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Topic: If you could read again the 1st time

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Subject: If you could read again the 1st time
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
Posts: 15
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Most of us read the books we love more than once, but there is a special expectation, suspense, or wonder the first time through that can't be recaptured once we know how everything works out.

If you could have a book erased from your mind so that as you re-read it, it would be brand new all over again, what book would you want to do this with?


The first time I read Beauty by Robin McKinley, there was a sense of discovery as the story unfolded that I would like to have again.  I think that would be my pick.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
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Kris, what a thoughtful question.  I am going to think a bit more about this before I respond.  There have been several books that would fit in this category for me. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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Sarum, by E Rutherford

Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by T Hardy

Pillars of the Earth, by K Follett

The Crystal Cave, by M Stewart

Outlander, by D Gabaldon

The Mysts of Avalon, by MZ Bradley

Gone with the Wind, by M Mitchell


Loved them all.


Date Posted: 1/7/2009 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,940
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Maybe it's just me, but I find that if I wait long enough to re-read a book, it is like reading it for the first time (especially after all the books I've read). I read Pillars of the Earth when it first came out. When Follett wrote World Without End, I felt it necessary to re-read Pillars. I swear it was like reading it for the first time - I remembered almost nothing! (Maybe it's my age, but of course, there was about a 12 yr gap in there). I love those books though.

Linda, you have given me some ideas - I have Sarum on my TBR pile and was contemplating getting the Mists of Avalon! So far, the one book that keeps coming to my mind as really a stand out is "The Tenderness of Wolves". That's one that I will want to read again!!

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 35
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bkydbirder (Jeanne L.) :  Read "Mists"!  I love it!  The whole series actually. 

Just a question, what's your 2009 historical fiction challange about?  Is there a site for it?

Kat (polbio) -
Subject: book
Date Posted: 1/7/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I agree that after so many years, when I go back and re-read something, I find things that I forgot or read with a new perspective due to life's changing. I read Mists of Avalon first when I was 16. I reread it a couple of times in my late teens and early twenties. Finding something new each time I have read it. I often think if re-reading it, wondering, if now at 34, I would look at it differently, or get something different out of it.

I would love to re-read many books for the first time and experience that thrill from the first reading. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava would be my first choice.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,940
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Kristy, Tell me more about the whole series of "Mists" - I'm really interested.

The 2009 HF reading challenge is described in a thread under the HF forum (I think it's the third one down). This is the first time for this and it sounds like fun! I have not been a frequent contributor to that forum, but I'm going to do this. Check it out and join in.  Hope to see you on there!

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Jane Eyre- I loved not know the mystery of the locked attic

The Stand- I thought the ending wrapped it up brilliantly

Nicholas Nickleby & Our Mutual Friend- 2 of my favorite Dickens books, I love the way the endings wove everything together

And Then There Were None/The Murder of Roger Ackroyd/Murder on the Orient Express- nobody does the twist ending like Agatha Christie, these are her most perfect mysteries

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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Great question!  All of James Herriott's books (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.).  Most of Stephen King's earlier books - The Shining, The Stand, etc.  Time Traveller's Wife and Roots, also come to mind.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,617
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I have to say : Gone With the Wind and The Outsiders are what come to mind.  I LOVED THEM SO MUCH the first time I read them!!  Great question.   Thanks for making me think.


Date Posted: 1/7/2009 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I would have to say I Capture The Castle because there was just this amazing feeling that I got the first time I read it where I felt like I could relate to Cassandra and just that newness of it. Now it's comforting and I can still relate to Cassandra but that "first love" feeling is gone. I would love to have that back again.


Subject: Jane Eyre
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
Posts: 15
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I was talking to a college boy a while back - a real sports guy, never saw him with a book in his hand.  He had heard about Jane Eyre and decided to give it a try as his first piece of real literature.  He loved it!  I asked if he guessed about the wife in the attic, and he said he knew it before he read the book.  That's why he had decided to read it - people kept mentioning the wife in the attic and he wanted to see what that was about.  What a let down!  I can't imagine finding that for the first time and already knowing the end.

I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife right now.  I have no idea how it's going to end, and I love watching it unfold.  So much detail!  Actually, I'm half way through and I had to put it down last week.  I got really sick, and that affected my dreams, and I started having these really intense and psychodelic time-travel dreams.  I had to stop reading the book until I'm well again, which would be about now, so maybe I'll go finish that soon.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Yes, because I was such a precocious reader as a youngster, I think I read some books too early to appreciate them.  My favorite book of all time, Dune, is an example.  I missed so much the first time through...the new revelations were something when I reread it, but even so I knew the plot and it wasn't the same.  Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein is another example.   

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
Posts: 15
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I know what you mean about reading a book too early.  I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld as a kid and loved the first half.  I didn't get the second half.  I knew something was going on and I just wasn't getting it.  I re-read the book several times as a kid and young teen, then shelved it as hopeless.  I read it again as an adult and went, "Aha!  That's what I didn't get!"  It's about relationships and using people and getting revenge for feeling violated (non-sexually), and I just didn't have the experience to catch any of that.  That's another one I wish I could read new, as an adult, so that the shadow of frustration from my childhood wouldn't dampen it.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,536
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A couple come to mind that I would like to enjoy for the first time again.  Island of the Blue Dolphins (which was my favorite book in elementary school), The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, A Tale of Two Cities, and the Twins series of the DragonLance books.

I'm sure there are others ;)


Date Posted: 1/9/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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The Book Thief.  I'm not sure I'll ever read a book that I find more beautiful or love more that that one.  I loved it so that I own both a hardback and a paperback copy.  :)

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,159
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I read a book by a woman I went to college with, we'll just say several years ago. I had no expectations, just picked it up at the bookstore with some other stuff. Maybe it was the lack of knowledge about the book before I dug in, but Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi is a book I'd definitely say was a great first time reading experience!

I loved Mists of Avalon and Plain and Simple by Sue Bender too.  Deb

Date Posted: 1/10/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2007
Posts: 21
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HARRY POTTER! Especially now that the series is over, to rediscover the magic (literally) would be amazing.



Date Posted: 1/10/2009 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,573
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The book I wish I could read for the first time, again, is Shogun.  Oh my God!  It totally changed my life view.  When I read it the first time, I had no idea of the relationship between the Japanese and Europe.  This book sent me on a reading journey about all things Asian for about 10 years.  A few years after that I had an opportunity to spend a month in Bangkok and I know that I would have not had the experiences there without that reading journey.   Besides all that , the love story in the book is so beautiful and tragic.  I still read it occasionally.

Date Posted: 1/11/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,467
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The Outlander series.

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2007
Posts: 8,455
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My favorite book is THE HOST by Stephanie Meyer. I love this book and will keep a copy to pass to my kids and grandkids when they get old enough.

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I've found that a lot of my favorites as a kid just don't read the same now. :-(  One book I found on ebay about 10 years ago and was SO happy..yet re-reading it I didn't remember a lot of it reading that way! (Pony Girl is the title). Another was a Bobbsey Twins book - Cedar Camp.

Subject: Memory
Date Posted: 1/12/2009 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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I rmember an older friend telling me years ago, that she was rather pleased to be losing her memory somewhat, because it meant she could re-read her longtime favorites by Georgette Heyer and it was as good as the first time. I haven't quite got there yet, but I'm working on it...
Date Posted: 1/13/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
Posts: 394
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Are you there God, it's me Margaret -- Judy Blume

read this when I was a preteen and it left a MAJOR impression on me that as my own daughters were nearing teenagers, I had them read it.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2006
Posts: 3,607
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For me, it is definitely The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  I reluctantly read this book a few years ago, because my mom & sister insisted on it.  That is when I became an official book addict.  I have not read it since because the book is full of suspense, and a mystery is just not the same when you know the outcome.  The next time I read it, I want it to be like the first time!