TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — To Re-Read Or Not To Re-Read

It doesn’t happen very often, but I’m re-reading a novel I read years ago.  It’s not just any novel.  It’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s not for nothing that Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for it.

mockingbirdLike much of the reading public, I’m looking forward to the publication of Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman in July.”  But July is a long time to wait, so I decided to pick up “Mockingbird” in the meantime. I’ve been rewarded with an reading experience so good it brought tears to my eyes.

All of which got me thinking. I haven’t re-read many books in my life.  There’s so much to read for the first time. To the best of my knowledge I’ve never read anything by Marcel Proust or William Faulkner, for example.  I’ve tried and failed to get through epics like “Moby Dick” and “War and Peace.” My Goodreads list is embarrassingly thin, I’m afraid.  Not many classics on it.

Now that I’m not reading the news (out loud) to people on television, I have a little more time, in between cleaning up cat vomit, to re-read some of the books I’ve been missing.

Mark Twain’s  “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole have been on my re-reading bucket list for a long time.  But, what else?

I did what I always do in times like this.  I asked my Facebook friends. They came through with a (very good) re-reading book list. Now, I’m even more conflicted. Here’s just a small sample.

— “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote.

— “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry.

— “A Prayer for Owen Mean” by John Irving.

— “The Color Purple”  by Alice Walker.

— “The Velveteen Rabbit”  by Margery Williams.

— “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

— “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72″ by Hunter S. Thompson.

— “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” by William Powell.

— “Ulysses” by James Joyce.

— “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young.

— “Giants in the Earth” by Ole Edvart Rolvaag.

—  “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.

— “Catch-22 by Joseph Heller”.

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