Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First Time – August 24, 2021

Welcome to another TTT! This is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is books I wish I could visit again for the first time. In other words, experiencing them for the first time was such a powerful experience I wish I could reclaim that feeling. Of course, I could read them again but it wouldn’t pack the punch of that of the first time. I apologize if some of these lists have become repetitive. I’m often talking about favorites here, and some books apply to all! Here we go!

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I know. I’ve done this one before. But I just love it. This book was my introduction to what became one of my favorite authors, and I just can’t describe the depth of emotion and awe it inspired. I’ve thought of reading it again, but I’m not sure it would feel the same as that first time. One day I will, however.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This book really floored me when I read it the first time. The end reveal was just super explosive and I hadn’t seen it coming. I really enjoyed experiencing that for the first time, and I realize it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful on a second run. But, wow, was it fabulous at the time!

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book really gives me all the feels. There’s a reason it consistently tops reader-voted lists of greatest books of all time and has for years. It’s a timeless narrative with a delightfully charming cast of characters. And really, people who have read this book just turn out to be good people, am I right? That first read through is very special, and it would be nice to experience that again.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is another book with such a powerful message and a wonderfully rich cast of characters. Reading it for the first time was an absolute delight and I know I could never experience that again, but it would be really nice.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Reading the first of the Harry Potter books was an almost religious experience for a lot of people. It was the start of a decades long love affair that would alter the course of millions of lives, and I’m not really overdramatizing. These are the books that really instilled a love of reading into a new generation, and no matter how you feel about J.K. Rowling and the controversies surrounding her today, she should at least be given credit for that. Reading HP for the first time was a real privilege.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This book was really the first classic that I truly grew to love. I think I learned so much from Jane and from her humble but steadfast strength. I think I saw a lot of myself in her, perhaps. Usually overlooked but always underestimated. I don’t for a second believe I really rose to my own potential the way Jane managed to do, but I still believe maybe one day I can have a little taste of that thanks to Jane. Revisiting her story the same way I did when I read it for the first time would be fabulous for me.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

To be fair, I feel like this is a book best suited for the topic “I Need to Read it Again, because I loved it but I’m not sure I completely understood it.” Either way, reading it for the first time was an awe inspiring and riveting experience. I positively love Mitchell’s work, though I haven’t read all of his novels, but this one was one of my favorites from what I’ve read. I will revisit it again one day but I know it will be a different experience from the first time.

Sophie’s Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Jane Dyer

Ok, this one is a bit different. This is a children’s book I discovered while reading books to my daughter before bed. This one came in her monthly box from Literati, and I have to tell you this is one of the most beautiful and amazing children’s books I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, it really gives the feels and I found myself nearly sobbing while reading to my daughter, which could possibly be somewhat of a traumatic thing for a child to witness. I have since described this book to numerous people and I freaking cry every time I even talk about what it’s about! I don’t cry much so I find that very embarrassing, but this book really gets me. Seriously, go get a box of tissues and read this damn book even if you’re a grown ass adult with no children!!! *sniff sniff*

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

I realize John Irving isn’t for everyone, and I really get why. He’s just so… much! But this book touched me in ways I find hard to explain. I’m not sure reading it again would ever come close to capturing the essence of that first experience, but it was something special and heart wrenching. This is, by far, my favorite of his books.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

My first Backman. I laughed, I cried, I cried again, I laugh-cried. I can’t tell you how simultaneously enjoyable and painful my first reading of this was, but I would do it over again in a heartbeat, because I am a masochist. And I love Fredrik Backman. He can pummel my heart into a million pieces as often as he chooses and I will still come back for more.

That’s it for this edition of Top Ten Tuesday! I so enjoyed this one! I should have a review coming out tomorrow if I can get myself in gear long enough to sit down and get my thoughts typed up. Until then, happy reading!


About Amy @ A Librarian and Her Books

I'm a law librarian from the state of Missouri and a graduate of Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. My real passion is in fiction, which is why I started my blog to share my thoughts with other bibliophiles. I live with my husband and two wonderful children and a collection of furry feline companions.
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15 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First Time – August 24, 2021

  1. Cindy Davis says:

    I should have put Jane Eyre on my list but didn’t think that far back. I have A Man Named Ove on my TBR list, I should probably move it up.

  2. masterspj says:

    Great list! I loved A Man Called Ove! I actually cried at the end, it felt like I lost someone close to me.

    When you get the chance, I hope you stop over at my blog and take a read:

  3. A Man Called Ove was great. I would like to reread it and rewatch the fantastic movie adaptation.

    Check out my TTT

  4. Susan says:

    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is my favorite book of all time. It’s one of the few I’ve re-read multiple times. I love it every time, but I agree – there’s nothing quite like the first time!

    Happy TTT!


  5. Lori says:

    I love so many of these books! Owen Meany is probably my favorite book of all time, and Water for Elephants, and A Man Called Ove and The Help…you and I have very similar tastes. Great list!

  6. Wow, I think we must be soulmates — we love so many of the same books! The Sparrow is one of my favorite books of all times, and the only reason I didn’t include it on my list this week is that I’ve reread it multiple times, and each time I get something new out of it (and it still takes my breath away). Owen Meany is fabulous, and even though it’s been ages since I read it, so much of it is deeply embedded in my brain.I will have to check out Sophie’s Masterpiece! Fabulous list.
    My TTT

  7. I really enjoyed reading through your choices and rationale. I had trouble relating to this topic, so it’s nice to see what makes the idea “tick” for others, but I totally agree on HP. I honestly don’t even remember reading the first three books the first time or what my initial impression was, I’ve read them so often. That would be a lovely thing to experience.

  8. Louise says:

    Great list! I can only imagine how amazing it would be the experience the magic of Harry Potter again for the first time! I have never read The Help but it looks fantastic x

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