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martha brook blog post 22 books you wish you could read again for the first time
Inspiration

22 books you wish you could read again for the first time

Published 1 month ago. Estimated reading time: 16 minutes.

Mar 7

Have you ever finished a book and almost immediately wished you could devour it all over again for the very first time? Have you ever felt that gut-wrenching jealousy knowing your friend who has your copy is about to have their mind blown by the best book ever written? Us too! We asked our community as we were desperate to find out which books you wish you could read again for the first time!

Hundreds of you fed in your book you wish you could read for the first time and we were blown away by all the responses! We were going to do a top 10, but we simply couldn’t whittle it down so here are your top 22…

P.S. You are going to want to read them all if you haven’t already we’ve also created a free download at the end of this blog to celebrate World Book Day for you to keep or stick in your Book Journal

22 books you wish you could read again for the first time

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time where the crawdads sing delia owens

First up on our list of the best books you wish you could read again for the first time is Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Set in the heart of the marshes in Northern Carolina in the 50s and 60s, this bestselling story follows the life of the isolated Kya Clark and a murder investigation she’s put on trial for. A beautiful celebration of nature, a murder mystery and a coming-of-age tale all in one. So many of you voted for this book! We can’t tell you what happens at the end, but trust us, it will blow you away!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the silent patient alex michaelides

It’ll come as no surprise that The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides has made it on to our list of the best books you wish you could read again for the first time. The Silent Patient is a psychological read centered around our protagonist, Alicia Berenson. A famous artist with no criminal background, she murders her husband and then never speaks another word. Her refusal to talk and the mystery surrounding her husband’s death gains the public’s attention and Theo Faber, a psychotherapist is determined to get her to talk. One of those books with a twist you’ll never see coming!

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time how to kill a mockingbird Harper Lee

A well-loved book by many, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a classic. This tale is told by Scout, a young girl who is growing up in Alabama in the 1930s, alongside her brother Jem. Scout tells the readers of her father, Atticus Finch, who is a humble lawyer, charged with defending Tom Robinson, a man falsely accused of raping a woman. With themes of racial prejudice and social injustice, Atticus teaches his children the importance of equality, respect and listening to your conscience despite the status quo.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Next up on our list of the best books you wish you could read again for the first time is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A classic bucket list ready for many, Pride and Prejudice follows the rocky romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. With its’ witty social commentary and feminist view, Pride and Prejudice is so much more than a romance and is filled with loveable characters that stay with you long after reading.

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time I am pilgrim terry hayes

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you up at night because you simply must know what happens next, I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is the book for you. Jam packed with suspense, I Am Pilgrim is your classic cat-and-mouse novel that follows ‘Pilgrim’, code-name for Scott Murdoch, an ex-intelligence agent and the ‘Saracen’, a man with a plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. Cleverly constructed and fast-paced, this is an absolute must-read for any book lover!  

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the midnight library matt haig

Tissues at the ready! The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a moving tale about the choices we make in life. Meet Nora Seed, a struggling 35-year-old who believes she has nothing to live for and decides to end her life. Nora finds herself in between life and death where she comes across a library. On each shelf she discovers books which give Nora the chance to see all her alternative lives had she made different choices. A life-affirming and poignant read. 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time rebecca daphne du maurier

Next up on our list of 22 books you wish you could read again for the first time is the chilling Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. An unnamed female narrator has taken the interest of the handsome and wealthy widower, Maxim de Winter. After moving into the beautiful Manderley mansion in Cornwall, the unnamed narrator soon realises the obsession the entire household and her newly-wed husband still has over the previous Mrs de Winter, Rebecca. With mystery surrounding Rebecca’s death and sinister characters throughout, Daphne du Marurier does it again with a gloriously gothic tale that has a brooding sense of foreboding from the very first page.

Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time lessons in chemistry bonnie garmus

We adored Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and this was our community’s top book they wish they could read again for the first time! Lessons In Chemistry tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, a strong-willed chemist in the 1960s. After becoming a single mum to her daughter, Mad, which leaves her unemployed, Elizabeth goes on to become an unlikely cooking show tv host who soon grabbed the hearts of America. Facing the challenges of gender inequality and challenging societal expectations, this book will have you cheering Elizabeth on the entire way.

One Day by David Nicholls

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time one day david nicholls

If you could read just one romance this year, let it be One Day by David Nicholls. On 15th July 1988, Emma and Dexter spend the night together on the evening they graduate, knowing their lives will go separate ways the next day. Instead, it catapults them into a life-long friendship. Emma and Dext soon become best friends and for the next 20 years, they reunite on the 15th of July every year. In a will-they-wont-they fashion, it seems everything gets in the way from them being together, until it doesn’t. As every book lover knows, read the book before watching the new series… you can thank us later!

The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time harry potter j.k rowling

Next up on our list of the best books you wish you could read again for the first time is the incredible Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Enter the wizarding world and meet Harry Potter, an orphan who lives under the stairs with his horrid aunt, uncle and cousin. On his 11th birthday, he learns his parents were two powerful wizards and is invited to study at Hogwarts, a boarding school for witchcraft and wizardry. The entire magical world awaits Harry Potter as rumours stir that a powerful, evil wizard is soon to return. So many of you said that this series brought so much magic to your childhood, and you voted for it in droves!

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time hamnet maggie ofarrell

One of the finest historical fictions, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is a moving story inspired by the child of the famous playwright, Shakespeare. Set in Stratford, England in the late 16th century, Maggie O’Farrel’s novel in his namesake is a historical fiction that delves into heart-wrenching grief of the loss of a child, the loss of a sibling and the impact it has on his parents’ marriage. Beautifully written and deeply felt, Hamnet is one of O’Farrell’s finest fictional books and is a truly unique read.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the time travelers wife audrey niffenegger

One of the books you wish you could read again for the first time is Audrey Niffennegger’s debut novel The Time Traveler’s Wife. Henry De Tamble suffers from a rare genetic disease that forces him to uncontrollably travel through time. During one of his episodes, he meets Claire who he falls deeply in love with. As their relationship grows, so does Henry’s inability to stay in the same place at the same time, leaving Claire alone and wondering at what point in her life she’ll see Henry again. Tissues at the ready, this book is an extraordinary love story like no other.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the lovely bones alice sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a moving tale of a teenage girl, Suzanne Salmon, who was murdered at the age of 14. The story is told from Susie’s perspective in heaven as she watches over her grief-stricken family and friends, as well as the man who got away with her murder. A story filled with hope, healing and connections, The Lovely Bones is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful book.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the book thief Markus Zusak

Next up on your list of the books you wish you could read again for the first time is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Set in 1939 in a Nazi occupied Germany, Death narrates this tale of a young girl, Liesel, who’s story begins by stealing a book from his graveside. As her foster father helps Liesel learn how to read, an obsession with books begins and Liesel quickly begins to steal books wherever they can be found. With the war escalating, Liesel’s foster family hide a Jewish boy named Max in their basement, but death looms ever closer…

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time the shell seekers rosamunde pilcher

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher is a beautifully written novel that tells the story of the protagonist, Penelope Keeling. In her 60s, Penelope reflects on the relationships that have formed who she is; her unconventional parents and her childhood spent between London and Cornwall, her unhappy marriage and her three grown-up children. When she discovers her father’s painting, her most prized possession that was gifted to her as a wedding present, is valued at a small fortune, Penelope faces a cross-road and must decide for her family’s sake what path to choose.

Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time far from the madding crowd thomas hardy

Set in the stunning English Countryside, Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy sees a beautiful, independent female farmer named Bathsheba attract a handful of love interests and proposals.  Bathsheba’s interactions with her hopeful suitors leads to a story nothing short of scandal, intrigue, and jealousy. Far From The Madding Crowd leaves the reader questioning if love really triumphs in the end…

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time wuthering heights emily bronte

It came as no surprise that Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë was one of our community’s top books you wish you could read again for the first time. This brutal but passionate story is centered around the love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and those around them desperate to keep them apart. The dominating, possessive and obsessive nature of Heathcliff’s desire for Catherine pushes him to seek revenge against those who kept his great love from him.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time a man called ove fredrik backman

Fredrik Backman took the literary world by storm with his critically-acclaimed novel, A Man Called Ove. A novel named after its’ grumpy protagonist, we’re introduced to Ove, a 59-year-old widower who is the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He finds his solitary world turned upside down when a young family move in next door who are full of life. With unexpected friendships and loveable characters aplenty, A Man Called Ove is a heart-warming life-affirming book that will have you laughing and crying all at once.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time a little life hanya yanagihara

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an extraordinary book that follows the everyday lives of four friends searching for success in the bright lights of New York City. An ode to brotherly bonds and how friends are the family we choose, A Little Life sees their friendship deepens as decades pass but is ultimately held together by the glue that is Jude, a man traumatised by his upbringing. With themes of abuse, trauma, suffering, this heart-breaking book shines a light on how friendship can light the way on the road to recovery.

Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time call me by your name andre aciman

In the summer of 1989, 17 year old Elio is spending the summer at his parents’ villa nestled on the cliffside of the stunning Italian Riveria. Elio falls deeply in love with his father’s 24 year old intern, Oliver, who is staying with them over the summer. Not your average summer romance trope, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Acimen is a beautifully written portrayal of teenage love, longing, desire and ultimately, obsession.  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time charlotte bronte jane eyre

Voted by you in droves, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a timeless classic, Jane Eyre follows the story of the book’s namesake, a plain and simple orphan girl and the obstacles she’s faced throughout her life. With a troubled childhood, Jane adopts a natural self-sufficiency and independency which leads her to seek employment from the handsome Mr. Rochester, where her feelings for him develop. An impossible choice and a search for equality, Jane Eyre is a gothic masterpiece.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

martha brook blog post 22 books we wish we could read again for the first time little women louisa may alcott

And last but certainly not least on our list of the books you wish you could read again for the first time is Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Little Women follows the lives of the March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. With their father sent away to support the war efforts, this coming-of-age story sees these young women each find their own place in the world. Semi auto-biographical, Little Women is based on the author and her three sisters early life.  


Free download

Want to tick these books off as you go along? Download and print off our pick of books you wish you could read again for the first time here!

martha brook books we wish we could read again for the first time a5 download

The perfect size to print out and stick in the Martha Brook Book Journal, our bestselling reading journal packed with useful content to track your latest reads and designed to inspire readers of all ages.

We hope you love these books just as much as our community do – and yes, we have total envy over those you are yet to read! What do you think of the top 22? Are there any you’d add to the list? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments and let us know which books you wish you could read again for the first time!

P.S. Don’t miss your chance to win the ultimate feel-good book bundle of five new fiction titles PLUS our bestselling Book Journal with our competition with Penguin here.

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