Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Will Never Reread

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic made me smile. Normally, I will happy reread books that I love over and over again until I can quote passages from memory from them in ordinary conversations for the sheer fun of it.

There are exceptions to this rule, though. As you’re about to see, many of them have gone on my do-not-reread list for the exact same reason. I might not mind certain things the first time I read something, but they can deter me from rereading that particular tale.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.


It took me ages to figure out whether I should list this trilogy as individual books or as a group. Since they all told different parts of the same epic adventure and their plots were very tightly woven together, I decided to include all three of them as the first item on this week’s list.

While I loved seeing what happened to Frodo and his companions while they were trying to bring The One Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it and save the world, the pacing of this series was so slow and the books themselves were so long that I don’t see myself ever reading them again.

2. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins.

I loved the fact that the author stayed true to the violent, unjust, and unpredictable world she created earlier in this series even though it meant shattering the audience’s expectations of what would happen next. There were certain deaths and other events in Mockingjay that honestly made me sob. I’m glad I know how it ended, but I never want to relive those scenes again.

3. Anne’s House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables #5) by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I was an adult before I realized that Anne Shirley’s adventures didn’t end after Anne of the Island, so I was excited to see what this character’s life was like after she finally married her childhood sweetheart. Without giving away spoilers, something tragic happened early on in their marriage that makes me never want to revisit this portion of Anne’s life again. It was simply too sad.

4. Beloved by Toni Morrison.

As a huge fan of Ms. Morrison’s work in general, it’s hard to admit that I don’t want to reread something she wrote. The descriptions of how slavery traumatized this entire family for multiple generations were so graphic, though, that I can’t handle seeing them suffer that much again.

5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 
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The pacing of Great Expectations was so slow that I don’t want to revisit it even though I loved Pip as a character.

6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

I knew quite a bit about the Great Depression when I first picked this book up, but there’s a huge difference between memorizing dry facts and seeing a three-dimensional family struggle to survive when the dust bowl hit their farm and they lost everything. The character development was amazing. It was emotionally difficult to see the Joads face malnutrition, discrimination, and severe poverty after I’d grown to truly love them. I can’t bear to see them go through all of that pain again.

7. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

As intrigued as I was by the storyline in general, it took a long time to figure out what Martian society was like. I’d rather not revisit the slow process of figuring out why Valentine’s worldview was so different from humans who had been raised by other humans.

8. The Martian by Andy Weir.

I loved seeing Mark, the main character of this book, solve all kinds of impossible problems on Mars after a terrible accident there made his fellow astronauts believe he was dead and accidentally leave him behind when they returned to Earth. He could have died many times over before they even realized he was still alive, and that made this a thrilling read. With that being said, I worried about Mark’s health and safety so much the first time I read about his adventures that I don’t really want to repeat that experience.

9. My Ántonia by Willa Cather.

I adored the descriptions of what life was like for brand new immigrants in Nebraska in the late nineteenth century. Surviving their first winter on the prairie was a difficult task for even the most fortunate and well-prepared families. The threat of starvation or freezing to death was always present. That made it impossible for me to stop reading even once they’d slightly improved their diets and the insulation in their homes. I had to know what happened to the characters, but once I did I lost the urge to return to their darkest and most uncertain days.

10. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King.

Like many of the other books on this list, this one was too intense for me to reread it. I was so frightened for Trisha once she became lost in the woods, especially once she realized that there was something awful wandering around out there. Knowing her fate was a relief. With that being said, I don’t ever want to go through that emotional rollercoaster again.




  1. I agree with you about LotR. I loved it, but it’s so long I don’t think I’d ever reread it.

  2. We have a few in common here! I personally wouldn’t reread Mockingjay either, and completely know where you’re coming from with Anne’s House of Dreams – it’s much nicer to focus on the other parts of Anne’s story.

  3. I agree about LoTR! It’s too long for me to pick up and re-read it!

    Top Ten Tuesday

  4. Yeah I’m not entirely sure I could relive Mockingjay either……
    My TTT:

  5. I feel the same way about Mockingjay! I could re-read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire forever, but some events in Mockingjay made me feel terrible so I probably won’t be re-reading it any time soon (and if I do, I’ll definitely be skipping those scenes at least).

  6. I get what you mean about Mockingjay. I just read the series for the first time- will I want to revisit someday- it’s possible, but yeah probably not soon. Loved ’em though! The Lord of the Rings I’ve read a few times and may again, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to take that on! Like you said they move slowly…

    • How many months or years do you go between rereads of the Lord of the Rings books?

      • Oh gosh I’m sure it’s been over 10 years since I read them? I’ve probably been through them twice, once as a teen and then as an adult. Now that I think about it it HAS been a while! But they’re so involved I don’t think I could re- read em every year or anything, like some do. Maybe one more time?

  7. I don’t think I would reread Mockinjay either. I wasn’t that impressed the first time around. Fab list!

  8. Definitely in agreement about The Martian and Beloved. Good but I wouldn’t do it again. I’ll admit, I’ve reread the Hunger Games books quite a few times now. Especially when the movies were coming out but book three was my least favourite.
    I unfortunately never made it past book two of LOTR. Loved the movies but the writing of the books just annoys and bores me.

  9. Nice picks! Re-reads are hard to do sometimes, because since there are soooo many books to be read for the first time, spending time on a re-read (these days) doesn’t seem worth it! Granted when I was younger I did this a LOT! Mostly because there were no paranormal books to read, so I was (happily) forced to re-read the same (beloved) books!

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  10. I once wanted to read Great Expectations, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to get through it, at least not alone.

  11. So true about Mockingjay!

  12. The pacing is why I could never get into Tolkien. Way too slow. Totally agree on Mockingkay and Anne’s House of Dreams. That’s also why I don’t like reading Rilla of Ingleside. Have you ever read the rest of the Anne book’s? Rilla of Ingleside is the last one. Some things just shouldn’t happen to Anne and Gilbert. I think I skipped reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I don’t recall it at all, but I’ve read a lot of King’s books. Thanks for sharing your list.

  13. I have noticed that I also don’t like to reread intense reads. I don’t remember rating a book high that I really don’t want to re-read. I love to re-read and sometimes, I re-read books even though I know I would be sobbing for the whole book. 🙂

  14. Funny to see you’d avoid rereading a book because the experience was too intense for you. I actually love books like that – although I wouldn’t reread them immediately but give it a while for myself to heal, haha.

    I’ve heard great things about The Martian but I’m not really into sci-fi.. Maybe someday I’ll dip my toe in anyway, who knows.

    • How interesting.

      The movie based on The Martian was honestly just as good as the book. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but feel free to watch it instead of read it. The experience is about the same either way.

  15. Great list. I haven’t read many of the books included, but I know I’m perfectly content to merely relive Mark Watney’s experience on Mars through the movie rather than re-reading the book. You get to the happy part much more quickly that way. LOL.

    Have a great week.

  16. I hated GREAT EXPECTATIONS when I had to read it in HS. The characters were all just ICK. And it was SOOOOOO slow and boring. That was pretty much my experience with 95% of the books I was forced to read in school 🙁

    • Oh, that’s too bad. I think there’s a lot that can be done to improve childrens’ experiences with the classics in English class.

  17. Totally with you on Tolkien. I don’t even know how I got through the books the first time!

  18. I loved Lord of the Rings when I first read it! My brother got all three of them in one book, which I borrowed and read in one week, but when I’ve tried to re-read it I did struggle a bit.

  19. We sure have some of these in common. Much as I loved “Great Expectations” many years ago, I have tried to read it again and can’t even get past 20 pages. Must have been the atmosphere way back when 🙂

    • It’s always cool to discover that you have similar tastes with someone else! Were you a fan of Charles Dicken’s other books?

  20. I can definitely understand that. Sometimes it’s fun discovering a book but on second go around a slower process of discovery just isn’t quite the same.

  21. I almost listed The Hunger Games trilogy, but decided I couldn’t commit to not re-reading it yet. I likely won’t though. I’m not sure about Stranger is a Strange Land either. I really liked it when I read it, but will I re-read it? It’s not likely. Great list, Astilbe!

  22. Great picks. I’ll never reread The Martian either (mostly because I disliked it, I know, unpopular opinion haha)

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