Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this latest Top Ten Tuesday, participants are encouraged to list the top ten books that they wish they could read again for the first time. This was a very interesting choice of topic and it is one that really resonated with me.
Like many readers and reviewers, I have enjoyed some absolutely cracking novels over the years and there are many that I really wish I could forget having read just so I could have the pleasure of checking them out once again in order to have the same amazing reactions. As a result, the moment that I saw this week’s topic I immediately started gathering a mental list of some great books I would love to enjoy for the very first time once again. There are several reasons why I would like to read a book for the first time again, whether it is to be blown away by a crazy twist, be once again embroiled in the great action, or because some of the outstanding jokes have lost a little bit of impact as I have heard them multiple times. Whatever the reason, I ended up pulling together a decent list containing some pretty fantastic reads, many of which I have praised in prior Top Ten Tuesday articles or in detailed reviews. So let us see what made the top ten.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K. J. Parker
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
Top Ten List:
For the first entry on this list, I am going to include the fantasy classic, Legend by David Gemmell. Legend was an outstanding and impressive fantasy debut that I had been meaning to read for years, but which I only got a chance to finally do in 2019. However, the moment I finished it, I felt a strong desire to forget everything I knew about it and instantly reread it once again. Legend is a fantastic novel that contains an intense and compelling story about a massive siege where an invincible army attacks a great fortress garrisoned by a severely outnumbered force of defenders and a few legendary heroes. This is easily one of the best siege novels I have ever read, and readers are in for an incredible and deeply exciting time as they get through it. This was an exceptional read, and I really wish I could experience every emotion I felt when I first read this book once again.
There was no way I could do this list without mentioning the fantastic science fiction debut, Planetside by Michael Mammay. Planetside was an amazing read, but the main reason it makes this list is because it has an outstanding and explosive ending that I absolutely loved. This was a perfect and memorable finale to an already great novel, and it be fun to once again experience all the shock and surprise I first felt when I originally read this book.
Any Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett
I’m cheating a little here by including a 40+ series of novels in a single post, but I’m going to do it anyway. This is because the Discworld novels are some of my absolute favourite novels and I have so much love for them. Written by the legendary Terry Pratchett, these novels are a unique and exceptional collection of fantasy comedies that contains some extremely clever and inventive humour and jokes. I have read every book in this series, such as Moving Pictures or The Last Continent, multiple times, and I still laugh out loud every time I do. However, no matter how clever of funny a joke is, if you hear it too many times it starts to lose its impact just a little. For that reason, I would love to have the opportunity to read the entire Discworld series for the first time once more, although I imagine I would probably die from laughing too much (totally worth it).
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Another multi-book entry, The Inheritance Cycle was the debut series of bestselling author Christopher Paolini and featured four great books following a teenage dragon rider, Eragon, as he battles the forces of darkness. I have a lot of love for this series, and I deeply enjoyed it when I was younger, especially due to the fantastic narrative and impressive world building. However, after a few rereads of the series, I have noticed some issues that I now can’t ignore whenever I read these books (for example, a winy protagonist and several plot points that bear striking similarities to a certain series of space opera films). While I still really enjoy these novels, it would be good to reread them for the first time and not have some of these flaws already sitting in my head.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
An epic fantasy classic that features a group of brilliant conmen as they go up against some extremely dangerous opponents, The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. Containing a lot of fun betrayals, twists and clever ploys that are still stuck in my head years after reading it, this would be an exceptional novel to read for the first time once again, and I think I might have to do a reread of it soon.
The next entry on this list is Battle Ground, the 17th entry in the amazing Dresden Files series. Featuring an all-out fantasy war in the middle of Chicago, this was an incredible and thrilling read, and it was one of the best books and audiobooks I enjoyed in 2020. While I had an outstanding time with Battle Ground, it was the first Dresden Files novel I ever read, and I kind of wish I had read the proceeding 16 novels first to give me a little more context and make some of the reveals a little more shocking to me. This feeling has only grown after I started reading some of the earlier books in the series, such as Storm Front, Fool Moon and Grave Peril, as information from Battle Ground ruins some surprises from the earlier books. As a result, I wish I had read this series in order and that the first time I enjoyed Battle Ground was after getting through the rest of the series first. Still, this was a great read, and I have only minimal regrets in jumping the gun on this one.
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
One of the best modern icons of horror fiction, Mira Grant, did the impossible in the outstanding Into the Drowning Deep (one of my favourite books of 2018), but making mermaids scary. I had an exceptional time reading this fantastic novel the first time, and it would be cool if I could forget all the fun details in it and reread every year on Halloween for the first time.
Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest by Brad Meltzer, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks
As one of my all-time favourite comics, The Archer’s Quest storyline from Green Arrow is an amazing and complex comic that I deeply enjoy every time I read. Author Brad Meltzer really gets to grips with the complex character of a recently resurrected Green Arrow as he travels the country with his old sidekick, collecting important items from his life. This comic has a powerful focus on Green Arrow’s relationships and shows just how complicated and damaged he truly is. An essential read for all Green Arrow fans, I know that reading it again for the first time would really blow me away.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Skyward, Brandon Sanderson’s clever and dramatic young adult science fiction epic, when it first came out, and I quickly became a pretty major fan of it. This was an amazing read, which followed the reviled daughter of a coward as she attempts to prove herself by becoming a pilot to defend her planet from invading aliens. I really became invested in the powerful story of the central protagonist, and it would be so cool to revisit these emotions for the first time all over again.
The Name of the Wind/The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The final entry on this list is the exceptional first two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. Generally considered to be some of the best fantasy novels of all time, I read these novels a couple of years ago and deeply enjoyed them. There is so much detail, character development and world building contained within, and I know that reading them for the first time would be an amazing experience, and one that would make me fall in love with these novels once more. The one downside of this would be once again experiencing disappointment about the seemingly unlikely upcoming third novel. Still, it would probably be worth it, as these are some outstanding books.
That’s the end of this list and I think it turned out pretty good. Each of the above entries are really good reads, and I think that if I was to read them again for the first time, I would have an incredible time. Let me know which books you would love to read again for the first time in the comments below and make sure to check out some of the above fantastic reads.