Welcome back to Top 5 Tuesday, hosted as always by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is “Top 5 Books I Want to Reread.”
A few months back, I wrote a post defending rereading books, after reading a post declaring that rereading books was probably the worst thing you could do for your reading life. I’ve also talked in the past about rereading books you hated in order to see if your opinion on them has changed at all. I know I read several books while I was in middle school and high school and hated them, and yet when I went back and reread them, I enjoyed them. This includes books like Farenheit 451 and Wuthering Heights. (Not on this list? To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve reread the stupid thing five times and still can’t figure out why people like it.)
Long story short, rereading books is one of the best ways to revisit a world you enjoyed when you were younger (but be warned that some of your favorites just won’t hold up — I’m looking at you, A Great & Terrible Beauty). It’s also a way to check in on those books that you didn’t really understand the first time through. Without further ado, let’s check out my top five reread wishes:
1. 1984 by George Orwell
I read this before my senior year of high school. It was one of the required reading books for AP English Literature, and I read it all in one day during a family vacation. I honestly don’t remember much of this, which means it’s time for me to go back and reread this and figure out just what it was all about. I’ve seen it on a lot of lists since starting this blog, and it made me realize that I just read through it in order to fill out the worksheets we were given with the books, and I didn’t actually read it to pay attention to it. A lot of people are comparing what’s happening in the United States at this moment in time to what happened in 1984, and others are comparing it to A Handmaid’s Tale, so I should at least read one of those books, right? (I’ll never be able to read Handmaid’s simply because of the subject matter.)
2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
It’s been nearly three years since I first read this book, and I haven’t reread it in the time since. It’s actually on my list to reread, if you can believe it, because it’s one of the books I’ve chosen to read for my thesis reading list. (Yes, I’m still not done with that. You can go ahead and boo me all you want.) I wanted to reread it before the movie came out this past spring, but I wasn’t able to get around to that due to the Kurt Vonnegut books I was struggling with. I’ve read a lot of book reviews on it since starting this blog, and it makes me think that I was so distracted by the shiny parts of the book that I ignored the fact that it’s pretty sexist. I want to go back and reread this in order to write a better review, and to compare it to the movie. I barely remembered the book by the time the movie came out.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I’ve read and reread The Lord of the Rings several times over by now, but I think I’ve only read Narnia through once. I’ve read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe a few times, but as far as the other books go? I haven’t even touched them. I don’t think I even got all the way through A Horse and His Boy, so that’s one I need to go through and read for the first time. A lot of people hold Narnia near and dear to their hearts, but I was always more of a fan of the movies when I was younger. I’ve watched the movies several times apiece (and still will never get over Reepicheep in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), but I’ve only read the books through once. That’s an inequality I need to fix. Luckily, I happen to own all of them, so all it’ll take is one visit to my parents to pick them up. They’re also really short and easy to read, although I remember spending ages on them when I was younger. Funny how things seemed so large and full of wonder when you were younger, and once you get old enough you see that they’re barely a few hundred pages apiece.
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I recently picked up My Lady Jane, and figured out that there’s a sequel called My Plain Jane that deals with the store of Jane Eyre. Of course, I’m going to have to reread the original story before I go and read that book. I’m really loving My Lady Jane, and even spent an entire afternoon reading through Wikipedia to learn the history of the Tudors. I knew some of it, but I had never heard of Lady Jane Grey except in passing. I read Jane Eyre I think my sophomore year of college, so it’s been almost four years now. In fact, I don’t know if I read it all the way through or not, or if I just skipped big sections of it in order to keep up with the class because I was so bored with it. I remember enjoying it, I think, but I need to go back and reread it in order to make sure. Gotta brush up on your history before you read a retelling, after all!
5. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Okay, so this is a manga series. I also own every single book in this series and yet I haven’t finished them. And do you know why? Because I can’t bring myself to read that final volume! I’ve owned it since the week it was released, and yet I haven’t finished the series. I can’t bring myself to say goodbye to any of the characters. There are only five short chapters in the final volume, but those five chapters could destroy me for all eternity. Edward Elric was the second fictional character I fell in love with, and I can’t tell you how much I loved reading this series. I watched the first FMA anime, but could never get into Brotherhood (the second anime). There’s so much packed into this series, so much humor, so many dark and terrible things…and I just can’t let those things go. I need to reread the entire series before I pick up the final book. The last volume was released in 2010 (2014 maybe, for the English translation?). That’s been eight years (or four, if my math is right). And I haven’t finished it. I don’t know if I can. It may just sit on my shelf and collect dust for the rest of my life.
And there you have it: five books (well, three books and two series) that I want to reread before something terrible happens and all books disappear. Will I ever actually get around to it? That’s something even I’m not sure of.
What about you? Have you read these, or are you thinking about rereading them? What were your opinions? Am I just being silly by avoiding the end of a series I absolutely love? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.