Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The books that made me

It made me happy when Meg Ryan talked
about the Shoes books in "You've Got Mail"
There's a thing going around on social media right now, with writers (and readers) posting about "the books that made them," or the books that basically raised us.

I was a voracious reader as a kid, lugging home as many books from our weekly library trips as I could carry, and buying - when I could find them - copies of my favorites for my own library. I amassed a ridiculous number of books for a kid, and when this conversation cropped up, I dug around and realized just how many I still had.

The books here are grouped either by series (Little House, Betsy-Tacy, Borrowers, Elizabeth Enright) or by vague themes identifiable only by me. 

Most were notable in one way or another in my development as a reader, writer, or human.

What were the books that made you? How many of these have you read?

As a kid, I loved dollhouses, so the
idea of miniature people? Yes, please.

I read these more than a few times. I would
have replaced them, but they discontinued
the original yellow covers.

Loved these - the first 4 were family
stories, the Gone Away books were too,
but they were also about old houses and 
odd people. Great illustrations.

The random collection. I read Flambards from the 
library, but bought the TV tie-in in the 80s.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is
just as good now as it was as a kid.

I grew up with the Betsy books. There were
a half dozen for little kids, then the
high school and after books. Betsy and
the Great World
made me want to travel.


Anonymous said...

Wow, we are reading twins or at least cousins! I loved the "Shoes" books - found an old hardback copy at a used bookstore in San Francisco and read it twice on the long flight home! And lost it, maybe in the cab home?

And the Gone Away books! And the Little House books. I remember a class in children's literature in college where the instructor disparaged the Little House books - I handed in an essay burning up all her so called points and arguing that they were in fact perfect. Maybe a bit of an overstatement but I felt strongly.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!


Anonymous said...

"The Witch of Blackbird Pond" takes place in the town next to mine, so that was a favorite. It's the same town as Thomas Tryon's "The Other", a favorite from teenage days. "Mr. Popper's Penguins" author lived up the street so we all grew up with that in town, complete with author readings on 'Library Day'. Does anybody remember the biography series that all kids' libraries had in the sixties? They had everybody (probably to facilitate grade school reports). I fell in love with Julia Ward Howe, Clara Barton, Betsy Ross, Amelia Earhart and so many others. Not all women, Gil Thorpe stands out, as well. I still love biographies, biographical fiction, history and historical fiction. I don't like books that take today's values and tweak the historical stories to 'fit' as opposed to illuminating the differences. Anyway, that's my little rant, LOL. I didn't catch "Charlotte's Web", maybe I missed it in your pictures. I think I've read that a hundred times. That was a standard bed-time story for my kids, also. I could probably recite the chapter 'A Warm Wind' by heart and cry most of the way through! (Ceci, ditto on memory lane and "Little House" rules!)