It’s hard to believe this is the beginning of my blog’s 10th year. Back in January 2007, I was looking for a way to spend more time thinking about my reading and to get comfortable with sharing my writing and ideas with an audience (and in the midst of year 3 of teaching, which I’ve found is a magical year in that the totally frantic pace of being a new teacher settles a bit). As I look through 9 years worth of writing about reading, it is fascinating to see the threads that have remained the same, the ways I’ve changed from the 26 year old I was, and to think about the stories that provided the background.
In a course I took in the fall, my professor had us consider and write about our literary heritage: what early experiences with reading shaped the readers we’ve become? What texts has stayed with you long after reading them? What stories do you hand to people begging them to read? I did a lot of thinking about how the “mandatory” reading time my brother and I grew up with before bed is still a part of my daily lives (and now my husband’s!), how much I loved the summer reading programs at my hometown library, how despite being an English major, how relieved I was to have control over my reading life again upon graduation.
All that to say, I have decided to go back to my Year in Review posts and select ten books to reread (though a few, after perusing my shelves, come from pre-blog days). Not only will this save me over $100 in books, I will be able to revisit the stories I claim as my favorites, think about what they meant to me at the time, and see how my re-reading of them has changed. Here’s what’s on deck:
Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safron Foer
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Great House by Nicole Krauss
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The Waves by Virginia Woolf
I’m curious about people’s rereading habits. Do you reread favorites? I’ve heard the argument that we’ll never have enough time in our lives to read all the great books even once, so it seems a waste to reread. I think I fall in the camp that a beautiful story is a story worth getting lost in again and again–and reminds us of who we are. What books do you find yourself going back to?