Monday, July 1, 2019

TTT: Childhood Favorites (and there sure are a lot of them!)

 TTT is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: Childhood Favorites. I love this topic. There is no way in hell I can limit this to ten books though. Ten categories? Maybe. I started reading, they say, at three, and was raised without a TV in a pre-home-computer world, so you'd better believe I read a TON as a kid. I also re-read constantly, which means I can tell you a lot more about my childhood favorites than the books I read last month.To avoid this turning into a five hour project for me, I'm simply going to link you to my Goodreads shelf called "Read Repeatedly as a Kid." Everything on this page is on there except The Joy of Sex, which technically, I only skimmed. For the most part, these are books I read before middle school, and definitely before high school.

Ten Beloved Picture books.
  • The Story of Ferdinand, which is one of the only books I associate with my dad reading to me
  • Blueberries for Sal, ditto for my mom.
  • Leo the Late Bloomer
  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • Angus and the Ducks (I had a Scottie too!)
  •  Madeline
  • The Snowy Day, which is like, the only book on this whole page with a non-white protagonist. Just sayin'.
  • Bread and Jam for Francis
  • Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

I still have my copy, with my name in my mom's handwriting on the inside cover.

Ten Beloved Classics (that were old even then!)
  • Little Women and Eight Cousins
  • Heidi
  • Lassie Come Home
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Charlotte's Web 
  • The Secret Garden and The Little Princess
  • The Enchanted Castle and Five Children and It
  • Wild Animals I Have Known
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates

I had this exact cover, and was so envious of her snood. 

Ten Books I read with my sisters or received from them (as gifts or  hand-me-downs)
  • Winnie the Pooh series
  • The Golden Treasury of Poetry
  • The Silver Chair
  • Understood Betsy
  • King of the Wind
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  •  Watership Down
  • The Hobbit
  • The Good Master and The Singing Tree
  • The Long Secret
This was definitely an involuntary hand-me-down from my horse loving sister. 

Ten Series I gobbled up
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Nancy Drew
  • Trixie Belden
  • Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • Tales of Earthsea
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  • The Rescuers
  • Children of Green Knowe
  • The Chronicles of Prydian
It's worth noting that I had a policy of reading any book I saw that Garth Williams had illustrated. Also, that cat is terrifying.

Ten Books I owned and loved
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Magic Elizabeth
  • The Magic Pin
  • Gentle Ben
  • The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Then Again, Maybe I Won't and Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself
  • The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • Bargain Bride
  • A Wrinkle in Time
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
For years I held this up as my favorite book, though I'm pretty sure I couldn't read it now. I also thought Julie Andrews Edwards was the perfect woman, what with starring in The Sound of Music AND writing this book. 

Ten Authors whose works I borrowed from the library repeatedly
  • Joan Aiken
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Lloyd Alexander
  • Michael Bond
  •  Beverly Cleary
  • Roald Dahl
  • Edward Eager
  • Eleanor Estes 
  • Jane Langton
  • Mary Norton

I quite clearly remember heading to the "A" shelf each library visit to see if Aiken, Alcott, or Alexander had any books I hadn't read yet. 

and a few books I maybe was a little young to read when I read them, but which made QUITE an impression
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which is also be one of those books I got via my sisters.
  • Clan of the Cave Bear series
  • The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank Not that Erma Bombeck is racy, just that it's funny a kid loved these collections of humorous essays by a suburban newspaper columnist. If Life is a Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? was another one.
  • That book of dirty limericks in the basement
  • A Vein of Riches which I read because A Separate Peace wrecked me in sixth grade. But this story of coal strikes and falling in love with your dad's mistress was not quite the same.
  • Those super smutty spy novels my dad kept by his bedside
  • The Joy of Sex, which the neighbors did not move from their coffee table when the 10 year old across the street was going to be house sitting. 
  • I also started reading Dickens and Agatha Christie around fifth grade, but I was able to get enough enjoyment out of them that I'm glad I did.

The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank


  1. I like that you chose categories. I remember a bunch of those picture books from my elementary school classrooms. I guess some books will always be popular.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Oh my goodness....I had totally forgotten all about my love of Trixie Belden books until I read this post. Thanks for bringing back the memories :)

  3. Wow! I love how you broke this out. I had to really dig deep to come up with my five for this week, so your list has blown me away. I love your last list the most. I guess we all picked up some books that weren't quite age appropriate, and I actually did read parts of If Life's a Bowl of Cherries. My mother had that book on our book shelf, and I remember thinking some of the stuff was really funny.

  4. Oh my goodness! Are you me? I have so many thoughts about this post. First of all, when I was growing up I thought I was the only kid in the whole US who was being raised without a TV. But, as you say, it does leave a lot of time to read. Most of the books on your list I read and loved too but I have never met anyone else who read Erma Bombeck as a kid or who thought Julie Andrews was amazing because she could act, sing, and write books--though Mandy was the book of hers I loved. I started reading Dickens and Christie at the same age as you. Basically, this comment is just me shouting "yes! yes!" for everything. Also, I loved Bargain Bride and checked it out from the library regularly but had completely forgotten about it. I absolutely need to read that again. I am now going to check out your Goodreads shelf.

  5. I read the Clan of the Cave Bear series a little too young, too. It was really interesting.

    My TTT.

  6. I can always count on you to create fantastic lists of books I want to read, or have read but forgot. I was totally into Margarete Henry books when my children were young. We read them all.

  7. Outstanding list! It's so hot today I think I'll re-read Harry By The Sea! Harry the Dirty Dog--so happy to see him here.

  8. Oh, wow. So many good titles. Five-hour comment project it is!

    The Story of Ferdinand is awesome -- haven't seen anyone else pick it.

    Angus and the Ducks is probably in my top 10 picture books. My dad loved them as a kid too. He thinks they are responsible for his lifelong love of Scottish Terriers (not that he has ever been able to own one).

    I'm surprised you're the first person to include Lassie! As well-known dog books go, that is one I shamefully have not read, but thought more people would have.

    Wild Animals I Have Known is a true childhood favorite of mine. I have my mom's copy, a falling-apart-at-the-seams Whitman edition, but I have many childhood memories of reading these often-traumatizing animal deaths. Not sure I can classify them as happy memories, per se, but the writing style drew me in enough that I read them over again and again at the tender age of 9 or so. All the creatures are so vivid and memorable -- the Pacing Mustang, Lobo the King of Currampaw, Silverspot...

    Magic Elizabeth and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic are another two passed down from my mom that I must have read at least ten times. They never lose any of their charm, even as an adult.

    Never read Bargain Bride, but I did enjoy a couple of other Sibley books -- Navaho Sister and the insensitively-but-historically-accurately-titled Half-Breed.

    and finally...LMAO @ your Joy of Sex story.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!