The Reread Project

by david

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a rereader, and that I wish I was. This sentiment is, of course, at least a partly dishonest one: if I wished it, I’d reread books more often. It’s not as if I need a genie or a birthday cake to make it come true.

But I do wish it, and so I’m going to get started soon, after this festival. In fact, I’m going to write about the process in a way that is likely to be embarrassing. My guess, based on my rereading of The Crying of Lot 49, is that I hardly remember some of the books I claim as my favorites. My plan is to write a quick post before each book, making claims about it, based only on my memory: why it stuck in my head, what I think it’s about, how I think it might be different reading it now. And I’m almost sure to be wildly wrong, especially about the specifics. Then I’ll write a response to that, after actually reading the book.

I’ve also never been an annotator. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because I used the library so heavily as a kid, and just got into the habit of never writing in books, even when I was taught the value of such annotations. I think I’m gonna mark the books up like crazy, just to see if I can turn myself into an annotator.

Right now, I’m thinking:

Mary and O’Neil, Cronin

Midnight’s Children, Rushdie

The Puttermesser Papers, Ozick

The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

Leviathan (or The New York Trilogy), Auster

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Murakami

The Rings of Saturn, Sebald

The Power and the Glory or The Heart of the Matter, Greene

Out of Sheer Rage, Dyer

The Last Samurai, DeWitt

God’s Country, Everett

Ticknor, Heti

Cloud Atlas, Mitchell

I’m surprised how contemporary the list is. I thought there’d be more classics. Any suggestions?