You’ve heard the quote: “So many books; so little time”. Since I agree wholeheartedly, why would I, or anyone, ever read the same book twice?
Perhaps it’s like visiting an old and cherished friend. As the years pass, although the friend remains steadfast, you have changed and the story takes on new meaning. In many cases it was to see if the book was still “as good” as I thought the first time. The list I have compiled below is one where they definitely were and maybe better the 2nd time around.
I’ve listed them in order of the year they were published...not the order I necessarily read them, although surprisingly I can remember many settings, often the home and room I was in at the time. I’d say they left a favorable and lasting impression. I couldn’t resist a few of my favorite lines in some...
Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen (1813)
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte (1847)
A Tale of Two Cities –Charles Dickens (1859) “Tis a far far better thing I do”
Little Women –Louisa Mae Alcott (1868)
Great Gatsby –F.Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
Secret of the Old Clock- Nancy Drew (1930) Carolyn Keene (Keene was a pen name for two modern and ahead -of -their time sisters: Harriet Adams and Mildred Benson, who inherited their father’s book company, The Stratemeyer Syndicate).
Gone with the Wind-Margaret Mitchell (1936) Frankly, Scarlett....
How To Win Friends and Influence People (1936)–Dale Carnegie. “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the bee hive.”
Rebecca-Daphne Du Maurier (1938) “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
And Then There Were None-Agatha Christie (1940) Also known by the title Ten Little Indians.
Seventeenth Summer – Maureen Daly (1942)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn-Betty Smith (1943)
Diary of Anne Frank- (1947)
A Town Like Alice -Nevil Shute who also wrote On the Beach (1950)
A Kiss Before Dying –Ira Levin of Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby fame. (1953)
To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee (1960) “Atticus, he was real nice.” “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
Advise and Consent-Alan Drury, credited with giving birth to the Washington political novel. (1960) I read this in ‘62—my first intro to politics—612 pages of politics.
Five Smooth Stones-Ann Fairbairn (1966)
Ordinary People –Judith Guest (1976) My first reading was in my living room in Michigan 1974 before it was published! Judy is a friend who entrusted me with her story, which was then just a hefty bundle of 81/2 x 11 white pages—written on a typewriter no less.
Last of the Breed –Louis L’Amour (1986) This is not a western but a great Russian espionage novel.
Crossing to Safety-Wallace Stegner (1987)
The Eight - Katherine Neville (1988) Think DaVinci Code but better.
Boys’ Life- Robert McCammon (1991)
Coming Home- Rosamund Pilcher of Shell Seekers fame. (1995)
Rules of Civility (2011) -Amor Towles. I listened to this originally but had to buy the book to highlight all the original, fresh and beautiful metaphors.
I opened with a quote and will close with this pre-school ditty....keeping in mind—
good books /great friends: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver but the other is gold”.