Goodreads Members Share the Books They've Been Rereading

Posted by Cybil on January 4, 2021
A comforting balm. A much-needed diversion. Time spent with an old friend. Childhood memories and annual traditions. We asked the Goodreads community to share the books they've found themselves rereading during the past year and what those books have meant to them on the second (or third or fourth) time revisiting those pages.

It's clear that books have been a source of solace for many of us! Tell us if you've been rereading a favorite book, and read through all of your fellow readers' responses to our question on Twitter and Facebook as well! 

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"I reread Anna Karenina every year, but this year I’ve been rereading comfort reads like Anne of Green Gables," says Stacey Anne Hoffer.

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"I reread Northanger Abbey and Persuasion this year. My youngest was having trouble with college English last spring once they went online and there were no actual discussions, so I thought it would be fun for me to be a classmate and we could talk about them together," says Jenny Mickle.

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"Mary Shelley is so eloquent on the effects of loneliness on the human condition that it's the perfect pandemic read. And she wrote this during the 'Year Without a Summer' in 1816, when there were food riots and 200,000 Europeans died as a result of crop failures and floods due to heavy rains. She wrote in her journal, 'It proved a wet, ungenial summer and incessant rain often confined us for days to the house.' So...Mary Shelley was effectively in the same situation as we are today when she wrote Frankenstein," says Lacy - Host of That's ProbLITmatic Podcast.

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"I haven’t read this book since my early 20s but picked it up again after listening to Coffee and Books and The Stacks podcasts discuss this book as well as the most recent book on him, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X," says Places &Plates.

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"I liked it the first time, but it became an all-time favorite when I reread it this year. It's so poignant, beautifully descriptive, and nostalgic," says Natalie Edmonds.

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"I have a tradition where I read Good Omens every July. It started after I first read it three years ago. That particular year of school had been rough, and somehow I found Good Omens at a bookstore. For me, it’s just one of those books you can think about for months after reading it," says Neverender.Maddie

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"2020 definitely called for more Stoicism," says Michael McGill.

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"I reread The Secret History by Donna Tartt, but this time as an audiobook read by the author. I wanted to jog my memory of that particular book, because I keep saying it was so much better than The Goldfinch (it was), but I wanted to be able to back that opinion up with more details. I'm so glad I listened to it this time around! It was wonderful to hear the French and Greek words pronounced correctly, for one thing. Going forward, I'm seriously considering doing any rereading this way; it really freshened up the material," says Michele Maiorano

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"My friend was trying to persuade me to watch the recent Netflix adaptation, but I’m a bit of a movie snob and had a feeling I wouldn’t like it. When I got COVID and was stuck in quarantine, I decided to give it a fair shake by rereading the book for the first time in a decade and then watching the Hitchcock and Netflix movies in that order (I had the time, after all). I was, unsurprisingly, disappointed with the remake, but I fell madly in love with the book all over again and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. Such a gothic gem," says Lindsay Baham

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"Most of Agatha Christie’s work, because it turns out having some sense that there is logic and order and control to be found in death, that death isn’t just random and meaningless and heartbreakingly arbitrary...was a feeling I needed this year," says Ana.

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"I found it a soothing balm. We have lived through tumultuous times before. We survived and we will again.I finished the book, and then started it again, hopeful for the return of 'our better angels,' " says Elizabeth Wallen

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"Eleanor & Park because it's so pure, heartbreaking, beautiful, and inspiring. So, during the lockdown I reread it, just trusting to find in it some hope. It may seem like another love story in high school, but I completely promise you it is a masterpiece," says Carmen Romero.

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"With how hard this year has been (for so many reasons) and people’s strong division of opinion, it was so comforting to read a book about a family that loved and supported each other despite what others thought of them. And how people overcame their prejudices and fear and were happier and better for it. The book is full of love and hope, which is something I think the world needs more of now, and it was wonderful to get lost in the joy of this book!" says Allison Chase Williams.

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"This is the book that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and makes the world seem manageable, even when things are hard. For me, the message of this book is that nothing is insurmountable if you have people who love and support you, and that's what I needed to be reminded of this year," says Marie James

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"N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy. Because it is the best exposition of our time in fiction that I am aware of, and [I] will probably keep reading the series every year or two," says Jason Straight.

Which books have you found yourself rereading? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles, including:
56 of the Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of 2021
45 of the Most Anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels of 2021
The Most Anticipated Books of 2021

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Robinson I do not re-read books. My philosophy is that there are just too many books to read to spend time reading the same book twice. I wondered recently whether a book would "hold up" after nearly 30 years. I am a very different person today from who I was in 1992 but I was thrilled to discover that I loved The Witching Hour by Anne Rice as much today as I did then. I spent 55 hours of audio time with the Mayfair Witches - an unabridged audio version released in 2015. Some prefer Anne Rice's vampires, but I was always partial to her witches and these witches were very good company in 2020.

message 2: by Maitri (new)

Maitri I read The Diary Of A Young Girl for the third time

message 3: by JukeBexHero (new)

JukeBexHero I re-read the whole Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I definitely noticed some problematic moments that ten-year-old me only vaguely registered, but there was a nice dose of nostalgia, too.

message 4: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen I reread The Iliad this year. Now, on to The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and Dante’s Inferno. Time to refresh the classics!! A stroll through Shakespeare wouldn’t hurt, either!! My COVID brain needs airing!

message 5: by Salma (new)

Salma Kelli wrote: "I do not re-read books. My philosophy is that there are just too many books to read to spend time reading the same book twice. I wondered recently whether a book would "hold up" after nearly 30 yea..."

I'm like you. Once you've read a story you already know the characters and know what happens in the book. If I started rereading books I'd never get through my 'to be read' list.

message 6: by إيما (new)

إيما I re-read Anne of Green Gable this year. It's amazing!

message 7: by Samantha (new)

Samantha I just re-read all of the Twilight Saga so I can read Midnight Sun

message 8: by D.G. (last edited Jan 05, 2021 11:31AM) (new)

D.G. I just re-read the whole Murderbot Diaries series, starting with All Systems Red.

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Robinson Maitri wrote: "I read The Diary Of A Young Girl for the third time"

One of my top 10 books!! I must have reread it at least 10 times since I was 12-13 years old :D

message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric Bruce I like to re-read 2 or 3 books each year , normally after a gap of 4/5 years . The ideal time is following a couple of disappointing new books to remind me of what I'm missing and to ensure I avoid another dud . Authors like Nelson De Mille , E V Thompson or John Grisham fit the bill.

message 11: by Nita (new)

Nita I am reading Ayn Rand's book again. It is like diving in the ocean-you find a pearl every time!
I reread a few pages every day

message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I just reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I first read it as an 11 year old and remember being totally engrosssed. As an adult, I found it to still be a compelling coming of age story. Wish I could remember what went through my naive 11 year old head as I read about this family’s struggles with alcoholism, extreme poverty and even an attempted rape.

message 13: by Judith (new)

Judith lavezzi I am reading the alchemist for the first time. I've had it in my possession for years, but have passed it by. I am on
page 34, and can't put it down. Not a thriller, but totally engaging, and I can tell, full of wisdom.

message 14: by Randa (new)

Randa I always like to go back and revisit my favorite series when I’m in a reading slump. Harry Potter, Twilight, Vampire Academy and Dorothy Must Die are my escapes :)

message 15: by Lonnie (new)

Lonnie Like Kelly and Selma, I too have not reread book... I’d never get thru my TBR list and probably won’t anyway! However, lately with grandchildren in HS I find I’m reread books that they are just now tackling for the first time.. and that reading them as a grandma as opposed to a teenager, I have a different perspective! Think, The Catcher in the Rye and Fahrenheit 451!!

message 16: by Tracey (new)

Tracey "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas is the book I will always come back to. I love it so much.

message 17: by Ernie (new)

Ernie Brill Ive read the following books three or four times.They are my go to books as a writer and as a reader.
Uncle Tom's Chldren- Richard Wright. His greatest work.
Waiting For Nothing- Tom Kromer. American depression classic.
Cane- Jean Toomer. America's first experimental novel. stunning.
Puerto Rican Obituary-Pedro Pietri. Searing, hilarlious poetry.
The Collected Poems of Sterling a. Brown- the most underrated poet in American Literature. TS Eliot, eat your heart out.
Yokahama California and Other Stories- Toshio
Elbow Room- James Alan McPherson.stories. 1987 Pulitzer.
In The Mecca- Gwendolyn Brooks. Poems about a project!
The Butterfly's Burden- Mahmod Darwish. One of the two poets of the twentieth century.
The Cantos- Pablo Neruda. One of the two top poets of the 2oth century.

message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather Coffin Kelli wrote: "I do not re-read books. My philosophy is that there are just too many books to read to spend time reading the same book twice. I wondered recently whether a book would "hold up" after nearly 30 yea..."

Thinking about rereading both The Witching Hour and Cry to Heaven as I'm curious to know if while rereading I'll recall having the same visual representations of the plot.

message 19: by Heather (new)

Heather Coffin Villette

Haven't reread this novel in a few years but in high school I used to read it every summer. One of my favorites.

message 20: by Mira (new)

Mira I re-read The Giver by Lois Lowry for like the 5th time.

message 21: by Ashna (new)

Ashna Tibrewal I have re-read Rebecca and kingdom of ash quite a few times. Both are masterpieces. <3

message 22: by Laurie B (new)

Laurie B I believe there's great value in rereading books at different points in your life because you pick up on different things each time. The books I've reread the most are comfort reads: the Harry Potter series, Jane Austen's books, Jane Eyre, Tamora Pierce's books, and The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan. It's very much like visiting good friends.

message 24: by Shannon (last edited May 19, 2021 05:55PM) (new)

Shannon I absolutely adore Rebecca. My high school English teacher had me read it, and up until the second half I hated it. By the end I was so enthralled that I had to reread it, and have reread it every year since. I don't know what it is about Manderley that sucks me in every time, but it's so wonderfully written that the story doesn't lose its richness.

I also go back to Edgar Allan Poe when I need some comfort reading.

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