I have a friend who insists life is too short to ever watch reruns or reread a book. I fully appreciate what he means and that it’s true of 95% of literature, 97.5% of movies, and 99% of tv shows.* However, there is definitely media worth consuming, digesting, regurgitating, and consuming again. (Consider music for a moment.)
*Of course, I am making those numbers up because there’s no way to get accurate statistics on such things and this is also a matter of opinion… BUT… I firmly believe there are more movies than tv shows and more books than either.
I’m going to skip over obvious choices for rereading. At least a few of them are pictured above. Literary classics are so for good reason. Most great books are worth a second read. I’ve never met anyone who’s read too much Shakespeare either.
These are a few of the lesser-known books I read over and over again, knowing I’ll never have time to read all the books I want to, and doing it freaking anyway. It should go without saying that these are all ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to me.
The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin
Justin Cronin wrote this post-apocalyptic, vampirish series brilliantly (though he specifically avoids the word “vampire” throughout the book). I love the premise, the dark beginning of humanity’s demise, how the narrative flashes in and out of different time periods, organically-developed (but not overpowering) romance, and, most of all, the characters he created – and there are plenty. I dream about them sometimes. Thank goodness it’s more about fighting some terror alongside the main crew than the horrific monsters Cronin created.
Stephen King calls this “one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction”. He’s not wrong.
I may write a full review for these at some point but for right now just know that I’ve listened to the approximately 90-hour audio version of this at least 4 times in 2 years, and I don’t regret it. Beyond Cronin’s great storytelling, Scott Brick is the perfect narrator. He does such a great job that it’s easy to forget he’s there. I’ve even picked up other audiobooks just because he’s narrating.
Along with the audiobooks, I’ve also purchased 2 copies of the paperbacks (one was a gift) so I’ll always have them. ‘Flyers,’ the story is so good! Don’t take my word for it.
Also, this is slated for a tv deal so read them now. We all know what Hollywood does to books.
Here’s a link to the Kindle version full set or get two of these books free with a free Audible trial. Another option would be to get one for now and different book you’ve been eyeing! I’ll explain how and why I got hooked on audiobooks in another post. My situation aside, audiobooks are great for car rides and when you’re busy with mindless activity. Perfect time to get an extra book or two in!
The Passage has a 4.04-star rating on Goodreads, The Twelve has 3.99, and City of Mirrors has a 4.2-star average.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
A friend of mine lent me this book around high school graduation under the simple condition it must be returned to him because it had to be passed on. I can never thank him enough for that. Four simple principles changed my perspective on nearly everything. This book of ancient Toltec wisdom is a must read for everyone, regardless of faith or lack thereof. The non-theological “agreements” (rules of living) are truly life-changing. It’s simple, easy to follow, and only 168 pages. You’ve got almost nothing to lose! I try to read it once a year and have bought this book more times than I can count to give copies to friends.
I always have my own and hope those friends loan their copies out as well. It’s important. If everyone followed these rules we’d live in a much better world.
There are other books in the series (including the companion workbook that’s also totally worth the time!) but reading and following the principles outlined in this book alone WILL improve your life. Bet me.
The Four Agreements has a 4.13-star rating on Goodreads.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
This is another incredibly long but worthwhile book. It begins when the moon suddenly shatters into bits and humanity discovers they’ve only got a short period of time to evacuate the planet if the species is to survive. Naturally, only so many people can leave the planet and there are only so many places they can go… It’s constant conflict with characters you’ll root for and against throughout the whole saga. Maybe it should’ve been written into a trilogy but that’s another post.
Though some reviewers weren’t fond of the lengthy explanations of things like orbital mechanics, I like the extra geek factor this book brings to the party. It’s a great story and the audiobook version (after the first or second listen) is a pretty mellow thing to put on when it’s time to go to sleep for the night. This might explain some of my wilder dreams but those too have been novel-worthy.
Seveneves has a 3.98-star rating on Goodreads.
Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
If you’re unfamiliar with the name Chuck Palahniuk, you’ve been following the first rule of Fight Club pretty well. Now it’s time to stop. This novel is my favorite of his and he’s my favorite so I guess it’s my favorite. 😉 Prior to that, my #1 (contemporary, of course!) was Choke.
There isn’t much I can say about Rant without spoiling the story but he breaks every rule he comes across, gets himself bitten by poisonous and rabid animals to feel alive, would do ANYTHING for his mother, and can tell a girl’s cholesterol level by kissing her… and it gets so much weirder… Sci-fi isn’t Palahniuk’s typical neck of the woods but his characters and narrative are meticulously constructed and the story is truly fantastic. My first two reads were fun but basically to figure out what the Hell happened – everything after that has just been to relive the ride.
Rant has a 3.82-star rating on Goodreads.