Flashback~Forget About it-Friday

I love to read. Unfortunately, because my time is limited, I now consider reading a luxury. When I was a child it was a favorite pastime. Yes, I ate poorly and watched a lot of TV, but I read quite a bit too. Today, I thought I’d share some of the books I loved.

Flashback-Favorite books from childhood.

One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss

This was the first book I read aloud. I don’t remember a lot from the age of five, but I do have a clear vision of myself sitting on the floor reading the words, “This one has a little star…” Pretty sure I purchased this book for my daughter when she was still in utero.

Are you there God, it’s me Margaret? by Judy Blume

I read all the Judy Blume books when I was a pre-teen–devoured them really. I even read Forever when I wasn’t supposed to. Shhh…don’t tell. Much to my disappointment, my daughter had absolutely no interest in reading any of the classic Judy Blume books. I am still bummed about that. Note to all of you who have young kids, don’t let them know how much you enjoyed something as a child, that’s the kiss of death. Unless, it involves junk food, they’re all about sharing that experience.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Pretty sure this was the first book I could not put down. Something about the story of a girl growing up in a Brooklyn tenement in the 1920’s resonated with me. I related to Francie though our experiences could not have been more different. I guess that’s the sign of a good novel. I was so moved by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn that I bought it again as an adult, I wanted to re-read it. I also bought it so my daughter could read it–can you guess how that turned out?

The Dark Eyed Queen by Lozania Prole

The Dark Eyed Queen was published in 1976, couldn’t find a photo of the book’s cover, so I had to go with a photo of the subject–Queen Anne Boleyn. I am not sure how old I was when I read it, but it affected me to the point that my minor in college was English history–as in the history of England. I loved learning about Anne Boleyn, she was you know–wooed and wayed and then betrayed. That’s good stuff when you are a kid.

I just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you are one of the three people left on the planet who has not read this unbelievably wonderful novel, I suggest you go get it now. Would probably make a great Mother’s Day gift–that, and time alone to read.

Do you remember which book was the first you read by yourself? Are there any books you absolutely loved when you were growing up? I am sure there were, you guys are readers, I can tell…

Forget About it returns next week.

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12 responses

  1. lol

    I loved the “Great Brain” series of books by JD Fitzgerald. I don’t know how many there were, but I read all our library had to offer.

    They even made a movie from the series. My first of many realizations that my imagination is better than any filmmakers.

    Fitzgerald primed me for Grisham. I am a sucker for being told a story in a familiar voice with familiar characters.

  2. As a young kid it was Encyclopedia Brown. I found I could solve almost all of his “cases” by the third time I read them.

    Later it was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Nothing gold can stay PonyBoy.

    But my all time favorite will always be Catcher in the Rye. I was in 7th grade and a little too young for the language and some of the adult content. But I desperately wanted to buy it to learn some new swear words. When I brought home the monthly order form the english teachers gave out, Mom said no. But Dad smiled as he gave me his personal copy.

    Looking back, it wasn’t the f-bombs and GDs that made it memorable. Salinger gave Caulfield a voice that really hit home with me. And it’s a voice I may just take the time to enjoy again this summer.

    If I can afford the luxury. : )

    • Wow, I am so glad I chose this topic for the Flashback today. You guys are reminding me of great books that I enjoyed, but hadn’t thought of in decades–such as, the Encyclopedia Brown series. And of course the Outsiders. And what a great story about Catcher in the Rye–thanks for sharing all of it.

  3. Now this is a post that is near and dear to my heart. My father was a voracious reader. He devoured everything –mysteries, westerns, biographies, etc. – and would fall asleep in his chair every night with a book on his chest. He passed that love on to me as I accompanied him across the state line on numerous occasions to the used bookstore in Chattanooga. He would take in grocery sacks full of paperbacks and trade them for more. We would spend hours browsing the dusty aisles as the proprietor (who spoke with a German accent) pointed out the new items that had arrived since our last visit.

    Here are just a few that I can remember right out of the gate – Where the Red Fern Grows; A Wrinkle In Time; A Day No Pigs Would Die; Runaway Ralph; The Mouse and the Motorcycle; The Boxcar Children series; numerous Encyclopedia Brown books; almost all of the Hard Boys mysteries; everything that S.E. Hinton wrote; and my all time favorite, Where the Wild Things Are (and yes, I loved the movie). I also loved the youth biographies of historical figures – although I later found out that many were more fiction than fact.

    I am so happy that my 13 year old son somehow got the reading gene. He joined me at the bookstore for the midnight release of each of the last three Harry Potter books. I’d have my coffee and he would have his hot chocolate, and we’d peruse the aisles until they called our number. We’ve spent hours – and thousands of dollars – at Borders and Barnes & Noble. Then we found that Kansas City has a great library downtown. It’s music to my ears (and is much easier on my wallet) to hear my normally sarcastic, smart ass son say “I don’t have anything to read, can we go to the library this weekend?” Of course, now that I have a Kindle, he isn’t above ordering a book and telling me about it later “I hope you don’t mind….” Mind? Heck no! Who’s going to deny a kid a book?

    • So great that you and your dad shared that bond and that now you and your son do too! I love that. My husband took my daughter to the midnight book release events for H.P. here in San Diego. She dressed up–he didn’t. I agree, it is impossible to turn down a child’s request to buy a book! My daughter knows that well… My son is also a big reader–he’s going through a Malcolm Gladwell phase right now, he only wants to read his books!

      I have to say that some of the books you listed I don’t remember. That’s cool too.

  4. Interesting on the Malcolm Gladwell. I think might make one of those the next purchase on my Kindle and see how my son likes it. If I put it there and tell him that he can’t read it, he’ll have it finished over the weekend.

    Which ones didn’t you recognize (realizing, of course, that “Hard Boys” is actually “Hardy Boys” – my poor typing skills get me again)?

    • He read Outliers first and really enjoyed it; that lead to Gladwell’s last book, The Dog Whisperer which he did not like (I didn’t either and I too am a Gladwell fan). He’s now reading Tipping Point which so far he rates two thumbs up. My son is also 13.

      I didn’t recognize the names of the first five books you listed. I am sure that’s a me thing. 😉

      • WtRFG and ADNPWD were both male-centric, coming of age stories (and were both pretty darn sad), so it makes a lot of sense that you missed them. M&tM and RR where the first two books in a trilogy by Beverly Cleary (the 3rd one was published in ’82, so I never read it). AWiT is the first in a series and was one of the firts “sc-fi” books with a female protagonist. This is the one that I am most surprised that you missed. I’m pretty sure that all of the above have also been made into movies. Watership Down is another great one that I forgot.

  5. My favorite freaking subject.

    I too loved all the Judy Blume books and totally remember reading Forever when I wasn’t supposed to…

    I loved A Wrinkle in Time (it inspired me to want to write for children when I was 8…a goal I hold to this day), all the Narnia Books, all the Oz books, the Black Cauldron series, The Dark is Rising series, all the John Bellairs books (e.g. The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring), The Hardy Boys, et all, Encyclopedia Brown, an awesome series called The City of Gold and Lead, and anything written by Phyllis Naylor.

    And there’s so many more!

    But I think I answered your question. 🙂

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