 1962, was about two children who go to find their scientist father
imprisoned on another planet. They are added by three spirits, some tentacle possessing aliens and the villain is named IT. There are many themes in the book which I appreciate now, along with the good story I enjoyed as a child.
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