Ten Books we so desperately wish we could read for the first time, we sommer read it again

Posted August 24, 2021 by elzaread in Top Ten Tuesday / 59 Comments

Greetings! It’s Tuesday and time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is one for my Mommy. I’m still too much of a wee little thing to wish to read books for the first time again. My Mommy is old has read a lot of books in her life already, so I’m sure there’s a few she wishes she could read for the first time. The only help I can offer here, is let’s just read them again! Then it will be for the first time for me at least.

*Have you noticed the strange word in our heading?

I will read the following 10 books with the greatest of pleasure with my Mommy. First time for me, again for her:


1. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute – Nevil Shute’s most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback. Jean Paget, a young Englishwoman living in Malaya, is captured by the invading Japanese and forced on a brutal seven-month death march with dozens of other women and children. A few years after the war, Jean is back in England, the nightmare behind her. However, an unexpected inheritance inspires her to return to Malaya to give something back to the villagers who saved her life. Jean’s travels leads her to a desolate Australian outpost called Willstown, where she finds a challenge that will draw on all the resourcefulness and spirit that carried her through her war-time ordeals.



2. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells – When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she’s directed, her mother gets described as a “tap-dancing child abuser.” Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” As Sidda struggles to analyze her mother, she comes face to face with the tangled beauty of imperfect love, and the fact that forgiveness, more than understanding, is often what the heart longs for.




3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (if you read all 7 of them in one collection, it counts as 1 book) – Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.



4. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes – Anna Walsh is officially a wreck. Physically broken and emotionally shattered, she lies on her parents’ Dublin sofa with only one thing on her mind: getting back to New York. New York means her best friends, The Most Fabulous Job In The World™ and above all, it means her husband, Aidan.



But nothing in Anna’s life is that simple anymore… Not only is her return to Manhattan complicated by her physical and emotional scars – but Aidan seems to have vanished. Is it time for Anna to move on? Is it even possible for her to move on? A motley group of misfits, an earth-shattering revelation, two births and one very weird wedding might help Anna find some answers – and change her life forever.




5. The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert (not to be confused with The Girl on the Train. That’s  different girl and a different train and we don’t necessarily want to read the other one again) – Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.
As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.
Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.
But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.
Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.




6. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart  (Arthurian Saga #1) – Fifth century Britain is a country of chaos and division after the Roman withdrawal. This is the world of young Merlin, the illegitimate child of a South Wales princess who will not reveal to her son his father’s true identity. Yet Merlin is an extraordinary child, aware at the earliest age that he possesses a great natural gift – the Sight. Against a background of invasion and imprisonment, wars and conquest, Merlin emerges into manhood, and accepts his dramatic role in the New Beginning – the coming of King Arthur. 




7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson (long before there were girls on and from trains, there was a girl with a dragon tattoo and a fierce mind. Amongst other things) – Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption. An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. 



8. The Oath by Frank Peretti (So, you like books about dragons?) – An ancient sin. A long forgotten oath. A town with a deadly secret. Something sinister is at work in Hyde River, an isolated mining town in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Something evil. Under the cover of darkness, a predator strikes without warning–taking life in the most chilling and savage fashion.



The community of Hyde River watches in terror as residents suddenly vanish. Yet the more locals are pressed for information, the more they close ranks, sworn to secrecy by their forefathers’ hidden sins.


Only when Hyde River’s secrets are exposed is the true extent of the danger fully revealed. What the town discovers is something far more deadly than anything they’d imagined. Something that doesn’t just stalk its victims, but has the power to turn hearts black with decay as it slowly fills their souls with darkness.




9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea.



10. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.


Which books do you so desperately wish you could read for the first time again, you sommer read them again?
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
Lots of Love,



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59 responses to “Ten Books we so desperately wish we could read for the first time, we sommer read it again

    • Barcelona is the perfect and the most wonderful setting for The Shadow of the Wind. I hope you enjoy it, let me know when you get to read it!

  1. The only book I've read are the Harry Potter books but I have The Shadow of the Wind on my TBR and I really need to read more Mary Stewart. I've enjoyed her fiction but haven't read any of her more fantasy leaning books.

    • Hi Katherine! Aaah The Shadow of the Wind is sooo good. You are going to love it! I want to read it again before I read the sequel.

      Huge Mary Stewart fan here, but I also need to read more of her and some I want to read again.

  2. Life of Pi — yes, now that's a brilliant book to re-read for the first time! And yes, I do like dragons so I am picking up Oath from here. Also, is Crystal Cave that good? I had heard it's a tragedy, so had put it off, but you just made me add it back. 🙂

    • I will still give Life of Pi a couple of years, until I really forgot about it and then I will reread it. It's wonderful indeed. I think you will enjoy The Oath – something different!

      I remember that I loved The Crystal Cave and I need to read it and the rest of the trilogy again for sure.

    • I've also only read the first two, but I will need to read them both before I can read the third one. Can't remember it all that well anymore…

  3. Oh, The Shadow of the Wind is so beautifully written! It would be nice to settle in and read it for the first time again. Harry Potter was on my list but didn't quite make my top ten. I've re-read The Ya-Yas a few times already.

    Great list!

    • I have so far read all of the above only once, that's why they made my list! I do want to read The Shadow of the wind again before I read the sequel, The Angel's Game.

      Glad you like our list!!

    • Hi there Helen! Never read Kingsolver before…. I know I need to! Shadow of the Wind was so gorgeous. I'll never have enough of it.

    • Hi there Wendy! Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood made such a profound impact on me when I read it almost 20 years ago! I recently bought a copy, but now all my books are in storage. But would love to read it again!

    • A Town Like Alice is a brilliant read and it won't disappoint as a WWWII novel.

      Let me know when you read and what you thought of it!

  4. "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" by Laurie R. King.
    It's so delightful, I wish I could recapture the enjoyment I experienced that first time!
    "Cat On The Edge" by Shirley Rousseau Murphy.
    I hadn't experienced a book like this ever, and it really rocked my world.
    "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher…a series like no other!

    • The Beekeeper's Apprentice has been on my TBR for way too long. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.

      Never heard of Cat on the Edge, but it does sound profound and I'll take a look.

      Storm Front is The Dresden Files right? I know about it, but haven't read it yet no… Gosh I need to start catching up on my reading her.

  5. Yes to Harry Potter! I read those for the first time as an adult so the memories are still fresh. 🙂 I haven't read Divine Secrets or The Shadow of the Wind yet. I need to get on that! Great list!

  6. The Oath is my favorite book, and I can't tell you how surprised I was to see it on someone else's list! (It's also on my list today.) Also I have to ask, is that Harry Potter collection all one book, or individual books? Because I can't even imagine what 1 single book of that entire series would have to look like.
    My TTT

  7. I'd love to be able to relive Harry Potter for the first time too!
    Love the Afrikaans word and the explanation, it's fun to learn something new. Sommer kind of reminds me of the Dutch word zomaar, which means the same thing 🙂

    • Dutch is a much older language than Afrikaans, so we most probably borrowed it from them!

      Harry Potter never loses its magic, don't mind reading it again and again.

  8. The LArsson books seem like something I'd like… same withy Stewart. I love thinking about revisiting favorite books for the first time again…

    Hope you're doing well Elza!

  9. I'm delighted to see a list of the books that you have loved, Mareli. I've read quite a number of them—Life of Pi, Shadow of the Wind, Dragon Tattoo, Crystal Cave, Harry, Ya-Ya—but several of them are completely new to me. Quite a mix of genres. I think I'm most intrigued with Girl on the Train.