Rachael Johns, author of the bestselling novel The Patterson Girls (#13 on Australia’s Top 100 2016), Outback Sisters (#23 on Australia’s Top 100 2016), The Art of Keeping Secrets and many more gives us her ‘Top Ten Books I’d Love To Re-Read’ List.
As a writer I’d love to re-read some of my favourite books and really analyse what it was that made them stand-outs for me. As a reader I’d love to re-read them for the pure comfort and joy that comes from returning to the familiar. I think rereading a good book is like hanging out with an old friend and the only thing stopping me from re-reading is the fact there are so many new books I want to read. But if I had more time, these are the ones.
- I Have A Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty – this is probably my favourite book of all time. I remember it having quirky characters and a very clever story structure. It was both an easy read but also unique and unusual. I don’t think I’d ever read anything quite like it or have done since.
- Northern Lights by Nora Roberts – my first ever Nora Roberts book and still my favourite. It is set in Alaska and ever since reading it, I’ve wanted to go there.
- The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford – I read this book at university and I’ll be honest, I can’t remember much about it, except that it gripped me from the very first line, which is ‘This is the saddest story I have ever read.’ I remember thinking years ago that I would love to do a modern day retelling of this book.
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – is one of the only books I actually finished reading in high school (I was a latecomer to the joys of reading). I’m not sure why this story gripped me because A Tale of Two Cities certainly did not, but I think it had a lot to do with the character of Miss Havisham, who was left at the alter and then spent the rest of her life in her wedding dress. That image fascinated me.
- Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – is my favourite read of 2016 and is a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice and part of The Austen Project. I loved how Sittenfeld really embraced the modern era – with cross-fit sisters, a transgender hero and another one an ex reality TV star – while still staying true to Austen’s original story. This was clever and
- A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby – I used to devour everything that Hornby wrote, but this is by far my fave. It’s the story of four characters who meet on the top of a building, which they are all planning to jump off. Hornby is a master of black comedy.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – so I can swoon over Mr Darcy all over again.
- Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty – I started this book on audio about eight years ago when I had a long drive to the airport from the country town I was living in. I loved the audio so much that at the airport I hunted down the print copy and bought it so I could finish on the plane. I’ve loved all Liane Moriarty’s book since, but I’d love to go back and re-live this first one all over again.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I was late to the Gone Girl party but finally forced myself to read it so I could watch the movie and I was hooked. I’d love to read it again and look for all the clues and foreshadowing that I probably missed the first time round.
- The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes – I would read Marian Keyes shopping list. I don’t think she’s ever disappointed me. I love the warmth and humour in all her stories, but something about this one really hooked me. Unfortunately I can’t remember exactly why… which is why I’m going to have to go back and re-read it!