Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the joy of re-reading

after writing my English exam on Friday, i've had a lot more free time than usual at this time of year. (i wrote another exam today, for Journalism, but we were given the exam question a week and a half in advance, so that made studying for the exam a lot less frenetic.)

this gave me a bit of free time, and i thought, "AHA! i will finish re-reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being!"

for some background The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera is one of my favourite books; i studied it last year as a part of my Modern Fiction course and was just absorbed into its pages through the realness of the characters and Kundera's rather compelling authorial voice. i'd started re-reading it on my trip back to Grahamstown after the September holidays, but had soon been subsumed by the masses of work which laid in store this term, and so the first time when i could finally pick it up again was this weekend.

AAAAAH. i love re-reading books! i should probably clarify; i love re-reading well-written, intelligent and astute books, books that once seemingly quenched my metaphorical thirst for literature while really only made me want more. i love when i re-read a book and find, instead of simplistic patterns or plot oversights in the author's work which i hadn't noticed the first time round, that i am more deeply entranced by the book's characters and/or story and/or poetry. it is like a giant bear hug.

i finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being off in about a day, and then got started on The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, which is my newest favourite. i love this book for its irreverence, its beautifully crafted characters, its unpredictability - never before have i read something that is able to make me laugh obnoxiously one second and have me in tears just a few words later. i am busily working my way through its pages and am already anticipating my next read - which brings me to my conclusion.

these are my top five books which i have re-read - some just in part, when i search and search for a particular passage that i recall resonated with me when i read it the first time, others in full:

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being 
by Milan Kundera

2. The Fault In Our Stars 
by John Green

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
by Jonathan Safran Foer

4. Blue Like Jazz 
by Donald Miller 
(as well as most other things written by the man, if i'm honest)

and, my upcoming read:
5. The Book Thief 
by Markus Zusak

(also, might i add any and all of CS Lewis's books in the Narnia series to the list? i will never be too old or too wise for those books.)

i'm mightily excited because both The Book Thief and The Fault In Our Stars are being made into MOVIES! in actual fact, The Book Thief is done and dusted and, i believe, is being released in movie theatres in the States either this Friday or next Friday. (it only makes its way to South Africa in early February... ha!) it looks like it may change my life.

The Fault In Our Stars is being filmed at present, with lots of input and help from the book's author and with an amazing actress (Shailene Woodley) cast in the leading role. the other three books have all been adapted for film - i loved both Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Blue Like Jazz, and couldn't bring myself to watch the film version of The Unbearable Lightness of Being (too much physical stuff in the book that is way easier to ignore in print, for one thing, and i also JUST DON'T KNOW how they could accurately do a film adaptation and am too worried that it'll mess with my head-version of all of the characters.)

nevertheless, the movies - no matter how brilliant they are or might be - will never live up to the books themselves, and i'll always cherish these particular books for the impact they've had on my life :)

what're your favourite books to read and re-read and re-re-read, friends?

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