November 29, 2004
— Ace Seems to be the question of the day.
I know I've read a bunch of novels twice, but the only one that sticks in my head right now is Catch-22, which I've read five or six times.
I've read a lot of non "literary" novels several times, like most of Raymond Chandler's mysteries. Although Chandler is, I guess, considered halfway literary and respectable now, at least by discerning critics.
And The Hobbit. I've read that eight times. I don't know why there's all that fuss over the Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is tighter, quicker, funnier, more action-packed and generally more delightful in all ways than the lugubrious, plodding LOTR.
Every few years I like to go through Rings, though, and savor the language. If King is hamburger, Tolkien is steak.
Posted by: GORDON at November 29, 2004 02:41 PM (Qhe85)
Posted by: BrendaK at November 29, 2004 02:48 PM (SA88q)
I reread them every four years when we vacation at the seashore.
Posted by: Jake at November 29, 2004 02:49 PM (h4tU8)
Probably a few more I can't remember.
Posted by: Russell Wardlow at November 29, 2004 02:52 PM (CcGTn)
Posted by: sonofnixon at November 29, 2004 02:52 PM (Ibxm6)
...also many other Burroughs novels and series. The whole heroic/chivalry thing that still helps guide my life to this day.
Posted by: RapidTransit at November 29, 2004 02:52 PM (huExq)
Posted by: Russell Wardlow at November 29, 2004 02:54 PM (CcGTn)
In the non-novel category, R. F. Laird's The Boomer Bible is endlessly rereadable and quotable, and there's Stephen Potter's collected books of Upmanship.
There are tons of others, too, but those are the ones that come to mind first. Come to think of it, I probably reread one book I know I like for every two new books I try. Because after all, the devil you know is safer than the one you don't, and 90% of everything is crap...
Posted by: Guy T. at November 29, 2004 02:55 PM (Ia23K)
[the author has been dragged from the keyboard; please resume normal commenting]
Posted by: Guy T. at November 29, 2004 03:00 PM (Ia23K)
I apologize for the clutter.
Posted by: Guy T. at November 29, 2004 03:02 PM (Ia23K)
Posted by: See Dubya at November 29, 2004 03:03 PM (8gf2V)
"The Door Into Summer", Heinlein
"Starship Troopers", Heinlein
"The Atlantic Abomination", Brunner
Posted by: Leonardo Kokopeli at November 29, 2004 03:04 PM (4FZwM)
Incidentally, Catch-22 is lot better than the sequel, Closing Time. I usually read a book several times, but Closing Time was an exception.
In the pulp novel category I always liked Glen Cook's books. The guy has a very engaging style and voice in his writing.
Posted by: Alex at November 29, 2004 03:14 PM (PpBGs)
Posted by: Sailor Kenshin at November 29, 2004 03:19 PM (qYZnB)
And the Hobbit an LOTR to each of my older two, aloud.
Posted by: Jeff at November 29, 2004 03:22 PM (EZQaz)
Why are you looking at me?
Posted by: michael dennis at November 29, 2004 03:33 PM (AlGyn)
Posted by: ace at November 29, 2004 03:40 PM (5qmzg)
Posted by: Master of None at November 29, 2004 03:49 PM (beWdv)
Boy, do I feel left out. I read a novel once, and put it aside. I think the last novel I read more than once was The Killer Angels, and that was just to see how close the movie Gettysburg was to the book (answer: *identical*).
It's one thing to watch a movie over and over again-- stimulates different mental bits, plus it takes a lot less time to get to the same ending.
I do, however, re-read non-fiction books all the time (I dove back into John Keegan's Face of Battle this weekend, and I read the great Castles of Steel twice this summer).
You read non-fiction once, it's interesting; read it twice, and you retain what you've read, and think up new questions to ask other books.
God, am I boring or what?
Dave at Garfield Ridge
Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at November 29, 2004 03:52 PM (mrpxK)
Posted by: Sean M. at November 29, 2004 03:54 PM (F168B)
Posted by: Leonardo Kokopeli at November 29, 2004 03:57 PM (4FZwM)
Posted by: Kerry at November 29, 2004 04:02 PM (G8P9P)
Posted by: George L. Moneo at November 29, 2004 04:17 PM (TPrhD)
Are you sure that's a *fiction* novel?
Sounds just like something out of Scientology.
Which is true. All true. Swear to God. Uh, I mean, swear to Xenu.
Dave at Garfield Ridge
Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at November 29, 2004 04:19 PM (mrpxK)
Posted by: Carin at November 29, 2004 04:49 PM (oZ+SA)
Posted by: Carin at November 29, 2004 04:51 PM (oZ+SA)
Posted by: Carin at November 29, 2004 04:52 PM (oZ+SA)
Ok. On the Beach by Nevil Shute. Very depressing novel about the last survivors on earth after a nuclear holocaust. They know that nuclear winter is upon them but attempt to live their lives as normal as possible.
Posted by: sonofnixon at November 29, 2004 04:59 PM (Ibxm6)
Eh, many people categorize LOTR as children's literature, too. And a lot of children's literature is great literature, anyway.
Posted by: ace at November 29, 2004 04:59 PM (5qmzg)
Hence, we never have to READ them again. I enjoyed the stories. Not the bizarre and endless attempts at poetry and song that cluttered the books, particularly the elven parts.
And soon The Hobbit will be on the silver screen......
Posted by: sonofnixon at November 29, 2004 05:03 PM (Ibxm6)
Posted by: George L. Moneo at November 29, 2004 05:04 PM (TPrhD)
Posted by: J-Ho at November 29, 2004 05:09 PM (w7MgW)
But that did make me laugh.
Posted by: sonofnixon at November 29, 2004 05:13 PM (Ibxm6)
Posted by: George L. Moneo at November 29, 2004 05:22 PM (TPrhD)
Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion"
Ken Kesey is the greatest American author in
the last fifty years.
Posted by: Richard Johnson at November 29, 2004 05:49 PM (5OWYh)
funny, and sad, at the same time. loved it.
Posted by: Dave in Texas at November 29, 2004 05:51 PM (gDdDV)
At least a couple more have mentioned Heinlein's work.
If you haven't read TROOPERS, shame on you. *wags finger* And it's NOTHING like that POS film of the same name.
Some other reread-worthy books...
Just about anything by Heinlein
Just about anything by Ray Bradbury
Just about anything by Roger Zelazny
LUCIFER'S HAMMER by Niven and Pournelle
THE LEGACY OF HEOROT by Niven, Pournelle, and Barnes
Lots of people think Niven and Pournelle's best collaboration was THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE but I have to disagree.
Okay, I am going to STOP because I've done an A-Z list of SF novels before...
Posted by: bbeck at November 29, 2004 06:41 PM (qF8q3)
Both Thomas Covenant Trilogies
W.E.B. Griffin's Brotherhood of War series
W.E.B. Griffin's The Corps series
Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series
Frank Herbert's Dune and next two only
Lowell Thomas' Raiders of the Deep
Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series
Orson Scott Card's Ender series
Posted by: Cowboy Blob at November 29, 2004 07:00 PM (KIm6a)
Mote in God's Eye/The Gripping Hand (Niven & Pournelle)
Okay...a couple dozen other SF/Fantasy/War/Fiction, etc.
Posted by: Cowboy Blob at November 29, 2004 07:06 PM (KIm6a)
Oh, and Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Glory Road come to mind), Dune, LOTR and Silmarillion (more than Hobbit)....actually, though, these were the ones in heavy rotation -- I've read all sorts of things twice or three times. (Around Junior High I was doing two "regular" novels per day -- or one Stranger in a Strange Land.)
Posted by: cthulhu at November 29, 2004 07:43 PM (u1NCU)
Usually in the summer I embark on my yearly reread of all things wonderful.
Dune thru Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert
The Bellgariad, The Mallerion, and everything else David Eddings has written.
Lord of the Rings
to name just a few...
Posted by: Jennifer at November 29, 2004 08:16 PM (TFMd3)
Don't read much other genre fiction, though, so YMMV.
Posted by: someone at November 29, 2004 08:39 PM (kMRF+)
Some of my favorite fiction rereads include:
Most anything by Gore Vidal or Graham Greene;
The Stars Look Down by A.J. Cronin;
Douglas Adams' Trilogy(?).
I could go on and on but the little voice says I am already boring you.
Posted by: Pigilito at November 30, 2004 12:11 AM (BVW7O)
SciFi: Dune, Snow Crash, I Robot, Double Star, The Puppet Masters
My favorite classics: Of Human Bondage, Emma, Vanity Fair, & The Sun Also Rises
A Wrinkle In Time, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (I have the entire 7-book set of the Narnia Chronicles but haven't had time to plow through the whole thing).
Only read the LOTR books once each - but I've seen the movies multiple times, if that helps restore my geekhood.
Posted by: Kimberly at November 30, 2004 03:18 AM (AFp7o)
I have also re-read almost everything by Wilbur Smith, especially the older ones about the Courtney family.
Posted by: Steve L. at November 30, 2004 03:35 AM (hpZf2)
Why is it that the best books were written in the first half of the 1900's? Most books (most, not all) written today are terrible. They lack the richness, plots and depth of characters that was more common then.
Posted by: BlueDevils at November 30, 2004 04:32 AM (V9inq)
Posted by: SGT Dan at November 30, 2004 04:40 AM (qBHie)
Enemy At the Gates
The Face of Battle
A Distant Mirror (Barbara Tuchman)
Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels
National Lampoon's High School Yearbook
script of Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2004 04:48 AM (GT1+O)
Thanks, Cthulhu (Oh Holy Deep One).
Dave at Garfield Ridge
Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at November 30, 2004 05:09 AM (rV7Dk)
Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series
and of course
Posted by: Kin at November 30, 2004 05:11 AM (MXgCT)
Posted by: 72VIRGINS at November 30, 2004 05:33 AM (dhRpo)
But mostly I spend my time reading the books I was assigned in High School but never read.
Posted by: Sobek at November 30, 2004 05:56 AM (XwlU1)
Flashman, Hornblower, Sharpe and other series are always a pleasure. Just got all the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brien, should be a gas, baby.
Posted by: Uncle Mikey at November 30, 2004 05:59 AM (kqBJN)
Posted by: The Old Coot at November 30, 2004 06:09 AM (koWKi)
Posted by: max power at November 30, 2004 06:38 AM (9+Sgq)
Posted by: max power at November 30, 2004 07:03 AM (9+Sgq)
Most Frank Herbert (the original Dune chronicles -- but not that crap his son is putting out. Seriously, not a geek.)
Hitchhicker's Guide Trilogy+ (Trust me, no geekness.)
Niel Gaiman (Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens. Maybe a little bit geeky.)
Graphic novels -- The Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns.
Fred Saberhagen (Empire of the East and the related Swords books, some of the Bezerker collections.)
Wheel of Time. As much harlequin novel as F/SF it may be, but a guilty pleasure nonetheless.
Hickman and Weis Death's Gate series.
Tom Clancy's early books.
For me if it's worth reading once, it's worth reading twice. Usually.
Posted by: Eric at November 30, 2004 07:12 AM (MJbn9)
Posted by: Eric at November 30, 2004 07:17 AM (MJbn9)
Posted by: Pepper at November 30, 2004 07:29 AM (RonCI)
Larry Niven - Ringworld
Philip Jose Farmer - Riverworld "Trilogy"
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