5 Books I Love to Reread

8:30:00 AM

5 Books great for reading and rereading, plus a few more I can't wait to add to the list!

I love finding a new book, reading it, and falling in love with it. The kind of book that I sticks with you after you are done, making you think and wish you were still learning about that world the author created. I find that there are two main indicators that help me know if a book has hit me in this way. The first is that I can't stop talking about it, with anyone and everyone who will humor me. The second is that I think "I can't wait for enough time to pass so that I can read this again!"

I usually try to give myself a couple years and lots of other books in between rereading my favorites. I love the feeling of almost forgetting the details and getting to rediscover what made me fall in love in the first place. I also like leaving time in between so these books stay special, that is probably my largest recommendation for rereading a book. Find favorites, but keep them special!

So with all that being said, here are some of my special favorites that I love to read over again.

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley

Summary: All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her. (via Goodreads)

Why I Love It: I first read this in middle school and I loved the idea of an alternate telling to a well known fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty. This book covers the Princess's life as she grows up in a small town away from the castle and how hard it truly is to keep her hidden due to all the different fairy gifts she is given on her birthday and the fact that good magic, not just bad, leaves a fingerprint.

I also like the way that McKinley builds up a world where magic is believable, and yet still something that makes people a little nervous. Its not all sunshine and roses like a Disney movie would be.

The biggest complaint I have is that McKinley seems to change who the main character is. For most of the book the main character is Rosie's adoptive family, the two fairies that are hiding her. But then as she gets older the book shifts for be more from Rosie's perspective. While on the one hand it makes a lot of sense to use more of Rosie's view as she becomes a more active player in her life, I end up missing that sweetness of seeing into the minds of the women that raise her as one of their own.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Summary: Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the 'spice' melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis. (via Goodreads)

Why I Love It: There is so much! Truly, this is one of those books that gives so many topics to talk about, as the Goodreads summary says. This is the kind of book that I keep thinking of recommending for the book club that I am in because there is just that much to talk about, and yet its a little long and very much science fiction, so I get nervous and change my mind. However, I love coming across someone else who has read it and talking to them about it forever.

The biggest thing about Dune that I love so much is how Herbert is able to build this incredible world out of nothing. He uses terms and themes that we are all familiar with, but it feels like The Lord of the Rings does in its depth. You know as much as you need for the story, but you also know that there is so much more that was probably left in the author's head.

Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis) /Harry Potter (Rowling)

Summary: For Narnia see this Goodreads link. For Harry Potter, see this one.

Why I Love Them: These are some of the most well known and well loved sagas written, and I think they are different versions of the same story. Good vs. Evil. Doing the hard thing, not the easy thing. Coming of age. Themes like these are so prevelant. I have always said that Narnia is the children's version, Harry Potter the Young Adult, and Lord of the Rings the adult one (not that you can't read them at different ages, just in the level of complexities in the reading and comprehension).

Beyond being great examples of this classic story, they also do a great job of building a world that the reader can get sucked into, and since they are different types of worlds, I have usually found that a person is able to find one saga that they love, whether its the fairy tale of Narnia or the modern wizardry of Potter.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Summary: Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.

But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military's purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine's abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails. (via Goodreads)

Why I Love It: Ender's Game was one of the first, if not THE first, science fiction book that I read. I remember when my mom suggested it to me I was a little nervous, but she turned out to be right, I loved it. To me this whole story is comes down to three themes, nature vs. nurture, how far you are willing to go to keep the people you love safe, and how much are you willing to exploit others to accomplish your goals. All wonderful things to think and talk about within the context of the story.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Summary: The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into ten languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature. (via Goodreads)

Why I Love It: I feel like I grew up with this book. Since I have always been such a voracious reader there was an awkward stage when I was a kid where I had read everything at my level but I wasn't quite ready for the next one yet. I could read the words and tell you the basic story line, but as far as picking out the themes and really understanding, I wasn't there yet. This was when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember that I liked it, a story about a young girl, a tomboy like me, who had adventures during the summer and explored her town and neighborhood. But that was as deep as I got. Then in middle school/high school when I read it again for an assignment I realized it was about racism. After reading again as an adult I understood that it was about everyone finding where they fit in the world. It's about a little girl growing up and figuring out who she is. It's about race relations in the south and how to navigate such a volatile time and situation. It's about raising children as a single parent. It's about raising a child with disabilities and the difficulties as well as blessing that come from that. It's about addiction, recovery, and family relationships. It's about being part of a community. It's about everything!

One of the greatest moments of my relationship with Brett was when we were first married and setting up our first apartment. We started putting books on bookshelves and there among the textbooks and sports books were two identical copies of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was a favorite for both of us and we each had a copy that we'd brought to college with us. Those two books still sit next to each other on the self even though its redundant because it made me so happy.

Whew. I ended up writing a lot more than I thought I was going to, so if you made it to the end of this post, good for you! I'm also not surprised though because once I get talking about these books I usually can't stop, so why would typing it out be any different?

I will leave you with a few books I'm excited to read again in the future after I have had the right amount of time in between. In the meantime I would love to hear some of your suggestions! I have high hopes for reading this year and a lot of time spent with a newborn in the future so I'm looking to grow my reading list!

Books I Plan to Reread

Gone with the Wind
The Seamstress
The Counte of Monte Cristo
The Lord of the Rings

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