Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s been a while since I’ve done one, but since we get to pick our own topic this week, there was no reason not to. So I scrolled through the list of past topics and picked one from a few years ago: top ten books I wish I could read again for the first time.
After I picked my topic, though, it was harder than I thought to come up with ten books. It’s true, there are some books that just never feel the same after that initial reading… but there are other books that only get better every time you read them. (And, just for the record, those two categories are not mutually exclusive.)
So I give you…
Three Books I’ve Re-Read That Just Aren’t the Same Anymore
#1 – Deception Point, by Dan Brown
Not only did I really enjoy the conspiracy and the way the story unfolds, but since this was the first Dan Brown book (really the first thriller) that I’d ever read, all of his tricks were still fresh to me. This was a great read the first time around, and while I’ve enjoyed it again since, it just can’t come close to being the same experience.
#2 – A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
This was still good when I re-read it last year, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when I re-read it again this year before finishing the series. But discovering a magical world for the first time is a wonder, and it’s especially satisfying when it’s in a genre that I was close to writing off as being “not my thing.”
#3 – Judgment Day, by Jane Jensen
Re-reading this is like watching The Sixth Sense for a second time, not because of one big twist, but several little ones along with a greatly satisfying conclusion. It’s still one of my favorite books, but this is one that would be especially great to experience again for the first time.
Three Books I Haven’t Re-Read That I Suspect Won’t Be the Same
#4 – Feed, by Mira Grant
This was my favorite book in the trilogy, and unfortunately certain things from the later books sort of undo some of what I loved about this one. So, while I’m sure I will read this (and the subsequent books) again, it’ll be one I can’t help reading through a different lens.
#5 – Think of a Number, by John Verdon
This a great mystery thriller, one I definitely plan on returning to. But there’s no way to recapture the joy I felt in discovering John Verdon. His books stand apart from others that are similar; he truly is a unique voice in the thriller world.
#6 – Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
This is a book that I devoured, and my suspicions – which were mostly correct – in no way diminished the impact. But there’s a difference between suspecting how it will all turn out and knowing for a fact. One of the reasons this book is so great is the not knowing, not being able to trust the narrator (who can’t even trust herself). And there’s no way to get that back.
Three Books That Only Get Better with Each Re-Read
#7 – Dante’s Equation, by Jane Jensen
This book takes an extreme detour in the middle of what is otherwise a pretty straight-forward religious-techno-thriller (and that’s totally a thing, if only because this amazing book makes it so). I do love this book, but it’s kind of nice in this case to know that detour is coming.
#8 – That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis
When I’m in the mood for an older book with a classic feel (but not too old or too classic, because I’m very particular in that way), this is the one I usually turn to. I love Lewis’s style of storytelling, even if not all of his ideals… and this really is a grand story. I love that I can just sink into it.
#9 – Lost, by Gregory Maguire
This is Maguire’s least popular novel, and even though I do enjoy it, I completely understand why. I like where it ends up, but it takes such a long time to get there. It’s nice to re-read this one, knowing (instead of wondering) that it will be worth it in the end.
What books do you wish you could read again for the first time? What books give you more every time you return to them?