Friday, October 9, 2009

Reading And Re-reading The Masters

By Lonnie Cruse

I recently purchased Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie for my Kindle. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I wanted to read or at least re-read a Halloween mystery. I'm sure I own a hard copy of this particular mystery, buried deep somewhere out in our storage shed, along with my other bazillion or so Agatha Christie books. I think I own everything Christie ever wrote, except maybe a grocery list and I'm still looking for that. But I'm not willing to dig that deep, in that rather scary shed, for the books I do have. Those are paperback. Any hardbacks by Agatha Christie are safely stored in the house, likely in my closet. We won't discuss how easy or difficult it is to find a book in there. Moving quickly on . . .

I'm enjoying the Halloween read and not remembering the ending, which is good, right? Maybe I didn't read it before? Who knows? But that book prompted me to buy and download several other Christie mysteries for my Kindle. I'm looking forward to re-reading those mysteries: Murder At the Vicarage, A Murder Is Announced, Body In The Library, Secret Adversary, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles. I'm going to be very busy reading. Or re-reading.

As a general rule, I don't re-read books. There are too many new books out there to re-read something I've already read. However, if a book really captures my imagination, I can read it over and over. That's rare, for me. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson is the one book I've re-read the most. And I'll likely read it again, sometime in the future. After I work my way through all those Christies, of course. Shirley Jackson's twist endings catch me by surprise every single time, but Castle is my all-time favorite by her.

As to Agatha Christie, the above listed books are all my favorites. Well, of course I love The Murder Of Roger Ackroid, but I have that one in an old paperback and I know where I can lay my hands on that one, in my closet, so likely I'll risk a trip in there to get it.

I'm also searching the Amazon Kindle store for the best version of the complete works of E. A. Poe for my Kindle. I've got that collection in a hardback book in a basket by my bed, having read it from cover to cover many years ago, but I'd like the Kindle edition to "read on the go." There are several versions available at various prices, but I haven't settled on one yet. Poe is well worth re-reading at any time. Okay, I'm prejudice. So are my blog sisters. I'm trying to find a Kindle version with an interactive table of contents so I can jump from story to story with ease.

So, are you a re-reader? If so, what books are you willing to read again? And what book or books would you NEVER consider parting with, even if you don't plan to read it/them again? Why did that book or books earn a permanent place on your book shelves, in your closet, or in your shed? Please let us know, as I might want to read those books. After Agatha Christie. And Poe. Of course.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm a big re-reader of Christie, too, even though I rarely re-read books. I've read "We Have Always Lived in a Castle" a few times, too. I also have re-read some of Mary Stewart's books--"Nine Coaches Waiting" among them.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lonnie Cruse said...

I've gotta re-read Mary Stewart, I loved her books when I read them years ago. Thanks for stopping by!

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

The mystery series I've reread all the way through include Marcia Muller (Sharon McCone, Margaret Maron (Judge Deborah Knott), Julie Smith (Skip Langdon), Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon). I'll reread any Josephine Tey any time. I don't have them all--are they on Kindle? (No, I don't have one.) I practically know Brat Farrar by heart. Also Janet Neel's Death's Bright Angel. I'm currently working my way slowly and with relish through Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books. I just bumped the last one before the new one to read (also slowly and with relish)
my own DEATH WILL HELP YOU LEAVE HIM, which arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday. In stores this coming Tuesday!

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Oh, and in another genre (though some of them are mysteries too), Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan books. I can practically read the series first to last and go right back and start the first again.

signlady217 said...

Monica Ferris' Needlecraft series and Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series. Absolutely love 'em! Other forever keepers for me are "Gone With the Wind" and "Scarlet" and all of Louis L'amour's Westerns.

Julia Buckley said...

I've re-read Mary Stewart pretty much consistently over thirty years. I also like re-reading PD James and Ruth Rendell, as well as Velda Johnston.

I have a whole library of Agatha C's that I collected in my twenties (pre-children) and then I had kids and never got back to them. But maybe this year . . . .

Martha said...

I do re-read books. Some of my best loved books for re-reading are by Barbara Hambly, her Benjamin January series, everything by Dick Francis, and Laurie R King's Mary Russell books.

It was fun to read other people's much loved list. There are some new ones for me to check out. I love that!

Paul Lamb said...

I've lost count of the number of times I've read Philip Roth's novel The Ghost Writer. I'm currently reading it now, and I'll bet its the 15th time. Of course, it is about a writer, so that grabs my interest too.

I've read Moby Dick three times and certainly intend to read it again. There's a book that merits close attention.

Walden is another book I've reader a few times and could easily read again.

I knew a professor who said he always reads Huckleberry Finn each spring.

I'm happy to read a good book a second (third, fourth) time since there is so much more than mere plot in a good book. On the other hand, there are plenty of books I wish I'd never wasted my time reading.