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What Are Your Favorite Books To Reread? / How Many Times? / Why?

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Fading Fast, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    I am a lifelong avid reader and I have a slew of books that I regularly re-read. Most are fiction. I read a lot of non-fiction in the course of doing research on the First World War and the Anglo-Boer War but I consider that research, not 'reading'.

    I think the only non-fiction I regularly read is William Manchester's Goodbye Darkness. i find it a compelling account of the war experience of a citizen soldier. In a similar vein, though a different war and a different location, I will occasionally re-read Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That.

    In a lighter vein, I re-read quite a few works of popular fiction (in no particular order)...
    James Michener, The Covenant
    James Clavell, Shogun and Taipan
    Kenneth Roberts, The Northwest Passage
    Edward Rutherfurd, Sarum
    Mika Waltari, The Egyptian
    Nicholas Monserrat, The Cruel Sea
    Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
    Paul Doherty, An Ancient Evil
    Michael Sahara, The Killer Angels

    I've read all of these numerous times...I haven't kept count.

    And I'm fond of good satire or dark humour, so these get re-read as well:
    Tom Sharpe, Indecent Exposure
    Tom Sharpe, Riotous Assembly
    Tom Sharpe, The Throwback
    George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman and the Dragon
    Carl Hiaasen, Stormy Weather
    Carl Hiaasen, Lucky You
    Victor Gischler, Gun Monkeys

    And a bit of science fiction:
    Joe Haldiman, The Forever War
    Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers
    Victor Gischler, Go-go Girls of the Apocalypse

    And of course my favourite P.G. Wodehouse short story: Goodbye to All Cats.

    There's others but I figured this list is long enough.
    M Hatman likes this.
  2. ⇧ "The Daughter of Time," read it for the first time last year - quite engaging and I'd benefit from a reread as a lot of history packed in there.

    I'm about to re-read "84 Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff. It's a very good, not great, book, but it is such a nice story that it lifts my spirits which is why I re-read it now and again.

    Small funny coincidence. We moved within NYC a few years ago and while I was strolling around my new neighborhood, I stumbled upon an apartment building name "Charing Cross House -" all of four block from my new address. Based on the plaque on the side of the building, Hanff was a long time resident and wrote "84 Charing Cross Road" while she lived there. Just a fun small connect.
    DNO likes this.
  3. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    Coincidences like that are always interesting. I have a coincidence with one of the books on my list as well.

    Last year I was describing Walteri’s book, The Egyptian, to my wife. I was explaining that it was interesting that a book originally written in Finnish became the bestselling book in the U.S. from October 1949 through February 1950. It was the biggest selling book translated from another language until surpassed by Eco’s Name of the Rose many years later. In addition it is the only Finnish book ever produced as a movie in Hollywood. (The edition I usually read is the 1949 English edition.)

    All fine and good but the next day we stopped in at a thrift store that we very rarely visit. Sitting on the shelf was the original 1945 first edition of The Egyptian, in Finnish! Bizarre coincidence. Who would expect a copy of the original Finnish edition to appear in a Toronto thrift store, particularly the day after I was describing the work?

  4. Coincidences like that are amazing and seem to happen more than what random chance would call for.

    I read that book +/- five years ago and remember thinking it had a bit of Candide and a bit of Homer in it - as well as plenty of soap opera fun and sex. A good romp of a read, with a few slow patches, that made you feel transported back to Egypt.
  5. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, a collection of humorous pieces put together by H Allen Smith. I like all his stuff. Does anyone else remember him? Gatsby I have read several times. I read everything I could get by Mark Twain over and over, many years ago. Some books by Henry Cecil. Barbara Tuchman never gets old. There are a few books I have read more than once and I have boxes and boxes I mean to get back to. I don't suppose I ever will now. My eyes aren't what they used to be.

    There are some investment books I have read several times. Recently I reread How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market by Nicolas Darvas also 2 other books by him, You Can Still Make It In The Market and Wall Street, The Other Las Vegas.

    When I first read them in the 1970s I didn't get it. Now I do. They helped me make $38,000 in the last 2 months.
  6. I'm 99% sure I've read the McSorley's book (and even believe I have it on the bookshelf somewhere). I've read Gatsby and much of Fitzgerald too many times to count. On the investment book front, I've reread "Reminiscence of a Stock Operator" a few times, as well as, "Market Wizards" and a few others. Congrats on your successful trading.
  7. Smith had quite a vogue in the mid-1940s, with "Low Man On The Totem Pole," a collection of humorous essays and observations from his newspaper column focusing on the odd and peculiar characters he encountered in his Greenwich Village neighborhood.

    Speaking of forgotten humorists, I'll put in a word for Max Shulman, who is best known, if at all, today as the creator of the 1950s-60s "Dobie Gillis" TV series, which was actually derived from his short stories and novels of 1930s-40s college life. Shulman had a sharp, sophisticated way with wordplay which sounded even funnier coming out of the mouths of his intentionally-vapid college kids. He also had a Dickensian gift for ridiculous character names -- Clothilde Ellingboe, Doctor Elmo Goodhue Pipgrass, etc. A brilliant comedy writer who ought to be better remembered than he is.
  8. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Darvas' idea of finding stocks that are in an uptrend and buying them, and getting out with a tight stoploss, seemed too simple at first but it works. Investors Business Daily's IBD50 is a good place to look for good stocks. The technical approach is not for everybody but it works for me. And a lot of other people too.
  9. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Max Shulman wrote some very funny books, I have read some of them. Not to be confused with Morton Shulman Toronto's crusading coroner from the sixties.
  10. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Yes; Smith originated (or perhaps just made famous) the phrase "Low Man on a Totem Pole," I think. One of his collections of newspaper pieces was titled that, and another was Lost in the Horse Latitudes. He also delved into fiction, with Rhubarb, the story of a cat who inherits a baseball team.
  11. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Daughter of Time is not only fascinating, but a wonder. You know how when you read history, French or English or whatever, and at one point in his life Mr. Outstanding Citizen becomes the Earl of Pothersby or Lord Easterwing, and then is referred to as "Pothersby" or "Easterwing" in all subsequent appearances? And if you miss that entitling, you wonder where Mr. Citizen went, and who this Easterwing guy is.

    Well, Tey somehow manages to avoid that. When someone is endowed with a title, she makes clear what his previous name was. You don't get lost. Which is truly amazing for a novel involving the tangled lives of the Tudors and Plantagenets -- and which (at least in the edition I have) doesn't come with a family tree printed in it.

    Tey was darn good all the way around.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
    DNO likes this.
  12. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    I think Smith gave credit for the name Low Man On A Totem Pole to his friend Fred Allen at least I seem to recall from the book's introduction.
  13. HanauMan

    HanauMan A-List Customer

    I've recently reread some books I loved as a kid; Beyond Mars, First Men to the Moon (Von Braun) and Stranger than Science (Edwards - fact or fiction, take your pick!).

    However, for 'proper' literature I usually go for books that give me a sense of nostalgia, of a sense of loss. Guess it says something about me, this longing for the past (but I suppose that is why I'm on this forum).

    W. R. Burnett's The Asphalt Jungle and High Sierra are two favorites.

    I always identified somehow with the characters of Roy Earle, Dix and Doll. Not that I'm a criminal, but both have a certain vulnerability about them despite their hardness and being on the lamb. Both look back to their past, both have a sense of having been cast out of a Golden Age.

    It is the same with The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. Yes, I am interested in the story of the Joads and Casy but it is the descriptive chapters Steinbeck wrote about the desert, about old Route 66, about the diners and the people in them, their humanity, the cars and so on which I tend to reread every now and again. That sense of a lost past, people on the move, dreams and hopes. I first read this book in my mid teens and I've come back to reread certain chapters ever since, especially the chapter with the waitress and truck driver.
    Fading Fast likes this.
  14. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    I revisit East of Eden every year or so too. His portrait of Cathy the sociopath is one of the most chilling in fiction.
  15. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    DREEMZ by Ben Stein (yes that Ben Stein) is another book I have read over and over, and it is always funny. It is about Stein's first year as a Hollywood script writer.
  16. I need to re-read that one. I watched the movie again last year and that reminded me how good the book is.

    It struck me watching the movie this last time how many parallels there are between it and "A River Runs Through It."
  17. Angus Forbes

    Angus Forbes One of the Regulars

    Steinbeck's Travels with Charley -- I read it when it first came out (ca 1960) and I read it again just a few years ago. I think that a lot of Fedora Lounge people would enjoy it. Same for Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl. Also To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee -- read it then, and read it again many years later. I also have read and re-read The Winter of Our Discontent (Steinbeck) several times, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce).

    The Perry Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner are great period pieces, many of which I have read repeatedly.

    Regarding Remains of the Day and Nero Wolfe -- excellent video adaptations are available. Remains stars Anthony Hopkins. Nero is played by Maury Chaykin, and Archie by Timothy Hutton. Excellent, really, in my opinion.
  18. Could not agree more. One of the few very well-written books that I enjoy the movie adaptation of - they did an outstanding job with that movie.
  19. HanauMan

    HanauMan A-List Customer

    I really enjoyed Travels with Charley though there is some debate about how much of it was fact and how much fiction. No matter, I still enjoy re-reading it now and again. It certainly is easier to read than Kerouac's On The Road though both bring a Zeitgeist of mid to late 1950s America vividly to life in their own ways.
  20. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    The A & E Wolfe adaptations were probably the best ever done. Maury Chaykin bellowed a little too often, but Timothy Hutton's Archie was superb, and the sets, clothes, and cars were all dynamite.

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