Top 5 | Books That Deserve A Second Chance

Although I’m reading quite a lot recently, there are books that I’ve started but never really finished reading. I’m not usually a person that dismisses a book easily, but there are a few that I had to put down. Strangely, they are all (modern) classics and I feel a bit ashamed to put them in writing to be honest. However, it doesn’t mean that I’ll never read them again, nor that I do not want to read them. I’m going to try to read as many ‘second chance books’ as I can within this year. There you have it, I just made it a challenge!

Oh, oh, oh, I almost didn’t write the first one down. Okay, here it comes!

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The HarperCollins hardback editions of The Fellowship of the Rings (source), The Two Towers (source) and The Return of the King (source), available via

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Part II en III – J. R. R. Tolkien
And I call myself a Tolkien fan! Really? Yeah, I know. I tried to pick The Lord of the Rings up several times actually. Many, many years ago for the first time, in a horrible Dutch translation. That didn’t work out very well, so I put it down quite quickly. After some years I picked up The Hobbit and I absolutely loved it- it’s still one of my favourites. I’ve read it many times over by now. Last year I decided I really had to try The Lord of the Rings again. I’d seen the films a hundred times at least and I knew the book was supposed to be way better (at least my mum says so – and you know mums are always right). Moreover, my boyfriend had read the whole lot so I really couldn’t stay behind, could I? So I borrowed my mum’s well-thumbed and much-loved English paperback copy and started to read.

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You wouldn’t want to disappoint this man now, do you? (source).

But I failed miserably. The Fellowship of the Ring went really well and I liked it very much (come to think of it, I think that wasn’t the first time I read the first book), but it was The Two Towers that did it. I liked the first part, but then the storyline switched to Frodo and Sam and I always winded on those parts in the film, so I gave in. I really shouldn’t have, because now there’s no reason to call myself a Tolkien fan. No way, this boy’s going on my TBR list for 2015!

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The Three Musketeers (source) and The Count of Monte Cristo (source) by Alexandre Dumas. The last one is a definite must read if you haven’t already (and if you trust my opinion after this blog post …)

2. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Little less ashamed, but still disappointed. I devoured The Count of Monte Cristo, so there shouldn’t be a reason for not picking up The Three Musketeers as well. There isn’t really and I did, but I put it down quite quickly. I don’t know why, maybe because I’ve seen quite a few movie adaptations by now so that I find it hard to fill in the characters and scenery myself. Years ago, when I was still in school and had French lessons, we read a children’s edition of The Three Musketeers (in French), and I liked the story. I’ve been browsing for some time now, but I just can’t seem to find a nice edition (I’m not a big fan of the Vintage Classics with the red spine).

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Northanger Abbey (source) and Mansfield Park (source), both available in the Vintage Classics edition via (click on the links to go to the product page).

3. Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
In my defence, I never gave them I first chance to begin with. I just never picked them up. I know, I know, how could I say Austen’s one of my favourite writers if I’ve never read all her novels? I think I’ll really enjoy reading Northanger Abbey. I liked Catherine’s character in the BBC adaptation. I’m not so sure about Mansfield Park. Just like with Sense & Sensibility I had a hard time connecting with the main character in the film adaptations, but I’m definitely going to give it a try.

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The Shadow of the Wind (source), The Angel’s Game (source) and The Prisoner of Heaven (source) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, all available via

4. The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Just like with Dumas, I read one of Zafón’s books and absolutely loved it. I read The Shadow of the Wind and although I wasn’t so sure about it after a few pages, it eventually captured me completely. His writing can come across overly descriptive sometimes, but the story was thrilling, exciting and beautiful at the same time. That’s why I don’t know what’s stopped me from finishing The Angel’s Game and never picking up The Prisoner of Heaven. My best friend is a huge fan of Zafón and she urges me to give them a try again. She was right when she recommended The Shadow of the Wind and I trust her opinion, so I really want to start readingThe Angel’s Game again. There’re absolutely beautiful edition out there, by the way!

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Ah, the covers. Why, why, why a ugly fourth cover *sigh*? The Prince of Mist (source), The Midnight Palace (source), The Watcher in the Shadows (source) and Marina (source) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, available via

Oh, if you already read these novels by Zafón, did you know he’s also written four YA novels? They look as mysterious as their ‘adult’ counterparts …

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Wuthering Heights (source) by Emily, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (source) and Agnes Grey (source) by Anne and Jane Eyre (source) and Vilette (source) by Charlotte Brontë.

5. Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Emily and Anne Brontë
I’ve read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and loved it very much, but I’ve never really liked anything written by the other Brontë sisters. I started reading Wuthering Heights years ago, but it just didn’t work out. Maybe I was too young and the ambience too forbidding, but I’d like to try it again. Because of my experience with Wuthering Heights, I never made it to Agnes Grey or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but I think I shouldn’t leave Anne out if I decided to read Emily and have read Charlotte already. They wouldn’t be the Brontë sisters without her. Oh, and if I’m going to read everything written by the Brontë sisters, I should put Vilette on my TBR list as well …

I’m hoping to at least have read The Lord of the Rings by the end of this year. Oh, and I think I’ll manage to read the two Austen novels as well. Are you giving your books a second chance?

Which books would you like to give a second chance?



5 thoughts on “Top 5 | Books That Deserve A Second Chance

  1. (ik reageer gewoon even lekker in het Nederlands, haha!)
    Ik wil ook heel graag nog de boeken van Jane Austen en de Brontë zussen lezen. Leuk dat je er op die manier een challenge van maakt! Ik heb zelf ook nog niet veel boeken echt weggelegd.

    Liked by 1 person

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