Top Ten Tuesday: books to revisit

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re considering books we want to reread.

I grew up rereading books I had already read to bits (quite literally, in some cases; my copy of Earthsea is frankly disgraceful). I was living in another country in an era before the interweb; buying new books in English was a luxury – expensive and a 45 minute train journey away. Instead, I read and reread everything I owned, everything in the school library and regularly swapped books with friends with similar tastes.

Since taking up book blogging, rereads have become the luxury, but one I still indulge in each year (often in the context of read-alongs for the double joy of revisiting a favourite and sharing it with friends).

Why? It’s not just an old habit. There’s a lot of comfort in a reread – and more surprises than you might expect. Some nuances in plot or character reveal themselves slowly; some books read differently because you have changed since you last read them. Revisiting lifelong favourites, I can still find something new in them.

So: what am I hankering to reread next?

…I’m actually rereading The Explorer by James Smythe at the moment, so the sequel – The Echo – is a safe bet for the near future. This reread has been a long time coming, and is prompted now by the long-awaited release of book three, The Edge, in February 2021. Timeywimey space exploration psychological horror – first time out the gate I read for plot; this time I can sit back and look beneath the surface.

The other book burning a hole in my shelf is Dragonspell, the fourth Deverry book. Having reread the first three earlier this year, I’d like to finish the first act of the Saga to close out the year. I’ve had these books since they first came out – my whole collection is made up of spiffy trade editions – and I’m still finding new aspects to enjoy.

I’ve just finished a reread of Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle, and friends don’t let friends read the sequel Ancient Light alone. I’m looking forward to accompanying Mayri on further explorations of Orthe very soon.

I’ve also promised to continue the Read As Thou Wilt read-along next year. Up next is Kushiel’s Chosen, continuing Phèdre’s erotic adventures in politics and treachery as a new danger threatens Terre d’Ange. Fancy joining us? Watch out for a post in the next couple of weeks, for a read-along in January.

So much for books I’m definitely – and imminently – going to reread! What else do I aspire to revisit soon?

I like to revisit a childhood or teen fave each year and I’ve got three strong contenders vying for my attention next year. Nicky the Bibliophibian’s recent review of The Eagle of the Ninth has pushed Rosemary Sutcliff’s Legions trilogy right up my list; but a comments-flail with Mayri the BookForager has Moondust by Louise Lawrence in contention too. Which would be fine, if I didn’t have my heart set on rereading The Changes trilogy by Peter Dickinson. We’ll see what wins out, I guess…

I’ve been promising myself I’d reread Under the Skin by Michel Faber since before I started bookblogging (oops). This book made a huge impression on me – ensuring I’ve picked up all his subsequent novels – and I’d love to do a Book Was Better on it (although this is surely a foregone conclusion. The book was better).

I’ve also been dangling the reward of revisiting Nick Harkaway’s madcap early novels, which I recall with great affection and little specificity. Anything with reality bombs, cake and ninja surely deserves a revisit.

Lifelode is a comfort read; I recently reread The Goblin Emperor, and I can see Jo Walton’s domestic fantasy filling a similar niche in my affections. Now that it’s more easily available, consider this an early warning that there may be a Wyrd and Wonder read-along.

Rather more challenging but endlessly rewarding, I swear 2021 is thee year I finally read The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin – which means i should probably reread The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate on the way.

Then there’s a number of books I read and loved, but never reviewed. These all demand rereading, clearly. At some point. In The Lights Go Out In Lychford‘s case, possibly before Christmas as I suspect I’ll steel myself for Last Stand in Lychford by rereading Paul Cornell’s excellent series of novellas from the top. Again.

Do you reread books? Which ones pull you back time and again?