Tuesday 11 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

There's something about reading a book for the first time that can never quite be recreated- nothing like turning the pages, not knowing what's about to happen, but knowing what's happening within you, and that this new thing you're reading is really really exciting. It's wonderful, and while re-reads show the books to still be wonderful, it's not quite the same, because you're not quite the same as you were upon the first reading. With that in mind then, here are the:

Top Ten Books I wish I could read again for the first time

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- I really needed this book when I first read it, and while I haven't re-read it yet, I can't imagine it having quite the same effect on me now. It is utterly wonderful, and I'm so jealous of those who haven't read it yet (also, you guys: read it.)

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Just... remember when you were 15 and you wanted to change the world and this book made you see that there are bad people, but on the side of the good we have Atticus and that means everything is going to be ok? I kind of still get that feeling when I read this book, but it's not the same as the very first time.

3. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk- This is more of a plot thing than anything else, but remember not knowing what Fight Club was really all about, and so being completely drawn in by it, only have to have the shockingest shock revelation thing happen near the end? It was pretty great, I've gotta say.

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon- To be completely fair I can't remember much about this book, so when I do finally re-read it, it will be sort of like reading it for the first time. But only sort of- I'm not sure if I'll be able to recapture the magic of reading for three hours solidly, and barely noticing that anything else was going on in the world at all. Simply mesmerising, which I hope it can be again.

5. Harry Potter by J K Rowling- Harry Potter comes up suspiciously little on these lists, but this is one I really couldn't keep it off because OH MY GOD, remember how good Harry Potter was (or were- all of them are great) the first time you read it/them, and you felt like you were the only person in the world to discover how great they were? I mean, don't get me wrong, they're still captivating and all, but it's not quite the same once you know all the things that happen...

6. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates- I know I've only read this recently (my not at all gushing review is here) but I definitely feel like I won't be able to recapture the feeling of reading it for the first time, barely being able to concentrate on anything else for wanting to read this book, and that was along with a cold, which normally means I can't focus on anything. I love it fiercely, and I think I always will, but it won't be quite the same the next time around.

7. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier- This is another one of those 'plot points that I won't be able to recapture not knowing' things- I remember being completely taken in by the whole 'Rebecca was fabulous and everyone adored her and you'll never be able to live up to her' thing, before realising that that wasn't precisely the case... Rebecca's definitely not the same once you know what happens (or what has happened), so reading it for the first time is definitely the best.

8. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss- It was so beautiful and wonderfully crafted and just unspeakably lovely that, while I think a re-read would reveal a lot more about it to me because I pretty much just whizzed through it, I'm not sure it can recapture the heart soaring American Beauty feeling that it gave me upon its first reading. But I hope I'm wrong about that.

9. Angels in America by Tony Kushner- Once you pretty much know what all the characters are going to say, it loses its power a bit. But only a very tiny bit. One of my favourite things in the whole wide world ever.

10. Basically every Stephen King book I've read- I mean, I love him for always. But seriously, after the first time, it's just not the same because it's just not as scary (except for It, at which, I swear, I'm always terrified). Even though you pretty much know that Stephen King books have a relatively happy ending, you can never be entirely sure of that until the end of the books. If you've read them before though, and you know that they do... well, nothing can really be scary any more! Sort of...

So that's my top ten. I'm hoping that everyone's lists will involve books that I haven't read, so that I actually can read them for the first time and be enthralled and amazed and just weep with joy and incredulity! Hey, it could happen... it's happened before (see above).


  1. I almost added Curious Incident to my list this week, too. It was a really magical book that I will probably not read again.

  2. Nice list. I was too lazy to get around to it this week, but if I had I would totally include a Stephen King story on my list as well. I wish every time I read 1408 it was the first time.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about Harry Potter. It's still a great series, but it doesn't have the same effect after you've read them all.

  4. I was thinking of adding an 'all Stephen King books' to my list as well, but I settled for Misery. IT is a book I am too scared to re-read, let alone, read for the first time all over again. With the rest, I agree with you, it's just not scary when you know the ending. I just really like the way Misery is written; though it's not the scariest of his books, I think Annie Wilkes might just be the scariest of his 'villains'!

  5. I've had a copy of Angels in America on my shelf for a couple years -- I guess I need to get back to it.

    I've seen Rebecca on several lists; it's a great "first read" book, isn't it?

    Nice list!

  6. Perks is amazing. I would love to read that for the first time again if I could.

  7. Good list. I'm looking forward to my first read of History of Love and I really liked Perks of Being a Wallflower.

    Come visit my list at The Scarlet Letter.

  8. Some of my favourite books are on your list. To Kill A Mockingbird, Rebecca, Curious Incident and Harry Potter. I know what you mean about already knowing what happens when rereading Rebecca. It does make the second reading different. I have to say though I re-read some of Kings books a couple of years ago. In most cases I think you are right. It's not the same the second time. When it came to The Shining though I think I actually appreciated it more and found it scarier the second time round.

  9. Rebecca and Blonde are both great choices!