Friday, August 05, 2011

What books would you read again and again?

While perusing books at a conference yesterday, I overheard a gentleman say, "That's 42." I had no context as to why he gave the number, but his colleague smiled and said, "Ah, the answer to everything."  

Seeing as we're at a theology conference, the initial man's response, "What are you talking about?" included a look of "you're completely bonkers." 

His friend looked perplexed, "You've never read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?" I couldn't help but smile. 

For the remainder of the day I was remembering how funny Hitchhiker is. By the end of the night I'd made up my mind it was for a reread. Realizing I've read it already three or four times got me thinking of other books like that. Books so good you've read them numerous times, and would read them again. Or those when as soon as the final page is turned you want to just open to the beginning and start over.

I started making a list last night of the books I can read over and over and over. It's good that I'm away from my shelves, because that this is coming straight from memory is further evidence of a love and appreciation for these stories. How important is something if you have to be reminded of it? Here's my list of books read and reread (I'm already thinking when I can start some of them again):
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
  • The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Wheel of Time series - Robert Jordan
  • The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
  • Desperation - Stephen King
  • Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
  • Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card
  • East of Eden - James Steinbeck
  • Of Mice and Men - James Steinbeck
  • The Narnia series - C.S. Lewis
  • Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
  • Children at the Gate - Edward Wallant
  • Angelwalk - Robert Elwood
  • Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge - Flannery O'Connor
  • The Pursuit of God - Tozer
  • Messy Spirituality - Mike Yaconneli
  • Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton
  • Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Inferno - Dante
  • The Lost Princess - George MacDonald
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The above list got me thinking of books I've only read once, but know I need to and will reread:
  • Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas
  • Dracula - Bram Stoker
  • Room - Emma Donoghue
  • The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoievsky
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
  • The Mistborn Triology - Brandon Sanderson
  • The Stand - Stephen King
  • Unbroken: A WW2 Story of Survival - Laura Hillenbrand
  • Dune - Frank Herbert
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ron Kesey
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Les Miserables - Victor Huge
  • The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
  • Till We Have Faces - C.S. Lewis
  • The Confessions - Augustine
  • American Gods - Neil Gaiman
  • Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
  • I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
When I'm back home standing in front of my books I'm sure I'll be reminded of others and will have to update both lists. There's just nothing like getting lost in a great book.  

Leave a comment and tell me what your books are to read and read again!


Todd said...

Hey Bobby, good to see we've got common taste in books. Several of those you listed are among my favorites--A Prayer for Owen Meany is in my top 5, I also love Stephen King, Steinbeck, O'Connor, Brennan Manning.

Some that I reread every few years: Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, Stephen King's The Stand, To Kill a Mockingbird--Harper Lee.

Tim Dearborn said...

The Chronicles of the Door, by Gene Edwards

This is a 5-book series, beginning with The Beginning. It is the history of man, as told from the perspective of a "Recording Angel". While Biblical fiction, there is more theology packed into these riveting short books than many textbooks. Yet, these books are simple enough to keep a child's attention (I have read them to my Sunday School class). Warning: if you pick one of these up, you will not put it down until you have finished. 2nd warning: keep tissues nearby. I am not a crying man, but I began to tear up when I read of the creation of (are you ready for this?) grass!