In Nancy Pearl's most recent blog post, "That First Fine Careless Rapture", she talks about a category of her favorite books—books she loved so much the first time, she shouldn't read them again...
"So then I started thinking about the books that I felt I’d better not ever reread because I loved them so much the first time. And here’s my list (so far), in no particular order:"
Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook
Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides
Simone de Beauvoir’s The Mandarins
John Irving’s The World According to Garp
Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet
Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children
J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip
Gail Godwin’s The Odd Woman
Merle Miller’s A Gay and Melancholy Sound
Clancy Sigal’s Going Away
David James Duncan’s The Brothers K
Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan
For me, my list includes Garp, which I've read several times, in part because it evokes memories of the time in my life when I first read it. Another book that I love is J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye, which I've read several times along with the Glass family short stories (we can only hope that Salinger's estate will publish more stories now that he is dead).
Another series of books I love are Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five science fantasy books for young readers: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King for which Alexander won the Newbery Medal in 1969. These are great stories for a young reader who might be struggling to embrace reading instead of video games and finds the length and detail of the Tolkien books overwhelming.
Another quick book that I've read several times is Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin. It's almost a novella and most would not consider it serious fiction, but Cheryl and I loved many of her books when we read them in the 80s. Unfortunately she died at the age of 48, and we have no more stories from her to read...