To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend; to read it a second time is to meet an old one. – Chinese Proverb
I don’t re-read books often. In fact, it’s kind of rare for me to do so. I suppose this is partly because there are so many books out there and there is always something new to grab my attention. But even more than that, I feel that I do have a hesitancy to read books that I have already read and loved. That experience and connection that happens when you first read a story is really special, and with every new book I reach for, I hope for that little bit of magic. When I do get that, I tend to tuck it away, leaving it in that space and time. Because magic is hard to replicate. Maybe the present experience can cast a shadow over the initial one. Like old TV shows that I adored as a kid, that fell completely flat when I watched them as an adult. Recently however, in reference to the Chinese Proverb, I have felt more and more the desire to meet old friends. To have new experiences with old favourites. That initial connection will always be in that time and place. And perhaps there will be that magic of the past, or perhaps there will be a whole new kind of magic. We have to keep the door open, right? 🙂
So, I have browsed my bookshelves, both real and virtual, and selected five books that I most want to re-visit:
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
The combination of a coming-of-age story and mystery made this a compelling read. When Mrs. Creasy goes missing, it unsettles an entire neighbourhood, leading little Tilly and Grace to embark on an investigation of their own. Through the lens of the young protagonists, the reader discovers the neighbourhood, meets its inhabitants, and uncovers the many secrets it holds. I remember finding this story so charming and endearing. And I absolutely love the title, which is what caught my attention initially. I am really looking forward to revisiting Tilly and Grace.
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Set in Mexico City and alternating between 1988 and 2009, Signal to Noise is full of magic, self-discovery, and love. A charming and engaging novel that delves into the challenges and disappointments of adulthood. This debut novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia was pure magic when I initially read it. After most recently reading her latest novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, I am inspired to revisit the book that made me fall in love with her writing and storytelling.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
This novel is so full of charm. It tells the story of a girl named Rose who can taste people’s emotions through the food they make. After this discovery, her life is greatly impacted, and we get glimpses of that from the time she is eight years old up to her early twenties. I don’t remember any specifics of this novel, just the feeling of connecting to Rose and being drawn into her story. So it feels like I am reading it for the first time. Love that.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Out of these books, this is the one I read most recently, having completed it last spring. I enjoyed reading it, but what stood out about it was the fact that it stuck with me and I found myself thinking about it from time to time. Circe is the story of Circe, the sorceress depicted in the famous tale of Odysseus. But this story is all her own.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A book that has graced many “favourites” lists. Reading this novel I was consistently amazed by the beauty of the writing. Considering that this is a translated work makes it even more impressive. I was hooked to every page and sped through it. Perhaps a little too quickly because it was for a book club and time was running out before the meet up. 🙂 This time around I want to take my time and have a more leisurely read.
I am excited to reread these lovely books and experience them all over again. I will post my thoughts on each novel as I go along, and a little comparison to my original reviews and ratings.
Do you reread books often? Which ones do you go back to? 🙂