For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week is a different topic. Come up with your list of top ten, post it, and then add the link to the masterpost.
This week’s theme was Ten Books I Could Re-Read Forever. I love rereading books so this topic seemed made for me – provided I can keep it down to ten! I’ve tried to outline why I love these particular books so much that I could just keep rereading and rereading and rereading them, so I guess it turned into an appreciation post more than anything.
1. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series (and side series) by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont – I love this world. And, despite how long it takes me to read some of the books in it, I could reread it forever because each reread shows me something new, something I hadn’t noticed before or didn’t have the information to understand/recognize until I read later or earlier or elsewhere in the world’s history.
2. The Circle of Four/The Circle Opens/The Circle Reforged series by Tamora Pierce – I was first introduced to Tamora Pierce at about age 10 or 11 when someone (I think one of my grandmas or cousins?) gave me the first two books in the Circle of Four Series – Sandry’s Book and Tris’s Book. I was already reading fantasy by then but the first Emelan books grabbed me in and showed me something truly different from the other books I had read. Unlike the first entry in this series, I come back to these books because they are comfort books. I can always find some of my earliest book-friends waiting for me here.
3. The Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce – I don’t think I’ve met a Tamora Pierce book I didn’t like, but some of them I like better than others. Like the above series, the quartet about Keladry of Mindelan is comfort reading, like wrapping myself in a warm fluffy blanket and drinking hot cocoa. Also, upwards of ten rereads later and I’m still laughing out loud at parts of this book. I’d say that’s a winner.
4. The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire – this is a relatively new series but I have loved every installment to date. The narration comments on itself and on fairy tale tropes, the characters are believable and nuanced, and while the plots might not be the most intricate they are intriguing enough to let what really matters in these novellas shine through – the worlds and the characters and the deconstructed tropes.
5. Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee – again, new books (in a trilogy that will be complete in a few months!!) but like the Malazan series these are books that make you think. Lee, like Erikson and Esslemont, expects his readers to be paying attention and to accept that they’re not going to understand everything the first or even fifth time through, if ever. I like books that make you think and books that are about compassion even as they rip your heart out – and Lee’s books definitely fit that bill.
6. The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint – I don’t know precisely what it is about this novel that keeps drawing me back to it but for whatever reason I find myself returning again and again to it. Each time I understand it a bit better, so maybe that’s part of it? Regardless of reasons, this is another book I always want close at hand.
7. Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey – before anyone says anything, I am well aware that there a couple of problematic issues with McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series both as a whole and in this specific novel. With that out of the way, I still love this novel. I like a lot of the books in the series but this is my go to when I need a dragonriders fix. There are so many plots threaded throughout this novel, so many great characters with so many sides – sides we get to see in later novels and short stories as well as over the course of Dragonsdawn – and the start of the dragonriders. There’s a lot to be offended by, sure, but there’s also so much to love.
8. The Dark Glory War by Michael A. Stackpole – the first book in the DragonCrown War series or a prequel to the trilogy depending on how you look at it, this is an interesting look at how people become villains, the way history is written by the winners, and an adventure doomed to failure (if they succeeded then why are there sequels?). I didn’t believe all of the character arcs but part of that might be that we didn’t spend enough time with characters. Or maybe there’s something else to it, I don’t know. Either way, this is perhaps the least heartbreaking novel of a villain coming into their own that I’ve read, which might be why this is on my list rather than some of those that made me want to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep.
9. The Others series by Anne Bishop – I like the idea of werewolves, vampires, and other monsters, but only when they’re genuinely scary and terrifying. And Bishop delivers in her Others series, mainly because we do actually see said creatures eating and terrorizing humans. And yet we sympathize with them as well as with the humans (well, some of them). The idea of predators and prey gets played with a lot in this series alongside what parts of human(ity) are worth keeping – or purging. It helps that the series is written to be an easy read with shifting POVs.
10. The Honor Harrington verse by David Weber (and various others) – as this list makes clear, my preferences tend to lean towards the fantasy side of the Spec Fic spectrum but I still read sci-fi. And one of my favorite sci-fi series is the Honor-verse – both the main verse and the (many) spinoffs. It’s just plain fun to read and still engaging several rereads later.
Ok, so I cheated by including series, but I still kept my list to ten entries!
What do you like rereading? Or, if you don’t reread, why not?