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What were your favorite books as a child/teen?


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#46 carbro

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 07:36 AM

Anne Frank's Diary, whose eloquence needs no further comment.

#47 vagansmom

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:24 AM

Yes, definitely Anne Frank's diary! It was one of the several influences that landed me in a Montessori school environment. She had attended Montessori school herself.

Did anyone read the book written by Miep Ghies who, along with her husband, hid the Frank family in the building of Mr. Frank's business? It's called "Anne Frank Remembered" and is an intriguing account of those years from her perspective. When the book was published here in the USA, Ms. Ghies embarked on the lecture circuit. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak - she was a lovely, self-effacing and strong woman.

#48 svemaus

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 09:04 AM

I read both, "Anne Frank's diary" as well as "Anne Frank remembered" when I was about 13. It was very interesting to read what happened from two girls' point of views. I recently gave both books to my friend's younger sister who is currently reading them.

#49 diane

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 10:44 AM

Very interesting to read what books others here have enjoyed!
Thank you for bringing this up!
It has really jogged my memory, which is a very good thing!

I do not remember very many titles or authors, though I must have read rather a lot.
I also, as do others, remember often reading under the bedcovers with a flashlight for hours and hours after my mother had said I should go to sleep. ;)

Some of the books I remember enjoying:
A biography of Marie Curie, another of Anna Pavlova (of course), A Wrinkle in Time, the Narnia-series, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, all of Pooh (to this day, but for different reasons), Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Wizard of Oz, the many Nancy Drew mysteries, any and all Greek myths, The Little Man (Kästner?), and later all of Hermann Hesse I could get my hands on, The Last Temptation of Christ (Kazentzakis), the Lord of the Rings....

I am told that as a very young child I loved a now-not-to-be-found book called "Nurse Nancy".
There were also two perfectly gorgeous, tiny, evocative books: one about a storm on a summer night; the other about a very, very hot summer day and what the children did then.
Those books always gave me a comfy, cozy, at-home feeling. :)

-diane-

#50 Ed Waffle

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:14 PM

Originally posted by Alexandra
Yes!  Exactly!  And then there was one where one of the political parties began to collect data on its delegates and knew the biography, financial situation, and pressure points of each individual, and squeezed/pushed every one of them. And that, I thought, might possibly happen.


How could I have forgotten those? I consumed political thrillers in my early teens. I think the one Alexandra refers to is "Convention". The book that really made his name was "Seven Days in May", about how an odd group of people stop a military coup. Among the people in loyalist cadre were a colonel in the Marine Corps, the only character who developed as the story progressed. Since the leader of the coup was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the colonel had to overcome his training, which emphasized loyalty to his superior officers.

There was also, as I recall, a crusty senator from somewhere in the Midwest, a hard drinking friend of the President, the cynical and world weary Secretary of the Treasury and a mysterious lady of negotiable virtue.

There was also "Night at Camp David", in which, I think, a group much like the ones who saved the Presidency in "Seven Days in May" decided that the President had gone mad and needed to replace him before he blew up the world or something.

There was also Eugene Burdick, whose big novel was "Fail Safe", told from the point of view of an unassuming translator who is present during negotiations between the President (a not really disguised JFK) and the Russian premier when a U. S. bomber fails to turn around at the appropriate point and is on course to nuke a Russian city.

For some reason both Burdick and Knebel had coauthors for many of thier books--maybe to for the technical details.


Both "Fail Safe" and Seven Days in May" were done as movies:

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0058083

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0058576

#51 obbligato

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:51 PM

Wow. Reading these book titles is bringing back a flood of memories. Doris R -- like you, I loved, loved, loved Little Women. I think I read it a dozen times. It got me through my adolescence, almost unscathed. The other books I read -- Pippi Longstocking, The Bobsey Twins, The Little Peppers and How They Grew (these were all inherited from either my mother or older sisters) -- I barely remember the plots. It was Little Women that I always returned to.

Some of the other titles, I enjoyed more as an adult, reading them with my own daughters. Anne of Green Gables helped me through a post-partum depression. Black Beauty taught me that we all have a soul. Little House on the Prairie reminded me that life is sweet.

glebb, I just finished a biography of Joan of Arc a few months ago. It was written by Mary Gordon, if you're familiar with her. She's written novels and travel essays. I've enjoyed her other books, so I decided to read her version of the Joan of Arc history as well. It was an interesting read.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this forum develops. The on-line book club idea sounds great.

#52 glebb

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:00 PM

Thanks for the Jeanne D' Arc info Obbligato. I've never read "Little Women" but I love the most recent movie. I look at the women and think this is what Taglioni and her contemporaries must have looked like.

Diane, though I didn't read Hesse until I was in my twenties, I have to say that he is one of my favorites. I often return to "Narcissus and Goldmund" and "Siddhartha" -- two of my favorite stories ever!

#53 GWTW

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 05:20 AM

Another very moving and eloquent account of the Holocaust years - suitable for teens - is "The Endless Steppe" by Esther Hautzig, about a young Jewish girl called Esther who is deported from Vilna to Siberia by the Red Army. Although the surname of the heroine in the book is not Hautzig, I have always assumed it to be autobiographical.

#54 Alexandra

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:06 AM

I also read a lot about the Holocaust when I was growing up. I started (as noted above) with "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," and then became interested in it and read everything from "The Diary of Anne Frank" to "Exodus" to a wonderful book by Andre Schwartz-Bart called "The Last of the Just" which was probably the first truly adult book that I read. Adult in that it was uncompromising and terrible (the hero is a French Jew who chooses to go to a concentration camp because he is one of the Twelve Just Men who must bear the world's sorrows, a tough assignment in any era, but particularly difficult in his).

I also read a lot about, of all things, the Alamo. That was also sparked by a movie -- "The Alamo." :( I had a crush on the guy who played Colonel Travis and it never occurred to me to get a movie magazine and read about him (I was 11 or 12). I wanted to read about Travis. In doing so, I taught myself how to research without realizing it. I wanted information and I was determined to find it. There were only two books in the Alamo in our local library, but it occurred to me that there might be information in books about Texas history, and then in biographies of other people involved in the battle -- a skill that came in handy later :(

In writing this, I realized how important those dinner table conversations were -- vagansmom, we had the same family :) They didn't care whether I was reading "Anne Frank" or "Exodus" or "The Last of the Just" but I was told, in no uncertain terms, that "Exodus" was a popular novel, with different intent and of a different worth in the history of civilization than "The Last of the Just." Likewise, with my Alamo studies, I noticed that some books were very pro-Sam Houston, others not, some more superficial (I learned there was such a thing as "serious history" and "popular history.") My aunt had ready pretty much everything (she'd routinely complain how the New Yorker of the 1950s was not the New Yorker of the 1920s, when she started reading it -- the Dorothy Parker and James Thurber days -- but she still read it, and saved special issues, like John Hersey's "The Wall," handed over to me during my Holocaust days. And if I was reading something she hadn't read, she'd read it too and discuss it with me.

#55 syr

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 05:12 PM

well I was a Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry fanatic - believe I read them all. Also Dr. Doolittle was a great favorite, long before the movie was made. And the Pippi books. A favorite picture book was The Swans of Ballycastle. A favorite young adult book which I later found out my older sister liked so much she tracked down (out of print) as an adult was "Sawdust in His Shoes" - which I still think would make a great kids movie (a teenage trick rider in a circus is orphaned when his father, the lion tamer, is killed. He runs away from the horrible institution where he is placed landing up with a hardscrabble farm family wheer "Ma", especially, doesn't know what to make of him). I also loved Le Petit Prince, which let to "Wind, Sand, and Stars - in English! (I believe it was called) also by St. Exupery, but about his experiences flying the mail over Africa etc. - which led to me going for a gliding (soaring? - plane with no engine) ride in Vermont one time - which was fantabulous (when I was younger and more brave-hearted). I spent my first pregnancy toughing out morning sickness reading the big fat books of Leon Uris.

#56 GWTW

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:44 PM

Aren't we all a nostalgic bunch? :)
More books I loved - "Friday's Tunnel" and "February's Road" by John Verney about the very enterprising members of the very eccentric Callendar family. Child detective novels with a twist!!
I read Josephine Tey too. Her book "The Daughter of Time" sparked a Richard III obsession with my older sister - an obsession which lasts to this day, and I was "forced" to read numerous books - soft history and hard history - on the subject.

#57 Nanatchka

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 04:24 PM

Oh, The Mouse That Roared--that's Leonard Wibberly. I went through a Wibberly phase and read all of them. Also all of the Nero Wolfe. Etc. But my first favorite book was called "Mr. T. W. Anthony Woo,the Story of a Cat, a Dog, and a Mouse," by Marie Hall Etc. Of course I did not read it--it was read to me (and it's right here now on the shelf behind me), as was A. A. Milne. I loved many many of the books above (though I noted Edward Eager's Half Magic et al are missing, as are THe Borrowers), but my all time favorite book--in any category whatsoever--is a childern's book, of sorts. It's called Mistress Masham's Repose, and T.H. White is the author.

#58 grace

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 05:13 PM

diane - 'nurse nancy' was a little golden book. i had that one, too. i believe it came with a bandaid or two in the book, so you could acquire practical experience! you could probably find it second-hand at a garage sale/swap meet/car boot sale/whatever-YOU-call-it-where-you-live - but i'm NOT suggesting that you'd necessarily WANT to. ;) however, it IS quite interesting, IMO, to SEE again the images or ideas that caught your fancy then - and to ponder WHY.

not meaning to turn this thread into baby-level books ~ but didn't anyone else have 'noddy'?

#59 carbro

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 06:57 PM

Little Red Lighthouse: All these many years later when riding along the Henry Hudson Parkway, I always crane my neck to see it.

Another book suggesting empowerment -- The Little Engine That Could.

#60 Alexandra

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 08:05 PM

The Poky Little Puppy. Don't remember a thing about him except he was slow, and got to eat chocolate custard, but I loved the name.


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