Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about sharing our love of books and lists with our bookish friends. I’m giving this week’s topic a little twist as the prompt doesn’t resonate with me, and enthusing about books I’d love to reread.
Today we’re meant to be considering books we’d love to read again for the first time, but that’s a concept that just doesn’t compute for me. I’m the opposite: if I loved a book, I probably want to reread it to see what nuances I find when I’m not focusing on keeping up with plot and world-building. I want to see what foreshadowing I missed, and enjoy character interactions in full knowledge of what’s in store for them. Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to reread: often it’s as simple as just wanting to enjoy it all over again, or spend time with characters I loved. Since I started blogging, I acquire more and consequently reread less – so I always have a list as long as my arm of reads I’d like to revisit. Let’s take a look at a few…
I love a good novella. There’s a piquancy to the shorter form – a tricky balance of word count and world-building and character and satisfying plot – and when it’s right, it’s perfect. They’re also perfect for a cheeky reread however busy your reading schedule, because they demand less time.
Neon Yang’s Tensorate novellas are getting a collected edition this autumn, which will be the perfect excuse to reread them; and Lina Rather’s space-faring nuns are getting a second outing for my birthday (very thoughtful of you, Tor.com, thank you), so I’m already looking forward to revisiting Sisters of the Vast Black. I’m also determined to reread the gorgeously light touch but sharp edged The Empress of Salt and Fortune before I tackle The Tiger Who Came Down The Mountain by Nghi Vo.
These Lifeless Things by Premee Mohamed – a reflection on apocalypse and survival and history – is one of my favourite reads of the year, and I wanted to reread it pretty much as soon as I finished it. Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s epistolary time- travelling, reality-bending romance This Is How You Lose The Time War has only grown on me over time, and I really want to revisit it to see how it reads second time around with more context.
The release of the latest instalment in a series is often my biggest motivator to reread the books that led to it, and there’s a number that are calling to me. The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin and The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson each blew me away. I’m entirely certain both books will reread very differently – if no less powerfully – and I intend to do just that before I finally finish the series. I also suspect Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir will reward rereads, if for rather different reasons – I spent a good deal of the first read in a state of bemused what the fuck just happened; second time around I can perhaps just giggle and wince before I proceed to Harrow the Ninth.
I’ve already read the sequel to A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine: it cemented this duology as a firm favourite and the urge to reread this political space opera with its musings on identity and language and culture kicked in immediately. I’ve been fighting a similar urge to reread The Expanse by James S A Corey ahead of the final book coming out in November (I can’t; I’m already out of time unless I delay reading Leviathan’s Fall) – which watching the excellent show did nothing to minimise (it just made me want to return to the books to enjoy all the things they changed).
Revisiting a stand-alone should be an easier proposition, but without a sequel or a read-along to spur me on I often struggle to prioritise them. I’ve been meaning to reread Michel Faber’s eerie alien debut Under the Skin for years; likewise Tade Thompson’s accomplished body horror The Murders of Molly Southbourne. They’re both very short! And yet…
Others that are already calling to me but may have to wait a long while are Andrew Skinner’s creepy space mecha mash-up Steel Frame, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s lush horror Mexican Gothic and my new darling The Witness For the Dead by Katherine Addison. My money is on Witness making it to the top of the pile first – it feels like a comfort read, and those always get the edge.
Do you like to reread? What book would you really like to revisit?