postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 11, 2011 - 4:54pm

Inspired by a discussion in the "Books You're Embarassed to Say You Haven't Read" thread

Some people read the Bible or the Koran over and over, in order to develop an intimate knowledge of their richness and wisdom.

What books have you reread in hopes of plumbing their depths, that they become as unto a religious text?

for myself:

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon - mostly because of the richness of material. I've also read the companion (but loaned it out. It has yet to come back, which I suppose is thematically appropriate).

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie - I love this book. Lots.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - his characters are people, and I have never read anyone who does this better.

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King - it's a beautiful mix of mythological storytelling, family drama, and the legacy of living with colonization in Canada.

There are others, but these are particularly special.

Danny grant's picture
Danny grant October 11, 2011 - 5:04pm

Macrolife by George Zebrowski. It's a deeply philosophical SF novel that's just layered with great ideas.

 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 11, 2011 - 5:11pm

I read The Virgin Suicides every year. 

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read October 11, 2011 - 5:30pm

For me it's Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, and Drown by Junot Diaz. Those are two I always go back to at least once a year. Kiss Me Judas, too, by Will Christopher Baer. 

Donald Ray Pollock's books might end up like that because I'm eager to re-read both. We'll see. 

 

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 11, 2011 - 5:59pm

I 2nd Jesus' Son.  I read that about once a year. 

I tend to read The Great Gatsby once a year.  But it's not really planned or anything.  I just happen to pick it up once a year and read it.

.'s picture
. October 11, 2011 - 6:02pm

I tend to read American Psycho every year. I'll re-read The Contortionists Handbook after Dermaphoria.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 11, 2011 - 6:07pm

damn - I've got some catching up to do - I don't think I reread anything from year to year. Not yet anyway. Too many stories, too little time, and I read pretty slowly. And I want the story to be somewhat fresh. When it's time, it's time.

and I think it's time to reread Catch-22 - today is its 50th anniversary. Huzzah!

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series October 11, 2011 - 7:02pm

@Brandon, I read the Virgin Suicides at least every couple of years, too, good choice!  

Fall On Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald) and pretty much anything by Haruki Murakami are also my go-to books when I'm not in the mood for something new.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. October 11, 2011 - 8:13pm

I usually read Reasons to Live, To Kill a Mockingbird, Surviovor, and The Contortionist's Handbook once a year.

I'd also add to that list Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (or another Chris Moore book), American Gods (or the Sandman books) and God Bless You, and Mr. Rosewater (or some other Vonnegut book).  But I don't know if I read thos every single year.  Probably, though.

Shit, I reread a lot.  I never really thought about it before.  How many frickin' times have I read those books?

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money October 11, 2011 - 8:25pm

I do a lot of re-reading as well. I often re-read American Gods, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Catch-22, Snow Crash, The New York Trilogy, Foucault's Pendulum and Name of the Rose, Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game) and various short stories by Barth, Borges, Hemingway, and Hempel. It's not an annual thing, but every year I have (re)read at least two of those books... this year was American Gods and Catch-22.

But none of these for plumbing reasons.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts October 11, 2011 - 8:25pm

The Long Goodbye, Catch-22, any PKD or Haruki Murakami, Dermaphoria, Red Dragon.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 11, 2011 - 9:51pm

All you poeple rereading Catch-22 and I couldn't even make it through that book once.  I just couldn't get into that book.  I'll give it another shot one of these days.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 11, 2011 - 9:54pm

I just confessed about Slaughterhouse Five and Absalom, Absalom! in another thread. The Sound and the Fury too, and Blood Meridian (ok that one I didn't read a third time yet).

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 12, 2011 - 5:01am

@Pete - took me 3 tries for some reason to get through Catch-22 - and once I read it I couldn't figure out why I didn't love it the first two times. I think it was the key inspiration for M*A*S*H.

@Liana - Blood Meridian is also on my list, but I've only read it the once. I don't typically like Westerns, but this was something special.

Pezcore1123's picture
Pezcore1123 from Webster, NY is reading your profile October 12, 2011 - 12:51pm

The Third Policeman and Catcher in The Rye Are two I read at least once a year.  I have always wanted to read Jesus' Son though, maybe I'll bump that to next on my list.

Howard_Rue's picture
Howard_Rue from Mount Dora, Florida is reading Heart-Shaped Box October 12, 2011 - 2:20pm

The Tao of Inner Peace, by Diane Dreher.  I also read translations of Taoist poetry. Just works for me in the rereading department.

Peace,

Rue

realitycrash's picture
realitycrash from New Jersey is reading Camp Concentration October 12, 2011 - 6:04pm

The dialogue from the Judge in Blood Meridian is my favorite part of the book. Worth re-reading just for that.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt March 26, 2013 - 9:45am

Reviving this thread...

Two books I've read over and over are Stephen King's IT and The Dark Tower series, for two reasons:

1.) They're amazing.

2.) There is so much info packed into them that each time you read, you learn something new.

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres March 26, 2013 - 9:52am

Books I have read multiple times each: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas , Catcher in the Rye, Cat's Cradle, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Breakfast of Champions.

My reasoning is very simple. I think all of them are very good stories, each one connects to a different time in my life (so I get the added nostalgic feeling each time I read them), and they make me happy.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 26, 2013 - 10:38am

Catcher in the Rye at least once a year.

Fahrenheit 451 about every year and a half.

Dune and 2001 every couple years.

I like to reread pretty much anything by McCarthy and Hemingway too.

After reading a book, if it is great, I'll read it again soon, and copy down powerful lines that catch my eye. I try not to do this the first time around, however, as that tends to interrupt the flow of virginal experience that I think a reader owes it to him/herself and the author the first time around.

Dogmeat42's picture
Dogmeat42 from Long Island, NY is reading House of Leaves March 26, 2013 - 12:07pm

I re-read the first three books of the Dark Tower Series several times when I was younger.

I've gone through The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a few times.  Every time I go back to that series, I find something new to either make me think deeply about or laugh my ass off over.

I also make it a point to either re-read or re-watch Fight Club at least once a year.  This might be the only example of a story where I enjoyed the movie as much as the book, although there are different things about each that I really appreciate.

TomMartinArt's picture
TomMartinArt from Amherst, MA March 26, 2013 - 2:15pm

My first and second rereads of the SONG OF ICE & FIRE books were almost better than the first time. Delicious rereads- new wrinkles you didn't notice the first time jump out at you and deepen the texture.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 26, 2013 - 5:53pm

I reread the Forever War and/or the Forever Peace every year or two.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts March 27, 2013 - 2:51pm

My first and second rereads of the SONG OF ICE & FIRE books were almost better than the first time. Delicious rereads- new wrinkles you didn't notice the first time jump out at you and deepen the texture.

I have a couple of the audiobooks and just started STORM OF SWORDS in anticipation of the new TV season to put on while I sleep. These books are super long and following the plot is terribly disorienting in audio form, but it's still a nice relivable story to go over again. GRR Martin has to be one of the greatest writers when it comes to one-liners.