7 Books I Read Over and Over Again

7 Books I Read Over and Over Again

I’ll re-read a book for one of two reasons: because I love it, or because I need it. This list features a healthy mix of both.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Author:

Gottman is the famed researcher who can watch a couple interact for 5 minutes and then predict with 91% accuracy if they'll divorce down the road. Successful marriages have a lot in common, and Gottman shows you how to incorporate these things into your own relationship.

There's nothing revolutionary about his advice:  successful couples know each other well.  They like each other. They solve their solvable problems. His insights are simple to grasp, if not easy to put into practice.

I like to re-read this book every few years to remind me what we're doing right--and what we maybe could be doing better. And it's fascinating and fun to read.

More info →
Happier at Home

Happier at Home

Author:
I re-read this book because I need it. Happier at Home prompts me to think about whole categories of my life that I don't think about on a regular basis. She offers practical tips on what, exactly, I could be doing to boost my family's happiness. Above all, Happier at Home reminds me to make the effort. I need the reminder. More info →
A Circle of Quiet

A Circle of Quiet

This is my favorite Madeleine L'Engle book. Reading these pages, I feel like she gets me. Of course she does: she coined the phrase “the tired thirties,” after all. On these pages L'Engle is clearly a work-in-progress, but she's working it through, and this peek into her thought process gives me hope that I can work it through, too. More info →
Emma

Emma

Author:
Emma is different from the others. It's witty, of course. All Jane Austen is. But it's bright and fresh and thoroughly modern, and Emma--despite her flaws--is so winning and relatable I find myself cheering her on more than any other Austen heroine. (Yes, even more than Lizzie.) More info →
Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow

Author:

I resisted reading this one for a long time because I thought the name "Jayber" was ugly. Please don't make that mistake.

This gorgeous novel has an impressive sense of place. It's a book you can see and feel. It's contemplative, beautiful, and sad. It's a book that stays with you.

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The Well-Trained Mind

The Well-Trained Mind

I read this book for the first time when I was 22, and had no intention of ever homeschooling my someday-children. But the author was my college prof, and when I found out she'd written a book I wanted to read it, whether it addressed rocket science or ancient Persia or homeschooling. But reading this book made me wish I'd been educated this way, and for the first time I considered home education as a possibility for my future children.

Now I'm a homeschooling mom of 4, and I turn to this book again and again to remind me why we're doing it, to help me get unstuck, and to encourage me to keep it up.

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Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

Author:
What can I say to capture why I love this book? It's haunting and melancholy, wistful and reverent. I'm entranced by the story of the Flyte family’s unraveling–along with the rest of Britain’s aristocracy–and by its themes of love, loss, and grace. More info →

What books do you read over and over again?

I re-read books for one of two reasons: because I love it, or because I need it. This list features a healthy mix of both. Photo by Leigh Kramer

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78 comments

    • the1chery says:

      Pat , Have you read any Arnaldur Indridason? He is an Icelandic author and I find him very similar to Mankell, who I also love.

        • Pat Reddr says:

          Chery,
          I’ve read many of them. I just signed up with Oyster. They have many of the authors and some I never heard of. I signed up (not just for them)because I’ve only seen one Nesbo discount on all of the sites. Most of the Scandanavian books are free which is well worth $9.95 on Oyster. Oyster is really an amazing site. Ive spent the past three hours checking off all the books I’m going to read. I will have to live a long time. I read smeplace they are going to continue the Stieg Larsen/Elizabeth Salander series with a new book coming out soon..nice to hear frm youy

  1. Molly says:

    Anne, I love A Circle of Quiet! Have you read the other Crosswick Chronicles?

    I tend to reread Pride & Prejudice every few year as well as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn. A couple of books that surprised me with how much I like them are Snow in August and The Alienist.

    • Anne says:

      No, I keep meaning to get to the other Crosswick Chronicles. I’ve read snippets but haven’t read them in their entirety. (YET. 🙂 )

  2. I’ve only read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin on this list. I am currently reading classical novels, and may add Emma to my “to read” list. I just finished reading Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, have you read it? It’s a fun read and very encouraging to apply it’s message of being glad in all circumstances. Also, if you haven’t done so, Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits (Better than Before) is also a very good read. ~Yessel

    • Anne says:

      I loved Better Than Before! I haven’t read Pollyanna but I’ve seen the old movie sooo many times. I know it’s not the same but I still feel like I know the story.

      • I tried watching the movie after decades of not seeing it and since I’ve read the book, I actually had to turn it off after about 15 minutes. It just does not compare. at. all. I actually just finished reading The Secret Garden too and it’s incredible. I hope the movie doesn’t disappoint me. 🙂

  3. Anita says:

    I love “The Black Rose” by Thomas Costain. It’s historical fiction. Also, I really enjoyed “Happier at Home”. Excellent book.

  4. Erin Petrak says:

    I am with you on Jayber Crow. Then I read Hannah Coulter, also written by Wendell Berry. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it, loaned it, or bought it for a friend. This beautiful story of Hannah’s life is also the only one Berry’s Port William memberships series written from a woman’s perspective. And, he did so masterfully.

  5. Julie Cooper says:

    The Earth’s Children Series by Jean M Auel, starting with Clan of the Cave Bear. I’ve read it 11 times and repeat every so often. there are 6 books and since the ’80’s, when a new volume is due to be out, I’ll read from the beginning again so it is fresh in my mind.

  6. Another Anne says:

    At age 77, I realize the one book I have read over and over during my life, and gradually come to understand and cherish, is the Tao Te Ching.

  7. Helen Tomlinson says:

    Re-reading again and again: Jane Austen, especially Persuasion; Georgette Heyer, all of them, until they fall to bits and I have to buy new copies (Heyer once described on BBC radio as, ‘Jane Austen on roller skates’; and, have to re-read Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg novels at least once a year because they’re my family (well, it feels that way). The first one, Dawn’s Early Light begins with the American War of Independence and the seventh and final novel is set in London in 1942 – highly, highly recommended. Also have a secret a love for O. Douglas books (sister of John Buchan) such as Penny Plain and Priorsford and anything by Anne Hepple. Happy re-reading everyone!

  8. Anita says:

    I’ve been a serious BookWorm since childhood (on March 1, I will turn 82). I enjoyed reading about the books people love. My favorites are: The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen), Stones from the River (Ursula Hegi). The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver), A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving), One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Love in the Time of Cholera (both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez)….and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. The last one I have read five times. My very favorite things (in alphabetical order) are: Books, Cats, Chocolate, Music and Trees.

  9. Molly says:

    I have to agree with rereading Brideshead and give the BBC version a chance, it really does come close. All Jane Austen get a regular reread. I would add a few favorites: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, any Daphne de Maurier but a special crush on Frenchman’s Creek, Tess of the Durbervilles by Hardy… I seem to be a hopeless romantic…

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