6 Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

Some books improve every time you re-read them. You notice more and more details with every re-read, catch things you didn’t catch the first time, get to know the characters even better. But for some books, nothing is quite like the experience of reading it for the first time. For me, those books feel like literal magic when I read them. I can get lost in them for hours at a time.

And sometimes I wish I could forget the book entirely so I can go back and read it for the first time again.

The Night Circus

The experience of reading The Night Circus was a lot like the experience of falling in love. Discovering the Circus was so enchanting, watching Marcus and Celia fall in love so heart-wrenching, discovering the terms of the bet so devastating. Though I loved re-reading this book (and I think I’ve re-read it twice), I would love to be able to read it for the first time and experience that feeling of falling in love with a book.


Life of Pi

Life of Pi is a book that is wonderful to analyze on a re-read, and things make more sense and you see where Martel was going and why he wrote what he wrote in each spot. But the ending is such a shock the first time. Some people hate that, but I love it. I hate to reference Twilight, but it’s like the way Meyer describes the whole world re-orienting when the wolf boys imprint, that’s what the end of Life of Pi was about. The whole book flips upside down, and it forces you to question EVERYTHING.


And Then There Were None

I haven’t re-read And Then There Were None, mostly because I don’t think it would re-read very well. Christie wrote it as an unsolvable mystery, very successfully, I might add. But then she hated to do that to her readers (thank God), so the epilogue explains the whole thing. But I can’t imagine that the reading experience would be quite as exciting now that I know.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I remember my fifth grade teacher reading Harry Potter to us as a class, and just begging her to keep reading each day. I think it must be partly that we experienced it together, partly the charming writing that I’m still enchanted by when I read the first book, and partly that I’d never read anything like it before. I’m still a Harry Potter fan, but I would love to recapture the feeling I had reading it for the first time when I was ten years old, still young enough to imagine that my Hogwarts letter might come, without knowing what all would happen next, and of course without all the baggage that comes with HP in 2021.


The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a book I’ve read maybe a half dozen times, and loved it every time. But I just remember the first time I read it, HOW exciting it was, HOW MUCH I was desperate to know who the Scarlet Pimpernel was. I remember reading so quickly that the words started to blur, so desperate was I to know what happened next. And like Life of Pi or And Then There Were None, there’s nothing quite like finally finding out who the Scarlet Pimpernel really is. And I just can’t experience that again.


Ender’s Game

Like with Life of Pi, the shocking ending of Ender’s Game is something that can’t be experienced again. This is yet another book that I’ve re-read again and again and enjoyed it every time, but it lacks that emotional and exciting impact at the end of the first time you read it. Similarly, the companion novel Ender’s Shadow is one that I would love to be able to read for the first time again. Its another of those that makes you re-frame everything you read in the first book.


Is there a book you wish you could read for the first time again? Why? Let me know in the comments!

The Last 10 Books Tag

I saw this tag earlier this week on Kristin Kraves Books, and I like that it’s not organized the way tags often are. I’m going to do my best to really tell you about the LAST, and not just my favorite that you’re probably tired of hearing about.

Last Book I Gave Up On

I actually rarely give up on books. I can probably count the number of books I’ve DNFed on two hands, and they’re probably all classics. In 2019 I stopped halfway through The Wind in the Willows, not because it was terrible, just because I didn’t care enough about it to keep reading and there were other things I was more interested in. I see why it was charming for the time it was written in, but I didn’t feel particularly like being nostalgic for a time period that was only good for the landed gentry…


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5 Most Detestable Characters that We Love to Hate

There’s something so satisfying about reading a truly evil villain. Sometimes, if they’re especially over the top, we even end up loving how much we hate them. These are the characters we are rooting for to die, get utterly humiliated, or otherwise get their come-uppance. These are the characters we never get tired of raving about how horrible they are. These characters make their books even more unforgettable.

Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter

Hands down, Umbridge is at the top of my list. I know in 2021 this is a bit of a controversial opinion, but I just hate this women so friggen much. The fact that she delights from torturing children is just HORRIBLE, but her superficial qualities like her annoying laugh and pink cardigans make hating her much more fun than, say, hating Bellatrix Lestrange.

I think my favorite thing about the introduction of Umbridge as a villain is that it introduces into the Harry Potter series the concept of a shade of grey between good and evil. Here is a woman that isn’t a death eater, and is in fact on the side of the “good guys”. However, she is just as twisted as those who are killing people in the name of blood purity. Later in the series, she hops right on that bandwagon as soon as it enters the government. To me, she represents the danger of those with backwards ideas and more ambition than compassion working in and for our government.

All these years later, and Umbridge is still the most hated character in the fandom. We will never get tired of her, and book 5 just wouldn’t be the same without her.

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Identity Crisis Tag

Hm, I haven’t had a good identity crisis yet in 2020. Will finding out I’m not really the book character I’ve always identified with do me in? Let’s find out!

I was tagged in the Identity Crisis Tag by my very favorite blogger The Orangutan Librarian LAST SEPTEMBER. EEK! I don’t know how I didn’t do this tag sooner because a) I love personality quizzes and b) I’ve probably done a bunch of tags since then. What can I say? I’m a terrible friend. ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to seeing which character from some favorite series I am, though I admit I haven’t read most of them. LET’S GO!

Rules

  1. Take all the quizzes down below and record your answers.
  2. NO CHEATING. You get one shot to take each quiz.
  3. Give credit to the creator Loretta @ The Laughing Listeneror tag her on twitter @LaughnListener so she can see everyoneโ€™s answers!!
  4. Tag some friends to spread the fun!

Red Queen

I have never read this book/series, nor do I even know what it’s about! So this should go right over my head. WOO!

I am: Cal

Whoever that is. While I’m not sure whether I should be offended, I’m a little confused by the “strong and broody” description. Nor do I typically struggle to figure out what the right thing to do is… *shrug*

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The Grad Student Book Tag

What do you guys think my big celebration should be for finishing up my graduate school classwork? Big party? No, social distancing. Fancy dinner? No, restaurants are closed. A book tag? PERFECT!

Jillian the Bookish Butterfly created this super fun book tag for all you nerds in graduate school or thinking about graduate school. And she knew I was working on a degree too, so she tagged me! Thanks Jillian!

As a side-note, I am NOT graduating yet. I still have to do my practicum (also called internship) in the fall, but I’m thinking (hoping) it’s going to be a LOT less work than my classes were. Guaranteed I won’t have to read 60 pages of a cataloging textbook every week. Ugh.

So, yay! Let’s get started!


Picking an Area of Study

What’s your favorite books and/or series from each of your favorite genres?

Oh gosh! I have so many favorite genres! lol

Fantasy: Lord of the Rings. I know, such a cliche. But I’ve been in love with it since forever, literally since middle school. Y’all, that was 20 freaking years ago. And true love never fades.

Historical Fiction: Wolf Hall and the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. It’s just SOOOOO stinking good! I love Cromwell as a narrator and his odd sense of humor, as well as seeing Henry and his wives from an outsider’s persepctive.

Classics: Pride and Prejudice. It’s just so romantic and funny and all-around well written. I never get tired of it.

Young Adult: Probably Eleanor & Park. You all know how obsessed I am with Rainbow Rowell.


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Harry Potter Superlatives

Greetings Potterheads and book nerds! This is a special day, the start of a special week. The LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL here in the US. In my neighborhood we had a parade for seniors on Friday (they drove around the neighborhood honking their horns), and graduation is ACTUALLY HAPPENING next weekend. Outdoors and in face masks, but actually happening. I’m so happy for seniors that they aren’t going to loose this special moment. (Especially since, let’s be honest, high schoolers around here aren’t social distancing anyway.)

In honor of the end of the school year and school yearbooks, this year I’m hosting a Harry Potter superlatives awards. These are based on your votes, and may the best character win. ๐Ÿ™‚

Best Smile

This was a close one! But I have to say, I’m happy with your pick. This character doesn’t smile often, but when they do they light up the room, and our hearts.

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Harry Potter Superlatives: Nominations

Hi there friends! It’s the yearbook time of year. Maybe it’s because so many end of year things have been cancelled and so we’re putting it all online, or maybe I’ve just been on Twitter too much, but I’m seeing so much about prom, graduations, and yearbooks. It’s making me feel nostalgic. Also, heartbroken for seniors, but let’s try for some positivity here!

One of my favorite things in the yearbook were the superlative awards.

Full disclosure, my high school was so gigantic that yearbook superlatives were irrelevant. Superlatives for your extracurricular were everything. I was in band. I was the biggest band nerd three years in a row. It remains my crowning achievement in life.

Okay, okay, so they’re basically a huge popularity contest. But the idea is so fun! Who has the best smile? Who’s most likely to be president? Who is going on American Idol? (A kid I went to high school with was ACTUALLY on The Voice, so that’s cool!) So I thought it might be fun to make bookish superlatives a thing.

And if we’re going to do bookish superlatives, what better place to start than Harry Potter? Because if going to Leaky Con last year taught me anything, it’s that Potterheads are still obsessed and we LOVE dung like this.

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Lover Book Tag

Ah, it’s been a while since I did a tag. I used to do at least one a week, but I haven’t been tagged in a while. Thanks to Dani @ Mousai Books for tagging me in this one! I don’t know if she knew what a big Taylor Swift fan I am, but here we are! Cue the music on my computer, and let’s go!

The Creator & the Rules

The creator of this tag (and the header!) is Sara @ The Bibliophagist! As for the rules:

โ†  Link back to the creator, Sara @ The Bibliophagist!
โ†  Answer the questions.
โ†  Tag whoever you want and link back to the person who tagged you!


I Forgot that You Existed

A book from your childhood that you don’t remember anything about

I know I read The Sign of the Beaver in second grade, but I have no idea what I read. Probably because our teacher would just send us out in the hall to have book-club with no instruction or supervision. Yeah, because eight-year-olds can handle that…

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Bookish March Madness: Championship

Here it is! The round to end all rounds! Which book from The Great American Read will be crowned as my all-time one-and-only champion?!?!

In the first corner, one of history’s most beloved novels, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! Written by Jane Austen, this book is the basis for one of history’s greatest romance tropes, enemies to lovers. It has sparked countless remakes, adaptations, and inspired-bys. Readers continue to fall in love with Mr. Darcy (and Colin Firth) and see themselves reflected in the quick wit and dry humor of Elizabeth Bennett.

In the other corner, HARRY POTTER! It is impossible, friends, to overstate the impact Harry Potter has had on my generation. When I was in fifth grade kids who had never finished a book were clamoring to read my teacher’s copy. It made a generation of readers. And as adults we are having the chance to read this series to our kids. Its message of friendship, love, and magic is timeless, and its humor and emotions still ring true. We will always be re-reading this book.

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Bookish March Madness 2020: Final Four

Is it in bad taste to continue this series after the actual March Madness tournament has been cancelled due to Covid-19? Or is it comforting to have something goofy and light? I hope the second, because here I am.

For those of you just tuning in, this March I’m celebrating my apathy for basketball but my love for brackets with a “tournament” pitting the top 16 books from The Great American Read against each other. What is the point? 1) To declare the ULTIMATE WINNER of the BEST BOOK OF ALL TIME 2) Because I really like brackets. Making a buzzfeed bracket (or whatever the current favorite site is…) didn’t appeal to me, so here we are.

These are my Final Four favorite books. There was some heartbreak last round (saying goodbye to The Lord of the Rings and Little Women), but this round will bring in some VERY difficult choices. All the books remaining are books I truly love, and they are all quite different from one another. It’ll be like comparing apples and oranges, but I will suffer through it. (For the record, apples are better.)

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