Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Re-Reading, part 1

Re-reading, like reading, is personal.  Some engage in it occasionally, others never, others often.  A much-loved character pulls us back to visit again and again.  A brushing-up before a new installment to a series is published, perhaps.  Maybe a title you haven't read in years but pick back up for a book club or to read along with friends and family.  The reasons are as varied as the readers and the books themselves.  My own choices are varied, too, as are the formats in which I choose to re-read (or re-listen) them. So what does this librarian pick up more than once?

Bag of Bones, by Stephen King.  I talk about Mr. King's work a lot here, and I've read just about all of it.  Yet it's this one, part ghost story, part love story, that I come back to over and over.  I also prefer to listen to it in audio format, as Stephen King does a phenomenal job narrating--I think it takes a lot of exposure and a keen ear to get the Boston and Maine accents just right, and he does a fine job, in my opinion.   For me, the pleasure is in the journey here, creepy details, longing, ominous foreshadowing, and characters that wind up etched in your brain. You can read my full review here.  Also, if you have read it and liked it, do yourself a favor and skip the A&E miniseries.

Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver.  Some authors are great narrators for their own work, others are not (I'm looking at you, Anne Rice).  Kingsolver, like Stephen King, is one of the former and my preference is to listen to this book when possible.  Sweet and leisurely, full of loss and hope during one voluptuous summer in an isolated part of Appalachia--a specialty of Kingsolver's.  Somehow, I always pick up new details with each reading of this book, and her imagery is so clear, I can see much of it very clearly even now, more than a year since my last reading.

Both of these novels also take place during slow, hot summers, so if you're looking to recapture some of that golden glow even as we head into autumn, stop by and pick up a copy!

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