Last year on the 9th June, I posted a list of 36 books I was planning to re-read, with the aim of re-reading two books a month. 14 months later I thought it might be a good idea to check in with how that has gone on, as well as share some thoughts on which titles lived up to expectation and which titles did not.
At the time of writing the initial post I was confident that over time I would end up changing my mind as to which titles to re-read and this prediction was certainly an accurate one. Whilst I’ve not been removing titles off the original list, I’ve definitely been adding them. Consequently, of the original 36 books only 20 have been re-read so far.
Below I’ve colour coded my re-reads from the last 14 months and by and large I think my re-reads have been positive ones, as even with some of the ones which were not quite as good as I remembered, the reduction in their ratings was often a small one.
Titles with a * next to them are titles added to the list after the initial post.
The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944) by Edmund Crispin
A Murder is Announced (1950) by Agatha Christie
London Particular (1952) by Christianna Brand
To Love and Be Wise (1950) by Josephine Tey
Ordeal by Innocence (1958) by Agatha Christie
A Shilling for Candles (1936) by Josephine Tey
*The Murder of my Aunt (1934) by Richard Hull
September 2018 (a.k.a The Month Kate became the Reading Grinch)
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959) by Agatha Christie
*Murder Underground (1934) by Mavis Doriel Hay
N or M? (1941) by Agatha Christie
The Smiler with the Knife (1939) by Nicholas Blake
*The Mystery of a Butcher’s Shop (1929) by Gladys Mitchell
The Man in the Brown Suit (1924) by Agatha Christie (Anne certainly got on my wick a lot more this time)
The Beast Must Die (1938) by Nicholas Blake
Mystery in White (1937) by J. Jefferson Farjeon
Buried for Pleasure (1948) by Edmund Crispin
Both these titles were originally 5/5 rated on Goodreads, so whilst I didn’t think they were as good as that on my re-read, their revised scores are still good.
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934) by Agatha Christie
*She Died a Lady (1943) by Carter Dickson
Three Act Tragedy (1934) by Agatha Christie (only because my expectations probably weren’t exceptionally high)
There’s Trouble Brewing (1937) by Nicholas Blake (Another highly rated book, which has gone down a peg).
No re-reads this month probably due to my laptop dying on me.
*Dead Man’s Folly (1956) by Agatha Christie (Again probably because I knew it wasn’t an absolute favourite going in)
Love Lies Bleeding (1948) by Edmund Crispin (The problem with allotting a colour for this one was that I couldn’t really remember what my expectations were going in.)
Suicide Excepted (1939) by Cyril Hare (But then that is only a decrease from 5/5 to 4.5/5)
*Death Comes as the End (1944) by Agatha Christie
*Tour De Force (1955) by Christianna Brand
Crooked House (1949) by Agatha Christie
Unnatural Death (1927) by Dorothy L. Sayers
*A Judgement in Stone (1977) by Ruth Rendell
*Hallowe’en Party (1969) by Agatha Christie (Again expectations weren’t as high to begin with)
*The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928) by Dorothy L. Sayers
As you can see the addition of, well additional titles, has increased in the last few months, so now my current to be re-read list looks like this:
(Again new additions are shown with an *)
- Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog (2000) by Boris Akunin
- The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy (1975) by James Anderson
- Murder in Japan (1987) ed. By John L. Apostolou and Martin Greenberg
- The Affair at Royalties (1971) by George Baxt
- Thou Shell of Death (1936) by Nicholas Blake
- Nemesis (1971), *Third Girl (1966), *Partners in Crime (1929), *Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938), *Mrs McGinty’s Dead (1952), *A Caribbean Mystery (1964) and *Postern of Fate (1973) (in preparation for Brad and JJ’s magnum opus on the title next month, so yes, I better get my skates on with this one!)
- Holy Disorders (1945), Swan Song (1947), *Beware of the Trains (1953) by Edmund Crispin
- The Unfinished Clue (1934) by Georgette Heyer
- Surfeit of Lampreys (1941) and Scales of Justice (1955) by Ngaio Marsh
- Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell
- Verdict of Twelve (1940) by Raymond Postgate
- Clouds of Witness (1926) by Dorothy L Sayers
- Thrones, Dominations (1998) by Jill Paton Walsh
- The Lady Vanishes (1936) by Ethel Lina White
- *The Chinese Chop (1949) by Juanita Sheridan
- *The Cornish Coast Murder (1935) by John Bude
And yes, I imagine I will continue to add titles in ad hoc, despite the list having 25 titles to pick from.
Over to you
- Are you a keen re-reader or is once enough? Does it depend on the genre of the book?
- How long do you wait until you re-read a book? For me most of these titles haven’t been read for 5-7 years.