Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Reread Forever

Posted July 9, 2024 by Nicky in General / 3 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie for missed TTT themes. I have no idea if I’ve done this one before, but I love rereading, so I picked #379, “books I could reread forever”.

I know some people feel that there’s just not enough time in the world for rereading, and if that’s you, that’s totally fine! But I love to reread, because I think the books I’ve already read can hit differently in the future. Sometimes you notice different things, sometimes you’re a different person, sometimes your experiences change how you understand things.

And, to be frank, reading is not a job. It’s usually meant to be for pleasure, for most people. If you feel like you have to be reading all the latest books, are you having fun or just kicking yourself in the shins?

Which is not to say that everyone needs to enjoy rereading, but it’s a pretty common response when I talk about rereading, and I don’t have time for that in my own life. I read what I enjoy, for fun, and I’ll happily encourage anybody to say “stuff that” to obligation and doing things because you “have” to.

Without further ado, here are some of my iron-clad rereads.

Cover of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper Cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis Cover of The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Cover of Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

  1. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a classic and deservedly so. I do love The Lord of the Rings too, but there is something special about the warm tone of The Hobbit. Mind you, I had to take just one book to a desert island, The Lord of the Rings would be in strong contention. I’ve never read it without noticing something new (and I’ve read it quite a few times, since I studied Tolkien’s work during my MA). It’s very rereadable, in my view.
  2. The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. Technically all of this series, and maybe most of all The Grey King. I listened to the BBC radio adaptation as a kid and adored it (though it scared the pants off me too), and it’s remained something I read and reread fondly. Though it’s a children’s book, there are details on many levels.
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. I think a lot of people felt betrayed to realise it was an allegory, but I don’t think I was ever “fooled”. I knew it was an allegory and still loved it. In fact, some of the sentiments in The Last Battle helped to form some of my thoughts about life and religion, even though I’m not a Christian. I still think these books are a delight and worthy of rereading. In fact, I might be tempted to do just that right now.
  4. The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. I hope this one will never wear thin for me, because so far each time of reading has been a total delight. I love how intentional and thoughtful Maia is, and how some of the people around him respond to that and start to build a better world.
  5. Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers. I don’t think any of the choices on this list are a surprise coming from me, and this one certainly isn’t. The radioplay adaptations and the BBC adaptation with Edward Petherbridge are all wonderful.
  6. A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. I recently reread this, in fact. It’s a relatively personal story, focused less on political events in the galaxy (though they happen) and more on the immediate effect on the people of the Wayfarer, and also on the interpersonal stuff between the people on the Wayfarer. It’s a lovely novelised discussion of how we can treat different people with different beliefs and different needs with equity and dignity. There are aspects I’m conflicted about, but even those are good to think over.
  7. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. I think I like this book more each time I read it. It’s hard to separate which book of the trilogy is my favourite, but I love Breq and I love to feel conflicted about Seivarden.
  8. A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan. You can tell this list is in no particular order, because I adore this series. I love Isabella and her deranged practicality, and the serious attempt to imagine what it would be like to be a naturalist studying dragons, and the different cultures and peoples one might encounter. It’s also a rare example of a book I’ve loved more and more with each reread, starting from not rating it very highly.
  9. Feed, by Mira Grant. This one’s pretty uncharacteristic for me in many ways, but the book fascinates me. I found it deeply disquieting at first, but now I find myself hankering to revisit now and again, and discover all of the details again (horrific as some of them are as scenarios). It’s also one of those books I rated low at first, but which grew on me.
  10. Chalice, by Robin McKinley. Also among that number, I didn’t “get” Chalice right away, and I’m still not entirely sure I do. There’s something warm about it, though, and I love to reread it and ponder over again how everything comes together. Also, the magic system is pretty unique and fascinating (based around honey, for the main character).

Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers Cover of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Cover of A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan Cover of Feed by Mira Grant Cover of Chalice by Robin McKinley

Oof, those were difficult choices! I feel like there are others I should surely include (Murderbot comes to mind) — and my choices are likely no surprise to long-time readers — but for now, this is it!

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