Readers! Book Lovers! What Book would you like to read again for the first time?

by Lian on May 23, 2012

Sunday night at 9pm, my high school Junior announced the he needed to start The Catcher in the Rye on Monday. Did we have a copy, he asked. 

Thanks for the head’s up! Fortunately, we have a bookshelf filled with Classics We Read in High School and College. Moneysaver ! I pulled the classic edition with the maroon cover off the shelf, along with Nine Stories by Salinger. As I handed him the books, I told him, “I wish I could read The Catcher in the Rye again for the first time.” 

That got me thinking, of course. And posting on my Facebook Page about that very thought.   What book would you like to read again for the first time? The responses poured in:

Anne of Green Gables

To Kill a Mockingbird ( My 8th grader is reading this one now and loves it.)

Lots of props for Gone with the Wind

Slaughter House Five

John Irving fans weighed in with A Prayer for Owen Meany and Ciderhouse Rules

The Grapes of Wrath made a lot of lists

The Good Earth

Lonesome Dove ( Nice choice!)

A Confederacy of Dunces ( On my list, along with The Moviegoer)

Pride & Prejuduce

The list goes one and on. What’s interesting to me is that most of these books are assigned classics in college and high school. It makes me wonder if our reading experience is the book or the age or the circumstance. Most likely, a magical mystery of all three.

Let’s talk a little more about books this week on the podcast. Haven’t answered yet? Put your picks in the comment section.

BTW, Brookes loves A Catcher in the Rye. Loves it. A first…

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

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Cassie May 31, 2012 at 9:09 AM

An english teacher friend suggested The Confederacy of Dunces. I listened to it on CD while driving for my job. That was such a crazy book. I have recently read a few of Stephen King’s books and they’ve been really good. Scary, but good. Really liked The Stand. I didn’t like The Catcher in the Rye when I picked it up a few months ago. Too much bad language.

Just finished The Last Lecture and will be passing it along to several people. Usually whatever I’ve just finished is my favorite. Still pull my copy of The Hobbit down every so often to re-read.

Laura May 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I’m going to log on to Barnes & Noble to see if they have it.

Ma Schmidt May 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Bone People – Keri Hulme
Mama Day – Gloria Naylor
My Name is Asher Leve – Chaim Potok
Bean Trees/Poisenwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
And, as hard as it was –
Map of the World – Jane Hamilton
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand —

And, of course – Helen of Pasadena!

Josette Budde May 25, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Lian, Like Brookes, I LOVE “The Catcher In The Rye”. P.S. I didn’t read it until after my son, Justin, read it in his freshman year in high school…

Laura May 25, 2012 at 6:23 AM

Gone With The Wind. I was 10 when I read it for the first time. I bought a paperback copy at my neighbor’s garage sale and I had no idea what it was, but it was the longest book that I had read up to that point. I have reread it several times over the years and I finally had to retire my old paperback because it is falling apart :-) .

Kami May 25, 2012 at 5:55 AM

Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Fun to think about all the books I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Barb Best May 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Great question! The Moviegoer by Walker Percy or The Great Gatsby.

pat in o.c. May 24, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Anything by John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flats & Of Mice & Men in particular,
Bless Me Ultima,
Living Up The Street by Gary Soto (I love his work),
The Hiding Place (Corrie tenBoom),
Night Eli Wiesel,
Little House on The Prairie series,
Robinson Crusoe (any of the lovely old illustrated series of classics),

Gretchen May 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Entire family is reading Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities now, then we will watch the 1935 Selznik film which is equally brilliant.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is one of best opening sentences ever – and amazingly apropos today.

Also Fahrenheit 451 is a high school “must read” which still has resonance.

In high school I personally loved Catch-22, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Crime and Punishment, and Animal Farm.

Lian May 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM


Doesn’t have to be a classic! But it’s interesting to me that so many people have gravitated to the classics.

I would add Raymond Carver’s “Where I’m Calling From” onto my list. Ditto Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter. And The Company of Women by Mary Gordan.

Bill, yes to Lord of the Flies, Great Gatsby, Grapes of Wrath for my boys. Kids are still reading the same stuff!

Shary May 23, 2012 at 8:38 AM

I’ve just started reading Anne of Green Gables again and I’m hoping that it will be as delightful as it was when I was nine. I also loved The Little Princess at that age.

I read Catcher in the Rye as a teenager and loved it, but when I read it again last year for my book club, I was disappointed, so maybe that one was situational for me.

Teresa Smith May 23, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Well, have to admit I am not a fan of the classics; however, I do listen to a Classic Tales podcast at night and it helps put me right to sleep. Maybe it’s just the reader’s soothing voice that does it. Been working on listening to Tom Sawyer for weeks. With that being said, my picks are a little more current.

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son)
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (her third book coming out this summer)

For fans of the classics, I recently read a book that was set in the future and kind of along the lines of The Scarlet Letter. When She Woke by Hiliary Jordan. Individuals are punished for crimes by ‘chroming’ their skin color making them outcasts of society. The main character in the book skin is colored red due to an adulterous relationship that resulted in her having an abortion.

Anybody else have some current favorites they would like to reread for the first time?

William J. May 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM

I am addicted to this question and have turned it into a to be read list. There are just so many. I am guessing that your boys have already read Lord of The Flies and Moby Dick so I will go will the following:

The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Bucahn

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera

The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Bucahn

Catch 22 -Joseph Heller

That is enough for now. As soon as I finish Phillip Margolin’s Capitol Murder I am moving on the above list. I have original first editions of To Kill A Mockingbird and They Were Expendable (my cousin is mentioned in it) so may start with those.


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