Share 14 Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

14 Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

The plot twists. The swoon-worthy language. Witnessing the origins of a literary great. You probably felt these things (and more) upon reading your favorite book for the first time ever. If you could relive such a reading experience, which book would you choose? We recently asked our Facebook audience (that’s you): If you could, what book would you read for the first time again? We were overwhelmed with your replies (and equally inspired come up with our own). From world-shattering books like the Harry Potter series to classics like CATCH-22, your choices were representative of your amazing literary tastes and voracity for cultures, genres, and different perspectives. Here are some of the books you chose.


11/22/63
by Stephen King

English teacher Jake Epping’s life changes forever the day his friend Al tells him that the storeroom in Al’s Diner is a portal back to 1958. He enlists Jake in his mission to travel back in time and prevent the JFK assassination. Soon Jake finds himself living in the ’50s under an assumed name, placing himself into the world of troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald in this gripping historical thriller.

Read the full review of 11/22/63.

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11/22/63
Stephen King

“Regardless of what genre of literature one prefers, 11/22/63 comes down to this: it is a gripping, harrowing, tragic, and beautiful story about love, memory, evil, and how the best of intentions can go awry... This is King for the faint of heart, for the history buff, for the romantic—for everyone.”

Read the full review here.

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The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver

This family epic set in the Belgian Congo in 1959 is narrated by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, an evangelical Baptist missionary. Told over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, it is the story of one family and one nation’s tragic undoing.

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The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

This family epic set in the Belgian Congo in 1959 is narrated by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, an evangelical Baptist missionary. Told over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, it is the story of one family and one nation’s tragic undoing.

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A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a lonely and cranky old man with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. When an annoyingly friendly couple and their two children move in next door, Ove finds himself with several unexpected new friends, an unkempt cat, and a new outlook on life.

Read the full review of A MAN CALLED OVE.

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A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

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Daughter of Fortune
by Isabel Allende

We’ve all heard of the California Gold Rush of 1849, but this gripping novel views the time period through the unique perspective of a Chilean immigrant. Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California, and as she finds her place in a society of gold fever, single men, and prostitutes, her journey becomes one of self-discovery.

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Daughter of Fortune
Isabel Allende

We’ve all heard of the California Gold Rush of 1849, but this gripping novel views the time period through the unique perspective of a Chilean immigrant. Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California and, as she finds her place in a society of gold fever, single men, and prostitutes, her journey becomes one of self-discovery.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. Smart, warm, and uplifting, this is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine who realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

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The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

The pop-culture classic that spawned one of the most beloved films of the 1980s was inspired by an equally charming and hilarious book. The novel is presented as an abridged version of a tale by the fictional S. Morgenstern, whose colorful commentary is sprinkled throughout this fantastical romance.

Read the full review of THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

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The Princess Bride
William Goldman

If Your Favorite Character is Dustin Henderson

In the mind of “Toothless,” his best friend didn’t almost die. His comrade was captured by a monster, thus his band of merry adventurers went on a quest to rescue him. For more eccentric goofballs in perilous situations, try the book that preceded the classic movie “The Princess Bride.”

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Rebecca
by Daphne Du Maurier

A ghost story without actual ghosts, in REBECCA, the ever-present reminder of the first Mrs. de Winter drives every character in this classic and harrowing story. If a massive, mysterious estate doesn’t seem creepy enough, add in the “accidental” death of the revered former mistress and the sadistic tendencies of a certain Mrs. Danvers to get the full effect. Our poor naïve American narrator never stood a chance against the ghostly expectations of her new husband’s murdered wife.

Read the full review of REBECCA.

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Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier

I watched the classic Hitchcock film of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine for the first time in years the other night, and in loving it was reminded of how much I also loved the book. Is there a first line of a novel more evocative than “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”? Only Hitchcock could do justice to the moodiness and plot twists of Du Maurier’s genius work.

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All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

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All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and it just won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

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The Stand
by Stephen King

After a super-flu wipes out 99 percent of the world’s population, those who remain are scared and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community, and Randall Flagg, who delights in chaos and violence. As the two leaders gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

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The Stand
Stephen King

An apocalyptic classic, Stephen King’s novel is a vision of a world ravaged by plague and caught in a bitter struggle between good and evil. When a patient escapes from a biological testing facility, carrying with him a strain of super-flu that destroys a majority of the population, two surviving leaders emerge. Whoever is chosen will lead—and change—humanity forever.

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Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt

ANGELA’S ASHES is Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir about his childhood in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, and his mother, Angela, during the Depression era. Enduring poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors, Frank lived to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Read the full review of ANGELA’S ASHES.

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Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness. Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

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Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

A time-traveling British nurse finds romance and adventure in eighteenth-century Scotland in this addictive modern classic that spans centuries and continents. Read the full review of OUTLANDER.

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Outlander
Diana Gabaldon

The relationship that blossoms from friendship to love between Claire and Jamie is, well, pretty swoon-worthy. Claire is confident with a lot of spunk and Jamie is hotheaded with a lot of heart. The combination of these two could be a recipe for disaster, but they—usually—are in harmony.

Read Kara O’Rourke’s review here.

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All the Birds, Singing
by Evie Wyld

A mesmerizing mystery of missing sheep and past intrigue, ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING is a profound testament to the hardships of being a woman in a man’s world.

Read the full review of ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING.

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All the Birds, Singing
Evie Wyld

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith

This American classic coming-of-age tale centers around Francie Nolan, a young, sensitive reader living in the slums of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (oh, how times have changed). I read this book, I think, a bit too early to fully understand it, so when I encountered it again in high school, it was a much more pleasant and satisfying experience. As far as I’m concerned, it should be a staple.

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Gone with the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell

Widely considered the Great American Novel, GONE WITH THE WIND explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Read the full review of GONE WITH THE WIND.

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Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

The Game of Thrones and Harry Potter series are both masterworks of imaginative literature that have been thrillingly translated to the screen, but for my taste, I’ll go with Gone with the Wind. Like the Stark family and the residents of Hogwarts, Scarlett and Rhett are such vivid characters on the page that you can’t imagine them being portrayed adequately on film—until suddenly, there they are, each work only enhancing your enjoyment of the other.

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