Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First Time - Top Ten Tuesday #5

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

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

A couple of weeks ago the topic of Top Ten Tuesday was Top Ten Books I Want To Reread. That topic and today’s one might only sounds the same, but for me actually mean two very different things. Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time not necessary mean that I will ever reread these books. I might've even tried rereading them at some point, got disappointed and never finished rereading. Books I Want to Reread, for me, means that I want to reread these books, even though I know I would not feel the same, have the same impression as I did when I was reading them for the first time. So without any further ado, I’m presenting Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time, in no particular order. 

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Even though this book is known to almost everyone in US it was very hard to find in Russia some years ago. It was first published in Russia in 1960 in a national literary magazine. I’m not sure if it was ever published in a book form in Russia until recently, however it was impossible for me to find Russian translation ten years ago. I went high and low, searching for Russian translation – no libraries had it, none of my relatives had it, no friends of my relatives, not friends of friends of my relatives, not even neighbors of friends of friends of my relatives. Finally, my, at that time boyfriend, now husband, was able to find a Russian translation for me – a pirate document in the internet. That was my first experience with The Catcher in the Rye and even though the quality of the document left much to be desired (translation itself was good, thanks god), I read it in one sitting and loved it enormously.  A few years ago, I found and bought the first US edition. I reread it and even though I still love The Catcher in the Rye, the experience was very different from the first one. 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Another book that widely popular in US and for some reason is known to a few in Russia. I first heard about this book when I already was in US and I read it for only one reason – everyone here seems to know this book and I had no idea what they were talking about. After I finished it, I remember that I was unable to read anything else for a month, nothing seems to be good enough, and everything else seems pale and boring. 
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I read it only once when I was fifteen or sixteen, but I still remember what an impression this book made. Only Nabokov could have written such a beautiful book on such ugly and controversial theme. 
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This book made me “Whoa!” (an exclamation of surprise) not once. Now I know the plot, so sadly I wouldn’t go “Whoa!” even once. I wish I could read this book again for the first time. 
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. This one has one of the best twists in the entire book history, in my opinion.  
  • The Eight by Katherine Neville. I heard about this book for the first time just about the time when the second book The Fire was about to be published – twenty years after The Eight was first published. I was walking around my favorite bookstore and noticed it. I was a bit hesitant to read it for the first time (book is twenty years old and I never heard about it – it must be not very good, was my thoughts). However, after starting to read synopsis: “A dabbler in mathematics and chess, Catherine Velis…” I knew that I’m going to like this book. My love to mathematics is only a bit lower then my love to books, so it is pretty high and even though I myself never played chess seriously, I was always fascinated by people who does. With this book, it is not as much as I want to read it again for the first time, I want to discover it for the first time, discover something so unexpectedly that I would love so dearly. 
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. Should I even bother to say something about it? 
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green. I’ve been hearing and seeing the title of this book for years, until only this year when I finally read it. I didn’t know anything about this book with an exception of its title and an army of fans who was considering this book one of the best ever. I’ll tell you the truth, the title was the thing that was stopping me from reading this book for years. I was thinking that Alaska in the title was referring to the state Alaska (silly me). So when I was thinking “Looking for Alaska (the state)”, I was imagining something of Jack London’s style and I really never liked it. So it only took me about four-five years to overcome my prejudice and read what now became one of my favorite books. 
  • Some Girl Are by Courtney Summers. I discovered Courtney Summers almost two years ago and immediately fall in love with her first book Cracked Up to Be. Some Girl Are made my favorites list. Her books are the most brutal, honest and nail-biting out of all YA I’ve ever read. 
  • Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I loved Twilight Series (second and third book the most) first time I read it, with exception of fourth book – it made me sick. It is only later, when I tried to reread this series all the flaws started to stare at me from the pages. It happened before the whole internet joined into Hate Twilight frenzy. This is precisely why I want to reread it for the first time again – I don’t want to see these flaws. I want to swallow it whole again without actually tasting it and be left with pleasant, however vague, aftertaste. I want to read it without analyzing, scrutinizing or thinking.


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I see how you've created two different lists....Nice. I agree; I think there is a difference. With me, however, I almost never reread and so I really don't long in any way for that first-time-read experience.

Willa said...

Love your list!! Really inspiring :-) Btw. new follower, looking forward to more posts :-)

Trish said...

To Kill a Mockingbird made this weeks list for me, too. I like your description of not being able to read anything else for a month afterwards. Yes! I know that feeling exactly.

Ovrelia said...

Deb Nance, I’m not a frequent rereader myself, however I’m still getting a desire to reread something once in a while, especially to reread something again for the first time :)

Willa, thank you and welcome. I’m not a very consistent blogger, live keeps getting in a way.

Trish, it looks like we are not the only two who added To Kill a Mockingbird on this week’s list. It is truly an amazing book.

Megan said...

I agree that this list and the "books I'd like to reread" are two very different things. There are just some books where it's so hard to recapture just the way it made you feel the first time around.

I'm seeing John Green on lots of lists, and I'm ashamed to admit I've still never read any of his books. I need to!

LBC said...

I was trying to think of some plot-twisty books for my list, since I think they are really the books that you can't replicate those first reads.

Come visit my list at The Scarlet Letter.

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