Thursday, May 29, 2008

Old Favorites (You Tell Me)

I’m curious about the books that really formed you as a young reader.

The two that stick out in my mind are Judy Bloom’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (no explanation necessary, I assume; I think every young girl devoured this book with the same enthusiasm) and a more obscure book, The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin.

I recently bought The Mysterious Disappearance for my daughter, and in skimming through it I could clearly see why I loved it so much as a child: it is really weird. Zany might be the right word. It’s the first book I ever read that played with language and story structure—and fostered my life-long love of footnotes in fiction.

The third book I have been dying to read again is a story about a girl, an only child, growing up in New York City where she lives with her parents who have perfected the art of making a classic Caesar salad tableside, using real coddled egg. Sounds bizarre, but I remember repeatedly checking this book out to vicariously live this girl’s quiet, cultured life. Anyone remember the title to this book?


Anonymous said...

No question: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Anonymous said...

Nancy Drew, bien sur.
Phantom Tollbooth
Narnia books
A Wrinkle in Time
The Hobbit

Anonymous said...

Bobbsey Twins
Trixie Belden mysteries (can you tell I had older sisters?)
Little Women
Little House series
I tried The Hobbit, but it didn't take.

Scott Raedeke said...

I know that you're just going to laugh and post a robotic picture of me, but here goes:

* A Wrinkle in Time, L'Engle
* A Separate Peace, Knowles
* Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl
* Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Hofstadter
* Atari Basic - A Self-Teaching Guide, Albrecht, Finkel, Brown

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh I LOVE A Separate Peace!!
However, your last two are incomprehensible to me.

Anonymous said...

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler (author unknown)
All the Roald Dahl books
Harriet the Spy
Where the Red Fern Grows
Judy Blume collection