I’ve been reading all my life. Well, I suppose I wasn’t reading once upon a time (I was, regrettably, an illiterate newborn), but I don’t remember learning to read. I feel like Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird sometimes in the fact that: I just read. HOW DID IT START?
Basically: all blame goes to my mother, homeschooling, and Sonlight.*
When the Top Ten Tuesday prompt was about childhood favourites I pretty much wilted with happiness. I would LOVE to reread all my favourite books.** I grabbed the camera and perused the old bookshelves…and remembered just how many books I read when I was in school. We have a lot of bookshelves. We have a lot of books.
I’m going to cheat for this post again. I KNOW. I’M SORRY. I think, once, I actually did a TTT post properly (did I? maybe? pretend?)??? I’m going to list a heck of a lot of books. #sorrynotsorry You need to see the literature I devoured.
My childhood was awesome.
* I am not, in fact, referring to the sun and I’m not misspelling. It’s a homeschooling curriculum.
** But part of me is terrified that if I do, with my older and cynical mind, I wouldn’t enjoy them as much.
This Week’s Prompt: Top 10 Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit
1. REQUIRED HOMESCHOOLER READING
Ah! I’m joking about the “required” but I feel like if one is/was homeschooled with a churchy background they’ve probably read these books. My mum was very into Little House in the Prairie (hello, Mum! Just gossiping about you again) although I rather disliked it (hello? “perfect kids” Ew), but I did love Grandma’s Attic because the narrator got into all sorts of trouble. And I’d rather BURY this fact, but, um…yeah, I read about 40 Mandy books.
Seriously, let’s never talk about Mandie.
2. THEN CAME NARNIA, OF COURSE
I saved up and bought (for like $70 I think I remember…sheesh, fandom-life was expensive) the dramatised audio set. My sister, Mime, and I listened to them ON REPEAT. I’m not even exaggerating. Hours and hours and hours of Narnia.
Puddleglum is my spirit animal.
Also writing Narnia fanfiction was the beginning of my illustrious fantasy-writing-career.
3. LIFE IS NOTHING WITHOUT LEMONY SNICKET
Whom my parents referred to as “Lemon Persnickity” which did not please me at all.
I loved these books. I own all 13 of A Series of Unfortunate Events and I think, counting some of Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler’s YA books, I’ve read at least 19 all up. A LITTLE BIT OBSESSED? YEAH, UM. OKAY.
4. JUST 2 OR 3 OR 25 BEVERLY CLEARY BOOKS
I didn’t realise we had so many until today! There’s not just Henry Huggins and Ramona Quimby…there’s Dear Mr Henshaw and Otis Spofford and Socks! I loved all of these. Although I believe they were bought for Mime.
I am nothing if not a book thief.
5. LET’S TAKE OFF. LIVE IN THE WOODS. MAYBE MAKE IT 5-MILES?
Yes! My bad! That is a The Hunger Games quote up there even though these are, in fact, Gary Paulsen books. I love survival things. I totally could handle myself in the Canadian woods with knowledge like a) don’t eat too many weird berries, b) don’t annoy bears, c) fish are food not friends.
6. THE IMMORTAL BOXCAR BRATS
A few Boxcar Children books may have graced my childhood. Maybe, you know, FORTY OF THEM. Okay! Let me explain! My little sister was the one who was really obsessed. I just came along for the ride. I had problems with the fact that there are literally 40 summer adventures for these kids and they never grow up. That’s disturbing.
7. ELOIS JARVIS FREAKING FANTASTIC MCGRAW
I admit! I was so addicted to Moccasin Trail I even sneaked into the lounge room after my mum had finished reading aloud a chapter…and I read ahead. (I think I only did that once?) My mum just didn’t read fast enough. Devious, evil, 12-year-old me.
8. Y’ALL LOOK AT MY ‘MERICAN KNOWLEDGE
What can I say?! I know a lot about American history! I loved Carry On Mr. Bowditch, which I’m sure is the forefront of the Keep Calm and Carry On signs (shhh, don’t ruin my story). I loved Caddie Woodlawn a lot for her feisty spirit and temper and need to be out in the sun instead of cooped up inside (and also her brothers ended up quilting with her at the end! SO SWEET). Let’s not forget Strawberry Girl where they killed the donkey and that was so sad. Oh, lookee, Moccasin Trail again! I sneaked it in twice because I love it so. And I named my DOG Atticus. I think it’s fair to say To Kill a Mockingbird had a big affect on me.
9. OH LOOK! BOOKS ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD!
One of the things I love most about my childhood books is that they weren’t all set in America. I’m Australian and adored books like For the Term of His Natural Life and Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce…but what did I love more? THE REST OF THE WORLD.
I loved being in the middle east with Shadow Spinner (best book ever peoples, and the upcoming 2015 release The Wrath and the Dawn is based off this original tale). Then Japan with The Master Puppeteer. It’s by Katherine Paterson and yes, it’s sad too.
Joan Aiken and the Dido books also were a huge favourite. They were basically steampunk! Such a mess of genres all in one book. WOW. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was my first Aiken experience, but…um…don’t watch the movie. EVER.*
* They totally put a kid through a wringer in the movie and it’s gross and bloodless, which is even more disturbing. Seriously just don’t EVER watch it.
10. BOOKS I HAVE SECOND-HAND-LOVE FOR BECAUSE I DIDN’T ACTUALLY READ THEM, I EAVESDROPPED
The best thing about me (yes, I totally did just say that) is that I always had half an eyeball on my own schoolwork, aaaaand a pretty generous amount of attention on Mime’s. I never actually sat down and read Little Pear or Pinky Pye or The Cricket in Times Square. But I know them, oh yes, I know them. I would kidnap them (particularly Follow My Leader) after Mum had finished reading them to Mime.
I didn’t even mention The Bronze Bow or Murder for Her Majesty or Johnny Tremain. Sheesh, 10 was not enough this week. NOT ENOUGH. But it was a nice stroll down memory lane writing this post and made me want to reread them, despite my hesitations.
And I also continually remind my mum she can never ever ever sell them.
See? THIS is why I’m a bookworm. My bookish love comes from years of whining:
“PUH-LEASE MUM. JUST READ US ONE MORE CHAPTER.”
obviously i want to know which books filled your small brains. let’s relive ancient history (har, har) and tell me your childhood loves! do you share any of mine?? do you still own your childhood books? did your parents ever read out loud to you? OH and feel free to leave me a link to your TTT posts!
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently having MEMORIES. Oh, she remembers reading waaaay past her required reading amount and finishing books in a day not a week. Good times. (Not much has changed.) If she was to reread, it’d probably be Shadow Spinner, because she’s wanted to retell that Eastern fable in modern times FOREVER.