Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Memorable Books

Sometimes when you hear a song, it takes you back to a pleasant memory, forever connected to those notes.

Books do the same thing for me. In fifth grade I started a new school and discovered Judy Blume. "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" and "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself" were my best friends until I met Tammy, a girl almost as bookish as I was.

Seventh grade was all about V.C. Andrews. "Flowers in the Attic" didn't make it onto our junior high book list, but I read and reread that series for months. In ninth grade I was home sick for two weeks so I started in on my mother's books. "Lincoln" by Gore Vidal and "Shogun" by James Clavell were the most amazing, wonderful books I'd ever laid eyes on. History was suddenly incredibly interesting. I would have stayed home sick for longer, just to read everything they wrote!

My sophomore year of college, Carrie Fisher spent the summer with me in Spain. I read my Steinbeck and my Fitzgerald, too. But "Postcards from the Edge" was so different from anything I'd ever read before. I gave my dog-eared copy to a Japanese friend I met that summer and bought a new one when I got home!

So many books, so little time. What books are connected to memorable moments of your life?

7 comments:

Suzanne Casamento said...

Oh Sherrie, I am SO with you on the Judy Blume and V.C. Andrews. I think I read them around the same age you did.

At about the same time, I also tore through The Outsiders and Paul Zindel's The Pigman.

I didn't do much reading in high school. That was all about my Jersey Girls and guys and parties.

But when I got to college, I discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and Andre Dubus III. (Andre was actually my teacher. He made me want to be a writer.)

But all roads lead home and I readily admit that I haven't read an "adult" novel since I finished college and that process of "finding of myself."

I've definitely found myself, in the YA section - every time. ; )

Solvang Sherrie said...

Isn't it great when you DO find yourself?

I struggled to write something I was proud of for so many years, but always adult books. It was so liberating to realize my voice is in middle grade fiction! I guess that means I'm really a child at heart :)

Kelly said...

Sherrie, Your childhood bookloves sound JUST like mine! I started with Judy Blume and then devoured all the VC Andrews books (and was very disappointed with the movie). Suzanne, I also loved the Outsiders then even more so when the movie came out :0) I can't imagine why...
In high school and college, I didn't read for myself just for my studies, I was very busy with extra curriculars, so I think I missed out on that time period!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Oh Kelly, I so agree. That Flowers in the Attic Movie was more horrifying than the book plot!

Michele Thornton said...

I'm on the Judy Blume train too, and my first introduction to fantasy was via Narnia. Later, I discovered Alex Haley (Hawaii and Roots) and the John Jakes Americans series (remember those)? They brought history to life for me in a very entertaining way.

Although I liked VC Andrews, Stephen King stole my DC-comic-Tales-From-The-Crypt heart.

Corey Schwartz said...

I remember buying and reading all 52 Nancy Drew book in the second grade! Everything else came from the library, but my parents would take me to Walden Books t the mall every week or so to purchase a couple of new ones.

When my parents old their house in 1998, they had a garage sale and sold them for practically nothing. I had no kids at the time, but I was crushed. I wanted to give the set to my daughter one day.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Michelle, I loved the Narnia series. I was so happy when my son was old enough to understand them and we could read through them together.

Corey, I totally enjoyed reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. What a bummer that your parents sold them! I have no idea what happened to any of the books from my childhood.

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