robinellen (robinellen) wrote,

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Favorite book memories...

Like many aspiring writers, I started reading at a very young age. I don't know how old I was, but by the time I started Kindergarten (at not-quite-five), I was reading on my own. We lived in a tiny town, and the library was contained in the schools. By the time we moved when I was seven, I'd read all the fiction books in the library (which wasn't saying much, sadly).

Then we came to the Denver area, and I got to visit a 'real' library. We used to take a box with us every week, which I would fill (usually around 40 books). I read every single book, and then we'd return them the next week and I'd get ~40 more. Back then (the dark ages, ha), kids didn't have nearly the choices they do now -- but I always managed to find books I loved.

When I think of reading as a kid, certain names immediately come to mind: C.S. Lewis, Madeliene L'Engle, Frances Lattimore, Elizabeth Friermood, Alberta Constant, Alexander Key, Francis Hodgson Burnett -- to name a few. I mostly learned authors, not titles, because I would read everything written by an author before I moved on. Thrown into the mix, however, were a few books (stand-alones) which really caught my attention, like Linnets and Valerians, The Silver Coach, The Happy Hollisters, By the Highway Home, The Girl with the Silver Eyes.

As I drew nearer the teen years, I started reading L.M. Montgomery (of course), Katherine Paterson, Norma Johnston (probably my favorite), Mabel Esther Allan, Susan Cooper, and still Madeliene L'Engle. I tried everything written by these ladies, though I quickly found a few which I would read and reread (A Ring of Endless Light and the whole Austin series; If You Love Me, Let Me Go and The Keeping Days series; Tomorrow is a Lovely Day and Time to Go Back; Jacob Have I Loved; and the first three in the Anne of Green Gables series). I also loved Trixie Belden books and read numerous Phyllis Whitney mysteries (my favorites being The Mystery of the Green Cat and The Mystery of the Golden Horn).

In my early teens, I still read Johnston and L'Engle, but I added Lois Duncan, Mary Stewart, and Agatha Christie. I didn't discover Tamora Pierce until I was in college, believe it or not, but I inhaled her books at that point. College also led me to Mary Higgins Clark and Orson Scott Card, and I read a few of L'Engle's and Whitney's adult books.

What I love about books (well, one of the many things) is how they carve a place in your life -- a place which never really leaves. I still reread some of my favorites now and then, though, in all honesty, I don't need to. After so many readings during my life (probably well over a dozen for each of my favorite authors and books), the stories are a part of me. I can close my eyes and the characters are there, living out their lives.

How about you? Which authors and books make up your memories?
Tags: book talk
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