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Just for fun > Books you've read more than once

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message 1: by Julia (last edited Aug 22, 2013 10:30AM) (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) I'm sure many of us have books that feel like a friend--a place we can go for solace or humor or even grief.

I'll start with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Jonathan Safran Foer has given us Oskar--and experiencing 9/11 through the eyes of this bright, OCD young boy is very unique and powerful for me.

This quotation is one I added to my Commonplace Book; Oskar says:

"I thought about all the things that everyone ever says to each other, and how everyone is going to die, whether it's in a millisecond, or days, or months, or 76.5 years, if you were just born. Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives are like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped."


message 2: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I have to tell you that I didn't read the book and didn't know what it was about. Then I saw the film on HBO and it nearly killed me. That kid was incredible, as were all the "stars" - especially old Max as the grandpa. I should read the book, and Life of Pi too.


message 3: by Julia (last edited Aug 22, 2013 12:11PM) (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) So glad you saw the film--they did a good job. But Foer's first page absolutely bowled me over. If we ever have a thread for first pages that knocked your socks off, I nominate his. In one page, he gives us the core of who Oskar is--brought me to tears.

The illustrations in the books are incredible--especially the falling man flip book at the end.


message 4: by Shaun (new)

Shaun I've never heard of that book either; I will have to take a look.

The only book i've read more than once is called Heroes; I read it in high school for English Lit GCSE. From there is has always been stuck in the back of my mind.


message 5: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

This is one of those that I've read many times. For one reason or another I really connect to the narrator (Capote).

Two favorite passages:

“Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,' Holly advised him. 'That was Doc's mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky."

“You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”


message 6: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) Thanks, Ivan--I love hearing a favorite quotation from a favorite book. Sometimes words just ASK to become part of us--the "wild thing" quotations are really powerful.


message 7: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Since regaining my reading habit, I've reread about a dozen and a half books, books that I had read years ago. I remembered liking them, but I didn't really remember the books, so I wanted to put them back into my memory. Some of them were:
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut,
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley,
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane,
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck,
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor Wise Blood by Flannery O'Conner,
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein.

I reread one book that had disappointed me when I first read it, thinking that now I might appreciate it better,
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I think perhaps I did better appreciate it, but it's still not a favorite.

The only book I have ever read more that twice is
1984 by George Orwell 1984 by George Orwell which I read recently for the fourth time. It was still as gripping as ever - one of the great books.


message 8: by Mmars (new)

Mmars | 588 comments Won't be hearing much from me in this column. Unless it's accidental, I don't reread. Nor do I redo many things - from recipes to music and travel - guess I just love new things - other than work/moving. However, since I read the September group read in high school I plan to at least skim it!


message 9: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I don't (or didn't) re-read books - until recently. My favorite book is 84, Charing Cross Road - I've read it a dozen times. My favorite short story is A Christmas Memory - I've read it at least a dozen times. I've read The Hours three or four times. My Father and Myself I've read three times (love Ackerly - very underrated). I've read everything I could find by Truman Capote at least twice. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil I've read three or four times. There are a number of others I've read more than once, but these are the ones that come to mind.


message 10: by Greg (new)

Greg | 48 comments Two books that I've read two or three times over the years are -
Doors of Perception - Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley. and
A Rebours by J. K. Huysmans.


message 11: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) Ivan, thanks so much for reminding me of A Christmas Memory. And my brain immediately went to I Sing the Body Electric! & Other Stories by Ray Bradbury.

Both are such magical and wistful and joyful reminders of the deep connection between youth and age. And both were made into short films for television, with Capote and Bradbury consulting on their respective productions.

Geraldine Page was amazing in "A Christmas Memory", with Capote himself narrating. A short segment is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGEl6...

And Maureen Stapleton stole my heart in "The Electric Grandmother", based on the Bradbury story. I used it in class as an example of Erik Erikson's stage of Generativity, and my high school students really liked it. A short clip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71KNI...

Thanks again, Ivan--for the memories.


message 12: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I recently re-read two favorites of mine A Room with a View by E.M. Forster - which was as beautiful and romantic as ever, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - which is one of the greatest stories ever written, just love it.


message 13: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Jane Eyre
Little Women
Those two soothe and revive me all at the same time.

Dracula
Sunshine
These two fill my supernatural tastes.

Dandelion Wine
From the Dust Returned
These two are my fave Bradbury books I come back to, among a few others of his.

The Great Divorce
along with several others by Lewis.

And, of heck, I'll just add Robin McKinley again even though she's sort of represented by Sunshine. There are several of hers I enjoy.


message 14: by Buck (last edited May 16, 2014 01:17PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Lora

I've read The Martian Chronicles,, and The Illustrated Man. For me, Bradbury didn't meet expectations. He is so acclaimed, and yet I found him just so-so. He didn't knock my socks off. I found Fahrenheit 451 to be better. I haven't read Dandelion Wine or From the Dust Returned. I would so like to become undisappointed. How would you compare you favorites to the ones I have read?


message 15: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Well, I really liked The Martian Chronicles. I read it several times over the years despite it not being a fave of mine- I was pretty young when I started and I didn't follow it all that well. I liked it better as I grew up. The descriptions and what is left unsaid appealed to me, and the many facets of different characters and their stories, and how they intertwined, appealed to me. It was like one of those kaliedoscope toys, when each time I twisted the knob, I got a different pattern. See, the patterns can be very similar, and one person might wonder why they would even bother. The other person- that's me- just sits there twisting the knob and looking and looking and looking some more. Variations on a theme? Maybe something like that. I just love Bradbury's style, so I keep reading.
The Illustrated Man I didn't like so much. I found the characters less sympathetic and the poetry missing.
451 was a very good book. I think it's a reread for me as well- I have a shelf called rereads if y'all're curious- but I think just about everyone should read that book.
Dandelion Wine is more of a fictional memoir, or celebration of life, or something. It's about boys, and summer, and childhood magic. It really resonates with me because I spent so much of my childhood running all over the world, or so it felt. The poetic feel is stronger here, and his deep love of his own experience and his love of words comes out here, and the subject matter, like I said, makes me sentimental and nostalgic. I have found that much younger folks don't get this book, not if they grew up scheduled and shepherded.
From the Dust Returned was a later book of his, and it was really a revisit to some of his old stories. It's about a boy and his Charles Addams style family. Much of it is the old stories, and then Bradbury added in some transitions and tied on some plot strings and kinda rehashed in a way. Some folks were disappointed by this, but I was delighted. All those summer afternoons reading R is for Rocket and S is for Space and I had always wanted >just< those stories, the boy and his feathered uncle and the pet spider and that sad longing, I wanted those all in one place, all to myself. So I snatched up From the Dust Returned expecting exactly what I got, and loving it. To be honest, I grew up in rather an Addams family of sorts, and I related to that book on nostalgic levels as well. I read that one out loud to my kids, and they enjoyed it too.
So Dandelion Wine and From the Dust Returned have huge personal connections for me. I think they capture the flavor of Bradbury better than much of his stuff. They are beautiful to me, and I accept that other people find them less so. But if you haven't read them, they make excellent summer reading.


message 16: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) By the way, I think Brave New World is an important book as well. I also had to ask- what did you like about Stranger ina a Strange Land? I enjoyed the energy of the characters, some of them. I found the emphasis on sex to be too much for me, but at the same time, by the end I saw the entire story as a kind of cultural alien invasion. Did you see that too? I found that interesting: was it a conversion of the populace, or a conquering?


message 17: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Thanks, Lora, for that nice reply.

Not long ago, I heard the audiobook version of The Martian Chronicles, read by Bradbury himself and with little extra commentaries. It was my second time with the book, having read it in my youth and remembering only that it didn't much click with me. His reading and his writing are much suited for one another. It made me wonder at the time if I would have reacted differently had the book been read by a professional reader. Later, when I read The Illustrated Man, it was as if I was reading it in Bradbury's voice.

I've always liked science fiction, and I particularly like hard science fiction. Bradbury wrote science fiction, but somehow I feel that his style might have been better suited for mainstream fiction. He has a recognizable style to his writing; it is in his voice. The Illustrated Man story, apart from the other stories in the volume, is not so much science fiction as it is just strange fiction. I think it was about the best in the collection; in fact, I don't recall the others and I read the book fairly recently.

Before reading your post, I was unfamiliar with your two faves (Dandelion Wine rang a faint bell.) I expect that I may read them one of these days, but there are so many others...


message 18: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Ah- yes, these are not Bradbury's hard sci-fi. That is a certainty. In fact, in Dandelion Wine, there is a touch of horror, and that's it. From the Dust is a supernatural story.
Which is cool- that he could do so many facets of all those types that get thrown into the fantasy/sci-fi grab bag.
And Martian Chronicles isn't the usual hard sci-fi. It's more...psychological sci-fi? Allegory sci-fi? I dunno. Now that I know where you're coming from, I think we both understand each other better on the topic. It would have been a good question for me to ask at the outset!


message 19: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I'm thinking it may be time to re-read Animal Farm - it's been decades.


message 20: by Ivan (last edited Jun 15, 2014 07:42AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "Books I've read more than once tend to be either classics or fantasy fiction.

Gone with the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Dance Of The Goblins
[book:Demoniac ..."


Great list Jonathan. I've only read two of these.


message 21: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Lora wrote: "By the way, I think Brave New World is an important book as well. I also had to ask- what did you like about Stranger in a a Strange Land? I enjoyed the energy of the characters, some of them. I found the emphasis on sex to be too much for me, but at the same time, by the end I saw the entire story as a kind of cultural alien invasion. Did you see that too? I found that interesting: was it a conversion of the populace, or a conquering? "

A belated reply, Lora

Brave New World was on my list of re-reads because it is so often compared to or grouped with Nineteen Eighty Four, which I had recently re-read. For me, If one had to choose only one of these two to read, it would be Nineteen Eight Four.

Robert A Heinlein had his own ideas about marriage and sex, and he included them in his novels. In Stranger in a Strange Land I took that aspect with a grain of salt. Stranger had a bigger impact on me when I read it years ago, that when I re-read it. I still think it's a good book, but way back when, it really gave me saucer eyes.

If you're interested, here's a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 22: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) So I see that sometimes your opinion of a book changes as time passes and your view of it shifts. That's happened to me, as well. I once saw a suggestion that a person not do a book review right after finishing a book, but wait a bit and let the book settle and let one's perceptions clarify. What do you think about that?
I have gotten into the habit of not doing the review the same day I finish a book. I think it helps. But then, I've also done reviews before I even finished a book, too! I guess my reviews are changeable creatures, lol.


message 23: by Glen (new)

Glen (oddsincity) | 4 comments I tend to agree with the idea of not doing reviews straight off ... It takes time for ideas to settle on your mind ... For arguments to be absorbed ... Parallels to be drawn ... And to do a book justice this may take time ...


message 24: by Buck (last edited Jun 30, 2014 08:43AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments My brain is a sieve made of fog. If I write a review, I must do it right away. Sometimes I come back and revise and edit later.


message 25: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I might write a sentence or two, but lately I wait too.


message 26: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Lora wrote: "So I see that sometimes your opinion of a book changes as time passes and your view of it shifts. That's happened to me, as well. I once saw a suggestion that a person not do a book review right after finishing a book, but wait a bit and let the book settle and let one's perceptions clarify. What do you think about that?"

In the case of Stranger in a Strange Land, the elapsed time between reads was decades. It wasn't that the ideas had settled in my mind, but that I had gained a lifetime of experiences.


message 27: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh

This is our October (2014) group read. I'm about to give it a re-read. I wasn't, but than I realized how long ago I read it and that all the fine details (and Waugh's wonderful phrasing) have been lost to me. So, here I go again - back to the wilds of Hollywood circa 1947(?).


message 28: by Buck (last edited Aug 23, 2014 08:10AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I've nominated this a couple times, so I'm glad to see it as an upcoming group read. I saw the movie at a drive-in when I was young. Didn't get it. Saw it again about ten years later. I was still young. Thought it was great. Haven't read anything by Waugh yet.


message 29: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I picked it up this morning and now I'm thinking I'll wait a few weeks to start it as I have four other books going and ought to finish at least one of them first - if for no other reason than to make room on the shelf by my bed.

I remember the film - John Gielgud played a corpse and Mr Joyboy molded his dead face into numerous expressions. I'm also a big fan of Robert Morse.


message 30: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I'm looking forward to reading this. And I'm glad one of the nominations of times past has won the day. There's hope for the rest of us, lol.


message 31: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) And: "a sieve made of fog..." totally made my day when I read it. I felt so much less alone in the world.
As though anyone will remember.
:)


message 32: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I read the first chapter this morning - despite what I said about waiting. I'm also reading Howl's Moving Castle (loving it) and two others and mean to make a start on a non-fiction book featuring Arthur Conan Doyle called The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis. Still, I'd rather have too much to choose from than not enough.

I really don't look forward to polling and voting for group reads and am pretty much sold on the idea of the top two vote getters being the next two books - saves time.


message 33: by Mmars (new)

Mmars | 588 comments I can go for that, Ivan. It helps me plan my reading. Which, actually is a joke. I neeveeeer eeeveeeer seem to do that very well.


message 34: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Yeah, I think that's a good idea. I sometimes need time to get a book, myself. I also need time to consider if I'm even going to read something, I confess.


message 35: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Suwak | 25 comments I've read Cormac McCarthy's Suttree three times from front to back, as well as Moby Dick. That was just the times I read complete for enjoyment...I wrote my senior thesis on the two books so I know more than is probably healthy for anyone to know about them LOL. But they are easily my favorite two novels ever.

I read The Old Man and the Sea a couple times. I read the Dragonlance Chronicles a couple times and plan to do so again for nostalgia's sake.

I read Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show twice.

I've read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a couple times.

there might be a couple others...oh, I read The Fountainhead multiple times.


message 36: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I just noticed that I had posted my list of rereads exactly one year ago. Since then I have reread:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

and

The Left Hand of Darkness


Both of these are excellent and I wholeheartedly recommend them.


message 37: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Suwak | 25 comments Buck wrote: "I just noticed that I had posted my list of rereads exactly one year ago. Since then I have reread:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

and

The Left Hand of Darkness


Bo..."


I love Cuckoo's Next. Great book AND a great movie (how rare).

Hadn't heard of Left hand of Darkness before...sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.


message 38: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Jeff wrote: "I've read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a couple times.

there might be a couple others...oh, I read The Fountainhead multiple times. "


Everyone should experience Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at least once.

I think I read The Fountainhead years ago, but I can't remember for sure (sieve made of fog). I may just remember the movie with Gary Cooper. I probably should read it again, if I did read it before, but Atlas Shrugged, Rand's manifesto, was such a horribly written novel that I'm reluctant to.


message 39: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Suwak | 25 comments Buck wrote: "Jeff wrote: "I've read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a couple times.

there might be a couple others...oh, I read The Fountainhead multiple times. "

Everyone should experience [book:Fear and Loat..."


I agree. Atlas Shrugged, in my opinion, is mostly garbage. There are also huge problems with Fountainhead, for sure, but I find the general story of persistence and self belief to be inspiring. At least, I did years ago.

Fear and Loathing makes me laugh every single time. The closing passage to Thompson's Rum Diary is one of my favorite closing passages to any book ever...right up there with Cannery Row and The Old Man and the Sea.


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