Five Fiction Books I Could Read Again and Again

Some people don’t reread books. I’m one to read favorite books again and again. There’s something about rereading a book you love. It’s like meeting an old friend again. It’s fun to let the book take you away again, to places you love and to friends you’ve forgotten about.

I could list many more but for the sake of this post, I’ll limit it to five (and they are in no particular order).

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn– by Betty Smith

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The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

My mother adored this book. She was always telling me and my sisters when we were teenagers that we needed to read it. I didn’t read it until I was in my thirties and I fell in love with it. I will never tire of reading this book. As a side note, it’s funny sometimes what you will get out of books. The characters drink a lot of coffee in this book and it always made me crave coffee! They always used condensed milk in their coffee. Because of this book, I often use sweetened condensed milk in my coffee.   

2. To Kill a Mockingbird– by Harper Lee

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Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

I also didn’t read this book until I was an adult (unlike all my friends who seemed to have it for required reading in high school).  I read it a third time when the book club I was in chose it. I notice something different just about every time I read it. I love the movie too.

3. Gone With the Wind– by Margaret Mitchell

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Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel.

Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.

This was my mother’s absolute favorite book of all times. She was an avid reader and always said this was the best book she ever read. I can still remember seeing her sitting in her brown chair with this book in her hands. I got her first edition hard copy.  I read it for the first time in 2012 when I was home recovering from a painful surgery I’d had. I don’t usually like reading really long books but this was an exception.

4. The Help-by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town…

I read this book for a book club I was participating in at my church many years ago.  LOVED IT. I’ve read it two more times since. I love the movie too and have watched it multiple times. It makes me laugh and makes me cry. A great story.

5. The Life of Pi– by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

Life of Pi might just be my favorite book of all times. An employee at Barnes and Noble raved about this book to me. It was on one of my son’s school reading lists so I bought it.  The book club I was in decided we’d read it and man, did we have some good discussions about this book. I’ll just say it has a fascinating ending. We all interpreted the book differently and that’s what made it such a fun book to read and discuss. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book and love this story. When I heard a movie was coming out about this book, I just couldn’t fathom how they would pull it off. But they did. I loved the movie too and thought it was well done. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Tell me, do you reread books?  What are some of your favorite books that you could read again and again? 

Gail 

About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
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13 Responses to Five Fiction Books I Could Read Again and Again

  1. Relax... says:

    There is sometimes something more to a book in a re-read, isn’t there? Either it’s details we missed or a second message behind the first, or we’re older now and will read totally different things from it. Your choices are sublime. I have and still will gladly re-read anything of Ernest Hemingway’s or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s. I have re-read “Jane Eyre.” You’ve toggled me into remembering to see if my library has “The Photograph” by Penelope Lively — I read it about 10 years ago and loved it; I wonder if I’d get the same out of it, now. I should also re-read “The Shipping News.” Absolutely loved the book; the movie tried and almost made it. It’s funny, one night I was watching “Life of Pi” but it was on the Spanish channel, so it was all Greek to me! I’d love to read it.

    • Gail says:

      Would you believe I have Jane Eyre on my bookshelf but haven’t read it yet? I hope to soon! I love Ernest Hemingway too. Thanks for the other suggestions. Life of Pi in Spanish…. hmmmm. That would be interesting! Oh read it, READ IT!

  2. Tony says:

    Very nice post, Gail! I absolutely reread books. I agree with your first commenter about seeing more the second time around. I think it is because we are less emotionally involved in the story and can see and appreciate the structure better. I love to reread James Ellroy. I consider him the modern Hemingway. I also agree that Hemingway and Fitzgerald are wonderful wordsmiths.

    • Gail says:

      Thanks for your input Tony. I enjoy Hemingway and Fitzgerald too. I’m not that familiar with Ellroy so I’ll have to check him out. Thanks again.

      • Tony says:

        You may be somewhat familiar with Ellroy. He wrote the book LA Confidential that was made into a very successful movie with several Oscars going to it. The movie is very good. The book is significantly better. Kim
        Basinger got an Oscar from it.

      • Gail says:

        I have heard of it but haven’t read it or watched the movie. I’ll check it out. Thanks Tony!

      • Gail says:

        After looking up Ellroy and reading a little about him, I think I’d like to read his memoir. Have you ever read it?

      • Tony says:

        Yes, it is amazing, but her has a powerful fiction style. I would suggest you pick up one of those first. Then get to know him personally with the memoir. He lived an incredible life. His mother was murdered.

      • Gail says:

        I saw that Yikes! How horrible!! I’m assuming that’s why he writes a lot of crime fiction? I will be sure to read one of his fiction books first. Any suggestions for a first read?

      • Tony says:

        I think LA Confidential might be my favorite. American Tabloid was a giant seller right around the same time. I would be interested in your reaction to his fiction.

      • Gail says:

        Thanks. I’ll let you know!

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