Friday, June 17, 2022

Books I Love to Reread

I was going to start this post by saying that I feel like I've been rereading a lot lately, but then I realized . . . there has never been a time when I didn't reread quite a bit. Because here's the deal: my to-be-read list may be tall enough to reach the International Space Station and weighty enough to bring said space station crashing down to earth, but that will not stop me when I feel like rereading an old favorite. Or, in some cases, an old semi-favorite. Or just a book that's been on my mind lately. But, you know, the mark of a great book is that you can read it over and over again and never love it less, so . . . maybe it just speaks to the quality of the books I've read? There definitely are certain books I tend to come back to more than others or that are just a special treat to reread, and today, I'm spotlighting a few of those.

Books I Love to Reread

  1. The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. This has got to be one of the most rereadable series I know of. If you've read the Queen's Thief book, you know that these are subtle, marvelously plotted stories and that Turner is a master of foreshadowing and perfectly prepared twists. This becomes even more clear on the reread, when you can pick up all kinds of clues you missed the first time around. In fact, I'd argue that you have to reread them at least once for the full experience. This is balanced by the fact that they're just the right length to be easy to pick up and reread — you can get through them fairly quickly without feeling guilty about taking a full month away from your library books and to-be-read list. (Plus, it's physically impossible to not love the characters more every time you read their stories.)
  2. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Speaking of falling in love with characters all over again . . . every time I reread Howl's Moving Castle, I find new reasons to love this story and these characters. That said, the bigger reason why it's on this list is that it's very much a comfort read for me, and it has been from the first. If I'm stressed or upset and need to be very quickly cheered up and pulled out of my troubles, and if whatever I'm currently reading doesn't seem like it'll do the trick for whatever reason (or if I'm not currently reading anything), this is my first choice of what to pick up. Even a few chapters are often enough to get me perked back up, thinking reasonably, and able to deal with whatever has me in a tizzy.
  3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course, LOTR has to make the list! For several years, I did a yearly or bi-yearly reread of this series, usually scheduled around either my birthday or half-birthday (since I read the trilogy for the first time within days of when I turned either twelve or thirteen, if I recall correctly). That dropped off, but I did recently reread these books, and they were just so lovely to come back to — even better than I remembered, since you really do notice new facets of the story each time. The only reason it's not at the top of the list is that the length does make this a bit more of a time commitment than some other books. (Technically, the Queen's Thief series may be longer in total, but each book is a quicker read.)
  4. The All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot (especially the first book). Like Howl, this is very much a comfort read, but of a somewhat different kind. It's a wonderfully steadying, heartwarming in the realest possible sense. I reach for Howl when stress and frustration reach a boiling point, and it makes me laugh and forget my problems for an hour or two. I reach for All Creatures when my world feels uncertain, and it helps me remember that everything will be ok in the end (because, even if Herriot never alludes to God or anything particularly spiritual, many of these stories come out to the lesson of the sparrows). Of course, I don't only pick it up in times of emotional turmoil; it's a lovely read any time I need something comparatively low-stakes and optimistic and sincere and funny.
  5. Entwined by Heather Dixon Wallwork. This is both one of my favorite fairy tale retellings and a Christmas read, thereby giving me two excuses to pick it up over and over again. While I don't tend to notice new things about this story as much as I do other stories on this list, it's always a pleasure to rediscover moments I'd forgotten or reexperience the best bits and to come out of the story feeling immensely cheered and pleased.

Do you like rereading books? What are your favorite books to reread? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. The James Herriot books make excellent re-reads! Even when covering something stressful, the story usually ends on a funny or comforting note.
    I enjoy re-reading Dorothy Sayers' Wimsey books... mysteries don't tend to make good re-reads, but these ones are exceptional.

    1. Exactly! Which is why they're so wonderfully reassuring. I haven't read much Dorothy Sayers, but I actually quite enjoy rereading mysteries — either I get to pick up on the clues I missed the first time around, or it's been so long since I've read them that I've forgotten the ending. xD


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