On Rereading.


A book called Countdown City just came out this week, and it’s the sequel to one of my favorite books from 2012, The Last Policeman. Policeman is/was a clever noir/mystery that takes place in a speculative future where the earth is about to be destroyed by an asteroid in six months. The central mystery is pretty interesting, but even more engaging are the details surrounding it—the small (and large) ways that society begins to crumble, and the moral ambiguity that accompanies the impending apocalype. As the tagline on the book states, “what’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?” and I find that to be a pretty compelling question.

Of course, whenever a sequel in a series comes out, I feel the need to go back and read the books that came before it so I can have the whole story fresh in my mind. A friend once told me that she likes to reread The Unbearable Lightness of Being every few years, because it gives her a sense of where she is in her life. While I like that idea, my rereading goals are much less lofty. Here are three series I hope to revisit sometime soon:


The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

Not just for kids or teens, this is a deeply moving fantasy series about very adult topics, like theology, science, and the nature of existence. Plus, it features a totally great talking bear.





The Magicians & The Magician King by Lev Grossman

This is also a dark, very adult fantasy series—and the third installment is coming out next year! What if instead of Voldermolt, Harry Potter’s biggest enemy was his own disatisfaction and ennui? That pretty much sums up the particular flavor of this series.



Love & Rockets: Locas & Locas II by Jaime Hernandez

These collections are probably one of my favorite reads of all time—not only is this series funny, subversive, and deeply strange, but it’s also moving to see two female protagonists change and age so gracefully.

So how about you? What books do you enjoy rereading?



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7 responses to “On Rereading.

  1. Great post! At least once a year I reread “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley because it’s always so satisfying. And “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel because I love what it has to say about the power of storytelling and also because I love the tiger, Richard Parker.

  2. I have a big, old, well-loved Modern Library edition of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen that has a permanent home on my nightstand. I read a chapter each night before I turn out the lights; it almost always does the trick to take my mind off things before I sleep.

  3. For me, it’s almost harder to pick up a new book because there are already so many that I know I love (I’m trying to change that.). I’ve re-read Dune, Jane Eyre, The Lord of the Rings, Mrs. Dalloway, and Nobody’s Fool many, many times, and I’m always pleased. The Last Policeman sounds great!

  4. I also really love Philip Pullman’s trilogy, The Subtle Knife was probably my favourite, which is odd seeing as it is the middle one. I re-read Jane Eyre all the time too. This was a really interesting post because I think it’s so easy to get into a rut of choosing similar books to what you have already read! I reckon I’ll choose something really different next time!

  5. Jen

    This post was TOTALLY for me. Thank you. I have at least two new books to read now. I will retread The Time Travellers Wife with pleasure. 1Q84 (though haven’t yet) and A Wrinkle In Time every few yesrs

  6. Thanks for this interesting post! I would re read The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway , I guess. :-?

  7. Pingback: Superman or Green Lantern Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me | Eleventh Stack

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