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winter 2013-14 075

Not too long ago, I re-read Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man because it had been decades since I last read it.  Before that I re-read Mary Stewart’s four books about Merlin and Arthur and they held up well.  I also re-read Loren Eiseley’s essays, The Night Country, and The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye.

Now, I am re-reading Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin.  I had read it twice before, but friends are reading it for the first time and I decided it was time to read it again.  

There are many books that I have read more than once which is the reason I have so many books on my book shelves.  They are all potential re-reads.

I read Gabaldon’s Outlander, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon, Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolo series twice.  I actually read the first three books in the Lymond series four times.  I read Camilleri’s Montalbano mysteries twice except for the first one that I disliked. I read Harry Potter twice and The Fionavar Tapestry series by Kay so many times I had to buy them in hardback.  

I am not sure how many times I have read Dicken’s Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.  I read Ellis Peter’s Cadfael stories twice.  I am feeling the urge to read them again.  I have read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at least three times.  I have read Shakespeare’s As You Like It twice and I have seen it live on stage twice.  I am not sure how many times I read Guareschi’s The Little World of Don Camillo.  More than twice, I think.

I have read Macbeth, Shane, Mrs. Mike, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Guns of  Navarone, I Heard the Owl Call my Name, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, and The Outsiders multiple times.  When I was a child, I checked Louisa May Alcott’s books out of the library over and over as I did The Wizard of Oz series.

You might say that I get hungry to be with the characters again.  It is also true that I forget a great deal about the stories that I read years ago and so the book seems new to me.  I just bought a new copy of The Fall of Atlantis by Marion Zimmer Bradley because it has two books in one copy that I had read years ago in battered paperbacks and I wanted a nice copy again.  They are a prequel to The Mists of Avalon.

When a sequel to a book comes out after years of waiting, I sometimes think that I should re-read the first book before reading the new story.  I rarely do it, but in the case of Patrick Rothfuss, I did re-read The Name of the Wind before reading The Wise Man’s Fear and it was a good thing I did.  Now that I have Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, I wondered about re-reading The Way of Kings, first, and decided not to do so.  Even after all these years of waiting I think I remember enough to continue on with the new book.

Sometimes I want to read a series over again without having to wait between books as I did the first time.   There are books that I yearn to re-read, but they broke my heart the first time through and while I cling to them, I am not ready to re-read them, yet.  

When people comment here about books that I read so long ago, they awaken a hunger to re-read the book.   I feel that I should have a re-read list to refer to instead of forgetting about them, again.  

My list: (Well, I tried to stay to ten, but…)

1.   James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small series.

2.   Saberhagen’s Sword series  (fantasy)

3.   Cherryh’s Foreigner series  (fantasy)

4.   Guy Gavriel Kay’s books…all of them. (fantasy)

5.   James White’s Tales of Sector General series (fantasy)

6.   Homer’s The Odyssey (if I read the one translated by Fagels that I never finished it will seem new).

7.   Diane Ackerman’s An Alchemy of Mind

8.   Lloyd’s The Chronicles of Prydain (fantasy)

9.   Ellis Peter’s Cadfael books

10. Robin Hobb’s dragon series (fantasy)

11.  Somerville and Ross’ Irish RM

I can see that I am top heavy with fantasy, but this list does not begin to mention all the stories that I would like to re-read.  

What books have you read over and over again?  What would be on your list to re-read?  

What books do you love, but you just can’t re-read them again?  

Have you re-read a book and been sorry that it didn’t hold up to your good memories?

Have you re-read a book you didn’t like previously and found out that you loved it as I did with Moby Dick?

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! Snowflakes & journeys & Hauge, oh my
by SensibleShoes

The Politics of Dignity
by Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller says:

Nothing new this week except The Rowan Tree: Chapter 46:

The whole thing can still be downloaded for free on Kindle:

The companion memoir still isn't free on Kindle, but it remains free on Smashwords:


wonderful world says her new book is out:

Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian) [Kindle Edition]

C.B. Pratt (Author)


The latest novel in the well-reviewed action adventure fantasy series, set in an Ancient World where the mythology, monsters and gods are real, featuring Eno the Thracian.

In the new adventure, Eno sets off to find the truth about himself and his possible descent from the gods themselves. Instead he becomes involved with a race of people kidnapped from their homeland, set to toil endlessly by the will of a mad philosopher. Facing his own fears and doubts and the curse of the Great God Pan, Eno also finds a woman worthy of his love, danger around every curve, and mushrooms...lots and lots of mushrooms. Meanwhile, a hidden menace from long, long ago threatens the civilized world and only Eno the Thracian, Hero for Hire, can stop the inevitable destruction.

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


Which of these books have you re-read the most or would like to re-read?

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| 62 votes | Vote | Results

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