Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag


While I try to avoid picking favorites, it seems inevitable that I would be forced to one day. That day has come.

I got tagged by the wonderful Kimmie over at Kimmiegg for the Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag! If you are unfamiliar with how that works, here’s a quick rundown:

The Rules:

  • Randomly choose 3 books (pro tip: use the “Sort > Random” option on your Goodreads’ read shelf).
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread (like Marry, Boff, Kill).
  • Repeat until you completed three rounds (or six) (or however many you want to do).

Let me start off by saying that I would never burn a book and all decisions made here are under the presumed conditions of extreme duress. I also apologize for any professors who may be reading this, because I did give these texts a careful reading.

Now, onto my rounds, picked by Goodreads.

Round 1:

Burn:  Don’t even need to think about this. I don’t remember The First Man by Albert Camus at all.  This is a book I had to read for a European history lecture and, whileI am sure it is good, it pales against the other two for me.

Rewrite: I would rewrite Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley. I know that I come to this book’s defense a lot and  I do really love it, but all my changes would probably be minor tweaks so it wouldn’t affect the story too much.  Hey, all you say here is that I have to rewrite. This prompt does not state the degree or what the edits would look like. So, I am running with it.

Reread: I will be honest, I don’t remember much about Daniel Defoe’s Roxana at all. I feel really bad about that and I want to reread it. Especially since I was going through computer files and I apparently chose it for a month paper I had to write in the class. I must have had something interesting to say about it. Definitely worth the time it would take to reread.

Round 2:

Burn: I like Gayle Forman’s writing and I love If I Stay, but I didn’t care much for Where She Went. While it is a great companion and I was happy to see the story continue I didn’t think it was particularly needed and I think the story was weaker.

Rewrite: Just like Lily and the Octopus there is exactly one change I would make to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I absolutely loved this book and I thought this was a fun read, but there was one part of the end I would have liked to change, or add, I should say.

Reread: I really want to make some time to read more classics this year, so I feel like I would reread Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts. This was another book that I had to read for college and I felt like I didn’t really enjoy it. I think that I could if I was able to take my time with it though.

Round 3:

Burn: This hurts because The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas was one of the first books that I read and reviewed on my first blog. I loved the book and I thought it was a very intriguing premise, but looking back I wonder if maybe I would have liked it even more as a short story.

Rewrite: I also read and reviewed How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore on that blog as well. Ariel wrote a very interesting book that provides a lot of ideas and inspiration. It’s a fun read, but not practical advice.

Reread: Without a doubt I would reread Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan. This was a really rich read. It seemed to drag at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It’s a story of a really long relationship, it has its peaks and valleys and that’s what’s refreshing to see.

Round 4:

Okay, this one is tough.

Burn: Another case of not remembering the book very well. I remember that I really enjoyed The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace, but I am hazy on the details. Then again, it isn’t that long so maybe I should reread it.

Rewrite: I really love Criminals by Margot Livesey as it is. I wouldn’t really want to change anything, but I think that maybe I would change a few characters, flesh it out, maybe add some modern technology to it.

Reread: I can’t burn or rewrite Atwood, so she gets the reread slot. Oryx and Crake was my first Atwood novel. It may not be her best work but it did get me thinking and any book that I am still thinking about months later is certainly worth a reread.

Round 5

Burn: I would burn Killing Eva by Alex Blackmore. This is a book that I didn’t care for much although it had a strong premise and good potential.

Rewrite: I feel l could rewrite The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins mostly by deleting whole paragraphs of prose and come away with a much better book.

Reread: While it isn’t my usual fare and definitely more plot-driven than most books I read, The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey gets the reread slot this round.

Well, that’s it for the Burn, Rewrite, Reread tag! This has been fun, or torture in some cases. I am going to tag a few people to keep this going.

Ayustika @ The Bibliophilic Cauldron
Remi @ RemiVFoliage
Lisa @ Nefarious Reader
Kristy @ Kristy Reads Blog
Maya @ Maya the Book Explorer

Published by Lauren Busser

Lauren Busser is a fiction writer and essayist. She is an associate editor at Tell-Tale TV, where she writes about all things tv. She has had fiction appear in five : 2 : one magazine’s #thesideshow and her nonfiction has appeared in Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. You can find her talking about tv, film, and knitting on Twitter @LaurenBusser.

18 thoughts on “Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

    1. Go for it! I didn’t want to do my usual: “If you want to do it, go for it!” note because I felt like I was really saying “If you are that much of a masochist, try this you’ll be crying!” Then again I kind o want to do another round once I get a few more books into my “read” category on Goodreads.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it is scary! Am I a little afraid an author is going to happen upon this and be like “You sacrificed my book! WHY?” I am trying to imagine that all these decisions are made with the metaphorical gun to my head.


  1. Ugh, I feel so uneducated next to you and your reading choices. I haven’t read any of these books other than If I Stay so I can’t say whether or not I agree with all of your choices. Hopefully I’ll read half of the books on this list before next year 😅


    1. Sorry. The good thing about going to a school where they value critical thinking over test scores is that you read a lot. Of course now I want to reread half of these books. Some little known classes are AMAZING. I remember really like Roxana and Moll Flanders.


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