9 books I wish I could read for the first time again

Oh hi, it’s me, ya girl, writing a blog post at 2am. I cannot sleep. I don’t know why. But anyway. Have you ever read a book so good or so intense that you were devastated that you could never read it for the first time ever again? Because same.

When I pick up a book, I’m looking for love. I’m looking to fall in love with a character, a place, a plotline. I’m looking to escape, and I’m not gonna lie, I love a bit (a lot) of darkness. Murders and detectives are more me than chicklit. But I do love a whispy tale of romance if there’s a strong storyline. I also love to cry at books. Don’t ask me why. I’m pretty sensitive and sometimes I think you need permission to cry. Books give me that permission.

Take a look at these 9 tales and see if there’s anything in here that tickles your fancy. I loved them all, and I have yet to discover another tale that stops me in my tracks quite like these ones. Enjoy!

We Were Liars – E. Lockheart

We Were Liars is a fantastic book with a shocking twist that I genuinely couldn’t have seen coming. It broke my heart in the final chapters, truly it did.

Cady is a priveleged and wealthy youngster who’s spent her summers tucked away with her family on their private island. Look, I get it, maybe you’re wondering why I love it so much. There’s more to Cady than meets the eye though, and this book looks at self-acceptance, morals, and the consequences of our past mistakes.

Great if you: want a bit of mystery with a deliciously sunny backdrop, then a suckerpunch twist at the end.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer

I first read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close during my final year in university when I decided to write my dissertation on ‘literature centred around 9/11’. I blubbed and sobbed my way through it, then passed it onto my friend a few years later and promptly broke her heart with it.

9-year-old Oskar Schell lost his dad in the September 11 terrorist attacks (‘Jesus Christ’ I hear you mutter). When he finds a mysterious key left behind in his dad’s closet, his overactive mind convinces him that his dad has left him a message somewhere in New York City, so get ready to follow this unique and lovable lad on his quest that leads him to a greater understanding of the world.

Great if you: have been holding in tears and need to let it all out.

City Of Girls – Elizabeth Gilbert

My most recent read on this list, City Of Girls is an amazing book, full of debauchery, razzle dazzle, and old school New York. I felt alive reading it, and as seems to be the theme, it broke my heart having to let go of the main character when I came to the end of the novel.

Vivian’s looking back on her life. As a spoiled and failing 19 year old, she was sent to live with her aunt who runs The Lily Playhouse in New York City. She became the costime designer for her aunt’s failing theatre company and was drawn into the dangerous but glamourous life that 1940’s New York oozes. You’ll find humiliation and lost love on the way through, but redemption and that final coming-of-age realisation by the end.

Great if you: fancy a bit of escapism, plus the bright lights of New York (and who doesn’t want that).

Gillian Flynn’s back catalogue

Sorry, I realise Gillian Flynn’s back catalogue is not a book title, but I practically inhaled all of her novels and short stories and I believe there’s a new one on the way.

You’ll know Gone Girl, for sure, but do you know The Grown Up, Dark Places and Sharp Objects? They’re awesome, especially if you’re into dark subject material.

Great if you: love a dark, suspenseful murder mystery.

A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

Look, I hated my undergraduate study. I headed to the wrong university and took English Literature instead of Linguistics and I still beat myself up for it today. That’s beside the point though, because my undergraduate degree lead me to this book, which I adoooooooooooored.

A Moveable Feast is set in 1920’s Paris and follows Hemingway on his own journey through the city of love as an unknown writer. It’s heartwarming and funny and you’ll be able to picture Paris perfectly. That’s all you need to know. It’s gorgeous and so easy to read.

Great if you: want to be able to relive Paris in any way, shape, or form.

Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe

I am the world’s biggest Edgar Allan Poe fan. Although Fall of the House of Usher was the first tale I read by the grandfather of Gothic himself, Murders in the Rue Morgue is an epic tale of grisly murder with… an unexpected and rather bizarre twist that you wouldn’t believe if I wrote it down. It’s known as the first ever modern detective story too, and was first published in a newspaper back in the 1800’s. It’s not a book though, rather a short tale, so I suppose this is a little misleading. However, if you fancy a quick read, this is a fantastic tale to sink your teeth into.

Great if you: love old school darkness and disturbia and murder mysteries.

What are your favourite books or stories that you wish you could re-read with fresh eyes? I almost lobbed Harry Potter in here for old time’s sake, because who doesn’t want to relive the magic (wow, really couldn’t think of a better word there) that our generation literally grew up with?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Look after youself, xxx


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  • Nikki says:

    These are really great recommendations. I usually stick to really girly, chic-lit type literature. But after seeing this list, I might be willing to give something else a go. But, then again. I also saw today that Stephanie Myer, the writer of Twilight. Is bringing out a final book in the series, this year!! Sooooo………Girl, I need to know Edward’s side of things! Did you ever lower yourself to read the wonderfulness that is Twilight? Team Edward / Team Jacob?

    • Simone says:

      Hey I saw that too, isn’t it called Midnight Sun or something? My mum will be going nuts for that that’s for sure. She was a Team Edward fan girl. I was Team Jacob and then Team Nobody because after the first film they got on my nerves too much haha. What do you reckon Eddie even has to say??? Will you buy the book???

  • Gill says:

    I have loved reading from a very early age and have read a wide range of book over the years.

    I have currently read the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley and can highly recommend. I devoured them all one after the other and was gutted when I finished the last in the series. However, the final paragraph suggests there may be another to follow. 👍

    The great thing about lockdown is I get to read, normally don’t really have time. Great way to escape and indulge.

    One book that moved me emotionally was PS I love you By Cecelia Ahern. It has since been made into a film where Gerrard Butler played the lead make….well seriously what’s not to love!! It was the one of the first novels I got Nikki to read and she loved it.

    Another recommend The Hundred Year old Man who climbed out of the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Great read loved it and recommended it to many friends who have since read it and also loved it.

    Well happy reading everyone.

    Thanks for the recommendations Simone will definitely read some of them.

    Gill x