First-time loves – books I’d love to read again as if for the very first time!
Hey there Bookaholics!
So this week Top Ten Tuesday is a ‘Love freebie’ and I’m not going to lie, I kind of picked out my theme before fully reading the prompt so although this week’s post is not entirely ‘lovey-dovey’ or ‘romancy’, I’m going with it anyway! For this TTT, I decided to think about all of the books that I’d LOVE (had to get that word in there!) to rediscover as if for the first time. Deleting all my knowledge of these next ten books only to be able to read them afresh and experience those first-time feels again would be awesome! Bring on the nostalgic love…
10. Spies by Michael Frayn
This text was one of the books that was on my English Literature A-Level syllabus. I remember exactly where I sat in the A2 classroom of the English Block to discover this for the first time. Geekish as it may be, I absolutely loved school and had the most amazing English teachers (I’m now a teacher myself J). Despite English Literature being my last option selected for A-Levels, it fast became my favourite subject and I went on to study it at university too. For some reason, Spies has stuck out in my mind after all of these years. I really enjoyed Frayn’s storytelling as well as the tension and suspense he creates through the plot and imagery. Having to think of the significance of the cigarette packet, the laburnum and the diary with strange markings made it feel like a real mystery to solve before the ending was actually revealed. Whether it is the story told in the book itself, or the nostalgia it brings with it of being back at school, this text had to appear somewhere in my TTT this week.
9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl thoroughly gripped me from the first to last page. I can’t really remember now whether I worked out the twists or not, but I definitely remember devouring it within a very short time as I just couldn’t put it down. Obviously now, after having read it and watched the film, the mystery of that first time reading is forever ruined, and since I can’t go back in time, I thought I’d honour it with a place on my list this week.
8. One Day by David Nicholls
Similarly to Gone Girl, this page-turner had to have a place on my top ten this week, purely for that dramatic twist at the end. I remember sitting at my computer, desperately trying to finish my uni assignments with this book just glaring at me from the chair. To hell with the essays, I had to finish it and then suffered the devastating book hangover that came from reaching the ending. Whether it is a great piece of literature or not, the shattering feeling that came from the last pages of that book has been difficult (but not entirely impossible) to experience again since.
7. Summer at the Lake by Erica James
I don’t often read a lot of this genre but I happened upon this book completely by chance in Cape Verde. We had gone to one of those 5 star all inclusive holidays where you never really leave the hotel complex and just sit and relax on the beach. I’d already polished off all four of the books I’d taken with me and was searching through a cabinet full of books other holidaymakers had abandoned on the island when Summer at the Lake called out to me. Being set in one of my all-time favourite locations (Lake Como, Italy) and with an Oxford tour guide protagonist named Floriana guiding the story, it was the perfect holiday read. Whether my glorious white-sandy setting influenced my enjoyment of James’ novel is yet to be seen but I would gladly go back in time to re-experience that book all over again.
6. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
This was my first ever time reading Angela Carter and boy it was not my last! I loved how deliciously dark these tales were and I’d happily revisit this book just for the pure shock-factor of how gruesome and morbid those tales really were.
5. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Zafon is one of my absolute favourite authors. He has such a beautiful way with words and his novels are some of the most well-constructed I have ever read. I was resolute that at least one of his books would make this list so after browsing my shelves I decided upon The Prince of Mist. Whilst this isn’t one from his more popular Cemetery of Forgotten books series, I fell in love with the idea of the enchanted stone garden at the centre of the story. It had been an anticipated read on my TBR from the moment I knew that it was to be released in the UK and I would love to go back and open its pages again for the very first time. Zafon hasn’t released new material in English since 2013 and finally, in September 2018 we are getting the fourth instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and I CAN NOT WAIT!
4. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl?! By far one of my favourite Dahl books, I remember this being insanely funny when I read it as a kid. I was one of those children who messed around in the kitchen sink at my Grandparents’ house, making all sorts of potions and concoctions with whatever I found and although I didn’t manage to make a medicine as magical as George’s, I definitely made a few things to make my Grandad pull some highly comedic faces (brave Grandad)! Rediscovering this book for the first time without knowing the hilarious side-effects of George’s makeshift medicine would definitely be a blast from the past and would bring back that happy childhood nostalgia.
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Oh to experience that first adventure into Middle Earth once again without knowing how the journey ends! Tolkien is surely one of the greatest story-telling masters of all-time and I’d love to just revisit that WOW feeling that came from reading The Hobbit for the very first time. The trolls, the wizard, the elves, the dragon…! Stories which carry that much resonance with so many legions of fans truly are special and the first-time feels they give you really are worth treasuring. A highly deserved place on my TTT this week!
2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
I thought about mentioning the whole trilogy in this post, but as those people who have read the ACOTAR trilogy and loved it will know, there’s just something special about book 2 (Rhysand, I’m talking to you!). The rollercoaster of emotions that this book sent me on…I felt like I was actually IN the book! ACOMAF has definitely earned its place on my most-loved-books-of-all-time shelf and to be able to go back and read it again for the first time would be such a thrill.
1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Could there be any other…? To rediscover any book again as if for the very first time – If there was ever a chance to delete all of your Harry Potter knowledge and to go right back to the start and discover it all over again, would you do it? Would it be the same reading it in this day and age; the age you are now? Would it be better than you originally thought, or would you hate it and not rediscover that Potter love at all?
I grew up with Harry; I was at primary school when the first book was released and each time the next novel was announced my Nan had it on pre-order for me straight away (always from WH Smiths!). Never has a book series captivated me so wholeheartedly as much as Potter. Now whilst that may be a little cliché or roll the eyes of those Potter-haters out there (yes, they really do exist), no book-lover can surely deny that special feeling that comes with reading a book for the very first time and knowing that you are going to love it, treasure it and remember it for life. To experience that feeling is quite rare and I only hope I get to experience it again in the not so distant future.
Should the TARDIS ever become a reality these are the top ten books that I would go back in time to rediscover all over again as if for the very first time. Which books would you go back in time for? Feel free to chat and let me know in the comments!
Have a brilliant week Bookaholic friends!