25 October, 2021

LitStaff Pick: The Books We Wish We Could Read Again for the First Time

Cold Mountain
Charles Frazier

Reading Cold Mountain, I didn’t want the novel to end. Charles Frazier’s highly acclaimed novel of a wounded deserter’s epic journey back from the Civil War was published in 1997, and I can still recall seeing the unearthly blue book jacket everywhere. And everyone, it seemed, was talking about the book. How impenetrable those first fifty pages were (yet how generously the story revealed itself in the pages following). The fascination of the nineteenth century DIY methodology. The heart-breaking tension of the book’s final pages. Reading those last pages, I remember allowing myself only a handful each night, hoping to delay the inevitable arrival of the novel’s hero, Inman, and his reunion with the genteel Ada, waiting for him back in Cold Mountain. When I finally reached those last lines, the feeling was one only the best books provide—complete sadness that the world it so vividly offered up had come to an end.

-Lauren Alwan

 

3 thoughts on “LitStaff Pick: The Books We Wish We Could Read Again for the First Time

  1. Mine would definitely be WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Despite being a classic, it took me by surprise. I've never been a "required reading list" type of reader, so I assumed I wouldn't be into it. Happily, I was wrong. Heathcliff is one of the most complex and interesting characters I've ever read. It's a shame I'll never get to experience meeting him for the first time again.

  2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Here is this group of people being held hostage in a mansion. The situation must come to an end, of course it must, but how? What sequence of events will finally end months of captivity in which the hostages and hostage-takers have bonded and the real world has come to seem like a dream?

    Also, The Alienist by Caleb Carr. Masterfully written mystery. I recall that I stayed up half the night to finish it.

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