Take Me Back: Ten Books I Want to Re-Read

As a kid and teen, I re-read books like it was my job to know every detail of a novel. I was super picky about what I read, and when I found books I loved, I tended to read them over and over again, until they fell apart. (You should see my original collection of hardcover Harry Potter books: it’s a menagerie of missing covers, broken spines, and loose pages.)

But since I started blogging and opened myself up to a huge, infinite world of books of all kinds, I have rarely found the time to re-read. I now have the opposite problem from when I was growing up; now there are simply too MANY books I want to read, and I seldom read a book more than once. However, I do love revisiting old favorites when I have the time, and these are the ten books at the top of my “to re-read” list.

Ten Books I Want to Re-Read

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I first read this Gothic classics last fall and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I may have missed the window for spooky fall reads, but I would really like to revisit this book again soon.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I haven’t read this book since my ninth grade English class, but Monika of Lovely Bookshelf‘s experience reading it recently has me thinking I should try reading it with adult eyes.

3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I was blown away by this novel last year, and I still think about it All. The Time. This book contains six connected stories nestled inside each other (like a Matryoshka doll), and when I first read it, I took straight on, beginning to end, reading the first half of the first story, then the first half of the second story, and on until the sixth story, when they began working their way back out again. This time, I want to read each complete story, one at a time, working from the outside in.

4. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruku Murakami. Murakami is one of my favorite authors, and I kind of raced through his latest book. I would really like to read it again so I can get a deeper idea of it in my head.

5. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill. I first read this small, strange little novel in a single sunny afternoon. And like Colorless Tsukuru, I read it so quickly that I only have vague impressions of it. It’s a really beautiful book, though, and I want to re-read it again so it will sink in a bit deeper.

6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. This is one of those books I read multiple times in college, and it’s still one of my favorites. However, I don’t think I’ve read it in three or four years, and it’s pretty much always calling to me.

7. St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. Although Karen Russell has put out two books (and a novella) since her debut short story collection, this book is my favorite that she has written. It’s just so weird and charming, and I am crazy in love with it. I need to spend more time in Russell’s slightly (okay, more than slightly) off-kilter world.

8. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. This book, about a young girl dealing with family issues while ALSO dealing with the fact that the Earth’s rotation is slowing drastically, was one of my favorites of 2012. I ugly cried like I have never ugly cried, before or since. And I kind of want to know whether that was a fluke — whether it will still effect me in the same way.

9. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. Oh, how I love Meg Wolitzer. The Wife, which is partially set at Smith College in the 1950s and deals with sexual double standards, has a special place in my heart. I mean, it references The Bell Jar and has fascinating themes about sexism and creativity, so it basically has LEAH written all over it.

10. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. After struggling with To the Lighthouse in high school, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf’s sentences, you guys. They are the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. I really want to return to this book and just read certain paragraphs over and over again, until they lose all meaning.

What books do yo most want to re-read?