Tuesday, April 30, 2013

childhood favorites: books

If you ask me, I will tell you that I love to read.

If you ask a little more, you will learn that I haven't sat down and read a book in far too long. During the summer, when there is nothing on TV, Andrew and I will pick a book and read it aloud. To each other. It is pretty nerdy but it's better than TV and then we can talk about what we are reading without wondering if the other has read that part yet (we read the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Gone Girl that way). 

As an only child, I loved to read. I talked to my mom earlier this week and she was cleaning out closets in her house and was getting rid of some of my beloved books. I had to wrack my brain to try to remember the books I loved the most so that I can share them with my nieces.

I remember getting this book at the book fair - it had to be Kindergarten or 1st grade. I "read" it, most likely by memorizing every page of silly animals and why they shouldn't wear clothes. My mom can't find mine, so I may have thrown it away long ago, but I really want to get a copy to share with Vera, my five-year-old niece.

This book should have been my generation's Hunger Games, am I right? I read this in fourth grade, read it again, and then made my aunt read it (she loved it). I heard that it has since been made into a trilogy so I want to find my original 1994 copy and then download the new ones. What happened after that snowy ending?

Y'all, I don't really remember this book, but I remember that we read it aloud in class after recess. I'm pretty sure this was fourth grade, too. It was so good that I hated we read it so slowly so I made my dad buy it for me so I could read ahead. I know it made me cry so I was glad I did, and I still got tears in my eyes hearing it read aloud in class a few days later. I think it's the first book that I ever connected with like that.

My older cousin had this book and my aunt said I couldn't read it. My third grade teacher had it in her reading nook so of course I hoarded it in my desk the second I saw it... I had to know why it was forbidden. It scared the bejeezus out of me and I never wanted to grow up. My teacher had the original, 1970's version that described some kind of belt device I had never seen before that ladies had to wear when it was "their time" and I was so confused - I wanted to ask my mom about these things but couldn't since I was breaking the rules. It took until 4th grade, when we were forced to watch those films about our bodies, for me to figure out the book was a little antiquated.

Sophomore year of high school and my favorite English teacher, ever. This is the first book I read in all of the pre-AP and AP nonsense that I took where I didn't think that the symbolism, foreshadowing, and literary devices weren't all in my teacher's head. The knitting! The juxtaposition of pretty much everything! The number of words it takes Dickens to make a point... It really was the best and worst of times. Getting through this book felt like such an accomplishment. Maybe I'll read it again. One day.

Have you read any of these? Do you have anything at your parents' house that you refuse to let them throw away? Were you as confused by Margaret as I was?


  1. Awww, I love that animals shouldn't wear clothing book - I have that in my classroom. That Judy Blume book was such a big one for me, as was The Giver (I was just recommending it to a parent for her child the other day). Ahhh... there is nothing better than a good book!

  2. The Giver is one of my favorite adolecent books. I'm excited to hear it's a trilogy.

  3. OMG the Are You There God? book!!!! I remember that one lol


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