25 October, 2021

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

A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me
Wallace Tripp (Illustrator)

I’ve never been one to re-read books. For me, if I know the story through to the end, the interest is generally gone, and I’d much rather spend my time reading one of the other amazing books out there than going back through something I already know. “So many books, so little time,” and all that.

But there are a few I wish I could read again, even a few that I have tried to read again (Lord of the Rings being the only one I have successfully read more than once). I would love to revisit the wonder upon discovering the magic of Harry Potter, or to delve into the intrigue and “that’s not supposed to happen!” of A Song of Ice and Fire again for the first time.
More than any other book, however, I wish I could read A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me for the first time. A children’s book, yes, though there are delights for adults as well, I remember reading it as a child, laughing at the silly illustrations and loving the way the rhymes and even nonsense words rolled off my tongue. Now, as I share these silly verses with my daughter, I see her delight as well, and wish I could experience it again for the first time.
Alas, Great Big Ugly Man is so familiar to me and my entire family that every time we have peas, someone quotes:
I eat my peas with honey
I’ve done it all my life.
It sure tastes kind of funny
but it keeps them on my knife.
-Elisha Dew

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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