Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Re-read For the First Time

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

August 24: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt– I wish I could read this again and not know what was coming. At the same time I’m really glad I read this for the first time when I did, because my high school English class was reading Crime and Punishment at the time. There are a lot of parallels and I appreciated the enriched experience in that way. I think it would hold up well to a reread though. I just wish I could recreate that experience of finding those parallels and getting excited.

2. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier– Last year I reread this with a book club and I found myself really jealous of the members who were reading it for the first time and didn’t know what twists and turns lay ahead.

3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie- The first time I read this I tried to read it as a detective and figure out whodunnit as I read. I wasn’t right, but I tried! I think I’d like the experience of reading it as more of a reader and going along with the story without trying to be two steps ahead.

4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield– I remember staying up late into the night with this one, and feeling the thrill of surprise as the story unfolded. Those reading experiences are wonderful and rare.

5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro– This one had a slowly building sense of dread as I realized what was happening. At the same time I kept hoping that I’d be proven wrong. That sense of building tension without a “reveal” (rather a gradual unfolding) is not something I encounter often.

6. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters -I read this book for the first time while I was on a train. At one point I got to a plot twist and I literally shouted, “Holy crap!” Out loud. It’s a rare book that makes me embarrass myself on public transportation.

7. The Other by Thomas Tryon- There was one twist in this book that I felt was really obvious. Once it was revealed, I felt like I was very smart, I’d figured the book out, and it was going to be disappointing. Little did I know there were other turns ahead! I think the initial twist as a sort of misdirection, so the reader wasn’t on the lookout anymore.

8. A Little Life by Hana Yanagihara- This one didn’t have any huge surprises in it, but I became so invested in these characters, for better or for worse (and often it was for worse.) I was legitimately worried about them it was a wonderful and stressful experience. I think it would hold up to rereads, though, because I know what’s coming for the characters and I can focus on other things without worrying about them so much. Just a note: I’m always hesitant to recommend this one without including a content warning, because some of the content is very difficult.

9. East of Eden by John Steinbeck -I honestly think I was too young for this the first time I read it. It’s on my to be reread list, and I think I’ll get a lot more out of it a second time, but I wish I was coming to it fresh.

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Re-read For the First Time

  1. To be honest, I think most of us read Steinbeck for the first time when we are too young. My first experiences with his work when I was a kid (The Red Pony) and then a teen (multiple books in 9th/10th grades) were not good, and I think it’s partly that I didn’t have enough life experience to read his books the way they were intended.

    I see that there are a lot of mysteries/thrillers on your list. Those are a great pick for this topic! It’s so hard (for me at least) to enjoy re-reading a mystery when I already know whodunnit. Though… I’m not sure I’d want to read And Then There Were None again for the first time. I vividly remember getting to the point where the action on the island has just concluded and freaking out because I didn’t see a way to resolve the mystery. I avoided finishing the book for (what seemed like) ages until my parents finally convinced me that the scary parts were over, and if I would just finish the last handful of pages I’d get to find out what happened. While I would love experiencing it again without knowing how everything happened, I treasure that bookish memory and wouldn’t give it up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, knowing whodunnit is what makes mysteries hard rereads, which is why I went with them. If I were reading for the first time, I wouldn’t know how everything came together yet, and I could have that wonderful feeling of surprise again.

      When I read And Then There Were None, someone had told that it all makes sense after the epilogue, so that wasn’t a problem! I just got sort of obsessed with trying to figure everything out before then.


      • I’m not sure if I would have rather known about the epilogue for And Then There Were None, or not. I just got to a point where it seemed like there was nowhere to go, and nobody to tell the rest of the story, and yet the book wasn’t over. It seems silly to me now that I got so freaked out, but I guess that’s just a sign of how well-written the book was! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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