I have re-read a lot of books because of my studies, however, this usually means that the re-reading is out of necessity and not total indulgence. In saying that, there are three books that I keep returning to throughout my life because they are just so great. Each time I read them again, I feel like I am seeing something new. Plus, there is a comfort in returning to these bookish places.
Silas Marner – George Eliot
I wrote about this novel already, which you can find here. And I wrote about the amazing author and why she was not only brilliant, but also ahead of her time. I keep returning to this novel because of its beauty and the complex and sometimes bitter sweet realism of Eliot’s descriptions of Silas Marner and English country life. This book is almost like a folklore fantasy novel for adults. If I ever feel frustrated about the world and wonder if people can truly change, then I look to this book for comfort.
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
I wrote about this novel in August 2015 and it was not the first time I had read Plath’s novel. Arguably, this is a must read novel for every human on the planet, but especially for young women. I re-read this book because every time I read it I find myself nodding my head in agreement. The Bell Jar was written in the early 1960s yet it reads like it happened yesterday. This both terrifies me and reassures me that Plath was right about a lot of things about being a young woman. The timelessness of this novel is what makes it universal, however, it is Plath’s ability to share and describe her own struggles that makes this so powerful. Reading this book has reassured me in times when I thought there was not hope.
The Vegetarian – Han Kang
This is a fairly new re-read of mine, but it doesn’t matter. This book is incredible. I got to meet Han Kang at her appearance at the Kaufleuten in Zurich, Switzerland. The event itself was a bit of a let down; the interviewers are generally terrible and have no clue what they are talking about. That aside though, I fell in love with this novel the first time I read it. It is a strange and wonderful novel. Every time I read it I find something new and weird in the story. Whether you look at this from the perspective of sisterly love and rivalry, mental health, fantastic realism, dysfunctional families, love triangles, or traditional Korean cultural values, the novel always give you something new. I can also recommend her second novel, Human Acts.
So there you have it! These are my ultimate re-reads! What are your favourite books to read again and again? As always, share the reading love.