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!

Classic Remarks: Favorite Time-Period

This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: Do you have a favorite time period for classic literature? 

DEFINITELY. As in, it’s not even a contest. I love Romantic literature. In particular I tend to enjoy French Romantic literature more than English, but as long as it isn’t Dickens I’ll read pretty much anything from the time period.

The Romantic era is a pretty big umbrella that covers a lot of different literary styles. It lasted from approximately 1790-1850. That means that both Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters are Romance authors, and they’re just about as different as they come. I’m sure I could google characteristics of the Romantic era, but I personally associate Romance novels with being long, melodramatic, and emotional. Some of the novels that epitomize Romantic literature for me are Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, and Great Expectations.

What I personally love about Romance novels is the feeling and emotion they are written with. Since mot of the classics I read in school were from the Romantic era or later, when I was first introduced to the Classical era through Tom Jones or Candide, I was surprised at how … aloof the novels seemed. In Romantic novels you get to really know the characters, their thoughts and feelings. This is taken to the nth degree by Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre when she wrote *gasp* in the first person.

Continue reading “Classic Remarks: Favorite Time-Period”

Classic Remarks: Classic Work that Needs a Film/TV Adaptation

This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: What classic work should get a film/TV adaptation? It’s kind of a funny question because so many of my favorite classics have been adapted for the screen, often more than once. Great example is Pride and Prejudice which, off the top of my head, has four adaptations I love.

In fact, as I’m looking through my list, I don’t see any books that I think would make great films that haven’t had an adaptation. However, many of those adaptations are older, and I’m not a super fan of classic films. Nor am I a huge fan of the BBC Miniseries (I know, revoke my P&P fanclub card). So I have two suggestions to all of the major film studios who I know read my blog.

The first is that I would love to see The Scarlet Pimpernel get a 21st century update. Disney would do a great job, and I would love to see the team that worked on the original Pirates of the Caribbean bring one of my favorite books to life. It has everything a great blockbuster needs: romance, action, mystery, disguises, guillotines, British accents, French accents, period dress.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic that, in my opinion, doesn’t get enough attention, probably because it isn’t “literary” enough. But alll of the things that cause it to not get taken as seriously by the literature world are the exact things that would make for an excellent blockbuster film. It’s the story of a band of British nobleman who form a secret society to sneak the French nobility out of the country before they can be executed. A French actress name Marguerite is blackmailed into finding the identity of their leader, the dashing Scarlet Pimpernel, but at the risk of losing her husband forever. We could all use a little more French Revolution in our theaters, so I say give the people what they want: attractive men in period dress running amok with swords and kissing lovely women!

Continue reading “Classic Remarks: Classic Work that Needs a Film/TV Adaptation”

5 Classics for Beginners

It’s no secret that I am a great lover of Classic Literature. Anything before about 1940 and I’m sold. Except for Dickens, don’t know why. *shrug* And when you are a lover of the classics, it comes up a lot. Especially on Instagram, for some reason. So a lot of the time I get asked the question:

“I want to read more/some classic literature, but I’ve never really read any. Do you have a recommendation of where to start?”

Why is it so hard for people to find a classic they think they’re interested in? My theory is because so many of them are SOOOOOO long, and people are intimidated by the length, and that they may have a preconceived notion that classics are slow or dull. Well, I’m not going to lie friends, many of them are long. And if your main source of literature is 21st century YA, then yeah, the pace is going to be a lot slower than you are used to. But I think they are worth reading anyway. Once you get used to the slower pace, you’re going to find some amazing stories.

Which brings me to my first recommendation. Don’t stop after one. If you find you don’t enjoy your first classic, don’t give up. Like I said, if you’re mostly used to YA, the different pace is going to take some getting used to. And, therefore, my second suggestion. Don’t read the one you’re most interested in first. I would hate for you to have a bad experience with Pride and Prejudice because you didn’t understand it, or because you were bored. Start out with one that you’re willing to not be in love with.

So, with no further ado, here are my suggestions for first classics.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is always my go-to suggestion for a first classic. Set in the era of the French Revolution, the daring Scarlet Pimpernel is an English spy who rescues the fleeing French nobility from the very jaws of Madame le Guillotine. French actress Marguerite, who has married into the very British nobility in the thick of these plots, must discover the identity of thy mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, but will doing so forever estrange her from her doting husband?

I always recommend this book for a couple of reasons. The writing style is fairly quick and exciting for most of the book. It opens with a bang, a deception and a chase sequence sure to hook the reader in. By the end of the book I was turning pages so fast I don’t know if I was reading even half the words on the page, so desperate was I to find out what would become of Marguerite. The second reason is that this book has a really nice blend of a great spy story (with all the twists, disguises, and surprises) with a swoon-worthy love story. I think modern readers will really connect with the content of this book, and the writing style is very accessible. It is one of my all-time favorites.

Continue reading “5 Classics for Beginners”

Calendar Girls April: Favorite Book with a Surprise Ending or Twist

Happy April! I promise I don’t have any April Fools jokes planned for y’all, just some straight-up honest gushing about books.

You guys! Surprise endings or shocking plot twists is one of my absolute favorite things in a book. A big twist gives the book such a wonderful feeling of fun and excitement! A book without any big surprises often falls flat for me. I want a book that can keep me on my toes!

So, obviously, I had a really hard time with this theme because I couldn’t pick just one favorite! Here are some of the amazing contenders that I was thinking of:

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel (OMG THAT ENDING!!!!)
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (okay, I was 15, it was shocking at the time…)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy (never saw his identity coming)
    Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (seriously, what even HAPPENED?!?!?!)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (if you tell me you saw the love interest coming, then I’m calling you a liar)
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (maybe I would have been less surprise if I’d have known it was a series…)

In the end I went with a book that a) I’m sure I’ve never used for Calendar Girls before and b) I read before ANY of these books. And, if we’re being honest, it might be the book that MOST shocked the socks off me. Ever. So, without any further ado, my favorite book with a surprise ending is…

Continue reading “Calendar Girls April: Favorite Book with a Surprise Ending or Twist”

The 90s Kid Book Tag

I AM A 90s KID AND I AM PROUD!!!!

Seriously, I love the 90s. My childhood was so amazing. We had video games and computers and stuff, but it wasn’t as constantly invasive as it is now. (I say on my BLOG which I am writing instead of sleeping…) (The hypocrisy is not lost on me.) We had the best TV shows, the greatest music, and just generally happy lives. I am so nostalgic for 1999 pretty much all of the time.

So when I saw this tag on The Literary Phoenix a few months ago I couldn’t resist bookmarking it for a later date. I don’t do as many book tags as I used to, so it’s taken me a while to get to it, but I love tags and I’m so happy this is how I’m spending my Sunday night. 🙂

Rules:

  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around!  I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s.  Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!

Pokemon

Gotta Catch ’em All! The author you need every book from.

I don’t typically auto-read an author, I still have to find the synopsis interesting before I’ll want to read it. But I have read literally every single book by Rainbow Rowell except Carry On, and a friend recently convinced me that I need tor read that one, too. I mean, I started reading comics just so I could read her Runaways run, okay? Y’all, my love for this woman and all of her books cannot be understated.

Continue reading “The 90s Kid Book Tag”

Back to School Book Recs

Well folks! It’s official, summer vacation is over. I now have an ENTIRE WEEK of the 2018/2019 school year under my belt, and I am determined to make it a good one.

I heard someone say recently that August feels more like the new year than January, and for me that is so true. I find myself making all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions, about being a teacher and just about life in general. So if your New Year’s Resolution is to read more, or to promote a culture of reading in your family, this is the post for you!

I’m going to be recommending my favorite book for kids in each grade level K-12. I can’t guarantee that each book is going to be right for every kid in the world, but I’m trying to recommend things that I think most kids will like. I’m especially paying attention to books I think would be enjoyed by both boys and girls.

So here we go! Back to school recommendations coming your way.

Elementary

Kindergarten – Hop on Pop

51VL4lITuQL._SX360_BO1,204,203,200_This is kind of a long book, so if you’ve never read anything substantial with your kids before, you might want to ease into this one! I recommend subtly skipping pages in the middle so they feel like they’ve accomplished something big.

What I love about Hop on Pop is that beginning readers can work on their phonics and sight words with the big words at the top of the page, but then parents can read the longer sentences. But by the end of the year they should be able to read everything in this book, with help, of course. I also love how silly and fun this is, perfect for young imaginations! It is impossible to go wrong with Dr. Seuss. Continue reading “Back to School Book Recs”

Top 5 Most Romantic Moments in a Book

Most romantic moments

Happy Valentines Day bookworms!

In celebration of world date-night, I thought it might be fun to go through some of my favorite romantic moments in literature, especially since they’re probably pretty different from most people’s! I am a hopeless romantic, but what makes my heart flutter in a book is pretty unique.

These are in no particular order.

1. Jane Eyre

“‘Good Night, my ——–.’ He stopped, bit his lip, and abruptly left me.”

The first time I ever read Jane Eyre I swear my heart stopped right here. I dog eared it, something I never do, and at this point the crease is so deep I’m afraid it may fall off.

This right here is the moment that the reader realizes that Mr. Rochester cares as deeply for Jane as she does for him. He nearly calls her “my dear” or “my love” or something equally sweet and adorable, catches himself, and runs away in embarrassment. *swoon* Best end of a chapter ever. Continue reading “Top 5 Most Romantic Moments in a Book”

The Great British Bake Off Book Tag

the-great-british-bake-off-book-tag

Okay, confession, I’ve never watched the Great British Bake Off. I don’t actually enjoy cooking reality shows. *GASP!* I don’t know, if I can’t taste the food myself I don’t really care what the judges think. They’re strangely addicting though, aren’t they? I was at the doctor last week, and some c-list baking show was on, and I was so distracted from my book because even though it was stupid I couldn’t stop paying attention.

Anyway, thanks to The Orangutan Librarian for tagging me in this one! Even though I’ve never watched the show, I found the questions interesting.

Rules:

Ready, get set, Bake! (or tag)


Amateur Baker

A book that is self published

Eragon_book_cover

I don’t technically know if Eragon even counts since it eventually got picked up by Knopf, but originally Paolini’s family created their own publishing “firm” just to publish Eragon. I adored Eragon in high school, because dragons. Even know, I don’t mind giving it a re-read from time to time, though I tend to ignore the sequels which are clearly less good. Continue reading “The Great British Bake Off Book Tag”

The Book Blogger Test Tag

Thanks to the coffeeloving bookoholic for tagging me in this one! As you all know, I am always up for a good book tag. Especially since I am FINALLY running out of backlogged reviews, and need something to talk about. lol

The Rules

  • thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  • answer the ten questions asked on this post
  • nominate at least five people to do it also

1. Top 3 Book Pet Hates

  1. It really bugs me why my editions of a series don’t match. Even hard/soft back. And don’t even get me started when they change the look of a series halfway through. Just no.
  2. I hate when books try too hard. Honestly, I just want to be entertained. I don’t need all of your pretentious attempts at being Dickens, thanks.
  3. Movie poster covers. Enough said.

Continue reading “The Book Blogger Test Tag”