Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Books You Wish You Could Read Again the First Time

I've been distracted, so this isn't going to be the typical review. I didn't have a "new book" to share this week. Last week, I read a book I had read before--a handful of times over the years to be honest--but had been itching for.

BEWITCHING by Jill Barnett.

I was in college when this book came out the first time: purple with gold lettering and lots of stars. (It's the copy I still have.) And I remember my friend Jackie and I shared a room, but we couldn't share the book. We wanted to read it together, then we could stop and go, "Oh my gosh, did you get to the part--" It was really a most magical book, and I'm not talking about it being about a character who isn't a very good witch. Jackie and I swooned over this book and over Alec, the proud duke who wished to control everything and had no hope of controlling his wife.

Have you ever been out in public and you see someone reading a beloved book on your keeper shelf--and you realize they're reading it for the very first time? You know, because you asked. Despite being introverts, bookworms will almost always ask: "Is it your first time reading it? Isn't it wonderful?" And if it is true; it is their first time, the bookworm will get a wistful look on her face and you know she's wishing she could read the book again for the first time. There is magic in a second reading, where you catch things you didn't see before or you relive a beloved moment (how can you not love that Alec's laugh sounds like the bark of a seal?), but there is only the first time you ever read a truly magical book.

Harry Potter--the series, but especially the last one. The Lucy Hatch books. Hush, Hush. The Secret by Julie Garwood, and Saving Grace. Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath. I could go through my keeper shelf and pull down a score or more of books that I wish I could read again for the first time.

Yet there are books that other bookworms adore that I haven't read yet--and one in fact that I'm reading right now: OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. No serious Scotland fanatic could possibly claim to have not read it, but I have not. I've had the book bought for over a year now and it's been on my TBR pile. I got it at a used book store for $2. I mean seriously, I paid full price for the other books listed above or thereabouts, but for OUTLANDER (the mecca of Scottish fiction), I didn't want to invest too heavily. *LOL*

I'm on page 152 and loving it. Can't think why I haven't read it before...except for the fact the series still hasn't finished and the first book was published in 1991. That might have something to do with it. That aside though, I know there are bookworms out there who wish they could read OUTLANDER for the first time again, to experience the magic wholly again.

Have you ever reread a book? Is there a book you wish you could read again for the first time? And are you reading anything now that is raved about everywhere that you know others wish they could read for the first time?

30 comments:

quantum said...

I have Barnett's 'Bridge to Happiness' on the TBR but as 'Bewitching' is the last (?) Hellie Rec, I'm gonna read that first.

I have often been bewitched by the brilliance of pirate reviews, so in the time ahead Barnett's story will be the perfect reminder of beautiful pirates that I once knew .... or were they all a dream?

As a rule I don't re-read fiction, but something tells me that this review may be bewitched, and like a nice version of Tom Riddle's diary, I shall want to re-read this one over and over.

Do you believe in magic?

I'm currently finishing Robyn Carr's 'Redwood Bend'. It is #18 in the Virgin River series and may be the last of that series that I read. It is full of Carr's magical touch and I'm sure many fans will wish they could read it again for the first time.

Thanks for another wonderful review Hellie! *smile*

Terri Osburn said...

I'm not a re-reader, but due to memory issues, I have lots of keepers I read 10, 15, or 20 years ago that I will someday read again and it will be like doing so for the first time. I'm looking forward to them!

I could see myself re-reading John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I've convinced my sister to read it and am anxiously awaiting the angry phone call about the heartbreak of the end. Though I did warn her to have tissues handy for the last 3rd. So I'm not sending her in blind.

Bridget said...

I remember reading "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier when I was a teenager and being amazed by the end. I wish I could read it again, just for that effect. Otherwise, of course, Pride and Prejudice, which I fell in love with at 14 or 15 when I had to read it for school...

Terri Osburn said...

Bridget, I love that you had to read P&P for school. We had nothing that wonderful on our reading list. I had to read The Crucible, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, and MacBeth. Not the most uplifting stories, and not a HEA in sight.

Janga said...

Oh, I love Bewitching. The epilogue is my favorite part. It is perfect, and that's not an accolade I utter often.

Twice now, with Robyn Carr's Virgin River and with Julie Anne Long's The Perils of Pleasure, I've read the first book in a new series and known to the depths of my romance loving heart that I was reading something extraordinary that was going to take the career of a favorite author to a new level. No reread will ever recapture that feeling. I wish it could. I also love the feeling that comes with the first reading of a book that puts the author on my autobuy list on the strength of one book. That completely blown away feeling can't be recaptured either. On the other hand, the comfort and delight of rereading a beloved book brings its own unique rewards just as time spent with longtime, cherished friends does.

Maureen said...

I seldom re-read...who has the time? But I can think of several books I'd love to read for the first time again...

Binding Spell by Elizabeth Arthur - I can remember taking it to lunch and sitting in a restaurant, trying not to spray the table with food. It was so damned funny! And magical. I got back to work late...

The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Because it was full of such a beautiful words, put together just right.

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Dune by Frank Herbert
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark

I could go on and on...most of the books are the classics of scifi, I realize, with a few fantasy novels thrown in...

irisheyes said...

The first book that came to mind was IT HAD TO BE YOU by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I so envy readers discovering her for the first time. So many hours of awesome reading ahead. Same with Lisa Kleypas. DREAMING OF YOU by her just blew me away and then it just kept happening every time I picked up one of her books. Lorraine Heath's TEXAS DESTINY is another one that left me speechless. Each one of these books I can tell you right off the top of my head how the book progresses - scene by scene.

Now I envy people finding authors as much as certain books. Just knowing that they have the chance to glom a whole backlist of incredible books - Robyn Carr, Sarah Mayberry, Carla Kelly, Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, MaryJo Putney, Barbara Samuel/O'Neal, Cheryl St. John, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and of course SEP, LK, and Lorraine Heath.

I finally read OUTLANDER last year, Hellie, and liked it. I've been following all of the news on the casting of the mini-series set to come out in 2014 on one of the cable channels. It will be interesting to see if they can do it justice.

MsHellion said...

Q, hopefully I'll have a few more recommendations before the month is out. I may also keep open a "Hellie's Recommendations" book blog where I can just blog about books once a week, so maybe you can keep up with me there, eh?

Joy, the heroine, is such a delightful heroine--so sincere and darling that the hero constantly feels like he's kicked a kitten if he says anything snide. *LOL* That's what I love about Jill Barnett's heroines--most of them are kitten sweet. I think she's had one or two who are a little more cynical, but usually she saves that element for the heroes. :) My favorite Jill Barnett book (as if I could pick one) is DREAMING, but I'm more in a minority there because the hero is sooooo cynical and mean. *LOL* But I love Letty; she's so plucky. DREAMING is the follow up to BEWITCHING.

MsHellion said...

Terri, you really did love The Fault With Our Stars...*LOL* I know you're not a rereader; and that one would NOT make any list I have for rereading. *LOL* Once was plenty where that one was concerned for me. But I know there are a ton of readers who are with you about rereading it. They'd make sure it was in their DIK picks if they were washed ashore somewhere.

irisheyes said...

I just read the post from yesterday :( The ship will sail no more, huh?! So sad, but understandable. I'll miss you all - great writing insight, wonderful reviews, and always the awesome widsom garnered from everyday life. I've enjoyed being welcomed aboard and encouraged to contribute.

You are all a group of very talented ladies and I wish you all the very best!

MsHellion said...

Bridget, I haven't read REBECCA yet, but now that you say it has that kind of ending, now I have to go find a copy. *LOL* I remember lots of buzz about it through, so I know it's touched a lot of readers, which is always the hallmark of a special book. (Thanks for answering the call on FB! Glad to see you!)

Terri Osburn said...

That's right, Irish. We're hanging up our oars. And what a lovely list of authors. I have to admit some of those I haven't read and others I haven't read enough. As I say, my golden years will be paved with lots of wonderful reading.

MsHellion said...

I've read the first book in a new series and known to the depths of my romance loving heart that I was reading something extraordinary that was going to take the career of a favorite author to a new level. No reread will ever recapture that feeling. I wish it could.

YES! Exactly. J.K. Rowling...and exactly about the Julie Anne Long series...those kinds of series are very magical when they happen, as if the stars are just perfectly aligned for the writer as she sweats and bleeds on the page. :)

MsHellion said...

Mo, I had the time. *LOL* But I made the time...just because I happened to miss that particular set of characters so. It's like rewatching a movie; there's plenty of movies I've never seen, but I never mind watching a great one again.

Binding Spell sounds intriguing; I love laugh out loud books! And I just love the way the title is worded with The Thread That Binds the Bones--love that! I imagine the rest of the book is poetry too.

P. Kirby said...

It's funny that I've read Outlander before you, and I'm not a big fan of historical stuff. It's on my fave shelf (never read beyond the first book, though), and sometimes, as with all my keepers, I pick it up, and flip to a random page and start reading.

I frequently read bits and pieces of favorites, but rarely reread all the way through.

>>And are you reading anything now that is raved about everywhere that you know others wish they could read for the first time?

Currently reading Skies of Gold by Zoe Archer, which is so far, totally rocking. I'm not sure if it's raved about elsewhere. Picked it up because it was cheap and the premise appealed.

In general, I'd be disinclined to approach someone who was reading a fave of mine. The reason being that tastes vary sooo much, and what works for me, might have this other reader shaking their head and thinking, "Wow, this book has more suck than vacuum cleaner." Similarly, I've read loads of lauded and loved novels and wondered if I was even the same species as the other readers because the stories were so blinding bad.

What did you like about Hush, Hush, by the way? I haven't read it, but most of the YA readers I follow on Goodreads hated it. In fact, for once they have an odd consensus on that book. Just curious.

MsHellion said...

Irish, I totally agree with your list too! *LOL* And I do envy readers who have just discovered a new author and get to glom the backlist...though I am always amazed they hadn't read them yet!

MsHellion said...

What golden years, Terri? You'll be writing to your grave and still won't have time for all these stories. *LOL*

MsHellion said...

In general, I'd be disinclined to approach someone who was reading a fave of mine. The reason being that tastes vary sooo much, and what works for me, might have this other reader shaking their head and thinking, "Wow, this book has more suck than vacuum cleaner."

THIS is so true. You're smarter than me. I just tell them they're wrong when they say that. *LOL* "Aww, that's too bad you're not smart enough to see how brilliant this book is. Maybe later." *LOL*

I think just about everyone has read OUTLANDER but me. And Terri. *LOL*

MsHellion said...

Oh, and I loved Hush, Hush. I'm totally in love with Patch. If he's real and ever wants to dump that silly girl he's hooked up with, I'll take him in a heartbeat. *LOL*

But Hush, Hush is a lot in common with Twilight, only Patch isn't as goody-goody as Edward--and that may be the reason it's reviled. They either hated Twilight and also hate this one; or they loved Twilight and think this is a knock off.

quantum said...

I may also keep open a "Hellie's Recommendations" book blog where I can just blog about books once a week, so maybe you can keep up with me there, eh?

There is a Goddess in Book Heaven!
I definitely want the link. :)

Terri Osburn said...

I want to see this blog, too! We'd all have someplace new to hang out. And you could keep us up to date on your crafty projects.

quantum said...

Hellie has 'crafty projects'?
My brain just started spinning .... wildly! LOL

MsHellion said...

Little crocheted pirate negligees, eh, Q? *LOL*

Maureen said...

What will I do without a weekly dose of Q?

And, btw, I've never read the Outlander series. I do enjoy her Sir John books... ;-)

MsHellion said...

Here you go: http://helliesinclair.blogspot.com/.

It's not glamorous yet. Assuming it may eventually be. :) But yes, the occasionally dueling review will be available for Q to critique! Woohoo!

Marnee Bailey said...

I've never read Outlander OR Bewitching! These are both books that are on my TBR pile but I just haven't gotten to them yet. I'm not sure why not, though.

I have been a tad bit busy for reading lately.

:)

Ones I wish I could read again for the first time would definitely include the HP books too, especially the last two. I'd love to read Paradise and Perfect, from Judith McNaught again. And some of Jude Deveraux's.

MsHellion said...

Marn, I agree about the last 2 HP books, but it'd have to have a time-travel element in that I didn't honestly know what happened in the last two books so I could be truly surprised and enchanted. I mean they're still great--but once you know Dumbledore and Snape are dead...that's sorta lost after that, you know?

Sharlene Moore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharlene Moore said...

It would be The Night Circus. I loved that book so much I did not want it to end.

MsHellion said...

Hi Sharlene, welcome to the ship! I've heard great things about The Night Circus! I will definitely add to my pile and then berate myself why I didn't read it sooner, I'm sure. :)