Friday, May 9, 2008


by Jeanne Adams

How old were you when you started reading? If you like to read now, that started somewhere, right? So…where?

Do you remember the first “real” book you read?

No, I don’t mean See Spot Run. Ha! I mean the first story that affected you. Anna Campbell’s Big Fat Book post got me thinking about Kid Books.

(Yes, it was a convoluted path from that sexy Riders cover to this, but hey…)

So, for you, what was “THE BEGINNING” ? (cue the music from the 10 Commandments)

For me, since my father’s a Librarian, The Beginning was at the Library. As a kid, I loved anything with fur or feathers. (Have to confess I’m still not a reptile fan, except for dragons) Tell that to an astute Children’s Librarian and s/he will pile your arms with books – fiction and non - about animals. (Note: I just LOVE Librarians!)

For horses, I started at the beginning. Billy And Blaze: A Boy And His Horse(Anderson) were ancient, but well loved books in my library’s Children’s Room. I graduated to BLACK BEAUTY (Sewel), National Velvet> (Bagnold) and a fabulous book on life, growing up and harness racing called Red Horse Hill (Meader) which made me want to move to New Hampshire. From there I read non-fiction about Shires, Clydesdales and Connemaras.

I deeply wanted a dog, but my folks said no. So Lad: A Dog (A.P. Terhune), Big Red (Kjelgaard), Azeet, paratrooper dog (Gur), Call of the Wild (London), the REAL 101 Dalmatians(Smith), and Silver Chief Dog of the North (O'Brien) became my pets.

In reading O’Brien and London, I found adventure stories. OH! The wonders! Swiss Family Robinson (Wyss), The Black Arrow (Stevenson ), Ivanhoe (Scott), Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk (Sabatini), Robin Hood Tales,The Egypt Game (Snyder) and (tribal drum roll please) Tarzan of the Apes .

To my mother’s great dismay, for weeks I lived, slept, breathed and ate while holding a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. There are 10+ in the Tarzan series alone. From his John Carter of Mars tales, I transitioned to the fantasy realms of the late great Andre Norton, as well as Robert Heinlein, Arthur Clarke, Zelazney and so on.

All these gave way to stories about relationships, friendships and adventure – Heidi (Spyri), The Complete Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery, Captains Courageous , The Jungle Book (Kipling), Tales of the South Pacific(Michener) and so on. Or to stories of fantasy and the supernatural: The Hobbit, LOTR (Tolkein), The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set (Lewis), The Exorcist (Blatty. The only book my parents ever tried to censor), The Once and Future King (DH White), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Twain).

I read the obligatory school-reads like Lord of the Flies (Golding), A Separate Peace (Knowles), and the dread The Crucible (Miller, Ugh), but the ones I search for are those oldies which evoke a vivid image from the tale. The bear fight in Big Red. When the weakling heir finds his inner Survivor and his mate in The Cave Girl (Burroughs) The quiet scene with the cocker spaniel as Pongo and Perdita search for their missing pups. The mines of Moria. (Shudder)
Most are HEA – happily ever after – which eventually led me to Romance…but that’s another story altogether…

So this flashback made me wonder what would be the Anne of Green Gables for the next generation. I asked a friend, fellow 2006 Golden Heart pal Lavinia Klein, what her daughter was reading these days and got a GREAT list…(I didn’t see my old favorites on Becca’s list, but I chalk that up to my early Children’s Librarian being into TRADITIONAL books. Oh, and me being animal mad. Yeah, that’s the reason.) BTW, I’ve already made a trip to the library and B&N to snag some of Becca’s recommendations, as well as ordering Anna’s Silver Brumby stories. (TOLDja I’d read 'em Anna!)

Here’s some from Becca’s list, I edited for space, but kept a pretty good list of titles from her favs. (Note to those buying for teens, the Peterfreund and Gleason contain either sex or sensuality!)
Poison Study (Study, Book 1) (all the Study books) by Maria V. Snyder, (Mira) The Bridei Chronicles (The Dark Mirror is book one) and Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, (TOR) Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) Twilight, Eclipse and New Moon by Stephanie Meyer, (Little, Brown) Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest (Rowan Hood) by Nancy Springer (Puffin) Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel (Ivy League), The Secret Society Girl books by Diana Peterfreund, (Delta) The Luxe by Anna Godberson, (HarperTeen) The Rest Falls Away: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles (Signet Eclipse) by Colleen Gleason, Gossip Girl, The Carlyles #1 (Gossip Girl) by Cecily von Ziegesar, (Poppy) The Year Of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (Scholastic paperbacks).

Do you see YOUR favorites listed? If not, what’s YOUR fav Kid Read? Was there anything your parents tried to, or did censor?

**Becca, don’t forget to look for our own Trish Milburn/Tricia Mill’s YA release, HEARTBREAK RIVER, Penguin, in Spring of 2009!


Jane said...

I can't remember how old I was when I started reading, but my favorites include "Where the Wild Things Are," the Berentstein Bears, Clifford and of course Dr. Seuss. I also remembering reading "The Outsiders" in sixth grade. I didn't start reading romance until my senior year in high school and my tastes have expanded since then to include, mystery and suspense. I love the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jane! You got the Rooster again, didn't you? :> I'm really interested in the Gardella Chronicles. My friend said that they aren't technically YA, but that her daughter loves them

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

For once, I liked the movie better than a book - The Outsiders. Sad either way, however.

Cassondra said...

Okay it is NOT midnight here, and there are three comments THREE!!!

I will never catch that elusive chicken again it seems. Heavy sigh.

Okay off to actually READ Jeanne's blog! ;0)

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a great blog! I love revisiting the reading pleasures of my past. I remember reading Black Beauty by lying upside down on my bed and reading by the light of the kitchen coming up the hallway. No wonder I now have bad eyes! But Beauty's trials were just so heartrending a horse mad girl just couldn't go to sleep until she got to the last page. I still remember him going down on his knees when he was hauling the hackney cab. WHAAAAHHHH!

I read a lot of children's classics - Heidi and Call of the Wild and lots and lots of horse books! I loved the books about the wild horses of Chincoteague. One of my prized possessions is a mug a friend brought me back from there a couple of years ago which has the pony swim on it. I adored Enid Blyton. In fact, I wanted to become her! Hmm, clearly I found the dark side first! Keira is a huge Enid Blyton fan too, I believe!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, isn't Enid wonderful? I had Misty of Chicoteague and My Friend, Flicka in there too, but the list was so LONG on the horse books! :>

I think I read Black Beauty at least 100 times. So many evocative moments. Making friends with Ginger, pulling the cab, coming home...sniffle. A great "new" horse book is Anne McCaffrey's The Lady. She writes mostly SciFi but The Lady, Stitch in Snow and several others are adult, romantic fiction. And wonderful reads. The Lady's a bit of a doorstopper too, so it harkens back to your blog as well!

Cassondra said...

My mom read to me before I was born, and immediately after I was born, so I don't remember the beginning.

My earliest memories of books come from two oft-repeated experiences. One was the small book rack of those thin children's illustrated books you could buy in the grocery store. Shoot. I can't think of the name of them now. My mom would grocery shop and I'd stand by the book rack, reading.

I owned, literally, hundreds of these books by the time I got to middle school and was too old for them.

But even before that it was the trips to the library. My mom had to actually sew a ginormous fabric tote bag to carry library books home, and we'd fill it two or three times per week.

I remember loving Dr. Seuss. The way he turned words and used the rythmm and sounds was magic. I think, honestly, it's what made me a songwriter. And then there was anything about horses and animals.

I have too much brain fry to think of individual titles now but after a night's sleep I'll probably be able to come up with some.

Once I was a bit older it was Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and then on to the Grace Livingston Hill novels, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and his ilk. Once I was in middle school and early high school I went on a nonfiction binge--how to do...well..ANYTHING. One summer was horses. Another was photography. Another was home renovation (yup, even at age 13) and several summers were gardening and landscape design. Another summer it was fixing cars.

It took me a few years to come back to fiction actually. I was absorbing how to do EVERYTHING.

I was a strange kid. That hasn't changed. Well..the kid part has changed but the strange hasn't.

Cassondra said...

OMG! Misty of Chincoteague! I'd forgotten! OMG! I'm about to CRY!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I was a strange kid. That hasn't changed. Well..the kid part has changed but the strange hasn't.

And this would be why you're my evil twin. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, not EVIL, but you know what I mean. Grins.

I read ALL the Misty stories, then Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and virtually every horse story Marguerite Henry wrote.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

In the interest of shortening the blog which I was afraid was droning on, I left all those out. As well as The Boxcar Children, Norah's Ark, and legions more...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I'm off to sleep, probably to dream about horses and YA stories, but I'll be baaaaaack in the mornin'!

jo robertson said...

Great post Jeanne! Jane, again with the Rooster!

I was slow to come to reading. I started first grade at the tender age of four and it took me until the sixth grade to achieve the status of a "good" student.

But the first books I remember adoring were The Bobbsey Twins series, then on to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries. Gosh, I adored those adventures.

Christine Wells said...

Sweet dreams, Jeanne! Lovely post. I don't even know when I started reading. My parents say I was 4 but not sure about that.

Jane, congrats on the GR! Dr. Seuss is still a firm favourite in our house and I loved the Berenstein Bears. I think my dear old dad identified with the daddy bear in that. A little later, I adored The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, The Little Prince, Anne of Green Gables, The Wind in the Willows. Geoffrey Trease's wonderful cavaliers introduced me to historical fiction and I also loved these stories about a couple of boys who traveled the world studying animals. There was The African Adventure, The South Sea Adventure and so on.

I used to haunt the library, too and because they wouldn't let me get an adult card my mother would borrow books on her card for me. My parents never censored what I read but about the raciest reading matter I had was Georgette Heyer so I suppose they didn't have to worry too much!

Minna said...

I practically learned to read from Donald Duck comics, loved books by Enid Blyton, Carolyn Keene and L.M. Montgomery and then there are plenty of Finnish ones, like books by Mauri Kunnas. Some of them are available in English.

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, were they Little Golden Books? They used to be available in our supermarket when I was growing up too. My parents always really encouraged me to read - my brother too but he never really got the bug. And then I think they regretted it when I passed up the chance at a 'proper' job to try and become a writer!

My grandmother used to take us to the library once a fortnight and I remember some marvellous reads from that. Biographies of people like the Brontes written for children. And books of legends and myths and fairytales which really influenced me. And then when I was eight, I started on romance fiction. Read a lot of Mills & Boons (Harlequins) and then when I was about 10, my grandmother (again) lent me my first Barbara Cartland. I was addicted to her then for the next few years. Loved the history and the romance and actually they're pitched just right for a teenage girl, as it happened.

I did all the series books too - Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. But they never really replaced Enid Blyton in my heart.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Cassondra, you're right on nonfiction. I got obsessions and I'd just do nothing else but talk and think and read whatever it was. Tudor England copped a gander. As did Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome (Hi, JT!) and of course, horses!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, I'm strange too! Never thought that would be what got me in with the cool chicks!

Donna MacMeans said...

Wonderful post, Jeanne - it's like a stroll down memory lane.

I remember reading a lot of biographies. They were slim blue books with a black silhouette of the famous person on the cover. I read a whole series of those darn things - Washington, Lincoln, Betsy Ross...

I inhaled Nancy Drew and really enjoyed the Hardy Boys stories more. My brothers bought stacks of comic books and I devoured those as well. Then they'd trade them at the barber shop for haircuts.

I loved Edgar Rice Burroughs science fiction stories - see I was into paranormal at a young age. I remember reading an illustrated copy of Black Beauty and one of my all time favorites, a copy of Rascal - the story of a raccoon raised from a kit to become a family pet in Wisconsin.

I remember reading gothic novels while lying in a hammock on the porch on rainy days. Those were the best. And I remember reading Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Michener's Hawaii at a fairly young age. Hawaii set me off on a tangent of reading all his novels, though I tended to skip the first chapters.

Keira Soleore said...

Other than Diana Peterfreund and Collean Gleason, I didn't recognizea anything from Becca list. Oops.

I grew up on Enid Blytons, Nancy Drews, Hardy Boys, La Heyer, and a host of M&B and Harlequin authors, and of course a heavy dose of "ze classics."

Keira Soleore said...

Jane, you've managed to keep the rooster well under wraps at your place. He simply is unable to fly away to visit other Banditas.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

As Donna says, Thanx for the stroll down Memory Lane, Duchesse!

Those were indeed, Little Golden Books and were the first things I learned to read. Actually I memorized them and recited them back, but pretty soon I was sounding out words on my own. I think I was about 5, but not in school yet.

I read every horse book Marguerite Henry wrote too! And weren't those illustrations by Wesley Dennis DEVINE?!?! About 5 years ago, I got to go to Chincoteague and see the ponies. It was a THRILL even after all these years.

Oh, and I literally wore the covers off my copy of Black Beauty. But the first 'real books' without pictures I read were the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House..." series. I was in 4th grade.

Jane, my son's favorite book as a little tyke was "Where the Wild Things Are!" He had it memorized and would recite it all the time. You might see if the GR enjoys it. :-)


Gillian Layne said...

I had copies of Sleeping Beauty that were so pretty! And my parents bought me a pop-up of Cinderella. I still have it (it's a antique now!!;))and it is fun to show my girls.

We have walls of books in my parent's home, and went to the library all the time. I used to check out a book called 'So You Want to Own a Horse' (sigh). I mean, if you live in the country, why can't you have a horse?

Nope, never got one, but I wore that book out. And my parents, bless them, weren't heartless; they did get me unlimited riding lessons with the neighbor's horses.

Great Post! So many happy memories :)

Christine Wells said...

Little Golden Books! I'd forgotten about them. Did anyone read The Poky Little Puppy? It's a really stoopid story but I loved that little puppy when I was a wee one. Grimm fairy tales were favourites. I was enthralled by the Snow Queen for some reason. Loved Greek myths, too.

Nancy Drew was one I also devoured and like you, Fo and Cassondra, I had obsessions. Read everything I could on Elizabeth I and I had another Roundheads/Cavaliers period. My father used to tell me stories about English history and then I'd go away and read lots of books about it. Ah, memories. Wish my obsessions had more practical application, like yours did, C!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats on the GR Jane!
My mother said I started reading around three, she thought I was reciting commercial jingles when it dawned on her that isn't what the billboard said. I was standing in the backseat of the car reading a billboard word for word and dad almost wrecked. A trip to the dime store and I had golden books. It wasn't long before I progressed to real books as I called them. Lots of pages and real hard backs. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Black Beauty, Flicka, Lassie and The Classics. Little Women, Rose in Bloom, etc. While we are on the subject, did anyone besides me read Donna Parker mysteries? I have never seen it mentioned and I was so young I can't remember the author but I enjoyed those more than Nancy Drew.
I didn't actually read romance until I was in my late teens and working, I started buying my own books, so there was no censure at all.

Maureen said...

The Anne of Green Gables series was my favorite. I don't know how many times I reread them. Your story reminded me that just a couple of days ago my daughter is babysitting and calls to see what happened to all her Babysitter Club books. The girls she was babysitting had started reading them and my daughter wanted to give them all of her old books. Well, since my daughter just finished her first year of college those books were long ago given away to others.

Bunny B said...

I certainly don't remember my first book cos I started reading really early! I've always loved reading!! My parents were bookworms - especially my dad. And my mom would always bring us to the library. I do remember reading Peter Rabbit and Dr Seuss and the Berenstein Bears. Loved them! :)

Helen said...

Congrats Jane he must like your place have fun with him

Great post Jeanne I don't remember the first one I read but I do rembember reading all of Enid Blytons Secret Seven and Famous Five books which I loved I also read Call Of The Wild, What Katy Did books Black Beauty then in high school we did The Secret Garden, I Can Jump Puddles by Allan Marshall Pastures Of The Blue Crane then I went onto all the Agatha Christie books. There were probably a lot more that I can't remember.
I have always loved reading and still can't get enough of it.

Have Fun

Deb Marlowe said...

OMG, you guys, I lived and breathed Marquerite Henry! Devoured every single one of her books. King of the Wind always made me cry. I begged to go to Chincoteague on vacation, but it never happened, How cool that you got to go as an adult, Aunty Cindy!

Also Little Women, Ballet Shoes, the Prydain Series, Those Miller Girls, ah the library rocked!

Christie Kelley said...

Great blog, Jeanne. I was about five when I started reading. But those would have been the basic books (See Spot, etc). For me the books that I loved to read (and reread) were the Little House on the Praire books by Laura Ingals Wilder. Those books captivated my imagination.

What's really weird is my oldest child (the reader)is now reading Stephen King.

brownone said...

The first book I ever read was called "The Lonely Doll". I can remember how excited I was that I could read it to my parents and how proud they were that I could.

I still have my Nancy Drews in a box put away for my girls, I can't wait for them to be ready for them. I always had a book in my hand as a kid and as a teenager. LOVED Shakespeare (everyone thought I was a wierdo). Oh, and I can't forget Judy Blume (speaking of censorship). Her books were great and talked about things that just weren't generally talked about at the time. Luckily, I had parents that never censored us. If we wanted to read the toilet paper packaging they were all for it as long as we read. As it is, I don't think I would censor what my children read as long as it was age appropriate. I wouldn't want my seven year old reading romance quite yet but when she's a teenager, I'd be all for it.

PJ said...

Wonderful blog! I don't remember the first book I read. I just remember always loving to read. In fact, I loved to read so much that I started having trouble with my eyes. My mom took me to an eye doc and he made me spend an entire summer with NO BOOKS! It was awful!

I know we had a lot of the Little Golden Books (they're still very popular, btw). My mom joined a Children's Classics book-a-month club so I remember reading Heidi, Call of the Wild, Jungle Book, Gulliver's Travels, Kim, Kidnapped, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island and many others while in grade school. I also loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. A friend of the family (surrogate grandma) gave me the book 1001 Arabian Nights when I was about 10. It's a wonderful collection of stories such as Aladdin and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves that I treasure and still enjoy reading today, some 45 years later.

My first introduction to romance was reading the romance comics of my older neighbor. When I was about 12 I discovered Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart at the library and devoured everything they wrote. I don't remember my parents ever censoring what I read. In fact, my dad had to sign a permission slip to allow me to check out the Holt and Stewart books at the library, which he did willingly. Perhaps they would have frowned upon the Harold Robbins books I snuck from their bookcase when I was in Junior High School but I don't think they ever knew. ;)

Gillian Layne said...

Hey, I just noticed the new notice! Way to go , Jeanne, Beth, and Donna for the great reviews! :)

PJ said...

Christine, a friend of mine carries the Little Golden Books in his store. They're a mixture of new books like Finding Nemo and the older classics like Pokey Little Puppy. He has trouble keeping the books, especially the classics, in stock. I can't count the number of people in their 50's through 70's would come into the store, see those books and immediately start talking about how they were the first books they had owned and how much they had loved them. Many of them leave with 10 or more of the books to share with their grandchildren.

Buffie said...

I was definitely a late bloomer when it comes to the joy of reading. I hated reading books for school -- it was a chore to me. But during my junior year at highschool, my English teacher had us read Ethan Frome -- and I was hooked . . .partly from the story and partly from the enthusiasm my teacher had for the book and book discussions.

Kirsten said...

Cute blog Jeanne! :-) And Anne McCaffery is my all time favorite author, and Dragonflight remains my all time favorite book!

My dad was recently cleaning out the attic in the house where I grew up (35 years and he's still there!) and sent me a box of my old books. It was a pretty good mix of my favorites: all the Black Stallion books (or all Walter Farley had written at the time!), some other incredible horse books (YES Misty of Chincoteague!), Lad, Little House on the Prairie, The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander), and...a bunch of Harlequin Presents! So twisted! I'm not one for censoring, but I'm not sure Charlotte Lamb was entirely appropriate for a third-grader! Come to think of it, I did read in a closet for a while. Maybe my mom did not approve. LOL.

Anna, I also read by the light of the hallway!! I never understood why that light would remain on for about ten minutes after lights out in my bedroom, and then switch off. Hmmm...never occurred to me that my mom might KNOW I was reading by it! :-)

Deb, I think we had the same reading list! I loved Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, etc. (can't wait to give those to my daughter!).

Dianna, I adored Rose in Bloom. Another favorite of mine!! :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jo! WOw, that's young to start school. :> You overachiever you. I loved Hardy Boys, but thought Nancy Drew was a bit of a wuss. (Harkening back to Cassondra's blog from yesterday!)

Christine, I loved the Secret Garden! I don't think we had the ones about the boys who travel the world. I would have loved those.

Anna said: Hey, I'm strange too! Never thought that would be what got me in with the cool chicks!

HA!!! SO true! I never thought I'd be "in" anywhere. Grins

Carol said...

Hi to everyone,
Little golden books...I remember The Little Tailor, He killed 7 flys in one blow!!That was a favourite.
I was horse mad as well...
Jill's Gymkana.-? Pullin-Thompson, I can't recall the christian name,there was a series and I still have them deep in the garage.
I loved animal books by G.K.Chesterton, he wrote from the perspective of the animal. A dog or an eagle as I recall.
I just googled him and jings...he was fairly prolific to say the least!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Donna! A fellow ERB fan. I remember the Kit story too. I think they made a Disney movie of it. And the biographies. I remember all sorts of odd trivia about the presidents, their wives and other famous friends. Great for Trivia Pursuit, tho' not much use elsewise. :>

Keira, I recognized the same ones from Becca's list too. *Blush* but none of the others.

Oh, AC, I had forgotten about the illustrations. OH!

Minna, it's nice to know that Anne of Green Gables transcends cultures. :> I adored those stories.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Gillian, I loved the idea of the pop up Cinderella! And I am pretty sure I had So You Want to Own a Horse too. :>

Anna, I didn't get to Dame Barbara till much later, but burned through a lot of them. Learned a lot of odd trivia from her too. Ha!

Christine, I found a copy of the Pokey Little Puppy when my boys were teeny. It was a memory trip, that's for sure. I loved the Snow Queen too. It's an odd story.

Dianna, I had to laugh about reading billboards. I used to read the cereal boxes. Freaked my mom out.

You know, the only time my parents wanted to censor anything was The Exorcist, and that was because I was only 10 or 11. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Maureen! Another Anne fan. My Sister and I still quote bits of that. We had relatives who were so like the people in the stories. Marilla and the teachers and the fields and fences were familiar landscapes of the mind.

I never read the Babysitter Club books, and I understand the Saddle Club books are popular now with Tweens.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bunny B, Berenstein Bears seems to be a favorite in the Lair today.

BTW, I loved Wild Things too AC, and In the Night Kitchen. Really awesome illustrations! And if you love illustrations, there were these two amazing books: The Blueberry Pie Elf and Artie and the Princess. They were gorgeous with the thin onion skin pre-page to cover the illustrations. Marvelous!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Helen! Another Call of the Wild fan, yeah!

Deb, I remember sobbing over King of the Wind too. And over scenes in Stormy, Misty's Foal.

Hi Chrisite! I never got in to Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I can SO resonate with your older one reading King. Heehee. As evidence by the Exorcist, King was high on my list at a pretty early age.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Brownone, I loved Shakespeare too. My folks were in a Shakespeare club and they'd read plays, so they'd have all us kids help them practice. Needless to say, I loved the witches in MacBeth. Double, double! Toil and trouble... Grins.

Brownone said: If we wanted to read the toilet paper packaging they were all for it as long as we read.

I giggled over this. My parents were the same, for the most part. They were just worried that The Exorcist would give me nightmares. (I think they wanted their sleep.) Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, PJ, poor you spending the summer with no books. Talk about prison! I loved Arabian Nights too.

I checked out a lot of books from everywhere in the library. That was one of the fun things about being the Librarian's daughter. We'd go in on Sunday when the Library was closed. I'd pile books on the checkout counter and Daddy would check 'em out for me. I'm sure he raised an eyebrow about some of my choices in those early years, but he never said a word. It goes back to that "read the toilet paper wrapper" thing Brownone was talking about. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks for checking out the sidebar, Gillian. I think all three of us are jazzed about the reviews! :>

PJ, I was in the B&N the other day with my three year old and saw this same thing. I lovely older gent was piling up books for his "New Great Grandbaby" on the counter. I loved it. BTW, I loved the Victoria Holts and Stewarts too. I "sneaked" the Robbins in the pile at the library. Since my folks didn't read them, they just slipped right by...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMGosh, Buffie, Ethan Fromme hooked you into reading? Yikes, you are a complex gal. :> Hear that, teacher Jo? You probably already know it, but it is amazing what book will hook which kid, isn't it?

I had a friend who could never understand why I liked "those dusty old books" so much. Then, he read Captains Courageous. Blammo! Hooked.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kisten, sister, I think I've read everything McCaffrey's ever written. :> And OH! Walter Farley! Wow, how could I have left The Stallion off the list? (So many books, so little blog space...)

I never read the Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes or Rose in Bloom. Although I do remember a book called To Dance To Dream. I'll have to check those out of the library. One of the great joys of my college years was taking Children's Literature. I got to read all my old favs and discover new as well. So I still read a lot of YA and tweener books for fun. I also watch a lot of those "kid/teen movies."

Kirsten, I also laughed about the light in the hall. I can remember my mother's consistent threat: "Young lady if you don't turn out that light...."

Christie Kelley said...

PJ, an entire summer without reading! That would have killed me when I was young. I read every night before I went to bed, no matter how late it was.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Carol! I loved all the Pullin-Thompson books and Chesterton too. I like your husky icon. :>

jo robertson said...

Wow, Buffie, ETHAN FROME in junior high? That's a dark book for such a young age! Kudos to your teacher for making it interesting.

That reminds me of a question my students asked once: why do they make us read all these books with unhappy endings in high school?

What you ya'll think?

jo robertson said...

Jeanne, LOL, NOT b/c I was smart, let me assure you. Way back then when they used stone tablets in one-room school houses, there was no kindergarten and they started us in first grade at four. Can't remember which state, maybe Oklahoma or Kentucky?

I was just feeling jealous of all these comments about reading wonderful books when you were young. My parents never read to me. I don't hold it against them. They were children of parents who lived through the depression and life was really pretty much survival mode and seige mentality. No money for books or time for reading them.

So with MY children, I didn't read to them a lot, but when I put them to bed, I always sang made-up stories (with made-up tunes) in which they were the featured stars. Maybe that helped. They're all avid readers today.

jo robertson said...

Oh, btw, I heard a statistic when I took a graduate education class: The two most important factors for children's success in school are (1) the mother's level of education (not the Dad's, interesting, huh?) and (2) the number of books in the home.

What do ya'll think about that?

Nancy said...

Jane! Two days in a row! Congratulations.

Jeanne, what a fascinating book odyssey! My earliest reading memories are of sharing picture books with my grandfather, who took care of me while my parents were at work. We read the picture book version of Silver Chief, which is the book I remember most vividly, as well as adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Peri the squirrel, and various others.

I discovered comic books, much to the dismay of my mother, at about age 7. She didn't forbid them but did everything she could to discourage them even though I was reading everything I could lay my hands on. I loved YA history--the docudrama biographies of famous Americans, the fictional adventures of "Dan Frontier" (probably horrible and inaccurate in depicting native Americans and no longer available), the American Revolution as depicted by Manly Wade Wellman--science fiction (Venus Boy, a dreadfully inaccurate depiction of life in a Venusian colony; A Wringle in Time, which led me to all the L'Engle books; the Dig Allen Space Explorer adventures, obtained via Scholastic)--and series books. I devoured Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins and longed for the Hardy Boys, which my mother considered inappropriate for girls. Aack!

As a pre-teen, I discovered the romances of the Cherry Ames series, Janet Lambert's stories of the Parrishes and Jordans in the Army, and Lenora Mattingly Weber's Beany Malone. The librarian also steered me to historical romantic fiction--Jean Plaidy, Nora Lofts, Rosemary Hawley Jarman--and I had my grandmother's Inglis Fletcher novels.

Did you know A Wrinkle in Time is a heavy censored book? Even though its theme is the redeeming power of love.

Nancy said...

So much for my proofreading today. That should've been a heavILY censored book. *sigh*

Jeanne, I confess I avoided animal stories on grounds that they were frequently sad. I still do, for the same reason.

Anna C. and Helen, I loved Enid Blyton, too, but our library had very few of her books.

Donna and PJ and Jo, I envy you getting to have Hardy Boys. Speaking of which, wasn't Parker Stevenson incredibly cute in his 20s? Don't know what he looks like now.

I never had a horse, either, Gillian, though I longed for one (being a huge fan of westerns). My folks said we couldn't keep one in town, but I'm pretty sure now that we also couldn't afford it. I did take riding lessons as an adult, so I eventually had some horse time. Which demonstrated how much care they require and made me realize horse ownership wasn't for me.

Anna C., did you ever read a book called Mara, Daughter of the Nile? That's the only Egyptian novel I remember reading as a kid, but I think it helped draw me to the Amelia Peabody mysteries when they appeared.

Did anybody else read Katie John and Depend on Katie John? Or the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle adventures? Or Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Cassondra - you know, I seem to remember those Golden Books (they had a little treasure chest in the corner of the cover, I think) had a list of all their books on the inside back cover. I used to scratch them off as I read them because I was determined to read them all. Hmmm - tracking the books I'd read - could that have been a premonition of accounting genes?

Donna MacMeans said...

Thanks Gillian! We had a good showing, didn't we?

Susan Seyfarth said...

Jeanne--what a wonderful topic today! I'm totally impressed with your childhood reading list.

Anna!! Enid Blyton! Of the Sullivan twins?? Dang, those books made me want to go to boarding school. Alas, my parents were strangely & stubbornly attached to the idea of actually living with their offspring so there went another fiction inspired dream.

AC--My 4 year old (a precocious reader) is devouring the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, which means I'm experiencing them all over again myself. Aren't they WONDERFUL? So good, in fact, that it's tough for me to let her read them herself. I keep offering to read them to her & she says, politely but firmly, "No thank you, Mommy. I can do it myself." And darn it, she can. So I have to wait until she's asleep to get my fix. :-)

And Dianna (hrdwrkmom)--YAY on Little Women, ESPECIALLY Rose in Bloom! I loved the entire series & have them in hard cover just waiting for my girls to get old enough to not to freak out at poor Beth's demise.

Hey, PJ--I spent a summer reading every single thing VC Andrews ever wrote & my folks never blinked. I think they probably knew exactly what was in there, but trusted me to handle it appropriately. Which I did. You can ask every disappointed high school boy I ever dated. :-)

As the mother of young ones, I'm rediscovering a lot of the classics. My kids LOVE the Bearenstain bears--I can unfortunately recite all of those books from memory--but we also have torn through Winnie the Pooh (the original), Charlotte's Web, & Mary Poppins, also the original. And let me tell you, the original Mary Poppins, NOT the disney version? She's nobody to mess with, 'kay? Spoonful of sugar my butt. Lots of magic, but a little edgy, a little mean & a whole lot compelling. I can see why kids would love her as much as they'd fear her & PICK UP THE DAMN NURSERY. :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, I laughed about what your students asked. I used to ask that all the time too. Why not Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights - equally dark at points as poor Ethan. Or why not more Dickens for despite the trials of David Copperfield, Oliver, and Tiny Tim it all came right in the end. And it frequently does in life too, so why The Crucible? Or something as horribly indicitive of man's baser nature than Lord of the Flies. URG>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, I love too that you sang and told stories to your kids. My question is, despite the dearth of books in your house growing up, you became an avid reader. Was it from school?

Fascinating stats on the education/number of books. My boys should be a huge success if it's number of books! Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, I remembered that you were my fellow Silver Chief afficianado. :> I loved Wrinkle in Time. I didn't remember though that it was censored. I know Ray Bradbury, who I discovered pretty early as well, was both lauded and censored, sometimes in the same school district. :>

Nancy I haven't read the one's you mentioned, but I love the title of Mrs. Coverlets Magicians. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna, it can't be the accounting thing on scratching off the titles on the GOlden Books because I did it too and I'm NOT a math gal. Grins. I think it's the competitive streak.... Mwah-ha-ha! I'll read them ALL and THEN, I'll be...I don't know what I'll be, but I'll be something great!


Susan, talk about impressed! If your 4 y/o is reading Wilder already. Go her! Watch out world, here she comes. :>

I was LOL about the VC Andrews books. When I figured out they were brother and sister...urk!

Susan said: "You can ask every disappointed high school boy I ever dated. :-)"

Such a smart woman. No wonder you're a Bandita. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Susan, I just caught the last bit of your post (sloppy readin on my part) about Mary Poppins. Wasn't that AWESOME? I loved her more in the original than I did in the sugar-coated Disney version. (And a huge snork of laughter at the "Spoon full of sugar, my butt!" remark)

I've actually found this about virtually all the Disney movie-from-book stories. The original of 101 Dalmatians is fab-u-lous, and far more compelling, dark, rich and delicious than the Disney. Same with Treasure Island and so many others. Oh and Sound of Music? Not such an easy stroll over the mountains, you know? :>

robynl said...

I don't know how old I was but I remember getting this book for my bd from a school friend; it was dark blue but can't recall the name.
I loved Heidi as a younster; the girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the Alps.
I remember having a Little Golden Book that was about birds preparing a party; they flew around hanging streamers, etc. I could sob some days because I can't remember the name and I had looked at children's books for years thinking I might happen upon it.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Robyn! I loved some of those Golden Books too and many images from them have stuck with me so vividly. There was another book too, about a girl who had a ballet birthday party and I still see the illustrations in my mind. :>

Heidi was wonderful wasn't it? You could almost smell the toasted bread with cheese and feel the goat's fur. And the development of their relationship, and that of Heidi with the girl in the wheelchair, was really cool.

peggy said...

the first book i remember reading
was charlottes web.i fell in love
with that story.i remember.
reading it to my youngtr sisters.
when it comes on tv i still
watch the movie.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Charlotte's Web is wonderful, isn't it, Peggy? Again, such marvelous imagery.

I remember picking up Animal Farm, thinking ooh, maybe it's like Charlotte's Web. Wrong. :>

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

Cassondra, were they Little Golden Books? They used to be available in our supermarket when I was growing up too.

YES! At least some of them were. There were two other brands and i had more of them but the same principle-- I loved that little spinning book rack.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Jeanne wrote: If your 4 y/o is reading Wilder already. Go her! Watch out world, here she comes. :>

~~Ha. Tell me about it. More like Watch out, Mom, I'm totally leaving you in the dust long about 4th grade.

On the plus side, I figure I won't have to (or be able to) help her with her math homework beyond then either. :-) Motherhood has been chockful of interesting challenges...

Cassondra said...

gillian said: I used to check out a book called 'So You Want to Own a Horse' (sigh).

I READ THAT TOO! One of the rather tall stack available at my library. Girls and horses, it seems, are a common combination and I guess librarians know that.

Cassondra said...

Christine said:

Wish my obsessions had more practical application, like yours did, C!

Oh I dunno Christine. Your period history binges are quite likely what turned you into the writer you are today!

I can't say as I've ever actually earned a dime from all that stuff I read--okay maybe the gardening. And you know what? I didn't have to work NEARLY as hard in grad school because I'd pored over those gardening books and garden catalogs. I knew Latin names of plants before I even realized I had to learn them. Still, it never fed me or anybody else.

The other subjects? All they've ever fed was my insatiable curiosity.

Cassondra said...

Okay, I started thinking about what we buy our nieces and nephews--the niece especially--now--we try to get her all the classics.

Does anybody remember The Velveteen Rabbit? Theodore? Oh and George--that monkey--am I remembering that one right?

Cassondra said...

I can't believe how many of these I've forgotten until you guys mention them. Kirsten, I DEVOURED The Black Stallion books.

Colleen Gleason said...

Christine Wells!!

At last someone else who's read those "adventure" books! I love them--they're by Willard Price, and I've been collecting them off eBay for a few years now.

I loved those books, and have even read a few aloud to my children.

I also loved the Three Investigators Mystery series--anyone else remember those?! on my Gardella Vampire Chronicles making it on Becca's list. W00T! Thanks Becca!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Deb! King of the Wind!!! I used to save up all my pocket money and buy Marguerite Henry in hardback. The illustrations were just beautiful. I cried and cried in King of the Wind. That was SOOOO sad. Actually that one came in quite useful recently because I was able to say that all thoroughbreds came from three horses - the Darley Arabian, the Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian - to someone who was trying to be AWFULLY superior. I didn't have to tell him I only knew because of a kids' book!

sarah said...

I love the poison study series! I was so said to see it end.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I don't think I read Mara. I'm not quite sure why I had the Egyptian fetish. Actually - oh, man, I'd forgotten this! My parents subscribed to an English knowledge magazine for kids called Tell Me Why and Tutankhamun's mask was on the cover of the first one we received and I thought that was the most amazing thing I ever received. I told you I was strange - I could have got something normal, but I WANTED Tell Me Why. No wonder I was such a nerd! And Christine, I'm not at all surprised you had those history obsessions - that's how you grew up to write such great historicals!

Susan, I was SOOOO disappointed when I went to boarding school and it was NOTHING like the Enid Blytons!!!

Anna Campbell said...

My mum left school after doing Junior - 15. And because she had rheumatic fever, she wasn't there for much before that, she was sick so much. She was, however, a BIG reader. So not sure, Nancy. Dad did teacher training (although he didn't teach for very long - he had the same problems with people telling him what to do as I've always had, sadly!).

Anna Campbell said...

Ack, that was meant to be a comment to Jo's earlier post, not Nancy's!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, did anyone else read Loretta Hill's ballet books? There was A Dream of Sadlers Wells and Veronica at the Wells and Masquerade at the Wells and... I just adored those books!

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

I didn't have to tell him I only knew because of a kids' book!

Ha! Go Fo!

I don't have to tell people I know what a platypus is because of Captain Kangaroo either, but it's the truth. I'm just sayin. You learn stuff faster and easier when you're a kid. That saying "Most of what I know I learned in Kindergarten?" Well that's the truth. I never went to Kindergarten but by that age, I knew an awful lot of what I know now. Hmmmm. That's kind of a shame.

Cassondra said...

Fo said:

Hey, did anyone else read Loretta Hill's ballet books?

I missed all the ballet books. I wanted to be a ballerina because of the wonderful music and the fluffy costumes. :0/

Trish Milburn said...

Jeanne, first, thanks so much for mentioning my upcoming YA release. You're the best!

Like so many others, I've been reading as long as I can remember. Familiar titles like the Little House books, Heidi, Nancy Drew, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Julie of the Wolves, plus lots of others I've forgotten. Prior to those, I read the Little Golden Books. I can remember going to our local IGA grocery store (about the only place you could even buy a book in my little hometown) and longing for the books. There wasn't extra money lying around when I was young, so any time I was able to get a book, it was huge for me. For a time, I was able to join the Weekly Reader Book Club, and it was so exciting when I'd come home from school to find I'd gotten new books in the mail.

Trish Milburn said...

Cassondra, I actually have a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit. It makes me want to cry.

One of those Little Golden Books I can remember reading was called The Runaway Pancake. Does anyone remember that one? My sister got a copy off eBay a few years ago.

Keira Soleore said...

Just read the sidebar news. HUGE congratulations and cyber hugs to Jeanne, Beth, and Donna on their super showing in the RT mag.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: It never fed me or anyone else.

But feeding that insatiable curiousity is part of what keeps us crazy people sane. Grins.

Susan, not having to do math homework? Priceless. Urg. I despise the math homework and my oldest is only in 2nd grade.

Keira Soleore said...

Foanna wrote, "And because she had rheumatic fever, she wasn't there for much before that, she was sick so much."

I'm doubly, triply glad that despite it all she had you. What would I have done otherwise?! I'm grateful to her.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Welcome Colleen! According to Becca, you are da' bomb! :> On that recommendation you're now on my buy list! :>

Anna, so funny about getting the one-up about the horses!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Sarah, welcome! I'm really intrigued by the Poison series. That's now on my read list too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

You're most welcome, Trish! :> Oh, I loved Island of the Blue Dolphin. I remember about the abalone shells. Wonderful! And Julie of the Wolves. Marvelous. Jean Craighead George was a fabulous author. She won a lot of awards.

limecello said...

Hm... I don't remember the first real book I read! Maybe a slew of Baby Sitters Club books? Boxcar Children? Sweet Valley Twins? I learned how to read somehow between kindergarten and first grade. I know I read all the Little House books - Anne of Green Gables I don't think I discovered [and the series] until sixth grade. But I do remember reading Michael Crichton in 5th grade and John Grishom in 7th. (I just dated myself?) :P
I read a lot of the Newberry books in 5th grade. Oh, I love reading.
Our library had a summer reading program, and the librarians never let me set the goals I wanted. 100 books, 150 books - they'd take me down to 20 and refuse to write a higher number. :P.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Man, Limecello, that is JUST not fair! After years of summer reading programs where I did just that, the Children's Librarian just smiled and wrote the number. Ha! Then again, she worked for my Dad, so she didn't have a lot of choice, I guess. Ha! And she knew I'd do it.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks, Keira! :> It's a thrill about the Top Pick from RT. I'm still grinnin'

Anna, wow on the rheumatic fever. With the vaccine, our generation doesn't realize how devastating that disease was. The lifelong effects of having it killed my grandmother at an early age. From what I understand it was a terrible thing.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually I'm thinking about my mum a lot today. She really was amazing. Thanks, Keira. That was lovely.

I think current generations don't realize how devastating these diseases were - Mum actually fought the hospital regulations and trained as a nurse. The rheumatic fever was supposed to mean she'd never cope with a job, and especially something as strenuous as nursing. But she was determined and she did it - got a lot of admiration for my mum! Anyway, I can remember her telling me about a diphtheria epidemic in the hospital and the people in iron lungs from polio and a whole stack of other horrible stuff. REALLY scary!

Anna Campbell said...

The RT stuff is amazing, isn't it? Congratulations, Donna, Beth and Jeanne!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Your Mum must have been a heck of a woman, Anna! Good for her for standing up for and going for what she wanted.

You also wrote: I think current generations don't realize how devastating these diseases were.

That is SO true. An elderly friend of mine, now passed on, told me stories about how she lost her entire family to the 1917 Influenza Epidemic. Awful!

Trish Milburn said...

Colleen IS da bomb. I lurve her books, and that's not just because she's my friend. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Any friend of yours had GOT to be da' Bomb, Trish. You have good taste. *Wink.*

See Colleen, even more recommendations. You're having a banner recommendation day! :>

Suzanne Welsh said...

Congrats Jane on the GR, two days in a row!!

Jeanne, a stroll down memory lane.

Books from our youth, huh? Well the first book I remember reading and owning, besides all the Dr. Seuss books, was The Story of Ping. Then all of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle stories. (I bought a copy for my kids when they were big enough to read.) Then I got into biographies. Clara Barton, Teacher-the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Wyatt Earp (can we wonder why I adore TOMBSTONE?), Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale.

Next I discovered mythology. OMG. Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic. (and why would I adore Sherrilyn nowadays?)

Then came romances, Barabara Cartland and Grace Livingston Hill. Phyllis Whitney, Georgette Hyer. mmmmm

THEN in high school I found a book called, The Black Horse Inn by Janet Louise Roberts. I devoured this book. Over and over! I loved the spunky heronie, who was in love with a member of the American rebels. I loved this book soooooooo much that a year ago I finally tracked down a copy, which are now out of print. Read it from begining to end, and I still loved this book!!

After that I found Woodiwiss's The Flame And The Flower and the rest is history!!

As for censured books. My mother did try to prevent me from reading Love Story until I was 16. But the next week, she found me reading The Godfather, and I was well past the infamous page 49, so she gave me Love Story and never tried to censure me again. :)

Nancy said...

Susan, good for your daughter reading those books herself! I wish more of my students liked to read. A Rose in Bloom is a wonderful, romantic book. I didn't read it until I was an adult, but I wanted 8 cousins with whom to hang on slow days. BTW, I already can't help the boy with math homework. I made As in geometry, but I had no clue about what he was doing last night. *sigh*

Jeanne, Bradbury encounters flack for not including more strong women and ethnic minority characters. Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1951, so I can sort of see why he didn' t think to do that. Strong women in SF were almost nonexistent, as were most nonwhite racial groups. We have so much more variety today, thank goodness! I've read the 101 Dalmations book and agree that it's wonderful.

Island of the Blue Dophins! Yes! Another Newbery winner. I loved that book, too, but I wanted the wolves to go on the boat, too (I was ten--I liked them; the perils of mixing civilization and wolves didn't occur to me).

See, Anna, I'd have wanted that Tell Me Why thing, too. I "get" it completely! I was interested in Egypt during my highly transient archaeology phase (3rd grade). If I hadn't already been drifting elsewhere, mummies would've put the kibosh on it. Good for your mom for hanging in there! That must be where you get your tenacity.

Donna, I didn't realize you were a comic book person, too. Cool!

Limecello, I loved The Boxcar Children. I wanted to go off and live in a boxcar with other kids, but I doubt I'd have liked it much.

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG Jo! I forgot about the Bobbsy Twins!! I don't remember their names, but gosh I loved those books.

Anna Campbell said...

Speaking of 101 Dalmatians, has anyone read her other classic I CAPTURE THE CASTLE? It's a great story - bittersweet and romantic. They made a movie of it a few years ago which wasn't bad (Bill Nighy was the eccentric writer father and he was fantastic) but it wasn't nearly as good as the book.

Suz, we had the story of Ping. That's a real cutie!

And speaking of Mary Poppins, did you guys know P.J. Travers was an Aussie? Whooda thunk it?

Suzanne Welsh said...

I forgot about the Anne of Green Gables series. I so loved it. And as for sci-fi, I adored Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. mmmmmmmm

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz! I think I read Black Horse Inn. Is it by the same woman who wrote Yankee Stranger? Thane, I think? Wow, impressive list there, babe. :>

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Jeanne, my mom was an avid reader from a young age. We went to the library every week, and I was allowed to bring home as many books as I wanted, but I HAD to read them all by the next week. Then in middle school I was a librarian helper two days a week. Let's just say by the time I went to high school, there wasn't much I hadn't read!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

You know Anna, until I was doing the click throughs for the post, it never occured to me that Dodie Smith (101 Dals) had written other stuff. Shame on me. I'm going to go get a bunch of her backlist and read it. Wonder if she's still alive. (Time for a little Googling, I think!)

Nancy, I think a lot of the writers of that peiod got flack for that, or do in modern day. People don't seem to get that it was a different world in 1955 or so. Same w/ Heinlein and some of the early Arthur Clarke stuff. In fact its funny to read it now in some ways where the assumption is so all-white-male. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beg pardon, Suz, you said right there in black and white who the author was. Duh. Grins. Just Amazon'd Yankee Stranger and that's Elswyth Thane. I think Nancy and I had a convo about her and some of her stories. Or was it you, Caren?

Anna Campbell said...

I think Dodie Smith has passed away, Jeanne. I remember reading an article about her in a magazine somewhere. She was a really interesting woman although she lived too much to do a lot of writing, which is a pity as I'd love more of her stuff to read. She actually was a dalmatian fiend, from memory - this is a long time since I read it. And there was a huge fashion for the dogs after she wrote the book.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna, I just Googled her and she has passed, in 1990. She did lead a full life, didn't she? I'm a huge Dalmatian fan as well, and a member of the Dal Club of America. I've showed, bred, and still own Dals. :> The breed club really hates when the cartoon movie gets re-released and was in a huge furor over the live action films.

Beth said...

Jeanne, what an awesome blog! Please tell Becca I totally agree with her on The Year of Secret Assignments! One of my fave YA's *g*

Let's a kid I was always reading. I can't remember having any absolute favorites but The Outsiders, Call of the Wild, Little Women (I was named after Beth in the book) and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books stick in my memory :-)

I also asked for (and received) Gone With The Wind and The Godfather one year for Christmas when I was 15. I did a book report on GWTW. A very LONG book report

I have a stack of my husband's Golden Books right here in my office *g* They include Ruff and Reddy, Seven Little Postmen and Corky. All classics :-) And I've saved tons of my kids' favorite books like No, David, The Olivia books and a ton of Berenstain Bears.

My son just finished his second Neil Peart book (he's the drummer for the rock band Rush), my older daughter has been reading Scott Westerfield books - Pretties, Uglies and Specials and my youngest loves mysteries *g* Oh, she's also writing a book of her own and yes, it has a romance thread in it *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Beth! Gosh what a great list for you too. And we have another Godfather fan. (So funny that Suz remembered the exact page of The Scene) How special that you were named for *that* Beth. :> I'm making notes about all these great books Becca mentioned. Thanks to your note, Year of Special Assignments has moved up on the list of reads...

jo robertson said...

Wow, you guys are going gangbusters here!!

Jeanne, I started to love book when I entered high school which was grade 8-12 in those days (no middle school). I think it was the classics that hooked me.

I didn't get into reading romance novels until I was quite a bit older. So it's nice to be my age and enjoy some of the madames of romance for the first time!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

That's really cool, Jo. And I didn't read romance either until I was in college. :> Some of the ones people talked about in Anna's blog the other day went on my library list.

Helen said...

There have been so many fantastic books mentioned I have always encouraged my children to read as my Mum did with me I have even started a collection little golden books for my grandchildren and we have collected a lot of the old ones we have Pokey puppy and saggy baggy elephant
Congrats Donna Jeanne and Beth on the reviews I am really looking forward to these books.

Have Fun

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks, Helen! BTW, sounds like those Golden Books will be well loved, if today's comments are any indication. Hurrah for you that you're getting them for your Grandchildren. :>

robynl said...

someone mentioned The Boxcar Kids; do you know that I just found out what these books were whilst working at a Flea Market in our small town. Someone had brought in a number of them to sell.

Colleen Gleason said...

Thanks Trish! I love you right back. So much so, I'm sending you a present this week. ;-)

Wow, it sure is hopping over here!

I loved Dodie Smith's 101 Dalmatians! I think I read that twenty times over the course of a couple of years. Much better than the movie.

I love revisiting my old reads. Very fun.

Trish Milburn said...

Oh, a prezzie! Cool. Can't wait to see what it is, Colleen.