Sunday, January 06, 2013

My ReRead Rollout - The Results!

Okay, sorry this post is a little slow, but my Year End post took longer than expected, and I've been working longer hours at my Paying Day Job.

So during the month of December I decided to reread some of my favourite novels (or novels I perceived to be my favourite), and the results were thus:

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Did It Hold Up? Yes. Yes it most definitely did! Anne is still awesome, Diana Berry is still a bosom friend, Matthew still makes me cry, and Josie Pye is still a bitch! It really amazed me how many layers this book has, how many more different things I noticed about this book reading it as an adult. I may now have to read the other books in the series again!

The Secret Pearl, by Mary Balogh.
Did It Hold Up? Yes. This time around (since I'd already written a review), I focused on what I felt to be the most powerful aspect of this book: the villains. Well-developed, creepy, tragic, they were so memorable and contributed so well to the romanticism and drama of the novel, I figured they deserved their own examination.

Fitzpatrick's War, by Theodore Judson.
Did It Hold Up? No. Not really. I think the reason I enjoyed exploring the novel the first time was thanks to the unique formatting of the story as well as the detailed world building. However, rereading the novel when I already knew the plot allowed me to notice how incredibly slow and overdetailed the story was - how much more time was wasted on minutiae than the plot, which was far more simple than I'd remembered. Still, if you love detailed, original settings and military stories, you might still enjoy it.

Beauty, by Robin McKinley.
Did It Hold Up? No. I reread this one with a little impatience - probably because I already know how the fairy tale goes so I found the lead-up (which explains Beauty's family and backstory) to be a little top-heavy, while the part that matches actual fairy tale was disappointingly bare of the elaboration or character development (especially on the Beast's part) that I was hoping for. However, McKinley apparently plumbed the Beauty and the Beast well another time for Rose's Daughter, so I might try reading that, someday.

The Birth House, by Ami McKay
Did It Hold Up? Yes! I still enjoyed this novel just as much as I did back in University. Interesting themes, great characters, fabulous historical details, strong feminist undertone, and a gorgeous writing style. Even though her second book wasn't nearly as good, I'll be keeping this novel on my Keeper Shelf for a long time to come.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
Did It Hold Up? Yes indeedy - enough to make me want to re-read the whole series!

Private Arrangements, by Sherry Thomas.
Did It Hold Up? Better! I really enjoyed the novel the second time around, and I tried to figure out why I loved it now when I was only ambivalent towards it before. The only explanation I can really come up with beyond My Tastes Have Matured is that Sherry Thomas' style was so different (read: better) than a lot of what I was reading at the time that I didn't connect to it the same way. Now that I'm used to (read: adore) her style, I was able to truly enjoy coming back to her debut novel. What can I say? I'm a hopeless fangirl.

I must admit, I might have to do this again next year. There's just something so relaxing about reading a book that you've already enjoyed. So, dear readers, have you taken to rereading any of your favourite classics lately? If so, which ones?


  1. I don't reread much anymore, but for some reason I always seem to crave am old favorite on January 1st. My choice this year was Miss Pym Disposes by Jospehine Tey -- for the first time as an ebook, which was an interesting experience.

  2. I adore rereading, but it really blows when they don't hold up the second time around. However, one of them even got better, and that is precisely why I do reread. :)

    1. Exactly! The best books stand up to re-reading.

  3. I enjoy going back to do a good re-read - it's like visiting with old friends. I usually have to be in a certain type of mood to do it though. Lately I've felt the urge to go back to a genre that I haven't touched in a while, so I'll see where that takes me....

  4. This is a great idea! I used to re-read all the time when I was younger but rarely do now. Setting aside a specific time to do so is a good approach and I have been craving a bit of a re-read of two series: Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Apparently, I generally like and am currently in the mood for some chronicles. The Anne of Green Gables series is also wonderful - glad it held up!

    1. You know, I've never read the Narnia books all the way through. Perhaps I should make a project out of it.