March 7, Friday evening -- Reading Milan Kundera

6PM Friday in Union Square. It's the time of day, day of week when people start coming into the city from out of town and I think, who are these people all dressed up for dinner? (no offense to reader in the next post down--I don't mind sharing. I like to share. Everyone should come to San Francisco and support our bookstores.)

I didn't ask, but I think she's local.


Reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera. It delves into the human condition. What is love and why do people love each other? This is her third time reading it.

Her favorite book--The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, which does for her the same thing The Unbearable Lightness of Being does. Both explore the human condition in a nonjudgmental way.

When she was young she liked the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. The Nancy Drew books she read were her mom's.

Here's another Milan Kundera reader, who I photographed at the rim of the Grand Canyon last summer for my Dogeared USA blog. You have to scroll down to the fourth picture.


What books do you find yourself going back to over and over again?

38 Comments:

blog4reel said...

Interesting blog! You should check out the blog4reel.com competition.

Henry said...

I find myself returning to "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" by Terry Pratchett. My copy is quite dog-eared (or, rather, cat-eared).

Danielle said...

I found you via 'blogs of note' and I really enjoy visiting here!!! What book do I keep returning to???? Hmmmmm....I am not one to re-read books but I never give away my favorites...one of which is Augustus Burroughs 'Running with Scissors'. His book 'Dry' was very good also.

nanolitlover said...

your blog seems wonderful.I will read as much as possible in the future.
I wish you success.

Dave Donelson said...

Great question from a great blogger! I've come back to many books repeatedly, sometimes for just one part...the opening of At Play In The Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen, the description of when the earth moves in Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls, the scene in Grapes of Wrath where Tom Joad meets the Preacher.
--Dave Donelson author of Heart of Diamonds

LizzieG said...

Fantastic blog. I have a whole stack of books that I re-read, the 3rd & 4th Harry Potter books, Pride and Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, Rivals by Jilly Cooper, LOTR & The Hobbit, The Odyssey. I could keep going but basically any book that I loved the first time around, it feels like returning to an old friend.

USWriter said...

I enjoy Trevanian's SHIBUMI quite a bit, and THE GREAT GATSBY.
-U.S. Writer

Robin said...

Germinal, Tale of Two cities, Arctic Even by James Cobb, Protect and Defend by (oops forgot his name), Desert Queen by Janet Wallach (all about Iraq-Mesopotamia between 1850 and 1920). There are a lot more but these are a few. Wait, one more if you want a good read: The Hermitage by William Bradbury. Worst Boring BooK with same scenario over and over and over again? Da Vinci Code. Next worse book: Empire Falls (Russo) all about a bunch of self indulgent wimps and trivia to fill up the pages like what the priest's housekeeper was cooking for dinner.

Katarina said...

This is a fantastic blog! I am in love with the idea :)

I find myself returning to "Stardust", by Neil Gaiman. It is my favorite book of all times. He knows his way with words that man, and the story in itself is too good to stay away from. That is why I keep coming back.

Harry Potter is also very easy returning to, when I've got nothing else to read.

ghemu said...

Hello there, it`s an interesting blog, good work , keep it going.My re-read books..hmmm... well it`s just one book , acctuali( sorry for my writing ), and it`s called Remembrance by Jude Deveraux : "Bestselling romance writer Hayden Lane has never been so obsessed with one of her fictional heroes before so entranced that she barely notices when her fiance breaks their engagement. Desperate to discover more about him, she visits a psychic who tells har that in a past life, Hayden was Lady de Grey, a promiscuous woman of Edwardian England whose ghost is said to haunt her husband's home. Warned not to investigate further, Hayden is more intrigued than ever and can't resist being subject to a hypnotist's magic. But the trick goes wrong, and instead of merely remembering her past as Lady de Grey, Hayden is living it right down to her too-tight corset. Now, Hayden will discover quite a different story about a woman history considered a trollop, a spectacular, brooding man, and the rapturous love that would be hers if she dared open her heart to the most mysterious adventure of all.... "

Roberta said...

Love your blog, being an avid reader myself. Nothing is out of my scope of reading interests. Every 5 or so years, I return to Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." Each re-read I learn a bit more about myself and the world. Interestingly, Ms Rand would probably be considered a prophet were she to be still living. Read her book and see the remarkable parallels of today.

Days of Endless Dreaming said...

I just stumbled over this blog the other day, and I'm so glad I did. I find myself going back to the classics I read growing up. Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Gaskell's North and South and Wives and Daughters.

stockdove said...

Definitely Jane Austen - there's something so comforting and familiar in her books, and the characters are lovely and joyfully alive. Her sharp wit is fabulous too, of course :) It's interesting how so many people turn to fantasy novels...when it comes to Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's trilogy 'His Dark Materials' I'm the same way. Thank you for creating this wonderful blog, it looks like it's bringing a whole community of readers together :)

Sun Singer said...

I find myself returning to diverse books such as "The Prince of Tides," "Memories of Rain," and "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell."

This was a fun post. Glad I drifted through town and found it.

Malcolm

spiralcattalks said...

I keep coming back to The Lord of the Rings, although I'm not sure I actually like it anymore.

Shandy said...

Great blog, Sonya!

Not much on reading books more than once but I have re-read most of Truman Capote's work (except "In Cold Blood"--once was enough).

Looking forward to checking your blog regularly. Cheers!

Melissa said...

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Even though I don't agree with it like I did when I was younger, I find that I grow (even if it's due to my criticism of it) each time I read it.

Manoj said...

This is my first look at this blog and I have not read much here. I did scrolled through some of the arresting pics and liked the honest attemt
>I don't pretend to be well read myself--this blog is more of an attempt to live vicariously through others

Keep up the good work

Jeannie said...

I just finished reading The Unbearable Lightness of the being, and I'm becoming an addict, I probably read something from Kundera at least once a week.

Say Lee said...

Rereading an English book? I don't think I have ever done it, save for reference books that sometimes demand a couple of rereads to let the concepts sink in.

But I have reread a lot of the Chinese Martial Arts series in my day, each time reliving the heroics and the ultimate triumph of the good over the bad.

Sitaram said...

Hemingway was my idol as a teenager in the 1960s.

I have spent a lot of time on Milan Kunderay, several of his novels, and his essays on "The Art of Writing"

ahvarahn said...

Hi Sonya, the Unbearable Lightness of Being is an utterly astonishing experience. Kundera is a thinker, then a teacher, then a writer, and then some. Highly recommended.

Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is one that rebounds, and I usually re-read it in one sitting (not that it is that big or anything). So it goes.

tristan said...

take a look at "i can fly, but only at night", i call it an "un-book" because it's written so starkly. it's child-like narrative forces the reader to insert their own experiences. it becomes a different story each time it's read, even by the same reader.

this blog is an literary oasis...

Kay said...

Some books are like old friends. I like to visit them again and again. One of my favorites in fiction is "East of the Sun" by Barbara Bickmore. Others I pick up from time to time are "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by Rabbi Kushner, Emily Dickinson's poetry,and "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson--it is just so funny! i enjoy your blog!

A. Stageman said...

"Unbearable Lightness of Being" is a mentally stimulating book of greatness. Haha, that being said, I am going to read it again sometime. Also, I find myself going back to "Blue Like Jazz".

Erin Rae said...

Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle. When I need to slip away to another place, another body, I pick up that book and float on.

Great blog-- I love it and plan to refer my reading friends!

marelle said...

I like re-reading Veronika Decides to Die and also The Little Prince.

Nicole said...

I LOVE your blog. The idea is fabulous. I don't have much time to read these days... But I used to read Richard Bach over. He helped affirm my faith in myself and where I was going. Interesting philosophies. As a child I read the Narnia series, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Jane Eyre over and over!

Veronica said...

I like rereading Harry Potter, Tuck Everlasting, The Great Gatsby, but haven't reread them in a while because I have a lot of books on my shelf that I want to read the first time.

CatherineCofC said...

I really enjoyed your blog, being an avid reader myself when I find the time. The concept is very interesting to me, the assertion that people do still read on a daily basis among all the constant obligations we have. The people you showcase are all incredibly different with varying tastes in novels, yet all share a common love for books. While scrolling through the posts, I came upon many readers with whom I shared a mutual enjoyment of reading and also, with some, similar tastes in novels. For me, I find myself coming back to the Harry Potter series. Even though I have read the books countless times and even seen the movies, I just get caught up in the fantasy adventure each time I pick the book back up. Overall, great blog!

mheemsical said...

HI, I love Gossip girl. But that's too teeny right. I find myself reading Oliver's Story over and over again.

Seri said...

When I was in elementary school, I read Little Women by: Louisa May Alcott at least 100 times. I was obsessed with that book.

Currently, I have read Dreamland by: Sarah Dessen quite a few times in the past year and half that I've had it. Whenever I read it, I am taken back to the time when I first bought and read it. And usually music does that for me. This is the first book to do so.

Vamp_Writer said...

Great blog.
Twiligh Series.
(Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse)

And any thing by Jane Austin.

Those books just draw you back in.

:D
Best of luck, keep blogging!

cashiewashie said...

oh my god your blog is so cool, i love it. i always go back to reading "jane eyre."

Lulu said...

Great Blog, I love the concept, especially since I am going to school for library science and would like to work on improving literacy. I read "East of Eden" once every couple of years. I also love returning to books I enjoyed when I was young. Keep up the great work!

Age said...

This is an AWESOME blog...one that I actually think I will encourage my students (I am an English Teacher) to read. "See...people REAllY do read without anyone telling them to, ladies..." (by the way I teach in an all-girls school).

Anyway, I find myself returning to numerous books because I am teaching them, but one that I return to for my own pleasure is The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Every time I read it I pick up on something else that makes me appreciate his skill as a writer even more. Of course I am a big fan of Mrs Dalloway and this book cross references it in the most extraordinary ways that I almost want to cry when I am reading it!

Spun said...

For years I didn't return to anything as I was always chasing the next thing. I'm finally begining to slow down and accept I won't read everything so I might as well go and re-read a little slower those that were rushed before. In the last few years random examples are: Bridge of San Louis Ray, 1984, and often short stories of Chekov and Borges (who's collected fictions lives by the bed - still don't understand them but still thoroughly enjoy.. it's all about the sword and the dagger apparently....)

Hilda said...

What books do you find yourself going back to over and over again?

The Lord of the Rings, definitely! I first read it when I was 12. I'm 42 now and I read the entire trilogy every couple of years or so.