10 Books Everyone Should Reread

Even if you’re the most thorough reader, it can be difficult to take in every single detail of a book on the first read.

That’s why a second, or even third, reading can provide a fuller appreciation of any great book.

The New York Public Library compiled a list of the 10 best books to reread, from groundbreaking short-story collections to all-time favourite biographies.

'The Big Sleep' by Raymond Chandler

This 1939 crime novel introduces the famed fictional detective Philip Marlowe, who is featured throughout Chandler's work. Hired by a billionaire on his death bed, Marlowe sets out to investigate a case of blackmail, but ends up ensnared in mysteries of murder, pornography, kidnapping, and more.

The book is notoriously complex, so a second reading may help you uncover any clues and details you may have missed the first time around.

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'The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes' by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes not only wrote beautiful poetry, but also captured over 40 years of African American life within his writing. Reading the jazz poet's work is important for both of these reasons, and this volume includes his 868 poems arranged in the rough order that they were written.

Some of his most famous poems, like 'I, Too, Sing America' and the lengthier 'Montage of a Dream Deferred,' are included, but its easy to pick up this collection over and over again to discover something new.

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'The Corrections' by Jonathan Franzen

The Lambert family is gradually tearing at the seams, as wife and mother Enid desperately searches for some enjoyment. Her husband, Alfred, is deteriorating from Parkinson's disease, while her children each deal with their own share of struggles.

Enid's goal is to reunite her family for Christmas one last time, and the novel is a tale of that one family's trials and tribulations.

'The Corrections' won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2001.

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'Frida, A Biography of Frida Kahlo' by Hayden Herrera

This biography provides readers with unique insight into the enthralling life of the Mexican 20th century artist. From her art to her lovers, Frida Kahlo's passionate lifestyle is a journey that anyone would benefit from reading.

Herrera captures Kahlo's energy and shows us the pain that she overcame and eventually expressed within her famous art.

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'A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories' by Flannery O'Connor

A master of short stories, O'Connor's collection is noteworthy as a prime example of the Southern Gothic. She expertly captures life with unique wit and peculiarity that has shaped her rare, award-winning style.

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'Just Kids' by Patti Smith

Before either was famous, musician Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe were just two kids exploring New York. This book traces the formation of their relationship with candor and style, looking back at the exciting late '60s and early '70s.

The book both shows the pair's devotion to one another, as well as the lifestyle prevailing the Chelsea Hotel during a time filled with rock and roll, sex, and poetry.

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'Kiss of the Spider Woman' by Manuel Puig

Manuel Puig interestingly recounts the tale of two prisoners as they discuss life, suffering, and love. Set in Buenos Aires, Molina and Valentin confide deeply in one another as they dwell in cell seven.

The narrative is very unique, written mostly in dialogue with only dashes to differentiate between characters, stream of consciousness moments, and author footnotes throughout. With such complexity, Puig is practically inviting you to go back and reread. The novel has been made into a play, a film, and a Broadway musical.

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'Ragtime' by E.L. Doctorow

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels ever written, 'Ragtime' is a must-read piece of historical fiction. Its writing and subject matter were groundbreaking when it was published in 1975, as it expertly blends together fantasy and fact.

The story begins when Harry Houdini's car hits a telephone pole outside an affluent American family's home. The novel continues on to explore the culture of America during the early 20th century and the first World War.

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'A Visit From the Goon Squad' by Jennifer Egan

Egan's work seems to waver between being a novel and a collection of short stories, since the individual parts can be enjoyed either separately or cohesively. Most of the stories focus on a man named Bennie, a former punk rock exec, Sasha, his assistant, and a number of other characters they interact with.

A national bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 'A Visit From the Goon Squad' is a cleverly connected collection of stories about rock and roll.

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'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories' by Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver is a known master of the short story, testing the boundaries of minimalist fiction with his innovative writing. Clarity is not a feature of Carver's writing, as his stories often pose interesting questions and thoughts, which are usually left unanswered.

From 'Why Don't You Dance?,' a strange encounter between two young lovers and an older gentlemen, to the titular story 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,' a lengthy discussion between four friends, the stories explore the complicated subject of love in diverse forms.

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