This week the Broke and the Bookish’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is “Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time.” We took that to mean the kinds of books that are so magical, so unforgettable, so life-changing there’s nothing like the very first time you read them cover to cover. We have nearly identical taste in books — we do share the same DNA — so we’re not going to bother differentiating which ones are Diana’s picks and which ones are mine. And yes, we do realize we tend to talk about the same books over and over again!
“Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” and “Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling – After years of thinking they were silly children’s books about witches, I gave in and read them and boy was I wrong! These two were so amazing and I remember the first time I read them and the absolute wonder I felt when I was done. It would be great to feel that again.
“The Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson – You know how some books are inextricable parts of your youth? Of all my “middle grade” books, “Bridge to Terabithia” remains the most important. It taught me the beauty of befriending a boy, the power of imagination, the everlasting impact a childhood friendship can have on a life. It’s one of the dearest books to my heart.
“Jellicoe Road” by Melina Marchetta – I just read this book and the moment I figured out the story within the story, I wished I could go back and start all over again. I did go through and reread the parallel story, but wish I could reread it again, as if it were the first time.
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins – I spent all of last Christmas holiday reading the three “Hunger Games” books, and although I’ve reread parts of all three novels, there’s nothing like the first time you learn about the Districts, the Tributes, the backstory to Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. You read the books again to absorb the tiniest of details, but the first time is breathtaking, shocking, unrepeatable.
“The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare – I first read this historical fiction middle reader when I was in 6th or 7th grade (many years ago) and I LOVED it! . The teenage protagonist, Kit, is forced to move from her beautiful Caribbean Island to the dreary life of Puritan Connecticut. I felt her every emotion as she dealt with this new life and loved her friendship with the young sailor Nat. I have rarely felt the magic I felt when I read it for the very first time.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I read this book in my senior-year IB English class, and I will forever be grateful to my teacher, Ms. Amy Scott, who taught a novel not many students. The book — and magical realism in general — rocked my world and made me proud to be of Colombian extract. Reading even the first line — “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice” — was amazing.
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien – Ah, that first introduction to Middle Earth, who can forget that? The first wonder of meeting Gandalf, Bilbo and all those dwarves as they travel throughout Middle Earth encountering wondrous creatures and amazing adventures, how marvelous it was!
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – I’m starting to think we’re just going to keep writing about the exact same books every week, but seriously, the first time you read about Death and Liesl and her adoring/adorable best friend Rudy? It’s unforgettable, and even though it required an entire travel pack of tissues to read, I will always treasure the “first time” I read it huddled in a tent on a family camping trip.
“Where She Went” by Gayle Forman – I just can’t get over how much I loved Adam in If I Stay and how head over heels over him I felt in “Where She Went.” Even now, months after I read these two books, I want to go back and get into Adam’s mind and heart again.
“The Poisonwood Bible” by Barabara Kingsolver – I love Barbara Kingsolver. From the moment I read “Animal Dreams” in 11th grade, I was hooked. Reading “The Poisonwood Bible” — with it’s changing perspectives from sisters who share a parentage but are each completely different — was just such a soul-deep experience, I’ve never even tried to read it again.