Day 1 Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This was my hands-down favorite book, but I never had my own copy, just checked it out at least ten times from the library. I remember my father asking exasperatedly, “You’re getting that AGAIN?” I think he disapproved of this romance-y, girly-looking book because he wanted me to read only serious children’s literature like The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler and The Phantom Tollbooth, but this story of a motherless, beautiful, smart, kind, dark-haired girl going from riches to rags and back to riches entranced me, and I read it over and over.
- I still like big books (A Little Princess, at 266 pages, was long for a children’s book back then.)
- I’m still intrigued by India, where Sara Crewe’s English father was stationed, and in high school, I went to India as an exchange student.
- I still like to read classic novels. (Looking up A Little Princess on Wikipedia, I see it was published in 1905, so I was reading it at least 65 years later, which would have made it a children’s classic. I don’t think I knew that at the time.)
- I still don’t read the really serious novels – just the moderately serious ones – and still enjoy stories where the mean girls/women and the bad guys get their comeuppance.
- I still wish I had thin ankles, as Sara Crewe and all the other pretty girls in all the other novels do.
Of course, I had other favorite novels back then, including, yes, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler and The Phantom Tollbooth. Also The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary, Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink (which I see now was also a classic), The Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald, and too many more to name. I never liked Nancy Drew or very many mysteries other than Encyclopedia Brown, but I did like Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, and The Happy Hollisters, which may all have been more about the brothers, sisters, and friends than the mysteries they solved, which was why I liked them .
Lifelong Adult Favorites
As a librarian, I try to read a variety of books, including genre fiction, to keep up with what’s current and popular, as well as books from other years I may have missed. As a fiction reviewer for Library Journal, I read assigned books, and as a book blogger, I often read books for review that I might not have otherwise chosen.
But my favorite reading over the years has always been the family saga. (Preferably running over several volumes and several generations.) I resisted reading Rosamund Pilcher’s books until a fellow librarian persuaded me to read The Shellseekers, and then I was, like, why didn’t you just tell me it was a family saga? 😉
These are the ones I have already read once or twice and hope to read again someday, maybe when I am retired:
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell (12 volumes)
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (5 volumes)
The Spoils of Time Trilogy by Penny Vincenzi (3 volumes. Obviously.)
The Starbridge novels and St. Benet’s Trilogy by Susan Howatch (9 books)
Strangers and Brothers by C. P. Snow (11 volumes)
I cheated and wrote about six books instead of five. Or, actually, a lot more than six, didn’t I? Well, that says a lot about me, too.
I need to get one of these mugs: