The Pleasures of Rereading


So, I have been a bit distracted from blogging this past week or so. The times, they have been busy! At such times when I am swamped with work and totally stressed to boot, I would love to unwind with a good book. However, I rarely am able to focus and pay attention to books; let alone be able to blog about them afterward.

At these times, rereads come in useful. I just pick up something that I remember knowing and liking, but without actually remembering the plot in detail. I am particularly fond of thrillers/science fiction, because these were books that I devoured when I was in school and college. And unfortunately, I rarely find good books in either genre these days.

Last week, I picked up these books from Eloor Library.


The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly is one in a series of books featuring Harry Bosch – a detective working in the LAPD. His personal motto is: Everybody counts or nobody counts. His most defining character trait, it describes his motivation to find the truth in any case, no matter where the investigation leads, and no matter the nature of the victim and the circumstances.

I picked up The Concrete Blonde because Michael Connelly has a couple of new books out and I have been craving for a dose of Harry Bosch. I have been reading excellent reviews for 9 Dragons (one of them here), but since I could not get the book (and also because I know I am not in the frame of mind to enjoy it), I picked up an older classic book in the series.

And, it was every bit as excellent as I remembered it. Because this series of books is so character-driven and because Harry Bosch is such a strong and intense person, these books make quite friendly rereads. They are also tightly-written stories with great plot twists, without being overly clever or brutal. Not too many thrillers can boast of that.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton on the other hand was a huge disappointment. I remember reading this book in my teens and thinking wow, this is terrific. Unfortunately, that feeling does not hold up on second reading.

The book’s concept seems promising. An unmanned mission to outer space returns to Earth infected with some deadly bacteria. Scientists need to gather and figure out how to isolate and contain the spread of the bacteria and the infection. Michael Crichton has used a similar premise successfully in later books. Unfortunately, here it falls flat.

The book reads very outdated; especially some of the computer technology parts. I usually find scientific details in books interesting, but the manner of writing and the writer’s gaps in knowledge showed through here. Still a reasonably quick if slightly distracted read.

This week, I am going to be reading some more light books. A little Sookie probably, and one chick-lit romance that so far is a feel-good read.

I do have one mammoth chunkster which I have ambitiously borrowed from the library, with a solemn promise to return it within 2 weeks.

Let’s see how much I end up paying in fines πŸ™‚

I think it’s worth it though, because this chunkster has had a lot of good reviews, and I really wanted to pick it up before someone else got a hold of this copy!!

  • What “chunkster” is this, you are talking about? Everyone’s been reading the Sookie books, I feel so left out! I remember reading the first two books a long long while ago, but I never continued them after that, possibly because they weren’t immediately available (not being published yet and all)…*sighs* for my impatience. I shall have to begin them again!

    • Sharry, the chunkster is “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski.

      Oh, Sookie is such a fun guilty pleasure. A couple of the books in the middle are a bit of a drag, but overall simply too much fun!

  • sumanam

    Rereading is always a way to understand a book in a better way ,atleast to me..

    you changed your look (I mean the blog) ! the tone is a little muted than the previous one πŸ™‚

    • I hope you like the more muted look Sumana. I realized my blog colors were quite loud when I visited my blog on my friend’s laptop, the earlier dark brown color just seemed too dark!

  • I really wish I had the same feeling about rereading! I am not sure i have EVER reread any book … except for Tinkles, Archies LOL!
    And I ve not read Crichton ((tries to hide))
    i would totally love to read The Concrete Blonde

  • I don’t remember reading Andromeda, it could be I haven’t read that. I’ve been thinking of rereading some of my favourite Crichton books, especially Sphere, but I’m a bit worried it won’t be as good as I remembered. I’m hoping to read Pirate Latitudes soon, though!

    Good luck with your chunkster!

    • Alita: I really think Chricton’s work has an up-down quality. I probably liked this book as a teen becuse the concept was new to me. But now, after reading many similar but better books, this just fell flat

  • I remember reading Andromeda Strain , it was a dud to me when I read it for the first time too πŸ™‚ But I loved his Jurassic Park and even Congo ( not many liked this book either) I hear Pirate Latitudes is really good. Considering it’s his last completed work , you might give it a try.

  • Aw, sorry the Crichton wasn’t as good as you remembered! It’s always sad when I return to a book I remember loving, only to find it’s not stood the test of time. πŸ™

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