Who doesn’t love Groundhog Day, the 1993 movie in which weatherman Bill Murray finds himself reliving February 2nd over and over again until he gets it right?
On Twitter, lots of people are talking about their #groundhogread or #groundhogbook–books you would and could read over and over again. Bill Murray has to wake up to the same annoying radio station intro every morning, what book would you open up to?
What makes a book a great reread? It’s not necessarily a compelling plot. That helps, but I’ve read plenty of quick mysteries I never need to read again because I know whodunit. But, at least for me, the book can’t be all beautiful poetry and no substance. I loved Mrs. Dalloway, but it’s just not as compelling the second time around. So, in no particular order, here are my Groundhog Day Books–books I’d happily spend the day rereading.
Harry Potter and the… by JK Rowling. OK. I know. I’m a big dork. But I like them. I’ve read them all at least twice, and I’ve listened to most of them. I enjoy the story and, because the books are so densely packed, regularly forget elements, helping them retain their suspense. And there are beautifully emotional sections in the Harry Potter books. Remember Cedric Diggory? I’m verklempt just thinking about him!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I could probably reread this book a million times and not get tired of it. I love the language. I love the themes. I love the plot. I love it.
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by…Ernest Hemingway. I love Hemingway, but I’m not sure his novels make for the best rereading. I’ve reread The Sun Also Rises twice (once in high school, once again in college and most recently for my book club) and while I’ve loved it every time, I’m not sure it’s a book I could keep re-reading. But Hemingway’s short stories are. For starters, there’s so many of them! You could read a new one every “day” (see what I did there? Because it’s really just one day?). They are also, I think, far more complex than the novels. Hemingway was really a master of short fiction, and this compendium would definitely make my list.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. The reason I like this one so much is different. It’s not really about the plot or the language (although they’re both wonderful), nor is it about the textual complexity. Instead, I love this one because I love the world Chabon creates. I love the characters and I love inhabiting their world. I would love to inhabit it over and over.
There are, of course, books I’ve left out, but these are the ones that would top the list. Groundhog day books, desert island books, all-time favorites–what are yours?