I found out about Sarah Bessey’s 10 Books Week on Thursday. There are only 2 days left in it, so I will make only 2 lists. I could go back and make another 5, but I think I’ll save that pleasure for another time. There are so many other stories cavorting in my head, begging to come out and play on the blog that I don’t have the energy to continue to tamp them down.
So, why 10 Books I need to Re-read as a list?
When I was 5 and had a cold my mother handed me Little House in the Big Woods to read in bed. I think this was the first book I ever read, and this is one of my clearest memories of childhood. (I don’t care if it might be misremembered.) That means I’ve been a reader for 22 years.
From the first I always wanted to read more More MORE. I checked out stacks of 12 books at the library every other week, I systematically went through the shelves of the Hudson Public Library, reading everything that struck my fancy – Joan Aiken all the way down to Jane Yolen. I turned to the non-fiction section, particularly gymnastics, from time to time. When I was 12 I figured I could “graduate” to the adult section. (I read Good Morning Miss Dove first.)
I spent the next 10 years alternating between the Young Adult section and the Adult section. When I was 22 I “discovered” non-fiction really wasn’t as dry as I thought it was and read Animal Vegetable Miracle as one of my those tentative early nonfiction reads.
It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I suddenly realized I had forgotten most of anything I had read in high school or that first year of college. Though I vaguely remembered impressions of enjoyment or hatred, that was really all. And would some of them seem as shockingly wicked now as they had at the time. (I’m talking about you, Fight Club!)
It was also at this point that I realized – though there were more books than I could ever read in my lifetime… they weren’t all worth reading. Maybe other people know this sooner. So I began to re-read, starting with Animal Farm, a high school freshman year bane.
But, without further ado:
10 books that I should re-read
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (which first awakened my desire to be a pioneer)
- Izzy Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voight (well do I remember my crazed obsession with C.V. as I was nearing the end of those children’s room shelves!)
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (thought I’ve re-read Cat’s Cradle at least five times, a serious exception to my usual no re-reading norm.)
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. (Should I have read this at 15?)
- Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (the first Kingsolver I ever read)
- She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (which I attempted at 14 with no small amount of frustration.)
- O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (I remember this vaguely from my Women’s Lit class first semester of my freshman college year)
- Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk (re: subversive?)
- Beloved – Tony Morrison (was this as bad as thought it was in 11th grade English class?)
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (particularly in light of the new movie slated for this December)
What books do you need to re-read?