Welcome to another installment of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I hope you’ve had some great experiences and read some even better books since the last TTT! This week I’ll be showing you a list of my Top Ten Books That Age Well. In other words, these are books that I have enjoyed more reading them recently compared to when I first read them years ago.
+ The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: First read as a high school freshman, later read as a high school senior. I enjoyed this more the second time around because I was able to empathize with Holden rather than thinking of him as some annoying teenage boy.
+ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: First read as a high school junior, later read as a college freshman. I loved this book the first time I read it, but I appreciated it even more the second time because I realized how cleverly Twain uses language to emphasize his points.
+ The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: First read as a high school junior, later read as a college freshman. Again, I loved this book in high school and love it even more today, if that’s possible. However, reading it with my literature class this past semester opened my eyes to an additional layer of meaning regarding imitations, illusions, and appearances that I had never thought about before.
+ The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: First read as a high school junior, later read as a college freshman. I didn’t necessarily enjoy reading this classic either time I read it, but I did gain a better appreciation for Hemingway’s writing style and overall story during the second read. In my literature class we talked about how Hemingway’s writing is as equally about what’s on the page as what he omits, and reading it with this in mind definitely helped ease my frustration a bit.
+ The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: First read in 2011, later read as a college freshman.When I voraciously read this on my own in 2011 I was reading purely for plot, as it’s easy to do when you’re really exciting about a book. However, when I read it more recently with my literature class my eyes were opened to thought-provoking interpretations of characters, districts, and even the genre itself. It definitely made me enjoy the book even more!
+ The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg: First read in third grade, later read in high school. My love for this book hasn’t changed a bit, though my general understanding of the story certainly has. Back in third grade I described this book as a summer-camp story, when in reality it deals with so much more than that: friends, family, history, art, growing up, and even small town drama.
+ The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: First read in middle school, later read in high school. When I first read this trilogy I was so frustrated by the omniscience of the “villain,” AKA Sauron. I was so used to reading stories where the “evil” side had an obvious presence that I couldn’t fully comprehend the idea that he was an eye?! Since then, of course, I’ve grasped a much better understanding of these beloved books.
+ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: First read in eighth grade, later read as a college freshman. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy this classic novel when I read it for the first time; however, now that I’ve recently reread it I can confidently say that this book is brilliant. It’s so much more than a romance story, which is precisely what I failed to see back in eighth grade.
+ Paper Towns by John Green: First read in middle school, later read in high school. Now that I’ve graduated high school, I think about this book a lot differently. It’s riddled with a sense of nostalgia for me that wasn’t present when I read it the first time around in middle school. I feel as though this book is perfect for that, though: it has something unique to offer both high school students and graduates.
+ Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: First read in middle school, later read in high school. Oh, this lovely book! My love for this book has grown over the many times I’ve read it since middle school. The difference for me is that I know appreciate Marchetta’s writing more, the way she expertly develops characters that you can’t help but root for and the way she writes several story lines that seamlessly intertwine.
What books have aged well for you? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!