15 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Repeat Readings

  1. The Peter Wimsey novels (Dorothy Sayers) and the Albert Campion novels (Margery Allingham)–all multiple times. In fact I even read a German translation of Have His Carcase, that I found while traveling in Germany.

    Why? That’s a difficult question. The main characters (Wimsey, Campion) are so entertaining with personas that disguise who they really are. Their sidemen (Bunter, Lugg) counterpoint them while subverting the normative master-servant relationship. And the mysteries are, of course, complex and challenging.

  2. Can’t specify books, but there are quite a few I’ve read more than once. Or twice.

    Because I can’t remember reading it the first time? I have too often brought a book home, read it, then gone to put it on my bookshelf next to itself.

    Other reason-it’s a series, and I’ve forgotten what happened in the previous book, so I reread that before reading the new one.

    But mostly because the characters have become comfortable old friends I like to spend time with.

  3. Forlorn River by Zane Grey published in 1927–at least half a dozen times. Because of masterful description that was the written version of being on a holodeck right there in the action, characters I care about who have integrity, and of course, the fact that it took me away to the time period I SHOULD have been born in, when you had space to move and be. 😎

    Others I can think of: read Nancy E Turner’s These Is My Words twice. Back in the glory days of Star Trek the original series book publishing in the 70’s and 80’s, there were a few of the Spock-centric paperbacks that I read more than once. They aren’t producing any good original Trek fic any more. 8-(

  4. I’ve reread Gone with the Wind, Little House on the Prairie (all) and Grapes of Wrath. I ESPECIALLY like rereading short stories if they are well written – smooth talkers, if you will, or if they surprise me. I’ve reread your short story Autumnal – A Story, more than once. I liked the surprise and like to study its composition for my own writing. Also, I’ve reread the short stories by William Gay in I Hate to See the Evening Sun Go Down and The Boys of my Youth by Jo Ann Beard more than once.

  5. Oh my!
    Casino Royale, and to a lessor extent all of the Fleming Bonds.
    Slaughterhouse 5 – so it goes.
    Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang – the Fleming book, not the movie novelization.
    A Space Child’s Mother Goose.
    2001, 2010, 3001 Arthur C. Clarke
    Most of Michael Crichton A Case of Need about once every three years.

    Mostly for the enjoyment. Every year for Read a Banned Book Week I read a banned book. Sometimes something will trigger a desire to re-read or check on something. There are some more modern books that I have re-read to remember what happened when in a series.

    A Space Child’s Mother Goose is a fun poetry book. It is very fun. I read it to my children although they have not memorized poems like I have.

    Re-reading 2001 in late 2000 was fun.

  6. The Hiding Place, Christy, and practically all of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. All of those stories make me think, make me afraid, and grow my faith. An unbeatable combination in my book. (No pun intended.)


  7. Herman Wouk’s Winds of War and War and Remembrance. I was born during WWII, and in the course of my life, I have met virtually every one of those characters. To me, there was nothing more interesting than to get the WWII veterans and their families to tell me their stories.

    If they were reluctant at first to do so, I usually got them started by telling a story someone else had told me. As I told that tale, you could see the veteran, eyes narrowing in memory, thinking how to put together their story for me.

    I have talked to a man–my Bible camp counselor, in fact–who told the story about how he and only the six other men who had been able to parachute from their burning B-17 bomber, walked their way through the little bourgades and pâturages of France, looking for ways to escape the German patrols. One day, they saw that the Germans had put up a checkpoint at a crossroads north of town. I’ve forgotten exactly why they simply couldn’t go around through the fields to get around it, but they finally agreed their only way to get through was to do it American style: they stole a village firetruck and uniforms and, with one of those awful European sirens braying , sounding like donkeys being slaughtered, barreled through the checkpoint, the Germans moving aside their barriers and waving them through.

    The Navajos weren’t the only tribe to send code-talkers into combat. I’ve talked with code talkers from other tribes, one of them my in-law uncle, the great-grandson of a famous Indian leader. He was the first man who made me realize that World War II wasn’t fought by John Wayne and his men, barrel-chesting their way through Europe and the Pacific. Sometimes, lonely and homesick corporals lay at the bottom of their foxholes, praying theirs wasn’t a target of the next falling shell.

    Sometimes, war veterans tell their stories with tears in their eyes, having pause as the memories become too present, their friends too missing.

    Herman Wouk told us stories that were so real and provoking.

  8. With the exception of novels I read more than once during my graduate school years, almost none as an adult since remembering novels is what I was trained to do. As an example, a few years ago, I started listening to Agatha Christie audiobooks on the treadmill, but within a five minutes I could remember who did it and why so I tend toward podcasts now.

    My bizarre literary comfort food is my own novels. I like to wrap myself into the characters who are like old friends. It’s a very rare thing for me to do, though.

  9. All Quiet on the Western Front; All the King’s Men; To Kill A Mockingbird; 1984; Journalism in Tennessee (short story by Mark Twain, laugh out loud throughout)

  10. Misery by Stephen King. I read it once a year. I identify with Paul Sheldon for reasons best left unsaid.

    Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow. It is perhaps my favorite thriller of all time, the perfect combination of plot and characterization.

  11. The books that draw me back repeatedly include:
    • The Adept series by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris (oh how I wish they would add to this series!)
    • Dean Koontz novels (especially the Odd Thomas series, another one I was sad to see ended)
    • the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald
    • the Narnia books
    • the Eve Dallas and Roarke series by J.D. Robb
    • several titles by Sharon Sala (because they touch me deeply)

    I see common threads in these reading choices are. In many, there’s something beyond our understanding, that leads to heroic action for the greater good. There are also characters choosing to do right, even when it’s not the most comfortable direction. And I look for significant character development over time.

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