We’re touching on a controversial subject. Do you re-read books?
After a lapse of time, do you pick up, read and enjoy the same story? Or does the idea of doing so bore you to bits, after all, you know what happens? Perhaps you think there are so many new books available that you don’t want to waste time with a story you’ve already experienced?
There are quite distinct camps, with decided opinions. I am a re-reader. There, I said it.
Why re-read? It’s the guarantee that you’ll enjoy the story, as you walk into familiar territory, meeting old friends and, as you know how the story ends, you can savour the language and the small moments. Re-reading allows you to pick up on nuances missed the first time around and to come across something you forgot.
We also bring something new to a book each time we read it; our changing selves. The me who read a book twenty years before has a whole new perspective on a re-read, fuelled by experiences and changing beliefs.
In the last decade I have re-read the following; several times each:-
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – the original will they/won’t they, enemies to lovers, with one of the best-known openings of any book, this story kick-started an entire industry. Now, 200 years after Austen’s death, P&P (as it’s affectionately known) has spawned re-imaginings and books set in the P&P universe. Darcy and Elizabeth’s legacy continues to enthral.
Naked In Death by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) – The book that started a crime thriller phenomenon. Roberts is renowned for her romantic suspense trilogy’s but, as JD Robb, her characters had more to give and we are now, at the time of writing, awaiting the 50th book, Golden In Death.
When Kent Abner – baby doctor, model husband and father, good neighbour – is found dead in his townhouse in the West Village, Detective Eve Dallas and her team have a real mystery on their hands. Who would want to kill such a good man? They know how, where and when he was killed but why did someone want him dead?
Then a second victim is discovered and as Spring arrives in New York City, Eve finds herself in a race against time to track down a serial killer with a motive she can’t fathom and a weapon of choice which could wipe out half of Manhattan.
Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens – the historical romance that launched the Cynsters into the world. These books have passion, bags of it, but also suspense, intrigue and criminal activity. Several different series have followed, all set in the same world.
When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire ton by offering his hand in marriage. No one had dreamed this scandalous rake would so tamely take a bride. As society’s mamas swooned at the loss of England’s most eligible bachelor, Devil’s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date. But Honoria wasn’t about to bend to society’s demands and marry a man just because they’d been found together unchaperoned. No. She craved adventure. Solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, but once the crime was solved, Honoria was set on seeing the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?
On Writing by Stephen King – the Master talks about craft and what made him the writer he is today.
Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.
King’s advice is grounded in the vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 – and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.
There are other books that I have re-read over the decades, but the above are my top picks of re-reads from the last ten years.
I am an eclectic reader and read most genres. What the above list tells me is that I re-read romance, yet today I read mostly crime and thrillers. Of those novels I delve into time and time again, it is ones that, to me, are at the top of their genre. Elizabeth and Darcy, Honoria and Devil, and the incomparable Eve and Roarke stand up proud as power couples in the romance world.
Sometimes we can have a book lull, nothing holds our interest, and we’ve lost the reading mojo. What works for me is re-reading a book I loved, reminding me of the sheer all-consuming pleasure of falling into a story.
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