This is part one of two planned posts on summer reading.
Who doesn’t have a leaning tower of books to read? The funny part of mine is I tend to add to it without removing. Some never even make the pile. Christopher Moore’s new book Sacre Blu never made the pile, for example, and I carry it with me in my bag to read.
Some of the books in the pile — or never make it there — are books that I plan to re-read. Everyone has those books that they re-read many times. When I was encouraged to read “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” I was told the person’s wife reads it at least once per year.
There are a variety of ways we re-read books. Some I re-read at specific times and others are when a certain mood hits me. And there are even more reasons why I re-read them. Sometimes they’re inspiration to me. Others I just enjoy the story so much I can never get enough of it. They’re also the books we continually recommend to others to read.
Below is my list of books, which some make for good summer reading. Some even started as summer reading for me.
The Great Gatsby
I first read Gatbsy in high school, and it was one of the few books I actually enjoyed reading in my American literature class. I am not someone who likes to be forced to read certain books, so high school always was a struggle for me. I think taking a class in Shakespeare was the only one where I had no problem reading because I actually enjoyed the reading.
I enjoyed Gatsby so much in high school, though, I took a class on F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in college. The copy of Gatsby I still have is from that class, so it’s more than a decade old. And it doesn’t sit on my shelf, it’s regularly read. I try to read it at least every other summer, and I always get comments when I do read it on the train/subway or in other public places. It’s also one of those books in which I discover something new every time I read it, even close to 20 years after I first read it.
Anything by Christopher Moore
I’ve read almost every book he’s ever written at least once. Most I’ve read at least twice. The only ones I haven’t read more than once are “A Dirty Job” (which wasn’t one of my favorites), “Fool” (which I intend to read again) and “Sacre Bleu” (which is brand new and I’m reading now).
When I hear a new Moore book is due to come out, I tend to gravitate toward his books and start to read them again. When one of his new vampire books were due to come out, I read the previous ones. There’s no rhyme or reason as to when I read them or in which order. I love them all and I know I can be entertained every time I read one. I always tell people to read “Lamb” and “Fluke” first because those two are my favorites, which I’ve read four times each.
All the President’s Men
This is the book (and the movie that followed) that inspires me the most as a journalist. When I need that lift, I will read the book again. It started as summer reading in college after I watched the movie, and it’s been in regular rotation since then. And, like Gatsby, it’s one of those books I can find something new in it every time I read it.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
I’ve read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil god knows how many times. It started as summer reading for me during college. I would go to lunch during work, pull out the book and settle into the adventure. What disappointed me about the movie is how it jammed all the wonderful cultural and character development from the first half into the story of the murder in the second half.
It’s one of those books that has something for everyone. There are tons of quirky characters (who are real people since this is a non-fiction book) and a mysterious murder (or was it self-defense?). It’s entertaining from cover to cover. I wish I could go live somewhere for awhile and turn out a book just like this one.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
I don’t know if I read this book every year, but it’s unique enough that I have to come back to it often. Like others on this list, it started as summer reading before the movie came out one summer. I was enthralled with the story and couldn’t put the book down. I finished it fairly quickly, especially considering how thick the book is.
If you like a story told in a unique way, this is a book for you. But be warned if you’ve never read it — you will need tissues. The movie and the book alike always make me cry.
What books can you never get enough of and have to re-read? What books do you have to recommend to people because you love them so much? Leave a comment below.
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