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Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Rereads

Despite the fact that I acquired a mountain of new books for my birthday, I felt the irrepressible urge to go back and reread some of the ones already on my shelves. I don't reread as much as I'd like to. I often glance at my collection and think 'I want to take another look at you' but then the TBR pile gets in the way. However, I must've needed the comfort of books I know because I've been on a rereading blitz.

First up was Tell it to the Bees by Fiona Shaw (reviewed here). It's no exaggeration to say this is one of my favourite novels - this is my fifth or sixth reread since 2010. It's become an annual treat to pick it up when I'm feeling low and submerging myself in a forbidden relationship set in the 1950s. At least I've got out of the habit of needing to read it all in one day because now I can fully appreciate the final chapters without my eyelids drooping. What I haven't got out of though is wanting to read it again as soon as I've put it down.

My second reread was All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West (reviewed here). The story of an 88 year-old woman sick of being treated like a child by her family struck a chord. Rereading this affected me much the same as watching Angela Lansbury on-screen in Driving Miss Daisy did - it reminded me to focus on the person, not the age. There's an irony attached to all this that I'll maybe explain one day soon.

My third book was Landing by Emma Donoghue (reviewed here). Definitely a departure from the two above, it was my first Donoghue and therefore retains a special little place in my heart. I've been meaning to reread it and, for the most part, I enjoyed it again. However, like All Passion Spent, it made a point that I could've done without.

Finally, I reread Emma by Jane Austen (reviewed here). I actually read this two years ago this month and I've been looking at it longingly all year. I think my desire to reread Emma was actually what started this little rereading spree. I enjoyed it once again, of course, finding it amusing and still completely relevant to modern life. But, on a more personal level, Emma's journey led me on one of my own. Perhaps that was why I wanted to reread it all along.

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