Name that book!

I’ve loved to read since I was a kid. One of the first things I remember reading (aside from Mother Goose) was a children’s book called “But No Elephants.” Sadly, it’s vanished from my collection. The good news is if I really want it again I can get it on Amazon. The internet — it’s a beautiful thing. 🙂

Another of my early reader favorites was one called “Dirty Feet,” which I still have.

As you can see, I thought the illustrations left something to be desired.

Have I ever told y’all that seven… count ’em, seven! … books have been written about me? It’s true. I went to Sesame Street, outer space, the circus and Birthday Land, and hung out with Snow White & Co., the Fox & the Hound and Mother Goose herself. My mom’s cat Simon and my buddy Brandon make cameos in each one, but I’m totally the star. (Does anybody know if they still make these books? They are so cute and a good way to get young kids excited about reading.)

Best main character ever? 😉

Then I graduated to the Little House series, which I also still have (and read, by the way. Usually once a year.) Around this same time I got a set of the classics that were adapted for young readers. This is how I first read “Little Women” and “Call of the Wild.”

Binding is creased from the many times I’ve read them.

There was a Beverly Cleary phase, where I got my first lesson in the art of description — in one of the Ramona books she described french fries so brilliantly that it made my mouth water. I dabbled in a few Nancy Drews, and of course there was also a Judy Blume phase. I still have my copy of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”

In middle school there was an obsessive Sweet Valley High phase. (I’m pretty sure that entire collection was sold at a garage sale. Man, I wish I hadn’t done that.) I also remember visiting the Stevenson Middle School library to pick up every copy of a mystery series I found by chance, but I can’t for the life of me remember that author’s name. 😦

High school was mostly assigned reading, which I hated with the exception of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Brontes and whenever we studied Shakespeare and Greek mythology. I discovered Jane Austen freshman year. Embarrassing to admit, but this is how: I heard that “Clueless” was based on Austen’s “Emma.” I loved the movie, so I decided to check out the book. Boom… Austen fan.

College is nothing but assigned reading, and since I wasn’t an English major I only took one literature class. All I can remember reading from that semester was “Death of a Salesman.” But, I did go back and give the high school assigned reading another whirl, and I found I could suddenly appreciate Dickens, Hawthorne, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Emerson and the lot. (But not you, Melville. Screw you.)

“I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer. Because it’s the only apprenticeship we have. It’s the only way of learning how to write a story.”

– John Green

From the early days until now I’ve always been a voracious reader. I think it’s helped make me a halfway decent writer. I know it’s helped shape my ideas of plot and character (along with being a voracious movie-watcher, but that’s another post.) What have been your favorite books over the years? Who are your very favorite characters?

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Name that book!

  1. reading Gone with the Wind my 12th summer was outstanding, also as a kid, Nancy Drew…wish I could read like I used to do, but so tired, I end of going to sleep…some all time favorites: To Kill a Mockingbird, Green City in the Sun, Lonesome Dove, John Jakes Bicentennial Series, Poisonwood Bible, many Grisham, Sparks, Patterson, and Greeley; biographies, historical fiction, and yes, romance trash was a temporary phase…I could probably come up with more 🙂 I do love to read and do intend to return to it ASAP

  2. I’m a big Jane Austen fan, too, and I remember the first “real book” I ever read was Jane Eyre. I still have my original copy.

    When I took a creative writing class in college, I discovered a bunch of contemporary writers I love, now, too. Lorrie Moore and Amy Bloom are two of them. Also, Melissa Bank’s The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing was one of the first books I read that made me want to write and inspired me to explore my own fiction-writing creativity a lot more.

    As for favorite characters, I was always a big Nancy Drew fan!

    • I didn’t appreciate Jane Eyre on first read, but I love it now. Also, I’m outing you as my co-SVH fan back in the day. I seem to remember you were Elizabeth and I was Jessica. 😉

  3. I have to say my favorite author is God. It doesn’t get any better than that. However, in terms of fiction, I don’t have a favorite. Reading was not my favorite thing to do as a child, so I didn’t follow any character in particular. I do read alot now though since the material is by choice and not grading papers. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s