I’ve always been someone who enjoyed rereading my favorite books. Especially before I entered the book blogging community when I had trouble discovering new and interesting books on my own. But since I’ve become a book blogger, the reading of new books began to take precedence over the rereading of the old. So when I started seeing so many bloggers post about the books they want to reread this year, I was eager to jump on the bandwagon!
I do not think of this as a comprehensive list, there are certainly others I might also want to revisit this year. But at the moment, these are the books I’ve been longing to reread, not just for myself but also to help inspire my writing.
These are some the books I fell in love with in high school. They’re books that changed me and influenced the person I wanted to be. I’m interested in rereading them now because I feel like they’re still important books to me and I hope to be inspired by them again.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I read this book for the first time in my junior year of high school for AP English III. I had borrowed it from an older friend, because I was not sure I wanted to spend money buying it if I wasn’t going to like it. It turned out that I was incredibly moved by it and ended up buying it that summer.
I think this book was be polarizing for students forced to read this book for school because it’s a book that you have to be right age and the right state-of-mind to appreciate. I’m sure many people will never get there because empathy with the Holden Caulfield is integral to understanding the story, and many people just don’t get it because they’ve never been in his shoes..
Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
After reading The Catcher in the Rye, I was desperate to find everything J.D. Salinger had ever published. I was disappointed to find that no other novels existed (that we know of), but that there were short stories available. I had never really read short stories before for my own enjoyment, other than for classes.
Franny & Zooey is my favorite short story collection of Salinger’s, and I might even like it more than The Catcher in the Rye. I’ve long thought that this story continues where Holden’s story left off, after his mental breakdown. There’s almost no resolution at the end of the novel, and in Franny & Zooey I think you’re left with a lot more hope.
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
This short story collection is satisfying if you want to read more about the quirky Glass family you’re introduced to in Franny & Zooey. There’s a lot of melancholy and room for reflection in these stories. I’m interested in reading this collection again, not just for enjoyment but also to help me think about how to create my own short fictions for my anthology project this year (see Writing Goals for 2016.)
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
This classic novel by Kurt Vonnegut is another favorite I was exposed to as result of my AP English III class. We didn’t actually have to read it for class (it was cut from the schedule for some reason), but I read it on my own and was blown away.
This book makes you feel all the feelings. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s partially science fiction, it’s a story of war. There’s sadness, horror, and still somehow humor. I remember reading this book and being inspired to live life more meaningfully.
These are the books I want to read because there are things I think might help me as I work on my own writing this year. One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is to read authors whose work you’d like to emulate and these books all have something that’s inspired me, including excellent world-building. So naturally, these books are all fantasy series (basically).
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I marathoned this series very quickly over a week or so in October. It was insane. I still can’t believe how quickly I read them. I partially want to reread them so I can take my time and appreciate them better than I did the first time, and even review them! But I also really appreciate the world-building of these novels. They’re unique for YA fantasy. And I want to determine for myself what I think went wrong in the final book (which was disappointing, particularly after the stellar second book).
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkowski
This series I jumped into just because I wanted to see what the hype was all about. The beautiful covers had me thinking it would be “chick lit” in fantasy disguised, but that isn’t quite right. The first book started off very romance-heavy, but by the end there was an amazing turn of events that redeemed the entire book and led me to jump directly into the sequel. WHICH WAS EVEN BETTER. It was a lot more political intrigue and action, everything I loved most about the first book. And the world was unique as well, unlike anything I’d ever read and also strangely fantasy-feeling in atmosphere despite there being no magic!
The Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by Erika Johansen
This was my favorite series I discovered last year. It’s so different from anything else I’ve experienced before. It’s complicated to assign it a genre. I feel like I would categorize it as a New Adult fantasy set in a futuristic world. To say much else would feel spoiler-y because you learn more about the world as the story progresses. I’d love to write as unique and inspiring a series as Rutkowski does with here. I feel like these books are a little under-hyped, but if the movie plans go through I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about these books in the coming years.