Tuesday, April 09, 2013


I found in interesting  in the NYT book review this Sunday, that Harlan Coban professed to having read all of Roth's books but said he would never reread one. Not just Roth, but any book he's already read. I wonder how common this is? I rarely reread, but Roth is one that I do on occasion.

What ONE book you have read would you be most likely to reread


As for me, I wouldn't want to reread books I have already reread. So I would choose to reread a book I read when I was too young to understand it.


Dana King said...

I don't re-read a lot of books, but I make it a point to re-read a few every year. This year I'm doing it more than usual, as there are a handful of books i want to look at again to see if my outlook on them has changed as my writing evolves.

Examples: The Maltese Falcon, Get Shorty, Absolute Zero Cool, some short pieces by Mark Twain. I also make a point to re-read one Chandler novel every year. It's interesting to see how I view them differently over time.

le0pard13 said...

Still L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais

Chris said...

Like Dana, I've thought that this year I would add some re-reading to my queue just to revisit classic stuff, or stuff I read and loved long ago, to see how it holds up.

But to answer your question, if I were to pick ONE book, it would likely be a story collection. I know I have BJC's American Salvage on my TBR shelf, for example. I read that one right when I first started reading a lot of short stories. Hundreds, in fact well over a thousand, since, I'd like to revisit it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I do reread stories from ss collections a lot. I hadn't thought about that. Not the whole book but a story or two.
My husband just read LA REQUIEM and loved it. I have to read that for the first time.
GET SHORTY is a great choice. That book is a primer for writing good crime fiction.

Richard R. said...

It would be SONG OF THE SKY by by Guy Murchie (1954) which I scan/read when I was in high school.

Breaking the rule, THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durrell, which is of course 4 novels strung together with one plot. I have started rereading it several times but only gotten through the first two before being pulled away by something.

And you could name any Chandler or Hammett and I would nod.

pattinase (abbott) said...

JUSTINE, yes. It was so amazing at 18 or so, I wonder how it would read now.

Randy Johnson said...

I rarely reread anything. 1984 I think I've reread more than any other book. About six times.

Anonymous said...

Patti, I thought of you when I read that Coben piece on Sunday. I very rarely reread, as you know. Some things I have on my shelves to be reread someday (perhaps):

Jack Finney, Time and Again
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
James Clavell, Shogun
Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time series

And in non fiction:

Leon Edel's five volume biography of Henry James

Jeff M.

Yvette said...

I reread all the time. All the time. It wouldn't occur to me not to reread, but usually it's a certain type of book: mostly mysteries.

I like rereading during lunch or dinner.

Besides mysteries, among others, I reread ETHAN FROME by Edith Wharton, every few years. As well as THE GREAT GATSBY by Fitzgerald.

Kieran Shea said...

i don't reread, except for...well...opening passages. usually in the bookstore or library...flip-flip...yup. dug that one. flip-flip. still sucks...

Anonymous said...

Like you, I'd probably choose something I read in high school that I'd "get" now. Perhaps Hesse's Steppenwolf (which I only read back in the day because of the rock band).


pattinase (abbott) said...

I have reread Ethan Frome several times. What a book. It would be on my top ten.
TIME AND AGAIN i have reread but like you, I am a sucker for that sort of plot.
Hesse would be hard for me today I bet.

Kent Morgan said...

I don't reread, but the two books that always come to mind when this question is asked are The Fires of Spring by James Michener and Some Came Running by James Jones. I read them when I was much younger and know I have the original paperbacks in my garage just waiting for me. One book I do plan to reread this summer is Shoeless Joe before some friends and I finally visit the Field Of Dreams in Iowa and walk out of the corn field to play catch.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I've read a lot of good ones that I would want to re-read. Hmmm....Edward Rutherfurd's historical novels are a definite top pick for me.

George said...

Like Margot, I would probably choose to reread historical novels like THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO.

Al Tucher said...

I have reread Catch-22 several times, but not for more than 20 years. It might be time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My book group almost chose that for our next book last night. I was rooting for it but we ended up with THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD.

Barry Ergang said...

Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye six times (so far). It's my all-time-favorite novel. I've read all of Chandler's other novels except for Farewell, My Lovely twice.

Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury three times.

Twain's Huckleberry Finn at least twice, maybe three times. There's a good chance I'll read it again some day.

I've read four or five of Richard Prather's Shell Scott novels twice, at at least one of Stephen Marlowe's Chester Drum novels twice. Also read their collaboration Double in Trouble twice.

Others twice read:--
Ross Macdonald's The Ivory Grin, The Far Side of the Dollar, and Black Money. Possibly The Instant Enemy, too, but I'm not certain.

James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

Mike Resnick's The Soul Eater.

Ian Fleming's Goldfinger, which is odd because Dr. No was my favorite James Bond novel.

Joel Townsley Rogers' The Red Right Hand.

John Dickson Carr's The Three Coffins and, under his Carter Dickson pseudonym, The Skeleton in the Clock.

Hake Talbot's Rim of the Pit.

Norbert Davis's The Adventures of Max Latin.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I need to read SOUND AND FURY as an adult for sure. I didn't understand it at 19 at all.
Ross is always worth a reread. Goodbye Mr. Chips, an interesting choice. LOST HORIZON might be fun too.