Saturday, August 7, 2010


Are you a re-reader? I am.

Despite all the new and/or unread books patiently waiting their turn in different piles all around the house, there are just certain books I keep going back to over and over again over the years - like visiting with old friends. Some books are read once, enjoyed, then set aside never to be opened again. But then there are those books that, for whatever reason, just keep calling me back. In Jasper Fforde's books featuring literature 'detective' Thursday Next, some of the characters can slip in and out of books (literally) and become part of the story (if they're not careful) though technically they are only allowed to witness. When Thursday touches the spines of books lined up on shelves, she feels the pull of the books and sees inside them, almost as if the spines themselves were portals into another world. (Actually, in the Fforde books the spines are
portals into other worlds.)

Well, that's how I feel sometimes. I touch the spine of certain books and I feel the familiar world inside beckoning me. Too fanciful? Maybe. But then, I am a fanciful person. (In case you hadn't guessed that from looking at my blog.)

Here are just a few of the old friends I like to revisit once in awhile:

Most of Agatha Christie's books, especially: They Came to Baghdad, The Man In the Brown Suit, So Many Steps To Death, Evil Under the Sun, Cat Among the Pigeons, Halloween Party, A Murder Is Announced, Mrs. McGinty's Dead, 4:50 From Paddington, Passenger to Frankfurt, Murder in Mesopotamia, The Secret of Chimneys, Dead Man's Folly, The ABC Murders...

All of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books, especially:
Plot It Yourself, The League of Frightened Men, Murder By the Book, Might As Well Be Dead, Please Pass the Guilt, The Mother Hunt, The Doorbell Rang, The Rubber Band, The Golden Spiders...

Amelia Peadbody books by Elizabeth Peters:
Crocodile on the Sandbank, The Mummy Case, Lion in the Valley, The Curse of the Pharaohs, Serpent on the Crown...

Vicky Bliss books by Elizabeth Peters:
Trojan Gold, Night Train to Memphis

Any and all Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Most especially: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books by Laurie R. King.
Most especially: The Beekeeper's Apprentice, O Jerusalem, The Moor, Justice Hall...

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Loot by Aaron Elkins

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Outsider by Penelope Williamson
Dirty Linen by Nicholas Kilmer

Early Autumn by Robert Parker

Past Time by Robert Parker

Scandal by Amanda Quick

Ravished by Amanda Quick

Grand Passion by Jayne Ann Krentz

Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krentz

Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz

Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh

Miss Emmaline and the Archangel by Rachel Lee

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Most of Robert Crais' Elvis Cole and Joe Pike books.
Especially: The Monkey's Raincoat, Lullaby Land, Free Fall, Indigo Slam, Voodoo River, L.A. Requiem...

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen, a short, brilliant, life-enhancing book.
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Of course, there are more, but these titles are just to give you an idea of what goes on around here. I also have to say that my preference seems to be for older books, so lots of the new stuff I read seems to be just older books I'd never read before.

But of course, I also read the new, new stuff as well.

As my friend Jean of BookJeannie likes to say, 'so many books, so little time'.


  1. I'm also a re-reader - we share some of the same favorites. For example, like you, I never tire of re-reading Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. They work on so many levels that the question of "whodunit" is almost incidental to my enjoyment of the books. Re-reading a book gives you a chance to savor good writing.

  2. Oh, I love them. I make sure to reread almost all the Wolfe books every few years. But mostly I like the ones best where they stay in the brownstone and don't travel afar. Most of the time I remember whodunit but sometimes I don't. You're right, Les, it's the writing that counts.
    I like the feeling of 'permanency' inherent in these books.


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