Top Ten Books I Read and Read Again

Today Top Ten Tuesday is celebrating its tenth birthday. I’ve been participating off and on since a month or so after its inception, and I’ve enjoyed it over the years. Today its host is asking readers to revisit or expand a favored list from the past.  I decided to share books I revisit over and over!

  1. The Black Widowers series, Isaac Asimov.   I’ve mentioned this series numerous times over the years. Imagine being able to join six professional men at the table of a fine restaurant every month,  meet a new guest with an odd story, and then sort through the mystery they present through reason and a good general-knowledge background.  I especially love reading the Widowers stories when I’m forced to eat alone.
  2. The Geography of Nowhere, Jim Kunstler.   This curiously titled book tackles both culture and land-use policies, then rips off their helmets and drop-kicks them.  It manages to amuse and enrage me simultaneously while explaining a great deal of my own unease with the American landscape.
  3. Foundationor at least, the few few stories in the original Foundation book, the ones that follow Seldon’s persecution by the Empire,  the creation of Foundation at Terminus,  and the early triumphs of Salvor Hardin and the other Mayors over the empire and their neighbors.
  4. Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry.  Jayber Crow is my favorite novel, period,  and it’s one I read and listen to via audiobook form every year. After I read the book  I was lucky enough to spot its audio version on sale for $0.99, and quickly took advantage of it.  (It’s actually on sale for $8 right now from the same source.)
  5. Ready Player One, Ernest Kline.  RPO is unusual in that within three months, I listened to its Audible version (read by Wil Wheaton – incredible), read the real book, and watched the movie based on it.    RPO fits me like a glove.
  6. The Rainmaker, & The Last Juror, John Grisham.  The Rainmaker probably holds the record for “Book I’ve read through most times”.  I’ve completely destroyed my original copy of it, half-destroyed another copy, and now have a hardback that’s a bit more worthy of the constant abuse.  To me, it’s the perfect legal novel, and The Last Juror stands apart — a unique chronicle of life in a small southern town from the sixties to the seventies,  with a legal case and its consequences tying it together.
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  /Prisoner of AzkabanI read them, I watch them, I listen to their audiobooks.  They’re less books and more habits!
  8. Stargazer: Gauntlet.   Michael Jan Friedman was my earliest favorite Trek writer (until being supplanted by Christopher L. Bennett and David Mack, Destroyer of Worlds) , and the first two Stargazer books were much of the reason why.  The first one, especially:  the young captain is tasked with hunting a pirate, and he and his crew have to come up with all kinds of creative ways to track the pirate and evade his traps in a nebula. The ending is a big twist, too.  My battered copies of these books bear witness to how much I loved them in high school and beyond.
  9. The Airman’s War, Albert Marrin.   This book and Marrin’s other WW2 titles (Overlord and Victory in the Pacific, I think) blur together for me,  but The Airman’s War is the volume I remember and dote on the most. It gave me an obsession for World War 2;  an irrational fondness for P-51 Mustangs and B-17 Bombers, not to mention a sober appreciation for how many lives were lost flying daylight raids over Festung Europa.   Both high school and college saw me writing papers on the air wars of WW1 and WW2,  and that passion owed squarely to Marrin.
  10. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Max Shulman. Before I met P.G. Wodehouse, I knew Max Shulman. His writing was dirtier, his language not nearly as fun  — but the absurdist humor is similar in both.    I’ve been reading and re-reading this collection of college stories since 2003.


About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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9 Responses to Top Ten Books I Read and Read Again

  1. lydiaschoch says:

    I really should read The Rainmaker sometime.

    My TTT .

    • Absolutely! Or at least watch the Matt Damon movie…it introduced me to Grisham, and captures the spirit of the book really well, far better than other Grisham movie adaptations.

  2. Cyberkitten says:

    Did you see that there’s a TV Series coming out based on ‘Foundation’? It certainly LOOKS great!

    • It looks rather like Star Wars based on the one trailer, so as of yet I’m not enthralled…:(

      • Cyberkitten says:

        They probably had to do that to get ‘the kids’ watching. Hopefully it’ll be deeper than that! Plus not based around how many cuddly Yoda’s they can sell [lol]

      • I’d grimace, but Star Wars has been shilling itself out for merchandise for a loooong time. I remember the stores being GLUTTED with SW stuff when Phantom Menace hit.

  3. I am happy to find someone who has been doing TTT posts as long as I have (longer, in fact). I’m glad to see your list of rereads, too.

  4. Other than HP, I haven’t read any of these. I do love the whole HP series, though. I read the books as they first came out and have re-read a couple since. I’m definitely in need of reading the whole series again.

    Happy TTT!


  5. The Prisoner of Azkaban might be my favorite HP. That opening gets me every time. Great post!

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