JAN: I'm reading Jane Eyre. Yes, because of the movie, but no, not for the first time. This is the third time I'm reading it, and what I'm wondering how I didn't notice earlier how longwinded it is. Or how incredibly groundbreaking the character of Jane Eyre must have been for her time. I guess I was pretty caught up in the love story. I knew she was a strong female character, but only now she was quite the feminist in the only way you could have been in the early 1800s.
So today's JUNGLE RED list. Is books you've read more than once. And what, if anything, surprised you on second or third readings.
RHYS: I am guilty of reading favorite books over and over. For years I reread The Lord of the Rings every six months, to the point that my daughter and I quizzed each other during long train-rides all over Europe. I always go to Agatha Christie when life is stressful and I need a book that doesn't involve me emotionally and in which life make sense. The moment In got a Kindle I downloaded the complete Jane Austen, the whole opus of P.G. Wodehouse. I just reread Northanger Abbey, which I hadn't read since my teens and I was amazed how very funny it is. A real spoof. Jane and I would have clicked instantly!
HANK: OH, I reread Wrinkle in Time recently--and though I still loved it, it was kind of..odd. Big holes in the plot, too big to even tesser through. I don't care, I still love it.
Rereading Nancy Drew is a big big mistake--they're pretty awful. Clunky, obvious, and even racist. A true period piece..and best left alone. (Don't even think about the new "updated" versions where Nancy has a cell phone. Yuck.)
On the good news side--I reread some Sue Grafton in "preparation" for Malice. (Wasn't she amazing?) And they are even better the second time--textured, themed and witty. (Is themed a word?)
DEB: I've reread different books at different stages in my life. I'm with Rhys on Lord of the Rings--I've reread the entire series every few years since I was fourteen. I also love Mary Stewart's romantic suspense. I can't count how many time I've read her novels, especially My Brother Michael, but it's been awhile. (My copies are crumbling.) At one point I think I'd almost memorized all the Dorothy Sayers, and I love Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody books, especially the early ones.
The last few years I seem to have gone back to fantasy. I've reread all the Harry Potters, and all Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books. I LOVE Harry Dresden. But now that I have a Kindle app on my phone, I think it's time I dipped into Jane Austen again, and Wodehouse. And, and, and . . . too many books . . . more ways to read them . . . not enough time . . . I think the most interesting question is WHY we reread certain things.
ROBERTA: I have a hard time rereading. I keep saving things that I love, thinking I'll want to go back, but there are so many books still to come! Thanks for the heads up on the Nancy Drews, Hank. I adored them growing up and keep thinking I should go back...
JAN: So tell us, what books have you found yourself rereading, and what did you learn the second (or third) time around?