Monday, November 3, 2014

Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

I'm generally not big on rereading. There are so many books on my to-read list (357 and counting at the moment) that the time spent rereading a book feels like time taken away from a new story I could be exploring or a new nonfiction book I could be learning from. However, I've reread quite a few books in the past year or so thanks to my various book clubs, and I've gained an appreciation for revisiting old books. With a good book, you catch new things the second time around and just have a different reading experience when you're not turning pages to find out what happens next in an unknown plot.

I recently created a "want to reread" shelf on my Goodreads. It's a mix of books I read a long time ago (mostly classics I read in middle school) of which I remember little except that I enjoyed them, nonfiction books whose lessons I want to keep fresh in my mind, and books with plot twists that will most certainly provide a different experience the second time around. Here are some of the highlights:

1. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
I read this book last year when I was unemployed and doing some soul-searching about what kind of work I wanted to do and how I wanted to make the most of my time generally. However, the book is geared toward people who have a normal routine of some sort, not those in an in-between period, so now that I've been at my job for over a year I'd like to revisit this book and apply some of the lessons to my current weekly use of time.

2. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
This was my first introduction to Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors. I only remember a few snippets from the book, but they clearly made an impression on me because they've stayed with me. I've recommended this book to a few people now, so I feel like I should go back and see if it's as good as I remember.

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I remember clearly that I read this in eighth grade for our monthly book reports, because by that time in middle school we were supposed to get our plot summaries down to a paragraph and spend the rest of the report doing analysis of the book. The plot was so long and complex I couldn't cut it down to less than two and a half pages, so I wrote five pages of analysis to compensate. I loved the book but now remember almost nothing about it except for what I think was the plot twist. After 15 years, it's time to reread it.

4. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Another first read from a favorite author. I probably read this in grade school, and I don't think I've picked it up again since. I know it's a classic children's book and one I'll probably share with my kids, but first I want to read it again myself.

5. Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon
One of the best books I've read this year. I love his parenting philosophy maybe even more than Faber and Mazlish's (Liberated Parents, Liberated Children and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk), though it's very similar. Right now, though, it's all theoretical to me. I want to revisit this book more than once after we become parents both to remind myself of his suggestions and to see how well they hold up.

6. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
I read this one in middle school and called it my favorite book for quite a while. Again, I remember only bits and pieces, including the plot twist in the middle of the book that I shared with my classmates during my oral book report. (I'm not sure if the spoiler made them more or less likely to want to read it.) It's time to reread it and remind myself what made it so good.

7. Room for One More by Anna Perrott Rose
This was the book that first interested me in adoption, which we're now in the midst of pursuing. It also first opened me up to the idea of having a large family. I want to reread this, especially after we have kids, to remind me that a little chaos and mess in a family is OK as long as there's enough love to go around.

8. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy
Another middle school classic read about which I remember very little except the plot twist. I'm interested to reread it with that in mind to see how the story is constructed.

9. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
I love Bill Bryson's histories, and this book is both history and science packaged in his signature readable format as he explores everything from the cosmos to cells. I remember learning a lot from this book, but I'm not sure how much of it I've retained.

10. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
I read this book in fourth grade and proclaimed it my favorite book for the next few years. I don't remember much about it except that there's a romance between a Jewish girl and a German soldier around the time of World War II, and I was fascinated by the Holocaust at the time. The ratings on Goodreads are so-so but that seems to be mostly due to students who were forced to read it for school and hated it. Since I loved it as a kid, I'm wondering how it will stand up to my scrutiny as an adult reader.

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  1. I don't tend to reread much any more either. Far too many new books to think about first! I have reread Rebecca though and enjoyed it! :-)

  2. I absolutely LOVED From The Mixed Up Files! It totally inspired me as a kid...not to exactly run away, but that a person COULD LIVE in a museum! lol I'm not sure now but at the time it was the best book of ever. x)

    I have like 700+ books on my want to read shelf. Ermagerd I need help.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

  3. I remember almost nothing from that book except for the part where she stands on a toilet so they won't see her feet and know she's hiding in the bathroom. Clearly there was more to the book but I don't remember it :)