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

Turnip

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,279
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Europe
...and this little almanac, of course. :)

61U5pIv-H8L.jpg


...because this THE source for almost any information around Malt you´ll propably need. Use it quite frequently whenever I want to look up something about my favorite booze.
 
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Turnip

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,279
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Europe
These two titles as well, both are specialist books for apprentices, brown one for construction and artist metal workers, grey one for metal airplane mechanics. Both are 1941 editions.
Sometimes for looking up old methods and techniques when preparing little projects I want to perform halfway authentically, sometimes just for nostalgia.

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Cheers

Turnip
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
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6,126
Location
Nebraska
I don't usually re-read books. I think there are far too many books out there to read that I don't want to waste time reading ones I've already read! Ha! That being said, I've been thinking about re-reading Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series as they are so well done and have a wonderful way of blotting out the reality that is 2020.
 

camjr

Familiar Face
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62
Location
DFW, TX
Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (see my 12/27/20 post in the Hemingway thread). I've probably read it 50 times or so.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
Very very rarely do I read a book for a second time....But...one of the few exceptions is Ferdinand Celine'..."Long Days Journey into Night" and "Death on the Installment Plan". I love the guy's work.

Celine, warts and all wrote the best of 20th C lit; Joyce notwithstanding.
He also upsets many, myself included, but his veracity cannot be doubted.
Journey to the End of the Night; Death on the Installment Plan; Conversations With Professor Y.
Seldom in the right mood for Celine, however.

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy. Viktor Frankel, Man's Search For Meaning.
Spinoza, Ethic.
Richard Teweles, The Commodity Futures Game.
Teweles is a marvelous read, prose wonderful and extraordinarily writ primer.
 

Pinguinus impennis

New in Town
Messages
4
"The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne" by the Revd. Gilbert White, which I read every year and if, as now, I am unwell. The last English writer I truly enjoy.

I also read the Shakespearean tragedies every year, and "Paradise Lost". Byron in poetry.

If sacred works are allowed, De Imitatione Christi (Thomas à Kempis) in Latin and of course the Authorised Version.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
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Chicago, IL US
"The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne" by the Revd. Gilbert White, which I read every year and if, as now, I am unwell. The last English writer I truly enjoy.

I also read the Shakespearean tragedies every year, and "Paradise Lost". Byron in poetry.

If sacred works are allowed, De Imitatione Christi (Thomas à Kempis) in Latin and of course the Authorised Version.

The Dark Night of The Soul; Ascent of Mount Carmel, St John of the Cross
The Interior Castle, St Teresa
Summa Theologica, St Thomas Aquinas

Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
 

DesertDan

One Too Many
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1,582
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Arizona
The Lord of the Rings
I have read the trilogy probably well beyond 50 times or more since I was 14 years old. I read it twice last year and have begun it for the second time this year. Something about it comforts me, especially in troubled times.

Since last year I have re-read many novels from my collection that I had not read for a long time.
I re-read novels probably for the same reasons that people re-watch favorite movies (I would hazard a guess that many members of The Lounge have watched Casablanca more than once.) Since the 90's it has become increasingly difficult to find new fiction that wasn't derivative, blatantly ideological or saturated with post-modern political correctness.

There is certainly good new stuff out there but it is the exception not the rule.
 
Messages
17,022
Location
New York City
The Lord of the Rings
I have read the trilogy probably well beyond 50 times or more since I was 14 years old. I read it twice last year and have begun it for the second time this year. Something about it comforts me, especially in troubled times.

Since last year I have re-read many novels from my collection that I had not read for a long time.
I re-read novels probably for the same reasons that people re-watch favorite movies (I would hazard a guess that many members of The Lounge have watched Casablanca more than once.) Since the 90's it has become increasingly difficult to find new fiction that wasn't derivative, blatantly ideological or saturated with post-modern political correctness.

There is certainly good new stuff out there but it is the exception not the rule.

"Since the 90's it has become increasingly difficult to find new fiction that wasn't derivative, blatantly ideological or saturated with post-modern political correctness."

That is the same problem I've had with modern fiction, so I've been reading a lot of fiction from the '20-'60s. I'm really enjoying the voyage and finding authors I love. I've written about several of these books in the "What Are You Reading" thread.
 

Bushman

I'll Lock Up
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4,138
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Joliet
Fiction has always been deeply political and ideological. If you haven't noticed it, you need to consume more. Even the Lord of the Rings was heavily based on Tolkien's contemporary politics and experiences on WWI battlefields. The Orcs are portrayed in a deeply pro-British, anti-Kaiser way, mostly as British propagandists portrayed them: a rabbling mass of Huns who will shred you to pieces as soon as look at you.

Lord of the Rings portrays war in a complete opposite manner as All Quiet On the Western Front did. All Quiet humanized the enemy, proposing the idea that had their governments not been enemies, that opposing soldiers may have been friends. After all, many of the soldiers had no personal objections against their enemies. They didn't hate Germans for being German.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
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Chicago, IL US
Fiction has always been deeply political and ideological. If you haven't noticed it, you need to consume more. Even the Lord of the Rings was heavily based on Tolkien's contemporary politics and experiences on WWI battlefields. The Orcs are portrayed in a deeply pro-British, anti-Kaiser way, mostly as British propagandists portrayed them: a rabbling mass of Huns who will shred you to pieces as soon as look at you.

Lord of the Rings portrays war in a complete opposite manner as All Quiet On the Western Front did. All Quiet humanized the enemy, proposing the idea that had their governments not been enemies, that opposing soldiers may have been friends. After all, many of the soldiers had no personal objections against their enemies. They didn't hate Germans for being German.

Tolkien was all the rage when I entered college. I discounted him and considered his writing rehashed
warmed over Wizard of Oz-its author, Frank Baum penned Oz here in Chicago-but over time, learning
more about Tolkien I believe I was mistaken. He deserves a second look methinks. At least a bio of the
man for added perspective. I recall a film may have been released some time ago about Tolkein and his
WWi background. Lots of material to sift through but I feel he should be reconsidered.
 
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Messages
17,022
Location
New York City
Fiction has always been deeply political and ideological. If you haven't noticed it, you need to consume more. Even the Lord of the Rings was heavily based on Tolkien's contemporary politics and experiences on WWI battlefields. The Orcs are portrayed in a deeply pro-British, anti-Kaiser way, mostly as British propagandists portrayed them: a rabbling mass of Huns who will shred you to pieces as soon as look at you.

Lord of the Rings portrays war in a complete opposite manner as All Quiet On the Western Front did. All Quiet humanized the enemy, proposing the idea that had their governments not been enemies, that opposing soldiers may have been friends. After all, many of the soldiers had no personal objections against their enemies. They didn't hate Germans for being German.

I agree, fiction has always been political / reflected its times. What I've noticed in the past fifteen or so years is a hardened political view where you are almost always reading books with the exact same and narrow political ideas. As a big fan of fiction form the 20th Century, I can say it wasn't always this way.

What I find more off-putting is the jamming (and it's jamming) of a that same narrow modern political view into period fiction. So a novel, written today, set in, say, the '30s or '40s will have characters running around spouting views all but perfectly aligned to today's progressive views, even using the same words for those ideas that are used today. I've read a lot of novels and newspapers from the '30s and '40s to know this isn't even remotely accurate.

This isn't a "you kids get off my lawn" argument, as I agree with some of the modern views and love when I read a book from the 1930s that has ahead-of-its-time ideas (I note those favorably and often in my comments on books posted on FL). If these modern virtue-signaling authors would read some fiction or newspapers from the era they are writing about, they would see that they could reflect many of the views that they support in a period-accurate way, but of course, that period-accurate approach doesn't align nicely or always comfortably with the tightly circumscribed approved ideas of today.

I often wonder if this obvious political approach to writing isn't done, in part, to garner favor with NYC publishers who determine what gets published in the traditional manner of publishing a book.
 
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Bushman

I'll Lock Up
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4,138
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Joliet
I don't think fiction has gotten more political, I think people notice it more because politics permeate our daily lives more. In the 1940s, the anti-fascist propaganda short film "Don't Be a Sucker" was released, notifying Americans of the dangers of demagoguery and fascism. In the 1930s, FDR was publicly derided as a socialist for the New Deal. In the 1910s and 1920s, people ranted and moaned about having to wear masks to protect themselves from the Spanish Flu pandemic. There was a newspaper clipping from a Douglas Island, Alaska newspaper published in 1918 regarding masking rules and safety. It's as relevant now as it was 100 years ago. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/47051883/douglas-island-news/

People haven't changed. They're as stubborn now as they were then.
 

Alex Oviatt

Practically Family
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515
Location
Pasadena, CA
I reread fiction constantly--Tolstoy and Turgenev and, yes, Tolkien, too. Updike and Irving, Sayers and Christie and Chesterton. Hemingway, certainly. And I reread The Master and Margarita every year around Halloween. Less so with nonfiction although I think Machiavelli and Marcus Aurelius should be revisited regularly. Poetry is very resonant at different times of our lives, particularly as we get older. Dickenson's "Because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me" barely registered when I read it in school but now, in my 50s, I read it with a whole different perspective......
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
I reread fiction constantly--Tolstoy and Turgenev and, yes, Tolkien, too. Updike and Irving, Sayers and Christie and Chesterton. Hemingway, certainly. And I reread The Master and Margarita every year around Halloween. Less so with nonfiction although I think Machiavelli and Marcus Aurelius should be revisited regularly. Poetry is very resonant at different times of our lives, particularly as we get older. Dickenson's "Because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me" barely registered when I read it in school but now, in my 50s, I read it with a whole different perspective......

Chesterton's Orthodoxy is a never ending journey. Marcus and Spinoza I find quite similar; Machiavelli
has a pragmatic soul. Bulgakov is a sensualist beyond mere reason, but Emily is perhaps
the most enigmatic woman I have ever met. ;):)
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
... people ranted and moaned about having to wear masks to protect themselves from the Spanish Flu pandemic.

People haven't changed. They're as stubborn now as they were then.

The hood is masking up. Laundry required masks since the get-go and the bank has reinstated
mandatory mask wear, period. I expected this and haven't any problemo with renewal as the variant
strain is more easily contracted and the vacs all seem to have a limited run. I'll wait until the VA calls
me in for a booster and meantime hope for the best.
 

dubpynchon

One Too Many
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1,045
Location
Ireland
I’ve reread Conrad more than any other writer, I like his prose, it has a kind of concentration to it, you can feel how hard he worked for those sentences. His early/middle work obviously, Nostromo, Youth, The N*gger of the Narcissus (his best work in my opinion), The Secret Agent and the like. Funnily enough his later novels sold well, even though they were far inferior to his earlier work, as Conrad himself admitted (‘Conrad by numbers’), in part because the paperbacks had salacious covers!
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
I’ve reread Conrad more than any other writer, I like his prose, it has a kind of concentration to it, you can feel how hard he worked for those sentences. His early/middle work obviously, Nostromo, Youth, The N*gger of the Narcissus (his best work in my opinion), The Secret Agent and the like. Funnily enough his later novels sold well, even though they were far inferior to his earlier work, as Conrad himself admitted (‘Conrad by numbers’), in part because the paperbacks had salacious covers!

Conrad, undoubtedly exceptional greatness.
However, I personally find him depressive coin mint struck in the literary realm of mystique and imagination.
 

dubpynchon

One Too Many
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1,045
Location
Ireland
Conrad, undoubtedly exceptional greatness.
However, I personally find him depressive coin mint struck in the literary realm of mystique and imagination.
That mystique is hard to pin down, is it the modern idea of man alone in a vast universe or is it a kind of negative pantheism? Even Heart of Darkness is open to these contrary interpretations - most people see it that Kurtz is corrupted somehow by the jungle and becomes barbaric, but it seems more likely that Conrad meant Kurtz corrupted the natives, given the activities of the Belgian rubber companies in the Congo that Roger Casement and others revealed, and which were largely the inspiration for Heart of Darkness. In Nostromo the character Decoud is stranded on a small island and, faced with the immensity of nature, kills himself. It's all very confusing but seems to keep Conrad popular.
 

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