Returning to books I’ve read


Alright all you book worms out there, this post is for you. Put your hands up if you like to re-read certain books?  (Okay, you should probably put your hand down now; people are looking at you strangely.)

I will freely admit that I am a chronic ‘re-reader’. I will devour whole series multiple times. There are certain books I have gone through cover-to-cover more times than I can remember. My husband thinks I’m crazy but I am a big believer of reading what you love.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t try other books, other series or other authors, but I do think there are some that deserve your attention more than just once.

This passion for re-reading was sparked again recently when I made the decision to start the entire Dr Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell from the very beginning. I had read most of her books at least twice but suddenly discovered that I had been neglecting one of my favourite authors. Cornwell had release a few more books in the series that I hadn’t read yet and I wanted to do them justice. I decided to go back to where it all began, starting with the award-winning Postmortem (1990).

The journey of Scarpetta is a fascinating, frustrating, triumphant and, at times, tragic one. In just a few months I have made my way through the series and find myself halfway through the 21st Scarpetta novel, Dust. There is one more book to read before I am all caught up and it will be bitter-sweet to say goodbye.

One of the first series I ever re-read was the Tomorrow When The War Began Series by John Marsden. If ever a series of books made an impact on my life as a reader, this was it. I devoured these books as a teenager again and again, and still love to read them more than a decade later. To this day, the protagonist Ellie Linton remains my most loved character. Strong, bold and inspiring, yet flawed, she was captivating from the first page to the last. The Ellie Chronicles that followed the Tomorrow series made for heartbreaking reading; I have never cried so much over a book as I did with While I live.

I was first introduced to the world of fantasy fiction through the glorious David Eddings’ Belgariad and Malloreon series. From there I discovered the works of heroic fantasy writer David Gemmell and never looked back. With so many books under his belt it is hard to pick just one or two that were my favourites, but I have managed to read most of his works multiple times. The themes of loyalty, honour and love spoke to me and I was fascinated by the flawed heroes he created. Both authors have passed away in recent years but they will be remembered through the stories, characters and worlds they created.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling would be on many people’s lists of favourite books to re-read. This was the first series that I witnessed firsthand engaging generations: my sister would devour the books as quickly as she could before passing them to me. When we went to bed my parents would also read the series and together we would work our way through the magical world of Harry Potter. I have many happy memories of reading these books, talking about them with my family and watching the films, and I know I will continue to read them for many years to come.

My love of crime fiction was forever secured when I read my first Jonathan Kellerman novel. I came to his series rather late, but my excuse is a good one: the first of the Alex Delaware series When The Bough Breaks was released in 1985, a year before I was born. Coming to the series late did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm though, and I began scouring second-hand bookstores to find the earliest novels in the series. Eventually I tracked them all down and made my way through the series from the very start. He continues to write captivating, challenging crime drama and adding to the series, so this love-affair with the trials and triumphs of a certain forensic psychologist shows no signs of ending yet.

One Comment Add yours

  1. hubiehubes says:

    Great post Joni!

    While not as hardcore a serial series reader as yourself, I do love coming back to a few books (including the great Scarpetta series) and re-reading them.

    The best is when it’s been just long enough so that you kind of forget what happens and you get to re-experience the same character discovery and plot suspense as the very first time you read them!


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