domingo, novembro 01, 2015

Reread Heaven: The Books that I Just Can't Leave On the Shelf

Nowadays I rarely reread books. Not enough time on my hands.

But once in a while I revisit one of my old favourites. Why does one reread some books? 

I can speak for myself. Either because I love it, or because I need it, but it's usually a mix of both. 
I sometimes go through cycles. I read all sorts of new things due to the fact that I get lots of books for "free", but sometimes I get bored by a book or nothing just looks good, which is when I go back to my old favourites. 

It's true that I found it easier to reread when I was younger, but sometimes I'm still able to get back to an old favourite.

But as with everything book lover, when I fall in love with a book world, I can't stay away for too long. It begs the question. I actually never thought about it until now, and that's the beauty of Booklikes (From Dark Places, Troy's Blog).  

In terms of rereading, I think I prefer character-driven stories. With a properly character-driven book, the story is never the same twice because I’m never the same person twice. Let me try to explain. The experience of reading the book, that story with those characters, has changed me. A book that doesn’t change me as I read it is a book I’ll stop reading. That's why the plot for me is secondary to the way the books make me feel.  For instance, I grew up reading Agatha Christie's mysteries by the bucketload when I was at the British Council, and there’s something comforting about revisiting familiar characters, even when they're one- or two-dimensional.

I do have a few that I just can't leave on the shelf:

Mundane Fiction:

- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
- Die Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
- The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
- Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer by Erich Kästner
- Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften by Robert Musil
- Die Leiden des jungen Werthers by Goethe
- Der Proceß by Kafka
- I, Claudius by Robert Graves
- Collected Stories of John Cheever
- A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles
- The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel
- Deutschstunde by Siegfried Lenz
- The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

Crime Fiction:

- The Matthew Scudder Series by Lawrence Block
- The Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly
- The Rebus Series by Ian Rankin
- The Tudor Series by C. J. Samson
- The Merrily Watkins Series by Phil Rickman
- The Dalglish Series by P. D. James
- The Kenzie/Gennaro Series by Dennis Lehane
- The Ripley Series by Patricia Highsmith
- Agatha Christie's books
- The Black Novels by Derek Raymond

SF = Speculative Fiction:

- Any book by Phil Dick
- The Stand by Stephen King
- The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- The Ascent of Wonder by David G. Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer
- The Separation by Christopher Priest
- The Extremes by Christopher Priest
- The Adjacent by Christopher Priest
- Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead
- The Sarantime Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay
- Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
- The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov
- The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth
- Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
- I Will Fear no Evil by Robert A. Heinlein
- Friday by Robert A. Heinlein
- Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein
- Have Space, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
- Canopus in Argos: Archives by Doris Lessing
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
- Midkemia Series by Raymond E. Feist
- Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
- A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge
- China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
- Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
- The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
- Blindsight by Peter Watts
- LOTR by Tolkien
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Spy Fiction:

- The Company by Robert Littell
- The Smiley Series by John Le Carré
- The Bernard Samson series by Len Deighton


- The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose
- The Feynman Lectures by Richard Feynman
- The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth;
- The Coming Age of Calm Technology by Mark Weiser;
- Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter;
- The Inmates Are Running The Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity by Alan Cooper;
- Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug;
- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman;
- The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie;
- The Art of Unix Programming by Eric S. Raymond;
- Modern Operating Systems by Andrew S. Tanenbaum;
- A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine by Charles Petzold;
- The Annotated Turing: Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes In The Age Of The Machine by Donald A. Norman, Tamara Dunaeff;
- The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander;
- The Tao of Programming by Geoffrey James;
- The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.;
- Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner;
- How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by George Pólya.


- Das Stunden-Buch by Rilke
- Duineser Elegien by Rilke
- Hinos Tardios by Hölderlin, Maria Teresa de Dias Furtado (bilingual edition)
- Das Buch der Lieder by Heine
- Die Gedichte by Paul Celan
- Os Lusíadas by Luis Vaz de Camoens
- Die Gedichte by Bertold Brecht
- Elegias by Hölderlin, Maria Teresa de Dias Furtado (bilingual edition)
- Novalis


- The Annotated Shakespeare by A.L. Rowse
- The Shakespeare Wars by Ron Rosenbaum
- The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents by Russ McDonald
- Shakespeare and the Art of Language by Russ McDonald
- An Essay on Shakespeare's Sonnets by Stephen Booth
- Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare by Isaac Asimov
- The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold C. Goddard
- William Shakeapeare: A Textual Companion by Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor
- Northrop Frye on Shakespeare by Northrop Frye
- Shakespeare after All by Marjorie Garber
- Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion by David and Ben Crystal

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