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Your Reading History

SGM
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Post by SGM » Mon March 19th, 2012, 8:04 pm

The first book that I actually completely finished reading by myself and from which there was no going back was The Secret Garden at about age 7. Over here we had the Armada paperbacks which you could buy in bookshops but also in local newsagents which were everywhere. These cost 2 shillings and 6 pence so I could buy them myself but my Dad very happily supplemented these by always buying me a book and bringing it home when he had been away.

These books (which probably included some Puffins as well) were such as those by Geoffrey Trease, Malcolm Saville, naturally Enid Blyton, Lorna Hill, Elinor Brent Dyer and loads and loads of others I can't remember. I read a lot of horsey ones including My Friend Flicka, those by Josephine Bullien hompson and Pat somebody or other who used to be a show-jumper (I think), Monica Edwards etc etc etc. Rosemay Sutcliff fits in there somewhere.

I do remember reading The Phanton Tollbooth in junior school (pre-11 years) because a teacher read us a chapter in class.

But I also got many from the library. For example, Ronald Welch - For the King and Escape from France. The I moved onto the Scarlet Pimpernel at about age 10 and Mabel Esther Allan and Caroline Courtney and all that lot -- not forgetting the Susan books by Jane Shaw.

The first classic I read was The Count of Monte Christo because I had seen it on TV when I was about 10 or 11.

In senior school, we did the usual Shakespeare, Dickens, H E Bates, Sheridan, Oscar Wilde, Oliver Goldsmith, Milton, Keats, Byron etc etc. By that time I had read most of the Brontes, Austens and some Walter Scotts.

For A Level I read Mansfield Park, Villette (Uggh), Life of Nelson (even more Uggh), Heart of Midlothian (so so boring -- it was not a good year). But by that time, I had discovered the French and Russians classics for myself. I was, of course, also reading Georgette Heyer, Juliet Benzoni and had tried the odd Angelique, and the Poldark books.

But not forgetting that I was always read the Pooh books by the family before I could read myself. So much so that he is still my cultural icon. I make sure that I buy the complete A A Milne for any new addition to the family.

I have naturally forgotten loads and loads. How I wish now that I had kept a list.
Last edited by SGM on Mon March 19th, 2012, 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "The Light within Us" by Charlotte Betts
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Mon March 19th, 2012, 8:22 pm

This thread is fascinating, thanks for putting it on here Rebecca!

From my early childhood ie primary/junior school I read loads of Enid Blyton - Famous Five, some of the Adventure series, Noddy and some of her stand-alone books; Shadow the Sheepdog was one favourite,and I also loved Paddington Bear and Mary Plain, another little bear in a strange land - SGM I remember those Armada books: I had Mary Poppins in that imprint. When I was slightly older - tweenies and early teens -I got into the Nancy Drew books, Alan Garner (fantasy set in Elidor and also The Weirdstone of Brisingamen), Alfred Hitchcock's series of teenage mysteries, which were probably aimed more at boys but I enjoyed them, they were a good companion to the Nancy Drew stories.

Then came school and the usual round of forced reading - Shakespeare, Jane Eyre and Far from the Madding Crowd which I actually enjoyed, much to my amazement, Jane Austen which I didn't enjoy, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird (still a favourite now). I read Rebecca on the rec of a friend, and dithered, but eventually baulked, at Lord of the Rings.

After the enforced reading I didn't read a "proper" book for years, except for Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel, although I did get into Catherine Cookson, who I'd discovered in my early teens thanks to the Mallen TV series. Then around the late 1980s I re-discovered the classics and caught up with the Bronte and Hardy novels which I hadn't read at school, plus Dracula, Frankenstein and some Wilkie Collins.

In the early 90s my reading turned more to crime - Patricia Cornwell and John Grisham, to be followed later by Sue Grafton and various others in the genre. I also read my first modern vampire novel - Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice -and started to work my way through the Vampire Chronicles.

In the late 90s I carried on with crime, reading pretty much any author that appealed, and this has more or less carried on, and I'm also into historical crime too, and urban fantasy, although I also like a good family saga. In the mid-90s I also finally got round to reading LotR.

The mid-2000s saw me getting more interested in historic fiction, thanks mainly to The Other Boleyn Girl and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

I'm sure there are plenty I've forgotten, and every time I read someone else's post I think oh yes that was one of my reads too.
Currently reading: "The Light within Us" by Charlotte Betts

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Brenna
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Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Mon March 19th, 2012, 10:50 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I started with Sweet Pickles and the Berenstain Bears.

Don't remember ages but I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on.

I went through Sweet Valley books for a while. [/quote]

How could I forget Sweet Valley and Sunnyside Camp? Not to mention Calvin and Hobbes and Berenstain Bears. We didn't have a lot of money when I was little, so I remember sitting my the BB books in the grocery store and reading them while my mom shopped. I would then put it back on the rack until the next week. This of course was back in the day when you could leave your child alone and expect them to still be in the same aisle when you returned.
Brenna

rebecca
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Post by rebecca » Tue March 20th, 2012, 12:45 am

Misfit: Ye Gods! That is a whooooooooooole lot of books

I know and I used to have the entire collection, in that if a book drought happened I'd re-read her books. I simply loved her writing, and her stories truly gripped you, as she had a wonderful eye for the vagaries of human nature. But in the last years I did note her books were slipping a bit, but kudo's to Catherine, she was a great story teller.

WOW MLE your list is amazing! Though we had TV we weren't allowed to watch a lot of it, and in summer my mother would push us out the door to play. But I also remember there were times when I could not find a book to read, and so read our collection of History encyclopedia's(I forget the name of the maker?). History was my favourite lesson and it's a real pity that many schools no longer teach it.

EC2: Little Women, Jane Eyre....

I had to read those two books in my english class. I remember loving Little Women, but I disliked Jane Eyre, though I like it now. Another book I remember is Anne of Green Gables and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, both of which I loved. I know I have read more than I stated in the above. And they are coming back to me. I do not understand anyone who does not enjoy reading.

WOW Mythica....I have to re-iterate, I hated Shakespeare and loathed all his books, but I do remember reading 'The Grapes of Wrath,' which I enjoyed and 'East of Eden.' I have heard about 'Catcher' but never read it. You have a great list.

Brenna...By high school I had discovered Linda Lael Miller who wrote romance novels set out west-Misfit you read these? She and Nora Roberts were my absolute favorites to escape those horrid high school years.

In between books I'd buy for myself, I would also dip into my mother's Mills and Boons but I'd read them in a day! But my favourite romance book is 'Secrets' by Sheila Holland aka Charlotte Lamb(I recently bought it through Amazon). I spent almost my entire 20's to my 40's reading Bio's, and so missed the H/F books....But I am quickly catching up.

fljustice...Thanks for the prod to amble down memory lane, rebecca!

Your most welcome, and I nearly forgot to mention one of my all time favourite authors, Taylor Caldwell, I have also read most of her books. I loved her writing, my faves being 'Testimony of Two Men' and 'Captains & the King's but I also enjoyed 'Mellisa.' I know I am going to remember more and more as the days go by lol.

LoveHistory...Got a late start with my Jane Austen too.

It is the with me. I hated Jane Austen at school, but I love her books now. My favourite is 'Persuasion,' I just love the story of Wentworth and Anne and the fact that Anne wasn't ravishingly beautiful, but had a quiet, gentle spirit and you longed for her to win in the end, which she did! I like P & P too.

SGM...You have a great list there. I have to admit to, not being a great fan of Dickens, but I recently bought 'A Tale of Two Cities', mainly because it is supposed to be very undickensian. I hope I will like it! lol. :p

Madeleine...I did get into Catherine Cookson, who I'd discovered in my early teens thanks to the Mallen TV series.....

I thought the book much better than the series and I still have it. It is the one CC book that I simply could not give away...but I do admit to having a tear in my eye when I donated all my collection of CC books to the library.
I do often wonder how anyone could hate reading? I cannot imagine a life without books, and I'll be reading till the end heehee.

Bec :)

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Tue March 20th, 2012, 9:31 am

[quote=""rebecca""]
WOW Mythica....I have to re-iterate, I hated Shakespeare and loathed all his books, but I do remember reading 'The Grapes of Wrath,' which I enjoyed and 'East of Eden.' I have heard about 'Catcher' but never read it. You have a great list.[/quote]

I think my school was a little obsessive about Shakespeare - they insisted at least one be read every year during high school. I didn't mind them but I probably wouldn't have read them on my own.

If you ever read Catcher in the Rye, you will either love it or hate it - there doesn't seem to be any middle ground with that book. But if you find teen angst annoying and whining, don't bother reading it because you'll probably hate it.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue March 20th, 2012, 3:20 pm

I never read Catcher, but my daughter had to in ninth grade. She had already been to the slums of Tijuana and was involved in our work with homeless and abused women and children, and she thought the MC was a whiny, disgusting brat. When I suggested she should just get through the assignment, she made me read the first few chapters. Downright awful. So I let her write an essay for the teacher on why she didn't want to waste time with the thing, and the teacher let her off by assigning another book -- the Chocolate Wars -- which she said was another bout of the same.

SGM
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Post by SGM » Tue March 20th, 2012, 8:05 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]and I also loved Paddington Bear and Mary Plain, another little bear in a strange land[/quote]

How could I have forgotten Paddington? Although I was never fond of marmalade myself.

And, of course, the Wombles -- especially Bernard Cribbins in the TV voice over. He was a complete part of my childhood. It was so good to see him back again in Dr Who.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Tue March 20th, 2012, 10:36 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I never read Catcher, but my daughter had to in ninth grade. She had already been to the slums of Tijuana and was involved in our work with homeless and abused women and children, and she thought the MC was a whiny, disgusting brat. When I suggested she should just get through the assignment, she made me read the first few chapters. Downright awful. So I let her write an essay for the teacher on why she didn't want to waste time with the thing, and the teacher let her off by assigning another book -- the Chocolate Wars -- which she said was another bout of the same.[/quote]

I wish I'd had the gumption to do something like that but at the time, my nature was just to put up with it and then BS my way through the book report, writing what I knew my teacher wanted to hear about symbolism and crap. Now, I really wish I'd done the report on why I hated it.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Posts: 3564
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue March 20th, 2012, 10:53 pm

Don't we all wish we could go back and tell certain teachers off! But (unlike tactless ol' me) my daughter had a fine sense of what each teacher would put up with. One of her college English profs was really off the deep end, and I remember my daughter reading me an essay that got her an 'A' where the BS was piled so high and deep I could hardly believe the prof hadn't seen it for the affected satire it was.

rebecca
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Post by rebecca » Wed March 21st, 2012, 12:21 am

[quote=""Mythica""]I think my school was a little obsessive about Shakespeare - they insisted at least one be read every year during high school. I didn't mind them but I probably wouldn't have read them on my own.

If you ever read Catcher in the Rye, you will either love it or hate it - there doesn't seem to be any middle ground with that book. But if you find teen angst annoying and whining, don't bother reading it because you'll probably hate it.[/quote]

I think I will give Catcher a miss. I don't think it is my cup of tea. I have to say though that the only book I absolutely refused to finish was 'War and Peace' I hated it! Loathed it! Despised it! You get the picture :p :D ...I did get through Wuthering Heights even though I detested the book...But I do sometimes wished the teachers had allowed the students to have a choice in the books to be read. For instance if I were a teacher I'd prefer a child read Harry potter and love it, than be forced to read Tolstoy and hate it.

Another book I forgot to include was Victor Hugo's Les Miserables...I loved it.

Bec :)

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