The Broke and the Bookish.
I love a good list. This week's topic from the folks at The Broke and the Bookish makes me wax nostalgic: when I first fell in love with books, with reading, with the instant escape to other worlds. I was the child who would hide under the dining room table, beneath a desk, or anywhere else I could find to become lost in a book. I longed for a window seat with a soft red cushion and curtains I could hide behind. When my mother found me with my nose in a book she would force me to go outside--whereupon I would take my book up into the higher branches of some tree, and read undisturbed (while getting the "fresh air" my mother believed in).
Here are just ten of the books I remember finding magical.
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. How I wished I had a wardrobe that opened onto another land.
2. Tales of Hans Christian Anderson, illustrated by Arthur Rackham. This was a beautiful old book that once belonged to my father. If you haven't seen Arthur Rackham's exquisite illustrations, you need to seek them out.
3. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
4. The Princess and the Goblins by George MacDonald.
5. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I devoured every book in this series.
6. Nancy Drew and the....Carolyn Keene. Nancy had Titian hair, whatever that was. She had a blue roadster, a housekeeper, and a father who seemed awfully genial and lenient. I read the Nancy Drew mysteries one after the other. When I ran out of those I would borrow my brother's Hardy Boys.
7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I know, I was precocious.
9. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read and loved this book at age eleven, too young to question some of the more romantic premises of the novel.
10. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. I don't remember much about this book except that I loved, loved, loved it.
These are the books that first come to mind when I think about my childhood favorites, but there were more than I could list. Then when I became a parent, I got to experience some of those same books all over again. My daughters loved books the way I did, and I remember a few of their favorites: Caddie Woodlawn, Little House on the Prairie, and many more. Some day I'll be reading these favorites to their children...
Do you remember being enthralled by books as a child? What were your favorites?