I’ve been thinking about some of the books that I want to re-read in 2021. These are ‘old favourites’ or just books that I love that I haven’t read in a while. Honestly, even though I consider these books amongst my favourites, I actually can’t remember much about them.
The Yellow Wall-paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
What I can remember: This short story is an exploration of women’s health – physical and mental – and the mistreatment of women by doctors in the late-nineteenth century. It’s poignant and harrowing and it represents what women had to go through (and unfortunately still experience) when receiving medical treatment.
Why I want to re-read it: Although I love this story, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I could. I want to read it but not from a literature student’s perspective, like I did last time, I just want to experience the story as a reader. Does that make sense? Probably not.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
What I can remember: I actually remember a lot about this book but I can’t remember the ending! Which is perfect when you’re considering re-reading a book. It’s an incredibly well-written pastiche of nineteenth-century Gothic novels and Hill really nailed the writing style in this book.
Why I want to re-read it: It has been too long since I read this book. That’s all. I just need to revisit this masterpiece.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
What I can remember: Le Guin explores gender and society in this excellent speculative fiction novel. I can’t remember much more than that because I read it for a class (which means that I probably speed-read this) and I haven’t picked it up since 2015.
Why I want to re-read it: I remember enjoying this book a lot but I didn’t have the time to focus on it as much as I wanted to since it was an assigned text. I just want to read it properly – and maybe review it properly – because I think I’ll love it even more if I do.
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
What I can remember: The only thing I can really remember about this book is that someone is arrested and put on trial for murder (??) or some other serious crime. It has clearly been too long since I read Mary Barton.
Why I want to re-read it: I really love Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing and I actually finished reading another of her books, Wives and Daughters, at the end of 2020. I think I last read Mary Barton in 2014 so it’s about time I revisited the book that made me fall in love with Elizabeth Gaskell’s work.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
What I can remember: Three posh boys, a not-posh boy, and an odd girl form a gang.
Why I want to re-read it: My desire to re-read this book was actually prompted by a tumblr post I saw a couple of months ago that said that The Raven Cycle clearly gave you memory loss because no-one who has read it can remember the plot. I can’t really remember anything other than the overarching plotline of the series so I want to re-read it. Simple.
Do you plan to revisit any of your favourite books in 2021?
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