I divide the world into two groups of people: Those who love to re-read their favorite books, and those who cannot stand the practice. Obviously I fall into the first category. To start, there are the classic books on my shelf whose spines are constantly creased, which include Harry Potter and all of Jane Austen's works.
Other than those, here are a few of the books that get better with age, even the third or fourth time they are read. Perhaps it's another life lesson learned, or another connection made in a complex plot, but there is something I enjoy about knowing the general ending that let's me work backwards and connect the dots.
These books tend to fall on the polar ends of the seriousness spectrum. Either they are mindless and easy distractions, or they make you constantly think and ponder. Quite rarely do they fall in the middle.
1. The Seamstress | This novel is set in Brazil, perfect for the World Cup not too long ago and the Olympics around the corner. The characters are deep and complex, a far cry from "good" versus "evil." It tells the story of two sisters who go down quite different paths in life and neither one turns out quite as they had expected. Is that summary cryptic enough for you? Just trust me, it is worth reading again and again.
2. The Twisted Thread | Similar to The Secret History by Donna Tart, The Twisted Thread is set in the ivory covered halls of a New England prep school and, as happens at all prep schools, there is a secret society and murder. It is a who-done-it the likes of Gossip Girl has never seen.
3. The Historian | I read The Historian at the height of the Twilight/Vampire Diaries phase when nocturnal mythical creatures were taking over popular culture. But The Historian is so much more than your average vampire novel. It follows a father and daughter as they are led on a journey in search for Vlad the Impaler, the historical person whom Dracula was based off of...except in The Historian, Bram Stoker's Dracula is not based on fiction, but on fact.
4. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets | 1950s London was a glamorous time for the young British upper class, filled with parties that got out of hand more than those of their parents. I love the line from the description on the back cover: "Rice writes about the young British upper class with sharp wit as well as compassion, and her characters, beneath their glittering charm, are appealingly vulnerable and utterly memorable - in short, brilliant company." I couldn't say it better myself.
What are your favorite books to read over and over again?