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100 Books to Reread



Oscar Wilde once said, "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." The process of rereading often allows us an opportunity to notice aspects of the book that escaped our attention during the first read, while reminding us what made us love it the first time. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of books that beg to be reread. From Pauline Kael's electrifying film essays in I Lost it at the Movies to the laugh-out-loud antics of Gary Shteyngart's The Russian Debutante's Handbook, these books will leave you asking for seconds and thirds.

Angels in America: Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner
A Distant Mirror: A Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Alice James: A Biography by Jean Strouse
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Ansel Adams: An Autobiography by Ansel Adams
Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm T’ib’n
Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor
Collected Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
Continental Drift by Russell Banks
Diane Arbus: A Biography by Patricia Bosworth
Diary of Anais Nin 1931-1934 by Anais Nin
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
Drown by Junot Diaz
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Fences by August Wilson
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera
Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
God's Fool by Mark Slouka
Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick
Hell's Angels by Hunter Thompson
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Lost It at the Movies by Pauline Kael
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Ironweed: A Novel by William Kennedy
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan by Jill Lepore
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora Welty
Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky
Passage to India by E. M. Forster
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
Possession by A.S. Byatt
Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Caro
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Random Family: Love, Drugs, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Schroder by Amity Gaige
Secret History by Donna Tartt
Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Sula by Toni Morrison
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Dead and the Living: Poems by Sharon Olds
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
The Dollmaker by Hariette Arnow
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough
The Guggenheims: A Family History by Debi Unger, Irwin Unger
The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh by Vincent Van Gogh
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Townie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell by Deborah Solomon
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
We the Animals by Justin Torres
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

I was moving some books

I was moving some books around in my shelves and I came across To Kill a Mockingbird. I said, "Let me just read the first couple of pages again." Couldn't put it down. Read right thru.

100 Rereads

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Huckleberry Finn? The Spy? By James Fenimore Cooper

How sad that the NYPL

How sad that the NYPL officially rejects all the classics before the 20th century. It doesn't consider Jane Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Thackeray,, etc, worth rereading - or even worth reading in the first place? And despite the quote, Wilde doesn't rate inclusion on that list. There are less than ten books on that list that I would bother to read more than once, On that score, I will not make any attempt to read the ones I have missed.

100 Books to Reread

I am baffled by this list, cannot figure out the criteria that resulted in these titles. How about offering an explanation?

your list

so much left off, little if any 19th c. --by design? where is V. Nabokov? on the other hand, many creative picks

your list

so much left off, little if any 19th c. --by design? where is V. Nabokov? on the other hand, many creative picks

Love the variety on this list!

Thanks for the recommendations. There's a really great selection here. Much as I'd love to reread Possession or A Walk in the Woods, so many of these titles are still on my TBR one day list, that I think I'll explore some of those first. Off to place some holds now... Think I might start with Just Kids and Heir to the Glimmering World.

Yoga classes in the branches

I want to express my extreme disappointment and outrage at the way the management of the library has chosen to handle the complete suspension of the Yoga classes in the branches. From one day to the next the classes were gone without one word of explanation to patrons. Such indifference is inexcusable to those of us who took part in the Yoga program regularly.


Nice list, of course people have their own lists of books to reread. I finished rereading War and Peace. Thank you.

The Bad and the Good

The bad is that I agree with very few of these. The good is that I am now compelled to make my own list.

room for one more

Is anybody else counting just 99 titles here?


So many authors are missing on that list. What about Jane Austen, the Brontes, Thomas Mann, Manuel Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Tolstoi. Just to mention a few who wrote books worth rereading

100 Books to Read: okay...but

How about these : Mumbo Jumbo (Ishmael Reed), Kindred (Octavia Butler), Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston), Malcolm X (the Autobiography), Mr. Vertigo (Paul Auster), Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Jorge Amado), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey), The Minority Report (Philip K. Dick), Dutchman (LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka), The Spinoza of Market Street (Isaac B. Singer), Armies of the Night (Norman Mailer), 100 Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), and Ulysses (James Joyce)


Ulysses; worth rereading when you're in the Underworld too.

pretty good list but you

pretty good list but you accidentally forgot "Confederacy of Dunces".

Books to re-read

The Color of Water.

Top 100 List

Some good books here, obviously, but I think the commentators that mentioned the lack of 19th Century works are correct; I think the traditional values and cultural norms reflected however obliquely in early books would fail to pass muster these somewhat despairing, hopeless selections. (McCarthy, Burroughs, Roth, Beckett, Carver)

What's #100?

Love this list, but I'm pretty sure this is only 99 books. I wanted to keep the list, so I cut and paste into Excel, and voila, only 99 books are on here. I'm so curious, what's number 100!

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