Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, they pick a topic and bloggers participate by posting their own responses. I like to participate now and again, most because I am a list person. I like lists. Lists dictate my life.

Anyway, this week's topic is "Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time."

Since I have been focusing on the classics, I am reading a lot of books for the first time. And there are many cases where I think to myself, "Wow, I wish I could have saved this." Because as much as I love rereading, there is nothing like the mystery and joy in reading a book for the first time. That feeling of awe, enthrallment, and wonder just simply cannot be beat.

Here are the top ten books I wish I could read again for the first time...

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This was one of the titles I was saving for later on in my project. But, I finally caved in and read it, knowing nothing about the story before I began. This one grabbed me and absorbed in a way that few books have. That first reading experience was powerful and I would love to have it back!

2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville: While I enjoyed my first foray into Melville's writing with Typee in college, it was Moby-Dick that left me stunned. I don't think there is a comparison to the power of language in this novel, or of the carefully constructed story. I was continually impressed by the attention to the smallest and most important details. A beautiful story, that I, again, went into without any prior knowledge of the end (the rest of my posts on this one will be going up later this week).

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: What I wouldn't give to go back to the night when I first decided to read this one. It was only a month or two before starting my blog. It was about 11:30 at night, and I had finished my other book. I decided to pick this one up and start it...I didn't set it down until I finished it. I was simply sucked into the story, the adventure, and the horror.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: I was one of those people who waited to get their book at midnight. I took it home, as did my sister with her copy, and stayed awake until I finished it. I had to know how it would all end, what would become of my beloved Snape, and if it would end the way I hoped it would. But now that the story is over, I am sad and wish it was still ongoing.

5. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: I remember the first time I read this I was working for one of our parks. It was a rainy day in the summer, so I was sitting in the booth with uninterrupted reading time. I cried. For sure. And while I still get an emotional punch in the gut every time I read this one, I still wish I could capture that first time feeling.

6. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier: While I have only read this one once, I know that nothing will beat that first time through. It was a book that I sailed through-the action intense, the story riveting...and while I know I'll love it just as much the second and third times, nothing can really beat the first read of this!

7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: As any fantasy nerd will tell you, there is nothing like conquering Tolkien's masterpiece. But the reading of this trilogy also has great memories for me. I bought my copies of the trilogy while on vacation in Colorado at some tiny bookshop (I had already run out of things to read), and as we drove through the mountains, I sank deep into Middle-Earth. It was before the movies had come out, before the hype, and I just fell in love with the world.

8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: This is another novel that I have fond memories of reading the first time. It was on the summer reading list before ninth grade, and I began reading it up north on vacation. We were at the beach, the boat anchored in the water, and my family playing on the sand or in the water. I escaped to the boat to lay out and read...I can vividly remember the boat rocking in the waves as I read about the escape...it was just so powerful.

9. The Awakening by Kate Chopin: This was a title I picked up as a senior in high school. I was immediately sucked into the story and desperation. I remember finishing it over a weekend and going in to talk to my teacher about it that Monday morning. I have reread this one numerous times and while it still has a great deal of "magic" about it, it is never as strong as that first time.

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This was one of the first classics I ever picked up on my own. It was in the middle of the summer, and sick of reading some really bad YA, I decided that for every two "fun" books I read, I also had to read 1 classic. This was the first classic I read that summer and like so many other books, I have fond memories of reading it.

What books do you wish you could read again for the first time?


  1. Ooh, I like your choices. (Well, at least the ones I've read!) #1 on my list would be Pride and Prejudice. I've thought many times that I wish I could read it the way I first did, without knowing what was going to happen, how it would all turn out, but mostly I wish I could recreate the magic that I felt when I read it. Ditto for my first read (only so far!) of Jane Eyre--I'm actually afraid to reread it for fear it won't be as good as it was the first time.

    The Harry Potter book I feel that way about most is actually the first one--that first introduction to the magical world, without any idea where it would take me, that it would turn so dark. In some ways so innocent. (I wouldn't, however, wish to revisit the semester of college in which I read this book--not a good one! This was definitely the highlight!)

    Those are the only books I can think of that I really would like to go back to 'for the first time.'

  2. Jane Eyre should be as good the second time through. Now you have all of the clues, so you can begin to solve the puzzles. Same for Moby-Dick.

    Not the same experience the second time, but there should still be plenty of awe and mystery.

  3. My first reading of Moby Dick was really memorable as well. I also recall being "stunned." It is also one of those books that I would love to re-experience, but it seems daunting.

    Come visit my list at The Scarlet Letter.

  4. I didn't take part in this but if I had I am sure Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Pride and Prejudice would all have been on my list too. I first read these books round about the same time so I have very fond memories of that period of my life. Wonderful books.

  5. Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Pride and Prejudice all mad in onto my list too! I also included Jamaica Inn on mine which just pipped Rebecca to the post for me :)

    I wish I could have made a longer list because I would have definitely added Jane Eyre, The Lord of the Rings and The Count of Monte Cristo too. I have The Awakening and Moby-Dick on my shelves to be read. I'll have to pick them up sooner now :) Great List!

  6. I just reread THE WOMAN IN WHITE and I'd say that would top my list (along with Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice).

  7. For sure Rebecca, which I have read numerous times. Along with The Secret History, The Robber Bride, and Possession. There's nothing like revisiting a beloved book.

  8. Pride and Prejudice! Yay! You're experience with this is kind of like my own, what with it being one of the first classics I read optionally and enjoyed very much! I've read the first LOTR so I can't say a lot on that front yet. Maybe I'll choose that one after the last two. Harry Potter, check. Hunger Games, check. Jane Eyre... I wish! This is something I just know I'm going to love. I'm not even worried that I won't!

    Great post!

  9. I kept saying "yes, yes!" while reading yours. Probably because most of the books on my list were classics I'd read in HS or before...

  10. Oh man, I should have put Rebecca on my list. That is SUCH a great book to read for the first time.

  11. I have read 7/10 of these and I totally agree!

  12. I love your list! So many of the books you picked are my favorites as well. I really need to read The House of Mirth, it's been on my shelf too long.

  13. ooh, great list... although I haven't read six of the books. I loved Pride and Prejudice, and Rebecca was fantastic. I guess I wouldn't have either Harry Potter or Suzanne Collins on my list, but have Fountainhead and Catcher in the Rye instead. I wonder what the rest of my list would look like.....