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From Way, Way Back in Your Reading Life

Extollager

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Aug 21, 2010
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Herewith, a thread where people can write about books that they are rereading, many years after having first read them.

I expect to be posting about Robert Silverberg's Conquerors from the Darkness and Raymond F. Jones's Son of the Stars before too long ... books I read in the late Sixties, and not since.

How about others here? Have you recently reread something that goes back a long way for you?
 

nightdreamer

Elf in Space
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Apr 20, 2012
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Some that I've read over and over and over:

Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
Patricia McKillip - The Riddlemaster Trilogy
"Doc" Smith - The Lensman Series
Robert Heinlein - Have Space Suit Will Travel

Others I found very memorable and just read again:

John Jakes - The Secret of Stardeep
George Smith - The Brain Machine
Alexei Panshin - Rite of Passage
John Brunner - To Conquer Chaos

But I'm not re-reading anything at the moment.
 

Montero

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Jan 2, 2008
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What do I re-read? Um, most of the contents of my bookshelf so far too many to list - runs into 1,000s :D. It is not necessarily after many years. Occasionally it is after many years, but depending on the book it can be every other year, or vary - as in each time I buy the next in the series I might re-read the series from the beginning before reading it, or at least re-read the previous one before reading the new one.

I'll just mention a few.

Well, currently, yet again Janet Kagan's Hellspark (have refrained from re-reading it for several years so I could come a bit fresh to some of the details)

The Liaden universe books.

Lois McMaster Bujold - sf and fantasy.

Dorothy Sayers and Ellis Peter's crime mysteries

Annie Hawes living in Italy books.

Diane Duane, David Brin, Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, Tanya Huff, Barbara Hambly and now stopping listing.... :D

About to start a re-read of Julie E Czerneda - she was recommended on here to me a year or so back and I rapidly bought and read through everything she wrote and now fancy starting it all again.

Especial mention goes to Sharon Lee's Carousel Tides. Really appealed to me when I read it at the end of last year and was sorry to finish it, so for the first time ever re-read it immediately on finishing it.
 

Jen526

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Jan 28, 2006
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I recently re-read the Prydain books for the first time in 15-20 years.

They're one of my formative fantasy loves, but I hadn't gone back to revisit them since college. They've held up beautifully, imo.
 

Vince W

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A timely thread. I just started Dune yet again.

I have reread The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Starship Troopers, Foundation, Neuromancer, Count Zero, and several others a few times.

I want to reread several others like Altered Carbon, Revelation Space, and Ender's Game to name a few.
 

Extollager

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Thanks for all responses so far. I appreciate the way people are explaining whether they are referring to books that they have kept rereading over the years, and books they read a long time ago and then revisited. Both types of responses are interesting.

I expect to contribute to this thread with comments focusing just on the latter type of books. There are a few sf books for young readers that I seem to remember having read, but have not reread. It should be fun to revisit them. But I don't mean this thread to be restricted to sf and fantasy, nor to books that were intended for youngsters. I left it vague as to how far "way, way back" is.
 

Vince W

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I keep meaning to reread Heinlein's Space Cadet and Rocket Ship Galileo. That was some of my earliest reading and remember them fondly.
 

Montero

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Funnily enough I'm in the process of working through Dune over this summer.
Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune - all stood up very well and will re-read again.
God Emperor of Dune - well I've not actually ever finished that and didn't try this time, skipped over to
Heretics of Dune - have a book mark part way into it. It is all vivid, but I'm not that gripped by the ins and outs of the workings of the Bene Tleilexu. Going to try a bit further when I'm not tired and if not enjoying it will jump over to Chapter House Dune which I remember as a romp.
 

nightdreamer

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A timely thread. I just started Dune yet again.
Drat! I love the 1984 production of Dune, and really, really want to read the book because you can tell there is so much missing from the film. But I can't. I've tried three times, and there's just something about Herbert's style that is incompatible with my brain I guess.
 

Montero

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1984 production of Dune - is that the big film or the mini-series?

I have to be pretty with it to read Herbert - can't cope when I'm tired. I did start to read Dune earlier this year when taking a week off after a very busy time and just bounced off it. Tried again when not so tired and as I said above then read lots of the series.

And yes - there is quite a bit of internal mental stuff on the Bene Gesserit and Paul's development that just wouldn't translate well to the screen.
 

Vince W

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nightdreamer Lynch's version on Dune doesn't hold a candle to the book, but what film does?

It is well worth the effort to stick with reading it. The chapters are fairly short and self-contained so you could work at it that way. You will be well rewarded for your effort.
 

steve12553

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Moved my books to the deep south. I have a loft/li
I found Siverburg's Revolt on Alpha C on Amazon a year or so ago and reread that for the first time in half a century. I keep the Complete Sherlock Holmes on my PDA and read on that everytime I end up in a waiting room. I, Robot sits in a room I spend time in on a daily basis and is being read for the 8th or 10th time. I've read the original Dune trilogy a few times over the years and will again. Some time in the next few years I owe myself a rereading of the Lord of the Rings, Heinlein's future history arc along with with Asimov's Robot/ Foundation/ Empire future history. The travel is extensive that way but the gas prices are cheap.
 

io_anonimus

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Apr 15, 2012
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I took out from a box some old novels, I moved so many times that I have to let them stay more in boxes than other more visible places. One of them was Solaris of Stanislaw Lem. I will try it again.
 

Montero

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Just re-read Northern Lights by Philip Pullman - that worked well as a re-read. Possibly the first time I've re-read it - second at most.
 

Juliana

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I've been re-reading some of Anne McCaffrey's stuff lately that I last read about 15 years ago - still found it enjoyable. Another one I picked up again after years and still found fascinating was Erskine Childers' Riddle of the Sands. For those who like spy books, this is one of the grandaddies of the genre, written in 1903.

Of course, ritual re-readings of LOTR and The Hobbit every couple of years - especially with the movie out this year!

I've been slowly revisiting a lot of children's books too with my own little ones - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pippi Longstocking, whatever takes our/my fancy. I had to buy new copies of many, though, as the old ones fell to bits. We are presently doing The Phantom Tollbooth...
 

K. Riehl

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The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology. Amazing stories, imagination, quality.

The editor was really showing off with this lineup.


 

AE35Unit

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Well Im still plodding thru Ballard's The Drowned World. I read this years ago but I cant see how I enjoyed it back then, its monumentally wordy and tedious! Been on it for months now!
 

Extollager

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AE35Unit finds a book from way back to be tedious now. Have others found that books or stories that they once seemed to like a lot, are unappealing now?

I'm going to hazard the surmise that this kind of unsatisfactory rereading happens more often with fantasy than with science fiction. If others think so too, maybe we can discuss why that might be.

When I tried to reread Sanders Anne Laubenthal's Excalibur the better part of forty years after my first reading, I realized there was no real need to persist with a book that wasn't interesting me very much. (She had a nifty premise, but there seemed to be too much emphasis on the characters' hair and clothes, etc.) Someone else at Chrons just mentioned being disappointed by Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions. Don't misunderstand me, though -- I think the best fantasy may be read again and again. I read Lord of the Rings for the 12th time recently (though I admit I skipped most of the appendices).
 
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