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What were your favorite books as a child/teen?


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:01 AM

Just out of curiosity, what were books you loved reading when you were growing up? I'd be interested in knowing, especially, childhood favorites and the first "grown up" books you read. I'll go third. :)

#2 Calliope

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:22 AM

I remember always wanting to hear Dr. Seuss, it may have been the funny voices my Dad did reading them. And "Goodnight Moon", The Growing Tree, those were my most requested. I thought Judy Blume was adult reading, but I guess my first "real" book was "Rebecca" it was an elective "required reading" (we were given a list to choose from) that was in 7th grade and I was hooked on books from then.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:40 AM

I was always reading, and two books that I read while still in grammar school were Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire and Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson. I still quote them, and dip back into them from time to time. My teachers had to break me of the habit of constructing compound/complex sentences in the 18th-century manner when I got to junior high. It was the diagramming that broke me of it!

#4 GWTW

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:15 AM

My favourite 'baby' book is 'Go Dog Go'. It's so funny and witty, but with more heart than Dr. Seuss' books IMO.
Childhood books - I read incessantly so luckily there are so many series of children's books, Narnia, E. Nesbit, Louisa May Alcott, Chalet School, Sadlers' Wells stories (Veronica West), Noel Streatfield. Does anyone else know 'The Winter of Enchantment' by Victoria someone? A lovely fantasy. But also Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice. Good, bad, indifferent - my elder sister and I would read anything...
The first book I read which I felt was trult adult was Gone With The Wind during the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I've reread it many times since then, and I'm still forgiving of many of its faults.

P.S. Alexandra, I'm very rude posting third - but I don't think I'll be able to be online tomorrow

#5 vrsfanatic

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:24 AM

Great question!

I loved reading repeatedly Le Petit Prince (the Little Prince), Days of Ulanova, although I must say I probably looked at the pictures more than read, and anything Ayn Rand or Anais Nin when I was in my a budding adolescent of the late 60s early 70s. I still can re-read any of it anytime quite happily!

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:32 AM

Ayn Rand -- now there's a forgotten name! (GWTW, by "I'll post third" I just meant that I didn't want to be first.)

I was also always reading -- anything. Golden Books, Grimm, Andersen (I prefered Grimm), Andrew Lang's books, a lot of my mother's and aunt's children's books, like "The Little Colonel" (all 15 of them) and the whole "Anne of Green Gables" series. And nearly all of the Landmark biographies -- and Winnie the Pooh, the poems. (I was also very fond of the war poems of Robert W. Service and Rupert Brooke :) )

My first "grown up" books were "Oliver Twist" and "Jane Eyre" when I was nine, and then I pretty much refused to go back to the children's section. My reading was heavily censored -- I had "Gone with the Wind" read to me the summer I was 12. I wasn't allowed to read it until I was 14. So I read a lot of nonfiction, especially biography. The most traumatic thing I read, at 11, was "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" -- I'd seen "Judgment at Nuremberg" and come out of it convinced by Maximilian Shell (who played the Nazi apologist) that the Germans were all nice guys just following orders. My aunt, who totally shaped my reading, marched me up to the attic and gave me her pre-War copy of "Mein Kampf" and then made me read "Rise and Fall" which had just come out, and then "The Tin Drum." An example of how family can counteract pop culture (vis a vis another thread).

I forgot -- Calliope, I also LOVED "Rebecca" I first read it when I was ten and thought that growing up, going to Monte Carlo and marrying Maxim De Winter was a viable career path. :) I've read it several times since then, and knew I'd finally grown up (at about 35) when I could read the scene where she stuffs the broken china in the back of the drawer without blushing -- I'd have done exactly the same thing. I think I read all of DuMaurier after that, and she wrote about 24 books.

#7 GWTW

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:51 AM

How could I forget the Anne books?!!

Are the Andrew Lang books the Golden Book, Blue Book, etc.? If so, they were always referenced in the E. Nesbit books, and I never found them in book shops.

#8 Farrell Fan

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:54 AM

My favorite reading as a child was an illustrated volume called "Who's Who in Baseball." There was a new edition every season and my older brother bought it for me for maybe six years in row. I wish I still had them.

The first book I had to read for school that I remember enjoying was "David Copperfield." That didn't lead to any great passion for Dickens, though. I loved James Thurber's "Fables for Our Time" and "Thurber Carnival." I attempted "Anna Karenina,"at an early age and though almost all of it was over my head, I liked the few parts that weren't.

#9 Mary J

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 12:09 PM

My first adult read was Jane Eyre in seventh grade, and I loved it. Then Rebecca in eighth grade - the first book that I read where I could not go to sleep until I finished it. (My teenage daughter had the same reaction at the same age!) I never enjoyed any of the other DuMaurier books as much.

As a younger child I was a Walter Farley fan, and read all the Black Stallion and Island Stallion books over and over (pretty bizarre actually since I am kind of afraid of horses...)

#10 Dale

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 12:10 PM

Calliope, we seem to be on some bizarre wave-length today :)

Dr. Seuss and "Good Night Moon" were favorites when I was very small, along with the Francis the Bear books, Grimm, Winnie the Pooh (all Milne, really) and Babar. I read my older sister's Judy Bloom books when I was in 1st or 2nd grade and then went on to Gone with the Wind, which I loved and read in one day (even in the women's clothes section at Alexanders in Roosevelt Field where my mother was trying on clothes), and Rebecca. Once I stepped up from children's books when I was about 7, I never went back. But the Pushcart War by Jean Merrill was one of my favorite young reader-type books. Another book I loved when I was in elementary school was a young person's guide the Watergate and another on political shenanigans. And of course, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

#11 BW

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 02:11 PM

The Secret Garden, My Friend Flicka, Lad a Dog and the others by Albert Payson Terhune, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind and The Complete Works of Sherlock Homes to name a few. And I recall an Agatha Christie summer in 8th grade, I think.

Favorite book that I remember having read to me: Scuppers the Sailor Dog :D

#12 carbro

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 02:26 PM

As a little child, the Pooh books, but above all, "The Red Balloon." Never took much to Dr. Seuss -- "Cat in the Hat" was too frenetic for my minimalist disposition, but I liked the humanitarianism of "Horton Hears a Who."

Next: Pippi Longstocking and the Beezus and Ramona series.

In adolescence, "The Member of the Wedding."

As an adult, I realized that both Balloon and Member were dominated by themes of alienation. Hmmm. :confused: :D

#13 floss

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 03:09 PM

I loved reading, still do. As a child I would read Grimm Brothers, Louisa May Alcott. Any books about horses, I devoured Elyne Mitchell's Silver Brumby series probably my favourites then. Long time passing (don't remember the author's name) Also poetry, Henry Lawson, Banjo Patterson. First adult book was Wuthering Heights read it when I was about 10. From then on many of the Bronte sisters' works other classics as well.

#14 Old Fashioned

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 03:20 PM

My favorite Dr. Seuss tales were "Green Eggs and Ham," "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew," and "The Lorax." Then there was the stage when every girl read the Little Babysitters Club books, and then the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley series. I read all the Little House on the Prairie books and then some of the Rose Wilder Years (when I was finished those, more were still being written, and I must have gotten tired of waiting). There was also the American Girl books.

The first time I felt like I accomplished reading a great piece of literature was when I read The Count of Monte Cristo in 7th or 8th grade. I still think that must be one of the greatest novels ever written. I don't think I could ever tire of it. Some people mentioned Rebecca as a favorite; I'm sorry- I absolutely hated that thing when I was required to read it last year. :D

#15 glebb

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:12 PM

When I was in elementary school I had no patience for reading but really liked the pictures of Joan of Arc praying to the archangels and burning at the stake.

I did read a book called "To Dance, To Dream", which had short stories of great ballerinas. I especially remember the chapter about Taglioni.

In high school I loved "Giants in the Earth" by Ole Rolvag and "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie.

I read "Rebecca" after high school and loved it. "My Cousin Rachel" is another good one by DuMaurier.


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