Monday, September 20, 2010

Minxes' Favourite Childhood Books - Part 1

We all have books and stories that we adored as children and may even now have passed on to or be reading to our own children.

Today, the Minxes want to share with you the books that shaped us into the readers we are today. One or two may surprise you ;)

Romy Sommer: Some of my earliest memories are of my mother reading me to sleep every night as a kid. She read me all the Enid Blytons. I know I don't need to list them here. I bet you grew up on them too!

As I grew older I developed a love for girls' boarding school books. To this day my favourites are Elinor Brent-Dyer's Chalet School books. These stories not only had all the usual schoolgirl pranks and dramas, but they also had exotic locations (Austria, Wales, Switzerland) and spanned several decades. I'm still collecting these books today - for my daughters, of course!

In my teens the 'Sweet Valley High' books were my first taste of romance, but the first Alpha hero I ever fell in love was Patrick Pennington, the bad boy musical prodigy in KM Peyton's Pennington's Seventeenth Summer. My brother brought the book home from school as required reading. If he ever wants the book back, he just needs to search my bookshelves - it's still there, alongside all its sequels!

Sally Clements: I read everything I could get my hands on, as a kid. And it hasn't changed much! My favorites were the Nancy Drew series - and honestly, who couldn't love a clever girl tracking down a mystery? Other faves were She and Ayesha by H Ryder Haggard, and Kon-Tiki and the Ra expeditions by Thor Heyerdahl, the descriptions of sailing in an ancient craft grabbed me from the start! I also spent a good few years reading P G Wodehouse & all the James Bond books and by the time I'd turned 13 was devouring Papillon by Henri Charriere. So I guess I was a sucker for mysteries, and stories where people faced challenges - and won!

Lorraine Wilson: I used to spend all my pocket money on books and still have all my original Enid Blytons. My favourites were the Adventure series although I still have a secret penchant for the Faraway Tree and used to climb trees when I was little, hoping to find another world at the top!

When I grew a little older I devoured everything by L.M. Montgomery - once I'd finished the Anne series I moved on to Emily and beyond. I also loved anything by E. Nesbit, Noel Streatfield and the Flambard series by K.M. Peyton but as I could go on forever I'll end my part here...

Maya Blake: Having two older brothers and a very tom-boyish older sister meant that as a child I had to ride with the gang or lead a very lonely existence.

This spilled over into my reading life and one of my earliest memories was of waiting patiently for my turn to read the latest Hardy Boys.

After many lame nursery books, discovering the adventure within these novels was very exhilarating. So much so that I pleaded with my mother to take me to the "grown-up" section of the library, whereupon I discovered my second love: Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories dominated my life from ages 9 to 12! I gobbled up all the stories I could get my hands on, reading them over and over and over again. My mother had serious reservations about my wellbeing when I would forgo food just so I could read these books.

Of course, by the time I turned 13, my sister, having shunned her tom-boyish ways, was very much into a new series called Mills & Boon. I borrowed a book by one Anne Mather, and the rest, as they say, is history...

Come back next Monday for the second part of the Minxes Favourite Childhood Books.

Before that, though, we'd love to hear what your favourite books were as a child, so dish!


Sally Clements said...

Oh, I forgot the Hardy Boys! (How?!). All this reminicencing makes me feel like digging them all out and having a read again!

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Aaaah, The Faraway Tree...must foist it on my youngest tonight. Haven't read it again in ages!

Feeling very wistful now and reisting the urge to scramble up the apple tree just for the hell of it. I will get stuck.

Great post Minxes!



Rachel Lyndhurst said...

RESISTING the urge, I meant to say!

Sorry, specs malfunction ( I should actually be wearing them!).

Getting coat...


Lacey Devlin said...

It was Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew for me too! Ahh the memories :) Great post minxes!

Maya Blake said...

Oh, I remember The Faraway Tree, Rachael! Heh, I might just foist it on my kids too, maybe that might pull them away from their DS's for a second or two!

P.L. Parker said...

I read Nancy Drew of course and unbeknownst to my mother, I got hold of my sister's spicy romance books, the Angelique series, and read them. LOL.

Rachael Johns said...

Ooh what a great post! I LOVED Enid Blyton and then later on became ADDICTED (and I MEAN ADDICTED - I had every book) to The Babysitters Club!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post!

I was a big Nancy Drew reader. Sally Draper was reading a Nancy Drew book on Mad Men Sunday night. It made me smile. :)

I also big into Trixi Belden and all the horse stories: Walter Farley & Marguerite Henry's books were my favorite.

Teresa F Morgan said...

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Kate Reedwood and Felicity Kates said...

The Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time books, and almost everything by Ursula K. Le Guin. 'Romance' wasn't allowed in our front door, so I didn't discover it until I had grown up and moved away, but now I can't imagine a book being really good without it in there somewhere :)

Jannine Gallant said...

I read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books at least 10 times each. Those were my all time favorites.

Lorraine said...

I have a lovely image in my head of having sent Rachel up a tree ;-)
Unfortunately I don't have kids to re-read them to...Hmm, maybe I'll just dig them out anyway.

Shawna Thomas said...

I read The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis about once every other year. I used to sneak into my uncles room and borrow his Tolkien. However, one of my favorite childhood books is The Tawny Scrawny Lion. I bought it for my kids so I can still read it. ; )

Sutton Fox said...

Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry, and all of her subsequent titles. They were the first horse stories I came upon in the during my very first visit to the school library.

It wasn't until my early teens that I discovered Ms. Woodiwiss and her fabulous romances in the public library. And here we are. Still loving romance.

Fun post minxes!

Penny Rader said...

Reading was my fave thing to do as a kid. Still is. :D Little Women and Jo's Boys; Little House on the Prairie series; orange-bound biographies in the library; Boxcar Children series; Nancy Drew series; Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare; Miss Charity Comes to Stay by Alberta Constant; All-in-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor; scads of books from the Scholastic order forms at school. I'll hush now 'cause I could on and on. ;D

Romy Sommer said...

Rachael - I never read the Babysitters Club. I think I need to get them for my TBR pile so see what I missed out on.

Cory - I'd forgotten all about Trixi Belden. Thanks for the reminder!

Good times ...

Maya Blake said...

Wow! All these responses are bringing back so many happy memories! Thanks for telling us your favourite books, guys, keep them coming :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I Loved E.B White and Beverly Cleary! And of course I read The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew too!

Susan F. said...

Hmm - how to think of them all...
Nancy Drew
Cherry Ames and Sue Barton nurse stories
Trixie Belden
Little House
Anne of Green Gables series
Louisa May Alcott
Happy Hollisters
All of a Kind Family
Childhood of Famous Americans biographies
Janet Lambert
A Little Princess/Secret Garden/Lost Prince

I know there are more ...

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Some terrific book choices there.