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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Favorite Re-Reads

Painted by B.C. Matthews, spray paint on posterboard
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader must be in want of a book. And also that English majors must always strive to make pretentious literary references whenever possible. But what isn't always the case, or so I recently found out, is that not all readers like to re-read.

I know, it was quite a shock to me to encounter several people who while avid readers, do not longingly pick up their old favorites to once again visit favored characters.

I find this odd. I find this really strange. Mostly because I have my favorite books that I have to every now and again pick up and re-read. Here are my FAVORITE RE-READS OF ALL TIME (all caps used, see previous comment on pretentiousness):

In order of how often I re-read...

7. Phantom by Susan Kay: This is a re-telling of the Phantom of the Opera's backstory, and how he grew up to become the haunting, lonely, obsessive murdering genius living beneath the Paris Opera House. It is beautifully written, dark, heart rending, and honestly not normally the type of book I read, much less re-read.

6. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon: Again, this is a book that is so far outside my normal genre reading, that it's a wonder I ever picked it up at all. Maybe it is because the main character is pot-smoking writer doing writer things in the midst of his life chaos, or maybe because it is funny, sharp, and makes fun of this writing thing we do. I enjoy the movie version as well.

5. Startide Rising by David Brin: This book is brilliant, fast paced and has talking sentient dolphins. Ahem. It is way cooler than I make it sound, and has really clever and intricate worldbuilding and socio-ecological themes. But honestly, I like this book for the dolphin characters. How could you not?

4. BioRescue by S.L. Viehl: I like this for similar reasons that I like Startide Rising. The main characters are an alien aquatic species making it out into space in the middle of a war. I usually enjoy stories about cultural clashes, and this one does it up right. It is also fast paced, and has a bit of romance for those of you that like that sort of thing (which I do).

3. Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. I'm squishing together the first three books of the Dragonriders of Pern series because I generally read it like it's one long book. I have loved these books since I first read them in high school, and I keep coming back to them.

2. Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune: When I first read Dune, I didn't quite know what the heck I was getting into. I can't even list what I really love about the first three books (the rest of the series is meh to me), because every time I read them I pick up on something new. I once referred to Dune as "kinda' like a religious Game of Thrones in space where everyone is addicted to drugs. Oh, and also two words: worm poop."

1. Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows (aka The Coldfire Trilogy) by C.S. Friedman: Oh, man how I love this trilogy. Let me count the ways. The fae is a naturally occurring phenomenon on the planet that turns man's desires and nightmares into a reality. That would sound lame in anyone else's hands, but Friedman does not stop there. Add in humanity trying to overcome it with faith and religion, a dark and complex relationship between the two main characters—one of whom is a priest and the other an immortal sorcerer who kills to live and you have awesome-sauce everywhere.

There you have it. Now what are your favorite re-reads? Or are you one of those people who absolutely cannot read something they have before?

1 Comments:

At January 24, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Blogger Morrow said...

Your number 2 is my number 1. I love re-reading my favorites and find it odd that others are not the same.

 

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