I’m going off script this week and borrowing an older topic for Top Ten Tuesday, because I am not organized enough as a reader to tackle this week’s topic: Top 10 Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to Their Sophomore Novel or Top 10 Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just as Much as the Author’s Debut. Debut novels versus sophomore novels? Who can keep track of that stuff? Besides, you know, the hundreds of book bloggers who are publishing posts right this moment. But that’s not me. So. I’m tackling 10 Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time. These reading experiences were full and right and perfect. These books were all, in their different ways, revelations. They would have been good books for me whenever I read them, but there was real synergy in the moment when I discovered them and committed to the reading experience. Pure reading magic.
I wish I could read Ten Years in the Tub, Nick Hornby’s omnibus collection of the bookish columns he wrote for McSweeney’s, for the first time, but alas, I’ve read the previously published individual collections a dozen times each.I have no idea why it’s so compelling to read about what books Hornby bought and what he read each month, but it is.
I think my picture book reading innocence was forever lost, though in a good way, with Jon Klassen’s brilliant final spread of the bear in I Want My Hat Back. Wait, what?! What just happened?? You can do that in a children’s book?!
We Are in a Book was my very first introduction to two dear old friends, Elephant & Piggie.
Dodie Smith’s novel about a precocious aspiring writer navigating adolescence, first love, ambition, sisterhood, and a seriously kooky family is one book I really wouldn’t mind moving into permanently, though I would want to be sure to take warm boots and a sweater to keep out the chill of that castle.
What I really want is another book just like Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, a wide-ranging collection about writing and theater and children and motherhood, but in the meantime, I’d take some magical reading time travel that allowed me to read it again for the first time.
As much as I would love to reread Code Name Verity, my favorite read in 2013, the absolutely devastating–and, for me, totally unexpected–ending keeps me from it. Such an emotionally draining book–though in the best possible way.
I was a little late to Pottermania, so Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the first book I was able to pre-order, highly anticipate along with millions of other readers, and stay up late to finish on the day of publication. It’s also my favorite of the series.
Watership Down is one of those personal watershed reading experiences. It was ninth grade, and I had many, many interests besides reading (boys, boys, boy bands, boys). I had given up the kinds of books I read as a tween but hadn’t yet begun to figure out who I would become as an adult reader. It was a dangerous time when I might have turned away from reading. But then my English teacher placed Watership Down on my desk and walked away. I read it twice straight through and then begged him for more book recommendations. Brilliant man!
A good essay collection permanently changes me as a reader and a person, which must be how three of them ended up on this list. I rarely reread essays, but maybe I should make an exception for Zadie Smith’s superb Changing My Mind.
How I would love to discover again for the first time what Brimstone is doing with those teeth in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.