But I'm so glad I did.
  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    All the names were so similar, and the women seemed interchangeable to me the first time around. The second time I was able to pay better attention to characters, noticed amazing differences, and was simply enraptured by the gorgeous language.
  2. The Iliad
    Okay, the first time I was in high school and just not ready. Read it again in my 30s and... The poetry! the pain! The honor, the meddling of the gods, the inevitable downfall! "Sing o muse..." Read it. Resistance is futile.
  3. Possession by A.S. Byatt
    I really liked this one the first time, don't get me wrong, but the second reading, knowing the whole story, catching the clues she drops along the way, being willing to take my time to linger over the poetry, appreciate the many voices with which she writes... This book is a work of genius.
  4. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo seemed like such a whiner when I read this as a teen. (Ironic, I know.) It wasn't until I had kids of my own that this classic play took on any weight and meaning. And again, I didn't appreciate the beauty of the language until I was an adult. I'm still not convinced Romeo is worth all the trouble, but I will challenge to a duel anyone who won't admit that Juliet is one of the best characters in literature.
  5. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Why didn't I love this the first time around? Was I comparing it to the miniseries I had just watched? I don't know. But the second time i couldn't put it down. Every page is a pleasure!
  6. I wasn't prepared for it the first time around. I expected it to be light and humorous like Bill Bryson's "A Walk In The Woods." Reading it the second time I was open to so much more of the darkness and emotion of it. The second reading knocked me to the floor with feeling.