Friday, August 27

Book Memories by Liz Flaherty

Because memories escape us sometimes, something I'm discovering more and more these days--what was your name again?--I thought I'd meander through a few this morning. Book memories. Aren't they the best kind?


I always knew, from the first word in the first reader (Look) that I was going to love to read. That has never changed. When I was in elementary school, every day started with the teacher reading to us. 

To this day, I can picture Heidi the way it was when Johanna Spyri wrote the book.
I've never been to the Alps, and yet I have. I have. I've even ridden down to the village of Dorfli on a sled over and over again. I've wondered all these years who Clara married and if Heidi and Peter lived happily ever after. 

Mrs. Slisher read Little Britches to us. Not only the first book, but many of the ones that followed. Sometimes she'd have one of the kids read the chapter. None of us did it as well as she did, but the chapters were long sometimes and her voice would tire. The 15-minute reading time would stretch occasionally, too, because there wasn't a good stopping point mid-chapter and we'd get to hear the whole thing. 

Our "library" in third and fourth grade was a bookcase in a back corner of the room. It was from that shelf that I got the Little House books after Mrs. Kotterman read Little House on the Prairie to the class. Sensible KateAway Goes Sally, and Understood Betsy won lingering homes in my memory. Caddie Woodlawn and The Bounces of Cynthiann' picked up where Laura Ingalls Wilder left off.

Louisa May Alcott books were available at home, on my aunt's shelf, and at the library. I read all of them over and over. Little Women is still my guiding star. Well, Jo March is, at least. 

In junior high, I got well acquainted with Trixie Belden, Sue Barton, and all the series offered by Janet Lambert and Rosamund du Jardin. Moving into high school, I read every book Betty Cavanna wrote--some of them many times--and fell in love with Gone With the Wind. (Part of the reason for that was that my mom didn't like GWTW--what better reason for me to love it? Same with Peyton Place.) I learned some extra Indiana history from Elisabeth Hamilton Friermood. Fell in love with Maine because of Elisabeth Ogilvie.

I don't know if there was really a good reason for this post other than shoring up my own memory, but I'm curious--ALL the Wranglers are curious; we're just that way--about your book memories, too. What ones have indelible places in your heart?

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Speaking of book memories, those of us who've written for the Christmas Town series hope you have good memories of our stories there. This year's offering, Christmas Town Homecoming is available for pre-order at all your friendly neighborhood online bookstores. The print version will be along later if that's where your heart lies!





12 comments:

  1. Ah, Liz, what a great subject to write about. I used to love Up a Road Slowly, by Irene Hunt. I checked that out of my elementary school's library over and over again. Thanks for such evoking such lovely memories.

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  2. Absolutely include me in on your list of childhood favorites--mine, too! I still own all of Rosamund du Jardin's books and confess to occasionally pulling one off the shelf if I need a comfort read. Anything at all by Gene Stratton-Porter, particularly The Harvester and Girl of the Limberlost. Thanks for the walk down (book) memory lane!

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  3. Little Women, Little House series, Nancy Drew, etc...

    Denise

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  4. Your memory's better than mine. I loved The Little House series, but then read random books by different authors. Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, some Jack London, and then got hooked on James Fenimore Cooper. Somewhere in there, I found Agatha Christie and Grace Livingstone Hill. You're right. Books make wonderful memories.

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    1. I couldn’t read G. L, Hill, but loved Emilie Loring!

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  5. And who can forget "Dick and Jane"?

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  6. Love your memories, Liz! And your memory is better than mine. I remember reading all the Little House on the Prairie books, but the names of many other books escape me. I just remember having a book in my hands a lot of the time.

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    1. I don't know why I remember those titles--I certainly don't remember titles anymore!

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