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Author Picks

Five Books to Read More Than Once

Photo of Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block


I get a fair amount of reader mail, not surprising in this electronic age, especially since I make my email address ( readily accessible. It's mostly composed of nice people saying nice things, so I enjoy it, but I especially welcome the occasional email from a fan who's reading a book or series of mine for the second or third or fourth time. In recent years I've found myself doing more rereading than reading, returning to favorite novels to renew old acquaintances. Not every book that succeeds on first reading can stand up to repeat visits—suspense is obviously less a factor when one's been there before—and I don't know that I can define what makes a book pleasurable a second time around. What I do know is that I can but hope some of my books possess this indefinable element. Here are five that have it for me.

About the Author

Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block has been writing award-winning mystery and suspense fiction for half a century. His newest book, pitched by his Hollywood agent as “James M. Cain on Viagra,” is The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes. His other recent recent novels include The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons, featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr; Hit Me, featuring philatelist and assassin Keller; and A Drop Of The Hard Stuff, featuring Matthew Scudder, brilliantly embodied by Liam Neeson in the new film, A Walk Among The Tombstones. Several of his other books have also been filmed, although not terribly well. He’s well known for his books for writers, including the classic Telling Lies For Fun & Profit and Write For Your Life, and has just published a collection of his writings about the mystery genre and its practitioners, The Crime Of Our Lives. In addition to prose works, he has written episodic television (Tilt!) and the Wong Kar-wai film, My Blueberry Nights. He is a modest and humble fellow, although you would never guess as much from this biographical note.