I had hoped to share New Books, New Year Part 2 with you today, but books that were scheduled for delivery have not yet arrived. Instead, I thought I’d share a side project I’ve created for myself this year to re-read some of my favorite books. The list mostly includes books I’ve only read one or two times but that have stayed with me over the years. Others I’ve re-read multiple time, but not in recent years. I’m anxious to see what still speaks to me now.
If you’d like to join me in re-reading some of your favorite books, I’ve posted a tab above for easy access through 2013. On that page you can leave a list of books you’d like to re-read in 2013, or links to any reviews you post. Also feel free to share on Twitter with the hashtag #rereading2013. Again, this isn’t a formal challenge, so you do not need to commit to any specific books or number of books. It’s just a way to share!
Below is my current list; I decided to stick with novels:
- All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers, Larry McMurtry. One of his “Houston” novels, which include Terms of Endearment. Not exactly a series, these novels deal with the same group of characters. I’d like to read all of them eventually.
- Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry. I read this over 20 years ago. One thing you might not guess about me: I have a thing for westerns, particularly if they are well-written.
- In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien. It seems like the obvious choice with O’Brien would be The Things They Carried, which is already a classic and which I’ve read many times, although not in several years. I remember finding this book particularly haunting when I read it in the winter of 1995.
- Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson. I was stunned by this book the first–and only–time I read it, and I instantly counted it as a favorite. I don’t expect that to change!
- You Remind Me of Me, Dan Chaon. I read this book on an airplane flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta in 2005. It was the first book by Chaon that I read and made me anxios to seek out his other work. Like a lot of books in this list, it’s a melancholy book.
- True Grit, Charles Portis. Mattie Ross is one of my all-time favorite heroines, and the book has more dry wit than either of the movies (although I loved the Coen brothers’ version in 2010.). I read this book as a little girl and again as an adult. I have two new Portis novels on their way to me, but I want to re-read this one as well.
- Diary of a Mad Housewife, Sue Kaufman. If you are a fan of the show Mad Men, I suggest you read this book. It’s wickedly funny and sad.
- Straight Man, Richard Russo. Speaking of funny and sad…I had a hard time choosing between this one and Empire Falls. Whole truth: I chose this one because it’s shorter. And funnier.
- Genius, Patrick Dennis. Patrick Dennis is mostly famous for having written the novel Auntie Mame, on which the wonderful movie starring Rosalind Russell was based. Genius is the continuation of Patrick and Pegeen’s story, wherein Patrick gets roped into writing a screenplay for a screwball movie director named Leander Starr. If you can get your hands on this, I suggest you do. It’s funnier than Auntie Mame. Sorry for no link to the book, but it’s out of print. You can find it on eBay.
- I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith. I don’t have to explain this one to a bunch of book bloggers.
- Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem. I read this in 1999 just after it was published. It’s about a guy with Tourette syndrome who works for a detective agency. Lots of humor and a bit of mystery is what I remember about this one.
- Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl. I hated this book the first time I picked it up. The second time I picked it up, I could not put it down. In fact, when I reached the end I turned back to the beginning and read it again. How will attempt number four fare?
- Plainsong, Kent Haruf
- Eventide, Kent Haruf. I’m reading both of these for one simple reason: I love them, and his third book, Benediction, in this loosely-termed “series” is coming out at the end of February. I have already ordered it.
Let me know if you think you might like to re-read some old favorites in 2013!