Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Reading Assignment: Books to Re-read

I have been working my way through a massive book list for years.  It is now sixteen pages, and I am continuously adding new books to it.  As I read, I rate the books by highlighting the text with different colors.  Purple means "loved it; definitely reread."  I'm thinking of taking a break from reading anything new and spending some time re-reading all the books designated as such.

Here's a selection of books I considered to be re-readable (linked with Amazon affiliate links).  Let me know if you've read any of them!

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor  Another novel about aging.  Elizabeth Taylor is one of my favorite writers.

The Cardboard Crown; A Difficult Young Man; Outbreak of Love by Martin Boyd.  An excellent series about an Australian family.

Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson. Another great novel from Australia.

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman.  Funny and thoughtful essays about books and reading.

About a Boy by Nick Hornby.  I can't help it.  I loved the movie too.

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay.  Eccentric Brits travel in Turkey.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson.  Story of a British family in the WWII era.

The Falling Boy by David Long.  Beautiful, spare prose about a small town on the high plains.

The Singapore Grip, The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell--one of the best writers of the 20th century.

The Girls from the Five Great Valleys by Elizabeth Savage.  Honestly, I can't remember what I loved about this one.  Has anyone read it?

The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott.  Fantastic series about the break up of the British control of India.

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.  This book was such a surprise!  A lovely German novel.

Captain Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester.  The first three (in order of publication) and best of the Horatio Hornblower books in one volume.

The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood.  Life in Berlin in the 1930s.

The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning.  These books are the BEST!  A young married couple lives in Bucharest at the start of WWII.  Through the trilogy, they flee various countries, one step ahead of the Nazis.  Also a movie, starring Emma Thompson.

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton.  More strong literature out of Australia.

Cordelia Underwood: Or, The Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League by Van Reid.  Very silly, but there's something about it.

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.  Something special for fantasy fans.

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford.

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset  Chronicles the life of a Norwegian woman of the middle ages.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell.  A condemnation of the middle class.

Adam Bede by George Eliot.  A shocking scandal in a small country town.

All is Vanity by Christina Schwarz.  Sorry, I can't remember much about this one either.

Do the Windows Open? by Julie Hecht.  I loved these short stories because the characters share my neuroses.


  1. I am a serial re-reader. I buy books specifically so I can read them again & again.
    I've been thinking I need to read The Moviegoer again. Anything by Kate Atkinson is always on rotation. Currently, I'm rereading all my Alice Walker books, having just watched a fascinating documentary about her on PBS American Masters.

  2. I read The Pursuit of Love, but I tend to re-read the philosophic works of Thoreau and CS Lewis and Wodehouse;)

  3. I am excited to see some fine Australian literature on your list. Cloudstreet is in my top five books, I loved Tirra Lirra by the River, and I recently read Cardboard Crown and A Difficult Young Man and have the other two on tap. I have a link on my blog ( for Australian Literature.

  4. Stealing your list. Thanks!

  5. Your list made me re-think a couple of my preconceptions, may give "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" another chance.
    I'm surprised you like the Hornblower series; have you tried the Honor Harrington series by David Weber?; like Hornblower but good SciFi.

    1. "Keep the Aspidistra..." was made into a really good movie, too, called "A Merry War." I love Horatio Hornblower, and nautical fiction in general, especially the Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. I'll look out for the Honor Harrington series. I've never heard of it.

    2. I agree about the Aubrey/Maturin series. A bit deeper than the Hornblower series.