Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Miscellany

In yesterday's comments Elizabeth talked of books which she loved as a child.   They struck a real chord with me - The Famous Five of course, almost everyone read those - the characters all became almost part of the family.   But she also mentioned BB (if my memory serves me right the author's real name was W Watkins-Pitchford (hopefully somebody will correct me if I am wrong).  The two books I remember are 'The Little Grey Men' and 'Down the Bright Stream' - I wonder if they can still be bought? - Cloudberry, Sneezewort and the rest, getting up to real adventures on the woodland floor.   How I loved those books, and read them over and over again.


That love of books has never left me and still I come across books now and again which I want to read over and over, and it is these books that I end up buying.   One such book I was bought for my birthday last week - a biography of Kathleen Raine, the poet.   Friend G bought me 'No End to Snowdrops' written by Philippa Bernard'.   Utterly fascinating life, difficult to put down and so easy to read.                    **********

Holly Berries:    The big question is will there be any left by Christmas?   Holly trees and bushes are laden and look divine, but this week the redwings and fieldfares have arrived in force, apart from the blackbirds - and all are tucking into those berries with gusto.   I do not begrudge the birds a single berry - after all, that is what nature intended them for; but I do wish they would hold off for another seven weeks (yes that is how near Christmas is!) .

So, two questions really - did you enjoy reading as a child and if so,
what books really influenced you (perhaps we could make a list, it might make a good Christmas present list for folk who don't know what to buy for their god-children, grandchildren, friend's children and the like).

25 comments:

jinxxxygirl said...

Lets see Weaver...... The Hardy Boys Mysteries......I remember them most from childhood. 'Old Yeller', Several Jack London books, The Black Stallion, If it was animal related i read it. LOL! My grandmother introduced me to romance books in my teenage years and i read those for a couple years then i think i found the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien and i was lost to the fantasy realm...lol and never looked back.

As a child my daughter liked Goosebump books by RL Stine.
I cannot wait to see the list we get here. I do not recognize any of the books you mentioned Weaver....Hugs! deb

Mac n' Janet said...

Whenever we moved, and we moved a lot, the first thing I would do is get a library card. The books I remember best from my childhood are Heidi, Little Women and the Wizard of Oz series.

Rachel said...

I read a lot as a child. My mother belonged to a book club and I read some of her books. I liked Gerald Durrell, My family and other Animals, and Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki Expedition. I also belonged to a book club and got quite a lot of Biggles books, Capt W E Johns, which I didn't enjoy very much - I think the club must have had more boys on its list than girls. I also went through Little Women and Jo's Boys stages.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

When I was very little I loved a book called The Happy Family so much that I tried to think about it as I fell asleep at night in the hope that I would dream of it....Later I loved the Anne of Green Gables books. But the first favorite that I read myself and over and over for pleasure was Hello, David. http://smile.amazon.com/Hello-David-Genevieve-Anderson-Hanna/dp/B000FGHGAG/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1415550733&sr=8-18&keywords=hello+david

Still found a used copy fairly easily. It's about a little boy who lived on a farm and what happened when his family bought another farm nearer the city.

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

Reading was considered a waste of time when I was younger so the only books I had were the sunday school prize each year and ones bought for me by aunties. Then at last the schools mobile library service bought books to our primary school and I had more choice. There was a series of childrens mysteries by Will Scott about a family " The Cherrys" _ loved them, and Narnia and Swallows and Amazons plus Famous Five of course.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Ah, reading as a child was my escape from the reality of a grinding poverty in rural SE PA where the summers boiled and the winters froze in drifts twelve feet high. And yes, we walked to school !~!

But books carried me so far away from that-Honey Bunch which is Way Too Old Fashioned for kids now, Cherry Ames Nurse Series was my absolute favorite and fed my career choice: Care Provider for young and old! I loved the James Herriott series of his Vet Practice in England.

John Gray said...

I adored reading as a child
It was my escape
Willard Price's adventure stores, Watership down, James Herriot, Gerald Durrell , I read them all

Gwil W said...

When I was able to read I first read Rupert the Bear annuals. I liked the way the quatrains rhymed. And how the words fitted to the pictures.

Heather said...

I loved books as a child and still do. Enid Blyton yes, and The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, The Box of Delights by John Masefield and Aldous Greenwing's Fortune but I can't remember the name of the author. There must have been many others too.

Joanne Noragon said...

I read everything, from the cereal box in the morning to the current book on the way home from school. Early on I read "The Brave Little Pig," about a pig who saved his humans by killing and eating the poisonous snakes on their island. About age eight I thought I would revisit it. As I sat in the library, skimming through, the librarian snatched it away and berated me for reading a "baby" book. She didn't change my obsession for reading.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Joanne, So glad that librarian didn't sour you on reading. Isn't it interesting that one would berate instead of inquiring why you had chosen that book. I can see a lively discussion ensuing about the relative merits of the cereal box back versus the toothpaste tube: "Crest has been shown..."

When the librarian in the small town I grew up in died (Ms Brower, Spring City PA) she left half a million dollars for the building and restocking a new library for our town of 3000 hugely grateful people. I will never forget her or that library that taught me so much, despite moving away from there just as high school began. She will always be my quintessential librarian.

angryparsnip said...

I read everything, books, magazines, the encyclopedias, any fairy tale, lots of history.
The Black Stallion series. An English series about a magical halfpence I don't remember the name.
My Mother belonged to the Readers Digest so what ever sounded good to me I would read.

cheers, parsnip

Bovey Belle said...

I read non-stop, voratiously, and still would given half a chance (normally just at bedtime these days, or if I am unwell and laid up). I read EVERY pony book I could lay my hands on, fast, and usually got through 4 books a week. I thought Enid Blyton was for sissies because there were no ponies in her books.

I loved the Collins Children's Classics - Heidi, Little Women, The Children of the New Forest, Lorna Doone, The Last of the Mohicans (all got from the shop down the road purely because I would ask did they have horses in them?!)

I LOVED the Borrowers books too, and Dr Doolittle, and Swallows and Amazons, and Just William.

I didn't come across the Little House on the Prairie books until I read them to my children, but enjoyed them SO much as an adult.

"Adult" literature came to me around 15, when I was introduced to H Rider Haggard . . .

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

As a very young child I loved Pigley Plays Truant and then Milly Molly Mandy ( my little friend Susan is STILL my friend and now lives in Cornwall.)
Most Enid Blyton, Heidi and The Secret Garden were my junior school favourites.Then Swallows and Amazons.
I used to read to my children whenever we went on long journeys They loved Mallory Towers. The adults in the car would listen too and groan when I had to stop. We still read to each other and now to the grandchildren also
Gill

Becca McCallum said...

I have read The Little Grey Men by BB - he also wrote 'serious' nature books too, I believe. Er, I read a lot as a child - a really varied crop of books. The Abbey Girls books, along with a whole bunch of Girls School Omnibus books because I stayed with my grandparents regularly as a child and those were the books she had left over from her childhood. I loved the Swallows and Amazons books, and Narnia, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, all the Five Children and It books, as well as the Wouldbegoods. Ballet Shoes and the Family from One End Street, What Katy Did - all the the children's classics really. Quite old-fashioned for when I was growing up (1990s). I also liked The Prydain Chronicles. I LOVED reading, and even read at the breakfast table (when I could get away with it), while getting my coat on, and in the car to school. I still like reading :)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I would have read anything I could get my hands on when I was growing up - but my mother didn't allow books in our house - she said it was a waste of time. I read soup labels and cereal boxes - anything I could find. When we moved to town when I was in the 4th grade I discovered the school library - my first thought was - I get to read every book in here. I still couldn't have books at home but managed in my spare time and recesses at school to read all the Nancy Drew books - and the Hardy Boys and all books related to the Little Women series.

I still love to read and our children and grandchildrens' homes overflow with books.

Jayview said...

I loved the Milly Molly Mandy books too, The Secret Garden, and an Australian book called The Adventures of Snub Cat that I have never heard of again.
It's so sad to hear of parents who thought books a waste of time! Jean

Helsie said...

I was a real book worm but many of the books I read have not been mentioned here so they must be just Aussie books - What Katy Did, the Billabong Series by Mary Grant Bruce and Seven Little Australians were my absolute favourites but I also loved Anne of Green Gables, Enid Blyton's Famous Five , Little Women , Heidi and anything with horses especially Flicka and Black Beauty.

Cloudia said...

Jungle Books of course. Pooh. A little Princess. . . . books that touched and shaped me. . . . an obscure one called "My father's Dragon" also comes fondly to mind. Thanks for asking




ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

Cro Magnon said...

The first one I remember really enjoying was Swallows and Amazons. I know it was a favourite of my mother's, so she must have read it to me many times. Otherwise all the usual suspects.

MorningAJ said...

BB was one of my favourites and if you've only read his gnome books you:ve missed a lot. It was Denys Watkins-Pitchford and he did all his own illustrations too. You can get some of his books today but you have to hunt for them. The Badgers of Bearshanks was my favourite.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the memories folks! Lovely to read of your choices. We are lucky enough to live in James Herriot country and also lucky enough to have been to Prince Edward Island and seen Anne of Green Gables house. What memories are stirred up. I too read everything - even the side of the HP sauce bottle - remember when it was written in French as well as English 'Cette sauce est haute qualite.........'

Elizabeth said...

Just remembered Half Magic
Treasures in the Snow - can't remember the authors
and all the books by Violet Needham
especially THE BLACK RIDERS (set in mitteleuropa - still a bit of a passion)
All the different color Fairy Book....

Yes, hooray for all the wonderful children's librarians out there - past and present!

Julie Clay Illustration said...

I'm a bit late here, but I remember the little grey men too, wonderful books! At infants school we read 'Little Black Sambo' which would be a No No nowadays, but I can still remember those illustrations, being an illustrator myself now, there was a tiger in there, loved them. I also remember reading Brer Rabbit books, do you??

thousandflower said...

Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery was my favorite as well as my Mom's when she was a child and her mother read them to her. I have read them to all my children as well.