April 30, 2004


Okay, so this topic interests me quite a bit, and I have a lot to say - but can't write about it right now.

Here's the deal:

Which books do you compulsively re-read? Like: what are your "forever" books, books you go back to again and again, through different phases of your life?

I'll write more about this later when I have a second - but I'd love to hear from everyone: the books which you do not really look upon as books - but as life companions.

Oh, and please, tell me why. What is it in the book that you find so compelling, so un-answered, so satisfying? What has the book given you?

Posted by sheila

I'm With The Band by Pamela Des Barres.

No, this does not embarass me in the slightest.

Posted by: Emily at April 30, 2004 03:21 PM

I love that book. I know just what you mean.

Posted by: red at April 30, 2004 03:35 PM

I may not re-read them in their entirety, but I foten find myself dipping into Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Mathurin books, just because they're that good.

Posted by: Dan at April 30, 2004 03:55 PM

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. We had to read it in my Contemporary Lit (C.Lit) class a few years ago, and I just adored it. I still adore it. It's so well-written and unique, but what truly strikes a chord with me is the intensity of the emotion that the book evokes within me. I can't read the first chapter without feeling the characters passionately, caring for them, and hoping that their lives will work out.

The only other book that I reread much at all is The Little Prince/Le petit prince. I've read it several times in both English and French, and I love that it's so profound and unintimidatingly simple at the same time. Which reminds me...I need to go find my copy. :)

Great question!

Posted by: krista. at April 30, 2004 04:14 PM

Bluebeard, by Kurt Vonnegut. It was the first Vonnegut book I ever read and for some strange reason it's the book I go back to in times of crisis. In that sense I guess it's comfort food for the brain.

Posted by: Mr. Z at April 30, 2004 04:37 PM

Frank Herbert's 'Dune'. I've read it at least once a year since I was a freshman in high school, and that was 20+ years ago. It's not just a great science fiction novel, it's an engrossing read even if you're not a SF buff. The intricate plotting, the fantastic characters, and the masterful world-building Herbert accomplished has rarely been equalled in any genre.

Posted by: El Capitan at April 30, 2004 10:18 PM

I read Lord of the Rings and Herman Wouk's The Winds of War/War and Remembrance about once a year. LOTR for the language, the characters, the story, and the moral lessons; Wouk because Captain Victor Henry is the standard of character and conduct to which I aspire (and, alas, fail).

I also read Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! trilogy every 2-3 years, just because I enjoy it. Same for John M. Ford's The Final Reflection, which is the most brilliant Star Trek novel anyone ever wrote. I'm not kidding--none of the others I've read hold a candle, and neither do a lot of the movie scripts or teleplays. Ford's version of Klingon culture and language are vastly superior to what Paramount cooked up and established as "canon."

Posted by: Ken Hall at May 1, 2004 12:04 AM

I re-read Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN every few years. I've got a wonderful illustrated edition full of magnificent Berni Wrightson pen-and-ink drawings.

I also keep coming back to Dante's INFERNO (the Cardi translation---not the best, but the first one I ever read so I sorta imprinted on it), SINAI TAPESTRY by Edward Whittimore, and I just finished reading HIGH SOCIETY by Dave Sim for the 5th or 6th time.

Posted by: Don Myers at May 1, 2004 05:55 PM

I know the question referred specifically to books, but I constantly re-read my favorite "National Geographic" articles; or rather the travel-related articles, because even though certain, more serious NG articles have truly changed the way I perceive myself and the world around me--much more so than many books I have read--I could never re-read an article about modern slavery for example (usually, the first read is difficult enough). I've re-read the article about Iran at least seven or eight times. It always makes me feel happy and hopeful, which is why I often read it when I feel depressed and frustrated by global events. The articles about the other places (Cuba, Morocco, Venice, Gibraltar) are also great for re-reading, since they make me feel like I'm traveling to different places. :) The breath-taking photos definitely add to the experience as well.

Posted by: Sina at May 1, 2004 10:59 PM

Mary Stewart's "Moonspinners" every couple of years into my 30s. Crete, adventure, romance. Her other books less often - adventure, fun, great locations. Nevil Shute's books - simple writing, great stories. The Narnia chronicles - magic, great stories, adventure, and animals could talk! I haven't done much re-reading lately, seems a shame. Hmm, haven't done much reading either.

Posted by: Julia at May 2, 2004 12:48 PM

Stuart Little..forever.

Posted by: Mitchell at May 4, 2004 11:25 AM