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i like your moxie, sassafras!

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(Re)Reading / Book Recs / Fanfic
tumbled hair, girls rule, austen
Hi, everybody!

I'm feeling chatty, and I wanted to talk about books. I had a discussion years ago with an acquaintance who described herself as an avid reader, and yet looked completely baffled when I said I frequently reread favorite books. I can't quite get my head around the concept of reading a book you love only once and being done with it. Even when I was little, I always had a couple of old favorites in the stack I took home from the library every Saturday morning. Do you guys reread? If so, do you reread the whole book, or just the "good parts"?

Possibly this is on my mind because I've been having a little orgy of rereading going on. I take the subway to and from work, which translates into anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes of reading time per day, guaranteed, and I've been too hot when I get home to turn on my laptop, so I've been stretching out under a ceiling fan and opening well-loved books.

Recently reread: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Wonder Boys and The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. The Sherlock Holmes canon. Good Night, Mr. Holmes + Good Morning, Irene + Irene at Large + Irene's Last Waltz by Carole Nelson Douglas. The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters. Next up for rereading will most likely be something from Gillian Roberts's Amanda Pepper series, another book from the Brother Cadfael series, the two-book Mordant's Need series by Stephen R. Donaldson, or Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths series. And maybe Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday, if I don't want to get sucked into a whole series.

I surprised myself by wanting to write fanfic for the Hunger Games series (specifically, a meeting between Cinna and Gale - NEEDS MORE CINNA AND GALE!), because I've never been all that interested in fanfic based on textual canons. I tried explaining this once before, to my lovely beta, and I don't think I said it very well, but basically my feeling is that fanfic based on a show or a movie is clearly work in a different medium, possibly able to do certain things that the original medium could not. Textual canon precludes that possibility of transformation. Which is not to say that fanfic based on textual canon is worthless or stupid or presumptive or anything like that - I certainly don't want to call the wrath of the entire HP fandom down on me - but just that it's different in a way that feels alien to me. What do you think?

Anyway, enjoy the book recs above, and let me know if you have any for me? I'll be on a plane in a few weeks, and will need something to see me through two very long trips. Thanks!

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Oh, yes. I re-read constantly. In fact, being *able* to re-read is a wonderful bolster when any book i look at in the 'real world' either makes me cringe or bores me to tears.

I have re-read these books - and highly recommend them - at least twenty times, if not more:

Captains Courageous, Watership Down, the Laura Ingalls series, The Changeling, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Gone With the Wind, Out of Africa, every Dick Francis mystery, everything i own of Tanith Lee and CJ Cherryh, Romeo and Juliet, The Jungle Books, most of the Discworld books, emphasis on the Tiffany Aching and Watchmen books, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dandelion Wine, Brave New World, Brideshead Revisited and the poems of Maxin Kumin and Robinson Jeffers.

I re-read as a kid, too - new was awesome, but old favorites were just...comfortable and happy-making.

Oh and - i pretty much read the whole story when i re-read, occasionally skipping bits but not often.

Edited at 2010-07-17 07:03 pm (UTC)

oooooooh totally seconding watership down. in fact, i'm gonna reread that right now!

The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed....


I read that book for the first time only a few years ago, and I fell in love instantly.

Rereading is like a secret treat - you KNOW you have something wonderful to come home to! (And yes, I do the whole book too!)

I've read half of your must-read books, and will get on the rest post-haste!

I'd love to hear some post-reading remarks on the ones you haven't read.

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