Friday, July 3, 2015

The Book Lover's Den #22: Books I Want to Re-Read (Part I)

Welcome to my Friday feature!

In each weekly post, I will be exploring 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.

When one has been a reader for several years, there are inevitably some books that become beloved treasures -- because of the characters, plot, and writing. In this post, I'd like to mention some of my favorites that I would like to revisit. 

So here's a list of great books that I definitely want to dive into again, for the pure pleasure of doing so!

To find out more about these, just click on the titles at the end of this post, and you will be able to access the information at each book's Goodreads page, in a separate tab. Hope you all enjoy!

I read this great SF novel in my early twenties, and it has definitely left a lasting impression on me! The story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human boy born and raised on Mars, who then comes to Earth to teach people how to 'grok' each other, is an immensely appealing one! I should make some time for this one soon! 

This is a very beautiful, touching love story I read several years ago. It's about a young, innocent Amish girl, Susan Peachey, who meets Alan Wilde, a jaded Hollywood director. The two fall madly in love, and, of course, there are obstacles to their relationship. How the author resolves these obstacles makes for some very poignant, moving moments, and I would love to experience this novel again! I also love the fact that it was written by a husband and wife team. The cover is especially beautiful, as well. It even looks, and feels, three-dimensional!

This is another novel I read in my early twenties, when I was reading more adult books, as well as  serious literature. It's a fascinating combination of things: travelogue, lessons on motorcycle maintenance, plus various and sundry Zen-based philosophical ruminations made by the narrator, Phaedrus, as he travels across the country (US) with his young son, and a married couple. I don't remember much about the philosophical aspect of this autobiographical novel, but I do remember that the author discussed the concept of Quality throughout the book. I am very eager to go back and reacquaint myself with this intellectual masterpiece!

This is another wonderful and poignant love story, based on a combination of The Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast. The male protagonist is named 'Erik', just like the character in the book and musical. The female protagonist, however, is named Marissa. The magic in the title is very much in evidence here; Erik goes out only at night, for he is hideous to look at. A brilliant pianist and excellent singer, he's also much older than Marissa. Erik brings her to his home studio every night, unbeknownst to Marissa's widowed father. The two eventually marry, and the author follows them across decades of marriage. This is a beautiful, beautiful story I would like to enjoy again!

The haunting story of this literary masterpiece has stayed with me for years, and I am really yearning to read it again! Atticus Finch is an admirable man, someone who calmly and firmly holds on to his principles. His daughter, nicknamed "Scout", is the friend I wish I had had as I was growing up. This novel is a combination social justice manifesto, coming-of-age story, and magical tale of human relationships, all rolled into one. I'd love to get to it again before I plunge into Lee's prequel, Go Set A Watchman!

I know I've mentioned this novel before, but I must do so again. This is such a luminous, beautiful novel, dealing with the struggle of every artist -- how to remain true to one's art, in the midst of social or even religious opposition. Asher Lev is an enormously gifted young Jewish man, and his vocation is opposed by his Orthodox parents. This is a tale of great emotional drama and profound philosophical truths, as well as of the truths to be found in great art. 

Here's the stunning Alan Lee edition of The Lord of the Rings, slipcased in three volumes. Yes, I do own this treasure! And I want to re-read these wonderful books, immersing myself once more in the magical adventures of Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf, and the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring! I want to cross the portals of these books into the mystical, wonderful land of Middle-Earth once more. Perhaps this time, I'll be able to stay there forever!

Such a beautiful cover, and the story is set in Paris! Although it might seem to have something in common with the Twilight books, the hero in this YA paranormal romance  novel is a revenant, not a vampire, but he does fall in love with a young human girl. A revenant is a sort of zombie, except that Vincent, the hero, spends his life saving people, not eating them. This love story is luscious in the extreme, the action is awesome, and Vincent is one of my book boyfriends, right along with Edward and Jacob!

The only book I've ever read by Joseph Conrad is this one, and I don't remember much of the plot, except for the fact that I recognized it as a masterpiece when I first read it, several years ago. I do remember that it's a love story full of psychological insights, and the writing was just luscious! I would like to immerse myself in this novel again, especially since there appear to be some mental and emotional issues involved. Axel Heyst, the male protagonist, is trying to remain detached from people, while the young English girl he loves tries to break the spell of his solitude. They live on an island, too, which is another reason I want to re-read this novel! And I want this particular edition, as I don't know what happened to the one I used to own....

I saw the movie adaptation of this great novel on Netflix some time back, and it was not as satisfying as the book. Hollywood doesn't always get things right, and, in this case, they totally changed the character of Marcellus, the main protagonist. This novel is a richly-imagined tale of the last day in the life of Jesus, and how it affects a worldly, wealthy, young Roman. Fictional characters are interspersed with Biblical ones, and there's a very vividly described psychological/emotional conflict, as well. The author, Lloyd C. Douglas, was a Christian minister, and this novel is an absolute masterpiece!

I was totally enchanted and thrilled with the plot of this YA paranormal romance, which features a very believable werewolf world, a conflict with evil witches, and a strong female protagonist named Calla Tor. I loved the conflict, the realistically depicted characters -- especially Ren and Shay -- and the masterful plot, with its many twists and turns. This is the first book of a trilogy, and my absolute favorite, because this is the one in which Calla and Shay meet, under very unusual circumstances. Last but definitely not least, that cover is absolutely gorgeous!

I can't believe I was able to read this very moving novel, since it involves book-burning.....but read it I did, and was carried away with Bradbury's lyrical, elegant prose style, as well as the vividly-drawn characters and very realistic dystopian world. This novel is a must-read for everyone who loves and treasures books. It's about what books represent and contain -- the very best of the human mind and spirit. It's about the sacredness of these living objects. It's about how books must be allowed to effect their transformative magic unimpeded by petty political objectives. It's about so many more profound things, and a re-read is just around the corner for me!

Goodreads Pages

Robert Heinlein

Sharon and Tom Curtis

Robert Pirsig

Charlotte Vale Allen

Harper Lee

Chaim Potok

J.R.R. Tolkien

Amy Plum

Joseph Conrad

Lloyd C. Douglas

Andrea Cremer

Ray Bradbury


Have you read any of 
these books?
What books would you 
like to re-read?
Leave me a comment 
and let me know!


  1. Another great post Maria.

    This looks to be a great list of books for rereads

    I reread Lord of the Rings myself a few years ago. It is definitely worth it.

    I also reread Fahrenheit 451 a few years ago. I did so shortly after I read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four. As there are so many parallels and contrasts between the two books I really got a lot out of that reread.

    I have not read Stranger in a Strange Land in such a long time. It also left an impression upon me. I also need to reread this myself. I think that I would get a lot more out of it these days.

    Several other books that you mention I have not read at all. They all seem very worth the read.

  2. Hey, Brian!

    All the books you mention in your comment are very high on my TRR (to re-read) list! I'm glad you like them, too!

    It's so interesting that you read "Fahrenheit 451" shortly after reading "Nineteen Eighty-Four". You were definitely in the right 'dystopian frame of mind' for Bradbury's book! I need to read Orwell's novel. Then, I can re-read Bradbury's, and see how they compare.

    I remember that, several years after "Stranger In A Strange Land" came out -- and when I first began to watch the classic ST reruns -- I started hearing the phrase, "I grok Spock". I think I must have first heard it at a couple of Star Trek conventions I went to, here in Miami. "Fascinating!", as our beloved Mr. Spock would say..... And oh, I DEFINITELY DID grok Spock!!

    I think you would like "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". As I recall, there wasn't much about maintaining motorcycles in the novel. That was a metaphor for the author's philosophical ruminations. Thankfully, I know I brought my copy along when we moved to the condo. I need to get to it sometime soon! (I hope!)

    As for the other books, they are definitely very much worth the read! Well, the romance novels are obviously more interesting to us females, while "The Robe" would be most interesting to a Christian, although it's also great historical fiction.

    Thanks so much for another great comment!! : )


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