Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read For the First Time Again

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog, and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week, I’ve decided to go off script to showcase the Books I Wish I Could Read For the First Time Again.

These are all books that I loved; some of which I’ve already re-read while the rest are ones I plan to re-read in the future. As much as I love re-reading, it can’t quite match  my first time reading the titles below. If only someone could invent a way to erase our memory of a specific book so we could go on to experience it for the first time again and again…


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I’m sure I’ll enjoy The Secret History whenever I decide to re-read it, but I doubt anything can match that first reading experience. It’s a book that grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I was instantly engrossed in this classic when I first picked it up as a pre-teen. I’d love to be able to re-capture the feeling of reading it for the first time without having any idea of what was going to happen next.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel 

I still find myself thinking about that gut-punch of an ending.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

With its ending that I also find myself thinking about, The Little Stranger is an atmospheric and unsettling read that I wish I could read again with a blank slate.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

Nothing will quite live up to the first reading of And Then There Were None. Not even other Christie novels.


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

In spite of the fact that this will be a book I re-read over and over, I’m a tiny bit sad I’ll never get to meet the Mortmains for the first time again.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’m not exactly in a hurry to sob as much as I did when I first read The Book Thief, but it was definitely an unforgettable and impactful reading experience.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I’d love to dream of Manderley again for the very first time.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Choosing Pride and Prejudice from the bookstore shelf as a pre-teen was a magical moment in my reading life. I’d love to go back to my first introduction with Austen, before I ever knew how much her works would come to mean to me.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I remember being on the edge of my seat while reading Jackson’s creepy masterpiece. I had no idea where it was headed, and I’d love to experience that unsettling thrill again.


Which book(s) do you wish you could experience for the first time again?


33 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read For the First Time Again

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  1. This is such a great list, as it contains some of my all-time favorites along with some books I’m dying to read. ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ is so good with a perfect blend of atmosphere and characters. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Austen. I recently read ‘I Capture the Castle’ and loved it! If you love Agatha Christie, read ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.’ Almost nothing can top the corker of a twist, total genius.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joel! Glad to hear you love some of these as much as I do. I’ve read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and completely agree with you about that twist. As brilliant as it was, and as much as I enjoyed it, And Then There Were None is still my favorite Christie novel though. Hope you enjoy the books that you are looking forward to from this list!

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  2. And Then There Were None! Pride & Prejudice! Rebecca! Life of Pi! Definitely agree with all of those. I’m surprised I’ve read 7 from your list – and loved them all (I think the last 3 are in my reading pile, too. lol). I was thinking about this the other day of how there are so many books I’ve loved that I can’t experience for the first time again. It’s a weird feeling!

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    1. I’m glad you love so many of these too, Kristilyn! Hope you’ll enjoy the remaining three just as much. And I agree that it is a weird and bittersweet feeling. At least we get to experience the fun of re-reading!


    1. Thanks, Fran! It’s funny that you mention Fingersmith, because it was on my list for a bit! In the end, I didn’t want to include two of Sarah Waters’ novels here, and since I read Fingersmith more recently, The Little Stranger won out. But I do agree that it would be appealing to come to it with fresh eyes again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Camillea! I agree completely about The Secret History. It was such an amazing reading experience that I’m always trying to recapture it with similar novels. So far none have been able to compare though!

      And We Have Always Lived in the Castle would be a perfect rainy day read. Hope you enjoy it if/when you pick it up!


  3. totally with you on Book Thief, I capture the castle and rebecca! I wasn’t so keen on Life of Pi though so don’t want to re-read that again! Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is top of my list to re-read I think – just hope I don’t cry as much as I did first time round!

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    1. Entrancing is the perfect description! I’m always trying to find books that will give me a similar vibe/feeling/reading experience as The Secret History. So far nothing has been able to match it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here! The only two I’ve read that were slightly comparable are The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman and If We Were Villains by ML Rio, but neither has the same magic as TSH.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly! If We Were Villains and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl are the closest matches I’ve found. I’ll have to check out The Lake of Dead Languages too!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I have yet to re-read it, but I’m glad to know you found it just as moving and compelling each time you’ve read it. I don’t know if it’s possible for me to cry as much as I did when I first read it, but I’m interested to find out!


  4. This is a wonderful alternative TTT! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who went off the rails here. 😉 I agree with Rebecca and Pride and Prejudice. Can you believe I’ve never read Jane Eyre? I feel like such a classics failure. 😉

    I’d love the experience of reading Harry Potter again for the first time! That said, it feels like a bit of a cheat… so I’ll go with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. That book completely enraptured me.

    Liked by 1 person

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